Global thinking: Kobe and his ego

August 10, 2008|By Peter Schmuck

News item: Team USA star Kobe Bryant told a reporter the other day that he won't sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers until he tests the global market. He claims he's considering a $50 million offer from Europe.

My take: What's he going to do, play for the whole continent? Trust me, when this is over, Kobe will be a Laker for life and the only thing global about him will be that he'll still be a world-class pain in butt.

News item: Kyle Boller completed 11 of 15 passes for 102 yards in the Ravens' first preseason game. He also committed two turnovers.

My take: So, you were expecting Johnny U? I thought he played much better than Troy Smith but not well enough to get a leg up in the quarterback competition.

Related news item: Smith will get the starting assignment Saturday when the Ravens play the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium in their second preseason game.

My take: That's no small thing. It could be a watershed game in the career of young Troy because his performance likely will go a long way toward determining whether he starts the regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. If Boller starts the third game, he'll be at a big advantage ... and Smith could end up being stuck between the veteran starter of the present and the young quarterback of the future. Not a good place to be.

News item: The New York Post is reporting that Manny Ramirez has told friends he wants to sign with the Yankees so he can get revenge on the Red Sox 19 times a year.

My take: If that's true, it's just Manny being Kobe ... I mean Manny.

News item: The NCAA announced Thursday that it would not prohibit alcohol advertising on NCAA sports telecasts despite pressure from college presidents, athletic directors and high-profile coaches to eliminate beer ads and take a stand against underage drinking.

My take: That's too bad. It would have been a nice symbolic gesture that would have cost the member schools millions in revenue and wouldn't have had any effect whatsoever on the drinking habits of underage students.

Bonus take: Pardon my cynicism, but I would rather see people actually do something to solve a problem than absolve themselves of responsibility with some grand, largely meaningless gesture.

News item: Chad Pennington has signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract and likely will be the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.

My take: Can't wait until Week One, when Brett Favre and the Jets open the season against the Dolphins in Miami.

News item: Aaron Rodgers said Friday that he still has the difficult task of "following Brett's legacy" in his first year as the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback.

My take: I feel for him, but that's a lot better than following it two years from now.

News item: The Big Ten Conference, faced with a potentially devastating gambling scandal, has concluded an investigation of some allegedly suspicious officiating in two football games last year and announced that there is no evidence that either game was compromised.

My take: What a relief. You had to wonder when a Big Ten official was named in a Yahoo Sports gambling investigation and one of the games in question had so many disputed calls that it resulted in an official complaint to the league from Purdue coach Joe Tiller, but the Big Ten is confident it was all just a coincidence. I was a little concerned at first, but why would conference executives, who overlooked some damning information in the aforementioned official's background check, have any reason to whitewash the situation?

News item: New York mayor Michael Bloomberg officially welcomed Favre to the Big Apple but stopped short of giving him the key to the city. He did, however, give him a key chain from the New York Transit Authority and promised to give him the key if he leads the Jets to the NFL championship.

My take: Good luck with that. Favre's got a better chance of flying to Green Bay and talking the Packers into taking him back.

News item: The San Francisco Giants have invited Barry Bonds to take part in their celebration of the franchise's greatest outfielders.

My take: That's great on two levels. He deserves to be honored in that group, and now he can say he has been contacted by at least one team this year.

News item: Spiritually aware New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says in a coming Esquire interview that his ability to play quarterback "doesn't matter to God."

My take: I can just see Bill Belichick reading that and saying, "Tom obviously doesn't know who's coaching this team."

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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

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