Frantz: Stern partially to blame for ‘The Decision’ debacle 

A little of this, and a lot of that ...

- David Stern should be ashamed of himself. For days, the NBA commissioner stood by silently as his league took center stage of the sports world — in its offseason — thanks to LeBron James’ self-glorification ceremony on ESPN. Then, two days after the special, he declares it to be “ill-conceived” and in poor taste?

Who is this guy kidding? Stern could have called James and/or ESPN, the league’s broadcast partner, and killed that entire production at any time, but he knew full well what a huge marketing tool it would be. It was only after nationwide condemnation of James’ classless stabbing of his former franchise in the back that Stern tried to save face and join the chorus of criticism. Stern is an embarrassment.

- Disappointed and hurt by the media’s fawning over James and his “Decision,” Brett Favre went out and played catch with high school kids — just to remind everyone that summertime is supposed to be reserved exclusively for HIS annual decision. Don’t be surprised if he whips up a few tears in the coming days if ESPN doesn’t come calling with a TV special of his own.

Part of me hopes Favre leaves the Minnesota Vikings and signs with the Miami Dolphins, just so I can snap some great photos of the mushroom cloud over Miami when his ego crashes into LeBron’s.

- It is certainly not proper to speak ill of the deceased, so I will simply join the rest of the sports society and offer my condolences to the family and friends of George Steinbrenner.

That said, must “The Boss” be nominated for canonization simply because his time on Earth has passed? Yes, his Yankees won seven world titles in his 37 years as owner, and yes, he spent hundreds of millions of dollars on his roster because he was so driven to win. But must we forget the laughable 23 managerial firings in those 37 years, the cartoon character he became as curator of the “Bronx Zoo,” and the billions in revenue that allowed him to buy those championship rosters without ever hurting his own bottom line?

Let the man rest in peace, but let’s also have a little perspective.

- Congratulations to the amazing Tim Brown, who was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame this weekend. It will be an absolute crime if Mr. Raider does not follow that honor with induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year as well.

There is absolutely no excuse for making him wait any longer.

- Can anyone explain why there’s so much focus on the “controversial” nutcracker drill that Mike Singletary has brought back to the Niners’ training camp? Two guys going head-up, one-on-one, full-contact for supremacy of the turf? So what?

“Nut” was once an absolute staple of training camps, from high school through the pros, and it was an invaluable tool in separating men from boys. Sure, guys can get hurt, but they can get hurt in just about every contact drill in camp or in preseason. Football is a contact sport. I’m glad there are still coaches like Singletary who remember that.
 
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@sfexaminer.com.

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