Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So now we know why Mike Anderson didn't play much in Baltimore?

Mike Anderson was recently suspended by the NFL for a full season apparently due to another violation of the substance-abuse policy. This might come as a surprise to some because Anderson has generally been considered to be a good guy and upstanding citizen in the NFL.

But clearly the free agent running back has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar before (four game suspension in 2003), hence the one year suspension – one that probably will serve as a very sad end to a productive career.

His career in Baltimore was hardly productive. Many blamed Brian Billick for not giving what most fans believed was a deserving Mike Anderson more playing time. The fans seemed to base that collective opinion on his yards per carry when he did enter the game. But let’s be real here folks. How impressive is it really to run for five or six yards on 3rd and 13 against 5 or 6 defenders in the box?

After the news of Anderson’s suspension, defenders of Brian Billick have suggested that the club was aware of Anderson’s off-the-field issues and that influenced playing time. Hello McFly!

If that was the case, why sign Anderson in the first place? Why give a player a four year deal and a $2million signing bonus if they were afraid the guy was going into the cookie jar again?

Maybe, just maybe Anderson wasn’t that good anymore and the mistake wasn’t really that of Brian Billick but rather Ozzie Newsome.

Many players in the NFL commit this time of the year to their families. Some go the extra mile and give part of their down time back to the community. Such is the case with Dwan Edwards, Bart Scott, Justin Green and Troy Smith.

Edwards is directing a free football camp for Montana area high school athletes in Billings on July 11-12. Props to each of these players for trying to make a difference in the life of impressionable high-schoolers.

In more good guy news former Giants’ defensive lineman George Martin has completed his walk from New York to San Diego to raise money for health care for 9/11 rescue workers. Martin began his journey September 16 in New York after making a halftime appearance at the Giants v. Packers game. All tolled the trek covered 3,003 miles and raised $2 million. Pledges are still being accepted at AJourneyfor911.info

The economy has taken a bite out of all of us. Seemingly everything is going up except salaries and as a result, sacrifices are being made and sometimes those sacrifices include season tickets. Personally speaking I must admit that the thought momentarily crossed my mind and I have to wonder if Brian Billick was returning to man the Ravens’ sideline, how many others might not only have considered it but actually done it.

But the thought begs the question, “Is the game more enjoyable at the stadium, a neighborhood sports pub or in the comfort of your own living room?”

Those who argue that there’s no replacement for the atmosphere at M&T have a valid point. But they also have to contend with an unruly fan here and there along with expensive parking, concessions, the weather and other inconveniences.

Those who prefer the pubs enjoy the benefit of less expensive libations, little to no parking expense, easier access to rest rooms and they still can share in the excitement of the game with a relatively large gathering of other pub patrons.

And then there are those who prefer the quiet of their living room save the usual emotional outbursts associated with rooting for the hometown team. Clearly this is the most convenient and least expensive way to enjoy a football game and no one would argue that you can see and hear more of the game from your favorite easy chair, particularly with TiVo or DVR.

After 12 years as a season ticket holder you have to really love the team and love seeing your friends at tailgate parties. If not, there are far better options for you particularly in this modern economy.

Speaking of which, Wayne Huizenga thinks such an economy is impacting his ticket sales in Miami.

“A lot of people are on the fence of whether they want to renew their season tickets or not,” Huizenga said recently according to the Palm Beach Post. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a huge number. But you’re going to see a difference.”

Huizenga has a point but then again without a marquis quarterback and on the heels of a 1-15 season why bother when there are so many other things to do in South Florida?

I can tell you from personal experience that you can easily walk up to Dolphins Stadium and get tickets at face value or less. Last season when the Dolphins won their only game against you know who, the place was packed with purple and on whole the stadium was half full at best.

There’s a little more to it than just the economy there Mr. Wayne…


Anonymous said...

Tony, I think he was having problems with drugs (again) after he was signed. Of course they knew about his previous misgivings but probably figured he worked through it. I think this is definitely why he was in the dog house.