Schechner’s Sports and More is a

regular feature of the Pool and Spa News enewsletter. The

opinions expressed herein are solely those of Managing Editor Dan

Schechner, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pool and

Spa News, its parent company or affiliates. Any similarities to

actual, well-conceived opinions are purely coincidental and likely

of a fleeting nature. In other words, this is for entertainment

purposes only. 
Schechner’s Sports and More is a regular feature of the Pool and Spa News enewsletter. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of Managing Editor Dan Schechner, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pool and Spa News, its parent company or affiliates. Any similarities to actual, well-conceived opinions are purely coincidental and likely of a fleeting nature. In other words, this is for entertainment purposes only. 
 

Here’s hoping you’ve found this column a worthwhile read, or at least suitable to print out and use as liner for your pet parakeet’s cage. In unrelated news…

As punishment for his role in a team-sponsored bounty program, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton recently was barred from having contact with his team, or anyone associated with the NFL — even part-time Superdome parking-lot attendants — until February 2013.

If he does happen to cross paths with a Saints employee, you know, at the market or on his way to the restroom of the neighborhood Applebee’s, Payton must report it to a league official.

I can see it now:

Dear [NFL executive] Ray Anderson,

My sincerest apologies, but I may have inadvertently violated my league-ordered sanction. You see, I was in the cereal aisle of the Winn-Dixie at 3008 Holiday Drive in New Orleans yesterday when guess who appears — none other than Saints Defensive Line coach Bill Johnson!

I assure you it was a total coincidence. Speaking of Total, did you know it has 100% of the Daily Value of at least 11 vitamins and minerals? I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

Anyway, Johnson and I mostly caught up on family life, the unseasonably warm spring, and the worst case of cabin fever this side of the Unabomber. Seriously, do you have any idea how many games of Angry Birds I’ve played in the last two months? I’m seeing those little SOBs in my sleep, Anderson!

Nonetheless, we had a nice visit — so nice, in fact, that it continued into the produce aisle, where large premium vine-ripened tomatoes are $1.69 a lb. when you use your Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Card. That’s a savings of up to 30¢ a lb., Anderson… I could feed my entire block at those prices!

Where was I? Oh right, my chance encounter with Johnson.

So obviously there was plenty of non football-related news to talk about, not the least of which was the Mandeville City Council this week negotiating a new, hopefully cheaper garbage contract with its collection and disposal company. You’re telling me they can’t do better than $800,000 a year for a city of 11,000?

Anyway, the point is that Johnson and I were really quite preoccupied with the latest goings-on to even think about football, which I assure you is the furthest thing from my mind right now … especially our Week 1 matchup against the Redskins, during which we may or may not be installing a new base 3-4 defense with the strong safety lined up closer to the line of scrimmage than in a typical cover 2 look.Respectfully yours,Sean

I was saddened to learn about a small faction of President Obama’s Secret Service detail engaging in extracurricular activities whilst securing a swath of Cartagena real estate ahead of their boss’s appearance at the Summit of the Americas earlier this month.

Now, close to two-dozen Service and military personnel are under investigation for exercising crap-awful judgment in bringing Colombian prostitutes back to their hotel.

What’s remarkable about this story isn’t the fact that our commander-in-chief’s safety could have been compromised in one of the world’s most notoriously violent and dangerous nations — although clearly that deserves mention.

No, it’s the dedication to fiscal responsibility shown by the brave members of this elite protective team. Rather than fork over the agreed-upon rate of $50 to their Colombian streetwalkers, these fine men risked their jobs, their reputations and national security to save a few extra taxpayer dollars.

What patriots!

Alas, all good things — and probably some mediocre stuff, too — must come to an end. And so goes Schechner’s Sports & More. It’s been a great ride, and I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, and for (hopefully) sharing a chuckle with me every couple of weeks for the last two years.

It’s been a hell of a lot of fun to produce, and I’ll miss your wonderful feedback. If you wish to stay in touch, send an e-mail to dschechner@hanleywood.com and I’ll figure out how we can continue the fun.

Signing off.