Brownie Points: Mendenhall tweets could be a quick ticket out of town - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: Mendenhall tweets could be a quick ticket out of town

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Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. Contact him at

Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:07 am, Sun May 8, 2011.

If you work for Ford, you don't drive a Toyota. If you work for Pepsi, your family doesn't drink Coke.

And if you work for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Rooney family, you don't step on Superman's cape, spit in the wind, pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger - and you don't mess with the Red, White and Blue.

Rashard Mendenhall is entitled to his opinions of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and Osama Bin Laden and America's social sack dance to the news of his demise. But to tweet and blog his disapproval and moral scolding to everyone is going to cost him a lot of money (Champion dropped him from his endorsement contract this week).

And perhaps it costs him his job with the Steelers once the lockout is lifted and the all-American, apple-pie Rooneys can do more than release a statement that distances themselves from his comments further than Ben Roethlisberger can throw a deep ball.

Been there, done that

Not to go all CNN/Fox News on you, but I found it interesting that President Obama explained his decision not to show photos to Bin Laden's body this week in sports terms by saying there was "no need to spike the football."

Presidential-candidate-to-be-so-why-not-just-get-it-over-with Sarah Palin on the other hand, disagrees, accusing Obama of "pussy-footing around" and basically wants America to not only spike the football but burn rubber donuts in the infield grass.

So to recap: Think of Obama as Larry Fitzgerald (flip the ball to the ref and head to the sideline) and Palin as somewhere between Terrell Owens and Kevin Harvick.

Down go the champs

So far, the only thing the Celtics-Heat series is proving is how bad the Knicks were to get swept by Boston. With or without Kendrick Perkins, with or without what's left of Shaquille O'Neal, the Celtics "Big Three" can't go into a time machine, return to their prime and make the matchup with LeBron James and Friends a fair fight.

It's time for the Celtics to rebuild. But as we know from the Larry Bird-Kevin McHale-Robert Parish days, Boston will wait too long try to wring another run out of the Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce gang, knowing it could be a decade before they are relevant again. And with that team down in South Beach about to take over the league, it's just as well.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are already playing with house money. One incredibly fortunate trade with Memphis transformed Los Angeles from the land of Kwame Brown and Smush Parker to two championships and three NBA Finals trips. They tried to coax Ron Artest and Lamar Odom across the finish line with Phil Jackson one more time, but it looks like we're never going to see the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James NBA Final that has ABC executives drooling.

Don't cry for the Lakers. By next year, Chris Paul could be in L.A. Or they might wait two years for Dwight Howard. But one thing is for sure: With Jerry Buss' money and appetite for gold basketballs, rebuilding in sunny L.A. never seems to take as long as in Boston.


Quick Hitters

•After waking up in the ninth inning and eventually beating the Rockies on Thursday to take the three-game series Thursday, the Diamondbacks were a pedestrian 6-4 in their last 10 games.

But that was the best record in the N.L. West over that span, better than the Rockies (5-5), Giants (5-5), Dodgers (4-6) and Padres (4-6). And with only one team over .500, Arizona might be able to hang around awhile if their starting pitching can turn smoke and mirrors into quality starts.

The next 14 straight - starting with a nine-game road trip - will tell us if the D-Backs will still be relevant when they host the All-Star Game. Five of those games come against the Padres - who are hitting .218 as a team and have no one hitting better than .260. Watch those games closely.

•The Los Angeles Dodgers might not have enough money to make payroll at the end of the month. Say that to yourself again slowly.

•It will be another interesting Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday night as the new sorta-super-secret plan goes up for a vote that will once and for all secure the Coyotes future at Arena - for better or worse.

The last deal the city made with Matthew Hulsizer in December passed by a 5-2 margin and this deal - with the bond money cut in half and more concessions from both Hulsizer and the NHL - should pass even with newcomer Nora Alvarez joining holdovers Phil Lieberman and Joyce Clark as "no" voters.

There are still four solid "yes" votes on the council, led by Mayor Elaine Scruggs. Anyone who flips sides the week after Glendale coughed up $25 million of taxpayer money to cover team losses last year would have a lot of explaining to do.

The new deal will still bring some grumbling from the Goldwater Institute, but legal eagles say the deal would stand up in court if GWI decides to go the distance. Hulsizer, who will add more skin to the game, Glendale and the NHL, are all prepared to move forward and take their chances.

Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. Contact him at


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