Football is back! Training camps are open! It’s a Fantastic Friday!!!
Had a busy football week as I’m getting into “all football all the time” and chomping at the bit for all the news coming out of the training camps. Hard Knocks on HBO features the Atlanta Falcons debuts on August 5th. The NFL Network is on all day long in the background to catch news on injuries, suspensions, etc.
Dall-ass strikes again:
Curious situation going on in Dallas with the release of backup quarterback Kyle Orton. It seems that there was some friction between him and the team leading to his release. Most (like I did as well) just assumed he was retiring. Now the Cowboys bombastic owner Jerry Jones has indicated that the team had fined Orton for not attending mini-camps and save about $3 million on the cap by releasing the former starter. Of course, that leaves Dallas with (gulp!) Brandon Weeden at quarterback. With that porous offensive line in Dallas, a strong backup to Tony Romo is a must. Not sure I would want Weeden warming up on the sidelines if it was my team.
Running to glory:
Jamaal Charles worked a nifty extension out of the Chiefs this week. He is basically getting two-years and $18 million on his old deal. Whether he was going to hold out or not is up in the air, but there is no doubt he is one of the few running backs in the league with the power to hold out. Kansas City is a running team and they NEED Charles healthy and happy. Charles is not breaking the bank as he is getting a $4 million raise this year and his total deal goes to four-years for $28 million which is not a bad deal for the best offensive player on the team.
Just who is “elite” these days?
The next question is what to do with Alex Smith at quarterback. He wants “elite QB” money ($20 million per season) and the team is unlikely to negotiate near those numbers. Is he elite? Is he worth it? Was Joe Flacco worth it? How about Tony Romo? It will be interesting to see how that situation plays out over the next year. (FYI, in my opinion he is decidedly not elite and the Chiefs need to look for a young quarterback to replace Smith if he wants crazy money)
Beast-less mode in Seattle?
Marshawn Lynch is apparently holding out of training camp in Seattle. Two years ago he signed a four-year $30 million contract. Last I checked, the Seahawks front office did not have a gun placed to his head. Upset that Jamaal Charles gets more money now? Fire your agent, Marshawn. The Seahawks gave Lynch money up front and long-term security. I really hope they do not give in and let him rack up the fines for not showing up.
The Good Rice:
Former Seahawks and Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice retired at age 27 this week. He was cut from the ‘Hawks to clear cap space and came back. He missed games due to knee and concussion issues. Rice had a few good years but had many injury issues. It was a surprise since he was expected to provide depth in Seattle this year. Expect that he will be talked back into the league in the next year due to the thinness of the position in large around the league.
The Bad Rice:
Seriously? Two games and one check? That’s the price of beating the shit out of a woman in today’s NFL? This was a brutal assault caught on hotel security tapes with Rice dragging his then fiance (now wife so she does not have to testify against him?) around unconscious...unconscious because he knocked her out. Two games. Will Smith took a banned diuretic in 2011 and got two games. Wow. Terrible call...Rice deserved a season to start with at minimum.
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Big happy birthday to our Thursday blogging superstar, Old Harry. He wrote about sharing a birthday with Mick Jagger. Reminded me of a funny story with my kids a few years back. There was a popular song “Moves Like Jagger” and of course my kids (both pre-teens at that time) are asking “Who is Jagger?” as there was another song (I don’t remember) that some teeny-bopper referenced Mick as well (I just remember explaining to my 8-year old daughter what it meant to “rinse with Jack (Daniels)” or some ridiculous partying song lyric…). So the old man decides to show them just how cool Jagger was with “Dancing in the Streets” with David Bowie and then “Start me Up” with the 1981 video and all its “fantastic” fashion choices. Suffice to say the kids’ jaws were hanging open staring at the screen.
Now I love the Stones and can pull anything out of their catalog for a listen--even enjoy a lot of the newer albums but Mick had some scary fashion choices back in the day. Of course, just a few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about a Poison concert we had gone to and I fired up Poison’s “Nothin but a good time” and got that wonderful look I am sure I gave my parents when I was forced to sit and listen to “good music” be it old Hank Williams Sr. singles with my Dad pulling out the 45s or show tunes and classical with my mother playing DJ in my youth.
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OK, that’s all for now. Have a great weekend, all!
Reports of the Clippers racist bigot owner David Sterling selling his team for $2 billion after an investment of $12.5 million in 1981. Not too tough a penalty there for Sterling. The Los Angeles Dodgers went for $2.1 billion a few years back. Jimmy Haslam paid $1 billion for the Browns two years ago. So if the wretched Clippers franchise is worth $2 billion, what is the next NFL franchise for sale (or expansion team) worth?
If you look at Clippers and Dodgers both in L.A. and getting over $2 billion, the NFL must be going nuts to get a team in L.A. ASAP. What would the Dallas Cowboys go for today? San Francisco? The NY/NJ Giants? As valuable as an NBA or MLB franchise may be worth, their television contracts are insane compared to the other major sports franchises (see chart in link..graphic too large to post here)
The NFL is the biggest cash cow in sports right now. Every week during the season the games are among the most watched by the target demographics for advertisers. One could argue the Fox network was kept afloat by wisely getting their NFL broadcast rights. When every cent seemed wrung out, the NFL started their own network, put player safety in jeopardy and played games each Thursday (three days off is not enough time for players to recover and play again) which they broadcast themselves. The games became valuable enough for CBS to buy in for $275 million to broadcast just eight games in 2014.
(Look at that freaking broadcast money in the NFL here: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/02/10/Media/NFL-CBS.aspx)
Most important to watch now is the NFL Sunday Ticket money that DirecTV has had a stranglehold on and expires this year. The NFL should make all their games available to all the fans and not just dish users. Yes, you can buy NFL Mobile and the Red Zone channel, but it is not even close to seeing every game on Sunday. Many fans do not even have the option of subscribing to DirecTV in their area.
With that contract coming up, it would be surprising to not see Verizon or Comcast make a run at the Sunday Ticket package. Personally, I believe it is in the league’s best interest to keep those rights as part of NFL.com for mobile platforms and continue to build their own brand and sell the rights to the Sunday Ticket package to all the cable providers as a group so all fans have the right to purchase the package. The league needs to continue to build the value of the package like they did with Thursday Night Football and then sell it for even more.
At worst, the league needs to get the Sunday Ticket package on a major cable provider, whether Comcast, Time Warner, or Verizon. A billion per year is the starting price, but that should rise with time. The Thursday Night deal will be back up for bid, and that price will likely go up as well. For CBS, getting a primetime NFL game is a huge win in competing for eyeballs and advertising dollars.
So for the NFL with all that money pouring in from television will have the Buffalo Bills up for sale soon and somehow be getting a team into Los Angeles. Mad money in the NFL. Mad amounts of cash.
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One last NFL Note too juicy to pass up: the Molly Wop incident.
Apparently, Lions receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson’s girlfriend was involved in a dispute with the mother of his child (all of six months old). She threatened to molly wop the mother-of-his-child.
UrbanDictionary.com, to “molly wop” means “[t]o reach waaay back with your pimp hand, damn near knocking oneself off balance to deliver a massive blow with an inside closed fist to the temple of your hoe or foe.” (There are a few other definitions, but I am not listing them here since I am hoping the female in question is unable to perform a molly wop by some of the alternate definitions!)
Johnson’s girlfriend is also a Lions employee, as she is the “Manager of Partner Activation” (whatever the heck that is!--some kind of marketing position, I guess). So the team has top player and team employee in dispute with ex/mother-of-child. Yet another reason for the league to give players LESS time off in the offseason and make the job a year round at team headquarters type position.
Johnson is usually is immune to bad press--and in comparison to Aaron Hernandez he is a saint--but this is almost silly.
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OK, that’s all I have. Have a great weekend, all!
Hope everyone is gearing up for a great holiday weekend. Memorial Day may seem to be a day off, a car dealership sales weekend, or just an excuse to grill meat, but it is a solemn holiday and probably the most poignant holiday on the calendar. Be sure to take some time to reflect on our freedom and rights that so many sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for each and every day.
BIG ROUND BALLS:
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery for the third time in four years despite a less than 2% chance of getting the top pick. FIRE UP THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES.
My first thought was “Gotta make up for David Stern putting a gun to LeDouche’s head and moving him to Miami” “Gotta give Cleveland another #1 to make up for losing LeBron James”.
So do teams win by being in a location welcoming to free agents (Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, etc), the best head coach/GM duo maybe ever (San Antonio), or lucking out in the lottery (Oklahoma City and Cleveland with LeBron). Of course, since LeBron checked out of Cleveland, the draft has hardly been kind to Cleveland. Add in teams like Minnesota (ten straight lotteries!) and Sacramento (seven straight lotteries!) and it can be a flawed system without a little luck.
This year it was Milwaukee and Philadelphia who engaged in one of the LEAST-engaging battles in NBA history for the most ping-pong balls. Despite both of them blatantly throwing the season, neither was “rewarded” for “winning” with the most losses and chances for the #1 pick.
Of course, this led to much debate (as always happens) about changing the draft pick lottery system. Of course it is flawed, but then how would the league Commissioner be able to shuttle the best players to the team’s he has chosen worthy of succeeding?
The Patriots brought in former Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas for a workout this week. Thomas is easy to root for having had torn his right ACL in both 2011 AND 2012 and came back strong last season. Thomas started slow (predictably) but by the end of the season he had some excellent games playing the slot cornerback position. Last year (per ProFootballFocus.com) he only allowed two touchdowns in the last nine games after allowing four in his first five games.
Although New England has a very good slot cornerback in the much-maligned Kyle Arrington (he can’t play outside but he is fantastic inside), they resigned him at a premium price. If Thomas can provide quality play at ⅛ the price, he is a shoo-in to steal a roster spot. New England has to think about clearing cap space for Darrelle Revis long-term and Arrington could be a victim.
Draft pick signings have gone from high drama to nothing exciting. With the new CBA there just aren’t any issues anymore and players get slotted and signed quickly. For the league it is a huge win as teams do not suffer through long, drawn-out contentious signings with way too much money tied up in unproven players. For the players, it’s a huge win as they get the playbook and get practicing asap. For the fans, it’s less drama but a better product on the field.
ProFootballFocus.com did their top 101 players (based on 2013) and it was a very interesting list. Not sure if its “premium content, but screw it, here’s the list:
1. J.J. Watt
2. Robert Quinn
3. Peyton Manning
4. Gerald McCoy
5. Lavonte David
6. Richard Sherman
7. Evan Mathis
8. Lesean McCoy
9. Andrew Whitworth
10. Marshawn Lynch
11. Jamaal Charles
12. Joe Thomas
13. Jimmy Graham
14. Robert Mathis
15. Trent Williams
16. Michael Bennett
17. Ndamukong Suh
18. Darrelle Revis
19. Calais Campbell
20. Earl Thomas
21. Justin Houston
22. Devin McCourty
23. Brent Grimes
24. Patrick Willis
25. Josh Sitton
26. Kyle D. Williams
27. Jurrell Casey
28. Kam Chancellor
29. Marcell Dareus
30. Dontari Poe
31. NaVorro Bowman
32. Brandon Marshall
33. Antonio Brown
34. Jason Peters
35. Calvin Johnson
36. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
37. Eric Berry
38. Adrian L. Peterson
39. Jordy Nelson
40. Cameron Jordan
41. Greg Hardy
42. Jordan Gross
43. Philip Rivers
44. Tyron Smith
45. Louis Vasquez
46. Cameron Wake
47. Anquan Boldin
48. Russell Wilson
49. Keenan Lewis
50. Terrance Knighton
51. Andre Johnson
52. Thomas Davis
53. DeMaryius Thomas
54. Joe Staley
55. Randy Starks
56. Brandon Mebane
57. Tamba Hali
58. Patrick Peterson
59. Karlos Dansby
60. Drew Brees
61. Donte Whitner
62. Stephen Tulloch
63. Keenan Allen
64. Chris Harris Jr.
65. Aldon Smith
66. Jason Hatcher
67. Larry Warford
68. Von Miller
69. Elvis Dumervil
70. Eddie Lacy
71. Nate Solder
72. Derrick O. Johnson
73. Alshon Jeffery
74. Josh Gordon
75. Joe Haden
76. DeMarco Murray
77. Brian Orakpo
78. Jason Kelce
79. Desmond Trufant
80. Luke Kuechly
81. Sheldon Richardson
82. Alex Mack
83. Michael D. Johnson
84. Tyrann Mathieu
85. Vontaze Burfict
86. Will Hill
87. John Sullivan
88. Trent Cole
89. DeSean Jackson
90. Tom Brady
91. Damon Harrison
92. T.Y. Hilton
93. Alterraun Verner
94. Cliff Avril
95. Troy Polamalu
96. Eric Weddle
97. A.J. Green
98. Phil Loadholt
99. Jake Long
100. T.J. Ward
101. Marques Colston
Very interesting, and it’s clear that PFF loves the big, fat linemen. J.J. Watt and Robert Quinn over Manning is a definite surprise. How many people have Tampa’s DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David as top 5 players? Cincinnati G/T Andrew Whitworth and Philadelphia tackle Evan Mathis as top 10 talents? Not exactly the NFL.com top 100 players for sure.
Ravens running back Ray Rice has skated and is now avoiding prosecution for knocking his fiancee/now wife unconscious and dragging her through the casino. Today (Friday) they are supposed to have a joint press conference to announce he went through a “diversion program” and the team is bending over backwards to slobber praise all over Rice. Hopefully the NFL manages to suspend the woman-beating scumbag for at least a few game checks. It sends a bad message to let him get away with it after such a prominent display of aggression off-the-field.
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OK, that’s it for today! Have a great long weekend all!
Play that funky music right!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Hockey? Never heard of it.
NHL? What does that stand for?
Bruins? Are you talking UCLA?
I don’t know what this hockey thing is that everyone is talking about. Quite odd. Anyway, time for football.
The final result is in for the Robert Griffin III trade between the St. Louis Rams and the Washington Redskins. Like the famous Herschel Walker Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys trade in the 1980s this is as one-sided as it gets. For the Redskins they got a dynamic quarterback who had a horrible second season as he was rushed back from a knee injury and this year is a huge turning point in his career.
For the Rams, this is the final haul:
DT Michael Brockers
CB Janoris Jenkins
RB Isaiah Pead
G Rokevious Watkins
LB Alec Ogletree
WR Stedman Bailey
RB Zac Stacy
OT Greg Robinson
That is not just a haul, it is just plain highway robbery. The Redskins traded up for RG3 (three first round picks and a second round pick) which St. Louis turned into eight players and five picked in the top fifty picks. While running back Isaiah Pead is the weak link of the deal, Zac Stacy looks like a steal in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. It was a great deal for St. Louis even if they did nothing with the picks and just stayed put. The NFL Draft at the end of the day is about maximizing the picks and the Rams are back in the NFC West race with San Francisco and Seattle thanks to the Redskins.
The best part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement has been the elimination of the rookie holdouts (for the most part). With cutting another two weeks off the rookie playbook learning and coaching time to have the NFL Draft on during primetime during sweeps week to increase revenue for NFL Network and the 4-Letter Network, holdouts take on more of a sense of urgency to get to work. It is nice to see that many first, second, third, etc round picks are already signing. There really is not anything to negotiate, so these kids can get into the facility and get learning ASAP.
Greg Little, Andrew Hawkins, Nate Burleson, Travis Benjamin, and Miles Austin. What is missing? Cleveland star receiver Josh Gordon. With the news leaked he is potentially up for a one year suspension (what an idiot!) Cleveland is back to “Droppy”, “Ordinary”, “No Speedy”, “Punt Returny”, and now they brought in “Injury-Proney”. Somehow that does not do much to inspire the masses in Cleveland as they try to replace Gordon, aka the best receiver (ok, Detroit, maybe second best) in the NFL.
The NFL Draft was also historic as it had the most special seventh round draft pick in defensive end Michael Sam who was drafted by Rams. Sam--as most all of the country now knows--is the first openly homosexual player to be drafted in the NFL. For Sam, I said good for him for being comfortable enough with himself to come out to his teammates. Now can we just move on and get to football?
Former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez is back in the news being indicted for killing two men prior to his current alleged murder incarceration. While it may help keep him off the streets (which is good) if his high-priced legal team finds a technicality to exploit, it is no help for the Patriots salary cap. Mike Florio indicates over at NBC Sports that had the Patriots made the league suspend Hernandez and did not cut him they could recoup the money.
I remember writing about it at the time somewhere, but I still agree with the Patriots decision cut him. For a team to do the morally wrong thing to save money on the cap is so wrong. The Patriots made a statement about their organization’s moral code and actually put their money where their mouth was so to speak. The team could have kept him on the team suspended, but they did the right thing...they got rid of a mistake.
Speaking of the Patriots, there was a brief period of time this week where social media blew up because there was a rumor Houston was looking to trade wide receiver Andre Johnson (or, more likely he was upset about being on a rebuilding team. For Houston (and first year coach Bill O’Brien) they have no reason to trade Johnson. They added no one. he is cheap this year (under $7 million cap charge, and they have a chance to bounce right back and challenge the Colts.
One last Patriots note: former receiver in 2006 Reche “Catch the Damn Ball in the AFC Championship and its New England beating the crap out of the Bears in the Super Bowl” Caldwell was arrested for the second time this year. This week was possession of a controlled substance (amazed he retained possession since he DROPPED THE DAMN BALL WHEN WIDE OPEN!) and earlier this year he was arrested for running an illegal gambling option (shocking since he was such a poor GAMBLE in 2006!). Wow, lot of set-up for just releasing some pent-up rage that was almost a decade old.
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OK, that’s all for this week. Thanks as always for stopping by and have a super weekend!
That's right people...Kate Upton is a Rangers fan too...But lets be honest...Smart, foulmouthed guys like me, and good looking women have one thing in common...Our love of the Rangers...Am I right Margot Robbie?
Sunday night the Rangers tied up their series with the cheap-shotting, always crying, Shittsburgh Penguins...The last couple of games the Rangers seem to be clicking...Although it still scares me that the line of Brassard, Pouliot, and Zuccarello have been their best line...Pssst...Rick Nash, get your shit together! Game 7 will be Tuesday night...And of course, like most games nights...I'll be working...SHIT!
And anyone who wants to deny Crosby is a cheap-shotting, dirty, crybaby player...NBC Sports actually showed it, and called him on it...I know...I was shocked too...It was after game 5 and the Rangers had all the Penguins frustrated...Crosby slashed, speared, cross-checked, shoved, multiple Rangers, and then would cry when some one knocked him on his ass, or pushed back...Here's a clip from game 6 of Crosby being a punk-ass...But there's a bonus feature in it...
Watch closely, as Crosby is slammed to the ice, and Lundqvist is skating by...Henrik gives him a little water bottle squirt to the face...I love it....
It's even more funny, because there was all kinds of shit raised about Bruins Shawn Thorton squirting PK Subban in the face Saturday...I believe Thorton was fined...So I'm sure Boston will be watching to see what happens with this...Mind you, any fine they could give Lundqvist wouldn't even dent his wallet...
Anyways...Fuck Crosby...I'd completely be happy if his career ended Tuesday...He may be a superstar that the NHL is trying to sell...But he's not what you should be selling...I would never tell a kid, 'watch Crosby, that's how you should play'...It's not...If I was building a hockey team and was told I had to take 5 Penguins...He wouldn't be on my team...He can score...Big deal...Hockey isn't just scoring...Fuck Crosby!
Now...I guess I need to talk about the NFL Draft...I mean it was the big news this week/weekend...I watched Thursday night...I loved the Browns trading down...They robbed the Bills of their 1st and 4th next year, just so the Bills could move up 5 spots...Then the Browns took shutdown corner Justin Gilbert...And Browns fans bitched...Heaven forbid you have a guy playing opposite Joe Haden to lockdown the secondary...There was even a former sports writer from the Cleveland Plain Dealer who bitched on twitter how CB's don't win games, QB's do...Hey Timmy Rogers, maybe that's why you're out of work dipshit...You're right, Seattle's defense had nothing to do with their success...Fucking idiots!
Then all the talk was about Johnny Manziel falling...Except, if anyone paid any real attention to scouts, you'd know that NO NFL team thought he was worth a top 10 pick...Then the Browns jumped up from 26 to 22 for their 5th round pick, and....They took Manziel....And Cleveland went batshit, fucking crazy with joy...A new savior has risen to throw interceptions!
Forgive me for not being as excited as the rest of Cleveland...I don't like the kid...And I don't think he'll last in the NFL...Then Friday it was leaked that the Browns paid $100,000 for a full, analytical, statistical breakdown, of who would be the best QB in this draft for them...It came back Teddy Bridgewater...So, that the guy I liked, and I'm not surprised the Browns ignored what their money told them...Then, just before round two and three kicked off, it was released that All-Pro, WR Josh Gordon failed another drug test...Second in the NFL, plus two in college...Some fucking assholes never learn...So he'll be suspended for awhile...But the Browns didn't change their draft strategy, even after it broke the WR Nate Burleson broke his arm in OTA's...So Greg Ooops I Dropped It Little is the man, because the Browns drafted no WR's...But I really like the RB from Towson they drafted...Could have...Better have a strong ground game this year!
Listen, I don't like the Manziel pick, but I like how they got there...I like that they raped the Bills over 5 spots, so they walk into next years draft with 2 first rounders again...I love the Gilbert pick...Dude also is quick and can return kicks...They picked up a good Tackle, and a good Running back...A strong LB from Iowa, and another depth CB...They had a plan and they executed it...We'll see how it works...
And then some draft news for all the Notre Dame haters...The Irish had 8 players drafted...Then 6 undrafted free agents signed...How'd your team?
Oh, and when you watch the draft next year, watch on the NFL Network...Fuck Berman, Gruden, Kiper, and Ray Lewis...And besides those annoying ass-hats, Mike Mayock blows Kiper out of the water...Dude knows his shit...Hits on a lot more then Kiper or McShay...Shit, Mayock nailed it at pick 100 when it was a kid that won't even play next year because of a ACL injury that happened at the senior bowl...I about shit...
That's it for now...Have a week...