Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What's right and what's wrong with our world...

Good morning all - I had an idea of what I was going to blog about, but then I came into the office and totally changed my mind.

Why or what changed my mind? Two very simple things.

First, I heard that The Home Depot and Bob Nardelli came to a "mutual agreement" for him to step down. He will do so with a $210 million package.

Wow. Wouldn't it be great to work for a company for seven years and totally under perform and still get a nice hefty pay-out? It's $30 million for each year he worked. AND that has nothing to do with all the money the Home Depot paid him to work during that time.

Funny part is that people are talking about Home Depot stock going up this morning based on Nardelli leaving. To quote Yakov Smirnov, "What a country!"

Hey Iraqi people ... President Bush may be wrong in how he is handling it, but damn, doesn't this make you want this Democracy stuff?

On the other side of the coin is what is good in the world. Last night in Detroit, the Red Wings retired Steve Yzerman's 19 jersey. Only the sixth jersey to ever be raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena. (TRIVIA TIME - can you name the other five?)

The 41-year old Yzerman spent his whole career with the Red Wings - it spanned 22 seasons and three Stanley Cups. But it also spanned a lot more off of the ice. If you watched the ceremony, you saw the true man. He was humble. He was nervous as heck. He took a sip of water a few times and his hand was shaking each time. He was thankful. He was THE captain of the Red Wings and will always be known that way.

But he spoke of his family. Not only his wife and daughters, but his Red Wing family that helped raise him from youth to the man he is now. He may not look like it now, but he is still the scrawny kid that the Red Wings drafted out of the Peterborough Petes.

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press talks about how the city said thank you. Eric Adelson of ESPN the Magazine tells a story of how he gave back to his community on more than one occasion.

He is as a good a person in sports as there is. I met Yzerman a long time ago when I was at the Lansing State Journal as a young writer, he was as decent to me as can be. I know I am a bit biased, but hockey players are by far, the best athletes to deal with. They are the most humble. They are the most approachable. And they never, ever forget where they come from.

Yzerman took a job with the Red Wings organization in the front office and will be there for life if the Ilitch family owns the team. It's not a $210 million buy out, but it ain't bad for a kid from Canada.

Maybe guys like Nardelli need to go to Peterborough or Flin Flon, Manitoba for a while? Won't help them get high stock prices, but it might just raise their stock in the bigger game called life.

As if that weren't enough - Nick Saban leaves the Dolphins to take over the job at Alabama. For the last two weeks he has said, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." Guess $35-40 million changed his mind. Or was it the decision of who was going to be his quarterback next year: Harrington or Culpepper.

Now, I will be the first to say he made the right choice. He is a very good college coach and a very average pro coach. But the way he handled this was horrible. Why couldn't he just keep his mouth shut and say, "No comment."

Either way, the SEC just got stronger again. Betcha Jimbo Fisher leaves LSU to follow along.

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