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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Focusing

Tuesday
December 6, 2005

Free time has been scant as of late. This past weekend, I went to Orlando to visit my friends Adam and Amanda, and to attend Adam's 30th birthday party (on Saturday night.) It was a fun time. We had a beer tasting, played some Jeopardy! (which my team won, thanks in part to my knowledge of NFL stadium names), and finally ended things with a game of No Limit Texas Hold 'Em (I was knocked out when my flush to a Jack was bested by a flush to a Queen when I was all in.) Tough break, but so it goes. It was fun to play a house game of the poker thriller. Plus, even though I was knocked out midway through, I was still able to watch the second half of Florida State's shocking win over Virginia Tech.

It will be USC vs. Texas in the Rose Bowl. For once, there's a college football national championship game that people can agree on, though I'd trade that for a playoff system. It's comical to hear people talk about how playoffs would be too taxing on the "student-athletes" (what a joke that label is in many cases), yet football on every level but Division I-A can pull it off without trouble. Anyway, I'll pipe down (for now) about that, and look forward to what should be a very intriguing matchup. Some people have called Vince Young the "X-factor" going into the game, but the real key will be how well Texas' defense can match up against the high-powered USC offense.

The Colts are 12-0, and that's some sweet action. This is "the year" for the team to win it all, and hopefully they can knock down the final four regular season games to have a shot to silence the 1972 Dolphins once and for all. It's not an easy stretch run, particularly when you think about their game at Seattle in two weeks and how Seattle crushed Philadelphia 42-0 on Monday Night Football last night.

At the end of NFL Primetime on ESPN last night, Chris Berman alluded to the fact that the program won't be airing (at least in that form) on ESPN beginning next year. My question is: why not?!? Yes, NBC will have the Sunday Night games, but TNT had half of the Sunday night games in the early 90s (going through 1994, I believe), and ESPN still had NFL Primetime when TNT had the game on its network that night. If the NFL has ABC/ESPN by the balls to the point where it can force them to move NFL Primetime's timeslot... well, that's a sad state of affairs.

But then again, it's rumored that the NFL used its clout to convince ESPN to drop the show Playmakers after just one year... so it wouldn't surprise me.

My friend Brook Gardiner played a role in the NFL vs. Terrell Owens case. He works at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP in Washington, DC, and he helped on the side of the Eagles and the NFL (which, incidentally, was the winning side.) Here's a description, from the company's press release:

Akin Gump Defeats Terrell Owens' Grievance
"Congratulations to Dan Nash, Paul Mirengoff, David Socie and Brook Gardiner (Washington), who represented the Eagles and the NFL in successfully defeating Owens' grievance. The arbitrator ruled that the club was justified in disciplining the player for four games and then making the decision that it was not in the team's best interest to field a player for the rest of the season who was intent on disrupting the club."

Not too shabby, eh?


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