In Richmond, Paul Woody wrote while NASCAR driver Tony Stewart "isn’t at fault in his desire to return to racing," the governing body "is at fault" for letting him do so. Stewart "wants to find some semblance of normality in his life" through racing, but he "appears to be a shell of himself." Drivers who are "anything less than 100 percent mentally tuned in do not belong on a racetrack." NASCAR is also "wrong to grant Stewart an exemption for Chase qualification." Woody: "Just as Stewart hardly looks ready to be driving, he hardly seems ready for the glare of publicity that comes with being in the Chase field" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 9/3).
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: In L.A., Bill Dwyre writes despite "depressing results from the very people" the U.S. Open is "made to develop and support, U.S. players, the crowds keep pouring in" at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The USTA will "continue to make massive amounts of money on this event," but a major part of its mission "is player development, and not player development in Estonia." Lots of people "are paid huge salaries to that end." Dwyre: "Currently, the results do not justify the salaries" (L.A. TIMES, 9/3).
PLAYERS' CHOICE? In Boston, Ben Volin wrote he applauds former NFLer Sean Gilbert "for his efforts and his passion" displayed in a campaign to be the next NFLPA Exec Dir, as "his heart is in the right place, and it’s always good to see someone shake the tree branches and question current convention." But Gilbert "doesn’t quite seem like the man for the job," and his platform "is a little hard to accept at face value." His plan "seems a little far-fetched," as it is "entirely contingent upon Gilbert and the NFLPA proving collusion and terminating the CBA" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/31).
IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR: In Philadelphia, Dell Poncet asked AFL Philadelphia Soul VP & COO John Adams whether league operations have stabilized since they were suspended in '09. Adams answered, "The positive is that it gave the league an opportunity to restructure and create a model that could be sustainable long term. Candidly, it’s been a rough restart. Now, we are finally getting traction and there are so many fantastic things happening behind the scenes at the league level right now" (PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/29 issue).