Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Fall is a great time of year to be in Austin, Texas. For the next two months, we get what many of you have in the summer. The days are generally warm and sunny with gradually cooling nights. It is not great for swimming, but it is nice for just about anything else. The remnants of Hurricane Odile spent a few days in Austin last week and gave Julie and I a nice surprise. Very early on Thursday morning, Julie stepped out of bed to find ankle deep water in our bedroom. We are unwilling pros by now, so we knew the routine. Buckets, mops and towels and a few hours had the water removed. But, in looking at the pictures of the destruction the storm did in Cabo San Lucas, I suppose we got off easy. I have been designing a drain solution in my mind and with the nice weather ahead…I plan to put my plan in motion. I am not looking forward to the digging and concrete work I have to look forward to…but it sure beats scooping water at 5:30 in the morning.
It will take a lot of digging but I am going to figure it out...
I have been thinking long and hard about events in the NFL and I have found some peace in my thinking. With the headlines of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson blasting our senses, it has been tough to enjoy the football that we have seen so far. We see the bad behavior of the players and the obvious attempt by the league to cover up the mess and it makes us angry. Each day there is another layer of the onion peeled away to provide us with more details to chew or stew on…if you will. I hear people say that the game has lost its way and that today’s players are not worth their time. I beg to differ. The game of football is still the same game that it has always been. Oh, I know that the money is different and that some of the rules have changed…so what? The players playing today represent society today...just as players in the past represented society at that time. As several writers at the Gab have pointed out, there is bad behavior in all walks of life. The problems we see in the NFL are the same things happening on Wall Street, Main Street, that street and this street. The difference is that the media is not necessarily looking on these streets in the same manner that they seek out the high profile athletes of professional sports.
Radatz wrote a terrific blog on Sunday. If you missed it, you should take a moment and check it out:
I completely agree with everything that Radatz expresses. The thing that really resonated with me is the point about the media not grabbing scoops anymore. Once upon a time, this was the job of the media…to be the first to grab the scoop on a story. With the advent of technology, the scoop is no longer available for today’s media. Now, the media is left to dig through leftovers to try to find another angle to a story that has already broken. It is why we see a daily rehash of events with a slightly different spin or sometimes just analysis of details that have already occurred. This is why a big media event like Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson never seems to go away.
I recently had a discussion with a couple friends on facebook. One point of discussion was that athletes have a responsibility to be role models. As Radatz writes…we expect kids from nowhere that reach the NFL to have poise and etiquette. Is it realistic to think that a football player that is suddenly flush understands how the privileged are supposed to behave? I am not making excuses for athletes, but I think we should realize the fallacy of our expectations. Players are people that act as adults how they saw parents and others behave in their childhood. The way to handle this is the same way anyone learns…have rules and hold them accountable if they screw up. Let’s talk about the story of Brandon Marshall, the wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. Marshall was an amazing talent in Denver, but because of off field and onfield incidents was traded to Miami. He did not get along very well in Miami either, so he was traded to Chicago. Marshall was guilty of horrible behavior. Numerous instances of violence seemed to follow Marshall and led to him actually being stabbed by his wife. In 2011, Marshall was diagnosed with a mental illness called BPD. Since that time, Brandon Marshall is a new man. He has learned through therapy how to deal with the symptoms of his illness. It should be noted that Marshall does not attempt to excuse his past behavior by blaming his actions on his disease. Here is exactly what Marshall believes, "I'm making myself vulnerable, and I want it to be clear that this is the opposite of damage control.” I find it very telling that Marshall chooses not to attempt to do what the NFL has done…damage control. Brandon Marshall is an example of a player that left behind unacceptable behavior and learned a different way. Today, Marshall is working hard to attempt to bring discussion of mental health into polite conversation. It is his goal to become for mental health what Magic Johnson has become for HIV. In case you have wondered about his lime green shoes, it is the color that he has chosen to promote mental health awareness.
As a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I must admit that I had to hold my nose while watching the team in the 90s. While it was awesome to see the Super Bowl wins, it was embarrassing to see what Michael Irvin and many other Cowboys did off the field during this time period. Since that time, the stench has been the behavior and ineptness of Jerry Jones. I have refused to turn my back on the Dallas Cowboys, because this is my team. Likewise, I refuse to leave the game because of a few knuckleheads. Allowing the actions of a few players dictate my action as a fan is ridiculous. I am not suggesting that we accept bad behavior, but simply call it what it is...a reflection of where we are as a society. I hear some say that the NFL must be vigilant against tarnishing the shield. There is an image to uphold and anyone causing damage to the reputation of the NFL must be admonished. With this, I completely agree...but must qualify the statement. I have an issue with those that would be more concerned with damage control than doing the right thing. I am reminded of words from the movie Scent of a Woman:
Be careful what kind of leaders you're producing here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury, but I can tell you this: He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it. Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make you proud one day, I promise you.
As an industry, the NFL must do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I am sick and tired of watching people make decisions based upon the right "image". If you do the right thing, the image will be taken care of. Integrity is in short supply today and that is too bad. We worry too much about how actions are perceived and should focus on what we believe in. If hitting a woman is wrong, then by God...put rules in place and move forward. Obviously, there are men everywhere that are not learning that it is wrong to hit a woman. Hopefully, the story of Ray Rice will be the beginning of young men learning the right way.
We see so many negatives today, that we often overlook the positives that football brings to the lives of young men. I had the pleasure of watching a video of a young Georgetown Texas football player and felt compelled to share here:
This young man understands what is necessary to be successful. It is a totally awesome example of all that is right with the game of football. While we are constantly reminded of the bad in the NFL, remember that there are many players just like Apollos that play the game. We forget this, because there is no value for the media to analyze this type of story.
Did you see that Mark Wahlberg left Patriot owner Robert Kraft hanging? LMAO...
Leave it to Tom Brady to make things right...
Tom Brady shows off his photoshop skills in putting a high five up for his owner...exactly as you would expect from the leader of his team!
Did you realize that every single point in the week 3 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots were scored by a player with "kowski" in their last name? Amazing as it may seem, the only players to score a point in this game were: Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski and Sebastian Janikowski. While this is a funny item, I would think that Patriot fans might find this tidit of news to be a tad worrisome. A win is a win, but it is clear that the offensive line is causing Tom Terrific a bit of problem. But, I would say to Patriot fan...Coach Bill will figure it out. My guess is that a 300 yard passing day and 3TDs are soon in the cards for Brady. While on that subject, have you noticed that many teams have stolen the Seahawk and 49er secret to 2013 success? Defense and running the ball have been much more in vogue this year. Of course there have been a few shootouts, but more teams understand that scoring a bunch of points does not always result in a win. Here are some fantasy numbers for 2014 that I found interesting:
QB: 1,408 FPTS (Fantasy Points), down 6.6 percent from 2013 and 3.4 percent from the 2011-13 seasons combined. RB: 1,555 FPTS, up 13.8 percent from 2013 and 7.1 percent from 2011-13. WR: 1,821 FPTS, down 9.3 percent from 2013 and 7.3 percent from 2011-13.
TE: 679 FPTS, down 6.5 percent from 2013 and 5.7 percent from 2011-13.
While this is only represents three games, it is still a reminder that the NFL is the ultimate copycat league. If you are successful, teams notice and adjust.
That is all I have today , but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
When you're riding in a time machine way far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.
If you were a pirate, you know what would be the one thing that would really make you mad? Treasure chests with no handles. How the hell are you supposed to carry it?!
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.
Jameis Winston...is the boy really that clueless???
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where its hard for the locals not to be disillusioned with the state of the NFL today
Goodell’s continued fumbling
I dunno, Roger Goodell just seems to make one mistake after another. He hasn’t made a faux pas in the classic sense but his continued bullheaded and almost tone deaf attitude to the growing crisis that is developing in the NFL is just amazing. Goodell to me comes off as someone that just doesn’t get it. His smug, I am the football god mentality wore thin with me a long time ago. It just annoyed me to no end that when all this mess with Rice and Peterson was going on that Goodell seemed distant, even standoffish. It just amazed me that the head man of such a pub conscious league like the NFL would be so quiet and then just now be giving a full press conference like he did late last week. I honestly think that the NFL has overplayed themselves so much that the media and fan backlash will be palpable.
There was a point in time where I really liked Jameis Winston. He shows poise beyond his years, played a cool yet focused game and seemed to just “get it” having a shockingly calm media presence. But as time has worn on the shine has worn off and Winston is behaving like another version of Johnny Football, an entitled brat who just doesn’t get how lucky he is. Winston, as you know was supposed to be suspended for the first half of their big game against Clemson for shouting obscenities in a student union cafeteria. I wasn’t perturbed by that. I know I did some pretty nutty things in college, my soundtrack was often very expletive laced. But Winston being as high profile a player and campus personality should have known better and known that the microscope was on him at all times. He cant get away with the antics that I would have. Winston compounded his error by lying to his coaches about what happened and getting the suspension lengthened to a full game. Winston further compounded his error by then dressing in full uniform and pads and warming up before the game. He had to be told by Seminole coach Jimbo Fischer that he needed to go back into the locker room and get out of the pads. He did and was a visble cheerleader on the sidelines but did not play in the Noles thrilling 23-17 OT win over the Tigers. Fischer said in a later press conference that Winston’s suspension “hit home” and that he was the starter in the Noles next game against NC State. Winston has had a few minor run ins and was of course under investigation for sexual assault but has never been arrested. Winston’s antics may have likely cost him millions of dollars as teams may be reconsidering making him the face of their franchise going forward, especially with the mess that is going on in the NFL. Many teams may eschew the talented though troublesome QB just to save themselves that much money in bad pub.
Is Michigan really that bad?
It’s a really sad time in Ann Arbor, it seems that the once deeply respected Maize and Blue is turning into another Big Ten (plus 4) also ran. After being humiliated by Notre Dame in their final meeting of the foreseeable future the Wolverines retreated home to beat up on some non-con victims ahead of their conference schedule. All seemed to be going to form as the eased past a winless Miami-Ohio and sert their sights on Utah. The problem was that the Utes weren’t rolling over and taking the L like a patsy. Taking the fight to the Wolverines in the Big House the Utes dominated the Wolverines in the run game, They hounded QB Devin Gardner into a host of mistakes and when it was all over had a stunning 26-10 win in front of a stunned sullen Michigan crowd expecting another walkover win. The Michigan offense is nearly nonexistent and wins have suddenly become tougher to get the Maize and Blue and 3-7 in their last ten and have one touchdown in their last three games against teams in the Power 5 and that was a meaningless late bowl game score in a loss to Kansas State. The grumbling for head coach Brady Hoke’s head are getting louder especially with hated rivals in Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame looking so much better. The calls for a really big name like a Les Miles or Michigan man Jim Harbaugh to come back to his alma mater are starting to grow more fervent. The coaches and players are all saying the same thing that Hoke is their guy and that they are dedicated but the natives are getting restless and if they lose the little brown jug to Minnesota next week, the catcalls will most certainly get louder.
Phat Dap or Head Slap? You decide
This week I cant decide if I want to give KTVA reporter Charlo Greene dap or a slap for her antics here, watch the full report and you decide
reporting a story then quitting on air at its conclusion and finding out that she was the owner of the company in question. Im not a weed smoker but wouldn’t down someone who does. But could be called a ballsy play or just crazy.I felt kinda bad for Alexis Fernandez who was caught totally off guard by the move and stammered through the rest of the report
Indiana gets beat by Bowling Green, then goes to Mizzou and upends the Tigers meanwhile BG goes to Wisky and get run over literally by the Badgers…can you explain this to me?
My beloved Bearcats struggled to beat neighborhood rival Miami, I thought that they could catch Ohio State napping, but they had two weeks to prepare and after Gunner Kiels wow debut wont be caught unaware. Im going but I have a bad feeling.
Could Cousins push RGIII to the trading block?
How did the Braves fall off that fast?
Why is one of my fantasy teams 0-3 and one of the higher scoring teams while my 3-0 team hasn’t cracked 90 points in any win?
Posts on Thursday and Friday until next post fellow sports fans!
Quiet indeed....That's what you're getting from me in regards to the NFL...Last week I said I was done, and I really did mean it...The NFL's abuse of those who tried to bring CTE to light was horrible enough...This Ray Rice shit was totally fucked...Then Adrian Peterson whipping the hell out of one of 4 year old kids, from one of the countless women he has impregnated...Then Jonathan Dwyer breaks his baby's momma's nose and also got some shots in on the 18 month old...I'm not calling for a boycott...I'm not asking you to join me...Fuck it...Do what you want...This is just me taking a personal stand...And to show you how much I mean it, my pal Sully texted me while I was at work Sunday, asking why my fantasy roster was empty? I mean what I say...The NFL will get none of my time or money...
Luckily, working Thursday nights, all day Sunday, and Monday nights makes it easy to ignore the pricks...And yes, I know not all NFL players are evil...But enough clearly are, along with the evil commish, his underlings, and a number of owners...So they can eat my ass!
I did take in some football Friday night...My daughter has always liked going to our local high school football games...She loves the band, and hanging with her friends...The football team is often smaller, slower, and less skilled then their opponents...And often out-coached...But Friday nights in the Fall, in Brooklyn, Ohio is Marching Band night....Football is just an excuse...
Each home game they march from the high school, down to the Stadium...
Then after the Hurricanes Football Team goes down 34-0 by halftime, the Marching Band bangs out a 4 song set...This night they ended with "Whiter Shade of Pale"...
They continue to have a blast and play in the stands, even with their team getting drilled 41-7...Then, with their police escort, they do the same, fun, upbeat march back to the school...(I haven't uploaded that video yet...A little too dark anyways)
It's good to see kids having fun, and not getting too worked up over their football team getting thumped...My buddy was disappointed in the football game...He felt our brand new tax-payer funded turf should have improved our team, not everyone else...I've just grown accustom to the bad football.
-Moving along...Have you seen this new Derek Jeter Gatorade commercial?
I haven't...I keep seeing it posted on blogs, and facebook...People are talking about it...But I won't watch it...WHY? you ask...Because fuck Derek Jeter! He's a Yankee! What, he's retiring, so now I'm suppose to like him...Fuck that, he's a Yankee....Sorry folks, before ESPN made sure we all knew Boston hated New York, there was this magical time when the Indians were in the same division as the Yankees...As a matter of fact, the Yankees were everyone's biggest rival, because they were the fucking Yankees! I hated those guys long before Varitek mooshed his glove in A-Roid's face...
Yes, Derek Jeter has never been implicated in any PED talk...He's always played hard...He's a good ball player...He was a good hitter...Quick making him out to be Honus Wagner, or Ty Cobb...He was nowhere close...He wasn't even Pete Rose with the bat...And no, he wasn't the greatest Shortstop ever...He had a solid glove...I can give you a laundry list of better gloved SS's...He was a good player....I see no need for this idiotic swing on Jeter's nuts parade that has gone on all year...This shit happened last year with Rivera and it drove me crazy...The only slight difference is, you could actually say that Rivera was possibly the best at what he did...Jeter wasn't...
Jeter has great at banging hot women...I'll give him props for that...Dude slayed all kinds of hot puss...But all you high moral, religious Jeter fans better rethink things...Jeter is s serial fornicator!
Fucking guy goes around the league and all these other teams are giving him gifts, ans swinging on his balls....FUCK THAT! He's rich as hell, he doesn't need your shitty gifts...He probably fucked your wife...Go out there and strike him out...Slide into second with your spikes up...That's how you honor the fucking Yankee!
Eat my ass Jeter!
That's it for now...I need to find some one to really eat my ass...
The last few weeks have been kind of hard on the NFL and Roger Goodell specifically. There was the whole botched Aidrian Peterson situation - perhaps the most predictable, and frankly the most telling story, is the one about the Minnesota Vikings brass standing there at a press conference with the obligatory team/sponsor logo backdrop...after which Radisson, the team sponsor with their corporate logo on the backdrop, backs out of their relationship. It seems they want to be associated with the NFL, but not have their corporate logo splashed across national newspapers as they “stand behind” stories of domestic violence.
Four players rode the pine this weekend, although there are several more with outstanding charges without resolution that did play. Now, the issue IS complicated, but the league hasn’t handled the situation well at all. Had the league looked more serious about the Ray Rice situation at the beginning, we likely wouldn’t have had this whole cascade - I mean, the original outrage was the discipline over a 2 game suspension juxtaposed against a PED suspension making it look like the league cared more about PEDs than spousal abuse.
Know why it looked that way? Because they DO care more about PEDs. But that doesn’t sit well with the women the league needs to buy into their product - so they literally dropped the ball there and have continued to fumble it since.
CNN has a pretty nice write up on how the league has handled the situation in the past 14 years or so. So, yeah. We get it. It really is complicated - as is any personal matter. Their crime here is that they failed to pay attention to the expectations of a stakeholder they need to be successful. You cannot be perceived as ignoring women’s issues if you want women to buy your product, and the NFL does have a history of bad behavior toward women.
We should be alarmed by the crime statistics - as I noted last week, the stats are always going to be skewed. Always. But in looking a little more at this I found a really interesting analysis on NFL crime statistics. Summary: when looked at as a part of the general population, the statistics are really low; when looked at as a segment of the very affluent among us, the crime rates are shockingly high. Bear in mind, just about EVERYONE on an active roster is affluent - defined as $75,000 household income yearly here. Practice squad guys make about $6000 a week, which annualizes to about $102k, but those positions are pretty transitory and not a long term gig. A rookie would have to be on the team for about 3-4 weeks to get to $75,000. So, it’s not a guaranteed thing that just because they’re players they’re “affluent,” but for the point the article is making I think it’s a valid categorization.
The thing is, not too many 23 year olds are “affluent” and certainly not many members of this “affluent” segment of American society simply come into that money - it’s accrued over time, as are behaviors and the like. The affluence of the average NFL player is illusory and temporary, unlike most members of that segment. The point is that we expect better behavior, which is why we’re outraged when it looks like the NFL doesn’t care.
Now interestingly enough, the NFL isn’t alone in this matter, although “football” is involved. Back in July, US National Women’s Soccer Team goal keeper Hope Solo was accused of beating up a couple of relatives - her sister and nephew. Now, it’s not the same story line as a huge man punching out his fiancee, but it’s still domestic violence. Solo hasn’t been suspended, and played in a shut out of Mexico last week.
Here’s why there’s no outrage - USWNT is presupposed to care about women and women’s issues. Women's soccer gets a pass - hell, women ARE the product. There’s no need to get women invested in the product. She’s the best female goalkeeper, we need her. In fact, the league essentially said as much.
It is a double standard. She keeps her endorsements, she keeps playing, she keeps earning money. We’re holding the NFL to a different standard. Arguably, Solo is a more effective role model for women than AP is for men. Think about that one for a minute.
Of course there are other bad actors in the news this week: Jameis Winston and...Rex Chapman? The guy played 14 years and I’ve never heard of him, but apparently he got busted for shoplifting iPhones. What a boob.
And last, Rob Bironas who was cut this offseason by the Titans, died this weekend in a 1 car crash. He was 36 years old. Shame.
The last week wasn't quite as bad for me as it was for Rog or for Bironas, but it sucked, ending with a seven hour drive home from Brooklyn on Friday. Just ridiculous traffic in te city and throughout the entire state of Connecticut. In fact I'm pretty sure Connecticut deliberately creates traffic issues in a grand conspiracy. Chris Christie learned what he needed to know about creating traffic incidents from CTDOT.
There, that’s it. Not talking about those idiots anymore. They’re taking away from this fantastic football season and that is a shame.
So many great games to date, so many great games to come:
Matt Ryan is back to being elite. No he’s not. Wait, maybe he is. Tune in next week because with Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Roddy White that offense SHOULD be putting up sick numbers. Heck of a performance in week one and now week three (as it is on in the background) tearing apart Tampa Bay. Breakout star tight end Jordan Reed has been hurt and 2011 fifth round draft pick Niles Paul (who had four receptions last year, eight the year before, and just two in 2011) pulls down eight passes in week two for 99 yards and a touchdown. Crazy!
That RGIII injury? OUCH. My ankle hurt just seeing the replay. How about Kirk “Kissing” Cousins stepping in and the offense playing better without Griffin? Robert Griffin III looked efficient but not spectacular. Cousins had a big-game kind of day and just looks right for the role sitting in the pocket and finding everyone EXCEPT DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon seemingly. Yes, it was Jacksonville (why oh why did I go on record about the “huge improvement on defense” for the Jags?) but impressive none the less.
Speaking of the Jaguars, owner Shad Khan (cue the William Shatner cue the Star Trek II “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!” clip) fired manager number three in just over a year across the pond as disappointing Fulham was relegated last year and losing to Nottingham Forest (yah, that’s as bad as it sounds...being beaten by the merry men!). I would not want to be head coach in Jacksonville with that track record for an owner. The Jags are 0-2, scored 27 total points in two games, have given up 75 points, top wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Ace Sanders are suspended, tight end Marcedes Lewis is on injured reserve, second-round draft pick Marqise Lee is out with a hamstring injury, and week one star receiver Allen Hurns is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. Current top receiver Cecil Shorts has not played yet after pulling down 66 catches last year and is still questionable for Sunday. That is rough. At least they’re sitting first-round pick Blake Bortles rather than run him out with no receivers to throw to on Sunday.
Super Bowl rematch in week three? Yes! Denver looking shaky but still winning both games...Seattle losing to San Diego as the Chargers picked apart the defense. Did not hear much in the offseason about Seattle’s losses on the defensive line, but Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett can’t do it all every week. Bruce Irvin needs to show up--he’s skated as a first round pick in 2012 for the Seahawks due to their other great personnel moves. Irvin is on the hot seat now. Chris Clemons and Red Bryant in Jacksonville, Clint McDonald in Tampa Bay … that’s a lot of players lose in the middle of the defensive line. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane are run-stuffers, linebacker K.J. Wright does not rush the quarterback, and youngsters Jordan Hill, O’Brien Schofield and veteran Kevin Williams have not contributed much in the pass rush. Are there cracks in the defense in Seattle? Stay tuned.
Speaking of Thursday Night Football on CBS...
I LOVE IT!!! Nothing better than primetime football on free TV.
The commercials for Tea Leoni in “Madame Secretary”?
Not so much of a fan. I predict six episodes and it is never seen again.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been the most complete team looking strong on defense (shutting down the Falcons last week looks even better with the Falcons destroying Tampa Bay Thursday Night) and doing enough on offense without wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert hurt last week. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are a dynamic duo at running back and getting back to health makes Cincinnati a favorite...up until the playoffs when Andy Dalton will find a way to lose the game. That said, the Bengals--in week three--and being 2-0 are already having trouble getting to the 85% threshold to avoid a blackout? Seriously? Thumbs down, Cincy...not like anyone is going to watch the Reds trying to hold off the Cubs for last place in the NL Central these next few weeks!
OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend, all!