Sapp lucky to keep job at NFL Network
Former Bucs defensive lineman Warren Sapp should have lost his job as an analyst for the NFL Network, which decided late Friday afternoon not to fire him.
Earlier in the week, Sapp said on Twitter that former Saints (and current Panthers) tight end Jeremy Shockey was the whistle-blower (Sapp used the word "snitch") in the NFL's investigation into the Saints' bounty program. Shockey vehemently denied Sapp's allegation and even got Saints coach Sean Payton to back him.
But even if Shockey did cooperate with the NFL, he would be protected by federal labor laws that protect whistle-blowers. Sapp is an NFL employee, and Shockey could sue the league over Sapp's comment. And while we're at it, how is Sapp calling out Shockey any different from Shockey calling out Saints players? In other words, doesn't that make Sapp, to use his word, a snitch, too?
Meantime, if Shockey did not talk to the NFL at any point, then Sapp should be fired for his reckless comment. Sapp made a serious allegation, and if he is wrong, that's a fireable offense.
So if Sapp is right about Shockey, he should be fired. And if he is wrong, he should be fired.
The good, the bad and the ugly from Thursday's Lightning-Oilers game
The good: What a classy operation the Lightning is. The organization took a few moments during a break in the action to salute its 2004 Stanley Cup-winning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, now with the Oilers. A video montage gave Khabibulin the thanks he deserves.
The bad: Fans were in the midst of giving Khabibulin a rousing standing ovation when the guy who plays the pipe organ stepped all over a nice moment by playing the charge song.
The ugly: A 20-something dude a row in front of the press box wearing a Rays cap tried to start a "Canada stinks'' chant (though the second word was a little stronger than "stinks''). He was trying to get under the skin of a bunch of Oilers fans sitting a few rows in front of him. He also was sporting a Lightning Steve Downie jersey. Downie, by the way, happens to be from … Canada. Maybe this brainiac also didn't realize that 15 of the 20 Lightning players dressed Thursday night were from Canada, not to mention coach Guy Boucher and GM Steve Yzerman, who would have been close enough to hear the numbskull's comments.
• Now that they have Tim Tebow, right, the Jets would be a perfect choice to return to HBO's Hard Knocks training camp reality show this year. But word out of New York is the Jets are not interested. The Bucs would be a good fit, don't you think?
• ESPN's Outside the Lines (9 a.m. Sunday) will feature a story on the Florida A&M marching band hazing scandal surrounding a drum major's death.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Any TV network that is even considering hiring suspended Saints coach Sean Payton as an analyst for the upcoming season should be ashamed of itself.
2. You know, I'm starting to think Gators basketball coach Billy Donovan, right, is pretty good. Seriously, how many coaches in the country are better than him? A handful? Less than that?
3. I'd hate to see basketball coach Stan Heath leave USF, but if I'm Illinois, I'm calling Heath to see if he is interested in my opening. Then again, Heath is a Tom Izzo disciple, and Izzo blasted Illinois for firing Bruce Weber.
tom jones' two cents
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