Maybe O.J. can break in and take Barry’s ball | NevadaAppeal.com

Maybe O.J. can break in and take Barry’s ball

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

Strap on a helmet. At least open up an umbrella. Why? The sky is falling. We’re about to agree with Barry Bonds. The San Francisco Giants’ outfielder called the moron who paid more than $750,000 for the ball that Bonds hit for his 756th career home run an “idiot” this week. It seems the idiot/moron is going to let the public decide what he should do with the ball. And there are only three options: send it to the Hall of Fame, sketch an asterisk on the ball or put it in a rocket ship and ship it to outer space. The ball is a cherished piece of baseball history and belongs in the Hall of Fame or in Barry Bonds’ trophy case. The idiot/moron who has far too much money? Someone should strap him to the side of a rocket ship and blast him off to outer space.

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The idiot/moron should have added a fourth option for the historic home run ball: hire O.J. Simpson to break into the idiot/moron’s hotel room to steal the ball. It figures that O.J. would finally put himself in hot water for, he says, trying to steal back his own memorabilia. O.J. is the only person on the planet who believes O.J. memorabilia has some value.

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Floyd Landis now has to forfeit his Tour de France victory because he pumped his body with synthetic testosterone. One wonders if major league baseball will ever have enough guts to do the same sometime down the line to a certain lefthanded power hitter who is opposed to sending baseballs to Mars. Landis, though, can’t even blame this mess on the French, like Lance Armstrong did for years. This time it was the United States Anti-Doping Agency who took Landis’ title away. That would sort of be like the Giants holding a pre-game ceremony at their next home game and giving Hank Aaron back his home run title.

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The Wolf Pack football team did exactly what it was supposed to do last week by ripping Nicholls State. It beat the living daylights out of a bad, outmanned Division I-AA team in its home opener. It felt like 1993 all over again, didn’t it Pack fans? But it was also more than that. Quarterback Nick Graziano, starting his first game in front of the home crowd, played like a veteran, overcoming two early turnovers to throw five touchdowns. Graziano looks like a special player with his ability to make big plays. The 1990s are indeed back, as far as the offensive side of the ball is concerned.

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Should we worry about the Wolf Pack’s defense? Well, not yet. It has plenty of playmakers, if only they could all get on the field at the same time for any length of time. This Pack defense is certainly good enough to compete in the Western Athletic Conference. Nobody plays great defense in the WAC.

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Wolf Pack 35, UNLV 20. You know, in case you were wondering what is going to happen next weekend.

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Sports Illustrated ranked Randy Moss as the 246th best player in the NFL going into the season. Isn’t it time football puts an end to all of these pre-season polls and rankings? Moss just might be the No. 1 player in the league right now.

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The Oakland A’s had better steal Tony LaRussa away from the St. Louis Cardinals before the Seattle Mariners do so. Then again, LaRussa might want to open up another pet shelter before taking over the Billy Beane A’s.

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The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 and if the Oakland Raiders had an offense, they’d also be 2-0 right now. Bay Area football is clearly on the rebound this season. Please, Raiders, please. Send Josh McCown in a rocket ship and let him play catch with Bonds’ home run ball on Mars.

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Charlie Weis isn’t going to get fired. So get that out of your head. The Irish couldn’t afford to buy him out. Now, Weis might leave South Bend and take a job in the NFL, say, with the New York Giants. And if that happens, Notre Dame should send the Giants a Christmas card. It doesn’t appear that Weis is much of a head coach. Some guys just make for better assistants than head coaches. There is no way a Notre Dame football team should ever be 0-3. Ever. Weis needs to give Chris Ault a call so he can learn a little bit about moving the ball on offense and scoring some points.

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Isn’t it nice that Tiger Woods is going to get a $10 million I.R.A. for winning the FedEx Cup. Now Tiger doesn’t have to worry about his retirement. That’s a load off all of our minds.

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Who is the biggest fraud among the surprising 2-0 NFL teams? Has to be the Detroit Lions. They’ll still finish under .500 this year.

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Think the San Diego Chargers miss Marty Schottenheimer? Too bad everybody saw that coming except the Chargers.

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Cleveland Browns fans must be getting soft. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson leaps into the Browns’ Dawg Pound last weekend and actually survived. No broken neck. No gouged eyeball. No ripped jersey. Nothing. What do you think would have happened to Johnson if he jumped into Oakland’s Black Hole? The Bengals would be looking for another wide receiver right now, that’s what would have happened. We’d like to see Johnson jump into Michael Vick’s Dawg Pound. Just a thought.

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Tony Kornheiser seems like a nice enough guy. But he’s about as entertaining on Monday Night Football as a category on Jeopardy labeled “Martha Stewart’s Favorite Recipes.” Kornheiser, though, has escaped a lot of criticism from the media. That’s probably because Kornheiser is a part of the media himself. He’s friends with most of the national columnists so they give him a break. Remember how the media treated Dennis Miller? Miller falling out of bed in the morning was more entertaining than Kornheiser in the MNF booth.

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This has to be the best year ever for monumental home runs in major league baseball. Bonds breaks the all-time record, Sammy Sosa hits No. 600 and Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and Jim Thome all hit their 500th homer. It’s been a great year for baseball. Tom Glavine won his 300th game. The Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Cubs are all in pennant races. Amazing year so far.

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Baseball, though, just can’t seem to capture the nation’s attention for long anymore. We get excited about some historic home run but a second later O.J. breaks into a Las Vegas hotel room and steals a few autographed footballs and, well, nobody is talking about baseball anymore. The once so-called national pastime is clearly fifth on the list of our favorite things to do this time of year behind watching NFL football, watching college football, getting drunk at NFL and college football tailgate parties and playing fantasy football.

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Does anybody care that Brett Favre set the NFL record with 149 victories as a starting quarterback? Did anybody even know that 148 was the record? If they want us to care about such things, they ought to list the quarterback’s record in the standings each week just like baseball. Records and numbers, though, is one area where baseball will always have an edge over the NFL. Everybody knows baseball’s records, whether they were set by cheaters or not. In football, the only numbers we care about are the point spreads and how many points LaDainian Tomlinson will score for our fantasy team this week.