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A Good Start... 
(12/19/03) by Marty Smith

Indiana Pacer fans should be pleased and impressed with the team's growth and early season performance.  I opined prior to the NBA season that some key players needed to showcase both talent and maturity for the team to be successful and they have.  Rick Carlisle has installed his blueprint for a defense based team with near perfect precision as the team's NBA defensive ranking attests.  The most exciting aspects of the team's growth have been the surprising improvements of Jeff Foster and Austin Croshere as well as the blossoming talents of Fred Jones and Jamison Brewer.

True fans of the Indiana Pacers will not be discouraged by the recent losses to lower ranking teams.  Teams with bad records are not necessarily bad teams.  The losses to Chicago and Orlando are frustrating but can still be used by the coaches and players to learn and adjust, such may be the true strength and talent of this incarnation of the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana Pacers, click to visit the Pacers home page.
Pacers home page
2003-04 Roster
 13 Kenny Anderson* G
 23 Ron Artest F
 24 Jonathan Bender* F
 2 Jamison Brewer G
 27 Primoz Brezec* F
 44 Austin Croshere F
 10 Jeff Foster C-F
 3 Al Harrington F
 8 Anthony Johnson G
 20 Fred Jones G
 33 James Jones F
 31 Reggie Miller G
 7 Jermaine O'Neal F-C
 62 Scot Pollard C-F
 11 Jamaal Tinsley G
* - on injured list

Rick Carlisle (College - Virginia '84)
Mike Brown (Coll - San Diego '92)
Ron Rothstein (Coll - Rhode Island '64)
Dan Burke (Coll - Portland State '88)
Chad Forcier (Coll - Seattle Pacific '95)
Bill Dean (Coll -Wisc-Stevens Point '92)
David Craig (Coll - Purdue '70)
Tom Jennings (Coll - Butler '90)
Rebuilding from the original foundation... (09/03/03) by Marty Smith

A little more tact and public relations savvy would've been nice but that doesn't negate the validity of the decision to replace Isaiah Thomas as head coach of the Indiana Pacers.  If Isaiah Thomas or Jermaine O'Neal are upset by the turn of events, perhaps they should consider that Thomas could have been in Indianapolis consulting with Larry Bird and Donny Walsh about the future of the Pacers instead of in Puerto Rico holding O'Neal's hand at the Tournament of the Americas.  The size of O'Neal's new contract should signify that this young man is a professional and no longer needs to be coddled as a high school boy in the big leagues, otherwise he should be paid a smaller amount.  The same general attitude should apply to Ron Artest in that he must learn to control his behavior and utilize his playing ability regardless of who the boss is.

Isaiah Thomas is an outstanding basketball professional and consummate businessman but his naiveté and ignorance of game time coaching methods was obvious from the start.  Rick Carlisle was the obvious successor to Larry Bird in 2000 and hiring Carlisle in 2003 is the proper decision.  There is one piece of the championship puzzle left to be found...  the Pacers need a solid, experienced presence at the point guard position.  I can think of no one better for that task than Mark Jackson as a player/coach (does he really want to stay in Utah, can we buy out his contract?), recognizing that his function as a player is short term but his presence as a coach is imperative.
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What is the Deal with Pete Rose?
By Jan A. Larson

No one ever said former major league baseball star Pete Rose was the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when he plea-bargained for baseball's "death penalty," permanent ineligibility, with former baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamati in 1989, it seems that Rose didn't realize that there are no "do overs" once one receives a lethal injection.

Major League Baseball rule 21 states, "Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible."

Rose, subject of allegations that he bet on baseball, agreed [1] to a permanent ban from baseball, with no admission of guilt, in return for commissioner Giamati's agreement to conclude the matter.

Rose accepted baseball's ultimate punishment while admitting no crime.

For the past 14 years, Rose, the major league all-time hits leader, has steadfastly held to the position that he never bet on baseball, despite substantial evidence [2] to the contrary.

In his recently published book, My Prison Without Bars, Rose has finally come clean and admitted that he did, in fact, bet on baseball while serving as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  He is now making the rounds, hawking the book and attempting to solicit public support for his reinstatement to baseball by commissioner Bud Selig.

Should Rose receive a lesser penalty now that he acknowledges a crime he denied for 14 years?

Rose was a hard-nosed, win at all costs, player.  He excelled at baseball despite average ability through hard work and hustle, thus the nickname "Charlie Hustle."  He continues to come across in public as one who tries to win at all costs.  He now claims remorse for his gambling, but more specifically, he says he's sorry for lying  about his gambling, and asks for a "second chance."

Rose isn't coming clean simply to clear his conscience.  He is coming clean to get something in return, his reinstatement to baseball and to regain eligibility for induction into the baseball Hall of Fame.

The timing of Rose's book release is curious.  His book was released the same week that the latest baseball Hall of Fame inductees, Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor, were announced, stealing media coverage from two great players.  Why?  Because this is all about Pete.

Rose doesn't seem to understand that his crime wasn't lying for 14 years, it was the act of placing bets on major league baseball games.  The eight members of the  1919 Chicago White Sox, the infamous "Black Sox," charged with conspiring with gamblers to fix the 1919 World Series were all permanently banned from baseball despite the fact that they were exonerated in a court of law.  The best of those eight, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson [3] has been barred from Hall of Fame consideration since.  Jackson has not been reinstated despite the fact that he died in 1951.

Rose thinks that baseball should toss aside an eighty plus year precedent just for him.  His pleadings for forgiveness ring hollow when it appears that his motive is selfish.

Rose thinks that Americans can forgive him for his 14 years of lying.  I believe he is right about that.  He also believes that by admitting to the commission of the crime he will be absolved of responsibility for that crime.  Admitting to murder does not let one go free.  It is the same for gambling on major league baseball.

Permanently ineligible.  I don't know what could be clearer than that.


Jan A. Larson publishes a weekly commentary, "What is the Deal?" at the Pie of Knowledge (  His work also appears from time to time on OpinionEditorials ( and The Washington Dispatch (
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AFC South Division
Indianapolis Colts
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2003 AFC South Division Champion Indianapolis Colts, click the helmet to visit the Indianapolis Colts home page!
Thank You...
Though the the team finished one game short of the Superbowl, the efforts of the Indianapolis Colts must be commended and appreciated. This season reflects systematic and deep improvement, never lacking effort though it seems a few poor decisions and relative inexperience in the defensive backfield may have been the team's Achille's heel. A tweak to the game plan here, a free agent there... and another year's experience for the defense...  I have no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts will be contending for the NFL Championship in 2004-05!
Food for Tailgate Parties
By Robin Nobles

It's football season and time for those fun and exciting tailgate parties. But are you tired of fixing the same recipes every week? Let's see if we can find some new recipes that are ideal for tailgating and other outdoor parties.

At's Homecooking site, you'll find recipes that are sure to be a success at your next tailgate party. What about a Great Round Reuben? Or, Double-Decker Club Sandwiches?

At Chill Out, Grill Out, Tailgate Parties, you'll find more recipes, such as Cheesy Potato Packets, Confetti Quesadillas, or Three Cheese Black Bean Chili with Cheddar Crust. This site not only offers various recipes, but it helps you plan your tailgate parties from beginning to end.

Visit Alan's Kitchen for a comprehensive listing of tailgate recipes in categories such as barbecue, beverage, bread, deserts, stews, and more.

Finally, to make sure you keep your food safe at tailgate parties, read "Plan a Good Defense for Safe Food at Tailgate Parties," published by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Have fun!
Robin Nobles, Co-Director of Training, Search Engine Workshops ( ), teaches 2-, 3-, and 5-day hands-on, search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. She also teaches online search engine marketing courses ( and has two books available through Amazon and other bookstores. NFL Europe
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What is the Deal with Rasheed Wallace?

By Jan A. Larson

Rasheed Wallace, the Portland Trail Blazers' volatile power forward expressed his displeasure with the administration of the  National Basketball Association in a recent epithet-laced interview[1] with Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian.

Wallace, 29 years of age in his ninth season in the NBA, is the fourth highest paid player in the league.  He is also the main target of the Portland fans' ire on a team that hasn't won an NBA championship since 1977. Some fans, tired of his inconsistent play and propensity for garnering technical fouls (he holds the NBA single-season record of 41) have vowed to give up their season tickets if Wallace is not traded.

Wallace, known as much for his garish tattoos and fiery temper as for his basketball prowess, charges that the NBA exploits young black players for the enrichment of the predominantly (all except one) white ownership, "… they just want to draft <n-word> who are dumb and dumber – straight out of high school.… They look at black athletes like we're dumb ass <n-word>. It's as if we're just going to shut up, sign for the money and do what they tell us."

Wallace has never been a choirboy.  He's been arrested for possession of marijuana, has been ticketed for driving with a suspended license and has been fined thousands of dollars by both the Blazers and the league for various violations during his career.

Blazers' coach Maurice Cheeks has encouraged Wallace to take a leadership role on the team, but apparently Wallace doesn't share Cheeks' idea of leadership and seems to resent the idea of being a role model.

On one hand, Wallace claims that he doesn't play for the money, but rather because he wants to win games and win a league championship.  But on the other hand, he says he will play for "whoever cuts the checks."

The attitude that Rasheed Wallace exhibits would not be unusual for a 21 or 22 year old, in his second or third year in the league, but Wallace should be well past the youthful irrational stage by now.  He is married with children and one would think he might have grown up by now.

Approximately 80% of the players in the NBA are black.  The average salary for an NBA player is $4.9 million per season.  These players are being paid for playing basketball.

Yes, the exploitation is quite evident.

The problem with professional basketball isn't with the players (or owners) who are earning millions.  The problem is with those that forego their education and bet their futures on becoming professional ball players only to come up short with few, if any, alternatives. 

Many young men with such prospects are struggling to finish school or are working long hours to support a family.  Others are putting their lives on the line in Iraq or elsewhere around the world.  Some fall by the wayside and end up living a life of crime, end up in prison or dead.

Fortunately for Wallace, he doesn't fall into any of these categories, at least not yet.

As is the case with many that have much, Wallace doesn't recognize or appreciate his unbelievably good fortune, a fortune the all but a very few will ever realize.  Admittedly fame is often not it is all cracked up to be, but to complain that un- or under-educated young men, many of whom with otherwise few options in life are being exploited when making millions to play a game is too ludicrous for words.

Wallace is simply arrogant, self-centered and pompous and will one day find that his playing days are over and the man who "cuts the checks" is no longer cutting them in his name.  He will then have plenty of time to reflect on how much better he could have been, not only on the court for his team, but off the court for his family and community.  Maybe he'll also reflect on just how "exploited" he really was.  Maybe, but considering that it is apparent that Wallace isn't the most inflated ball in the rack, I somehow doubt it.


Jan A. Larson publishes a weekly commentary, "What is the Deal?" at the Pie of Knowledge (  His work also appears from time to time on OpinionEditorials ( and The Washington Dispatch (
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