Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nails from the Toolbox: Knicks, Matt Cooke, Pearl and more...

*The Knicks blew a 14-point halftime lead at home and lost a bloody matchup to the Celtics last night. They are now 7-9 since the Melo deal and their overall record has fallen to .500 at 34-34. Because they are having a "winning" season and guaranteed to finally make the playoffs, James Dolan and MSG have decided to take this opportunity to raise season ticket prices for the 20011-12 season. By an average of 49 percent!

*My man Joe Posnanski is taking on the "most exciting professional project" of his life. It involves writing a book. I was surprised by the name of the person he will be writing about.

*The NHL finally brought the hammer down on a hit to the head. The culprit was multiple-time offender Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The reaction around the league has been universally supportive of the strong suspension, which will cost Cooke $219K. Even from Cooke's own team. Here is GM Ray Shero's statement. Cooke will miss the final ten games of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.

Cooke took responsibility for his actions and realizes he must change if he expects to stay in the league.

*The NFL's decision to possibly change rules on kickoffs to limit violent impacts would take away one of the most exciting and game-changing plays in the sport. Everyone realizes the League is trying to limit injuries, but while head shots aren't a necessary component of the game, this is a fundamental and seemingly unnecessary change. Bill Belichick threw his two cents into the discussion.

*As I called for here in October and here in February and then predicted here last week, Bruce Pearl and his staff have been fired by Tennessee. I joked that the Vols 30 point loss to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament gave the University cause. Well it turns out from athletic director Mike Hamilton's statement released last night that there was an additional, unnamed violation(s) committed in March 2011. I figured Tennessee had to wait until the NCAAs hearing in early June, but clearly this latest violation sealed the deal. Pearl is never going to be a head college coach again.

Here is a good take on how things changed over time between Pearl and the Chancellor and the AD and why things may have culminated yesterday. Here is Pearl's Facebook page where he spoke of how sad he was. An outpouring of support from the UT faithful and a lot of sniping from other school's fans, as you might expect.

*There is an undefeated tennis player in men's tennis this year. He ran his record to 18-0 on Sunday. I'm guessing you'll be surprised who it is.

*Opening statements in the Barry Bonds perjury trial are expected today after the jury was seated yesterday. While I'm sure many people still have strong opinions about Bonds, I can't believe anyone cares about this trial. If you do, here are some thoughts on the strategies of both sides.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

This is somewhat duplicitous but I'm calling BS on Cooke taking responsibility, while totally agreeing on the kickoff rule change.

Cooke has been pushing the envelope for years now. Too late to say for him to say "I need to change." He's a head hunter and is trying to physically harm people. Period.

That said the NFL needs to keep the governor off the impact speeds on kickoffs. Are there headhunters? Yes.

The difference? 10-15 miles per hour at impact on ice with a fraction of the protection.

Yes I'm a bruins fan, but he already got away with ruining one players career. Should he get another chance at ruining another. Take him off the ice for a year.