How to turn Raiders into 'The Greatest Team Ever Seen'
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Alex Rodriguez, blah blah blah and on and on and on and yap yap yap and yahdadah yahdadah. The real PED scandal for people who love PEDs is in Australia, where Aussie Rules football power Essendon is being charged by the AFL in an alleged scheme by coaches and officials to give their players illegal supplements.

The players have been cleared of knowingly using the substance, which means the club is being accused, an interesting switch from here, where the clubs always claim to know nothing and the players are the villains. Somehow, Bud Selig must be prevented from learning of this breach of management protocol, lest he turn all purply-blue and start screaming in tongues . . . or having his aide Rob Manfred do it for him.


And if you need more proof that other nations are killing us on innovation, there is English soccer side Farnborough FC, which was saved from bankruptcy by gambling site Paddy Power. Armed with new money, the side was immediately upgraded by taking the current players and having them change their names to great current and former players, now billing itself as The Greatest Team Ever Seen. As in Daniel Bennett is now legally Lionel Messi, Scott Donnelly is now David Beckham, Elvis Hammond is now Pele, and so on, and on, and on. Even manager Scott Day has changed his name to Jose Mourinho.

Yes, this is silly. No, I cannot imagine why the Raiders haven’t thought of doing exactly the same thing.


And speaking of the Swords In The Heads, we have a question on the new Forbes NFL valuations, and I admit my business savvy isn’t Forbes’ level: What, other than bring in a seat-cozy to take out unused seats, did the Raiders do to increase their value by five percent, while the 49ers who never miss a chance to prattle on and on about their new stadium, only went up four percent? I think Forbes’ Mike Ozanian knows something the rest of us don’t, and we should watch his betting patterns this season.

In the alternative, we’ll just scratch our heads and wonder if that five percent isn’t somehow related to Matt Flynn.


This might just be the fallacious Internet rumor that William (The Refrigerator) Perry had died talking, but Houston defensive end J.J. Watt keeps bugging Texans coach Gary Kubiak about playing offense in goal line situations.

And this might just be my hangover talking, but I’d just as soon he shut up about it. It’s not going to happen, ever.

Except that there was a report from John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that a golf cart at Wednesday’s Texans practice almost hit quarterback Matt Schaub. This looks like a job for the Tinfoil Hat Irregulars, but I’d say Watt needs to be questioned by the authorities pretty quickly before the trail runs cold.


And finally, here’s to pitcher Alan Farina of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA Eastern League), who managed to perform the spectacularly rare (and rare yet spectacular) intentional walk walk-off in a game against the New Britain Rock Cats (interestingly also AA Eastern League). Farina was trying to load the bases by walking Reynaldo Rodriguez. Only his 3-0 pitch sailed defiantly over the head of catcher Jack Murphy, sending Eddie Rosario home with the winning run.

Yeah, that isn’t as good as if a manager had called for the intentional walk because he was loaded, or distracted, or double loaded, but you take what you can on a day when you reference Armenia, Guinea, Bosnia AND Herzegovina.