NEWS

Matt Trowbridge: Orton and Lovie speak nonsense

Matt Trowbridge

Kyle Orton said reporters keep looking for better numbers out of him but all he cares about is the end results.

What else can he say? The man has a career 59.7 passer rating. But his results aren’t good any more, either. The Bears are 1-3 in Orton’s last four starts, and he was yanked at halftime of that win when he had 12 yards passing on 10 attempts.

The Bears converted only 1 of 14 third downs and Orton had Bernard Berrian wide open at the end of the Vikings’ game last week but threw to the wrong shoulder for a game-ending interception. Yet coach Lovie Smith said he did nothing to lose his job and gives Chicago the best chance to win.

The more Lovie speaks, the easier it is to forgive Chicago’s players and blame the coaches. At least until Orton starts talking again.

Wrong Steroids Message

The Mitchell Report fingering Roger Clemens may actually hurt the fight against steroids. All the other big names made steroids look like a Monkey’s Paw deal with the devil, where the short-term gain was offset by later dire consequences. Ken Caminiti won an NL MVP, but he also died. Jason Giambi won an AL MVP but later grew gravely ill himself. Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, but he has broken down many times and sullied his reputation as one of baseball’s all-time-best players.

There has been no such downside for Clemens. Only bushels of strikeouts, wins and Cy Young Awards. Including Clemens, and linking him to steroids all the way back to his first two revival seasons in Toronto, sends the message that steroids work.

Packers More than Just Favre

Brett Favre gets too much credit for carrying the Packers the first half of the season before Ryan Grant emerged to give Green Bay a potent running game. In three of those first six wins, Green Bay scored zero, one and one offensive touchdown in regulation. The defense carried the Packers as much as Favre’s arm the first half of the season. And the last half of the season has been a complete team effort.

Nothing Wrong with Baseball

Loves Park reader Hal Johnson wants baseball fans to “clean up our game” by boycotting opening day to protest steroids and “brain-numbing” salaries in baseball.

Why is it brain-numbing to pay Alex Rodriguez $27.5 million a year when Tom Cruise makes almost three times that for a mediocre movie? He earned $70 million each for “War of the Worlds” and two “Mission: Impossible” movies. Computer Associates International paid CEO Charles B. Wang $650 million in 2000, then fired him when it learned accounting tricks exaggerated the company’s profits. Hannah Montana makes more money than A-Rod, and she’s not even a real person.

Baseball has its flaws, but it’s also the only sport to publicly investigate its steroid problem. For some reason, its players are also the only athletes or entertainers who regularly get ripped for the money they make.

Wait Until Next Year for Illini

Bruce Weber’s recruits look good. If only we could fast-forward one year, because his current team does not. Losing to Miami of Ohio? Ouch! At least Illini fans have the Rose Bowl to look forward to.

Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or mtrowbridge@rrstar.com.