A hint of parallel history

Posted by Darren Urban on July 22, 2011 – 4:20 pm

Now that training camp (hopefully) should come soon and the days of the Revisionist History series have come to and end, this thought I had last night felt like the perfect bridge: How Thursday’s events with the is-it-or-isn’t-it end to the labor talks reminded me so much of the first press conference drama I encountered on this beat, back in 2000, with Simeon Rice.

Everyone who follows this sport now knows how Thursday played out. The owners said they were OK with the deal, and said so in a press conference. The players were upset because they had yet to sign off on the deal, and felt blindsided. So I take you back (briefly this time, compared to the other RH posts) to Rice. Long story short, Rice had been franchised by the Cards after the 1999 season. He wasn’t happy. The one-year tender was for $4.25 million, and the Cards didn’t want to talk extension until Rice signed the tender. Rice, as became clear later, really didn’t want to play in Arizona any more.

Finally, after missing the first game of the season, Rice agreed to come in and sign the tender. But before he signed anything, then-general manager Bob Ferguson took Rice out on the balcony overlooking the rest of the team practicing and basically told Rice what he felt — along the lines that Rice had to show he was worth the money and become a leader, and prove himself to some people in the building. Rice didn’t like that. So, even though a press conference had already been called and the media — swarming the big story at the time — waiting, Rice left the team’s complex.

Ferguson ended up giving a press conference himself. In a twist of what happened this week, the emotion resided not with the one not at the presser but the one giving the presser. Ferguson got angry and bellowed many things (including, for those of you following the team for a long time, the classic “If you’ve got a problem, don’t go talk to Mike Jurecki, come talk to me!” following by a pounding of the table in front of him.)

The story had a happy ending (at least in the short term). Rice returned to the complex the next day and signed his tender. And likewise, at some point, the NFL and players will come together. It won’t be the next day, but it still will be surprising if it isn’t soon.

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25 Responses to “A hint of parallel history”

  1. By Jared15 on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    I’ll also never forget, or forgive, what Simeon Rice had to say on Last Call With Carson Daily about Pat Tillman about a month after Tillman was killed. Basically saying that Tillman was not a good player and he wouldn’t be missed. I can only hope Simeon is nearly crippled and battling a vicious case of herpes.

  2. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Yesterday also reminded me of AZ Rattler’s Hunkie Cooper holding a presser to announce his retirement, only to change his mind at the last moment.

  3. By Darren Urban on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Hunkie retirement

    Funny you should bring that up. I was the one who broke the news Hunkie was going to retire, and he wasn’t happy with me. I then went to the presser, and he shocked everyone — especially the Rattlers — when he was unable to go through with it. He even apologized to me during the presser. He was a good guy to cover.

  4. By Fatdog on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I know that teams are unable to talk to players with the lockout but can teams talk to each other could the Cards and Eagles been talking this whole time and worked out a deal for Kolb?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Fatdog —

    RE: Teams talking

    Teams are not allowed to talk business during the lockout.

  6. By Eazy E on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply


    Dude don’t wish bad on somebody. That aint cool, just because he said that, i’m sure he doesn’t mean that now if he said it.

  7. By brad oneill on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Just think we could have had teddy bruschi instead of simeon rice. I remember when they faced off in college (well their teams faced off) but I remember Bruschi was every bit as good as riice he was just a little smaller. I know I know you can’t pass up a beast like rice but still.

  8. By Ernie on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, Man I know how tired the kolb issue is, but the way the story hasn’t died and kept gaining strength one has got to beleive both tense were at a handshake agreement before the lock out and possibly even cemented the deal during the short time of activity during this years draft. My buddy and I seem to think maybe this is the REAL reason we took Williams at the number 2 pick. To satisfy the wants and needs of the eagles and facilitate a trade as soon as the door is open. In your opinion can we be that far off?

  9. By Darren Urban on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Ernie —

    RE: Kolb

    As I mentioned on Twitter today, the only people I have ever heard talk about the Eagles needing a running back are fans. And it just seems too convenient for Cards’ fans to dump a player at a position that’s overstocked.

  10. By Ernie on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    What about Adam schefter reporton how sure he is on a deal? How can he justify it?

  11. By sport245245 on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    How can these players say they were blindsidied. What are they paying Smith for. And where were the 32 player reps, whom I believe said “De Smith has kept us informed” of what is going on. I believe that the players involved in the antitrust suit, are attempting to get their pound of flesh, or at least, free agency instead of the franchise tag. They are putting out a bunch of double talk. This crap about not knowing what was going on is totally incredible. In other words, I call b.s.

  12. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren. Still trying to learn the cut and paste as it should have been a rudimentary skill learned in Kindergarten with staying within the lines and being able to figure out why the nation’s most popular sport isn’t able to agree to make billions of dollars.
    Oh well, there’s always a full box of crayons next to me to munch on.

  13. By Robert Malicki on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    Fans have to accept the fact that,yes,it is all about the money and that our interest in the sport is but a pawn in the game.What we see as a sport has become big business,a very big business.
    Two groups of decisive and determined men are looking at this from different angles. The average playing or earning career of the vast majority of NFL players is less than four years,so they’re going to focus on shor-term issues.But,owners mostly look at over the horizon issues and have time on their side.
    This “owner’s vote” was merely their achieving solidarity over their own fractured agenda.They just OK’d a deal acceptable to themsilves and are presenting it to the fans as evidence of good faith. It’s not likely that all the player reps were privy to what language the owners inserted into the “deal.” So, of course, nearly two thousand players,or “independent contractors,” want to see the devil in the details.
    Only time will tell which side “wins” and today’s players are responsible for making a decision that will affect future players after most of today’s players have left the game.
    Both sides are making a decision to “sellout” someone. The owners have made their decison. Now it’s the players turn.

  14. By Mario on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    Due to the high amount of cap room available for the Cardinals, other than the supposed Kolb trade, what other free agent signings or trades do you see made by Arizona?

  15. By Darren Urban on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Mario —

    RE: Other moves

    They need to re-sign Fitz. They need at least one O-lineman, I would think. They’d need an LB (inside, probably).

  16. By josecards on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    I hope and pray that drc doesnt leave because kolb is not worth it we need a mentor qb to help skelton

  17. By Dustin Whitlock on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply


    hi, i asked you about skelton a few articles ago, and i have a few more questions…1. you say he will be a project with potential? i dont think in this league thats a good idea, lets go back to passed “projects the cardinals have had….matt leinart…josh mccown…..jake plummer? in this league given the starting spot with no pressure but yet a nudge to get on it is how the greats are born, such as brady and manning.. skelton has the ability to be the best the is….oon top of that he is smart. and i mean we say the cards are checking out kolb to be the man next year when he has proved nothing…remind you of someone? anderson? the cardinals stile needs to change about these things, no one else in the league does these foolish moves, why do we? stick with the young gun, give him the throne and let him go to work… insults intended, i just wanna hear the thoughts of the man closest to the work its self….thank you.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Dustin —

    RE: Skelton

    I understand your points, but right now I highly doubt they go with Skelton as the starter. If they were in full-blown re-build mode maybe, but they are not.

  19. By Daniel on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren

    Do u think that the cards are going to trade DRC for Kolb?

    And whats your opnion on that?

  20. By Darren Urban on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Daniel —

    RE: DRC/Kolb

    Don’t know, and I have talked about my thoughts on that many times.

  21. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Steve Breaston wants to try the free agent market:
    Is it because he wants to deem his value, he wants out of AZ or a little of both?
    I love his spirit and competitiveness and would see his leaving as large as Lyle Sendlein.
    Do you agree Darren?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Breaston

    I think you took Steve a little out of context there. He didn’t say he wants to try the free agent market. He said he wants to be an unrestricted free agent. I know, I’m splitting hairs. But Steve was referencing the ability to have that contract leverage more than an idea he could go elsewhere. So I guess I’d say it’s not so much to deem his value as much as force his value. Steve doesn’t want to leave. That I truly believe. But he is a smart man and he knows this may be his only big payday. He’s got to get it when he can. Everyone would.

    I think my feelings about Breaston are clear. I’d like to see him stay and I think he’s important. But I don’t make those decisions.

  23. By Javi on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    So, Mr. Darren, i would like to know if you would take consideration in probably taking Matt Hasselbeck in consideration when trying to find a new QB what do you think?

  24. By Darren Urban on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: Hasselbeck

    I think it’s an option but my guess is it would be lower on a potential list.

  25. By Chris on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    KYLE ORTON – LAST YEAR – 13 Games, 20TDs to 9INTs, 4Fumbles, QB rating 87.5
    KEVIN KOLB – LAST YEAR – 7 Games, 7TD’s to 7INTs, 6Fumbles, QB rating 76.1

    Possible 3rd rounder for Orton
    Possible 1 and 3 or DRC and draft pick or even straigh-up for Kolb.

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