As their rating continue to tank (at least relatively speaking, compared to Comedy Central and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee the NFL is still god) The NFL is still in total denial of the cost of the National Anthem protests.

“Finally, it is worth noting that we see no evidence that concern over player protests during the National Anthem is having any material impact on ratings. In fact, our own data shows that perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016.”

Matt Dolloff isn’t buying it

“Finally, it is worth noting that we see no evidence that concern over player protests during the National Anthem is having any material impact on ratings. In fact, our own data shows that perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016.”

and it’s costing the networks that carry them but in the end Mr. Dolloff opinion, valid as it seems, is not enough to tag the NFL as liars.

But this tweet is:

The story is here:

San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly announced Tuesday that Colin Kaepernick has been handed the reins to take over as the team’s starting quarterback.
The decision comes amid the squad’s four-game slump and less-than-stellar 1-4 start to the season.

Now by any rational measure this move makes sense, your San Francisco has started 1-4 and sits in last in the NFL west 1-2 in their Division and 1-4 in their conference and tied for the worst record in the NFC. If they want to make up the 2 1/2 games (likely more thanks to tie breakers) they are behind in the wild card and have any chance of moving ahead of the 10 teams they have to overtake to get that last wild card slot with only 11 game to go something has to be done NOW!

Replacing an ineffective quarterback with a veteran who despite injury and a bad streak lately has in the past led a team to a Superbowl appearance is a sound and logical risk to take at this time to change things. Any student of the game would agree.

Yet not only did the head coach feel compelled to state explicitly that this move was “a football decision” but the San Francisco 49ers team felt compelled to include that explicit statement in explanation to the 1.36 Million fans who follow the team on twitter.

Why? I submit and suggest that they are so worried about a backlash from fans, they considered a statement of the obvious necessary.

And that dear friends tells you that when the NFL says that the boycott is having little effect are lying to the public in the best traditions of Hillary Clinton

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sitdownby baldilocks

Several members of the Seattle Seahawks are talking about doing a sit-down protest of the National Anthem this Sunday, opening day of the 2016-2017 NFL season.

By the way, Sunday is also the 15th anniversary of Al Qaeda’s attacks on America, which destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and lead to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

Seahawk receiver Doug Baldwin said Wednesday he is considering sitting during the national anthem while linebacker Bobby Wagner said the Seahawks could take an action as a team.

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, who said he plans to continue to sit during the national anthem this season, may not be doing so by himself when the team opens the regular season Sunday against Miami.

Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said Wednesday he is also considering sitting during the anthem before Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. kickoff at CenturyLink Field while linebacker Bobby Wagner said the team has been talking about a group action.

“I have (considered it),” Baldwin said before Seattle’s practice Wednesday afternoon. “I want to make sure I get all of my ducks in a row before I do so.’’

While Wagner said he didn’t know if he would sit down during the anthem he said “anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”

Wagner said he couldn’t say exactly what the team might do, saying “whatever we decide to do will be a big surprise.”

These guys should do what they want, but, I wonder whether it will be a big surprise to some of these men if, a few years hence, they have to go out and get real  jobs because they’ve spent all their football money and because the NFL no longer exists. Because that is what they are doing: killing their platform. A large portion of the NFL’s audience won’t put their monies out for this sort of thing.


But if they feel that strongly about it, they should do their thing.

By the way, I’m old enough to remember when the following video of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman taunting San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was the Most Terrible and Controversial Thing Ever. Good times.

(Thanks to Ace)

UPDATE: Sea Chicken-sh**ts.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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Just under a year ago, before his suspension was overturned I wrote about how Tom Brady’s suspension had a huge silver lining for the Patriots:

First of all Tom Brady is 37 years old, while he is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history even the greatest gets old and the toll of 15 seasons of getting hit has to have a cumulative effect on a body.

Second of all the Patriots are a pragmatic bunch of folks, they understand Brady is getting older and need to start considering who might be replacing him down the line.

Third of all how do you motivate a man who is:

1. Married to a Supermodel
2. Has all the money he will ever need
3. Has all already been to six superbowls and won 4

That’s why this suspension will do wonders for everybody.

Well now Brady’s suspension has been reinstated by the US appeals court

Last year, a federal court ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had not treated New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fairly in a disciplinary investigation, overturning a four-game suspension at the start of the 2015 season. Today, the 2nd Circuit threw a flag on the lower court and Brady, overturning the ruling and reinstating the suspension:

Other than the fact that Tom Brady’s is now 38 instead of 37 every single argument I made concerning the advantages of Brady getting a 4 week rest to start the season still applies.

Add to that the fact that the only reason Brady did not reach his 7th superbowl was a missed 2 pt conversion and the questionable coaching decision not to settle for 3 points with plenty of time on the clock on several occasions you have to believe Tom will want that 5th ring even more than he did last year.

I suggest the fans of Buffalo, Houston, Arizona and Miami enjoy their 4 game Bradyless windfall (which are not btw guaranteed wins for them) because after those four games the rest of the league is going to be paying for it.

P.S.  None of this changes the fact that there is absolutely no way minor functionaries fiddled with footballs without the knowledge and or consent of their QB and if you believe they would you’ll believe anything.  Yet it is a minor thing which produces a miniscule if any advantage but you’re not telling me it didn’t happen.

Last month I said this about the New England Patriots and deflategate:

it is clear the that patriots have spent the last 15 years living rent free in the heads of practically every time in the league.

Yesterday Ian O’Connor at ESPN seconded that motion:

This game, and the way Pagano coached it, illustrated again that the Patriots aren’t just beating opponents between the tackles, they’re breaking them down psychologically, too.

Remember at this point the Patriots where only up by six, the Colts were at home, with a defense that had already burned the pats for a pic-6 (Interception run back for a touchdown) and a first rate punter. There was plenty of time and no reason at all to be bothering with tricks at this point.

Pagano coached Sunday night as if he were determined to out-trick the master.

The problem is you don’t defeat the defending superbowl champion by “outtricking the master” you win it by playing football for 60 minutes, something the Bill Belechick demonstrated after Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made one of the greatest clutch catches in superbowl history with just over a minute to play and facing one of the best running backs in the game at their own five yard line:

here are the Patriots, seconds after dealing with a dagger in the heart play step up and stop Lynch just before the line keeping the game in play, making it 2nd & goal on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds to go.

This is the first of two telling moments. The play by play announcers are saying openly perhaps Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should simply let Seattle walk into the end zone and take the lead to give Tom Brady the maximum amount of time to possibly come back for a game tying field goal. As far as they are concerned a Seattle touchdown to take the lead is a fait accompli and there is nothing the Patriots can do to stop it…

…Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite. His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back. He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

Belichick isn’t worrying about mind games, his player Malcolm Butler isn’t worrying about mind games, they’re both worrying about football and how to win that game, unlike for example, Pittsburgh in week one. O’connor again

Mike Tomlin’s opening night meltdown over the failed Foxborough headsets was a case in point, and it was answered the next day by a Belichick jab about running a program that isn’t built on excuses. People see ghosts when they play the Patriots. They don’t stay within a country mile of their lane. Go back and give a second read to the report by’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham on the connection between Spygate and Deflategate, and on all the time and energy New England’s opponents have invested in fretting over potential covert ops and dirty tricks.

If you haven’t seen it take a good look at that play

They say the film never lies, and Sunday night’s film shows a Colts team that tried to get way too smart and way too cute at the worst possible time.

In the end, the Patriots don’t just make you miss blocks and tackles. Pagano reminded everyone that they make you lose your mind, too.

This week Patriots Colts game demonstrates the truth of this post Superbowl statement concerning New England

None of this changes the fact that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, that Bill Belichick is a great coach and the Patriots teams were some of the best trained and prepared teams in the league. Without those truths even if every allegation against the pats was true, they simply would not have been able to win as they did.

But given those facts and the obsession the rest of the league had with the pats, the question isn’t how the NE Patriots managed to win 4 Superbowls and play in six over the last 15 years. The wonder is how they ever failed to make it.

The way you beat New England is you play better football for 60 minutes.  Period.

When you hear the name “Gaylord Perry” the first word that might come to mind is “Spitball”. However you might be surprised to know that in his entire 22 year major league that saw him win two Cy Young awards strike out over 3000 men and take the mound 777 times it wasn’t till his penultimate season that he was ejected for doctoring a baseball despite every umpire in the league watching him.

However as much as Perry was known for the spitball his very reputation put every single batter he faced on the defensive. All Perry had to do is go through the motions and the hitter was frozen.

Reading the latest ESPN report

In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era. Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense. (The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to swipe.) Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports. Walsh later told investigators that he was once instructed to remove the labels and erase tapes of a Patriots practice because the team had illegally used a player on injured reserve. At Gillette Stadium, the scrambling and jamming of the opponents’ coach-to-quarterback radio line — “small s—” that many teams do, according to a former Pats assistant coach — occurred so often that one team asked a league official to sit in the coaches’ box during the game and wait for it to happen. Sure enough, on a key third down, the headset went out.

But the truth is, only one man truly knows how much Spygate, or any other suspect method, affected games: Belichick.

and Rush Limbaugh’s coverage of the Patriots and the NFL

Now, I don’t know how anybody gets some low-level schlub sneaking in an NFL locker room without a lot of people being in on it. That’s just hard to do, and my point is I really question this. Baseball is different. At least it was. I have some experience at this when I worked for the Kansas City Royals, but still it was tough. And if it was discovered that somebody from the other team is in there — I don’t care how low on the totem pole they were — it would have been a huge scandal.

The person would have been kicked out. There would have been holy hell raised over it. The other thing is the play sheet. This first 20 plays? Not every team does that. Some teams’ head coach scripts the first 20 plays for his own offense no matter what. They’re gonna do those 20 plays no matter what the situation is. They’re gonna run those 20 plays because it’s strategically been put together and they’re gonna learn how the defense operates in those 20 plays and those first two set up the rest of the game.

Not all teams do it. But I can guarantee you that no head coach would leave it laying around for some schlub from the other team to walk in and pilfer. You know, they’re kept in laminated folders to protect from the elements from rain and this kind of thing. They’re just not pieces of paper. It’s 8.5X11, color-coded. You’ve seen the head coach holding these things if you’ve noticed coaches on the sideline watching these things.

…it is clear the that patriots have spent the last 15 years living rent free in the heads of practically every time in the league.

None of this changes the fact that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, that Bill Belichick is a great coach and the Patriots teams were some of the best trained and prepared teams in the league. Without those truths even if every allegation against the pats was true, they simply would not have been able to win as they did.

But given those facts and the obsession the rest of the league had with the pats, the question isn’t how the NE Patriots managed to win 4 Superbowls and play in six over the last 15 years. The wonder is how they ever failed to make it.

I’m old enough to remember when doubting that Michael Sam was an NFL caliber player was considered bigotry.  Well now after signing with Montreal in the CFL and then suddenly leaving training camp for “personal reasons”,  apparently it appears he’s not coming back:

Sam signed on to roll with the Montreal Alouettes​. However, he left the team in June for personal reasons.

The story didn’t get much better two months later. Sam announced that he’s quit the Alouettes to focus on his mental health

Think about that for a second, the player that the American media was ready to pillory the NFL for if he wasn’t drafted, has found the pressure of being in the CFL too much.

In fairness if the MSM had let him be and allowed him succeed or fail on his own merits perhaps his “mental health” would not be in jeopardy.  Perhaps if he continued to work to his potential rather than to the media’s expectations of him things might have been different but right not none of that matters.

The irony of course is the MSM that made Michael Sam draft position a cause célèbre will now without a question blame Sam’s failure on everyone but himself.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia another football player who the media is less impressed with is making waves:

When Tim Tebow completes a pass or takes off running with the football, fans watching the Philadelphia Eagles practice cheer loudly and reporters quickly post about it on social media.

Few, if any, players fighting for a roster spot ever drew more attention.

and he’s already impressing his teammates

Teammate Brandon Graham already predicted Tebow not only will make the team, but make an impact. Riley Cooper, Tebow’s former roommate at Florida, expects him to succeed.

“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever played with, and that rubs off on everyone else,” Cooper said. “I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

and there is no question about either his work ethic

 About 43,000 fans attended practiced last Sunday and many cheered Tebow’s every move.

Tebow signed his autograph on several Gators jerseys and even a Bible. He’s often the last player off the field and does his best to accommodate every fan’s request.

Nor his mental health

“It’s something you always have to think about when you come out here because you can take it for granted,” Tebow said. “And there’s probably been a lot of times in my life when I’ve taken it for granted. But you just realize how blessed you are when you come out here. You’re able to play a game that you love. That’s pretty special.”

But unlike Michael Sam who had an adoring media and an indifferent public , the public has long loved Tebow unlike the media or some of in the NFL even when he was winning for them

Right now, whenever Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway gets asked about Tebow, he effectively says, “We have no choice but to play him. He wins games.” It’s not really a compliment. It’s almost a criticism. But if Tebow did all this with a prison record, Elway would say the same thing in reverse order: “He wins games. We have no choice but to play him.” Which is similar, but not the same.


Comedians make jokes about him

Even his very existence was an affront to their highest sacrament

For starters, Tebow’s very existence is somehow controversial. He’s a walking pro-life testimonial. He’s been pulling off comebacks since before he was born. Pam Tebow, Tim’s mother, courageously chose to carry baby Tim to term despite doctors’ recommendations that she abort him.

You may recall that before Tim went pro, the Christian group, Focus on the Family, commissioned an innocuous TV ad that ran during the 2010 Saints-Colts Super Bowl game. It briefly told the story of the Tebows’ pre-natal struggle. The word “abortion” was never even uttered, but a positive portrayal of childbearing was all it took.

And so began the left’s hate affair with Tim Tebow. Radical feminist groups, media-types and liberal pundits alike lost their collective noodle even before the ad ran.

But through it all Tebow kept working and has been rewarded with one more chance to make an NFL roster.

Nobody can tell the future.  Michael Sam may pull himself together and with hard work might find himself playing somewhere, maybe in the Arena football league, maybe in the CFL or perhaps with a lot of effort and luck on an NFL team.  Tim Tebow for all the media, fan attention and hard work may never take another snap in a regular season NFL game, but there is one thing we know.

This weekend Tim Tebow will be starting Quarterback in an NFL game while Michael Sam will be at home and no amount of punditry, comedy or media angst can change it.

I was at a local restaurant last night and all the talk was about the 4 game suspension given to Tom Brady over Deflategate.

In one respect it really doesn’t matter for Brady, HOF Baseball player Gaylord Perry who was known to bend a rule or two in his day put it best:

“They’d have to be a little bit smarter about it,” Perry told Sporting News Thursday morning. “But they got away with it during the game and won, so that’s all that matters.”

Given that this is football rather than something that actually matters like the upcoming election or baseball I was actually thinking about giving the whole topic a miss but it hit me that the NFL rather than hurting Brady & the Pats has actually done them a big favor.

Consider the following facts:

First of all Tom Brady is 37 years old, while he is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history even the greatest gets old and the toll of 15 seasons of getting hit has to have a cumulative effect on a body.

Second of all the Patriots are a pragmatic bunch of folks, they understand Brady is getting older and need to start considering who might be replacing him down the line.

Third of all how do you motivate a man who is:

1. Married to a Supermodel
2. Has all the money he will ever need
3. Has all already been to six superbowls and won 4

That’s why this suspension will do wonders for everybody.

Tom Brady’s 37 year old Body gets an extra month of not being hit that the rest of the league’s quarterbacks will not get.  While that might not seem a big deal in say week 7 or 8 come week 15 or 16 that’s the type of thing that can pay huge dividends particularly for an older player.

The Patriots will now get a chance to see if they have a potential long term replacement for Brady on their Roster. This had to be checked sooner or later so now they have an excuse without waiting for an injury or risking offense to a team icon & start.  If they are a bust, they you have a healthy & rested Brady ready to go, and if they’re not then you now have either

1.   A game tested backup for Brady the rest of the year

2.  The Greatest QB of all time available as needed during the season

Furthermore Brady now has been given two huge incentives to have a monster year

1.   Brady will want to remind New England that no matter how good a potential replacement plays HE is the star of the team (Don’t think for one second that he’s forgotten that he got his chance because of an injury to star QB Drew Bledsoe).

2.  Brady, already a competitive man, knows a lot of people are pointing to him & calling him a cheater and not in the friendly oh shucks Gaylord Perry way.  There is nothing he would like better than to turn those smiles and grins into frowns and groans of pain by adding a 5th ring to his collection.

So if you are an NFL East team or a Patriots hater I suggest you enjoy the first four weeks of the season as best you can because I would not want to be playing the patriots anytime after week 7. Barring a young Phenom pulling a Wally Pip on him  I suspect what Brady will be doing to opposing defenses will not be pretty.

You have been warned.


Jack Crab:You’d better watch out Mr. Merryweather They’re whittling you down.  You can’t afford to lose any more of your parts.

Mr. Merryweather:Every business has a particle of risk.

Little Big Man 1970

Football is not Football if it’s Touch Football

Bob Schieffer Face the nation

Today on Face the nation they had a segment on the sudden retirement of rookie linebacker Chris Borland

There seems to be an excessive amount of praise for young Borland over a decision just as rational decision just like Sandy Koufax who facing the risk of disease concluded:

“I’ve got a lot of years to live after baseball and I would like to live them with the complete use of my body.”

All of this fuss over Borland’s decision saying how much he is giving up, but this glosses over what he has made.

Consider this information concerning median household incomes in the US

Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time. Young educated households with professional skills and aspirations will typically move into the higher earning brackets during their financial life cycles. Households dependent on income from unskilled labor and service employment will not see the same financial progress over the years.

They have several key charts, here is the one that caught my eye. (All emphasis mine)

income chart

And that average include people in much more dangerous jobs than playing & training to play football for 16 weeks a year that pay a lot less than football.

Mr. Borland is 24, he made $420K last year and received a signing bonus of over 600k for signing a 4 year deal 3/4 of which he plans to return.

So he will end up with $570K before taxes.

Consider what that means, based on 2013 numbers. If he doesn’t make another dollar till he’s 35 he will STILL have made more than the median household income than the avg american of his age will earn over that period of time. Additionally he will not have any student loans to pay back.

I have no problem with Mr. Borland’s decision. He has obviously used his free college education well and I’m sure even when the media interest fades he will be able to make a good living.  Additionally he is new enough to football that he hasn’t gotten used to a lifestyle that demands an annual income of 500K or more.  It’s a perfectly rational and sensible decision and I have no problem with it.

However a decision to continue to play football and earn another half million at a time in his life when he is likely a his peak physically is no less rational as would have been a decision to play a long career, make tens of millions and live the life and lifestyle of a such a person and be able to provide a comfortable living for generation of children & grandchildren.

Either of these choices to play or not to pay are rational, neither of these choices are “heroic”.

Pat Tillman who left an NFL career to fight in Afghanistan (where he died)  made a heroic decision.  Bob Feller who was the first major league player to enlist after Pearl Harbor  and volunteered for combat duty in the USN made a heroic decision.

Chris Borland did not.

I thought Bob Schieffer’s was old enough to know the difference.


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Anyone who reads this site knows I’m a big Baseball fan and while I can watch Football & enjoy the nuances of the game I think it can’t compare.

The greatest advantage to Baseball?  No clock, you have to get those 27 outs, while often in football you can just run out the clock, the game is pretty much out of control.

That’s not how the Patriots approached this game. On sunday the Patriots were playing football, but were thinking baseball they played until the last out was recorded.

Consider the start of the  fourth quarter.  Seattle had the ball, the Patriots were down 24-14.  No Superbowl team in history had come back from a 10 point 4th quarter deficit and New England was playing against not only the defending NFL champions but the best defensive team in the league.

Rather than panicking or losing control they methodically, after stopping Seattle they drove down the field to score making it a 3 point game.

Then after stopping Seattle a 2nd time they drove a second time for a second touchdown with 2:02 left.

Both of those situation said a lot about the Patriots but what followed said even more.

Seattle, needing a touchdown started from their twenty and drove down the field, with  1:16 left on a 1st & 10 from the Patriots 38 we witnessed on of the greatest catches in NFL history:

That was an amazing miraculous catch but notice that in addition to Jermaine Kearse’s  incredible play, rookie defender Malcolm Butler (more on him later) after having what appeared to be a great defensive stop turned into a 30+ yard catch had the presence of mind to get Kearse out of bounds before he could score.

He didn’t waste time in shocked disbelief the game was still on the line and he acted.

With 1:06 left Seattle holding a time out in their pocket handed off to the best running back in the league Marshon Lynch who is stopped just short of the goal line.

Again, here are the Patriots, seconds after dealing with a dagger in the heart play step up and stop Lynch just before the line keeping the game in play, making it 2nd & goal on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds to go.

This is the first of two telling moments.  The play by play announcers are saying openly perhaps Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should simply let Seattle walk into the end zone and take the lead to give Tom Brady the maximum amount of time to possibly come back for a game tying field goal.  As far as they are concerned a Seattle touchdown to take the lead is a fait accompli and there is nothing the Patriots can do to stop it.

Seattle is thinking the same thing, consider Pete Carroll’s post game comments, he is thinking to “waste” a play, to get time off the clock to minimize the chances of a Patriots comeback after they score.

This kind of thinking suggests a lack of confidence in his top ranked defense but more importantly it presumes that the lead taking touchdown has already happened, his team doesn’t have to execute, he doesn’t have to make the right call, it’s all over.

Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite.  His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back.  He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

And when the snap is made Malcolm Butler, the same fellow who stopped Kearse from scoring two plays earlier recognizes the play and muscles his way forward to intercept the ball and give the Patriots the ball on their own 1 yard line with 20 seconds to go.

But even then, no matter what the highlight reels are showing, the game is NOT over and the Patriots understand this.

There is little or no space for Brady to take a knee and if he is brought down in the end zone not only is it a safety making the score 28-26 but the same Seattle team that drove down the field at the end of the 2nd quarter would just have to get within field goal range for a chance to win.

Meanwhile Seattle was in the same spot New England was in a mere 46 seconds earlier.  They had been kicked in the chest by a stunning reversal.  But unlike New England who put it behind them and got down to business Seattle did not.

First the Patriots understanding the game wasn’t over, did their best to draw Seattle offsides and defensive end defensive end Michael Bennett obliged.

Suddenly instead of the ball on the 1 and the Patriots having to worry about a safety the ball was on the 5.

Now the odds were very long for Seattle.  With only one time out left the Patriots would only need two snaps without a fumble with five yards instead of one to clinch the game.  The chances of a fumble or mistake were longer than the Patriots picking off a pass at the one yard line to save the game.

But no matter how long the odds it was the only chance they had and like Jackie Robinson in 1951 making sure Bobby Thompson touched every base after his historic Home Run or Wil Wheaton using the “Moonpie gambit” to defeat Sheldon Cooper in Mystic warlords of Ka’a

A team determined to win a 2nd straight Superbowl championship keeps its cool, lines ups and forces the Patriots to execute.

They did not:

Seattle’s vaunted defense loses it’s cool and now the Patriots get to make their final snap not inside of the 5 where a bad snap could cost them the game, but at the 20 with plenty of room to make sure everything is under control.

And that really says it all. During the last two minutes the Patriots played Superbowl 49 as if it was the 9th inning of the 7th game of the world series, they didn’t stop executing until the very last out was made.

And that’s what champions do.

I’ll have a much longer piece on one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen but if you really want to know what happened yesterday and why let me explain Why the Patriots won and Seattle Lost in two sentences.

After 59 minutes, both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception, the Seattle Seahawks played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 59 minutes both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

That’s pretty much it.



When you find yourself in distinguishable from Barack Obama when it comes to truth, that’s bad.

Incidentally we’re still going to win.

Sarris: Do you think I’m a fool? That the commander does not know every bolt, every weld in his ship?

Galaxy Quest  1999

You may not appreciated the necessity for uniformity , gentlemen, unless you make use of your imagination. A single document may well be accepted, but you must think of a series. After receiving, let us say, six genuine documents, someone receives one spurious one. The recipient naturally lays them together in the course of the routine of his office. If one is markedly different from all the others –even if one is different in only a small degree–attention is clamorously called to it. Hine illac lachrymae. And if that document has a content somewhat unusual–even though in other circumstances it might have passed-then the fact is in the fire and Bow Street is called in. Et Ego in arcadia vixi, gentlemen.

C. S. Forester Hornblower during the Crisis 1967



On the radio yesterday the only thing anybody wanted to talk about was the Patriots and under-inflated footballs.

I’ve been hearing all the excuses:  “Everybody does it”, “They won by 30+ points”,and “how many of the Patriots actually knew?”, or “how much difference can you tell between ball inflation?” etc etc etc.

All of that is simply rubbish.

Consider coach Belichick.  He runs an incredibly tight ship, with a strong system, the word “methodical” is too light a description for how he builds a team.

There is no question that the success of his teams comes from the hard methodical work but does anyone believe that someone that methodical leaves any such thing to chance?

Additionally these guys aren’t avg guys.  They handle footballs for a living all week every day, they know a ball that is regulation or not because unlike us they live eat and breathe football, they are the elite of football in the world.

Furthermore I’m the type of guy who still believes when George Brett was initially called out for using an illegal bat in the pine tar game it was the right call.  The rules are what they are  and  I think, while the Pats  have no doubt earned their place in the superbowl by their performance this is a case of breaking the rules pure and simple.

All those involved should suffer the full measures of the penalties specified for such offenses superbowl or no.



One of the most interesting episodes of the favorite TV show of my youth the Adventures of Robin Hood was “The Truce”.

The episode starts with Robin Hood stopping someone in the forest to rob him, the target challenges Robin to an archery contest. Robin wins and the man throws down his purse in disgust accidentally dropping a medal showing he Mark Crispin Champion Bowman of England.

Meanwhile the Deputy Sheriff is tricked into a 500 mark wager against Lord Redford who has stated his archer can beat the Deputy Sheriff’s man who too his shock discovers Redford has hired Crispin as a ringer before he could. Desperate to avoid the loss he offers Robin Hood a one day truce, half the prize money and a & safe-conduct in writing (threatening to tax the poor for every penny he loses if he declines).

Feeling confident the Sheriff offers to increase the wager by 100 marks, Redford agrees and proposes doubling the wager so now the bet is 1200 silver marks.

At the shooting field when Robin wins round one Crispin recognizes him and Lord Redford hints to the Sheriff that he should admit and denounce him. When Crispin makes an excellent shot on a spinning moving target the Deputy Sheriff, in a panic approaches Robin and says the following:

Deputy Sheriff: I forbid you to win.

Robin turns to him and answers:

Robin Hood: My Lord you seem to think I can win or lose as I please. That is a very difficult target.

Deputy Sheriff: I see

Robin Hood: A man could be excused for missing it entirely.

And that exchange is a perfect example of the situation that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady find themselves in every single time they make it to the NFL Playoffs.

Tom Brady a sixth round draft pick in 2000 went from backing up arguably the best quarterback in NE Patriots history at the time (Remember Drew Bledsoe?) to becoming not only the best Quarterback in the teams history but one of the best of all time. As Wikipedia puts it:

In Brady’s fourteen seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, two league MVP awards (2007, 2010), has been selected to ten Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with twelve. He is currently fifth on the all time list for career passing yards and fifth for career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 18–8; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–2004). He also set the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 10, and in 2007 led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. He has thrown for more passing yards than any quarterback in NFL postseason history and is third for career postseason touchdown passes, and has the sixth highest career passer rating of all time (95.9) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times. Brady and John Elway are the only two quarterbacks to lead their teams to five Super Bowls. He was also named the NFL MVP in 2007 and 2010 (becoming the first player to be unanimously chosen as MVP in the 2010 season) as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been so honored since Joe Montana won the award in 1990. After the 2010 season, Brady was ranked as the best player in the NFL. He was also the first quarterback to throw for 50 or more touchdowns in a season. In 2010, he set the all time record for consecutive passes without an interception (335), and broke his own record for season TD:INT ratio at 9:1 (which has since been broken by Nick Foles).

And if Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks ever what about Bill Belichick?

In his fifteen years as coach of the Patriots his team has made the playoffs 12 times winning their division each of those years. He has gone to 5 Super Bowls winning three.

To put that in perspective in the first 40 years of the Patriots history the pats made the playoffs 10 times going to the Superbowl twice and losing both of them.

In other words over the last fifteen years this has been one of the best teams of all time.

This comes at an odd price, the price of expectations.

Every single time the Patriots take the field they are expected to win, it has reached the point that when New England dropped two games early articles began to be written asking if he was finished.

Of course As I type this Brady’s Patriots have just taken a 4 point lead over Baltimore in the 4th quarter of an exciting game that can go either way so he’s without a question not done, but consider, if Baltimore comes back to win the only topic in New england will be what’s wrong with the Patriots.

The newspapers will not talk about the excellent Baltimore team that is only 3 years removed from a Superbowl. They won’t consider the excellent coaching on the other side or the fine effort, it will be what’s wrong with the Pats.

And even if the Patriots beat the Ravens if next week they lose to Andrew Luck’s Colts or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos the same questions will be asked despite the skill of either team (particularly the Broncos).

And lets say they manage to win again and get to the Superbowl, no matter who they face if they don’t manage to win, the only thing that will be talked about in New England is their failure.

Those are the wages of the Patriots success and in many ways it’s unfair.

Then again I suspect there are a lot of teams who have been on the outside looking in that would love to have that expectations problem.

FYI if you want to know how that Robin Hood story ends, here is the episode in question.

As I type this the Pats have just intercepted the ball in the end zone with under two minutes to go. Barring a huge mistake they now only have two more obstacles to overcome to meet those oversized expectations.


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As we prepare to watch Barack Obama detail his plans for ISIS while the sports media continues to go all in on Ray Rice it’s worth noting the factor that is driving both stories.

When the charges against Ray Rice were dropped and the NFL decided to suspend him for two days everyone had seen the first video of Mr. Rice dragging his soon to be wife out of an elevator.

There was no question in anyone’s mind that Rice had knocked her out. The Police knew it, the NFL knew it and the Baltimore Ravens knew it, the public knew it and the media knew it.

Yet the certain knowledge that an all pro 200+ pound man floored his wife to be just didn’t cut it to the authorities in the state, the Ravens or the NFL.  Their decisions drew a critique but the NFL, the Ravens and the Police stood pat happy to stay where they were.

Just like the Obama administration and ISIS

For months reports were coming out of Syria & Iraq of atrocities being committed by the Islamists of ISIS  on helpless people in Syria & Iraq.

Refugees pouring out of the area told stories about it, the media saw and sometimes wrote reports on it, bloggers online discussed it (some demanding action) and on a daily basis the White House received intelligence on what ISIS was doing and who they were doing it to.

Yet with all of this knowledge the president and his administration had, no matter how many times the president was briefed on ISIS and no matter how many civilians were being killed and displaced the administration could ignore it and the press would let it go.

Both in the in the Rice case and in the ISIS case the decision makers knew the horrible extent of what was going on, but didn’t want to act and as long as there was the least bit of ambiguity in the minds of the public as to just what these actions meant, they were content to give lip service to justice and go on their way…

…then came the videos and it all changed.

Once the pictures were seen by the general public and there was no way to spinning or euphemize what was going inaction became impossible.

The NFL’s Ravens and Obama didn’t act because what they now knew was any more horrible than when they ignored or downplayed it,  they acted because they could not pretend their inaction or indifference was driven by ignorance.

Their flexibility in the face of injustice was gone.

Ray Rice and ISIS might be getting what’s coming to them, but don’t think for one moment it’s because those who had the power to dispense justice wished to do so.  The NFL , The Ravens and the President aren’t acting to protect women or children, they are acting to protect their own reputations.

Nothing more.

Update: As the new iPhone is released here is a thought, If smartphones existed in 1969 & Mary Jo Kopechne had one with video on as she drowned does Ted Kennedy get elected after 1969?


Olimometer 2.52

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John "Lee" Ruberry of Da Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of Da
Magnificent Seven

By John Ruberry

“Your sports team is vastly inferior
That simple fact is plainly obvious to see
We’re gonna kick your collective posterior
Of course you realize we’re speaking figuratively.”
Weird Al Yankovic, Sports Song.

The generic send-up of fight anthems, Sports Song, on Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album is quite timely today. This afternoon the Houston Texans will host the Washington Redskins as the National Football League regular season begins in full.

There’s that nickname–Redskins. Many self-righteous liberals, including President Obama and most of the Democratic US Senate caucus, are demanding that the Washington franchise change its name to something they deem less offensive.

Team owner Dan Snyder is firmly committed to keeping the Redskins name and an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with him.

The only notable conservative, as far as I know, who favors a name change is Washington-based  Charles Krauthammer.

Daily newspapers have entered the fray. Yesterday the Charlotte Observer told its readers that with the exception of stories about the team name controversy, it won’t use Redskins in stories about the DC gridiron team. Charlotte’s football entry, the Carolina Panthers, won’t meet the ‘Skins this season unless it’s in the playoffs.

Among the television sports personalities who vow to avoid the Washington team moniker are Phil Simms and Tony Dungy.

The Detroit News and the Seattle Times swore off use of the Redskins name this summer. Seattle’s football team, the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, hosts the ‘Skins for a Monday night game on October 6. I’ll have to take a look at the Times as their reporters struggle with avoiding the Redskins name. “Your sports team is vastly inferior,” could be a Seattle Times taunt for the Redskins next month. Or the paper could channel the Harry Potter books and refer to the ‘Skins as The-Team-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The Washington Post is taking an Obama-style tepid stand. It won’t use the nickname on its editorial page.

Where do I stand? While I admit that Redskins is a slur against Native Americans, the use of the team name is over 80 years old. The nickname is older than the Washington Redskins themselves–the Boston Redskins took their first snap in 1933 before moving to the District of Columbia four years later. So when virtually anyone hears “Redskins,” they know the word refers to the football team, not to indigenous Americans.

Go Redskins! I wish you great success–unless you’re playing my Chicago Bears, who I hope “kick your collective posterior.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

In life one of the things you often find that while you might hope for one thing, when you actually need another. This is often how God answer prayer providing what you need rather than what you want.

A great example of this is this story about Michael Sam:

The St. Louis Rams released defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday, the team announced.

Sam’s hopes of sticking with the Rams and becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot on the team.

There were likely a lot of people, particularly in the MSM who while not in prayer were hoping above hope that Michael Sam would make that final spot in the Rams roster in order to advance, not so much Sam’s career but their own agenda.

But while they and perhaps the Sam’s fans may not believe it, the Rams gave Sam exactly what he needed. Respect and incentive.

Rather than giving him a roster spot that he didn’t earn which had the potential to set him up not just for failure but for derision as an “affirmative action” hire, the team treated him like any other 7th round pick trying to make a team who just didn’t do enough to earn that spot.

That does two things:

#1  It forces him to raise his game:

It takes skill and strength and drive to make an NFL roster. Being cut will make him work harder and do what is necessary if he wants to be one. That is exactly what a player of his caliber needs to succeed in the league

#2  It’s a sign of respect.

It tells him that media desires not withstanding an NFL roster spot is something to be won on the field, not behind a microphone. It tells them that he will be judged not as a man who prefers the sexual companionship of other men, but as a man who plays football in the NFL.

That exactly the type of respect a man wants.  The knowledge that what he gets he’s earned.  

The Rams showed a lot of character by making this choice and how Sam reacts to it over the course of the weeks to follow will say a lot about him as a player.

As for those in the media or the “Gay” movement If the actual goal of said movement is equality, they should be absolutely delighted.

If however their goal is raw bullying power, not so much.

Update: Robert Silverman, regardless of what he says doesn’t respect Sam as a player because if he did he wouldn’t be saying stuff like this:

It’s not worth giving these bigots any more oxygen than they deserve. Just take my word for it that it was, and probably still is, awful. Unlike, say, a random cornerback from Boise State, moments after the Rams announced they were cutting Sam, there was a near-celebratory outpouring of weirdly giddy hate, using the relative anonymity of social media as a modern-day Klansman’s e-frock.

Seriously a team is supposed to sign Sam because Silverman doesn’t like the results of a twitter search?

Do you remember Tim Tebow?  He won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 while still a sophomore and managed to win two national championships while at Florida.

He came to the NFL to the Denver Broncos as a backup during his first season in 2010 getting three starts at the end of the season.  After Denver’s 1-4 start the following year Tebow led the Broncos to a series of improbable wins leading to the division title & playoff appearance since 2005 and their first playoff win before falling to the Mighty New England Patriots to end their season.

Despite this success when future hall of famer Peyton Manning became available the Broncos jumped at the change to sign him and traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, where the Jets kept him firmly out of the starting lineup as they limed to a 6-10 record, the following year the Patriots signed him in pre-season.  He would be cut after the final pre-season game, ironically a game where he would throw 2 touchdowns in a Patriots come from behind 4th quarter win.  A 52 yard touchdown pass was his last play as a New England Patriot.

Though this entire Time Tebow remained a target for the media over his open and unfettered Christianity.

Many people attacked it,  protested it , sneered at it, went absolutely nuts over it

Tebow’s sanctimonious God-talk has led even pious peers like Kurt Warner to suggest that he cool it. Joseph could have used the same coaching.

If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.

(that was from a Rabbi no less)

and one, the cheating website Ashley Madison even put up a 1 million dollar bounty to corrupt it.

I guarantee that no man of Tim Tebow’s stature could survive a season in New York without succumbing to the temptations of the city,” CEO Neal Biderman sneers in a press release.

But his sneers, and the laughs of the others proved in vain, Tebow remained faithful to Christ even as the press mocked him and the NFL rejected him.

“I think number one is, what my mom and dad preached to me when I was a little kid: Just because you may have athletic ability and you may be able to play a sport doesn’t make you any more special than anybody else,” Tebow said. “Doesn’t mean God loves you more than anybody else.

“We play a sport. It’s a game. At the end of the day, that’s all it is, is a game. It doesn’t make you any better or any worse than anybody else. So by winning a game, you’re no better. By losing a game, you’re no worse. I think by keeping that mentality, it really keeps things in perspective for me to treat everybody the same.”

Tebow has remained true to himself and God  and while has not been signed by an NFL team, he’s keeping himself in shape:

The former Heisman Trophy winner hasn’t given up on playing in the NFL and wanted to get a couple of workouts in at the D1 Training facility in Cool Springs.

The only problem was that Tebow didn’t have anyone to catch his passes.

So the staff at D1 placed a call to Bill Back, who coaches the Venom, a Professional Indoor Football League team.

Back rounded up four of his receivers and they ran routes for Tebow on Wednesday in what turned out to be a pretty intense workout.

As one put it

“I can’t believe he’s not signed somewhere,” Back said. “I don’t know what the deal is. His passes were right on the money. His arm strength is so good it darn near broke my fingers. And he’s still built like a sculpture and in great condition.”

Alas there’s still that pesky belief in God that gets in the way.  If only he had been more like say Michael Sam:

imagine if Tebow had gotten up at the combine and proclaimed that he wanted to be known as a football player, not a Christian football player.

Then he started selling John 3:16 wristbands and eye patches on his website. Then he signed up for a reality show on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Tebow did none of this, he simply won games, sold plenty of merchandise and gave God all the glory.  Who would want a guy like that on their team or in their locker room?

Two thoughts to close:

First one can certainly point to Tebow’s personal stats as unimpressive and that’s a fair critique but consider:  Last year while Tim Tebow found no takers the man he replaced in Denver, Kyle Orton signed with Dallas as a backup.  When Tony Romo went down Orton started the final game of the season with the playoffs on the line.  Orton went 30 of 46 passes with 358 yards & two touchdowns

…and lost.

Finally Tebow has not played in the NFL for a year,yet he was still worthy of a jab at the White House correspondence dinner.  Could you imagine for one second if anyone had made a joke at Michael Sam expense at that venue?  You could not because the bottom line is among the media and cultural elites in Obama’s America there is,  as Jennifer Leclaire put it more tolerance for homosexuality than Jesus Christ.

Update: Tebow played his college ball at Florida not Florida State corrected.

Back in the 80’s the comic book and baseball card market changed.

Until that time kids & teens were the primary market they bought the latest comics because they liked a character (say Green Lantern, or the X-Men) a writer Denny O’Neil or Chris Claremont , an Artist (Jim Aparo John Byrne) or maybe an up & comer who did both Frank Miller Jim Starlin ).

With baseball cards the kids had a favorite player Dale Murphy or Cal Ripken or loved a team like Orioles or Braves or baseball fans who simply loved the game or might get an autograph of a favorite player.

And since the primary market were kids and teens who played with them (I was a champion baseball card flipper as a kid, give me a baseball card & I can still hit what I aim at) and read. Most were thrown away so the older fellows who wanted the Stan Lee or Gardner Fox story or the Jack Kirby or Murphy Anderson art of their youth or was a fan of Dick Raditz or Roger Maris had to pay a reasonable premium for them.

And if you were a serious collector who had to have his Mary Marvel #4, Spiderman #11 or Ted Williams 1957 or Mickey Mantle 1966 in perfect shape the supply was so limited that prices soared through the roof.

But in the 80’s two things combined to change the math. the baby boomers who never really bothered to grow up were of wage earning age and at the same time people noticed that there was a resale market for comics & cards, particularly for rookie cards (a player’s first card) & first issues of a comic series.

Suddenly to the delight of DC, Marvel, Topps, Fleer & Don Russ people started buying cards & comics in anticipation of value. Suddenly there were all kinds of special cards, high quality cards out there, Upper Deck came out with baseball cards of incredible qualify and if you wanted every Kirby Puckett card in 1988 you had a lot to buy. Baseball card shows were all over and older players who missed the age of free agency could make a buck doing shows & selling autographs. (I still remember meeting Brooks Robinson in Leominster & Rico Petrocelli in Gardner)

On the comic book side the mini-series was created (more first issues to sell) Suddenly hot artists & writers commanded better money and were in a position to put out their own work, independent companies sprang up publishing some great stuff (Groo, Usagi Yojimbo, Dreadstar, Starslayer & Jon Sable freelance) and some absolute crap (samurai penguin) and some things that became cultural icons (Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles).

But once these things were collected not because they were loved but because they had “value” things changed. The companies produced larger print runs (until they figured out like Marvin Miller that limited runs kept demand high). People bought multiple issues of comics and put them away with backing boards and mylar bags to keep them in pristine condition figuring it would just take a few years for them to triple or double in value and if a comic you bought for $2 was selling for $4 in three years, if you got $3 each for 100 you had a 50% return on your investment in three years!

With money value also came dishonesty, I would hear kids brag about cheating their friends out of items of value, theft & break-ins were common since you could turn over the product at any flea market and to police comics & cards were not a priority (little comfort to the small store owner)

They became in effect penny bearer bonds.

But then the reality of supply & demand took over. When 5% of your market are people who actually want the product for what it is vs 95% who want it strictly to resell, prices crumble.

Suddenly people discovered they had cases of perfectly preserved miniature photos of baseball players that nobody actually wanted and that those comic books kept hermetically sealed were basically drawing and stories who only had value to people who liked the stories and/or art.

Go into any comic book or baseball card store today and you’ll find a vast array of comics 80’s & 90’s that the owners still can’t sell even at a quarter or a penny.

and THAT brings us to Superbowl 48 (or XLVIII) and this story:

On Friday, nine days before the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks meet at MetLife Stadium, the cheapest ticket to buy for the Super Bowl was $1,779 on NFL Ticket Exchange, the league’s official resale site. That’s $409 cheaper than it was on the site with this many days left last year and $809 cheaper than the year before.

How low is it going? this low:

On Friday, Kimmel said he got an offer to buy a man’s tickets for face value, something he said he never expected to hear.

What has happened, the decision to play the game in an non-domed stadium outside of the sun belt has revealed the Superbowl for what it has become, pretty much a gigantic marketing phenomenon that happens to include a football game as part of it.

Consider unlike every other major American professional sport instead of a seven series for a title a single winner take all game meaning a champion is determined on only one day and there is a single change to see it.

Additionally it is the only professional championship that is not scheduled to take place in the stadium one of the two championship teams (it can happen by chance, but it never has).

The price for the lowest ticket offered is $1779 the median income in the US in 2013 is about $50,000.

That means for a pair of the cheapest nosebleed seats the average person needs to squirrel away a month pay for the tickets alone not counting travel, hotel, and expenses or put themselves in debt.

Not a lot of that in the Obama economy.

And even if you are a fan who manages to do that most of the time the game isn’t worth it. While we had a run of really good games in the last 10 years before then more than half the game were won by two touchdowns or more. Only 16 of the 47 super bowls to date barely over a 1/3 have been decided by one touchdown or less. Tom Brady for example has no interest in the game and I suspect it’s not just because his teams not in it.

The reality is the Superbowl is 1 part game & 8 parts spectacle/concert. All during the game the cameras pan the crowd to find the rich the famous in the stands. They are not there because they are devotees of football, because they like a perfectly executed End Around or a blitz perfectly timed, they are there because it is an event, an EXCLUSIVE event. They are there to be seen as there.

But take that exclusive event, and put it outside in cold weather where they will have to sit outside on a bench for several hours. That’s a different story. It might be comfortable in the owners box but the camera likely won’t catch you. It’s absurd, you can’t expect a Katie Perry, a Justin Beiber, a Cate Blanchette or a Meryl Strep to do sit outside in the cold and the wind just to be seen on camera for a few moments don’t you know who they are?

That’s something to be left to the Hoi Polloi.

Add to that two teams from small market cities 2000 miles from the city where the game is to be played and suddenly your grand spectacle is taking place in a stadium full of people who will be comped.

Rest assured that this will be the last Superbowl played in a cold weather stadium without a dome.  the NFL’s entire marketing plan is to create an event that has to be experienced by anyone who is anyone.  If people think the beautiful people aren’t really interested and the only people actually interested are actual football fans then they’ll leave it for the next happening thing.

And that can’t be allowed.


Olimometer 2.52

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There has been something bothering me from the start of the Richie Incognito & Jonathan Martin and it likely comes not so much from my age but the age of my parents.

My folks were born in the 1921 & 1924 respectively, they grew up in a hard era where a man was expected to be manly.

Think of the classic movie Tarzan the Ape man from that era (1932) Tarzan is not only a fit man, but he hunts, he fights, he stand up to every challenge, and consider even the white hunters when (Jane) Maureen O’Sullivan is tossed into the pit with a gigantic beast they don’t hesitate to go in themselves in an attempt to save her.

The cultural lesson was plain, a man was expected to be a man, to stand up and fight even in a bad spot.

As a kid I remember a fight I had with a bully. In one respect it was an embarrassing spectacle. He kept knocking me down and I kept getting up and charging back until finally another kid put a stop to it. On the other hand, I had stood up for myself and that fellow never bothered me again.

My kids were born in the early 1990’s in a totally different era & culture. I gave them very specific instructions to deal with bullies.

1. Unless a bully is armed stand up to him.

2. Don’t throw the first punch unless there is an insult to your mother and/or grandmother, if that is the case give one warning before striking.

3. If you are facing an armed bully back off and then go to a teacher.

These rules resulted on a single fight when my youngest had to deal with someone who continued to insult his mother. I was called to the vice principal’s office where I told him in no uncertain terms that my son had followed the instructions I had given him and if the situation was repeated he was expected to do the same.

My son was punished for violating the rules but privately the VP told me that he hoped given the same situation his sons would stand up for his mother in the same way.

and that brings us to this story in SI on the Miami Dolphins mess.

Football is a game of skill, it’s a game of strategy but above all it is a game of strength & endurance, particularly on the line. If you are a football player you hit and get hit for a living. If you are a lineman you hit and get hit even more than everyone else usually by people who are some of the biggest and strongest people in the country.

By definition a person who does this has to be physically & mentally tough. As Lydon Murtha put it in SI

Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about any so-called hazing. That’s the most outlandish lie of this whole thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who’s getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a dozen teams, and it’s the same everywhere. What people want to call bullying is something that is never going away from football. This is a game of high testosterone, with men hammering their bodies on a daily basis. You are taught to be an aggressive person, and you typically do not make it to the NFL if you are a passive person. There are a few, but it’s very hard. Playing football is a man’s job, and if there’s any weak link, it gets weeded out. It’s the leaders’ job on the team to take care of it.

Even in a world where the manly values have been rejected The idea that a person employed in such a way couldn’t stand up for himself is bad enough but the consequences in the long run, are going to be worse:

Martin is on the opposite end of the spectrum, but no more likely than Incognito to return to the NFL if he wants. In going to the media with his problem, Martin broke the code, and it shows that he’s not there for his teammates and he’s not standing up for himself. There might be a team that gives him a chance because he’s a good person, but the players will reject him. They’ll think, If I say one thing he’s going to the press. He’ll never earn the respect of teammates and personnel in the NFL because he didn’t take care of business the right way.

If this kind of thing continues, as one ex player said concerning rule changes concerning hits, you might as well fit the players with flag belts now and get over it.


Olimometer 2.52

Just over two days left to the week, just over $250 left to a full paycheck.

We can’t do anything about the former but you can do something about the later by hitting DaTipJar below.


One of the best baseball simulation games out there is Dynasty Baseball. It’s a face to face simulation where unlike most fantasy game you serve as manager doing everything from warming relievers in the bullpen to deciding if you are bringing in that infield with the tying run on third.

In league play you are also a general manager drafting players and building your team based all the factors a real GM has, is that fly ball pitcher a good fit for your park with the short left field porch and winds that tend to blow out? Do you draft that starting shortstop that gobbles up everything in reach for the double play who can’t hit his weight or the fellow who will let those balls get through the infield but send some balls over the fence when batting. Do you carry that 3rd catcher, that pinch-hitting specialist or and extra left-handed reliever for that 25th roster spot.

The most interesting factor to judge in the game is morale.

Each player in the game has a morale rating from A-F (C being average) A & B morale players add to your teams morale score while D & F players subtract it.

It doesn’t happen often but once in a while a result will come up based on team morale. The difference between positive & negative morale can be penalties for multiple series or a bonus for the same length of time.

If you’ve built your team and you find yourself in negative ground or neutral ground with one more spot to fill getting a person with just enough positive morale to move you up from negative to neutral or neutral to positive and make all the difference to your season.

And that dear friends takes us to Tim Tebow and the New England Patriots decision to release him.


Forget the team’s 3-0 record in games that he appeared in. Forget that he not only has a record of winning but the one time when he delivered under center was in the 4th quarter when the pats where down. forget even that he is a big guy that could be used on 3rd down or even 4th down plays slotted at RB. who does the defense cover?

What Tim Tebow did this preseason was give the press something to talk and obsess about that had nothing to do with the Aaron Hernandez trial. He gave everyone quotable quotes and as always carried himself as an excellent example in a clubhouse at a time when it was most valuable.

The Hernandez Trial is going to continue rolling on as the season progresses and while there is 0% chance that Tim Tebow would replace Tom Brady at QB in any situation with the game on the line consider this….

Imagine a week when the case is moving forward, every single player would be pestered with questions, particularly if the previous week the patriots receivers didn’t have so good a game. The radio talk will be all Hernandez and story after story in the press.

Now imagine the same week if on one or two third down play Tebow goes into the backfield. Maybe he takes a direct snap, maybe he doesn’t but suddenly every question is going to be all about Tebow, the press will be all around and every sports talk network will start the week asking about Tebow on 3rd downs and will end the week with them speculating if it will happen the next week.

The papers will still cover the Hernandez trail. There will still be stories in the papers…and nobody will notice.

With the season about to start the relative value of such a distraction is fairly small, once things are rolling it might be incalcuable.

Of course there is nothing stopping the Pats from signing Tebow back during the season if the Hernandez stuff heats up. Now THAT would be a story stopper.

And it certainly would generate a bunch of comments at the Huffington Post

One upon a time there was a team that hadn’t won a championship in a long time.

That team acquired a quarterback, a quarterback who had led his previous team to a National title.

The quarterback led team to win after win, he was much beloved by the fans of the team.

But all was not well, Despite his success the quarterback on the field, he was derided by members of the media and the elites who downplayed his skills considered his victory’s flukes and mocked his behavior on and off the field and confidently predicted his failure.

The cries did not lesson when his team won the division. The critiques screamed all the louder and hoped for his failure. Even as the team won the wild card game they confidently predicted his failure as he headed to the 2nd round of the playoffs

They were rewarded his team was unable to win the divisional game. They urged his team to cut loose the quarterback and replace him. Despite his success management didn’t think highly of the quarterback sought a new one trading the first quarterback to another team.

The team signed a different quarterback who had a team to a National title for 18 million dollars.

The different quarterback lead his new team to win after win, he was much beloved by the fans of the team.

Unlike the first quarterback the second quarterback was treated differently. His success on the field and behavior off it, was celebrated by the members of the media. The elites praised his considerable sills, attributed the victory’s to him and confidently predicted his continued success

Meanwhile the elite’s hatred of the first quarterback still burned. That laughed as his new team refused to start him. When their starting QB replaced due to failure they promoted the 3rd string QB over him. When the 3rd string QB went down with an injury before the last day game of the season his new team refused to start him and finished the season tied for last place with the first quarterback on the bench without starting a single game.

But as far as his old franchise was concerned the first quarterback was old news. The new quarterback continued to win and the praise of all only continued when his team won the division and the accolades came all the louder as the team secured a first round bye. They anticipated his success as his team headed into the 2nd round of the playoffs with a bye.

And then with the game on the line, the quarterback that was considered a candidate for MVP. The quarterback that they paid more than 11 times more than the first quarterback threw a key interception and lost in the playoffs.

The extra 16.89 million dollars the team paid bought them one less playoff victory than the year before.

The two quarterbacks if you haven’t figured it out by now are Tim Tebow & Peyton Manning the team is the Denver Broncos.

Both Quarterbacks played hard, they conducted themselves professionally and honorably on and off the field but one was loved by the elites and one was not. Why?

The elite culture can abide almost anything, even belief and faith in Christ as long as it is not public and unafraid. Tim Tebow not only loves Jesus Christ and tries his best to walk in his ways but he loves Christ instead of the culture that the media and the elites rule and feed off and does so publicly and unafraid.

That’s a crime they will never forgive.

I’ll give the last word to Denver fans via twitter:

As the latest edition of the Superbowl gets ready to begin I marvel at the marketing wisdom of the NFL.

When it comes down to it football has a lot going against it.

1. Unlike Baseball, Basketball or Hockey It is a “team” sport with two separate components (offense, defense) and even special teams an independent unit from these. They are distinct and tends to direct credit or blame away from “team” and toward that unit.

2. It doesn’t have the flow of Hockey or Basketball where play only stops for a foul, infraction or a time out. By its nature it is interrupted.

3. It has a short season, compared to other sports, only 16 games.

4. It is extremely violent and dangerous sport, yet with rules to protect some players while leaving others vulnerable. It doesn’t even have the interesting twist of Hockey that actually allows fights to go on.

5. And worst of all, the players most key to victory get very little credit. The one thing you can’t do without in a football team is a solid offensive line. You win or lose based on them, but because they don’t tackle, don’t catch and don’t run they get none of the credit while taking heavy punishment on every single play.

However Football for all it’s failings (it can’t hold a candle to Baseball but then again what can?) has the single biggest annual sporting event in the world, a game that captivates tens of millions. Why?

One very simple thing: A single winner take all game.

Baseball, Hockey and Basketball all have best of seven series for their titles. This allows for a lot more games. in the days before TV it meant a minimum of two home games for winner and loser to profit from and perhaps as many as 4. A best of seven tends to reward the best team and makes it less likely for a Cinderella to arise.

The Superbowl however as a single game, is different. Every great play and every mistake is magnified astronomically. While the best team will usually win because a single twist can change everything it gives the game more mystique.

Add to that excellent marketing, a Sunday game that most people have off and you have the ingredients for one of the greatest sports spectacles there is.

Update: Two superbowl comments.

1. The Patriots would not have had the chance for that final drive if Eli Manning took a knee twice and used up most of the clock.

2. There is something fundamentally wrong with a sport where there is a disincentive for a team to attempt to score. This is why football will always be inferior to any other major sport.

A lot has been written about today’s scheduled game between the Pats and Broncos, most of it along the lines of “Will God give Tebow” the win this Sunday.”

Tebow’s pronouncements on God’s indifference to football and the decimated secondary and poor defense of the Pats not withstanding this has been the topic of note in the area all week.

We’ve reached the point where it no longer matters what God is doing here, people believe God is doing something here and it’s gotten in their heads. The issue is now psychological.

If you are Bill Belichick no matter how disciplined your team is, this is a hard thing to counter, but I have a simple solution, fight psychology with more psychology.

If I’m Belichick I tell my players that President Obama has commented favorably on the Tim Tebow phenomenon.

You do is shortly before game time so the tweets can get out and spread, but not far enough away so the players can hear any White House denial and there is always the chance Obama might choose to say something along those lines rather than denying.

As the US women’s soccer team discovered and as Democratic campaigns around the nation have concluded there is nothing more poisonous than the support of Barack Obama.

If the word gets out to both teams in time then you will have the perfect counter psychologically speaking.

…now if we can just get that secondary to step up.

Update: Of course it helps if your opponents can’t hold on to the football and makes stupid penalties.

“I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.

Exodus 20:2-3

Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause”… Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters VII (Glasgow: Collins, 1942

You must choose, but choose wisely

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989

As I have said in the past. I am not the least bit Jewish and can not claim the knowledge of Jewish thought that a man like Rabbi Joshua Hammerman can, but after reading his tirade on Tim Tebow I must conclude he has some real problems and they don’t involve football.

Tebow’s sanctimonious God-talk has led even pious peers like Kurt Warner to suggest that he cool it. Joseph could have used the same coaching.

If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.

I’m not bothered by this talk as Dwayne Lester is:

For some reason, this Rabbi (yeah, you read that right) thinks that all it will take is a Christian winning the Super Bowl for fellow Christians to turn into frothing, violent hate machines of destruction, and of course, our targets would be Mosques and gays. Oh, and those danged foreigners!

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman somehow believes the moral equivalency nonsense regarding Christians and Muslims. You see, if the Muslims will riot over a cartoon of Mohammed, then surely those football fueled fundies will go into a frenzy over one of their own beating all the odds and winning the Lombardi Trophy.

that standard liberal stupidity isn’t his problem nor is his lame attempt to make the game a “Christian vs Jews” issue:

While the Patriots are adored by their fans (myself included), to many nationwide they are regarded as the Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarterback and their brilliant – one might say diabolical – hoodie-clad coach. And, oh yes, the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.

As a fellow pats fan I assure you a last in the league defense,  so full of injuries in the secondary that they might allow Tebow to shine in all four quarters is a bigger problem than how Robert Kraft religion might affect how this game is seen.  But as I said football is not his problem.  His real problem is this: emphasis mine

Unlike some other blue-staters, I do not fear people of faith. I fear people of certainty. The worldwide struggle going on right now is not between good and evil, but between certainty and doubt. It cuts across denominational lines: Progressive and Modern Orthodox Jews lie on one side of the divide, joining mainline Christians and moderate Muslims; and those on the other side are also Jews, Christians and Muslims; the people of certainty.

Certainty is a problem? Really? You are a rabbi, your religion is based on eyewitness account of the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt.  A certainty.   The primary commandment of your faith is the worship of God. The certainty of the existence of God should be job #1 as a rabbi yet from this article you seem more committed to global warming than the primary law of your religion?

Yes Rabbi you do have a problem, you apparently have more faith and belief in your liberalism than your Judaism.

Rather than praying for the Patriots you might want to pray on this instead,  but beware, you will find that the religion of liberalism is much harder on their apostates than Judaism is.

Update: Shades of trigs crew stuff first the nastiest paragraph disappears then the whole column goes down the memory hold

Maybe it’s just me but it looks like the Dutch are using the tactics of the New England Patriots vs the Rams in Superbowl XXXVI. Hit them hard on every play and make them feel it

Of course Dutch might not be emulating the Pats as much as the Dutch Sea Beggers who were the terror of the Spanish and won the Dutch their independence.

In an hour or so we will see if they are as effective.

…getting hit on a regular basis by muscular 250lb + men may be hazardous to your health:

“They’ll tell you I’m one of the worst ones that comes in there,” said Harrison, now retired and living in Woodbridge, Va., where he also deals with high blood pressure, diabetes and slew of aches from injuries to his back, knees, hip and shoulder. “Sometimes I don’t even remember my name.”

8 concussions will do that to you. He may be a Superbowl Hero and remembered by Steelers fans everywhere but there is a price to be paid and Reggie Harrison is paying it.

Give me Baseball any day. (only a couple of months to go!)

I saw the last quarter of the Pats Bills game and couldn’t believe my eyes:

With a 5 point lead and possession and 2:10 on the clock even I know to take the knee in the end zone and make the pats use the time outs and stop the team defensively, particularly when my quarterback has just driven the length of the field eating up 5 min.

Instead the pats got the ball and drove for the winning touchdown. And commented thusly:

“I chose to bring it out because that’s me,” McKelvin said in a sombre locker-room. “If I had that choice, probably 100 times, I’d do it again. Next time I get the opportunity, I’ve just got to do my job and make sure I hold onto the ball.”

Then again he also said this elsewhere:

“When I caught the ball, I didn’t know if I had two feet inbounds or if my momentum took me into the end zone. If I downed it, it may have been a safety. So I decided to bring it out.”

I wonder which one he said first?

…so I really don’t care how many time Brett Favre retires and comes back. All I know is he keeps winning games

Yes I know he wasn’t spectacular. Yes I know he really doesn’t deserve one of the team captainships.

And Adrian Peterson makes a big difference but the Daily Norseman has it right:

Plenty more to come on this game, but here’s what matters: 1-0.

That’s what you play for.

that first seasonMy pre-release review of That First Season How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory by John Eisenberg is available at here.

I seemed to like the book a lot less that the other reviews but I’m not much of a football fan, considering my take on the book in the review that is exactly the opposite of what I expected.