Oct 8, 2007

The Winter Of My Sportsfan Discontent

It's getting colder out here in Troutdale. It's colder still in the sportsfan realm of this humble blogger. My sportsfan major league nation consists of The New York Mets, The New York Knicks, and the Denver Broncos.

My Mets blew a 7 game lead in the last 18 days of the season and missed the playoffs. A crash and burn of Phillyesque proportions. (FORMER, good riddance) Mets pitcher Tom Glavine said after the all-star break, " I'd be shocked if we've already played our best baseball.". Tom, get out the electric chair.

And what about those classy New York Knicks, led by Isiah Thomas? If you've been off the planet for a while, let me fill you in. A federal jury just ordered Knicks owner Madison Square Garden to pay $11.6 million in damages to former Knicks executive Anucha Brown in her sexual harassment lawsuit. The jury also found Knicks coach Isiah Thomas subjected Browne Sanders to unwanted advances and a barrage of verbal insults, but that he did not have to pay punitive damages.

Claiming to be "very innocent" of the sexual-harassment charges, Thomas said his legal issues wouldn't detract him from concentrating on his job. Which, apparently, is to run the New York Knicks' once-proud franchise completely into the ground.

Thomas does have, after all, a fine track record of running things into the ground. Shortly after taking over the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association in 1998, the league was forced into bankruptcy and folded. Most pro basketball insiders and many CBA managers at the time asserted that his massive overspending and managerial incompetence drove the league to the sports league cemetery.

In 2000, Thomas took over the coaching job of the Indiana Pacers from Larry Bird, who previously coached the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Title. From 2000 to 2003, Thomas proceeded to coach the Pacers to first round playoff losses each year. In 2003, the Knicks hired Thomas as President of Basketball Operations. And the rest is loser history.

Which brings us to the final citizen of my sportsfan nation, the Denver Broncos. Yesterday, the Broncos were plastered and flattened (at home, no less) by the San Diego Chargers 41-3. Adding a disaster cherry on top, Broncos center Tom Nalen and tight end Nate Jackson were lost for the season with injuries. Oh, did I mention that Broncos starting running back Travis Henry has tested positive for marijuana and faces a possible year long suspension?

Henry is appealing the test results. He served a four-game suspension in 2005 because of a failed drug test. That suspension meant Henry was in stage two of the NFL's substance abuse program. Another positive test within two years advances him to stage three, which means a one-year suspension. Henry can appeal any suspension, and the suspension does not begin until the appeal process is finished.

Newsday in New York reported Henry attempted to get a restraining order in Suffolk County Supreme Court on Sept. 20 to block the NFL from using the results of a drug test to suspend him.
According to the report, Henry claimed the NFL didn't allow his experts to be present for the testing, which is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The NFL's policy allows a qualified toxicologist to test a second urine sample on behalf of a player.

Troutdale's famous gorge winds should start blowing any day now. With any luck, those winds will somehow blow my sportsnation back into the winning column. Yeah, right. Dancing with the Stars, anyone?

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