NFL Free Agency

Still riding the high of both basketball teams’ recent successes, I have almost been oblivious to the sports world outside of Vermont. I happen to turn on the television this morning and am smack right in the middle of John Madden being interviewed by Dan Patrick. I guess no longer are only players becoming free agents; I mean, thesedays, even coaches are being traded for and announcers are being lured away by other suitors. Ok, slow down, one thing at a time. John Gruden was basically traded away by the Raiders? Tampa Bay gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, eight million dollars cash and basically a winning record for the next four years. In case the Bucs don’t realize, they are very short on offensive firepower and by giving away their future in picks, it isn’t going to get any better soon. You can’t rely on defense all the time (just ask the Baltimore Ravens), and even though everyone in the NFL thinks Gruden is some offensive guru who can turn this ship around, he is going to need to fix a few leaks first. With his new contract, Gruden will be making $3.5 million a year, which is probably more than what three-quarters of the roster is making. His big salary will soon run into The Big Ego, a.k.a. Keyshawn Johnson. I don’t know what I would rather watch: Gruden and Keyshawn arguing over a fourth down play call or the proposed Pay-Per-View boxing match between Tony Harding and Amy Fisher? On to topic two: Madden entering the Monday Night Football booth. Is ABC crazy, or are they just trying to keep up with CBS and have their own reality TV show like Survivor and see how long it takes America to throw MNF off the air? Listening to John Madden call a game is almost as upsetting as losing your fake ID. The only thing that he is good at analyzing is the parking lot tailgate party; I mean, how many times can I listen to him talk about cooking sausages on the top of Nate Newton’s steaming head? Madden might as well face it; he will never live up to the same standards they we have all come to expect from his video games. Next thing you know, they will probably just fire Melissa Stark while they are at it and have Erik Dickerson and his monotone breakdown cover both teams.Ben Dickie is a weekly columnist for the Cynic and can be reached at [email protected]