In Dallas, Kevin Sherrington writes of the DWI arrest yesterday of Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff, “The exasperating fact that another Cowboy didn’t learn a lesson from [Cowboys DT Josh] Brent’s fateful decision to drink and drive just six weeks ago not only makes Ratliff seem dangerously indifferent, it exposes the Cowboys to further scrutiny as an organization at times simply out of control.” But the death of Cowboys LB Jerry Brown and arrests of Brent and Ratliff “won’t change anything at Valley Ranch, if that’s what you were wondering.” The “culture” Owner Jerry Jones has “created at Valley Ranch is one of the problems [Jason] Garrett has battled since he became head coach.” It is “not just whether players will work hard or do their jobs.” It is “being accountable, which should extend outside the borders of a football field” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/23).
TIGHT SHIP: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes the Clippers are the “anti-Lakers,” and “for once, that is a very good thing.” Plaschke: “Could it actually be that Clippers ownership has been more smart and sound than Lakers ownership this season? Actually, yes. And it hasn't been close. Right now, would you want your favorite NBA team run by [Clippers Owner] Donald Sterling or [Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel] Jimmy Buss? The fact that it's even a legitimate question is an answer” (L.A. TIMES, 1/23).
AERO PAIN: In Houston, Galindo & Barron reported the future of the AHL Houston Aeros and the league in the city “are now in question.” The team’s lease at Toyota Center “expires at the end of this season, and if the team can’t work out a deal with their landlord the Rockets, then pro hockey in Houston could be at a crossroads after 19 years in the IHL and AHL.” Rockets CEO Tad Brown said of the Aeros, “We’re still in discussions -- the preliminary stage. Nothing to report.” Options for other venues in Houston are “limited.” Reliant Arena had been “discussed briefly but doesn’t appear to be an option” (CHRON.com, 1/18).