Once again, the National Football League made an enormous deal of its schedule release, and once again, we know the following things:
1. For the 25th year in a row, everybody got the same number of byes. Way to go, NFL Clerical.
2. This story is like every other one just like it – nonsense. Good teams win and bad ones don’t, and the schedule is overrated as a factor.
3. If you believe Thanksgiving is a special day for loved ones and friends, believe something else, because you’re about to be very wrong (Seattle at Santa Clara).
4. If you’re a Raider fan and you think you got jobbed by the schedule, congratulations. You like feeling put upon by the league anyway, the rest of the country doesn’t want to watch your games, and you have enough trouble just being in the division you’re in.
5. If you’re a 49er fan and you’re cranky about playing the Seahawks twice in three weeks, remember that the Raiders are sandwiched inbetween. That’ll be fun.
6. Nostalgia freaks, you get Alex Smith -- twice.
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There has never been a coach firing in American history that matches Manchester United’s dismissal of David Moyes. The new developments include the fact that:
• He gets only one-fifth of his five years’ salary because Man U didn’t make the Champions League.
• That he didn’t realize that part of his contract existed.
• That people are figuring out that Sir Alex Ferguson was actually lucky as all hell to win that last Premier League title a year ago
• That Moyes’ firing jazzed Man U’s stock price enough to net the Glazers (who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) over $200 million.
• And that Phil Jackson finding out that Knicks owner Jimmy Dolan won’t let him fire everyone he wants to fire is nothing in comparison.
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Sharks fans may be euphoric about their team’s dismantling of the Los Angeles Kings, but one thing they must surely miss is the bad blood they thought they were getting. There have been very few overtly dirty plays (okay, Logan Couture got speared in the specialty department, but nobody’s been deliberately hurt), so we learn that hatred abates when one team is dramatically better than the other.
On the other hand, Anaheim, which was supposed to be dramatically better than Dallas, is tied at 2-2 after losing Wednesday night, and those teams definitely hate each other to the point where they engaged in three full scrums in the last three minutes of the game. So yet again, the Sharks get hosed. Oh, the Ducks are getting danged around pretty well (no Ryan Getzlaf Wednesday night), but it isn’t quite the same for Sharks fans who wanted everything Ducks and Stars fans are getting in bulk.
But keep a good thought for Thursday night’s fourth game, kids. Maybe Mike Brown and Dustin Brown can bring some energy to the National Anthem.
[KURZ: Niemi pays little attention to OT success]
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Minnesota’s Chris Colabello hit a home run Wednesday night while his mother Silvana was being interviewed on television – on her birthday.
So guess who is bound to let his mom down on Mother’s Day.
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Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda was caught with pine tar on his neck one start after being caught with pine tar on his hand. This time, he was ejected.
Both times, he was kind of an idiot, and Gaylord Perry is deeply and profoundly ashamed.
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Sadly, Seattle’s Russell Wilson is getting divorced from his wife of two years. Weirdly, the Seahawks put out a media release on it.
Now I get why Jed York has kept his yap clamped about the 49ers’ screwy offseason. And I definitely understand that wry smile on Colin Kaepernick’s face.
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Pittsburgh TV station WTAE did a feature story on two-year-old Tyler Agolia, who apparently reacts cutely on cue when the Penguins score. No word yet on how he coped with Wednesday’s game, though I bet he wanted to turn his balled-up fist on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after he made a hash of Columbus’ tying goal.
Buckle Up Baby is surely pissed.
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And finally, the Chicago Cubs, who couldn’t even sweep Arizona, celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field by insisting upon an act of contrition from not-invited-to-the-ceremony Sammy Sosa for crimes against . . . Cub-manity?
“There are some things Sammy needs to look at and consider prior to having an engagement with the team,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. Presumably that self-abasement must include taking a knee for sitting out the final game of the 2004 season and leaving the stadium before the game was over.
Well, the Blackhawks forgave Bobby Hull for jumping leagues, and the guy who forgave him was the son of the guy who banned him, while the current Cubs owners weren’t even around when Sosa played. Sounds like someone’s holding a proxy grudge here.