Those Wonderful Distractions
by Brian North

The great thing about sports, you never know what you are going to see. The bad thing about sports, you never know what you are going to see. This past week has seen the best and worst (and most outrageous) that the athletics world has to offer.

The Pirate Football team had the weekend off, and it looks like Terrell Owens will have the rest of the season off. The Eagles wide receiver has been suspended for four games and will be inactive for the rest of the season. The reason; an interview in which Owens criticized the organization for being classless, and criticized his quarterback for poor play because of injuries. Owens apologized Tuesday afternoon, but it's too little too late. The egomaniacle Owens finally got pushed back by a team that is tired of him causing strife among his teammates.

Football is the ultimate team sport, and any division between players is never good. There will always be disputes in this emotional game, but Owens constant badgering of teammates over the years (it happened repeatedly in San Francisco as well) has worn thin and I applaud the Eagles for finally saying enough is enough. His talent is not worth the distraction is personality brings.

ECU women's basketball coach Sharon Baldwin-Tenor had a distraction of a different kind. The 37 year old coach gave birth to a baby girl last week and was back on the court coaching three days later. Baldwin-Tenor went through the same scenario two years ago when she gave birth to her son Luke during the season. But now she is back leading the dual life that is admirable, especially since her Lady Pirates are on the rise.

Then there is the Panther cheerleaders (actually they are now ex-Topcats). I am sure you have all spent countless hours surfing the web trying to find out more information about the two intoxicated women who were involved in several "altercations" at a Tampa night club Sunday morning. This distraction over shadowed the Panthers stellar performance on the field Sunday afternoon. It was reminiscent of Super Bowl XXXVIII when Carolina played in one of the best championship games ever, but all the post game talk was of Janet Jackson and her wardrobe malfunction.

Only in sports will you find distractions like these; the good, the bad and the outrageous. That's what makes sports so great. Sometimes the best/worst parts aren't what happens between the lines. But they wouldn't be worth talking about if we didn't have the games.

Brian North