August 31, 2005

The Price is Wrong, Bitch

You could make a case that it is the greatest safeguard in all of sports – the non-guaranteed contract in the NFL.

Yesterday, just two years after signing him to a seven-year deal, the Falcons' front office
dropped its proverbial trousers and showed Peerless Price its collective, gaping, butt-crack. Sorry to be crass, but it's an impolite place, this National Football League. Quite simply, Peerless didn't produce (just 45 catches, 575 yards and 3 TD's in '04), so he's off the team. And most importantly – he's unable to collect the remaining money left on his $37.5 million deal (in MLB and the NBA, teams can release players but in just about every circumstance have to pay them the money owed; not so in the NFL).

For the most part, I am fully in support of this system. With so much money on the line, it makes sense that a team should be able to get rid of a player if he's not producing. But at the same time, you have to feel slightly bad for the guy who blows out his knee only to have his contract terminated a day later. In theory, I'm all for non-guaranteed contracts; I just find it a bit odd that the one sport in which they exist happens to be the most brutal. Many of these guys are risking injury on every single play to get their job done.

One positive about all of this, I suppose, is that the Falcons' decision to cut their enigmatic wideout created quite possibly the most memorable moment of the Peerless Price era. As Peerless walked towards his car to leave the Falcons' practice facility for the last time, he saw an Atlanta Journal-Constitution photographer waiting near his car. Just before climbing into his car and driving away, he etched one single line on his Atlanta football epitaph:

"I hate y'all," he said.

My (mostly) sports-related thoughts of the day:

-In general I'm an avid supporter of wild conspiracy theories, but it sounds to me like Mark Buehrle is howling at the sun with his recent claim that
the Rangers are stealing signs from an office window above center field at Ameriquest Field in Texas. That's right – Buehrle is claiming the Rangers use lights to signal to batters what pitch is coming while they're at the plate, and apparently he's not the first person to make the accusation. However, it pretty well takes the assorted candies out of Buehrle's pinata when his own manager, Ozzie Guillen – seemingly the type of guy who likes to take up a cause here and there – essentially sprinted off moments after his guy took the first swing in a bar fight (is that enough metaphor for you in one sentence?) "The way Buehrle pitched yesterday, it seemed [the Rangers] didn't need signs," Guillen said. "Everything was right down the middle of the plate." I'm sure Buehrle was thrilled Ozzie came to his aid so enthusiastically.

-Last night Padres' pitcher Jake Peavy, recovering from surgery to remove his wisdom teeth and a cut to his non-pitching hand, threw 6 2/3 innings dosed up on four shots of novocaine. My question about this: Why is it within the rules to take novocaine before a game? Isn't this in many ways a performance-enhancing substance? If you've been following the talk about baseball's steroid scandal at all, presumably at some point you've heard it said that one of the key benefits of steroid use is the advantage it gives players in recovering from injury. When you get right down to it, how is getting shot up with novocaine so dramatically different?

-Do you think it has crossed the mind of Cowboys' backup QB Tony Romo to start up his own chain of steakhouses in an effort to put the tyrannical Tony Roma out of business?

-You know that soft drink commercial (I refuse to give it any publicity by naming which brand of soda it is or by linking to the ridiculous commercial's website) where that group of twenty-somethings is singing a song, which they presumably wrote about the soda, on top of a city rooftop, so filled with glee about holding said soda in their possession that they decided to climb on top of a building and have a sing-along? Sorry, but that kind of thing just doesn't happen among me and my friends.

-I believe I have reached a new low (at least I think it's a low) as a fantasy sports player. A guy I know recently offered me an undisclosed amount of money to do his fantasy football draft – which he couldn't attend – in his absence. The key was that he didn't want his friends to know he wasn't present at the draft, so I would have to be posing as him in an online draft amongst a group of 11 people I have never met. Thinking it over, I found this idea to be somewhat dubious from a moral standpoint, not to mention the fact that I had some prior social engagements on the night in question.

Needless to say, I accepted his offer almost immediately.


Blogger Frank G Yak said...

I was watching Tennessee play a few years ago when Price was on the volunteers. I remember the announcer (who I don't recall) said that his mother couldn't sleep one night and was reading the dictionary and came across the word peerless and it hit her that peerless should be the name of her child!!

Also -- Brad Gilbert went out a real limb the otherday by saying that he thought it would be a Federer/Nadal final (tennis fans rejoice)

My favorite Peerless Price story i

11:25 AM, September 01, 2005  
Anonymous John said...

Since when is getting paid to do someone else's draft a "new low"? That would be the highlight of my month.

11:27 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger jimmyrad said...

You clearly don't remember all our child moments over there at the JKA cul-de-sac. More than once can I remember us drinking a certain beverage, feeling very warm and fuzzy about eachother and our beverages, and breaking into song (or rap.) So maybe chill on knocking those youngsters just trying to have fun with their unnamed Coca Cola of choice.

So happy Peerless is gone.

12:52 PM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

Good point, John. The more I think about it, this was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

12:10 AM, September 08, 2005  

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