Party of Five surveys our options

Originally Published: August 2, 2011
Page 2

CartoonKurt Snibbe/ESPN.com

Welcome to another edition of Page 2's Party of Five, where five writers tackle five questions that the world needs answered right now.

(Or later, depending on how much time you have to kill.)

Today, we'll discuss Randy Moss' retirement, Mike Krzyzewski's alleged recruiting violation, Plaxico Burress, more Dodgers chatter and Kobe Bryant's defense of LeBron James.

1. Randy Moss says he is retiring. How will he be remembered?

Patrick Dorsey: There are plenty of memories (shameless plug alert!), but there's one that rises above the rest, one glorious utterance that shall remain in our phraseology forever. In fact, when asked how we'll pay off our debt to China, I expect John Boehner to use it himself: "Straight cash, homey."

Vincent Thomas: Best receiver of his generation. Most talented player of his generation. And a proud champion … of cornrows.

Paul Lukas: As the only player in memory who played for three teams in one season (and it probably would've been more if he'd just said a few more outlandish things).

Dave Wilson: I think he'll be remembered as just a good ol' boy, never meanin' no harm. He beat all you've ever saw, but had been in trouble with the law since the day he was born.

DJ Gallo: Straight class, homey.


2. Mike Krzyzewski might have committed a recruiting violation when he talked to a high school player by phone while the player was traveling with his AAU team. Duke is seeking a clarification on the rule. What do you think the NCAA will say?

Dorsey: After a wave of the hand by Obi-Wan Krzyzewski: "We don't need to see his identification. … These aren't the droids we're looking for. … You can go about your business. … Move along. Move along."

Thomas: I don't much care what the NCAA has to say. I'm an NCAA hater. They start talking and it triggers my gag reflex. I mean, "NCAA bylaw 13.1.3.2.2" -- the more periods, the more arcane. Just kill me now. I do, however, want to hear what Coach K has to say. He's an OG, right? And the Poythress kid called him, right? I say he (and/or Duke) should employ the evasive logic of a defiantly philandering husband: "Hey, I just answered the phone."

Lukas: They'll tell Coach K to contact the kid through his shoe rep, like everyone else does.

Wilson: The NCAA likely will convene an emergency meeting, where it will see the fallacy of the rule that Coach K so generously exposed.

Gallo: The NCAA should let UNC fans decide Coach K's punishment. It might not be the fairest decision, but it would definitely be the most entertaining.


3. The New York Jets snapped up Plaxico Burress in free agency. How will this pairing work out?

Dorsey: It certainly could go well. But imagine the head start they'd have gotten if, months ago, Rex Ryan had slipped Plax a playbook baked into a cake.

Thomas: I hear Plax likes feet, too. They'll get along swimmingly.

Lukas: Can the "Plax and Rex" reality show be far behind?

Wilson: I don't see how this wouldn't work out perfectly. I mean, Ryan asked Santonio Holmes, who hasn't played with Burress before, if he would recommend him after he's been in prison and not on a football field since 2008. And Holmes said yes and showed him a supportive wristband, which was good enough for Rex. So it sounds as if he's done all his homework.

Gallo: Fine, as long as Burress doesn't accidentally shoot himself in the foot. There is nothing Rex Ryan hates more than violence toward feet.


4. Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff says he hopes Frank McCourt will sell the Dodgers "for the good of baseball." Will this affect McCourt's thinking?

Dorsey: For the good of baseball? At this point, he should trade the team to Wolff for some MC Hammer bobbleheads.

Thomas: Cronyism at its worst. Wolff and MLB commish Bud Selig pledged Pi Lambda Phi at Wisconsin -- total frat-bro hating going on here.

Lukas: They don't make A's owners like they used to. Charlie Finley would've said, "Yo, Frank, that wife of yours might like a bucket of this stuff my mule just produced."

Wilson: I think this could be the turning of the tide in this saga. When Lew Wolff speaks, people listen. And then they say things like, "Wait, who's Lew Wolff?"

Gallo: Until Lew Wolff buys homes all over the world that he can't afford, he should butt out because he can't relate to what McCourt is going through.


5. Kobe Bryant defended LeBron James in an interview this week, saying, "people need to lay off that kid" and "let him live his life, let him make his decisions." Do you think people will heed Kobe's advice?

Dorsey: Typical video trickery. In the unedited version, Kobe said: "People need to lay off that kid. No, I mean the Heat need to actually lay him off … so they can finally score in the fourth quarter! Zing! Thank you, thank you. I'll be at the Laugh Factory Hollywood this Friday night. Be sure and come on out!"

Thomas: "That kid." That reference right there said it all. Later he'd say people need to let him "mature as a player." Doesn't sound like the way one refers to a peer, a rival. Typical Kobe Smug. He probably asked George Smith something off-camera like, "I mean, does the kid still bite his nails?" You gotta love and hate it equally.

Lukas: Probable translation: "I have five rings, he has none. And I'll keep saying nice things about him as long as that's the case."

Wilson: Sure, they'll listen. This is like Mother Teresa making a plea, or Sarah McLachlan asking you to save the dogs. They're all universally beloved figures. And coming to LeBron's defense will only help Kobe's popularity continue to rise.

Gallo: Kobe sympathizes because he knows what it's like to be criticized from all sides. By the way, Kobe probably blew it a few years ago when he chose not to announce his innocence via a 1-hour television special.

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