Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

As the summer Olympics in London march ahead with its bouncing dongs and investigative discussion of one-night stands, the NFL finds itself in an unfamiliar early August position. Usually the league has all of the sports spotlight, all of the time. Now, during a time when excitement over training camp and the beginning of preseason games is at its peak, the NFL is conceding part of said spotlight.

Roughly, I’d estimate the league’s spotlight coverage to still be at about 80 percent, because there isn’t much overlap between those who are intensely following the Dolphins QB battle, and anyone who’s currently pretending to care about badminton. Still, that’s not sufficient, as one day when our world is united under a single flag, Roger Goodell will be declared king of humanity. This is our manifest destiny.

Goodell is already taking steps to begin his world domination, and the early measures involve trying to include the American version of football in a summer Olympics to be played in the not-so distant future. We learned about this last week, and the idea was, to say the least, intriguing.

And of course, Goodell is intrigued and excited too, and said as much during an interview with Mike Florio as he noted that 64 counties are playing American football. The players? Not so much.

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There seems to be a lot of cameras at the Jets training camp. This Tebow fella may be responsible for that, or maybe it’s the celebrity sightings, including a celebrity who’s far more famous than her backup boyfriend, and I’ll always remember her as the young daughter who knew how to defend the veer in Remember the Titans (still love you, Hayden).

Or maybe it’s just New York being New York, where there’s a lot of beat writers who have little to do, and a lot of time to do it. Whatever the case, everything that happens with the Jets has been amplified as we conclude the first week of training camp, like when Antonio Cromartie said that he’s the second best receiver on the team and then followed that up with an equally dimwitted comment by saying he “didn’t mean anything by it.” Smooth.

So it’s in this environment that the Jets finally rolled out their wildcat package yesterday, featuring new wildcat maestro Tim Tebow. And lo, it was great, and it featured a quarterback running, and mostly just running. But hey Rex Ryan, how much will you use this new gadget? Surely you’ll keep it reasonable to maintain the element of surprise, right?

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I usually don’t take anything Michael Irvin says seriously, mostly because I can’t understand his words through the laughing that lasts four hours. If I had a basic small talk conversation with Irvin, I imagine it would sound something like this:

Me: Hey Mike, what are you doing today?

Irvin: haha

Me: Any plans? Anything at all going on?

Irvin: HAHA

Me: why are you laughing?

Irvin: ha

Me: No really, is there something on my face? Did I put my shirt on backwards this morning? I’ve done that before.

Irvin: hahaha University of Miami hahaha

Me: I hate you

So as I continue with this post, I do it with the disclaimer that when Irvin says words, they’re usually the kind of words that insult the very language he’s speaking. Therefore, he has to say something that’s particularly ridiculous to warrant mention.

He wants to rename the Lombardi Trophy to the Lombardi/Belichick Trophy. Is that good enough?

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Ahhh hope. The object that fans of struggling teams eternally lust for, and the drug that’s the only cure for their addiction. They need and crave hope, because it’s the only tonic that protects them from the darkness of a prolonged NFL basement residency.

Like any drug, there needs to be a manufacturer that’s perfected the main production principles. And usually, the draft is the NFL’s Walter White, as even now in early August before your team starts to be the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked, there’s already hope out there, and a sun that will rise next April. Let’s explore briefly.

Does your team’s quarterback morph into a tiny turtle at the first sign of pressure in the pocket, and he can’t place a ball within a five-foot radius of a receiver? Don’t worry, Matt Barkley is going to be awesome.

Is it a running back you crave, because the running part of the running back title has become increasingly difficult? Montee Ball is going to be a star, as long as he has personal security guards around him at all times.

But there’s one team that’s attempting to smash this formula with its recent draft picks. I present to you, the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars.

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When you can make Bengals fans fall in love with Mike Brown for the fist time, you’re doing something right. Even if they’re not using correct grammar. No, especially if they’re not using correct grammar.

Two years ago, the Bengals owner did something that would be considered an act of resounding stupidity for most owners, but it was just another typically foolish decision during his reign of madness. He allowed Marvin Lewis to not only enter his lame duck season without a contract extension, but to also finish that season without a contract and briefly enter coaching free agency. Brown did that despite his intention to retain Lewis, and then during contract talks it was determined that Lewis would come back, but he would only do it if he was given far greater control over the team’s personnel decisions.

That’s when the Bengals began to feature youth far more prominently, drafting Jermaine Gresham, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Shipley, and most importantly, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. Then they made the playoffs a year after winning only four games, and now there’s a positive vibe surrounding Cincy, making Lewis worthy of the two-year extension he received earlier this afternoon.

So in a way, Brown being the usual indecisive mess that he is actually helped the Bengals. Thanks?

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Braylon Edwards has one last opportunity to prove that he’s not useless, and he’s not a rapidly decaying waste of talent.

And when the Seahawks signed Edwards they may not be dreaming an impossible dream. Yes, we’re saying there’s a chance for Edwards to do something productive again, but only a chance.

Edwards has signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which advances the one-year deal phase of his career that started last year with an identical contract in San Francisco.

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During times of childhood innocence, we’re all told to say nothing if we don’t have anything nice to say. For me that mantra for a happy, loving life worked well as a six-year-old until someone dared to touch my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures, and especially Leonardo. That’s usually when viscous verbal barbs flew freely, and my new enemy was said to have pants that stink, or perhaps even poo breath.

Santonio Holmes surely had this same speech as a young chap, and he ignored it entirely, instead choosing to complain to his childhood friends about his receptions. But for Holmes the speech went beyond just not saying anything mean. Instead he was also told that if he doesn’t have anything intelligent to say that’s not completely contradictory, he probably shouldn’t say anything.

Too late.

In yet another example that Holmes is making the babiest baby steps possible as he learns to speak with the media properly after six years in the league and at the age of 28, Holmes had two comments during a radio appearance yesterday that when put side-by-side, they make absolutely no sense.

The first was paraphrased by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who noted that during his ESPN 1050 interview Holmes took ownership for the role he played in the steaming toxic mess that was the Jets locker room at the end of last season, and throughout much of the offseason. Specifically, he said he regretted comments he made that were critical of the offensive line, saying he “shouldn’t have answered those questions in that manner”.

Progress? No, not yet. There’s always an internal war with Holmes mentally, and usually it’s blind stupidity that wins.

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