The St. Louis Rams lose new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams because of his bounty program with the New Orleans Saints. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely Wednesday (March 21), suspended without pay Saints coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season, suspended general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight games of 2012, assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six, fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft pick in 2012 and 2013. And that’s that because Williams never would have done anything like a bounty program at any other stop of his NFL career, right?
* The Denver Broncos trade Tim Tebow to the New York Jets for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick. Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway’s prayers were answered after signing Peyton Manning. God moves in a mysterious way. So apparently do the Jets, who have Mark Sanchez as their starter and Drew Stanton as his backup.
* J-E-T-S = Jets Embrace Tebow Silliness. One way to grab attention from that other New York team that actually won the Super Bowl.
* J-E-T-S = Just Expect Tremendous Scrutiny. Tebow will be to the Jets what Jeremy Lin has been to the Knicks: a wonderful way to keep tabloid headline writers — as well as other media members — employed and the teams in the public eye. And Tebow doesn’t even have to get on the field. Going to a gentlemen’s club would be good enough.
* It seems unclear that Tebow can lead the Jets to the promised land. About the only place he appears skilled enough to lead them would be to the Meadowlands. And even then, he likely would need GPS to do so.
* One thing appears certain: The Jets should be able to sell plenty of Tebow merchandise. Maybe Goodell can have Tebow traded to every NFL team to increase income from sales of his jerseys, etc.
* The University of Illinois will have to find someone else after Shaka Smart decided to remain at Virginia Commonwealth University. Finding a replacement for recently fired Bruce Weber should not be a problem for a top-tier program. Trying to convince a proven, top-tier coach that Illinois is a top-tier program could be more challenging than Weber found winning a game the last part of the season.
* The Chicago Cubs’ National League Central hopes improved slightly Wednesday when word came from Florida that Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter was returning to St. Louis to have a bulging cervical disc examined further. You can’t expect the Cubs to improve on 2011 all by themselves, can you?
* That Etch-A-Sketch stuff surrounding Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney — he oversaw the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, so that makes a mention sports-related, OK? — would appear to be as close as he gets to having a magnetic personality.
Wynning Teams is offering a Skating Skills Class. The four-week course will be on Sundays April 1, 15, 22 and 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Darien SportsPlex. The program, which costs $80, will consist of 60 minutes of on-ice instruction and 20 minutes off-ice. The class is for “for skaters who have never participated in competitive skating activity, received formal figure skating/hockey training or trained skaters who just need a review. The purpose of this class is to provide participants with increased confidence and ability to successfully prepare for skating auditions with hockey-related sports teams. This class offers a unique, accelerated learn-to-skate curriculum specific to newer and/or unaccomplished skaters presented only by Wynning Teams.”
Shovel-handling is part of the program. Which is good news for those aspiring to become members of the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew.
You can find a registration form by clicking here.
If mentioning all this seems as an excuse to run some Blackhawks Ice Crew images, the editorial staff at elliottharris.com doesn’t know what to say. Well, other than perhaps: Yes!
Thursdays generally mean it’s time for “Sports & Torts” on talkzone.com at noon Chicago time. Not this Thursdays. Co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris are taking the week off, as is producer Dave Olson. With a break in the action, there’s time for a commercial pitch. To become part of the “Sports & Torts” fun, you can be an advertiser (sorry, the co-host jobs already are taken). You can contact David Spada at email@example.com. The show will return March 29, if things go as planned (and, incredible as it may sound, they sometimes actualy do).
Condolences to the family of Lacy J. Banks, who died Wednesday in Chicago. He was 68. And a friend and former colleague at the Chicago Sun-Times where he was that once-glorious newspaper’s first African-American sports writer.
His preaching and singing skills were legendary — and occasionally on display in the sports department when the paper was located at 401 N. Wabash, where Trump Tower now stands. I can still hear him singing “O Tannenbaum” — in German — when he dropped by the office during Christmastime.
A man who survived the ups and downs freqeuently associated with a newspaper career. A man who fought injustices. A man who loved life and loved his family even more.
A wonderful human being. A man of many interests and talents. A man of intelligence and wit with a great sense of humor. A joy to be around. A colleague for decades. A mensch. All who came in contact with Lacy are better off for having had him in their lives.
Here’s hoping the new owners of the Sun-Times have an appreciation of Lacy and his career and will do the right thing and establish a scholarship in his name. Or some other compassionate act to honor a man so deserving.
This is about as close to a consolation prize for Saints fans that the video research department at elliottharris.com could find:
Well, as long as we’re going to run some swimsuit video, why not a little more:
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