Navy's Johnson deserves cheers

December 01, 2007|By PETER SCHMUCK

News item: It's very possible Navy's Paul Johnson will be coaching his final Army-Navy game today at M&T Bank Stadium.

My take: If that's the case, Navy fans should send him off in style. Nobody has meant this much to the Navy program since Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy in 1963, and there's really nothing realistic Johnson hasn't already accomplished at Annapolis.

News item: The Ravens remain a double-double-digit underdog for Monday night's game against the New England Patriots.

My take: This will be the ultimate challenge for Rex Ryan and his banged-up defense. If somebody doesn't step up in the secondary, Randy Moss might beat the 20-point spread all by himself.

News item: Orioles president Andy MacPhail is headed for the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., where he hopes to jump-start the process of rebuilding the beleaguered Orioles organization from the ground up.

My take: I'm optimistic. Most rebuilding teams have to go back to square one. The Orioles have been moving backward for 10 years, so they should have a head start.

News item: Contract negotiations between the Orioles and Erik Bedard are going nowhere, which has to increase the likelihood he might be going somewhere else by Opening Day.

My take: The next move seems pretty obvious. Wait until Johan Santana lands somewhere and then open the bidding at three major league-ready prospects. If the value isn't there, there's always the July 31 waiver deadline, but sooner would be better.

News item: Alex Rodriguez's new contract with the New York Yankees - when finalized - will be worth $314 million if he achieves all the milestone and bonus clauses included in the 10-year deal.

My take: I guess it's only natural you'd want to have some incentive clauses to drag yourself out of bed every day when you make only $27.5 million per year.

News item: Legendary daredevil Evel Knievel died yesterday at the age of 69 after battling a variety of serious ailments during the past decade.

My take: He cheated death so many times it's almost hard to believe he died in bed. What a showman.

News item: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre was injured in the first half of Thursday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, putting his string of 249 consecutive starts in danger.

My take: Some people think Favre's iron-man streak is more impressive than Cal Ripken Jr.'s. I think that's ridiculous, and I'll continue to think that until I get a higher-paying job with a Wisconsin newspaper.

News item: Just when you thought the New York Knicks might be turning a corner, they were hit by a truck called the Boston Celtics on Thursday night and suffered an embarrassing 104-59 defeat.

My take: OK, no one actually thought the Knicks were turning a corner and, at this point, it would be pretty hard to embarrass them.

News item: The NFL Players Association argued before a federal judge this week that Michael Vick should be entitled to keep $20 million in roster bonuses, even though the money might have been used to set up the illegal dogfighting operation that has put him in jail and denied the Atlanta Falcons his services.

My take: Because the wording in the contract and the collective bargaining agreement aren't clear on this point, I think the only fair thing to do is let the lawyers have the money. They're going to get it eventually anyway.

News item: Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas groused at members of the Baltimore print media this week for supposedly stirring up the war of words between him and former teammate Ray Lewis.

My take: The initial story was in Sports Illustrated, Lewis' response came on his radio show and I was out of town at the time, but I'll be happy to take credit for it. It's probably the most entertaining thing that has happened this football season, from a Baltimore perspective.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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