The Mailbag

Q: What’s wrong with Chris Johnson?

A: Yes, the man who received a whopping $53.5 million dollar extension for the Titans has averaged a paltry 2.3 yard-per-carry average this season. Yes, he has run into the back of his linemen more than he has run for first downs. Yes, he’s been outplayed by multiple backup running backs. However, I wouldn’t worry about Chris Johnson. He missed the entire preseason and training camp, and although he had been “working out” during the offseason, there’s a difference between good shape and football shape. Give Johnson another few weeks and he should be fine. This Sunday’s game at home vs. the Broncos should be a test of how Johnson is progressing.

Q: Why doesn’t Tech have a Men’s soccer team?

A: The long version: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” in other words, Title XI, part of the Education Amendments of 1972.  

In plain English, the basis of Title XI is that no gender can be discriminated against when it comes to college athletics. Any college must provide athletic opportunities that are “substantially proportionate to the student enrollment,” or have no gender that is underrepresented. Basically, since Tech has a football team, which has the largest roster on Tech’s campus, the women’s sports have to be equal in number to the men’s sports. At this time, Tech has six men’s sports and seven women’s sports, but each gender is equally represented.Confusing?

Q: Will there be an NBA season this fall?

A: My gut says no. The NBA lockout is much different than the NFL lockout. The owners in the NBA claim that many of them are losing money due to ticket sales and other rising upkeep costs, so they are plenty content to rent out their venues to acts other than basketball. The NBA is not the NFL; that is, the owners of the NFL would have lost money by missing an entire season, and the NFL has a much broader following than basketball, and the revenue split the owners have proposed will cost the players 150 million dollars of basketball-related monies (not including any salaries). Before even mentioning the salary cap issues that the NBA Players Association is dealing with, the owners and players are far apart. And with basketball executives saying they want a full season or no season, and with more players (the latest being Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin) signing to play overseas, I say we will all be watching hockey come November. But I hope I’m wrong.

Q: Who’s gonna win the MLB World Series?

A: I’ll make the safe choice and say the New York Yankees will beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to win the World Series. Why? Why not? Philly has just lost five straight games for the first time all season, and the Yankees are arguably the hottest team during the second half of the season. But don’t sleep on the Texas Rangers. They have the third most potent offense in the league, and they eliminated the Yankees last year to go to the World Series. I don’t see that happening again, however.