The baseball trade deadline has come and gone with excitement, the NFL pre-season is on the horizon, and "Redeem" Team USA is about to take Beijing by storm. Yet these athletes can't stay off the front page and in most cases, it's not good.
Carolina Panthers team captain and Pro-Bowl receiver, Steve Smith, has made headlines recently, and those headlines aren't good ones. The Panther wideout will be on the sidelines for the first two games of the Panthers regular season. NO injuries, NO failed drug tests, and NO contract disputes, just the occasional fist fight with YOUR OWN TEAMMATES. Fellow Panther, Ken Lucas, told reporters that events like this bring a team together, this coming from a guy whose nose is broken and eye is swollen like a grapefruit. He's a company guy, and I'm impressed. If it were me who was attacked by a teammate, a CAPTAIN none the less, I wouldn't have been so "team oriented" when the press wanted a few words from me. My words would have included at least 3-5 four letter words that Smith wouldn't have exactly liked. In the words of Allen Iverson, "Were talking about practice, not a game, practice." Grow up Steve, there's a reason why the Panthers won't win a Super Bowl, with leaders like you, what else could we expect? A few days after the Hall of Fame places Redskin great, Art Monk, into it's illustrious walls, Steve Smith is getting slammed with a two-game check penalty and if he wasn't as good as he is, you wouldn't see Smith as a Panther. From a fan of a team that just sent it's star baseball player packing, trust me these things aren't "isolated" incidents. Smith is more than talented and he is a game changer, but he's a receiver and with the exception of #81 in Dallas and #81 in Foxboro, no receiver is worth these troubles.
Celtics star team leader, Paul Pierce, is currently playing with fire and if recent events continue, he'll get burnt. If Paul wants to claim he's the "BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD," he's the reigning finals MVP and I'm not going to find fault in him for thinking so, if it's only him who does. However, I do take issue with being pulled over in the early morning hours suspected of driving while under the influence. Paul was never cited and only detained for a short period of time, he also passed a sobriety test, and only then decided to call for a car service home. Paul you don't need to make this mistake, you have more than enough money to have a limo escort you around town, if your trying to save a couple bucks, grab a cab. Surprisingly, I was in Vegas on Saturday night, my buddy Mike won $900 bucks at Caesars and after watching my other friend Dan do a photo shoot with the 40-year olds of Las Vegas at the Bellagio (which he doesn't remember), we grabbed a limo service for the ten minute ride back to where we were staying. Grand Total = $150 after tip. I'm shooting in the dark here but I'll venture to say Pierce had slightly more than $150 in his pocket while in Vegas. Again I'll ask, why do celebrities who could afford to have drivers, take a risk? The TRUTH is, Paul needs to be careful and use his head, it's 3:30 AM and cops are just looking to pull people over for anything, drinks or no drinks, Please Paul.
Never-at-a-loss for words wideout, Chad Johnson, is behaving, yes I said behaving. After a busy off season, the receiver known as "Ocho-Cinco" is at training camp, and quiet, for now. This is a good one, I actually want to congratulate Johnson for his behavior. A surgically repaired ankle later and Johnson is no longer talking contract disputes he's letting his play do the talking. Wide Receivers are a dime a dozen, the Bengals were prepared to move on without Johnson and it is because of that, that Johnson has quieted down. Chad, I love the antics, I love your game, but don't fall down the same road as other stars, we want to see you play, not sit out because you aren't getting paid. Johnson is rarely injured (16 games, each of the last 6 seasons) , he's caught 87-97 balls a season during that same time period, and twelve-hundred yards a season to go along with his 15.0 yards per catch (career). The man can play, and fortunately for us, he's decided to. Ocho-Cinco Baby!!!!!
While I love the distractions these three athletes have provided for all of us who don't care about what Brett Favre does, they are distractions. Then again, it gives me something to write about so, PLAY ON!