Saturday, May 29, 2010

US v Turkey at the half

Two things I learned in the first half of the US v Turkey game.

1. We need more strength at the back line. Spector doesn't hold his shape well, we need more stability back there.

2. Dempsey should stay in mid. We need him there. And he just seemed a step behind Altidore. They were not on the same page.

Go USA! Not sure why we're not getting to see Buddle or Gomez, but we are about to see Findley, lets see what this kid brings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

USA game day

So tomorrow afternoon the USMNT plays Turkey. This game is decidedly more important, to me, than Tuesday's game. We know our squad, now let's see if they can go out and win a game.

Here's somethings that I think are crucial to see/look for in Saturday's game.

1. Onyewu

He was clearly rusty on Tuesday. Didn't jump to defend in the box, and more often than not seemed at least a clear step behind the players he was defending. Let's face it, the U.S. is not deep at defenders. Onyewu was a clear asset to the team, quick, tall, willing to throw his body into a play and really good in the box on set pieces. If he's a step behind, especially when it comes to the critical first World Cup game vs England, it might not make complete sense to start him. Therefore, Bob Bradley and the team need to see on Saturday which Onyewu is going to be on the pitch. With the strength of Englands front, I think it would be better to have someone out there who is fresh and ready to run, as opposed to someone with legs that are heavy (and also someone who has a quick temper and could easily cost us a red card or costly free kick if he were to get beat on a play). And if Onyewu can't start, who? Saturday's game hopefully will help clear up the back field issues.

2. Who's standing next to Altidore

Most of us were surprised with Bradley's forward selection. On Saturday, hopfully we'll all start to see a little more clearly what he was thinking. Who will start next to Altidore? What formation will we run? Will Altidore be up front alone, with Buddle and perhaps Dempsey flanking? Is it Buddle or Gomez who gets the start, if either? And if/when do Dempsey and possibly Donovan move up for more forward pressure? I feel that our striker position has a lot of depth, if not the caliber of many European sides. What will be crucial in these next two games is finding the right combination.

3. Subs and quick changes

One of the things that I think the US has improved on in the last two years has been its willingness to keep fighting and make appropriate changes. The team has gotten progressively better at this, but if Tuesday's game can serve as any framework, there is still a long way to go. With a squad of players with limited international experience fighting against the world's best, it will be critical that the US team start the game with a plan and if its not working continue to fight and make appropriate changes to the game. After digesting Bradley's roster choices for a day or two, I can see that he picked players with specific game skills and needs in mind. The goal will be that Bradley will be able to spot these needs mid game and insert the best player to fit it. Saturday will be the first test to see if this plan will come to be.

4. Altidore and Donovan

Both players had runs at EPL teams this last season. Altidore's ended with a straight red care for, unfortunately a not out of character, head butt. Altidore's team was relegated and odds are against him returning to the side. Donovan was the opposite. He seemed to be embraced by both the players and fans of Everton. He played well, and really adapted quickly and thoroughly to the English style of playing. Will Donovan be able to translate his success at his English side to his international play? Will he take on more of a leadership role both on and off the field? Will Altidore be able to shake off his frustrating end of last season and once again because a leader on this team? Will he show us what he learned about the game and how he's grown? Or will he show us a man who was stifled last year and is not in the form that we remember him in from the Confederation's Cup?

These are just some of the things that I've been thinking about. Either way, we can be sure Saturday's game will be our A squad and I can't wait to see what the USMNT will bring to the table!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just don't get it....

This article basically sums up why soccer fans get so angry at main stream media when they try to talk about soccer.

Soccer Editorial

Most of the fans that were in attendence for that game, I'm sure, understand the game better than the writer of this article and understand that the players weren't "rested". The game was to audition the other guys for the world cup roster. Most fans assumed early on that Donovan et al wouldn't be playing, and most fans got confirmation of that earlier in the day.

Its also pretty alarming that acccording to this writer Onyewu and Holden are not stars of the game. Considering they both play in Europe in major leagues and on major teams, and that they both are coming off injuries and many fans were curious to see how they'd play, I'm thinking that few were disappointed that they were on the pitch.

Why do people continue to give their opinion and write about subjects that they clearly know little about?

On another soccer tip, an AP writer/twitter friend is doing a piece on Soccer Bars in the U.S. For Tuesday's game he was at Highbury in Milwaukee - which if you haven't been there, you should check it out! - and is now trying to get info about Piper's in PIT or Amsterdam in STL, so if anyone's been to either, lemme know. Thx.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

USA Roster

Still trying to absorb the US World Cup Roster. And I admit my first reaction: I'd rather have Charlie Davis while still recovering than Findley...

At least Johnson and Ching didn't make the squad.

More later.

A Cold Weather Superbowl

Last night when SB got home, I asked him for his opinion on the super bowl...

Him: What do you mean?
Me: They picked New York/New Jersey for the locaton.
Him: So?
Me: Its the first cold weather super bowl.
Him: So?

Honestly I think that's the most appropriate response.

I get that weather impacts the game. But it is my opinion that this is a game that both teams have two weeks to prepare for. If a team is truely great, they'd be able to game plan and figure out a way to, gasp, play outdoors. Super Bowls have been played in rain, have been played in 39 degrees; I fail to believe that there is anything that New York/New Jersey could bring that would lead to the downfall of the superbowl.

Every other game in the season and in the playoffs is played regardless of weather (sans lightning, don't want to kill anyone here). Every game presents different problems/circumstances. Injuries, weather, technical difficulties, different opponents, all present challenges for a team. If a team can't over come them, then maybe they shouldn't win the super bowl. Hell maybe they shouldn't even be playing in it.

The Super Bowl, and football, has never been about having the most level playing field. If you honestly think that the playing field was level when the Bears played the Colts a couple years back, I have some nice beach front property in Nevada to sell you.

Get over the weather people. The average temp for New York, NY that time of year is 39 degrees. I'm pretty sure no one ever died from having to watch a football game in 39 degrees weather. In fact, I know some people in Green Bay who would consider that balmy!

roster prediction

I have no real basis for this, but here's my guess/wish list at who Bradley's taking to the world cup.

GK (3): Howard, Hahnemann, Guzan (that was easy!!!)
Defenders (8): Bocanegra, DeMerit, Spector, Goodson, Bornstein, Cherundolo, Onyewu (I'm being hopeful), Pearce (last night they predicted we'd take 8 defenders, I haven't seen Marshall play in a while, which is why I put Pearce ahead of him).
Midfielders (9): Dempsey, Donovan, Edu, Holden, Torres, Bradley, Rogers, Clark, Feilhaber (I don't like Kljestan so I'm a lil biased.)
Forwards (3): Altidore, Gomez, Buddle

I know a lot of people, including Bob Bradley and Holden are in love with Brian Ching, but I'm still not convinced. He does have the experience, so I won't be terribly disappointed if Buddle doesn't go, but Gomez definitely should. We need that spark at the top. I suppose if necessary we could only take seven defenders (peace out pearce) and then add ching at the top (sb's idea).

U.S. World Cup roster announced
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan.
Defenders: Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein.
Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Stuart Holden, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Torres, DaMarcus Beasley.
Midfielder-forwards: Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Robbie Findley.

I was only wrong on Rogers over Beasley, and then the whole 8 defenders thing, and Findley getting that extra striker spot instead of Ching....

Findley! its blowing my mind.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


After only playing one game, Bob Bradley will announce the 23 man US World Cup roster tomorrow. the 23 men will be at the announcement with him. Speculation on twitter revolved around how it will be impossible for this not to be cheesey. One follower suggested giving each man a rose. My suggestion: Play the "Had a Bad Day" song and show montage of playing clips from each player that doesn't get picked ala American Idol.

Think about it.


cold or sunny

for those of you wondering, yes, I am watching the Super Bowl vote live. I'm that cool.


Over lunch today, I casually mentioned a sports celebrity (and I use celebrity in a loose terms, as this person is known through out the nation, but definitely not on Kobe or Lebron terms) that was on espn the day before and one of the girls I was with casually threw out, "he cheats on his wife."

Apparently this girl has a friend who this sports person flies around and spends time with when good ol' wifey is not around.

I don't care.

I don't.

I've seen some tv interviews and read some of this guy's quotes and honestly I'm not 100% impressed by his character. But I really don't feel the need to know whether this guy is faithful to his wife. I tried to laugh it off.

In the midst of Tiger Woods and Jesse James, I get it most of society feels that it has a right to know the personal lives of our athletes. But as long as their on the right side of the law, its not really my business. Nor does it really affect how I view this person. Would I invite them over to dinner. No, but they also would never come either.

I also just am over talking about the negative personal choices that some people make. I'd rather talk about how they play or preform or maybe something decent and honest the person has done.

Whatever this guy does or doesn't do, and whatever type of relationship(s) he has with his wife or any other women its not my business and its not really her business to sit around and tell.

I left lunch with a very awkward feeling and felt the need to add my two cents on this.

**EDIT! For the record, after a little research on my part, turns out this certain sports player is currently divorced.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Champions!

Things I'm over:

1. Johnny Jolly. If he does somehow manage to avoid jail time, all I can say is Welcome to Cincinnati. Your days as a Packer are clearly over.

2. B Favre. I'm bad at making decisions. But at least I don't need a group of 20 year old guys to decide my fate for me.

Anyways, today's a bigger day. Cardiff and Blackpool are fighting it out in classic fashion for promotion. Follow @bradmartin311 if you want really good updates! (shout out!)

and Champions League final today! Last year I was a nervous wreck. We sat my Glory Glory poster out in the front yard, and I spent many minutes pacing outside in the rain. Today, while more than mildly disappointed that my team is not playing in the final, I am looking forward to a classic match. Not even fully sure who to root for. Just want good football! (see, I'm trying, I said football, not soccer!!).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

twitter and the fan pics

I wanted to add this to provide a little picture context to my twitter and fan post.

The great G conehead

Surrounded by coneheads and packer fans!

Me at the game! A lot warmer than I thought it would be.

Followed this guy out of the stadium. Don't know, but like his style.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls are fans too!

Earlier today Will Blackmon said that the majority of Packers fans are women! I applauded him, cause most of the diehard fans I know are female too.

He then retweeted two responses to his statement. One guy said that those girls probably couldn't name more than 5 players on the team, and another (a bears fan!) said that they were all ugly and fat.

1. March 4th, 2007. While drowning my sorrows of B Favre retiring in a bottle of wine, or three, I began to mourn the loss of the last member of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champ team. I rememberd fondly back to the girl who knew that roster forward and backward. I decided to test myself. This is my drunken, first run, at remembering the 1996 Packer Roster

2. Starting with the last game of the regular season in 1995 (the Yancy Thigpen drop) until the last game of the 2000 season (i went away to college) I cut out every article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the Packers. I filed them and stored them until I moved to Cali. I eventually had to cut the collection down and now what I have are the ones that truely mean something to me.

Who else still has this? And who else remembers this celebration?

I am not unique. There are thousands of us. Women and men. Who truely love this team and this game. I post these things not to toot my own horn, but to say we exist. Women who love the game. Who know the game. Who have a slightly neurotic affection with the game.

GO Pack GO!
Also side note:

One of the lawyer's wives told me today that she told SvS that they would have to fire me, because I like Man U. But then they could hire SB because he likes Chelsea.

I sent her the Anchelloti song link and the link to the Vanity Fair article. I think we're all good now.


The Going (Second) Rate.

Today is was announced that US Defender Oguchi Onyewu would play for free with his European Club, AC Milan. While a stand up move by clearly a stand up guy, this act clearly signifies how far the United States is behind Europe in soccer/football standing.

Every time an American player signs with a European team, its major news. Any significant playing time, also major news. Last year when Onyewu's signing with a top Italian side AC Milan was announced I was very excited! Looked ahead a year and thought about how great it could make the U.S. side come World Cup time. And then he landed funny, in the last WC qualifying game. And he had to miss the entire AC Milan season. They kept him on, he trained, healed and traveled with the team to their last two games. And now we have him back for the World Cup and next year he'll return to Milan. So by offering to forgo payment next year, Onyewu is basically, thanks for paying me all last year for doing nothing, because I got hurt playing in a game for my international team. You paid me, now I pay you. He's doing it because he has to. U.S. players have little reputation off U.S. shores (heck, they barely have any real rep here!). He has to reward his European team for sticking with him. So no pay next year and its a wash. He can go out on the pitch and prove that he was worth the money at no risk to the team.

U.S. players have to prove this, International Players do not. Esp. within the U.S.

David Beckham. I like Man U. I like England. I like David Beckham. He came to the MLS as the first major European star to play in the MLS. As the World Cup neared, he felt the need to make a push to play for his country and returned (oddly enough also) to AC Milan. We all remember the controversy. He wanted to stay in Milan longer, the Galaxy wanted him back, Landon Donovan was pissed, etc. Well they seemingly worked out all the kinks and Beckham was allowed to play for both clubs. At the end of this season, in like Onyewu a non contact play, Beckham was injured. He'll miss the World Cup, and he'll miss the entire MLS regular season, with hopes of returning for the playoffs. Beckham's missing his whole teams season from an injury he sustained playing for a different team. Is Beckham giving anything back to the Galaxy. NO! And its ridiculous to assume that he should. But why isn't it ridiculous for Onyewu to go without pay?

Because the U.S. has so much to prove. We are borrowing this game. Trying to make it our own. We've made progress, but Onyewu's action clearly shows that we are not equals. As fans, our blind initial acceptance - at least mine - shows that we too accept US Soccer/Football as second rate.

In my opinion he shouldn't offer to go without pay. Unless someone at Milan suggested it, and in that case they should step forward and take the blame/credit. By going without pay, by even suggesting it, Onyewu is solidifying the U.S. as second rate. Any true fan, any team, knows the truth, we have a ways to go, but any true fan, any true member, any true team should be out in front and saying "Look at me! Look at us! We can play! and you will respect us!"

Maybe I'm completely wrong. Maybe he'll come out and kill it next year and he'll show everyone and no one will doubt him again. I'm just not so sure that the next time a U.S. player lands in a similar situation he won't also be expected to forgo pay.
Just remembered - while listening to old episodes of Lost - that during the whole B Favre thing, I compared (angrily) Ted Thompson to Charles Widmore. At the end of the day, Mr. Widmore might come out with the best laid plan, interesting how this analogy is playing out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

twitter and the fan

So tonight I tried desperately to win a trivia contest from Green Bay Packers Tight End, Jermichael Finley. And it reminds me of the one of the best nights of my life. While its not a current news story I would like to finally tell the story of last October, me, Ryan Grant, Google and the dog pound of Cleveland OH.

It was a Saturday. Ryan Grant had been tweeting about having extra tickets to the Green Bay/Cleveland game and that he would have some trivia questions to give away the tickets. I immediately set his tweets to go to my phone. Living in Cincy, I don't get to see my team as much as I would like. Hell, living in Wisconsin I didn't get to see my team play live as much as I would have liked. People outside of Wisco really don't get it; it is nearly impossible for people of average incomes without connections to get tickets to Packer games. So I was on edge nearly all day, waiting for whatever challenge Grant could present.

I still have the text message from twitter saved on my phone. Sat. Oct. 24 7:16pm One more set of 3 to give out...if you can tell me who my Runningback coaches were in college and the nfl. I remember searching, giving up, and searching some more. I knew the nfl ones, those were easy. Edgar Bennet is the RB coach of the Packers (actually had his wife's tickets to Lambeau the previous season), I waved to him everytime the showed him on TV. Nothing had changed in the Giants staff, so again, easy to find. What was hard was the ND coaches. In the middle of Grant's ND career, they changed coaches, found new staff announcements easily, but the last one was a killed...

At Oct 24 7:39pm I receieved the BEST text message ever. @jaymelee1 Won..def got all 4 of them 1st. Edgar Bennett, Gerald Ingram, Buzz Preston and Desmond Robinson. Lol.

I was home alone. Jumping up and down. SB came home, I met him at the top of the stairs. Basically screaming, texting everyone I could. I had three tickets and could find no one to take with me. SB had a post wedding bridal event to go to for a mutual friend. Another friend couldn't come because of previous engagements. I was not going to let this chance pass me by though.

Watched USC win their night game that night and quietly went to bed. Woke up early, put on many layers of clothes and drove the four hours north to a city I had never been in to watch my Pack by myself.

I met some people at a gas station who admired my Aaron Rodgers jersey. They showed me their tickets saying we could meet up. I said I didn't know where I was sitting because my tickets we left for me at Will Call by Ryan Grant.

I loved the game. I found my seats, sat down in the family section and could not have been happier. The women next to me also had three tickets and no one wanted to come with her. The men behind us pissed her off cause the swore like three times. She left. But the men were nice to me, grabbed me a beer mid second half and weren't terribly bitter about Derek Anderson's inability to complete a pass. At half time they had two local pee wee football teams play eachother on the field. I was surrounded by the kids' families. And it was amazing to watch.

I had two beers, listened to the Browns fan boo their team, and took a great picture of a group of men who wore Coneheads with the G packer logo on them. I sat in traffic, trying to navigate my way back to the freeway listening to local radio bemoan about their team and how they were worked by the Packers.

I drove back that night. And went to work on time the next morning. Everyone Monday mornings, asks what I did over the weekend. "Oh, I won Packer tickets from Ryan Grant and drove up to Cleveland yesterday". On that day, I felt like the most special girl in the world.


:conduct (as fairness, respect for one's opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport

Here's the background for those of you who don't know the story...

Two college golfers named Grant Whybark and Seth Doran were playing a playoff hole to decide who would take the last spot in the NAIA national finals. Whybark, a sophomore, was already landed a spot at nationals because his team had won the tournament. Doran, a senior was playing for his way in. If Whybark wins, he occupies two spots at nationals. If Doran wins both players go to nationals. No one, outside of the two in the play off had an opportunity to occupy the spot.

Whybark knew Doran. "I've known Seth for the past couple of years," Whybark said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He's earned my respect on the golf course and off of it." Whybark decided to shank his tee shot approx. 40 yards out of bounds. And in essence he handed the playoff hole to Doran. Doran went on to win the playoff and now both players will face each other at nationals.

Quite honestly I have very mixed feelings about this situation.

Golf is very different from other sports. This would never happen in football or basketball; there really is no way to compare it. Whybark said he spoke with his teammates before he decided to give away the hole, and the team supported his decision. Whybark, and his team suffered nothing by letting Doran move on. But what about the idea of letting a person through. Does it show more respect to Doran as a competitor to play him hard and have him earn his spot instead of giving it to him? I say yes. But at the same time, I think we all have off days. And if two people have been repeatedly playing each other, and know that they both are the best and they want to face each other for the ultimate prize, I suppose I can't really fault the young man for wanting his competitor to live to fight another day and get a real competition at nationals.

While I refuse to consider these men children, they are still young men, and in light of current sports atmospheres of big egos and a lot of questionable character and moral choices, I find it difficult to be angry at Whybark for throwing the hole. I remember back to a recent story from Wisconsin High School Basketball. Brief background. A mother of one of the players lost her battle with cancer the day of the game. The team grieved but went to play without the teammate. Midway through the game the young man showed up requesting to play. If the young man was to enter the game, they would be penalized with a technical foul and the opposing team would get to shoot two solo free throws. The opposing team missed each free throw by 3 feet. Clearly on purpose. Because in their minds it was the right thing to do.

I think back to Brett Favre diving so that Strahan could get the sack record. While I despised it at the time, there is a part of me that can see a great player wanting another great player to achieve their goal and wanting to help them do that. While it might not be the best example of definition of sportsmanship listed above, I can not find it within myself to fight against these acts.

I wish I knew how Doran felt about the situation. What was his reaction after seeing the tee shot? Did he feel honored or played down to? This man will probably not go on to a pro career and nationals might end up being the highlight of his sports career. Clearly he is a true athlete and competitor, otherwise he wouldn't have been in the playoff.

While perhaps the means were not the best, the intentions were, and I will honor anyone who finds respect in their competition and wants to best for them, wants to compete against the best at the highest level. If that is what Whybark did, then I applaud him. I applaud him for being a decent human being and hope that the nationals competition is quality and played with sportsmanship. However his act does not honor the true definition of sportsmanship.

Like I said, I'm torn. I like it and dislike it. And I'm completely okay with riding the fence on this one. It might not have been the true meaning of competition, but I have a feeling that nationals will be, and that both guys will enjoy nationals.

EDIT** I thought of this while driving home. In a way Doran did earn his spot at nationals. If he was a jerk and not a respectable gifted golfer, I doubt anyone would have shanked a tee shot for him. He earned it both on and off the course.

And at the same time I can't love it. You either win or lose, to do anything else isn't sportsmanship.

I'm still torn.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


There are so many things that I absolutely need to talk about. Plan to work on an Arizona/Los Suns blog and a blog about the two college golfers story from Mike and Mike this morning. But before I can get any real work done, I just need to say, this whole new LT story is beyond disgusting and almost unreadable to me.

I almost can not get over it. His special about drugs, addiction and recovery was on TLC on Monday as part of their recovery series. Man. Just when you think someone has hit their rock bottom they find a way to dig a little lower. I guess it just goes to show you that everyone has different rock bottoms, and it doesn't matter how great you are, drugs and a troubled soul can over take you. You can be the second greatest defensive NFL player in the history of the game, and you can also be among the weakest of men. Be wary of climbing to high and beware of falling to low.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

worth while reading.

Just read this article from

Rick Reilly nailed it.

Monday, May 3, 2010


watching this LT thing, if all this happened today, we all would have known about it. Vince Young went missing for an hour and it was major news, and he was fine. LT was gone for days...

The Ben Roethlisberger Effect

Its been weeks since the Ben Roethlisberger rape chargers made headline news. Yet, we are still feeling the effects. And as a woman, I feel outraged and sickened by him, his alleged actions and wish there was more respect for the victim. However, as a sports blog, its amazing the lingering impact this one act has had on the National Football League.

1. Tim Tebow, Myron Rolle, Stafon Johnson, drafting on character.

Tim Tebow is currently not an NFL caliber quarterback. That's my opinion; its most people's opinion. He was a good leader at Florida. And his running ability and work ethic made him an interesting addition to many teams. Tim Tebow is like a great filling meal at Cracker Barrel. A little out of date, slightly confusing, but in the end, you're full and it was real food. But you don't spend more than twenty bucks on your meal. Josh McDaniels and the Broncos just paid a thousand dollars for a Cracker Barrel meal. Why? Because he's the anti-Ben Roethlisberger. You might not get a man with a gun for an arm and vast knowledge of the quarterback position. But you also won't get a guy who will be arrested on a gun charge. The Denver Broncos will now always (okay, maybe not always but for at least the next year) be known as the people who were more committed to the quality of the character of the player than the actual playing ability of the player.

Character. What exact qualifications make a football player a man of good character? I'm not going to argue on Tebow's character at all. I don't know him at all. I just fail to believe that Tim Tebow was the only man of great character to come out of this draft. Myron Rolle famously left Florida State and accepted his Rhodes Scholarship. He accepted the risk that he might be giving up an NFL career to pursue his other great love, education. Myron Rolle has never been in the headlines for causing trouble. Becoming a Rhodes Scholar is not easy. Presidents are Rhodes Scholars. Here is a man both gifted academically and physically. Tim Tebow was drafted 25th. Myron Rolle 207th. Yes, Rolle missed a year of playing time. Drops his stock a little. But unlike Tebow, he doesn't have to nearly completely re-engineer his mechanics to play his position.

Stafon Johnson. Okay, I'm a homer. I love the Trojans. I remember where I was when I heard about Stafon's injury. I remember feeling scared. I remember sitting, constantly refreshing my twitter in hopes of getting an update that he was okay. Flash foward to the combine. And here is a man who is lucky to be a live, bench pressing, doing the same activity that nearly killed him. Were his numbers the best? No. Is he completely healed? I don't know. But his amount of determination, heart and dedication to the game can not be measured. A father, a god fearing man - according to interviews and his twitter - and a great ball player, yet he went undrafted. And yes, he, like Rolle, was a risk to draft. Without the playing time it was hard to gauge what kind of skill set he would be bringing to a team.

These three men are, I'm sure all great men, with sound characters and souls. Yet, one was the story of the draft, two were after thoughts. If this really was the draft of chosing character over pure skills, then why were Rolle and Johnson left out of the headlines?

It wasn't about character. It was about PR. Everyone knows Tebow. Superbowl ad, missionary, solid family, good student, make Urban Meyer defend him to the press Tim Tebow. Like his skills or not, most sports fans know he's not a trouble maker. Does any casual fan of the nfl know about Rolle or Johnson? What was really more important? Drafting a player of quality character or having people talk about you drafting a player of quality character?

2. Dez Bryant.

Is your mother a prostitute?

Ben Roethlisberger made the Pittsburgh Steelers pay a price for his actions. Teams saw Roger Goodell's reaction and discipline and probably smartly decided that they needed to get a handle on their players before things got out of hand. First round draft picks make a lot of money. Without a minute of playing time, owners and teams hand over more money than most of us will see in our lives. They have a right to know who they're giving this money too, to be sure that this person isn't going to cost them later on. But at what point does this questioning cross the line?

Dez Bryant didn't play football his last year in college. I heard a national sports radio personality say that the questioning by the Miami Dolphins was justified because clearly Bryant had issues; he didn't play his final year because of his baggage. Dez Bryant didn't play his final year of college ball for one reason: he lied. He did. Because he was afraid that his innocent act of having lunch would be considered wrong. So he lied. That's not baggage. That's what people do. Doesn't matter what your mom did/does or who you are, you're a kid, you think someone might believe you broke a rule, you probably will lie. So no, I am not going to believe that Dez Bryant's past actions led to this questioning.

Here's a question I could live with. "Have you ever hired a prostitute?" or "Do you have lingering issues from your childhood that you have trouble dealing with or that you believe have impacted you decision and your life?"

Those are valid. Those help you determine the character.

Today, ESPN broke a story about how Dez Bryant's mom has had other run-ins with the law. I DON'T CARE. A couple of weeks ago there was massive issues about espn showing the Jerry Jones video - is it news worthy? Why aren't we questioning the news worthy-ness of Dez Bryant's mom's issues. Its not important in my life, in your life. His coaches, friends, counselors can be there for him, help him decide if he's healthy, if he's dealing with things properly, if he's well adjusted.

I hope Dez Bryant has a great career. And I don't like the cowboys, so me saying this, is not easy.

It seems to me that we - the NFL, owners, consumers - want a quick and easy answer to the "character" issue. Glitz and glamour will still sell us, just make sure its classy. And easy answers like 'his mom has issues' or 'he had concussions' give us reasons and easy things to point fingers at; we can brush them away and cut them out. That is not how you make people of strong characters.

Side note: a new show on TLC just started while I was writing this. Fame and Recovery. LT tells us all about Coke. As does former Miss USA. Thanks America. Proving points better than my words.