Tag Archives: communication

Friday Weisblog: With Drew and Peyton ‘Manning’ the QB spots, the Super Bowl will be a ‘Brees’

In my last correspondence, I told you all about what was wrong with this year’s Super Bowl. What’s right with the game deserves equal time, so here goes …

Drew Brees led the NFL in touchdown passes this season. Peyton Manning was the league’s Most Valuable player. It could be rightly argued that each means more to his respective team than any two other players in the entire league – including the elderly #4 in purple.

But the goodness goes beyond that. These are two guys who are genuinely fine, upstanding people. They seem to always do and say the right things – and manage to stay off the rap sheet. What a concept!

Brees signed with the Saints four years ago when he could have gone to teams that were then far more glamorous than the Saints, who had recently suffered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He felt it was his calling to play there, and he and the Saints fans have developed a unique love affair for each other. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards four years in a row, including a mind-boggling 5,069 in 2008.

Meanwhile, Manning came into the NFL as the the top selection in the 1998 draft – and he has more than lived up to the hype. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards 10 of his 12 years, and has NEVER thrown fewer than 26 touchdown passes in any season, including his rookie campaign. The son of Archie Manning, ironically the Saints’ best-ever signal caller until Brees came to town, Peyton may very well go down as the best to ever play the game if he continues on his current pace.

This is a rare year. I will be happy with either team that wins the big game, largely because of their quarterback.

NOTE: Speaking of quarterbacks, kudos to Kurt Warner, who announced his retirement from the Arizona Cardinals today. Another of the league’s true gentleman, his was a true rags-to-riches story. Warner went from bagging groceries to the Arena League to NFL stardom, and he certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame. I think he gets there eventually.

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Monday Weisblog: A not-so-super halftime show

Apparently it’s old news by now, but I just found out today that “The Who” will be the halftime entertainment at the February 7 Super Bowl in Miami. I must say that I am stunned by this news.

When I first heard who would be performing, I had to make sure I heard it right. “Who?”

“That’s correct,” was the reply as if it was something out of an Abbott and Costello routine.

Yes, The Who. The very same Who featuring Pete Townshend, the guitar player who in 2003 was arrested for possessing child pornography. (The charges were later dropped despite Townshend admitting he had used his credit card to obtain this material. He said it was “research” because he thought he might have been abused by his uncle when he was a child. Apparently, the feds bought what he was selling, but he was listed as a Registered Sex Offender according to the background information I read.)

In the best-case scenario, this makes him a reeeealllly strange guy. At worst, well, I prefer not to think about that. It isn’t that I don’t feel sorry for him if he was an abused child … but a transaction was made in which he willingly, knowingly purchased images that make a normal person’s stomach turn. No justification for that.

With that in mind, why on earth would you pick this group as halftime entertainment on the most-watched television event of the year? What, Courtney Love had another gig? Amy Winehouse didn’t return calls? Bobby Brown was busy? Someone has to explain this one to me, because I just don’t get it.

The Who hasn’t even been relevant for 30 years or more. Now don’t get me wrong … I am not advocating trotting out Lady Gaga or Katy Perry for this event, either. But there must be someone who bridges the generation gap of Super Bowl viewers better than The Who – and certainly someone who paints a better image.

I, for one, will be changing the channel during the halftime “festivities” of the NFL’s greatest game.

Tuesday Weisblog: A Vick-tory for Mike

Michael Vick is now free to sign with any NFL team.

Michael Vick is now free to sign with any NFL team.

I am mildly surprised by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling today in which he reinstated quarterback Michael Vick from his suspension for owning and operating a dogfighting operation.

Vick recently ended his 18-month prison sentence for his part in the ring, and now he’s free to sign with any team he wants.

The reinstatement does have a few strings. First, he may play only in the last two pre-season games for his new team. Then, once the regular season begins, he will be able to practice but not play in games with the team until Week Six, which is mid-October – at the latest.

Here is Goodell’s statement to Vick: “I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others,” Goodell said in his letter to Vick. “I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands. Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited,. I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”

This pretty much wipes out any hope of Vick coming to play in my hometown of Orlando for the new United Football League. The Orlando team (rumored to be nicknamed the Tuskers) owns his rights. Oh well. I can live with that. (What is a Tusker, you ask? It’s a wild boar.)

So let’s hear it from you: Has he paid his debt to society? Should he be reinstated?

I say no, but for a completely different reason that almost no one else has talked about: Everyone focuses on his dogfighting, which is by itself heinous. But what is at the root of an operation like this? Gambling! And no one involved in pro sports should be gambling.

But it’s not up to me. I do hope Vick has turned a corner and is sincere about his statement to the press today, in which he says he now realizes playing in the NFL is a “privilege, not a right.”

We’ll see.

Friday Weisblog: How many times is enough? Apparently 18.

Since the 1970s, Lonnie Harris of Grayslake, IL has been driving. A lot, apparently, despite the fact that he has no business doing so.

On Monday, a McHenry County judge sentenced Mr. Harris to three years in prison for his 18th arrest for driving on a revoked license.

The latest arrest was his first since 2004, and under the plea agreement he made with authorities, he has received credit for the 62 days he’s served since the actual arrest in 2007. In fact, with day-for-day credit earned while in prison, the Daily Herald newspaper says Harris could be out in as soon as 16 months.

At least this time Mr. Harris will feel the sting of the repercussions for his repeated ignorance of the law. But is it enough? I say no. If it was three or four, maybe … but not 18!

Perhaps Lonnie will think about all this and learn something while he hangs up his keys. We can only hope. But don’t bet the farm on it.

Thursday Weisblog: Too much bull, not enough academics at USF

1709470639_8c4b8a597d_mLooks like University of South Florida Bulls football coach Jim Leavitt is really laying down the law, trying to send a message to his academically struggling team.

His new rule is this: If you miss five classes (unexcused), you miss one game. Wow, that’s telling ’em, Jim!

FIVE classes missed before any action is taken? Are you kidding me? It’s no wonder the Tampa Tribune recently posted this nugget of wisdom: The University of South Florida’s football program had the nation’s worst Academic Progress Report (APR) among BCS conference schools, while the men’s basketball program had the nation’s third-worst score, according to the most recent figures released by the NCAA.

Amazing, considering that there are 120 Division I football teams and more than 300 basketball teams.

I get that athletics is a big deal at many schools; however, first and foremost universities are institutes of higher learning. At least, they’re supposed to be.

So yes, Jim Leavitt is sending them a message. The message is that as long as you remain eligible to play and you win – no matter what happens otherwise – you don’t need to strive for academic perfection.

Judging by the stats above, the message has been received loud and clear by Leavitt’s team.

Wednesday Weisblog: He fought the law … and the law won

Earlier this year, CareerBuilder.com did a survey asking participants whether or not they had ever dated a coworker in the professional careers.

Forty percent admitted they had. That’s a lot, though I actually would have expected the number to be higher.

That brings us to my actual blog subject. The police chief of Beloit, Wisconsin was asked to retire – and did- last week because he had an affair with a female officer. According to Beloit City Manager Larry Arft, Chief Sam Lathrop had an extramarital affair with Sergeant Pam Barney, who was also married.

Arft found out about the hanky-panky and told Lathrop he should retire. His retirement was supposed to take place August 31, but he had so much vacation time saved up his retirement started last Friday.

110689552_91a66d7206An employee of the Beloit Police since 1978 and chief since 2003, Lathrop believes his decision to retire is best for the city.

If you were the city manager, would you have told Chief Lathrop he needed to go? I have mixed feelings. While I certainly do not condone an affair, I wonder if his personal life should be kept separate from his professional life. On the other hand, public officials are (and should be) held to a higher standard.

Then again, any number of former US Presidents have strayed and they never lost their jobs as a result.

What do you folks think?

Tuesday Weisblog: What would you do if you came face to face with the man who ruined your life?

Only the most hardcore football fans would know who Vidal Mills is. Vidal had a very brief career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the early part of this decade, and thereafter faded into obscurity in the Arena Football League before finally retiring from the sport.

Most recently, he’s been coaching the Florida Scorpions, a minor-league arena team based in the Tampa area.

But that’s not why I’m bringing Vidal and his plight to your attention. I am instead pointing to a man who is a distraught father. You see, Vidal’s son C.J. was just 17 when he was shot dead in 2007.

C.J. was an honorable mention all-state defensive player who had all kinds of things going for him – and a bright future ahead of him.

While police had no suspects, there had been some descriptions of the pair who did the shooting. They were both black; the driver had lighter skin. Both were between 5’9″ and 5’10”.

Vidal has done a bit of investigating himself, and his work kept turning up the same name over and over. The name is Frederick Powell, who goes by the nickname of “Bobo.” Allegedly, Powell had been bragging of committing the crime to friends – and anyone else who would listen.

Last October, Vidal Mills’ stepdaughter recognized Bobo in her restaurant and immediately called her stepdad.

Before you know it – in plain sight of the security cameras, Vidal Mills and brother Rodney are there. Vidal Mills is seen hitting Bobo and wrapping his massive arm around Bobo’s neck.

When informed that the police were on their way, Vidal and Rodney fled the scene, but Vidal Mills was arrested later that evening without incident at his house.

Vidal has received nine months’ probation in exchange for authorities not making his stepdaughter testify.

So that brings us to the title of tonight’s blog: What would you do if you came face to face with the man who ruined your life?

My only question would be this: Was he 100% sure “Bobo” Powell was the right guy? If I was absolutely certain, it would be difficult not to have done what he did, because the police didn’t seem to be getting the job done on their own.

In Vidal Mills’ mind, he was just being a good dad; first by trying to avenge his son’s murder, then by protecting his stepdaughter.

I’m not saying I promote vigilante-ism. I’m just saying that I understand.