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.

The Real Problem, as I See It

June 10, 2015




Since my wife works for Fairfax County Public Schools, I quite often have a bone to pick with the way things are run. I would try writing a letter campaign to the administrators but I sometimes doubt they would be able to read it, understand it, or both.

Sure we have the wonderful SOLs that have to be taken because of national mandate and we all know how good those things are. When I was young, we had the tests the last week of school and had maybe one half-day afterwards.

Today they have two weeks of school AFTER the end of the tests. And what exactly do the teachers do in that valuable block of time? Play movies, have parties, and the like. You know, real constructive use of the teachers and the children’s time.

I don’t know, maybe they are contracturally obligated for a certain number of days, even if the time spend is wasted. Who knows?

Anyway, near the start of the year, wife planned an event at the school (one she does every year) and it has always been held in a certain room. The week before the event, someone in the office called her and said she couldn’t have the room.

Seems they instituted a new rule that all room requests had to be approved and set on the “Master Schedule” and someone else had requested that date just a week before – several weeks after the event had been announced. So she had to contact the parents and students and move the event to another, less favorable, venue.

Fast forward to today. It is nearing the end of a long and exhausting school year and the final event planned is due to occur next week. It was approved to be held in the gym and put on the “Master Schedule” three months ago.

Well, apparently the schedule is really master of nothing. The thrid grade teachers decided they wanted to hold their year-end celebration in the gym and, since parents are coming as well, they simply erased the name of the “scheduled” event and penciled in their own, with the administrators’ approval, of course.



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



See why I think the administrators might not be able to read anything I wrote to them?

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.



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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.





Backing the Right Horse

May 1, 2015




I know I gave Superintendent of Public Instruction Karen Garza a hard time recently over the flak of the first snow days of the winter past but she has been doing a good job and there were no other fiascoes after that first snowy day.

Now she has another battle on her hands: the Fairfax County School Board has voted themselves massive pay raises (that is, if you conside 33% increases “massive”) while announcing there is a budget shortfall this year and the education services are going to have to be reduced. And, no, the teachers will get no more than a 0.6% pay raise to make up for the lack of COLAs for the past seven years.

Though the school board would probably like to have kept all this on the low-down, Superintendent Garza has gone very public with her feelings of betrayal by the elected body. And I’m sure it is touching a sensitive nerve throughout the county.

Several teacher friends of my wife have already announced their retirement from the county and moving to another county with better pay. Yes, we are losing a lot of the really good teachers. It does not bode well.

Then there is a new Facebook page started up to pass out information to the voters in the county about the very real need to have the current school board members voted out of office come November and put in some more service-oriented folk.

What I am wondering – and this is an idea that has been gathering dust in my closet since I first mentioned it a dozen years ago – is that there might be another source of support funding for the school system. Since the duly-elected government officials seem to be falling down so hard on the job, let’s turn this over to the corporate sector.

Just like Dan Snyder sold the naming rights for the Redskin’s Jack Kent Cook Stadium (now called “Fedex Field”) why not offer the same sort of coverage to corporate sponsors of public education?

The fees for naming High Schools would be more than Elementary Schools, of course, and the names could be combined.

Lanier Wells Fargo Middle School. Southfield Exxon-Mobil High. Don’t those names simply sing?

And Exxon-Mobil has enough money that they could name more than one high school in the county!

I am certain there are enough corporations with large enough marketing funds to assist the county’s shortfall. And each of the company’s could also have special projects funded in the schools as well. Not just for helping groom future employees but for assisting in grooming the future working force of America.

I know that Google and Lockheed Martin are already partnered in many ways with some of the local schools in different support roles so why not a more direct funding option as well?

It could be a win-win for everyone.

Although I do not know how much control over the curriculum the sponsors should be allowed. If any.

(Hmm, I wonder if Woodson Martian Publishing High has the proper ring to it?)






Bunches of Troubles

April 25, 2015








Maybe it’s just me, I suppose, but does anyone else notice something really odd about the bananas this year?

In previous years, I could buy a bunch that was a bit green and wait two days for them to be all yellow, and ready to eat.

This year, however, the green ones stay green longer at home and when I do crack one open it is all soft and mushy… which in previous years would have been signified with a spotty or brown peeling. So it is like the thing is unripened on the outside but over-ripe in the middle.

Weird, huh?

And then there are some that seem to be a bit grayish in their greenness and the surface seems to feel a bit waxy. These suckers do not change color one iota but are still over-ripe on opening.

Bruises to the banana used to show up on the peeling as well. A dark spot or brown patch would hint of something damaged inside.

Not so this year! The banana looks clean and perfect outside but inside has large mushy brown spots caused from either bruising or dropping from the top of the banana tree. Or rolling over it with a fork lift.

Normally, I go ape over bananas but this year it seems to have less appeal that before.

Unless, of course, you are making banana bread, whipped bananas, stewed bananas or fermented banana mash.

Maybe I’ll check out the organic bananas and see it they have the same problem.

Somehow, I don’t think they will.




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.