Airwaves: Dolphins GM crossed the line with question 

I do not know Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland from the man on the moon. The only thing I do know is that he works for one of the best football men alive in The Tuna, Bill Parcells. If he is good enough for Parcells to entrust him with running the Dolphins, it is good enough for me.

That being said, Ireland pulled one of the all-time bonehead moves. Last week, it came out that during a recent interview with Oklahoma State bad boy wide receiver Dez Bryant, Ireland reportedly asked him if his mom was a prostitute.

I was not in the meeting, nor were you. But it likely happened because later in the day the initial report came out, Ireland issued an apology for “using poor judgement” on a question, though not specifically saying what the question was. My good friend Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports, an outstanding journalist who always gets his facts correct, first reported the news.

Can you imagine being interviewed for a job in one of the many stuffy, button-down collar places of business in San Francisco, and the interviewer asks you some crazy question like that?

I am all for a background check on athletes prior to the draft in any sport, but this was way out of line regardless of the content in which it was said. Wonder what the Tuna thinks. Hmmm, I really wonder what minority owners Jennifer Lopez and the lovely Williams sisters think. If they like, they can call me and discuss it.

- David Letterman, who I think is great, had ESPN all over his show last week. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were on “Late Night” promoting their new book, “Mike and Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life.”

A few days later, Jon Gruden sat in the cushy chair next to Letterman. Gruden was in the Big Apple for the NFL draft and the Sports Emmy Awards, for which he was nominated in the best analyst category. Gruden, prior to the draft, was part of an ESPN segment where he was in a film room, individually, with the top QBs in this year’s draft. He was having a film session with them like he would have coached a Raiders or Buccaneers QB. Wow, was that great stuff.

It is really a shame he couldn’t swear, because that is part of the charm of him on the field and in meetings. Next time, HBO or Showtime can air it and we will all enjoy it even more.

In listening to Letterman talk to Gruden, Golic and Greeny, I was shocked how little he knows about sports. Some of the things he says are very naïve when it comes to football and sports in general. Of course, when you are making $40 million a year as a funny man and a TV host, who cares what play the Niners run on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter.


Mieuli was a Bay Area sports icon


Bay Area icon Franklin Mieuli passed away this week. Mieuli, as everyone knows, was involved in ownership of the Warriors, as well as the 49ers.

Niners owner Dr. John York stated this week: “He was unique.”

A while back, I wandered into what-was-then Moose’s to have lunch with a friend. As I was waiting for my fashionably late lunch date, I sat at the bar to sip on a glass of pinot noir, Rodney Strong as I recall. I looked at the little man sitting next to me and it was none other than Mr. Mieuli. With his trademark Sherlock Holmes type hat, he was all by himself awaiting his lunch. We visited for a bit and swapped some Raiders and 49ers stories. Nice man, and from what I understand, very generous.

His greatest achievement besides winning five world championships with the Niners and the Warriors in his ownership role, was the fact he was one of the first owners in professional sports to hire a black head coach, Al Attles. I never knew this fact until the other day.

My condolences to his family and close friends.


- Billy Beane has the Oakland A’s rolling right along. After a few tough years, the A’s are once again contending for the AL West crown. Walt, the local proprietor at Mr. Lucky’s in Walnut Creek, is one happy fellow because he has always had season tickets. I am happy for Billy and his crew. He is a great innovator with “Moneyball,” and all that. The A’s and Billy deserve some success.

- What a week it was for the NFL. The league announced the 2010 schedule, suspended one of its best players for six games and conducted a draft that lasted three days on prime-time TV. Was baseball, hockey or hoops being played last week?


Who said it?


Mike Mayock

“It was a good pick,” the NFL Network’s draft guru and my former partner at CBS said when reacting to the Silver and Black selecting a linebacker, Rolando McClain, in the first round (No. 8 overall). McClain, out of Alabama, is a very good player who will help the Raiders immediately.

Bob Uecker

“I’ve been in baseball 55 years. This is all I know, or want to know, for that matter,” the lifetime .200 hitter turned broadcast personality quipped. We wish him the best as he will be sidelined for three months after heart surgery on Friday. I loved Uecker in the old Miller Lite commercials: “Tastes Great, Less Filling.”


One to watch


The Sharks look to take an important Game 2 in their Western Conference playoff series with the Detroit Red Wings today. Dany Heatley and his San Jose teammates hit the road for the next two, and a win at the Shark Tank today would go a long way toward winning the series. Faceoff is set for 5 p.m. and all the action can be seen on Versus.


Sports by numbers


Viewers that watched the NFL draft for a minimum of 1 minute

45.4 million

The increase in draft viewership from last year on ESPN, ESPN2 and NFL Network


Viewers that watched the NFL draft for a minimum of 6 minutes

32.9 million


On Target


NFL bossman Roger Goodell is becoming a rock star. Not only has his vision of the NFL taken the league to new heights, he has brought law and order to the league off the field. He is charismatic, firm, well-spoken, but yet in tune. He achieved his rock star status at the draft last week with all that was happening on the red carpet.

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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