On Gus Bradley, Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzales & Lance Armstrong

Jan 17, 2013 -- 12:24pm


Running off at the computer . . .

Let me tell you everything I know about the Jaguars new head coach, Gus Bradley, other than what’s on his resume: Nothing. The process of doing research and gaining insight into him is under way.

Now, a few words about Sunday’s NFL conference championship games . . .

The nauseating gushing about Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will continue at a record pace. Wouldn’t it be great – and fitting --for the retiring Lewis to end his career in a Super Bowl we’ll be told by one analyst after another. No doubt a few will be teary eyed as they talk about the end of an era; what a great leader, father and man Lewis is. Blah, blah, blah.

Shamefully it will be a mere footnote, an afterthought, that Falcons' tight end Tony Gonzales also is ending his stellar career. Gonzales has said he’s 99 percent sure he’s retiring after this season. Gonzales is in the discussion as the greatest tight end ever. His career has been free of scandal. He has conducted himself like a pro athlete, not a dancing, screaming clown who looks like he’s ready to go trick-or-treating for every game.

For the record, I expect the Patriots, favored by 9½, to whip Lewis and Ravens, 35-20, for the AFC title and for the 3½-point underdog Falcons to upset the 49ers, 31-27, for the NFC title.

During at least one of the games a team probably will go into a “prevent defense” and we’ll all scream: “No! All the prevent defense does is prevent teams from winning.” So why do coaches use the “prevent defense”? You only have to look back to last weekend for the answer. The Broncos gave up a game-tying, 70-yard TD pass with 30 seconds to play to the Ravens, who then won in overtime.

Finally, let’s put away the football and address the Lance Armstrong story.

Armstrong deserves a prominent place in the sports’ Hall of Shame. Not only did he lie for a decade about cheating, he damaged the lives of many others by accusing them of lying and seeking revenge out of envy.

An adoring public accepted everything Armstrong said and elevated him to a pedestal, a remarkable feat for an athlete in a sport, cycling, few Americans care about. Winning seven Tour de France races – the Super Bowl of cycling – was secondary in the eyes of the public to Armstrong overcoming cancer and his charitable deeds. In an era when using performance enhancing drugs was the norm in cycling, who would have even cared that Armstrong cheated? Didn’t everyone? And if anyone deserved help, wouldn’t a cancer survivor be at the top of the list?

It’s the lying and the lying and the lying and the destroying the lives of others that is unforgiveable.

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