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Sunday, August 29, 2010
How can football be in financial trouble?

By Jerry Greene
Special to Page 2

Put those boring practices and most of the preseason games behind us! Real football is beginning, and we are giddy.

Not that much makes us giddy anymore. The list is short: the girls of "True Blood," a fresh eclair and, of course, real football. But we are worried about the financial status of our beloved sport at both the NFL and collegiate levels.

Forbes announced its annual evaluation of the financial worth of every NFL team. (And don't you love how we just take it for granted that they didn't make it up?) What caught our eye was Jacksonville. The Jaguars reportedly are the least valuable franchise -- at $725 million.

Uh, no offense, but if you had $725 million just lying around, would you use it to buy the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Neither would we.

Meanwhile, the NCAA released a report that said "just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year."

That sounds bad. And we can neither confirm nor deny that the NCAA has asked Reggie Bush for a few tips on turning it around.

Not our problem, however. We can just sit back and enjoy.

While the main courses for today's brunch are simmering, we'll offer a few bits of tid for your pleasure:

• NBA veteran Eddie House explained what playing for the Miami Heat will be like: "This is going to be Boston on steroids." Chances are that's not exactly the way NBA commissioner David Stern would phrase it.

• Hey, Stephen Strasburg, if you think the Washington Nationals may have rushed the start of your major league career, raise your right hand.

• David Letterman on Roger Clemens: "Apparently this guy went before Congress and was lying to them, and I was thinking, 'What does this guy think he's doing, running an oil company?'"

• Psst. Hey, Jim Furyk, WAKE UP!

• EA Sports has added something to its "NHL 11" video game: restricted and unrestricted free agency, just as they are under the real collective bargaining agreement. Wow, that sounds like fun.

• David Letterman II: "Tiger Woods' divorce is final, and his wife -- a beautiful woman, by the way, Elin Nordegren is her name -- is quite a catch. She's young; she's beautiful; she leads the PGA in earnings."

• Look up "disgruntled" in the dictionary, and you'll see a mug shot of Cowboys coach Wade Phillips on the sideline.

• And here's the final word from United Football League commissioner Michael Huyghue about the NFL labor situation: "I believe there is going to be a lookout [in 2011] and we're going to be the only professional football out there." Get your Las Vegas Locomotives season tickets now.

Hey, there's the dinner bell. Time for the main courses on the Brunch:

• We mentioned Coach Phillips' mood. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News tells us more after that disquieting 23-7 loss to the Houston Texans. Phillips was upset -- not Rex Ryan upset, but so upset that he might not give his starters their traditional week off for the final preseason game.

• We seem to have a minitheme this morning with controversial coaches. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press seeks to understand Michigan's Rich Rodriguez via an extensive Q-and-A. Stick 'til the end and learn what Rodriguez means when he says "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."

• What's up with Tiger Woods? Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times takes a long look and shows us that Woods' new mantra has been reduced to this: "It's a process." Sounds like how most mere mortals have to deal with golf -- and life.

• Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post looks at fastball pitchers and wonders about guys who "throw smoke, throw gas, throw cheese." Most of all, he wonders about the allure of the triple-digit pitch that lights up our radar guns.

• We'll close with the latest edition of Miami Herald writer Greg Cote's Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog. He discusses the growing anger of public officials at the Florida Marlins for what appears to be imaginative bookkeeping. And if you search deep enough, he lists what Rolling Stone considers the top 10 Beatles songs of all time. "A Day In the Life" is No. 1? Are they kidding or what?

Jerry Greene is a retired sports columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at

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