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Wakeup Call: Why not Haynesworth?

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Friday column looks at whether or not Tino Sunseri is the right fit for Pitt at quarterback. He certainly has the high-octane personality, as you’ll read, but his performance last year leaves room for doubt about the physical tools.

My thanks to all of the Panthers’ folks who were helpful all week, notably the newest color commentator on football, old quarterback Pat Bostick. The broadcasts should be more informative than ever.

>> Sure sounds like the NFL will not suspend New England’s Albert Haynesworth despite his having pleaded no contest to charges of simple assault on a waitress in Washington.

Let me repeat for emphasis: No contest, simple assault.

He essentially confessed.

And, from the sound of it, and from the look of Haynesworth being out on the Patriots’ practice fields, Roger Goodell will do nothing about it.

There are few local sports topics I loathe more than the ones involving Goodell and/or the NFL having a bias against the Steelers. It’s too preposterous to even consider a league having it in for one of its member teams. But man, it sure is tough to argue that Goodell mitigates his justice fairly. Ben Roethlisberger’s case in Milledgeville, whatever might have happened there, never brought a charge, but it still brought four games from Goodell. This one came with a charge and a plea of no contest, and it involves a player who previously was suspended five games for another violation. But there will be no suspension for this.

Goodell will face quite the challenge in explaining that.

>> You will know that Major League Baseball umpires have a complete spine when one of them dares to do something about Tony La Russa’s ridiculous game-stalling stunts.

>> The most misused term in all of sports reared its head in the newest Sports Illustrated, which dubbed the Blue Jays a “mid-market” franchise.

Wow.

Toronto is home to 5 million people, it is swimming in corporate wealth, it has a massive media presence, it has ownership that is backed by $18 billion in wealth, and it has exclusivity on baseball across a country of 34 million. But it’s a “mid-market” just because of its payroll.

Don’t get me going on this one.

>> Thanks to all for participating in a wide-ranging chat yesterday.

29 Comments

  1. Speaking of the chat, someone asked you about your favorite memory of the Pens’ 1991 Cup win. Not sure anyone cares, but thought I’d take a moment and share mine.

    Game 4, I and a handful of friends were at Star Lake to see AC/DC. Having been a fan since 1980 and having lived through some pretty bleak times (I was in the stands pre-game when it was announced we had traded Randy Carlyle and it seemed I was the only one who didn’t cheer), it broke my heart to miss the game, but I wasn’t about to skip the concert. I was hoping the Pens would win, but figured if they didn’t, at least I’d be able to watch whatever games remained and I knew we wouldn’t blow the 3-0 series lead.

    Anyway, AC/DC hits the stage and lead singer Bryan Johnson screeches (and yes, if you know anything about the group you know it was indeed a screetch) “The Penguins won!”. Loudest ovation of the night. Missing the game stunk, but hearing about the win from the lead singer of AC/DC is a memory I’ve treasured ever since.

    DK: I’m guessing Angus Young was speechless.

  2. JAL’s Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3-Pirates Prospects

    Draft Picks Signing Tracker

    http://players.piratesprospects.com/2011-pittsburgh-pirates-draft-pick-signing-tracker

  3. PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/25/11

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/pittsburgh-pirates-prospect-watch-82511.html

    Fryer’s Clutch Hitting Gives Indians A Walk-Off Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/fryers-clutch-hitting-gives-indians-a-walk-off-win.html

    Did the Pirates Miss An Opportunity with Maholm?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/did-the-pirates-miss-an-opportunity-with-maholm.html

    Are We There Yet? Part One

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/are-we-there-yet-part-one.html

    GCL Pirates Recap 8/25/11 – Luis Heredia Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/gcl-pirates-recap-82511-luis-heredia-start.html

    State College Spikes Player Reports 8/25

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/08/state-college-spikes-player-reports-825.html

    5—McEffect

    Charlie Morton August 25 Pitch F/X

    http://www.mceffect.com/2011/08/charlie-morton-august-25-pitch-fx.html

    6 HYzdu Headquarters

    Thinking of Robbie Grossman

    http://hyzduhq.blogspot.com/2011/08/in-looking-over-minor-league-statistics.html

    7 Rumbunter

    About a Month Ago, Pittsburgh Pirates Small Ball Worked; Month Later, It Doesnt

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/08/26/about-a-month-ago-pittsburgh-pirates-small-ball-worked-month-later-it-doesnt/

    8 Ohio Valley Athletics

    Ludwick Placed on DL With Back Spasms

    http://www.ovathletics.com/home/ludwick-placed-on-dl-with-back-spasms/6967

    9 WHY GAVS

    Game 130: Cardinals 8 Pirates 4

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2011/game-130-cardinals-8-pirates-4.html

    10 Bucs Dugout

    Cardinals 8, Pirates 4

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/8/26/2385429/cardinals-8-pirates-4

    11 Green Weenie

    Bucs Fall 8-4

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2011/08/bucs-fall-8-4.html

    12 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Clubbed by the Cards

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2011/08/clubbed-by-the-cards-2/

  4. Steelers Blogs

    1-Behind the Steel Curtain

    Common (Mis)Conceptions About the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/8/25/2384972/common-mis-conceptions-about-the-nfl-steelers

    BTSC 2011 Mid-Preseason Roster Roll Call

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/8/25/2345398/btsc-2011-mid-preseason-roster-roll-call

    2-Steeler Depot

    Steelers Six From Around the Web

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/08/steelers-six-from-around-the-web-august-25th-heath-the-leader-edition/

    Pitt Blogs

    Pitt Blather

    Fan Fest, The Unknown and Offense

    http://www.pittblather.com/2011/08/25/fan-fest-the-unknown-and-offense/

    Cardiac Hill

    Pitt Basketball: Ashton Gibbs Lands On Dick Vitale’s All Solid Gold First Team

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2011/8/25/2382953/pitt-basketball-ashton-gibbs-espn-dick-vitale-preseason-all-americans-2011

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    18—Pensburgh

    More Tumultuous Times May Be Ahead of Us

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2011/8/25/2382483/tumultuous-times-may-be-ahead-of-us

  5. Now that’s a wakeup call. Nice job

  6. It sucks I hit snooze on your wakeup call. I’ll read it in 9 minutes.

  7. Jay, if your memory was correct and it was a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final, it was 1992 against the Blackhawks, not ’91 over the North Stars.

  8. Dejan, for someone you supposedly loathes the anti-Steelers bias of the NFL topic, you have a funny way of showing it!

    I hope this morning’s blog is the first and only time you make comparisons between what Albert Haynesworth did and what Ben may or may not have done. Haynesworth touched a cocktail waitress’s breast. In fact, here’s a link to a story about it … sorry if I’m being flip about a sexual abuse charge, but Haynesworth touched a boob after a waitress gave him permission to put his credit card down her shirt. I actually have a little bit of sympathy for Albert, as it seems he’s getting railroaded a bit.

    At worst, Roethlisberger raped two women; at best, Ben followed up an unfortunate sexual encounter with another unfortunate one in a public restroom.

    On the Sleaze Meter, Haynesworth’s incident is like a 3. Ben’s best case scenario is like a 6 and his worst is a 10. That’s why Ben got suspended.

  9. Fat Jimmy: It sucks that Sleaze Meter is my cousin. And the waitress in Washington might assign a higher number than you did to Haynesworth.

  10. Suckmeter, I am certain that — in truth — the waitress would not assign a higher number than I did … especially if the potential for money was not involved.

    Has a waitress ever told you that you could put a credit card in her bra?

  11. I gotta admit, after reading the link Jimmy provided, I would lean more towards the idea that that Ben thing reflected more detrimentally on the NFL than the Haynesworth thing (isn’t that the basis for the discipline?) Haynesworth’s play on the field is another matter. And I would love to find that Goodell treats the Patriots better. This just doesn’t do it for me, barring other evidence. Sure, he could have suspended him for a game, but that avenue is also fraught with downsides. I do have to admit that I am less inclined to the players’ complaints about Goodell’s power when they just went through a period where everything was on the table and they inked a ten year deal that didn’t do much, if anything, to deal with that issue when they had the chance.

  12. Fat Jimmy: That happened to me at a bar a long time ago. It had a really bad element and bar fights used to break out nightly. That all changed when they hired this bouncer named “Dalton” who cleaned up the place. Always took the fights outside. What sucked was that the day I was going to buy a new car some jerk had one of his boys drive through the car dealership with a monster truck. It all worked out in the end when a bunch of old guys shot the jerk with some shotguns.

    Maybe this is the bar that you used to hang out in too.

  13. Suckmeter, I have no idea what the purpose of that post was, but … strangely … I want to hear more!

  14. Post #10 above is extraordinarily accurate.

    This Wakeup Call is disheartening.

    To compare Haynesworth’s actions to Ben’s is ludicrous!
    Like comparing stealing gum to robbing a bank.

  15. Haynesworth didn’t rape anyone. He didn’t forcibly hold someone against her will. He didn’t have his goons block a bathroom so that he could do all of these things.

    And please don’t give me the argument he was never charged.

    I don’t mean to diminish the seriousness of his crime. He should absolutely be suspended, based on the fact that others are suspended.

    Whether or not the commissioner should suspend players for off the field activities is a separate argument. The fact is Godell is doing this, my argument is based on applying this consistently. Which we all know doesn’t exist in the real world. Including me.

  16. @Fat Jimmy

    I saw your post after I wrote mine. You said is a lot better than I did.

  17. That Dalton guy was tough. Didn’t even need a painkiller when he would get stitched up. I heard he was a real dirty dancer too.

  18. Fat Jimmy,

    Agreed…and well said.
    I will say, been harder for me the last two years to really get behind the Steelers. The Ben thing(s) definitely changed the intensity with which I follow the Steelers.

    Used to LOVE the Steelers and play fantasy football. Much closer to even interest now. Ben was our peak behind the curtain – I’m sure he’s not the only one, but I didn’t need to see it. Twice.

    THANK GOD FOR TROY!

  19. How about this?

    The Steelers trade Dennis Dixon for Tim Tebow.

    They keep Roethlisberger, Leftwich and Batch and try Tebow as an H-back and slash player.

  20. Fat Jimmy – Suckmeter was right about that bar. Real tough place. Luckily Dalton learned to fight when he was younger. He and his brothers were Greasers, they called him Darry then. They had a big feud with the Socs. The Socs were a bunch of rich kids who drove around in their fancy Mustangs and jumped Greasers. They finally had a big rumble and the Greasers stomped the Socs good. Then their buddy Dally robbed a store and got gunned down by the cops. Things are tough all over.

  21. Dave

    You think Broncos would make that trade? I don’t.

  22. Not a current player but:

    LOS ANGELES — Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra has been charged in Los Angeles for allegedly exposing himself to women he met on Craigslist.

  23. Good thing that Fat Jimmy isn’t a prosecutor, judge or member of a jury with his silly interpretation of the law.

    Just because the waitress gave him permission (if she, in fact, did) to put his credit card in her bra, does not mean that Haynesworth therefore had her permission to grab her breast. Big difference there in the level of consent and to which activity she was consenting. That’s like saying that you can rape a stripper just because she was grinding against you.

    @DK: I believe I read that the distinction and reason that Haynesworth (and Kenny Britt) may not receive suspensions is because their actions occurred while there was no CBA in effect. I’m not sure if that’s completely accurate though.

  24. JAL

    Maybe not. But the current Broncos regime didn’t draft Tebow it was McDaniels. Now he’s like third or fourth on the depth chart at QB. Dixon offers more at quarterback.

  25. Matt Gajtka,

    Nice catch. I was right on the year but was obviously wrong about what game it was. It was Game 6, not 4. And yes, my memory does play tricks on me from time to time, but that moment is crystal clear. Thanks for the correction.

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