I will attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction Ceremony next Saturday afternoon. Junior Seau would have made a great speech, but his suicide plus his family suing the NFL for CTE would have made the speech somewhat awkward. However, In reality the NFL wanted to cut the speeches down to reasonable time because they didn’t want the ceremony to drag on all night. The NFL wanted to eliminate induction speeches for those who are no longer alive, and show highlights of their career. Sydney Seau wanted to deliver a speech to honor her father, but with the NFL’s policy it is not going to happen. The Seau family will not disrupt the ceremony, but I am hoping that the NFL can reach a compromise and let her speak to honor her father. The NFL did come to compromise and will let Sydney Seau speak after the bust is unveiled, and have a video tribute.
It was just announced this afternoon that Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell suspension for a drug arrest during the 2014 pre season has been reduced from 3 games to 2. Bell will be available for the week three game against the St Louis Rams, and it will be a big help for the Steelers earlier in the season. Bell put the Steelers in a bind with his arrest and now with the reduction of the suspension it will help the running game get better quickly. DeAngelo Williams will likely start the first two games, and when Bell returns he will be the complementary back the Steelers brought him in for.
They have been reports that Jay Paterno was trying to get coaching gigs at Ohio State and other places as well. The last time anyone heard from him was a few months ago when he wrote a book and promoted it on radio stations. With the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, and the same scandal that got Joe Paterno his job Another reason would be Jay is not a good coach and no university wants his baggage. Urban Meyer and other head coaches realized that it would be a mistake. Jay Paterno is damaged goods and has no business coaching a Division One football program anytime soon.
I read that the men’s team that lost in the World Cup in the early rounds makes $8 million dollars while the U.S Women team that won the World Cup made $2 million dollars. These athletes practiced and sacrificed so much just like their male counterparts plus suffering injuries, but they are not making the money. I am hoping that FIFA and their new leadership would equal the pay scale between men and women. What will the women do after winning the World Cup well there is a 10 city tour remainder of the NWSL season, and preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. BTW, the first stop is at Heinz Field on August 16th against Costa Rica they have over 30,000 tickets sold.
NY Giants Jason Pierre-Paul was all set to get a big payday before the NFL season, but some went terribly wrong. He suffered a hand injury on July 4th for setting off fireworks. He had his right index finger amputated and suffered multiple fractures in his thumb. He will be sidelined for six weeks and the Giants pulled the big contract of 6 years/$60 million dollars off the table. He didn’t sign his one year franchise tag of $14.8 million, and there have been questions of his maturity after this incident. Pierre-Paul has not made any statement about what happened, and this will cost him a big money deal because this injury could hamper his ability to rush the passer. He is lucky that the injury is not career ending and it questioned his reliability to his Giants teammates.
As much fun as the U.S Women winning the World Cup was, but FIFA threw some shade on the trophy presentation. They have models in skimpy black dresses handing out the medals. This is the same organization that in 2004 wanted women to wear tighter uniforms. It bothers me that FIFA still treated women soccer like second class citizens. The reason is that Sepp Blatter made those suggestions, and whomever is the next president of FIFA will made better decisions in regarding women soccer. Disappointing as that was it could not ruined what happened on Sunday because FOX got huge ratings for the World Cup Final against Japan, and today they had 10,000 at a victory rally in Los Angeles. This Friday they will have a parade down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.
I have the chance to watch the U.S Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup with a 5-2 win over Japan. This tournament started off slow for the U.S. with the offense stagnating, but the defense was outstanding led by goalie Hope Solo and a sterling defense led by Julie Johnson. The offense finally went to life went Head Coach Jill Ellis went to a 4-4-2 due to suspension of Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe for the quarterfinal game against China. They stick to it against Germany in the semifinal and Carli Lloyd scored the first goal in a 2-0 win. Lloyd made history in the final scoring a hat trick in the first 16 minutes, and she won the Golden Ball as the MVP. Solo won the Golden Glove as the outstanding goalie of the World Cup, and the U.S won the World Cup for the third time. It was their first World Cup title since 1999, and the 2015 team has now cemented their own legacy.
There is a new golden age of women’s sports and it is getting the attention of fans and media. There was a discussion on Fox Sports 1’s American Pregame about this issue. With the successes of the U.S Women’s soccer team, Danica Patrick, and Ronda Rousey there is a lot of coverage of them, However there is one question will that coverage translated into long-term success financially. Will the soccer team success will make the NWSL viable, and with the WNBA being able to do well over its history. It proves that a pro women’s league can work, but with other women’s leagues in the past that folded up due to lack of financially support. The one thing that help female athletes now is endorsement deals that helps them edge closer with their male counterparts. Will a female athlete make more money that a Lebron James right now the answer is no, but they are making big strides toward that.