By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
I apologize for the fact that I am not putting my usual deep research and thought-provoking opinions into this week’s rant. His editorship sent me a whiney request for an early submission as the Corsicana Daily Sun will be closed for Labor Day. I am happy to comply even though I don’t understand why everyone gets to take off for a holiday specifically designated for pregnant women. Ergo, here come a few random thoughts on the sports world.
How about the settlement of the class-action lawsuit by thousands of former NFL players against the National Football League? The NFL has agreed to pay $765 million dollars to compensate as many as 18,000 to 20,000 former players and family members for not addressing the long-term dangers of concussions due to violent, and often bone-crushing, hits during football games. The primary compensations will go to former players who now suffer from depression, dementia, and neurological ailments associated with multiple concussions.
All former players and spouses of deceased players are eligible to seek care, screening, or compensation whether they suffered documented concussions or not. In addition to individual compensations the settlement includes $75 million for medical exams, $10 million for concussion research, and all the plaintiffs’ attorney fees. Wow! I wonder if that includes defense attorney fees for O.J. Simpson?
You know that I love my Denver Broncos and I will always root for them. However, I am a little upset when I read the following headline in my paper: “Denver fans fume over Flacco banner.” It seems that the NFL is really hyping the game Thursday night between the Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens as the kickoff to the season. As part of that campaign they have hung banners of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco alongside Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Particularly offensive is the huge poster of the two of them on the south end of Mile High Stadium.
Angry fans are all “a-Twitter” about the situation and some have organized an online petition requesting the NFL remove the offending banners from the stadium and lampposts all around downtown. They have used Sharpies to draw mustaches on Flacco’s pictures and covered some entirely with tape.
Come on Denver, get over the fact that Joe Flacco engineered the upset of the Broncos last year in the playoffs! The Ravens are the Super Bowl champions and this game is the nation-wide kickoff to the season. A victory Thursday night would be a great start to a run toward the Super Bowl and there is a good chance the Broncos would have to play the Ravens again in the playoffs.
By the way, if there are any Cowboy fans out there beside Ron Morgan and our good friends Dennis and Diane Williams, be sure to mark your calendars for Oct. 6 when the Broncos come to Jerry’s World.
As I am whacking this rant out, I am eagerly awaiting the start of the Deutsche Bank Championship golf tournament. The threesome to watch has Tiger Woods (Number 1 in world rankings), Phil Mickelson (Number 2), and Adam Scott (Number 3). There are several little nuances to this grouping. Tiger and Phil have been fierce rivals for many years. Steve Williams who caddied for Tiger for 13 years before Tiger fired him, is now the caddie for Adam Scott. While he was with Tiger, Steve had made some disparaging remarks about Phil that I suspect Phil remembers. Things like “...I hate the (expletive deleted)” and “...It’s no secret we don’t get along.” After Adam Scott won the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational over Tiger, Steve expressed his anger at Tiger for firing him by spouting off in a TV interview. When asked about his remarks later he said he “...aimed to shove it up that (expletive deleted, expletive deleted). Steve is from New Zealand and Adam is from Australia and they seem to get along as well as a Kiwi and an Aussie can.
Lastly, I’m willing to bet that the football game between Texas A&M and Rice will set records for TV viewership. It seems there were reports the A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny (Johnny Football) Manziel had received payments for his autographs on all manner of memorabilia. The NCAA found no hard evidence of this but there was enough smoke for the university to suspend “Johnny Football” for the first half of the game. Are you kidding me? Sitting out a half game against the Rice Owls (a 28-point underdog) is like saying he is going to miss a practice session. This would be the appropriate place for an Aggie joke but I can’t top this one!
The A&M Chancellor proudly stated, “...We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.” Can you imagine how crazy Aggie-land will get when the second half of that massacre starts and “Johnny Football’s” quest for a second Heisman begins?
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com