Tiger Woods doesn’t owe me (or you) anything

Tiger Woods is scheduled to speak publicly today for the first time in nearly three months. The golf superstar has been silent since his car accident in November. Since that event, a seemingly endless line of mistresses have come forward to spill details about affairs with Woods. He has lost the respect of many fans and, more importantly, several sponsors.

The “press conference” is hardly that. It is an invitation-only event that will undoubtedly include friends and trusted sources who will not be permitted to ask questions.

In my opinion, this is typical Tiger Woods. He is used to being in total control. Facing three months worth of unanswered questions about his personal life would put him at the mercy of the reporters. Woods does not put himself at the mercy of anyone.

An apology is expected today. I am not sure who he is going to apologize to or what the apology will be about. He certainly doesn’t own me an apology. He doesn’t owe you an apology either, unless your name is Elin Nordegren.

The fact that Woods cheated on his wife has zero impact on my life. I do not agree with what he did, but it doesn’t effect my family or me at all. The reports that he is a sex addict are also irrelevant to me. Even if that is true, the problem is that he had sex with women other than his wife.

This sparks the ongoing debate of whether or not professional athletes are role models. As a golfer, Woods is the best in the world. The focus and determination he shows on the golf course is amazing. As a husband and father, he has obviously failed up to this point. But is that my problem? As a parent, I feel a responsibility to be a role model to my children. Tiger Woods should be a role model to his own children, not mine.

Anyway, was Tiger Woods a role model even before his infidelity became public knowledge? He has been known to go against traditional golf etiquette by loudly cursing on the course and occasionally throwing clubs.

Woods has also never given me the impression that he wants to relate to the common man. You will never see him wearing Wranglers and running around in the mud with Brett Favre. The companies that he represents (or at least used to) are generally thought to be high-end corporations.

I think people are drawn to Tiger Woods because he plays a game that anyone can play. Drive by a golf course on a sunny afternoon and you will people doing the same thing Woods does. He just happens to do it better than anyone in the world, and in front of millions of people.

Today we will see if the good-looking, smooth-talker will prevail once again.

NFL Youth Football: A breath of fresh air

The opportunities for children to participate in sports are endless. Leagues and programs of all types are available throughout the country. Having spent 30 years involved in amateur sports at all levels, including college, I have seen and heard it all – good and bad.

My parents provided me with the opportunity to play sports. I developed a love affair with baseball that is still strong today. It began with the innocence of t-ball and continued through the competitiveness of high school and college. I have also coached and officiated baseball, allowing me to see the game from a whole different perspective.

As a parent, I take great pride in providing my kids the opportunity to play sports. I think very important life lessons are learned through participating in athletics. However, finding the right league or team can be a difficult task.

The Ohio Youth Flag Football Association is a recreational league for boys and girls that is affiliated with the NFL. The league commissioner is Cecil Doggette, a 14-year veteran of the NFL, NFL Europe and Arena Football League. Doggette also spent two years as an assistant coach with the AFL’s Columbus Destroyers.

My son began playing in the league this past fall. The experience has been absolutely wonderful. The entire organization is first class, and it starts at the top. Doggette is approachable and great with the kids. The enthusiasm he shows at every event proves that he himself is a kid at heart.

The fall season began with a draft party, mimicking the hype of the NFL draft. Each child has their name announced and gets to take their place at the front of the room with their teammates. The kids also receive a contract. Everyone has a great time!

The program focuses on giving the kids “life skills” and is backed by the moniker, Kids F.I.R.S.T (Fun Instruction Respect Sportsmanship Teamwork). Everyone involved in the league practices what they preach. My son is currently in his third session of football and we could not be happier.

After having such a great experience with football, my son has decided to add basketball to his activity list. We were pleased to sign him up for the Jr. NBA league, also run by Doggette.

We will continue to be involved in this wonderful organization for as long as my son wants to play. Seeing the joy on his face when he scores a touchdown is something that my limited writing skills cannot describe.

Coward Brian Kelly leaves Cincinnati

I will begin this post by saying that I am first and foremost, an Ohio State fan. However, I like to think of myself as a rational, clear-thinking Buckeye. The success that the University of Cincinnati has experienced the last two years has not made me jealous. Actually, I couldn’t be happier for them and their football program. I rooted for them to win every week and really hoped they would get a shot at playing in the BCS Championship game.

Brian Kelly has led the Bearcats to back-to-back Big East Championships. Last year, an 11-2 regular season landed them in the Orange Bowl where they were beaten by Virginia Tech. This season, the Bearcats posted a perfect 12-0 regular season and are set to take on the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. It has been a dream season for the players, students, fans and city of Cincinnati.

Until last night.

Kelly has left Cincinnati to become the next football coach at Notre Dame. Is Notre Dame really his dream job? Did he just follow the money? I don’t know and neither do you. We both do know that we would do the same thing. I would just do it differently.

He informed the players that he was leaving last night at what was supposed to be the team’s post-season banquet. He entered the Westin hotel in downtown Cincinnati surrounded by police officers and would not comment to the media. So, the man who is supposed to be a leader for these young men sneaks in and out of the building with a police escort while the kids are forced to answer questions from reporters.

Pathetic.

I respect every player on that football team. They are certainly more of a man than their former coach. The whole situation was handled poorly by Kelly. Last night, he proved to be a complete coward.

Every member of the UC football team is facing the biggest challenge of their football career. They are going to be facing a great team on a national stage and looking to show the country they are a championship caliber team. They are looking to further drive home the point that Ohio State is not the only football program in Ohio.

And the man who is supposed to lead them bolts for another coaching job…

Kelly will head to South Bend with expectations and blank check. If he can meet the high expectations of the once proud Irish football program, he will make more money than anyone could possibly imagine. The Bearcats are left standing at the altar.

If a player decides to transfer to another school, he must sit out a year. He is penalized for jumping ship when his coach is permitted to do it whenever he wants.

Bulldroppings.

UC athletic director Mike Thomas announced that offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will coach the team in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There will be other leaders on the field, like the young man in the video below.

Do you believe in the Madden Curse?

Every year, video gamers of all ages eagerly await the launch of the latest John Madden football game. The game has amazingly evolved over the years, always taking advantage of cutting-edge technology.

When first developed, the game was known as John Madden Football, with the big guy himself gracing the cover of the packaging. In 2001, the box art began featuring an action shot of a current NFL player.

The Madden Curse refers to the injury or poor performance that usually happens to said player. Do you think I am crazy? Let’s take a look…

Madden 2001: Eddie George
The curse was delayed a bit for Eddie George. After enjoying a great season in 2000, the following year saw him hampered by injuries and his rushing numbers hit an all-time low.

Madden 2002: Daunte Culpepper
After leading his team to the NFC Championship game the year before, Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings struggled to a 4-7 start in 2001. Culpepper then suffered a knee injury and missed the rest of the season.

Madden 2003: Marshall Faulk
After four consecutive seasons of rushing for more than 1300 yards, Marshall Faulk was bothered by an ankle injury in 2002 and saw his numbers dip below the 1000 yard mark. The Rams also missed the playoffs.

Madden 2004: Michael Vick
Michael Vick suffered a broken leg during a preseason game in 2003, one day after the Madden game hit store shelves.

Madden 2005: Ray Lewis
In 2004, Lewis failed to record an interception for the first (and only) time in his career. He missed 10 games in 2005 with a torn hamstring.

Madden 2006: Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb suffered a sports hernia in the first game of the 2005 season. After attempting to play despite the injury, he had surgery and missed the final seven games of the year.

Madden 2007: Shaun Alexander
After leading his team to the Super Bowl, Shaun Alexander suffered a broken foot three weeks into the 2006 season. He missed the next six weeks.

Madden 2008: Vince Young
Vince Young was only bothered by a minor leg injury, but did throw only nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Madden 2009: Brett Favre
After starting the season well, Brett Favre suffered an injury to his throwing arm. Continuing to play, Favre and the Jets saw their season fall apart.

Madden 2010: Larry Fitzgerald/Troy Polamalu
In the first game of the season, Troy Polamalu sprained a ligament in his left knee. He is expected to miss three to six weeks.

Buckeye fans get a glimpse of things to come

The weather could not have been more perfect for Ohio State’s open practice last night at Ohio Stadium. This was my second year attending the event that serves as a real eye-opener that summer is coming to a close and football is right around the corner.

Despite the gorgeous scenery and free admission, the crowd was estimated to be a lot smaller than last year. However, that did not have an impact on the enthusiasm as the fans cheered every catch in the corner of the end zone and every kick that split the uprights.

As usual, Brutus Buckeye was a major attraction for fans both young and old. He posed for pictures, signed autographs, and caused many youngsters to form a big smile.

It is so great to see grandparents, parents and kids all sharing the excitement and enjoyment of something they all hold close to their heart. There is no generation gap when it comes to Buckeye football.

About an hour into the practice, you could hear a rumbling behind the south stands. The crowd erupted as the best damn band in the land made their way into the stadium. The Buckeye Battle Cry brought many people to their feet, singing and clapping as if it were a Saturday in late November and the hated Michigan Wolverines were across the field.

One of the practice drills involved the quarterbacks attempting to connect with a receiver in the corner of the end zone. A complete pass would trigger loud cheers while a great defensive play would be followed by a collective sigh. I found it funny that the crowd was disappointed in seeing a Buckeye defensive back make a great play. I guess fans love offense.

I am not going to break down the Xs and Os of what went on last night. The open practice is not about how many passes are completed or how many guys step flawlessly through a set of orange cones while catching a pass.

It was about the fans. People who may not get a chance to see the team they root for so passionately every Saturday did so last night. Go Bucks!