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UA News

Finley: Dot·Dot·Dot·

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Ryan Finley

By Ryan Finley

Tuesday August 21, 2001 |

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It's that time of year - fantasy season. While my real-life fantasy team might consist of Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, Katie Holmes, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Anheuser Busch, I' m going to have to settle for a fantasy squad that features - and I mean, he's my best player - Doug Flutie.

And you know why? Because some of the guys who I play with have decided they're going to be Bill bleeping Walsh and refuse to trade me any player that might have an outside chance of being decent. So I'm going to have to settle for the 5-foot-3 Flutie and a prayer, which actually isn't a bad combination after all. I love the man - he is, after all, the quarterback for my favorite team - but you have to wonder how many times he can surprise people. If only Katie Holmes could catch a football·

Speaking of football, I consider myself a pretty laid-back guy. After all, I don't disagree with people over much, and I try to see the other guy's side on a lot of issues, from stem-cell research to Wild Card teams. I'm pretty accepting about a lot of stuff.

But I draw the line at preseason football games. There is nothing - nothing! - in the world of sports (and I'm even talking about billiards tournaments and ice dancing) worse than preseason NFL games.

They are at best a chance for people to spend $50 to see the starting quarterback run 12 whole plays and at worst a chance for an already-greedy league to make money off of absolute worthless workouts.

Think about it - no other sport gouges its fans more than the NFL when it comes to preseason games. Baseball is a perfect example of how to handle preseason happenings. Baseball teams simply pack up and leave town, allowing their hometown fans to be spared from the monotony of spring training while giving their new, adopted fans in their spring training home a chance to attend games for next-to-nothing.

Do the Yankees return to Yankee Stadium for a Tuesday afternoon exhibition game against the Devil Rays? No, although I think Yankee fans - in their blind, sickening devotion - would probably pack the house anyway.

Does the UA football team charge fans to come watch them run plays? Of course not. It would be stupid, greedy and heartless of them to do so.

So why do NFL teams - in their infinite greed - force season-ticket holders to pay full price for exhibition games? Listen, NFL players hate preseason games. NFL fans hate preseason games. Why not just move them to the team's training camps, charge a flat fee (like $5) and allow the true fans - the ones willing to sit on metal risers for three hours to see the third-stringers knock each other cold - some time with the team?

Oh yeah, I forgot - that would be the humane thing to do·.

Speaking of the devil, and I do mean The Devil, it's nice to see that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has decided to scrap his starting quarterback in favor of a player that while in college made Ortege Jenkins look like Johnny freaking Unitas. Evidently Jones, a man who goes through coaches like Lute Olson goes through hair spray, has tried to take this Craziest Man in Texas Award from Mark Cuban, Ross Perot and George W. Bush.

In an attempt to catch up, Cuban's Mavericks decided to sign Shawn Bradley to a seven-year extension and Bush went on his Heartland vacation, er, tour.

And for Perot, well, have you ever seen both Big Ross and Jerry Jones in the same place? I didn't think so ·

And - in case you haven't noticed - there is a brand-new, state-of-the-art scoreboard and video-replay system in McKale Center now. The new system, which was installed last week and will be ready for the UA women's volleyball season, will feature giant, detailed replay screens and unparalleled technology.

You know what that means? The ancient ones, the Class of 1875 that has occupied the good seats in McKale since the Taft administration, can now be moved further from the action and the good seats given to the ones who attend the school·

Those people who spent the summer lounging by the beach or traveling missed the firing - and hiring - of former UA head baseball coach Jerry Stitt. Normally, it wouldn't be big news, but the "All My Children" atmosphere that surrounded the "release" of Jerry Stitt and the hiring of ex-Florida coach Andy Lopez might have been the best drama of the year. The chaos ended a few weeks ago when Stitt - who was just two years shy of receiving a state pension when he was unceremoniously asked to leave - accepted a job in the athletic department. It was a nice decision by an athletic department that has shown itself to be fairly callous in the past year. But the department - and notably athletic director Jim Livengood - seems to have sent a message: Win or get canned.

I think Stitt deserved a better fate, though - maybe they just could have forced him to sit through a few dozen preseason NFL games. That would have been torture enough.

Doug·Flutie·Pray for me, folks.


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