Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Yes, Goodell is THE Man… with a pie-face

July 16, 2016



Roger Goodell has won the long tug-of-war with Tom Brady.

Most people are saying it is the final chapter of Deflategate but this has really stopped being about that comedy some time ago.

Goodell wanted to show that he had the muscles to flex and, like some schoolyard bully, was not going to stop coming after Brady until he got his way. Yes, he has proven that the Collective Bargaining Agreement had indeed given him the power to act so cavalier and petulant.

And the best part: he has insured that he will never get that sort of power again. In the next iteration of the CBA you can be certain he will have blown his wad on this innocuous little trifling matter.

Can anyone say “imbecile”?

That sort of power should have been used for something materially more valuable than swagger and stroking his ego. Exactly what, I don’t know but something bigger than trying to humble the MVP still in the league since the turn of this century.

As a fan, I am no fan of RG. (RG3, yes, RG, no!)

And speaking of RG3, Brady’s first game this coming season will be against the former Redskin.

I’m just sorry I won’t see him in the first four weeks.

Thanks for nothing Roger… go roger yourself in private next time.



Tebow Still Flying in Philly

September 1, 2015

(Seems I am taking the whole Monday-morning-quarterback thing to extremes. Except that it is Tuesday.)

As much fodder as the Redskins have given the pundits in the off-season, there is one story that has gotten even more attention: the never-ending (or rather, near-to-ending) saga of Deflategate, a situation created out of thin air (pun intended).

But I won’t address that on-going legal circus as I want to talk about the third-favorite item of the off-season: Tebow’s journey to become a player in the NFL… again.

I have watched all the preseason games for the Eagles and can see some good stuff going on there. As usual, Chip Kelly offenses just keep on chugging along, and quickly.

Having four QBs fighting for roster spots seems a bit of a stretch for most teams but Kelly is not your typical coach. Not even in the same ballpark.

Bradford has the #1 spot sewn up and he looks sharp. About what you’d expect for a guy who has been the starter for another team for several years now. Sanchez is adequate as a backup, I suppose, but he didn’t especially wow me. But then, I’ve watched him in other seasons before and he looks really good in preseason but tanks in real time.

And that brings us to the two fellows battling for the highly coveted 3rd string QB position. Barkley has a bunch of supporters and they make a pretty good case. We will have to wait and see what Kelly’s choice will be.

As good as many have claimed Barkley to be – sometimes even looking better than Sanchez – at other times, Tebow has looked better. Yes, Barkley (and Sanchez) have had quite a few of their throws miss the intended receivers by a wide margin.

In the passing category, it is obvious Bradford is the standout favorite.

But this isn’t just any other team in the NFL, this is Kelly’s team. One of the often used plays in their arsenal is the option play – where the QB turns to give the ball to the running back and can decide to keep it and run with it himself if the defense looks good for him to do so.

I am sure Kelly has that play in his repertoire because he wants the QBs to run on occasion. From what I have seen in the three preseason games thus far, only one QB playing for the Eagles actually uses the play. Bradford, Sanchez, and Barkley simply hand the ball off and take a couple of steps like they actually had the ball, or something.

The defenses weren’t fooled. They keyed on the runner and took him down.

The only QB for whom that play was successful was Tebow because, you know, he actually thinks of that play as an “option”… not just a chance to hand off the football.

I’m not saying those other guys are above anything like trying to actually run with the ball but… Hey, Bradford’s had injury issues, y’know, and Sanchez is… well, Sanchez, and Barkley… who knows?

Hopefully, looking at the situation in this light might make Kelly’s choice a little easier.

(Not that anyone’s listening to me, of course!)





Lies, Stabs, and Videotape

September 1, 2015

I have spoken previously of Gruden’s rather transparency – actions speak so much louder than words – and the shenanigans at Redskins Park continuing even after the Shanahanigans have gone.

A couple of weeks ago, RG3 made headlines with his quote about being the best quarterback in football.

The news mavens were all over that statement like white on rice. Many ran with it while others, more circumspect, did not take it out of the context in which it was said but complained about Robert not learning how to talk to reporters and allow such misquoting to go on. It’s Robert’s fault for all the scorn heaped on him, they claimed.

Seems like the fellow is damned if he don’t, huh? If he didn’t talk to the press they’d have a field day over that as well, claiming he was a prima dona or a Marshawn Lynch. If he speaks with a positive spin, they chide him for that. The guy can’t win.

What’s really funny, when I read the full quote, I was struck by a phrase he used a little earlier in the statement: about all the back-stabbing that goes on in the business.

A really sharp reporter – and there seem to be so few of them covering sports – would have followed up on that comment.

No one did.

Now, it seems a little too obvious what he meant.

This morning we were greeted with the news about yet “another RG3 misstep”, supposedly. An instagram by one xtramambosauce, ranting about the antics of the owner and coaches in this situation and placing the blame entirely on them. One of the persons who “liked” the post was RG3.

Very quickly the “like” was removed and RG3 had to explain that it was a media intern who had liked it, not himself.

Now why would a media intern working for the Redskins organization go out of his way to like a post knocking the owner… you know, biting the hand that feeds him?

Unless, or course, someone like the coach ordered him to do so…

Griffin did mention something about “backstabbing”.

After reading the rant, I thought why would this fellow include Snyder as one of the RG3 haters – wasn’t he the one supposedly in the QBs corner against the coach?

Then I recalled the amazement with which Gruden’s hiring was met over a year ago. Why would Snyder hire a man who was not “hooked on” Griffin if the man was slated to be the QB for the future?

It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Now it does.

Backstabbing.

It seems what we know coming out of the organization is nothing more than spin. It certainly does make trying to understand what’s going on a little more difficult.

Seems everyone is just lying.

Oh, and backstabbing.





Another Inconvenient Truth

September 1, 2015

Ooops! Gruden spilled the beans.

“It’s a good problem to have, to have three quarterbacks who are competing.”

Seems strange, doesn’t it? Since February – yes, seven months’ worth – Gruden has been telling us that there is no QB competition: RG3 is the starter. Now, suddenly, we discover there has been a competition…

Actually, there hasn’t been one. Gruden did not want RG3 to begin with but if you are working for an owner who wants RG3 so adamantly, and you want to keep your job, what do you do? Obviously, you have to mouth the party line and try every trick at your disposal to sabotage the situation.

Yes, Gruden “wanted” RG3 but… well, shucks, seems like it was not to be… act of God and all that.

Yeah, like a guy who ties his victim to the railroad tracks and says the train running him over was just an act of God, right?

I am not exactly sure how the Creator of the Universe likes being hung with the rap on this one but I think it belongs completely on the shoulders of the spineless coach.

Any coach who would send a star player out to get injured in a preseason game behind a second-string porous defensive line just so they did not have to deal with the fellow is not a person worthy of any respect in my book. I have already seen this “coaching” gimmick used by Rex Ryan, Jeff Fisher, Steve Spurrier, Greg Williams, and more. Gruden is, sadly, not in a class by himself.

And some of these coaches think they are doing what is “best”… for the team or for their paycheck, either way it is still an under-handed way to remove the thorn in your side.

“I have nothing against Robert, I like Robert as a quarterback, there’s no doubt about it,” Gruden said. “His future with the Washington Redskins is what it is. There have been no discussions of letting him go or any of that stuff.”

And there you have it. It “is what it is“, understated prophecy from the all-seeing Gruden, and not “any of that stuff” (whatever the hell that means) in that all-seen future.

I don’t know why anyone hangs on this fellow’s every word. I have not heard any truth pass his lips yet.

But I guess that falls under the “is what it is” tag.

Another PR Fiasco? Au Contraire!

May 12, 2015




I would be sadly remiss as a football fan if I did not weigh in on “deflategate”, as the multi-faceted fiasco is being called.

Brady-haters are cheering the comish for knocking the fellow down a few pegs even if he did stop short of reversing the Super Bowl win. They think the punishment is a good start for treating Brady.

On the other hand, the Patriot faithful are howling at the grave injustice of it all, especially since the Wells Report contained absolutely no evidence of wrong-doing. They claim Brady is being railroaded.

The majority of the press corps is talking about the adjudication by Goodell is not about the present case but includes all the former shenanigans the Patriots have pulled over the years. In short he is trying to stop the arrogance of the Belichick way of doing things.

Well, at least they are right in one respect, I think. This is all about the past.

No, not the past missteps of the Patriots organization… if I recall correctly, they have been penalized for every one of those things previously. They are being penalized for the missteps of one Roger Goodell, and all the disciplinary missteps he has made over the past season or so.

Goodell claims that the “deflategate” mess, that he claims (without any evidence) was created by the Patriots and as such besmirches the great name of the NFL. They, he crows, have tarnished the legacy… yada yada yada.

Perhaps he is most upset that they have infringed on his territory as “tarnishing the legacy of the NFL” has been mostly in his bailiwick for the past couple of years. And, if I might add, he has done an exemplary job of mucking things up.

So all the Brady-haters can gloat – who cares? the guy will be in the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible – and all the Patriotic folks can rail – the penalties will probably be overturned by an impartial panel, just like all the other proclamations on high by the Comish – because it all comes together to serve the MAJOR pirpose behind what Goodell really does extremely well:

It keeps the NFL in the news, center stage, being talked about. And, all things being equal, that’s really what is most important to Goodell, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, all the other owners and all the other players.

The NFL is front and center in the news, in chats around the water cooler, and on a billion-and-one blogs (though this one might be the billion-and-second).

Everybody’s talking about the matter. Which means (of course!) that everyone cares.



***********************



Thanks again, Roger. You’re doing a marvelous job. (And there’ll be a little something extra in your next paycheck. [wink])



To Err is All Too Human

May 2, 2015




Well, after my recent quasi-apology to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Fairfax County, I thought I should get this one off my chest as well.

Seems I had RG3 and Coach Gruden all wrong. I had thought – silly me – that RG wanted to play the game like he did in the first year when he was dynamite, explosive, tantalizing. I thought he was being saddled with this idea of being a pocket passer and I thought ill of Coach Gruden for forcing the issue.

Then came an interview with Mike Shanahan, the former coach of the Redskins. He was talking about the falling out he had with RG3 and the reason was… are you ready for this?… being a pocket passer.

Yes, RG3 saw how Shanahan had changed up the play calling when his backup played and RG said he wanted those plays as well but when he returned to the lineup, it was with the earlier playbook he had used previously. Yes, he wanted to be a pocket passer and Shanahan wouldn’t let him.

So it looks like I was wrong.

Sometimes it seems like you know what you know but it’s not what you know, you know?

And I’m glad we’ve cleared up that little bit.

Now that he wants to be a pocket-passer and Gruden wants a pocket-passer, it makes it easy to see why they’ve picked up the option on his contract.

* * *

But, for some reason… call me crazy here, but I think there is still something we are missing from the equation. Why is Gruden calling in so many backup QBs?

I guess we’ll just have to wait for the season to see where this is all going to go… or going to go wrong, again, as usual.

That’s me, always the optimist.





Tebow Soaring? Not Just Yet

April 22, 2015



Philly has signed Tim Tebow to a one year’s deal but that could mean anything at this point.

Other than reporter Trent Dilfer, every other commentator in the sports press seems to think it is going to be a waste of time, even though they all claim to have not yet gotten a chance to see the “new, improved Tebow”. Most are still complaining over the “old Tebow” with most crowing the familiar refrain that you cannot change a leopard’s spots.

If they were correct in the idea that people cannot fundamentally change, I suppose Saul of Tarsus’ tale of redemption on the road to Damascus was a lie. If people cannot change, I suppose Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t really help anyone set aside their addictions. And, it should also figure that every heartwarming story of redemption and forgiveness in the history of the world is nothing but a sham.

One thing I do know that does not seem to change is these people’s attitude about Tebow any more than you can get the press to change their stance on the Kennedy assassination.

I am hoping that Chip Kelly can prove all these people wrong by pulling off one of the great coaching miracles he has been known for.

And it won’t even matter if the talking heads praise Tim’s success as proof of Kelly’s brilliance rather than his abilities.

Which, of course, is how they will slant the story. Cannot admit they could have been wrong, y’know.




Aaron, You Shoulda Listened to Tim

April 15, 2015

Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty by a jury of his non-gansta peers and it seemed to come as a surprise to no one except Hernandez himself.

In the last few days, either he was “putting on a air of confidence” or he actually believed his high-priced lawyers were going to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

But Hernandez was no OJ, this perp had no juice. And though he was able to get rid of much of the incriminating evidence, the jury saw through the charade. Aaron has lost his mojo and will probably spend his life behind bars trying to make himself a kingpin in the prison population somewhere.

If he had paid more attention to his QB back at Florida… but then, Aaron was so little like his Biblical namesake and he probably thought Tebow a bit of a pansy with all that praying and stuff.

Tebow prayed, now Aaron pays.

Maybe he’ll find God in prison… so many do.

Let’s Move On, Shall We?

January 23, 2015

Okay, we got it. The Patriots and Belichick have cheated again… yada yada.

Let the league fine somebody and let us get back to debating over the fine points of each team going to the Super Bowl.

Because, you and I both know, the league is not going to vacate the win and send the Colts into the big one.

I think the very most they could do was take away the first half of the champioship game when New England was playing with supposedly illegal equipment. Yeah, take away the first half and the Pats still win the game 28 to zip.

Yes, it looks like their little bit of cheating worked real well. It kept them from scoring very much while Indy did score.

And once they took away the Patriots “edge” they really walloped the Colts.

Much ado about nothing except perhaps in the fine print department.

And I love how all the former QBs are weighing in like they never did anything to shift any part of the game in their favor.

Oh, no! Those guys were all as pure as the driven snow whereas Big Bad Brady is devil-incarnate second only to Bigger Badder Belichick.



And Roger Goodell can only shrug and smile, “We’ve even got an inmate in Colorado suing us for eighty-eight billion. Hey, at least everyone’s talking about football!”



The strangest playoff game

January 23, 2015

The strangest playoff game of the season was Green Bay at Seattle.

Certainly Seattle’s defense was fairly good in keeping Green Bay out of the end zone but the field goals were really stacking up.

Fourth quarter five-and-a-half minutes to play, Burnett intercepts a Wilson pass and quickly drops to the turf.

I was like WTF?? Troy Aikman praised the guy for going down and I thought what sort of weird football universe was I in?

Then the Green Bay came in and ran the ball three times to “run down the clock”.

I could understand them doing this if there was only a buck-forty on the clock but they were giving the Seahawks the ball back with something like a week to play. Hadn’t these guys ever looked at any films of Wilson play?

Seattle got a touchdown and then the Burnett drop was assisted by another drop on the on-sides kick and it was game over.

Most analysts are yapping about the on-side kick fiasco but none of that would have happened if Rodgers had come out with pretty good field position and played to win, not just run out the clock.

What was Mike McCarthy thinking?