Sports Section Syndicated – March 4th, 2008
As you all know, I am an unabashed Philadelphia Eagles fan. And while my fanhood certainly never translates into bias opinion in my own writing, I just had to lead off with one of the more disappointing stories of the day from some writers who have no problem being biased.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News: For a while there yesterday, this was going to be a much better story… The Eagles, according to a source close to the situation, made a prolonged effort to sign free-agent wideout Randy Moss, who ultimately decided to stay with the New England Patriots for $27 million over 3 years, $15 million guaranteed. The Birds, who signed Pats corner Asante Samuel Friday, are said to have offered more total money and more of a guarantee. But apparently, they didn’t offer enough to make Moss feel comfortable leaving the team that finally got him to the Super Bowl, in the 10th and most spectacular season of his career… “I want to take time out to thank all of the fans for their support and for wishing me well in my return to New England,” Moss, 31, wrote on his Web site. “I’m ready to get back. We have some unfinished business to take care of”… Agent Tim DiPiero confirmed to ESPN.com that Moss could have gotten more elsewhere. That elsewhere was Philadelphia, another source said, adding that Moss and coach Andy Reid held an extended conversation that led to an Eagles offer. Apparently, at one point, the Birds thought they were going to get Moss, who caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes last season… Obviously, that would have been a strong answer to fans’ pleas for a true No. 1 wideout, a need that has existed since another controversial, outspoken receiver left town nearly 2 1/2 years ago. Like Terrell Owens in 2004, Moss would have raised the offseason anticipation level sky high and guaranteed record crowds at Lehigh this summer… The Eagles and other teams had seemed reluctant to get involved with Moss since free agency began at midnight last Thursday. For months, the word has been that he would stay with the Pats and potential suitors had to wonder if they would just be used to drive up the price for New England. That might have been exactly what happened.
Christopher L. Gasper & Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe: In the end, common sense won out over dollars and cents. Randy Moss wanted to be with the Patriots and the Patriots wanted Randy Moss, so the sides agreed to extend their mutually-beneficial marriage yesterday, settling on a three-year, $27 million deal that included a $12 million signing bonus as part of a total of $15 million in guarantees… Moss’s comeback route to Foxborough wasn’t as smooth as anticipated… The melodrama was set up when the Patriots elected not to place the $7.84 million franchise tag on their No. 1 receiver, which would have given New England the right to match any offer from another team or receive two first-round picks as compensation. When Moss and the team couldn’t reach agreement on a contract before 12:01 a.m. last Friday, Moss became a free agent… The sides were close all along on total money; it was the guaranteed money that was the sticking point… That left Moss to play the field. But ultimately the pull of playing for the Patriots, who had a perfect 16-0 regular season and finished 18-1, and with quarterback Tom Brady lured Moss back… Via his website, therealrandymoss.com, Moss thanked the fans for their support and well wishes and expressed his feelings on his new contract… “I’m very happy to get the business end of football done. Now, we can concentrate on football,” said Moss on the website. “I’m ready to get back. We have some unfinished business to take care of.”
Chuck Klosterman of PLAY Magazine: There are many things that N.B.A. players excel at doing. Running, Jumping, Selling shoes. At these specific skill sets, N.B.A. players rank among the world’s elite. But there are other things that N.B.A. players consistently struggle with, and talking about their feelings is one of them. This should not be surprising: there is not a lot of motivation for professional basketball players to explain the texture of their existence. Self-actualization does not help you get an offensive rebound. In fact, it’s possible that pondering the nature of one’s life might be detrimental to success in the N.B.A.; happiness (or the lack thereof) is just one more thing that can shut you down. [This is the just the intro of a very interesting article that you all should read!]
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times: The Lakers run into an old foe, finally, heading north to play the Sacramento Kings tonight in a rivalry that held plenty of significance earlier this decade… Be it Doug Christie and Rick Fox throwing punches at each other in an exhibition game, Shaquille O’Neal calling the Kings the “Queens,” or Phil Jackson referring to the state capital as a “cow town,” the memories are there for the taking, even if the Kings (27-32) are on the cusp of a second consecutive losing season after a franchise-record eight playoff appearances in a row… Regardless, the Lakers (42-18) are leery about returning to one of the more vocal environments in the league, even if it’s later than usual in the season because of a scheduling quirk… In fact, the Kings will play a decisive part in the Lakers’ efforts to stay near the top of the Western Conference — the teams play each other four times in the Lakers’ last 22 games… “They’re certainly a spoiler,” Jackson said. “We are serious about how difficult it’s going to be to go there and win.”
Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN.com: Brett Favre will regret his decision to retire at some point this fall… He’ll be sitting at his home in Mississippi on a Sunday afternoon, relaxing with his family and he’ll realize what he’s missing, how precious an opportunity he passed on. It might be a simple pang of heartache. It could be a sudden jolt that sparks him to reminisce. But he will surely feel something that will remind him of how big a mistake he made when he finally closed down his career… When news of Favre’s retirement broke Tuesday morning, it surely left many football fans shaking their heads in disbelief. Yes, the man had been flirting with leaving the game for most of the past three years. The reality, however, is that the 38-year-old Favre had more reason than ever to stick around for an 18th season… The Packers had just come off a year that included a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game. They were certain to be competing for a spot in the Super Bowl when the 2008 season kicked off… That’s what makes his decision so baffling. Favre loves playing football and he loves winning. Did you watch him this past season? If it weren’t for his gray hair and beard, you would’ve thought he was a wide-eyed 22-year-old — a kid filled with the unbridled joy that comes from knowing he makes millions playing a simple game — all over again.
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