Cowboys’ Jones on TV, on the road
Dallas owner talks about HBO show, travel plans, football
1 Ari Gold will not become the owner of the new Los Angeles NFL franchise, television sources tell me. A source said the fictitious super agent on “Entourage” will get the fictitious bad news in a couple of weeks. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who had a few scenes on a recent episode of the HBO hit and suggested Gold become an NFL owner in L.A., kidded during Friday’s press conference about Ari’s chances, “We’ve suffered a setback.”
Jones didn’t say how he spent the $70 scale pay he received for his one day of filming in Burbank, Calif. Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys head publicist and a huge Pittsburgh baseball fan, had no speaking part but was on camera and said being on the “Entourage” set was like “being with the ’71 Pirates.”
2 Good for Nick Saban for blasting unscrupulous, money-hungry agents. Oh, wait. Isn’t that the pot calling … oh, never mind. The Alabama coach is angry, mostly because he has a player in the crossfire. The problem is with the 39 states that have laws against agents buying amateur athletes but don’t have the will or the wherewithal to prosecute them. The main reason is this: the schools don’t really want to be involved in the prosecution either because of the consequences their programs could suffer. Bottom line: no one’s interested in holding their feet to the fire, so instead everybody just complains.
3 Congrats to Rudy Davalos for being inducted recently into the athletic directors’ hall of fame. The former Houston, Texas-San Antonio and New Mexico boss didn’t give a speech, which was smart, he said, “because we get more boring as we grow older.”
4 Circle Aug. 14 on your calendar. That’s when the Packers host the Browns at Lambeau Field in the preseason opener for both teams.
The third-string quarterbacks for the two teams are Colt McCoy and former Texas Tech thrower Graham Harrell, who would figure to get a ton of the snaps. Colt may miss Jordan Shipley, but at least Michael Crabtree won’t be playing for the other team this time.
5 Jerry Jones reminds all the critics of the Cowboys’ expansive travel plans this summer — taking the team to San Antonio, Canton, Ohio and Oxnard, Calif. — that two of his Super Bowl teams took trips to Tokyo (lost to Houston) and London (tied Detroit) during those seasons. Funny, Aikman, Irvin and Smith might have been immune to exhaustion.
6 Bet you didn’t know tennis is the nation’s fastest-growing traditional sport, with 43 percent growth over the past decade. Much of the credit goes to the U.S. Tennis Association’s no-cut program in more than 3,300 high school programs and a QuickStart program fostered by Andy Roddick, among others.
7 Former Longhorn backstopper Taylor Teagarden has been recalled by the Rangers and will catch every two games to Benji Molina’s three or four games despite starting the season with only an infield single in 27 at-bats. “My confidence is back,” said Teagarden, who only hit .242 with three homers and 32 RBIs at Double-A Frisco. “I got outside myself and got off to a bad start, and it was hard to reverse. I’ve worked mostly on my hands, keeping them very loose and not so rigid and jerky.”
He’s hit everywhere he’s been. He batted .319 with six homers in his rookie season in 2008, but has to make contact considerably more often than his awful 112 strikeouts in 272 career at-bats. Asked if he’d seen enough to think Teagarden had ended his troubles, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said, “No, but we put a premium on (defensive skills).”
8 Even though Cowboys Stadium will lose out on more Big 12 football championship games after the last one ever this December, don’t fret. Jones will actively recruit other college football games. “It’ll be important to shake out all the opportunities for significant college games,” he said. Asked if that could include future Longhorn games, he said, “I can’t say in what form that’s going to take.”
9 It’s appropriate that baseball has finally gotten around to random blood testing for the use of human growth hormone. But at the minor-league level? Really? Yeah, that’s where the problem is. Those cheating minor-leaguers. Obviously, they are not part of the players’ association under the current collective bargaining agreement. Wake me when the major-league players agree to it.
One crazy prediction:
With a great veteran quarterback in Donovan McNabb and a quality head coach in Mike Shanahan, the Washington Redskins will reach the Super Bowl. Remember, its defense ranked 10th last year in a 4-12 season, with eight of the losses by nine points or fewer.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban (holding the national championship trophy at the end of last season) has taken player agents to task.