Posts Tagged ‘football’

I’m Just Sayin’…

January 16, 2013

While it is a truism that no good deed goes unpunished, and equally true that sometimes you’ve only got one shot…

It is also true that a man is greater than the sum of his parts.

The new GM for the Jacksonville Jaguars – the team everyone assumed Tebow would next play for – has announced they really have no place in their organization for the man.

Most people have said that Tebow did miserably while at the Jets… but when was he given the chance? They used him sparingly over the season. The “brilliant” (a self-proclaimed moniker, I believe) coach Ryan would rather lose with Sanchez.

Tebow’s brother tweeted his side of the argument but he has no say in the matter. (If you missed that, he basically reminded everyone that the last playoff win in Denver was by none other than his brother, Tim.)

Analysts all claim that both Denver and New York have said he is a “terrible” QB.

If Tebow was such a bad QB, how could he take Denver on such a wild ride into the playoffs? Probably, had he gone all the way to the Super Bowl, they would still have said the same thing.

Why?

Because in practice, Tebow looks lousy.

Therefore he cannot play good enough for the NFL, right?

But practice is not the same as the game and some people are simply better when put in the right conditions.

A fine example of that is Kaepernick, the young QB who rallied the 49ers to beat the Packers, and that’s after he threw a pick-six on the opening drive.

Picking talent is a seemingly rare talent. There are too many stories about the “draft busts” over the years. Choices made by people supposedly good at judging talent.

Yet, as many people know, it is not always the quality of the stars that means the most. I remember a certain team out of Miami that was not full of the greatest stars in the NFL but they seem to have gone undefeated. Later greats like Dan Marino could not surround himself with a team like that.

What is that indefinable thing that causes some people to form into a great team, and for the individual parts to become better than they otherwise might have been?

Joe Montana was picked in the third round because they said he did not have arm strength that was NFL caliber. They said he couldn’t compete in the NFL.

Tom Brady was chosen in the sixth round because he looked positively horrible at the Combine. They said he couldn’t compete in the NFL.

And that shows you what their statistics and miles of “practice” footage will get you.

Tebow deserves a shot because he has already shown he can do the job.

But I don’t think anyone in the NFL is smart enough to know it. Or to look back at that footage.

What Is It With the Jets?

December 30, 2012

[Yes, yet another useless football-oriented entry… but don’t worry: the season is almost over!]

Sure we know that everyone ♥ New York but is the place becoming the “vacation year” for athletes?

Brett Favre came out of retirement and Green Bay immediately shipped the guy off to the Jets for one year. Then he was traded to Minnesota the next year and took them on a pretty good run into the playoffs.

Now Tim Tebow has gone to the same Jets for – apparently – only one year before being shipped off to who knows where… probably Jacksonville, where he wanted to go in the first place rather than… well, New York, which everyone ♥, by the way.

I know there is not enough data here to make any decent statistical analysis but what is going on here? Is New York the new sabbatical, or is it more of the new “Time Out” corner for slightly bizarre players? (Sure, you want to add “and coaches”… but Ryan has been there for more than a year.)

Maybe it is just some sort of jinx. I mean, two rather exceptional (though much maligned) quarterbacks have both spent their year in purgatory (i.e. New York Jets organization, not the city, which everyone ♥’s) in utter mediocrity before moving on to where they wanted to go in the first place.

Do the Jets just not know how to use talent when they get it or what? I mean, they did pretty good back in the days of Broadway Joe. He was able to take them places…

Ah, but that was in the days before Broadway Rex.

Don’t ya just ♥ New York?

Keeping the Score Straight

October 17, 2012

After three weeks of watching the NFL season I think the tally is what sent Commissioner Goodell over the edge. The score?

REFS – 0 // REPLACEMENTS – -35

And you’re probably wondering how could anyone have a negative score? But if you had watched any of the games, it is easy to see how.

So, now we have the real refs back and the games can get back to being a contest between the teams on the field rather than a contest between the prima donna coaches and the men in the zebra shirts that were completely unprepared for the “big leagues”.

And no longer will we have to worry about the deep pockets of the owners getting even deeper (which they will) and their carping about how much their profits will be cut into (don’t worry, they won’t)…

At least until the next time the players, the media, the fans, the refs, or Commissioner Goodell decide to try and flex their muscles.

Maybe all those sorts of nuisances should remove themselves from the league and go join the NBA where that sort of behavior seems to be welcomed.

And the rest of us can get back to the really important things about football…

Like the fantasy players and the bounty set-up by certain defensive coordinators – funny, isn’t that sort of thing called “offensive” to most sensibilities? – and whether some real teams (remember those?) will make the playoffs this year?

But, hey, it’s only a game, right?

All things being equal, what if…?

March 22, 2012

Now that the bounty scandal is exposed and the guilty parties have been handed their suspensions, one can only wonder if the next – seemingly obvious – step will be taken.

After all, the sources show that the Saints’ bounty system hit its peak in the year they won the Super Bowl with especial regard to the hits leveled against Bret Favre and Kurt Warner. Who’s to say that their bounties did not, ultimately, get them into the big game and brought them out as the winners?

And we all remember what happened to the Heisman Trophy which Reggie Bush had won, after certain irregularities came to the surface.

They recanted the award.

College sports often see this happening: a team wins through means that are a shade different than what is considered fair and their championships are negated.

The NFL has never done such a thing but it would seem to be the rather obvious outcome from the breadth and depth of the bounty scandal. It seems obvious that it led to their Super Bowl victory.

The Saints’ organization and their fan-base are already reeling from the justice already dispensed. What if the record books were changed to read: “Super Bowl XLIV – no winner”.

Perhaps it would be best way to send a very strong message to “professionals” in the NFL ranks for the future, let them know that cheaters – of whatever stripe – will not be rewarded with the Lombardi trophy.

I think Vince Lombardi would prefer it that way.

The Passing of a Legend

January 23, 2012

Today, the flags in Pennsylvania are flying at half-mast to mark the passing of Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach for Penn State University, who succumbed to lung cancer over the wekend.

A couple of months ago, when the furor erupted at Penn State over the Sandusky affair, my wife asked how long he had been coach there. Looking back, I could not remember any other head coach at Penn State for my entire football-watching life.

It turns out, Joe Paterno became a coach at Penn State the year before I was born. By the time I was fifteen he was the head coach of the team. And though I saw many different Notre Dame coaches over the years, Paterno remained at the helm at Penn State.

In many ways, it seemed a stabilizer in life, something one could always depend on: Paterno bringing out his boys onto the playing field.

Now, I hear many reports that his career is marred by the Sandusky affair. Though many people speak out and say he should have done more, I have worked for universities and know how their rules work in cases like this. It is passed up the chain of command to someone whose job it is to handle the incident. And that person usually has a legal background. Joe had a legal background as well and knew who to pass it along to.

I have known people working for universities who have gone to the legal authorities – or even the press – with rather explosive stories. They may be guided by a strong moral fiber but in most cases will find themselves fired and – in some cases arrested – for not following the rules.

Joe did what he knew to be the correct action. Unfortunately, the people he informed did not perform their due diligence in regards to the law. If Joe had taken further actions, he would have been in violation of his contract.

This is in no way implying that his contract was more important that the young people involved but there were systems in place to take care of such sensitive issues. That those higher up the food chain fell down is not a reflection on Paterno.

I do not think his legacy will be marred by the politicking of the people who should have been operating in the University’s best interests, rather than attempting some pre-emptive spin-control.

As someone once said about another legend years ago, “He now belongs to the ages.”