Bad deeds, bad dudes, bad choices
By Chris Connelly
Special to Page 2

Since it's my job on air to ask questions instead of answer them, I thought I'd pose a few here for a change, at least while I try to deal with the mild misfortune that one of my absolute favorite actresses is going through (for those of you unfortunate enough not to live on the Left Coast, I am saddened to report that Winona Ryder was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting $5,000 worth of elegant stuff from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills) ...

Dan Issel
Dan Issel doesn't seem like a guy enjoying his job.
He doesn't seem to like some of the players he's got, he doesn't seem to enjoy the way the team's been playing, he certainly doesn't seem to think much of some of the team's fans -- so why does Dan Issel want to coach the Denver Nuggets in the first place? In fact, given that he's not exactly done Wooden-esque work of late, might he have counter-intuitively bought himself some time with his ethno-profane outburst, so that the Nuggets don't look as if they're letting one transgression outweigh his years of service to the franchise?

Certainly, when Nick Van Exel is trying to hold things together, we're talking about a first-ballot choice for the Irony Hall of Fame. Issel, it must be noted, appeared to be genuinely remorseful at his press conference. But while he shouldn't be fired, he should be suspended until the beginning of Lent.

Speaking as someone who enjoyed "Reality Bites" (Free Winona!), isn't declaring yourself a slacker just a bit too early '90s at this point ... especially if, like Randy Moss, you've just been on the receiving end of a signing bonus in the range of $18 million? (That was the approximate budget of "Reality Bites," come to think of it. Free Winona!) Sure it is, but e-freaking-nuff already with all the shocked, shocked reactions to Moss' comments that he gives 100 percent on the playing field less than 100 percent of the time. Try watching any player in the NFL for an entire game, and you'll see that Randy's just saying out loud what most players are doing.

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder's got herself in trouble, but not as much as ...
Not only that, but the context of his remarks certainly suggested to me that his supposed defiance had more in common with the no-one-can-guard-me-no-one-can-stop-me-one-on-one bravado that so many wideouts develop, since they're so utterly dependent on the trust of their coaches and the arms of their QB.

All the same, the Vikings fined Moss 15 grand ... not for any of the above, but for rudely demanding that a corporate sponsor move to the back of the team bus. Does that sound like a class parable or what? Only the Vikings would try to turn a corporate guy -- what's he doing on the team bus, anyway? -- into the second coming of Rosa Parks. Get those guys off the bus! I'm with Randy on this one.

(Isn't there a small town in Minnesota called Winona? Sorry...)

Here's another question: Why can't I summon up any love for Carl Everett? The Red Sox traded Everett to the Texas Rangers for Darren Oliver, though it seems as if the Sox would have traded him for either Darren from "Bewitched."

"This is a celebration for Carl," Everett's agent told the Boston Globe. "He's an outdoorsman." Well, using the Sox's cramped clubhouse to battle with teammates, managers and the media certainly make it clear that Carl wasn't much of an indoorsman. He won't be missed in Boston ... but boy, will he be remembered.

Nate Newton
... former Cowboy Nate Newton.
(Did I mention that as a young girl, she had such a crush on the Dodgers' second baseman that she used to write "Winona Sax" on her schoolbooks? Or that she wanted to name one of her first children "Cool Papa"? Free Winona!)

And then we have Nate Newton, once again caught by law enforcement with -- allegedly! -- a large quantity of marijuana. Last month, it was 213 pounds; this week it was 173. From 213 lbs to 173 lbs in five weeks: So the question is: Why can't I do that? The last time anyone in the NFL went from 213 to 173 in five weeks, they were Slim-Fasting head coaches who'd been drinking two shakes a day and then eating a sensible dinner.

Nate's lawyer, it should be noted, says that Newton is innocent of all the charges. So let's give Nate a fair shake. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. But first ... Free Winona!

Chris Connelly writes a weekly column for Page 2. "Unscripted with Chris Connelly," the TV show airs at 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday on ESPN.



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