Sports talk, and articles for the thinker. Reach me at with your thoughts

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taking Sides

I've been seen in the past as taking the
side of the players, but I've also been known
to side with the owners on many occasions as
well, and after following the Carson Palmer
story in Cincinnati for a little while, I knew
it was time to pick a side once again.

A few weeks back on my radio show "Ranting
with Rizzo" on WDIS, I defended the New York
Knicks acquisition of Carmelo Anthony, even
though like many Prima Donna type athletes he
said that he would play for no other team other
than his hometown NY Knicks, and in many ways
demanded a trade to NY. To me, that is where
the similarities end. You see, I had said that
Carmelo went about it the right way in many ways;
he was playing hard, he wasn't whining, and just
as important, he was in the final year of his
contract, so he was under no obligation to re sign
with the Nuggets. Though that type of stance hurts
loyal fans, it's really not too different than when
you change jobs that you've been at for a long time
and the customers that depend on you and love your
work are sorry to see you leave. The other thing
I want to add to the Carmelo Anthony situation which
is something I think holds weight as well, is that
New York is his hometown, and had LeBron left Miami
for Cleveland instead of the other way around, I can
assure you that he would have received much more
support than he does now, and unlike when a player
chooses to go to a team like say the Yankees because
of their deep NY pockets, the contract Anthony got
was no bigger with the NY Knicks than it was with
the Denver Nuggets.

Clark Judge of CBS in his column the
other day mentioned that two sources he was very
confident in said that Carson Palmer "will never, ever,
ever play for the team again." That is unfortunate,
and certainly something Carson should have considered
before signing such a long term deal. Money is not a
question here, he's not looking for a better deal, he
just, for his own reasons does not want to play for
the Bengals ever again, but the fact of the matter is
that he has FOUR more years remaining on his contract,
and unless team owner Mike Brown trades him to another
team, Carson has promised, NOT Threatened, but promised
to retire. He also won't win over many fans nor myself
by saying that he's "got 80 million in the bank" so
he doesn't need to play again. Carson Palmer is 31
years old, and he might make sure he asks a guy like
Tiki Barber who this week announced that at the age of
36 is coming out of retirement, what it's like when time
has passed you by. He may want to ask Tiki why NO ONE
Carson will soon find out that unless he's as
serious as Jake Plummer was, (and we still don't know
whether Jake really doesn't miss the game like he says
or not), there is NO turning back.

We have all at one time or another taken hard line
stances in our lives, whether it was against our parents,
bosses, children, or even society, but not all of them
are the type that there is the "NO TURNING BACK" sign
attached to them. To an athlete, age is one, if not
the most valuable commodity. I think Mike Brown not
only knows this, but is more than willing to make sure
that his Quarterback understands it as well. I for one
have chosen the side of ownership on this. I think that
if Carson Palmer is going to pout, moan and groan, cause
he doesn't get his way. If he is going to take his ball
and go home, then Mike Brown should let him. If this was
the last year of his deal, or even the next to last year,
I could see myself siding with the fact that he might say,
"hey you know what, this isn't working out", but in this
case I say take your $80 million and get lost. Disagree?
Put yourself in the position that you own team X and
this is what's going on. I can assure you that you will
change your tune rather quickly.


JPA said...

I agree with the majority of your points, but I think Palmer is on stronger footing given Mike Brown's penchant for subpar management, blatant cheapness, and an unwillingness to do what it takes to achieve sustained competitiveness. Palmer has a few years left and it has become obvious that the Bengals are not moving forward. He will be out of the league before he has a chance to win. Not so with the Vikes, Niners, or some other teams to which he could get traded. I don't love a player holding a team hostage, but I have a little more empathy when an owner has proven it will not do what it takes to support the organization with what it takes to succeed. In that way, I respect Denver more than Cincy.

JPA said...

Oh and I consider Baltimore 'melo's hometown- not NY! His formative years were in Charm City. If you claim him than I guess we get Babe Ruth back??? :)