Dale Carnegie wrote “How to Win Friends & Influence People” back in 1937. Apparently Brandon Marshall never picked up a copy. The Denver Broncos have suspended their Pro Bowl wide receiver for the remainder of the preseason for conduct detrimental to the team. The troubled Marshall, who has asked to be traded, has previously been arrested for battery, DUI and domestic violence, garnering him more arrests than Pro Bowl appearances. If you picked him for your Misdemeanor/Felony Fantasy Football* team, you’d have a nice jumpstart on your season.
Remember how President Barack Obama began graying just a touch during last year’s election? Similarly, rookie head coaches Josh McDaniels and Raheem Morris are starting to age before their prime. In addition to dealing with Marshall, McDaniels also lost his franchise quarterback this off-season. In Tampa, Raheem Morris is slowly starting to realize that “winning now” might not be an option. After three preseason games, he has yet to name his starting quarterback. Neither Byron Leftwich nor Luke McCown has established themselves as clear front-runners. Whichever quarterback doesn’t get the nod may be put on the trading block, yet it’s unlikely they will hold much trade value. Josh Freeman, the rookie, remains untouchable and is in dire need of a haircut.
There’s a new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… and his name is Matt Barkley. Head coach Pete Carroll named Barkley USC’s starting quarterback for the 2009 season, making him the first true freshman to ever start a season opener for the school. The young Trojan will soon be thrown to the lions. USC travels to Columbus September 12 to play an Ohio State team that has been waiting an entire year to exact revenge for last year’s 35-3 blowout. I watched that game with three Buckeye fans last year. Trust me, this game has been circled on their calendar since that night. If you want to have some fun, go find yourself a Buckeye fan. They’re pretty easy to find. When you ask them if they’re looking forward to this game, watch closely as their eyes light up and blood rushes to their head. A victory over USC would mark the first big game Ohio State has won since 2003.
US Open begins Monday in Flushing Meadows, New York. Las Vegas lists top-seeded Roger Federer as an even money favorite to win his 16th major. Andy Murray is seeded second and Rafael Nadal, who returns from injury, is seeded third. Fifth seed Andy Roddick comes back at 11:1. Second-seeded Serena and third-seeded Venus Williams are heavy favorites in the women’s bracket. Roger and Serena are the tournament’s defending champions.
Remember in recess when you messed up and asked for a do-over. Well, apparently you can do so now in the NFL too. Due to a low hanging scoreboard in the newly constructed Cowboys Stadium, the Commissioner has allowed mulligans in the NFL. Punters have pelted the scoreboard centerpiece in practice. With the start of the season only weeks away, apparently adjusting the scoreboard is not an option. The Commissioner will look for a long-term solution but for the time being, do-overs are now good. This should make for some interesting home games. If a ball hits the scoreboard during the game, the down will be replayed and the clock will be reset. Replay officials can review whether the ball touched the scoreboard without a coach’s challenge. They just have to throw the do-over flag.