Sports Notes — February 7, 2010

February 7th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

Kansas City Chief Brian Waters Wins Man of the YearChiefs’ Waters Wins Award
Congratulations to Brian Waters, winner of this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Waters is a leader on and off the field. A very good player, and by all accounts, and even better person. Waters is the fifth Chief to win the award following linebacker Willie Lanier (1972), quarterback Len Dawson (1973), linebacker Derrick Thomas (1993) and guard Will Shields (2003). That’s more than any other team in the league. Here’s the story in the Star.

Super Bowl
I’m looking forward to today’s game more than any other in recent years. We’ll be watching Peyton Manning quarterback in his second Super Bowl. A win today and Manning enters the discussion as possibly the best quarterback to ever play the game. I’d already put him in the top five. But another win or two in a Super Bowl and he probably jumps to number one in my book.

And then there’s the Saints. What a great feelgood story. New Orleans suffered through so many years of really bad teams. I’m happy for the city. Drew Brees is the second best quarterback in the league right now behind Manning. And probably my favorite player who’s not a Chief. The Saints run an offense where they share the ball and make plays all over the field. New Orleans were number one in the league in total offense with more than 400 yards per game. And the Saints had seven players with at least 35 receptions.

You would expect a shootout between these two teams, but I really expect both defenses to make enough plays to keep this interesting. The offenses will keep this game entertaining. I’ve been on the Colts / Saints bandwagon for weeks. Nice to see that I can finally get one right.

Prediction: Colts 31, Saints 28

Collective Bargaining Agreement
The amount of posturing going on right now between the league and the player’s association is amazing. While this is a storyline that should interest all football fans, it’s really too early to take anything they say to heart. People are already predicting a lockout in 2011. That’s NEXT year! Deals never get done till the last minute. Don’t take anything you hear too seriously.

The owners have been unhappy with the last couple of extensions to the existing agreement, and appear ready to take a harder stance. The economics of the game need to be changed for the league to continue to thrive. Believe it or not, many teams are struggling financially under the current system, and need the players to take a smaller piece of the pie. Right now the players make approximately 60% of the revenues.

From a fan’s point of view, I’d really like to see the NFL implement a system like the NBA where the salaries of draft picks are automatically slotted. There’s no reason a player should ever holdout for more money. Or a team should balk at paying a rookie they drafted. Holdouts hurt the player AND the team.

In negotiations, if you want something, you typically have to give something up. And I’d be fine with teams giving up the franchise tag. Players hate it. Good teams should be able to get their players resigned without the threat of the franchise tag. And players hate it. Or possibly the NFL could look into some type of guaranteed contracts for players chosen in the first few rounds.


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