Weekend Ramblings Include the NFL, Miguel Cabrera and March Madness

This is the gang sign in question regarding Desean Jackson.

If you thought the National Football League was taking the Aaron Hernandez situation seriously then look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles. Yesterday the Eagles released star wide receiver Desean Jackson because of his reported ties to a Los Angeles gang known as the ‘crips.’

While there are many differences between what Jackson is alleged to be involved with and what Hernandez has done, the message the NFL is sending is quite clear. They aren’t going to tolerate this crap. That said, after weeks of trying to trade Jackson, I can guarantee you that someone will take a chance on him.

For the record, Jackson has always been considered a bit of trouble-maker in Philadelphia. Often late to meetings or missing them altogether, Jackson has also been known to have a negative disposition. The clincher however appears to be his ties to known gang leaders who have released rap albums on his own personal record label.

The Eagles essentially grew tired of him and then video appeared of him flashing a ‘crips’ gang sign to Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall in the season opener. It was extremely quick and subtle, but evident nevertheless. While the story of Jackson’s potential gang affiliation goes much further it’s clear that Roger Goodell and the National Football League will monitor him very closely from here on out regardless of what team takes a shot on him.

Need a loan? Miguel Cabrera can help out with his new deal.

Cabrera Cashes In

I’m really surprised by the reaction of people when baseball contract news breaks across our television stations. The stunning reactions to Miguel Cabrera’s new deal should register nothing more than a “ho-hum” these days but still, people go crazy at these monster contracts.

For the record, Cabrera signed a ten-year deal worth $292 million which will keep him in Detroit through his 40th birthday. As Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski pointed out, what else are you going to do when you have the reigning American League MVP playing at his highest possible level? You lock him up and that’s exactly what the Tigers have done.

If you want to be ticked off at these ridiculous salaries then look in the mirror. You continue to buy the tickets, pay ridiculous amounts of money for beer and food and pay through the teeth for team merchandise. Until baseball gets a salary cap and we the fans say “enough” it’s only going to get worse.

The Elite Eight is Set

After Wisconsin, Arizona, Dayton and Florida joined the Elite Eight on Thursday night, Michigan, Michigan State, UConn and Kentucky made up the other half last night.

What we can take from this final grouping of eight remaining teams is that clearly the Big Ten has proven itself to be the nation’s premier conference. With three teams among the final eight, the depth they showed all season has been confirmed.

The SEC brings two teams in Florida and Kentucky while ‘outsiders’ Arizona, Dayton and UConn join the party. The results from Thursday and Friday night also tell us that only two number ones remain in Florida and Arizona.

There’s no question that Dayton is a huge surprise to be here at this point. The 11th seed has knocked off powers Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford en route to the Elite Eight. We cannot dismiss the UConn Huskies though either who entered the tournament as a seventh-seed and have made their way here somewhat surprisingly.

Iowa State was a very popular pick to make the Final Four and remained that way even after an injury sidelined one of their top players. My Final Four is officially wrecked as the Cyclones and Louisville Cardinals are no longer around so I’ll take the Gators, Badgers, Wolverines and Spartans.