Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

griffin hat2

We’ve reached a breaking point in the Robert Griffin III watch.

In hindsight, most of the perceived insanity has actually seemed quite sane. We expected enough reporters to populate a small country to descend upon Redskins training camp, with every movement and every word dissected. That’s why shows based on arguing unanswerable narrative talking points have spent much of August wondering if Griffin wants his head coach Mike Shanahan to walk through traffic. Sensible minds knew the root of any supposed discomfort: it was simply an elite athlete burning to ease his competitive desires, and a coach looking out for his best interests, nothing more.

Fans and media alike have grasped for any morsel of practice footage to analyze Griffin and his relative quarterback-ness post-injury. Is there any kind of hesitancy in his drop back? Can he cut without pain, and run laterally? What about his throwing motion? Is it still crisp? That last question was the subject of some scrutiny from Ron Jaworski, who spotted a small flaw in Griffin’s mechanics while repeatedly watching tape of his warmup throws prior to a preseason game, a game that he didn’t appear in, of course.

But today, on this fine late August afternoon with the calendar nearly set to flip over to September and greet us with glorious regular-season football, we finally and forever crossed the rubicon of good sense. I’m impressed it took this long.

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riley cooper2

The NFL is many things. It’s exciting, it’s captivating, it’s a fine way to create the perfect couch groove, and from September to early February (and often, far beyond), it’s all-encompassing. But Riley Cooper has shown us again that it’s also confused, and deeply conflicted on matters tied to potential character flaws.

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If you ever want to punish your worst enemy, have them write about the fantasy football outlook of the 2013 New York Jets roster. There aren’t enough straws in this world to grasp, and rainbows to kneel under. Yet I did that yesterday afternoon, an exercise in despair which served as a reminder to all of us that if everything aligns just so, right now it looks like Chris Ivory will sadly be the most valuable fantasy commodity on the Jets offense.

Now, the value of that most valuable commodity has possibly been torpedoed, at least partly. Oy.

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A very wise man once said a thing about insanity. Sometimes that speech ends in being pushed into a pit of death, and other times the classic quote is delivered in a much more civil manner, something like this…


That man was a deep thinker, though he wasn’t nearly on Johnathan Cyprien’s level. It seems the Jets may be about to violate the very essence of our insanity laws in their attempt be reach new levels of incompetence, if such a thing is possible.

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The cauldron of NFL coverage has turned out its share of icky clichés. That’s the nature of a league which has the shortest and most intensely scrutinized season, yet there’s a need — no, a thirst — for more after the Super Bowl in early February. We need more speculation, more narrative, more controversy, and more conjecture. Mostly, we need a football item to discuss, and anything will do.

This is how the code commonly known as the “Patriot Way” was born, and it’s now used colloquially. What exactly it means depends on who you’re speaking to, and your geographic location. Some may think it refers simply to not just winning, but winning regardless of who’s on the field. Even if, say, your star quarterback breaks his leg and Matt Cassel has to start for nearly an entire season. Onwards and upwards.

More commonly, the Patriot Way is known as a complete intolerance for any inappropriate conduct and malcontent behavior. Oh, there’s been exceptions (some briefly), but when Albert Haynesworth began reverting to his natural tendencies while not producing, he was released. And when Chad Ochocinco/Johnson was utterly unproductive, he was marginalized and discarded.

Randy Moss wasn’t able to shut up, and then he was told to talk somewhere else that isn’t the patriots dressing room. Then earlier this offseason there was the cold treatment of defensive tackle Kyle Long, who was cut after being diagnosed with diabetes. There are two core requirements to march in Belichick’s line: produce, and behave (and apparently the lesser known stipulation about not contracting a disease).

Not meeting one can result in an abrupt termination. Aaron Hernandez become the latest case study today when he was released hours after his arrest in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd.

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You can rely on the Internet to provide you with many things consistently, from all varieties of porn to various angry cats. But the most consistently pushed piece of sometimes shameful consumption are the random betting props, especially as they relate to the NFL.

Hey, do you think Aaron Rodgers will throw a touchdown pass in the second quarter of the Packers’ Week 2 game at the 3:14 mark? There’s a prop for that somewhere.

So of course, with Tim Tebow now officially on a practice field in New England, there are avenues to wager on his crappiness, and overall relevance during the 2013 NFL season. Here’s BoDog‘s offering:

Tim Tebow – Will he make the Patriots 53 man Week 1 roster?     

Yes                   -400      (1/4)

No                    +250     (5/2)

Tim Tebow – Will he start a game as a QB for the Patriots in the 2013 Regular Season?       

Yes                  +600     (6/1)

No                    -1200    (1/12)

* Must make Patriots 53 man Week 1 roster for action.

Tim Tebow – Will he throw a TD Pass in the 2013 Regular Season?           

Yes                  +200    (2/1)

No                    -300     (1/3)

* Must make Patriots 53 man Week 1 roster for action.

Tim Tebow – Total Rushing & Receiving TD’s in the 2013 Regular Season

Over/Under                   1.5

* Must make Patriots 53 man Week 1 roster for action.

Tim Tebow – Will he attempt a Pass in the 2013 Regular Season? 

Yes                   -300    (1/3)

No                    +200    (2/1)

* Must make Patriots 53 man Week 1 roster for action.

Pro tip: don’t put even three cents on any of those. But some of you inevitably will, so here are a few stray thoughts:

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It’s remarkable how often we expect our athletes and coaches to be both interesting, and robotic. We want them to entertain us, and in the NFL, they do that every Sunday during the fall and winter, and even during the spring when we can catch fleeting glimpses of them in shorts and read utterly meaningless stats which attempt to quantify their performance during practice (PRACTICE).

When they speak publicly, we want them to be interesting and compelling, but not too interesting and compelling. A few years ago we were free to laugh at Rex Ryan whenever we pleased because his teams won football games. Now Ryan is often still the same goofball/cornball in press conferences, but we’re not permitted to chortle because he’s not leading a winning team. He must now be boring, like Bill Belichick.

At its core, NFL football is no different from any other professional sport in that it’s entertainment, and a digression from the mundane nature of other daily events. It’s entertainment which generates much discourse and analytical debate, but the core element of televised sports — an activity which is organized purely for our enjoyment — remains nonetheless.

That’s why what happened in Philadelphia yesterday during a time of general nothingness in the NFL calendar was as confusing as it was predictable.

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