David Steele -- Points after

The Baltimore Sun

Every NFL veteran apparently was appalled at the guaranteed $34.5 million the Atlanta Falcons are giving Matt Ryan, but at least one person had to be rubbing his hands together giddily at the money thrown at the first quarterback drafted. That would be the second quarterback drafted, the Ravens' Joe Flacco.

Not to defend a pitcher going headhunting, but in the case of the New York Yankees' LaTroy Hawkins vs. the Orioles' Luke Scott, one has to defer to Bob Uecker's announcer character in Major League. To paraphrase: "'Bout time, it's 10-0."

This year, Kobe Bryant saving up all his scoring until the second half when his team was down by 20 is what made him the Most Valuable Player. In past years, refusing to shoot for an entire half to prove some petty point was what made him the most selfish athlete in sports.

It's pretty obvious by now, isn't it, that the NBA age limit wasn't in effect when O.J. Mayo started getting money, so he had no reason to think he was going to endanger eligibility at a school he had no plans to attend. Isn't it?

If Mets manager Willie Randolph hadn't apologized when he did, the next thing we would have heard were tapes of his former pastor's sermons.

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