3-Pointer By Gary Whittaker

by : Gary Whittaker

1st Point: The ABC's of Sex and Football

The No Fun League is back in the news again, and earning their nickname. In a cross promotional effort between Monday Night Football and Desperate Housewives, ABC has gotten major flack after airing a 'steamy' intro before Monday Night's game between Terrell Owens and actress Nicollette Sheridan. ABC already has a 5 second delay in place after the infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' involving Janet Jackson during the Super Bowl halftime show. This, however, was a pre-taped, approved video segment. Officials at the NFL have said that the segment was inappropriate and unsuitable for their Monday Night Audience.

2nd Point: Kobe vs Shaq update Part 1

Let's check into the Kobe-Shaq situation after a few weeks into the league. Kobe has the Lakers playing .500 basketball, but don't let that record fool you. They have only beaten struggling teams in the Nuggets or the Rockets, or just plain pathetic teams like the Hawks or the Hornets. They have been beaten by any quality opposition. Kobe leads the team in minutes at 41.3, points at 28.3 and assists at 4.6. He has also shown that he is the offense general on the court, but just not good enough to win games against the good teams. As for Shaq, who has been bothered by a nagging injury, has the Heat leading the albeit weak, Southeast division at 5-3, although they too have lost to quality opposition. Shaq had the benefit of opening the season with the Nets, and then playing the Wizards twice. In points, Shaq is behind Wade's 25.5 ppg with his own 18.8, but is dominated the boards as expected with 11.9. It is still early, but I would say that Shaq has the early lead on Kobe. Simply put, everyone knows that Kobe is one of the best players in the game, but Shaq can change any ball game, and makes his teammates better. Expect the lead to widen as the season progresses.

3-Pointer: NHL owners exaggerated losses!

We said this before, and we will say it again. The health of a league is in direct relation to the television contracts they are able to sign. An increase in demand will create an increase in interest, which will create an increase in merchandise. That the prices are already out of reach for the average fan is of little importance to the bottom line. There is enough demand for most teams today to generate decent revenue from the gate and concessions sales. However, the latest television contract shows that the league is not healthy, and the players need to recognize that fact and concede. The NHLPA and player agents would have us (the few of us that still care) believe that they are fighting for Joe middleman. That with the proposed cap of 31 million dollars per year for a 24 (about) man roster will hurt the 3 and 4 line players that earn an average of 1.6 million dollars a year today, especially when you factor into the 31 million insurance and other miscellaneous costs that are included, and that high end players will still be making a larger share, that only leaves a much smaller amount of money to pool to about 12 to 16 guys. We say, 'So What!'. Is it better that the league fold altogether and re-open with so-called SCAB players? The players' agents claim to be united, and say that they will not represent any players that join the NHL under those conditions. Again we say, 'So What!' This is a capitalistic society, and as such, some other agencies will step up, or be created to do just that. The NHL owners may have exaggerated losses, but they have not exaggerated the condition of the league, nor is it wrong for them to want to make a profit. The cap does not have to be 31 million. that is a starting point for the owners. They need to get back to the table, and work at something so that the NHL can get back to doing what they need to do, before hockey teams in the US start to fold.