Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Turnabout is fair pay for J.J.

This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by J.J. Redick's wallet: Now so fat, it has to wash itself with a rag on a stick.

Q: So the Magic matched the Chicago Bulls' three-year, $19 million offer sheet to Redick, keeping the former Cave Spring star in Orlando. Thoughts?

A: Good for J.J., good for the Magic. It's amazing how quickly things can change in the NBA. Less than three years ago, a bench-riding Redick wanted to explore exit strategies from the Sunshine State. Now the Magic is willing to take a luxury-tax punch just to hang onto him. Kudos to Redick for persevering and making himself a viable, all-around player in the league -- not to mention a very wealthy man.

Q: And the haters? How will they react to this?

A: Same way they always have, of course. With jealousy. And that, perhaps, is the best part of this story: Redick's naysayers lose again.

Q: Speaking of losing, how long until the Philadelphia Eagles lose patience and part ways with Michael Vick?

A: You'd think they'd be there already. If they had anybody to back up the unproven Kevin Kolb at quarterback, Vick would be gone. Bad news seems to break every other day on this guy. The latest came Thursday, when a lawsuit alleged that Vick had wrongfully transferred millions of dollars in assets to family and friends in the months before and after he went to federal prison.

Q: What's so bad about that?

A: Nothing, if you're among his family or friends. The complaint says they got boats, expensive jewelry -- even a Lincoln Navigator. Then again, if you're one of Vick's creditors, and he's telling you he has no way to pay you back because he's lost his job, I can see how you might not like that. Just a little.

Q: Did you see the Australian cyclist repeatedly head-butt a rival during Stage 11 of the Tour de France?

A: Yep. His battle options were limited, ostensibly, but I've never really understood head-butting. Just seems like doing it to somebody would ... kind of hurt me too. I'm sure there's some ancient kung fu technique that limits the aggressor's pain, but I decided long ago that head-butting just isn't for me. My favorite combat choices include: (1) perform swan kick; or (2) flee.

Q: Some guy named Louis Oosthuizen is threatening to run away with the British Open. Is this awesome or what?

A: Gonna go with "what." And by "what" I mean "disastrous." I'd rather watch tape-delayed coverage of the 2-and-under Chutes and Ladders World Cup than see this guy coast to victory at St. Andrews. I've said it before, and I believe it strongly: Unless we're dealing with a John Daly type of figure, golf is the only sport where the majority of Americans root for the overdog.

Q: Why would Todd Jones leave a thriving program such as Essex to take the football coaching job at Pulaski County, especially when the Cougars are on probation?

A: Fair question. But tradition and the allure of the alma mater factor in here. Plus, never forget the old saying in coaching: You never want to replace the legend. You want to replace the guy who replaced the legend. Jack Turner followed an icon in Joel Hicks; Jones gets the proverbial buffer. Terrific hire by the Cougars.

Q: A few weeks ago, you said you were done predicting games. Then last week, you assured people that the Netherlands was going to beat Spain 2-1 in extra time in the World Cup final. This pathetic prediction cost readers of The Roanoke Times countless millions. Any plan on repaying at least a portion of this?

A: Hmm ... How about a loan, J.J.? Nah, just kidding. I would if I could.

Q: And why can't you?

A: Flat broke. See, I just bought my buddy this boat...

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