Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Capital Times from Madison, Wisconsin • 32

The Capital Timesi
Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

2D The Capital Times Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003 Playmakers may be too close to reality for NFL Commentary NFL the Rapoport produced a list of examples, from 10 Raiders being called to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the use of designer steroids, to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder sending his jet to pick up twice-suspended Raiders defensive tackle Darrell Russell, and New England tackle Kenyatta Jones getting cut after he was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Now that would make a good TV show. I wonder when the NFL players and officials who rip Playmakers will do the same to their NFL fraternity brothers who run afoul of the rules. When will the NFL worry more about whats in the mirror, as opposed to the pretend stuff on television? Probably, Id guess, about the same time Playmakers, Season 2 goes into production.

What a shame. The show has grown on many viewers, which I suppose is the idea for a soap opera. And like a soap opera, everything is exaggerated. Its based on a fictitious league with fictitious players, and meant to entertain, not provide a behind the scenes look at the NFL. Its not as if the Cougars receiver had his pregnant girlfriend killed and then got caught hiding out, say, in the trunk of a car or anything.

The show is wholly entertaining, even if flawed by cliches, poor acting (fire the coach, please) and utterly unrealistic. It should bear no resemblance to the NFL. But guess what? When will the about whats in opposed to the television? Sadly, the NFL cant say that the show is so exaggerated that it cant possibly be us! That should shame the NFL more than anything. Its portrayal of pro football players as drugged up, wife-abusing, violent philanderers was meant to be fantasy but was a tad too close to reality for Tagliabue. Heres a news flash for all the league crybabies: NFL players make the NFL look worse than any TV show ever could.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Ron Rapoport made some excellent points this week, writing, If ESPN does decide it cant stand the heat, it could fill the time slot with an objective recounting of what passes for news in the NFL these days. worry more mirror, as pretend stuff on By John C. Cotey Si Petersburg Times Will Cougars coach Mike George be fired? After all, he didnt lead his team deep into the playoffs and has butted heads with the owner. Did Leon Taylor do enough in the final game to earn a contract offer for next season? Or will he move on to a career in television? Is the talented Demetrius Harris ever going to grow up? Im thinking a season looms if he does. Will linebacker Eric Olczyk get to see his child after it's bom? Will lineman Kelvin James die of complications from diabetes? Is Derek McConnell ever going to be healthy? Will we ever know the answers? It appears that answer is no.

According to several reports, the first originating in a New York Post gossip column, ESPN is unlikely to bring back its weekly series Playmakers, effectively folding the Cougars and cav- ing in to the NFL. ESPN denies it has made any decisions on Playmakers. Despite 2.2-million viewers per week, four times more than the network usually averages at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, the show may be done in after rebukes from NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and many players who say it casts the league in a negative light. Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie has said it is certainly a possibility" that the league could cut off ESPN because of the show.

Gatorade, an NFL partner, recently pulled its advertising, a nice kiss-up to the league. With the NFL television contract set to expire after 2005, and the NFL holding leverage with the launch of its own network, expect ESPN to do the leagues bidding and can the show. 0 PRO FOOTBALL ASSOCIATED PRESS Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana (right) congratulates former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott during a halftime ceremony Monday night in San Francisco to retire Lotts jersey. hearted denials of the report. Stubblefield and Romanowski, who are injured, did not play in the game and were not in the locker room afterward.

Thats something thats out there, Robbins said of the report. I havent been notified of that, and I dont believe that its right, the way its been handled, and thats all Im really going to say on that. Cooper said the questions were putting a damper on my night. According to an investigators report revealed last week by the San Francisco Chronicle, Romanowskis wife told Colorado authorities in 1999 that her husband, who then played for the Denver Broncos, had obtained human growth hormone from BALCO and injected it into his knee. Julie Romanowski made the statement to a Douglas County Sheriffs official and a U.S.

Drug Enforcement Administration agent who questioned her in an investigation into suspected prescription drug fraud, the newspaper said. Bill Romanowski was acquitted in Castle Rock, in 2001 on charges of illegally obtaining prescription diet pills. Romanowski, a Pro Bowl linebacker whose streak of 243 consecutive games was recently broken because of concussion problems, has been a longtime proponent of BALCO and Conte. He is quoted in the January 2000 issue of Muscular Development as saying, Victors the man. Among Romanowskis accomplishments are four Super Bowl rings.

But he has made waves too, spitting in the face of receiver J.J. Stokes on national TV, and this summer punching out Oakland teammate Marcus Williams at training camp, a one-sided fight that shattered Williams eye socket and possibly ended his career. By Sam Fanner Los Angeles Times Based on tests conducted in the NFL so far, a source familiar with the situation said Monday it seemed unlikely that the use of a recently identified designer steroid was widespread among players in the league. It is likely, according to the source, that the only positive results from the testing of existing samples will be those of the four Oakland Raiders revealed Sunday in media reports. An NFL spokesman declined to comment on the reports.

It is unclear how many samples the NFL has tested for THG, the designer steroid, but it is known that the league tested those of the 10 players who were summoned before a federal grand jury in San Francisco. The source said it was a fair assumption that six of those players had negative tests for the substance. The four who tested positive, revealed Sunday by CBS Sportsline, were Raiders Barret Robbins, Chris Cooper, Dana Stubblefield and Bill Romanow-ski. Other players subpoenaed were Oaklands Chris Hether-ington and Tyrone Wheatley, former Raider Josh Taves, the Kansas City Chiefs Johnnie Morton, the New England Patriots Larry Izzo, and the Atlanta Falcons Artie Ulmer. The grand jury is looking into Victor Conte and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) and investigating whether Conte laundered money from the sale of performance-enhancing drugs.

THG has been linked to the Burlingame, lab and is at the center of a widening sports scandal. The NFL, which has the strictest steroid policy of any professional sports league, performs random, year-round testing of its players for banned substances. The first steroid-related infraction means an automatic four-game suspension. When a player is tested, his urine is divided into A and samples. If the A sample tests positive for a banned substance, the player is informed and is allowed to be present with his attorney for the testing of the sample.

If the second test is positive, the player may appeal the mandatory suspension, which amounts to one-quarter of the season without pay. The source said the Raider players had tested positive in the first stage of the process and received letters informing them that their samples soon would be tested. I dont encourage or condone the use of steroids, Raiders coach Bill Callahan said in his Monday news conference. Not only as a father but as a coach in any regard. Its a serious matter.

I wish I had more information. And again, I dont have the full jurisdiction over this area because there is an ongoing federal investigation going on. When that is involved, its not my area. The league and the players union are still negotiating on how far back the league can go in testing samples. Harold Henderson, chairman of the leagues management council, met Monday with Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, to discuss the matter, and they are expected to continue talking this week.

On Sunday, after the Raiders had ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Vikings, Robbins and Cooper spoke briefly with reporters and issued half- Sports insider Compiled from staff and news services COLLEGE FOOTBALL Original Axe retired The original Paul Bunyan Axe, which is given annually to the winner of the football game between 'Wisconsin and Minnesota, is being donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, the two schools announced today. The Badgers and Golden Gophers have met on the gridiron 113 times, making it the most-played rivalry in Division I-A football. The axe, which legend says was wielded by lumberjack Paul Bunyan, was created in 1948 by the Wisconsin letterwinners organization (the National Club). Every year since then, the winner of the annual football game between the rivals kept the axe for display on its campus. The scores of every meeting are painted on the axes handle.

The 56-year-old trophy was becoming somewhat unstable, especially in light of the way it is handled today during celebrations by the winning school. Additionally, the axe handle was running out of room for future scores. As such, a new, sturdier axe was created by UWs Club hi 2000. The Golden Gophers earned possession of the fabled trophy this season after a 37-34 triumph in Minneapolis on Nov. 8.

Both schools will send a team helmet to the hall, which will be included in the exhibit. Additionally, the Badgers have a football that was used in the 1918 contest which will be donated. The Golden Gophers won that game 6-0. Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi said that within the next two weeks he intends to discuss a contract extension with football coach Glen Mason, who has three seasons remaining on his seven-year contract. I need to know what are his thoughts, Maturi first told the Star Tribune.

What does he believe can be accomplished here? What does he think that he needs to accomplish what he wants to accomplish? We do have some limitations that some other people dont have. He knows what they are, but are they so significant that we cant overcome them? Thats the discussion we have to have. Mason has said in the past that he has not sought a contract extension. The Gophers are at the bottom of the Big Ten in football budget and are at a major disadvantage without an on-campus stadium. PRO BASKETBALL NBA approves realignment The NBAs board of governors approved a realignment plan that creates three divisions of five teams each in the Eastern and Western conferences.

The Milwaukee Bucks will remain in the Central Division with Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Indiana. The expansion Charlotte Bobcats, the NBAs 30th team, were placed in the Eastern Conference and the New Orleans Hornets were moved to the Western Conference. The Hornets previously played in Charlotte before moving to New Orleans two seasons ago. Joining the new Charlotte franchise in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference will be Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Washington. Atlantic Division teams will be Boston, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.

New Orleans will play in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with Dallas, Houston, Memphis and San Antonio. The Northwest Division will have Denver, Minnesota, Portland, Seattle and Utah. The Pacific Division teams are Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix and Sacramento. Teams will play divisional opponents twice at home and twice on the road. They will play conference opponents outside their division three or four times, and teams from the other conference twice at home and away.

Divisional winners each earn a playoff berth. The remaining five playoff berths for each conference will be based on regular-season records with no regard to divisional alignment. Home-court advantage throughout the playoffs will be based solely on regular-season records. That means a divisional winner will not necessarily have home court advantage in the playoff series. The losing streak keeps growing for the Orlando Magic.

Doc Rivers tenure as coach is over. Rivers was fired after the Magic dropped their 10th game in a row Monday night, blowing a 13-point lead in a 90-88 loss at Utah. He was replaced by assistant Johnny Davis, who coached Philadelphia during the 1996-97 season. Orlando hasnt won since opening night, and its 1-10 record is the worst in the NBA Owens, 49ers hit rhythm BASEBALL Timlin backs Littles call Mike Timlin didnt doubt manager Grady Little while sitting in the bullpen, waiting for the phone to ring, and he isnt going to start now. Im not going to second-guess what Grady did there, Timlin said during a conference call to discuss his new contract with the Red Sox.

He was between a rock and a hard place. I guarantee theres no person in this country who would want to sit in that seat and make that decision. Timlin, who agreed to a one-year deal with an option for a guaranteed $2.75 million, was Bostons most reliable reliever last season. But Little elected not to use him in Game 7 of the ALCS in relief of fading starter Pedro Martinez, and the Red Sox blew a 5-2 eighth-inning lead. HOCKEY Oilers sign Oates, 41 Adam Oates returned to the NHL, signing a one-year, 1 .95 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers as unrestricted free agent.

The 41 -year-old center became a free agent June 30 when Anaheim decided not to pick up his $3.5 million option for this season. Colorado forward Paul Kariya is out indefinitely with a wrist injury and center Peter Forsberg will miss tonights game against Anaheim because of a groin injury. Penguins career scoring leader Mario Lemieux will miss at least three more games because of an injured right hip that already has sidelined him for more than two weeks. ODDS AND ENDS McGwire digs the long ball Mark McGwire can still go deep and hes pretty good around the greens, too. The former baseball star won the ADT Skills Challenge in Boca Raton, beating Greg Norman and other top professional golfers.

McGwire won the long drive event at 319 yards, and clinched the victory over Norman in the last skill, hitting a short iron within 21 inches of the hole. McGwire finished with $92,500. An amateur in golf, he will donate the money to Cardinals Care. Im sort of out of my element but Ive taken golf pretty seriously these last two years, he said. Im an athlete and I wanted to be competitive.

UW SPORTS Badgers forward Jake Dowell, a freshman from Eau Claire, earned his second straight Western Collegiate Hockey Association rookie of the week award. The UW mens hockey game against Colorado College at the Kohl Center on Saturday has been moved back to 8 p.m. to accommodate the late start of the Badgers football game vs. Iowa. QUOTE, UNQUOTE One individual honored at the White House Monday was John Gagliardi of Division III St.

Johns in Minnesota, who recently became the winningest coach in college football history. President George W. Bush, after learning that Gagliardis son, Jim, was the teams offensive coordinator, said: I kind of like a guy who follows in his fathers footsteps. TODAYS TRIVIA How did the quote, The opera aint over until the fat lady sings," get into sports lexicon? Answer in Scorecard, 8D. Associated Press Before Terrell Owens disappeared down the stairs to the locker room, he thrilled the San Francisco 49ers fans one more time by raising his arms in the signal for a touchdown.

Owens kept his celebrations simple this time and his play only a few scrapes and a strained left shoulder. Williams expects to play this week as Buffalo hosts Indianapolis. A new Mirer? Given his history in the NFL, Rick Mirer hardly seemed the candidate to steady an Oakland Raiders offense thats been among the leagues most erratic this year. Yet Mirer, a 33-year-old veteran of six teams in 11 seasons, has been a model of efficiency since taking over for Rich Gannon and Marques Tuiasosopo, both out with season-ending injuries. Mirer has completed 71 percent of his passes 27-for-38 for 381 yards and one touchdown in going 1-1 as the was simply beautiful.

Owens had a 6 1 -y a rd touchdown catch among his eight receptions for 155 yards, and Tim Rattay went 21-of-27 for 254 yards in the 49ers 30-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in San Francisco. Hes so big and strong that when they have to single him, its a mismatch, Rattay said. We did a good job calling plays ASSOCIATED PRESS Steelers receiver Hines Ward strains to hold on to a third-quarter catch Monday. starter. Im a little older and a little wiser, maybe, said Mirer, who was drafted second overall by Seattle in 1993 and was rookie of the year but later cycled through Chicago, Green Bay, the New York Jets and San Francisco before settling in Oakland.

for him. After Owens accelerated past Chad Scott to catch Rattays perfect pass on the 49ers second drive of the night, he didnt produce a pen from his sock or grab a cheerleaders pompoms. He simply did a pirouette and broke into a rather conservative dance. In the third quarter, Kevan Barlow broke through the line on a 78-yard touchdown run but Owens paved the way by blocking two Pittsburgh defensive backs in the final yards. Tommy Maddox was 25-of-44for 327 yards for Pittsburgh (3-7), which lost its sixth Tim Dwight remained hospitalized in Denver with a partially collapsed lung sustained Sunday in a 37-8 loss to the Broncos.

Dwight, who is expected to return to San Diego on Wednesday, suffered a collapsed lung in 2001 and missed six games. Scare for Bills tackle: Mike Williams found some perspective after spending 20 minutes trapped upside-down waiting for emergency crews to rescue him from the cab of his overturned pickup truck. The one-car accident occurred as Williams was on his way to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the game. The Bills starting right tackle considered himself fortunate to walk away with Extra points: Washington Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey has been playing all season with a broken bone in his right foot, an old fracture thats hampering his mobility. Minnesota Vikings rookie defensive tackle Kevin Williams was arrested around midnight Thursday on a drunken driving charge, according to Edina (Minn.) police.

Tennessee defensive end Jevon Kearse has a high sprain of his left ankle, good news for the Titans because he heard clicking in the joint after being hurt Sunday. in seven games. Dwight hospitalized: San Diego Chargers wide receiver I A.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Capital Times
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Capital Times Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: