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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once you have paid him the Dane-geld You never get rid of the Dane.

Rudyard Kipling: Dane-geld

The most significant result from the dropping NFL ratings due to turning the NFL into a platform for SJW comes from Rush Limbaugh via Ace of Spades post on the NFL.

Limbaugh also notes the networks are going to have to pay advertisers a lot of money in free ads and give-backs due to not hitting the ratings goals they promised when they sold the add space.

One of the things that our SJW friends have going for them for a long time is the fact that for large business concerns is that the cost of paying them off, either in terms of ash or symbolic ceremonial actions that give them legitimacy is generally trivial.

A photo op and a check large enough to keep the SJW leaders in airfare, hotels, good restaurants and booze and you could count on your company getting a “get out of protests” free card avoiding the bad publicity aided and abetted by a press whose payoff to the SJW community consists of said coverage and publicity.

For this reason the same NFL that objected when the Dallas Cowboys honoring their murdered police has had no problem with the various protests that have spread since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee.

But the prospect of the NFL having to actually lay out cash to customers thanks to falling ratings and the resulting drop in revenue from future advertisings rates and network licensing might actually change the dynamic.  It’s pretty much the same situation that A & E had when they discovered to their embarrassment that they were dependent on a customer base diametrically opposed to the agenda of he SJW’s they were trying to appease.

I suspect that if these ratings drops continue over the next few weeks and the price of these protests continue to rise the NFL will decide that the price of appeasing the Kaepernicks of the world is too high.

Closing thought, I suspect once the cost of these actions funnels down to the contracts of the NFL’s player/protesters the agents who negotiate these contracts will take note.  That will be bad news for college players with NFL hopes who decided to join in on this nonsense.

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Jean Claude: My salary is X, my expenses are Y. As long as my family is provided for… …I do not care where the difference comes from. That is my entire involvement.

Taken 2008

For NFL fans the name Dexter Manley brings to mind an 11 year career that included two Superbowl championships with the Washington Redskins as one of the most dominant defensive players in the league.

But for me Dexter Manley is the perfect example of what the opposition to Charter Schools in general and question 2 in Massachusetts in particular is all.

You see Dexter Manley had a secret and in 1989 he sat before a congressional hearing and revealed that despite graduating from high school and four years of college at Oklahoma State University, he was functionally illiterate.

It’s an important tale because we know Dexter wasn’t the only athlete to play out his big-time eligibility for a major institute of education as a complete and deliberate lie. It wasn’t that Dexter couldn’t read “Hamlet,” it was that he could barely read “Run, Spot, Run.”

He got out of Oklahoma State with second-grade reading skills. How can that happen?

It happened because it was a question of goals. In both grammar school and high school the goal wasn’t to educate Dexter Manley, it was to advance him through the system so that said system appeared to work.

Once he got to college on a football scholarship the goal for Oklahoma State wasn’t to educate Dexter Manley it was to make sure he was able, under the rules, to play football for the school.

In both those cases stats, not the education of Dexter Manley was the primary goal so Manley was exempt from the basic standard of knowing how to read.

And it’s not only standards of education that are often ignored for the sake of stats, it’s also standards of behavior with consequences that are sometimes fatal:

Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.
Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions. . . .

And because of that goal of making stats look better rather than stopping criminal behavor Trayvon Martin found himself 200 miles away from home where he would meet a fellow named Zimmerman and his destiny.

And that brings us to Charter Schools as described by Thomas Sowell described them thus:

One of the few bright spots for black children in American ghettos have been some charter schools that have educated these children to levels equal to, and in some cases better than, those in affluent suburbs.

You see the primary goal is the education of the student and if that is the goal rather than simply advancing students your standards are higher and those higher standards both in terms of academic performance and behavior lead to better performance, which is why charter schools invariably produce long waiting lists of students whose parents wish to send their children there.  It also provides a safer environment.  It’s no coincidence that one critic of charter schools in Philadelphia that I interviewed commented that parents still prefer them because of an environment and discipline that made those inner city schools safe.

It’s also why the teachers unions are spending a fortune in order to stop them:

teachers unions are responsible for almost all the money donated to the anti-charter group Save Our Public Schools. The Massachusetts Teachers Association contributed $4.6 million in 2016, followed by the National Education Association with $1.9 million.

And those contributions are all about a goal that has very little to do with the education of students Thomas Sowell again:

That is a de facto declaration of moral bankruptcy in both cases, just as in the case of the Ivy League chemistry professor. In all three cases, it is a question of promoting one’s own special interests, while offering “favors” to blacks.

The Democrats’ special interest is in serving the teachers’ unions, which oppose charter schools and support Democrats financially. The NAACP’s special interest is in serving the same donors — and in keeping ghetto schools controlled by racial activists, as part of their turf.

It’s all about goals, and if your goal is about the education and development of students then charter schools and question 2 are for you.

Closing thought: How much additional motivation to perform do you think is generated for charter schools by the millions of dollars and the intense scrutiny that their opponents give them?


From Roger Goodell Commissioner NFL

To : Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett et/al

Subj: Many Thanks


Wanted to drop you a quick line of thanks for your 3-0 start this season in general and your 27-0 thumping of the Houston Texans in particular.

As you may have heard for the 2nd week in a row our ratings are down. Furthermore a new a Yahoo Poll shows 44% of Americans say they are likely to shut off NFL games if player protests continue.

These results meant that it was very likely that all of the Friday sports shows on TV and radio would have been discussing both the ratings and this poll, particularly given the events in Charlotte this week.

However the fine play of Jimmy Garoppolo in weeks 1 & 2 and his subsequent injury forcing you to play Rookie Jacoby Brissett vs Miami and his Subsequent start against the Texans provided a welcome topic for discussion for NFL fans everywhere, particularly given Mr. Belichick’s decision to not sign an experienced QB to back him up.

Furthermore young Mr. Brissett’s fine play complemented by excellent defense giving the Patriots a 27-0 victory in a game where the Texans were favored by 2, his injury and the subsequent quarterback controversies on who to start for week 4 vs Buffalo and the potential of a completely unanticipated QB controversy on starting Brady week five if the team goes 4-0 without him has the potential to completely change the conversation everywhere.

I must confess that while my intentions toward your franchise were completely punitive your teams ability to completely confound me and the rest of the league that wanted to bring you down has come at precisely the right time for all of us who are desperate to protect our high profits and subsequent high paychecks from the possibility of the fans figuring out there are other alternatives out there.

Once again keep up the good work.


Roger Goodell
Commissioner NFL

Scarlet: So you just tell Daddy I’m on my way to the U.S.S.R. That’s short for Russia.
C.R. MacNamara: Are you out of your seventeen-year-old mind? Russia is to get out of, not to get into!

One Two Three 1961

Dennis:  Help Help I’m being repressed

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975

There have been a lot of words already written about Quarterback Colin “20 Mil for 5-11” Kaepernick’s self righteous virtue signaling rant from praise from the left, to caution from the NFL to outrage and some spectacular answers to him from James Woods and Jake Tapper but in all of this click generating ranting going on there is a basic question worth asking that nobody seems to be raising.

Kaepernick is claiming that this country is an oppressor of blacks and people of color and doing so rather loudly.

Yet one of the drivers of this election is: Do we put up a wall to stop the seemingly unending flow of people of color coming here illegally by hook or by crook, leaving their country and cultures behind to move themselves and their families hundreds or even thousands of miles to a completely foreign land?

And you thought moving down the block was a pain

Furthermore that doesn’t even count the tens of thousands of people of color who not only come here legally from all over the world every year but the even greater numbers still waiting to do so.

This begs the obvious questions:

If America is the land of oppression that Mr.Kaepernick purports it to be

 Why is there a continual never ending supply of people of color entering the country, legally and illegally?

 Why is there not a mass exodus of people of color leaving the United States for greener pastures?

I think that’s an excellent question don’t you and before you answer these questions remember we not only live in an information age where communication across boarders via email, text and cell phone is incredibly easy but we also have a national and international media that jump all over any news of American racial unrest so if America was a land of danger and repression they would know it.

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Jon Sable: My finders fee is 30%

Client: That’s pretty steep!

Jon Sable: Depends on how you look at it. I’ve always figured that 70% of something is worth more that 100% of nothing.

John Sable, Freelance #11 Maggie the Cat 1984

Cleveland Browns running back Isiah Crowell has a history of bad decision making dating back to his Georgia Bulldog days:

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, who was in and out of Bulldogs coach Mark Richt’s doghouse as a freshman, was dismissed from the team Friday after being arrested on weapons charges by Athens-Clarke County Police overnight.

Crowell, from Columbus, Ga., was arrested and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, according to the Athens-Clarke County Jail booking report.

Crowell, 19, was charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in a school zone, a felony count of altered identification mark and a misdemeanor count of possession/carrying a concealed weapon.

So there was not a lot of surprise when he made another bad decision to send out a cartoon showing a police officer getting his throat slit by a masked man on social media

Crowell pulled the cartoon but his initial apology went over flat, but old friend Ed Morrissey is giving him credit for attempting to do better the second time around

Give Crowell some credit, too. He’s parting with nearly a month’s salary (when spread out over the year), and the money goes to help those who truly need some community support. On top of that, he’s offering a personal and full apology, not some I’m sorry everyone misunderstood my genius non-apology. “I don’t want to be part of the problem,” Crowell said in the video above, “I want to be part of the solution.” Making amends is the first step. Maintaining that example for his fans is the next step. He really is putting his money where his mouth is, and maybe that will be a valuable life lesson to Crowell and others to think before engaging in public debates.

Now as a good Catholic I’m certainly a big fan of constriction and I very much hope that Mr. Crowell is sincere in his regret but I think the real lesson from this story is that if there was one subject that Mr. Crowell aced during his time at first Georgia then Alabama State it’s economics.

You see Mr. Crowell is slated to earn $592,000 this season with the Cleveland Browns and if the Browns decided that he is too radioactive to keep then that 592K will be in jeopardy.  And if the NFL decides the same then Mr. Crowell might find himself unemployable as a football player and lucky to find a $15 hr job even if the minimum wage is raised that high.

So while some might say that $37,000 is a high price to pay for a single cartoon, I submit and suggest that fully tax deductible $37K is a wise investment in remaining in the top 10% of American incomes for at least the next several years.

That’s the thing about math, it doesn’t care what you believe or what you think, it’s just relentlessly true.

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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.

Back in 2014 when the NFL tried to shop Michael Sam to the entire league after the Rams cut him I wrote this:

If this report is true every player who did not make a practice squad now has a discrimination case against the NFL if he chooses to file it, in fact a class action suit in behalf of every player that didn’t have the league trolling for him would be both possible and very interesting as would the NFL’s reaction to such a suit.

Even worse every player in the league KNOWS that the slightest objection or word concerning this kind of favoritism will cause them to be pilloried by the league, blacklisted by media. I’m sure that fact is going to earn Mr. Sam a bunch of friends in locker rooms around the league.

It’s certainly possible that thanks to injury and needs various team need Sam might find himself signed to an actual squad, Dallas did have a spate of injuries in their defense which would suggest a good fit, but thanks to this report from this point on Michael Sam is officially a token and the first question any team that signs him off Dallas’ practice squad will have to answer: “Did anyone from the league contact your organization to prompt you in any way to sign Mr. Sam?” and no matter what the answer fans and players will not believe it.

Now today we discover that such a suit would have a much earlier origin:

A longtime NFL reporter revealed Wednesday the NFL agreed to a deal where the Los Angeles Rams — then St. Louis — didn’t have to do HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series in 2014 if they drafted Michael Sam.

It also means that every single player who was undrafted the year the Rams took Michael Sam has a case against the NFL for damages as they colluded with the Rams to deny them a chance to be drafted based on their sexual orientation in order to give a job to a man who found one game in the Canadian Football League too much for him.

Given the wealth of the NFL, their “non profit” status and the number of unemployed lawyers this is the type of suit that would be very interesting. I suspect the league would pay a fortune just to forestall discovery.

They should have taken a lesson from the NBA and Jason Collins.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: I had intended to deal a fatal blow to the American Fleet by attacking Pearl Harbour immediately after Japan’s declaration of war, but according to American radio, Pearl Harbour was attacked fifty-five minutes before our ultimatum was delivered to Washington. I can’t imagine anything that would infuriate the Americans more. I fear all that we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

Tora Tora Tora 1970

This week the New England Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans to go to 12-2 clinching a first round bye in the playoffs with two games to go.  The Titans fell to 3-11.

New England Started 10-0 and it was generally agreed that the whole “deflategate” scandal had motivated the already formidable patriot to the point where they pretty much wanted to punish the rest of the league to the point where even an incredible assortment of injuries were not enough to stop them.

But the passage of time, the reality of how hard it is to win every game in  the NFL, and even more injuries finally took their toll and the Patriot managed to lose two in a row before returning to their winning ways last week vs Houston and again vs a young & weak Tennessee team.

For all of their renewed success it looked very much like the Pats had managed to prove their point , the anger was gone and the only motivation left would be the normal desire to win.  That in itself has made the Patriot formattable enough for this this team to 6 superbowls in 15 years.

And then the NFL does this:

NFL Reportedly Tested PSI Of Footballs From Patriots-Titans Game

Now on twitter, it’s claimed that this is random.

But given the game (one that the Patriots were expected to easily win) the headline at Drudge:

STING: NFL Tests Air Levels In Footballs Used In PATRIOTS Game…

and the chip that had already been on the Patriots shoulders most of the year, and the deflategate conversations that it is going to revive I can’t think of anything that could happen that would infuriate Patriots fans who don’t trust the league and Patriots players who already think the NFL’s goal this year is to stop them and Tom Brady the best quarterback in the history of the game who normally need no motivation to win other than a desire to do so.

Congratulations NFL, you have for the second time this year awoken the sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve that will be taken out out on every team they face beginning with the NY Jets this weekend.

One should never get ahead of oneself when it comes to the playoffs but if you are a Carolina fan and claimed you weren’t worried about facing the Patriots in the Superbowl, you should be now.

At the Drudge Report there is a link to a Hollywood Reporter story where Michael Sam is pointing fingers over his failure to make the NFL

Michael Sam could very well still be playing in the NFL had he not come out as gay, the former St. Louis Ram told sportscaster Dan Patrick on Friday.

Sam, who played defensive end at the University of Missouri before being drafted into the NFL, told Patrick becoming a media spectacle was never a part of his plan, and may have hurt his first shot at professional football.

For those of you who spent last year under a rock, when Sam came out the media lionized him and while his performance in the NFL combine was not anything special the media and the NFL put heavy pressure on teams to draft him.

In the end the Rams used their last draft pick to take him saving the league from their claws, but in the end the Rams decided that like 98% of all college players who try, he just wasn’t good enough for the NFL.

Sam however got a 2nd chance as the The Dallas Cowboys picked him up for their practice squad but in they also decided to release him.

His next stop was the Montreal Alouettes but as I wrote in August that didn’t end well either:

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.

However his failure in the CFL apparently isn’t his fault, it’s all because of the bigotry against people who are gay.

Contrast this to Tim Tebow.

It looked like Tebow’s NFL comeback was finally secure when the Eagles traded the person he was competing with for the 3rd QB spot on the team, an important spot since their starter had been injured before.

But the eagles surprised everyone by cutting him and signing Stephen Morris.  Tebow reacted thus:

This week Morris was cut & replaced by another who wasn’t Tebow:

Should disaster strike and Philadelphia actually need to rely on Lewis, head coach Chip Kelly at least knows Lewis is somewhat proven in the NFL. He made six starts over the past four seasons, throwing for 1,296 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.

So Lewis is proven as opposed to Tim Tebow who the last time he had a chance to start not only led an also ran team to an improbable playoff appearance but managed to beat the Pittsburgh in the wild card game before losing to the now time champion New England Patriots.

But it’s not just the eagles, there have been several big QB injuries this year already and despite Tebow’s proven record as a leader & winner no team has decided to add him to their Roster as a backup.

So how has Heisman Trophy Winner the two time college national champion former college quarterback and player of the year and the man who was a miracle worker in Denver reacted?  Like this:

“Obviously, you come to terms because I believe there’s a plan for everything,” Tebow said Friday in Gainesville. ”You can’t believe that God has a plan for you in your life and it’s a perfect plan and have doubt at the same time. They just don’t go together.”

So Tebow is waiting for, maybe even expecting, that next phone call.

”I’ve said this a few times: I don’t know what the future holds, but I do trust who holds my future,” he said.

No blaming the league, no pointing the finger at a media that hates him just faith in God and patience.

Now I’m not an NFL coach or GM but based on this reaction I certainly can tell which one of these two I would want in my locker room.

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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By Steve Eggleston

For afficionados of the NFL like me, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The NFL playoffs began earlier today with the Carolina Panthers beating the Arizona Cardinals on ESPN. That is noteworthy for three reasons.

First, for the 49th consecutive time, there will not be a true home team playing in the Super Bowl as Super Bowl XLIX will be held in the Cardinals’ home stadium, the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams came closest to playing a Super Bowl in their home stadium (Anaheim Stadium, now Angel Stadium of Anaheim), with Super Bowl XIV played in the Rose Bowl in nearby Pasadena.

Second, the game represented the second time in a non-strike-shortened season that a team with a losing record made the playoffs, with the NFC South champion Panthers (7-8-1) following the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks (7-9) in 2010. Like the Seahawks, and unlike the Cleveland Browns (4-5) and Detroit Lions (4-5) in the strike-shortened 1982 season, which featured the 8 best teams in each 14-team conference in an expanded playoff format, the Panthers won. Unlike the NHL and NBA, where more than half the teams make the playoffs, I blame the presence of too many divisions for this.

Finally, that was the first NFL playoff game not broadcast nationally on over-the-air TV. The NFL finally joined the rest of professional sports in putting playoff games onto cable and satellite, though unlike the rest of the major sports, the fans in the signal ranges of Phoenix and Charlotte were able to watch the game on over-the-air TV. I’m wondering which league will be the second, after the NHL, to take the bulk of its championship series (or in the case of the NFL, the Super Bowl) off over-the-air TV.

As I type, the Baltimore Ravens (or as I still refer to them, the OldBrowns) are beating up on the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys set to go tomorrow. My team, the Green Bay Packers, will be waiting for either the Cowboys or Panthers next weekend.

The Roger Goodell news conference just finished and it was a perfect example of Football basics.

Despite the media’s fascination with the  NFL.supposed domestic violence situation (I say “supposed” because the numbers among players is smaller than the public at large, then again one might assume one of the possible causes of tension in a relationship, financial problems, would naturally be smaller) and the fans willingness to let this pass, the obsession of a media anxious to not discuss the Obama administrations relative failures this close to an election has caused many sponsors unease.


One of the most basic talents of a football player is to block.  Even if your other skills are weak if you are an effective blocker you have an excellent chance of making a 55 man roster of the NFL.  Good blocking wins games.


That’s what the Goodell press conference is all about.


By holding a long press conference and answering many questions (even if many of those answers were vague) he appears to be open to critique.  By taking responsibility he deflects problems from their sponsors.  By announcing a series of programs he gives other people skin in the game for NFL money to continue to flow and finally by saying all will be done by the Super Bowl he makes it more likely that the story can fade for most of this season so everyone can make their bucks and enjoy their games.


In other words he was an effective blocker for the league, the sponsors and the players.


I’ll wager a lot of NFL coaches would like to see that kind of blocking on their team this season.

Olimometer 2.52

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If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.  So what do you say?”  They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.  But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,

Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.  And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.

So he was left alone with the woman before him  Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 She replied, “No one, sir.”

Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

John 8:4-11

As I said this morning a lot of folks are beating their breasts in pride that Ray Rice has gotten his just deserts being banished from the job even though most of them knew the reality of what happened as soon as the 1st video was released.

While everyone is in such a rush to congratulate themselves on their own righteousness the desires of Mrs. Rice who had this to say:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote.

She called the attention to their Feb. 15 fight in the Revel Casino Hotel “unwanted.”

“To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a.. off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” she wrote.

Now there are several ways to look at Mrs. Rice.

The first is to wonder if this was all about a meal ticket.  Most people in general and most women in particular have a dislike of being knocked flat.  One might thing that such an action would cause a person to say, I’ve had enough.  But the prospect of an NFL star with a paycheck in the millions would likely be a good long term plan for a comfortable life and it the cost of said life is a single (or even multiple blows) she might have considered that acceptable given the benefits.

It would explain her actions to protect her husband.  Anything that prevents him from being on a football field is contrary to the meal ticket and must be fought and the league and team wanting to protect a valuable commodity would happily go along.

People don’t like this possibility as it turns her victimhood into a source of irony however if this is the case then the suspension of Ray Rice and the prospect of him never seeing a job better than $10 an hour is an ironic twist, whereby she traded her dignity for a cash reward and now it’s gone for nothing.

The second possibility is she is a sucker in love, attracted to a man who treats her awful and is simply no good for her.  If that is the case one beating or 100 beating wouldn’t make a difference, she would stand by her man.

This would also explain her actions, self destructive people make bad choices and her defense of her man could be the same bad choice that many people in abusive relationships make and since her enabling also served the leagues’ purposes they went along.

This is a stereotype that a lot of people wish to see because if this is the case, all that is done to her husband, even if it costs them everything they have is worth it in the minds of those who are pressing this issue to make the example and save her from herself.  Oh how people wish that to be the case.

There is however one way that might actually make sense that a lot of people don’t’ want to consider.  They are a normal couple that had an extreme moment of crisis.  Most people have various problems but there are times in a relationship where one or both people do things they regret and the people in either take the easy route and split or take the more difficult road deciding to work it through.

There is every possibility that this is the case.  It like the first two would also fit the events.

They decide to stick it out and put this behind them, they ask the league and the cops to go each for the sake of making it work and both decide either for their own purposes or because they actually want to help (or both) to go along, so he takes the non-fatal hit to his career and they do their best to mend fences.

This is the nightmare situation for the public and the self righteous, because if this is the case all their seeming self serving help is only serving to hurt people trying to get through a tough time.


All of these explanations are plausible, to the best of my knowledge all fit the known facts and there might be 4 or five other possible combinations that could be played.  The truth is I suspect there are less than 4 people in the world who actually know which one is true and none of them are reporting on this story.

That being the case,it might be a good idea for everyone to take a deep breath and make sure we do the right thing and not just what serves our own egos, just as soon as we can figure out exactly what it is.

And if we err (and we likely will) on whose side do we err, on our or our causes side or the person we are supposedly protecting?

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.

The cultural significance of this story can not be overstated:

According to NBC’s Peter King and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, NFL officials called teams around the league to gauge interest in signing Michael Sam to their practice squad.

Are you kidding me?

“The Rams waived Michael Sam, the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster, he was unemployed for two days,” King said. “During that time a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player.”

“Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.”

This report, that is surely to upset other players vying for NFL practice squads around the league, was initially reported by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on yesterday’s edition of “First Take.”

Upset them? If this report is true every player who did not make a practice squad now has a discrimination case against the NFL if he chooses to file it, in fact a class action suit in behalf of every player that didn’t have the league trolling for him would be both possible and very interesting as would the NFL’s reaction to such a suit.

Even worse every player in the league KNOWS that the slightest objection or word concerning this kind of favoritism will cause them to be pilloried by the league, blacklisted by media. I’m sure that fact is going to earn Mr. Sam a bunch of friends in locker rooms around the league.

It’s certainly possible that thanks to injury and needs various team need Sam might find himself signed to an actual squad, Dallas did have a spate of injuries in their defense which would suggest a good fit, but thanks to this report from this point on Michael Sam is officially a token and the first question any team that signs him off Dallas’ practice squad will have to answer: “Did anyone from the league contact your organization to prompt you in any way to sign Mr. Sam?” and no matter what the answer fans and players will not believe it.

The only thing that will change this is if Sam proves to be an exceptional dominant player clearly superior to the alternatives, but then again if that was the case he would have made a roster outright and this story wouldn’t exist.

Sam has said over and over this is all about football and not his sexual preferences, but if that was the case wouldn’t he have waited until after he was signed by an NFL team to come out, then there would be no question that he earned his roster spot based on skill.

The Michael Sam story isn’t done yet but its trajectory thus far suggests an obvious question that is likely on everyone’s mind but I suspect those in media are afraid to ask for fear of it being the last question they ever do while employed. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll fire myself so let’s ask it openly:

“Did Michael Sam or someone advising him suggest he come out when he did in order to put pressure on the league to sign him figuring that otherwise he might not make a squad?”

If the goal was to make a team at all costs (and lets face it there are plenty of people who spend all their lives dreaming of being on a NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL squad) then this is a logical rational decision, after all why wouldn’t a person use who would use any legal advantage they have to make such a dream come true?

I don’t know if that’s what happened and neither do any of you but the way this has played guarantees these question will be following Mr. Sam for his entire career in the game, perhaps he didn’t care.

May Mr. Sam and the NFL be happy with the path they have chosen and all that comes of it.

Exit question: It will be interesting to see if the league chooses Dallas as a super bowl venue. I’m sure that would be a coincidence.


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Alas Ms. Upton didn’t include Selfies

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?

I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again

Casey Stengel

Birds gotta play, fish gotta swim and women who are over fifty gotta be replaced by younger hotter women if you are covering football.

Pam Oliver is no longer Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter. And after this coming football season, she will no longer be a sideline reporter at all.

Oliver confirmed the news to Sports Illustrated on Sunday night that she will move to the network’s No. 2 team for her 20th NFL broadcasting season. Erin Andrews has been elevated to the No. 1 sideline spot, joining the team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Oliver’s last season working as a reporter on the NFL will be spent with the No. 2 Fox team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch.

Now I’m not a big football guy and I can’t honestly comment on the skill or knowledge of Pam Oliver when it comes to the NFL but I’m going to make the rash assumption that if she’s been doing it for two decades she’s likely rather knowledgeable about it.  And as I have absolutely no interest in college football (Zip Zero Nada) which has been the purview of Erin Andrews I can’t intelligently comment if she does the job better now or might do the job better in the future.

That being said SI insults our intelligence with these paragraph in their story

Removing the well-regarded and well-connected Oliver from the No. 1 team, not to mention initially wanting her out of sideline reporting altogether, seems counter to what a sports network should want in an NFL reporter. Why the decision to make the switch? contacted Shanks on Sunday night in Minneapolis, where he was preparing for Fox’s coverage of the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday at Target Field.

“I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews,” Shanks said. “We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of Burkhardt and Lynch -– which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution.”

“Counter to what they want”?  “Wanting to keep coverage across the board fresh”?  please.  Let’s talk some neutral objective facts.

The primary job of a network is to get eyeballs.  The audience for Football is primarily male and  the unspoken job of women in ads, games or broadcast involving Football or any sport is to provide a proximate occasion of sin by causing men to “look at them with lust “.

Exhibit a:

Therefore while it’s a neutral objective fact that Pam Oliver is a beautiful women and has I suspect has put a great deal of effort to maintain that beauty (succeeding admirably) it  is also a neutral objective fact that Erin Andrews is at least as beautiful if not more so than Ms Oliver and as a woman considerably younger (36 vs 53)  is likely to maintain said beauty over the next several years with a lot less effort and Ms. Oliver knows it:

Oliver shied away from saying anything negative about Andrews, though she told Deitsch: “I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger where women are concerned.

“Just turn on your TV. It’s everywhere,” she added. “And I’m not saying these younger girls don’t deserve a chance. I know I’ve had my turn.”

Of course Ms. Oliver could take her story to feminists but as Stacy McCain could tell you they would likely not only critique her choice of employment but consider her and her replacement as accessories after the fact in the case of any woman who has had an unfortunate encounter with a jock.

On the bright side for Oliver as the network is FOX I suspect it might be a popular club to wield over at them by their competitors.

By Steve Eggleston

Tomorrow, the 48th edition of the most-watched television event in America takes place from New York East Rutheford, New Jersey. Earlier in the week, Pete took a look at the waste of money that is spent on the ads aired during the game.

Meanwhile, the Fox affiliate in Detroit did a compelling story on the lengths the mayor of the city that actually is hosting the game went in an attempt to get tickets to the game. It isn’t suprising that the NFL itself overlooked the city actually hosting its biggest game.

It has been a while since I did prognostications on the NFL, but it is time to focus on the game itself.

The big story is the top-rated offense in points, yards per game, and passing yards per game, the Denver Broncos, going up against the top-rated defense in points, yards per game, and passing yards per game, the Seattle Seahawks. It really will be the case of the irresistable force meeting the immovable object – the Broncos just don’t make mistakes in the passing game, while the Seahawks not only forced the most interceptions in the regular season, they gave up the fewest big plays through the air.

The Broncos have a servicable run game, but the Seahawks have a stout run defense to go along with the league-best pass defense. Likewise, while the Seahawks lean heavily on running back Marshawn Lynch, the Broncos have a run defense every bit as stingy as the Seahawks.

The difference will be the Seahawks’ underutilized passing game against an average Broncos’ pass defense. Russell Wilson had the 7th-best quarterback rating among those with at least 300 attempts even though the Seahawks had the second-fewest pass attempts at 420.

The weather shouldn’t be too much of a factor. The latest forecast is for temperatures in the 40s and winds under 10 mph throughout the game, and a slight chance of rain throughout the day.

When all is said and done, the Seahawks will win 27-24.

By Steve Eggleston

A week after completing a regular season that saw the fewest local blackouts of games, two, due to not “selling out” stadiums, the National Football League nearly saw three of its four playoff games blacked out. It took businesses buying thousands of tickets in Cincinnati, Green Bay, and Indianapolis after the 72-hour deadlines to sell out the games were extended, twice in Indianapolis, to end the threat of blackouts of the games on stations with broadcast signals that reach inside of a 75-mile radius circle around the stadiums.

Green Bay has sold out Lambeau Field for every game, both regular season and playoff, since failing to sell out the stadium for a playoff game following the strike-plagued 1982 season, with the regular-season sellouts extending back into the early 1960s. Indianapolis has sold out every game in its series of stadiums for more than a decade. Cincinnati, which had two of its home games blacked out in 2012, sold out Paul Brown Stadium for every 2013 game.

A bit of history on the NFL blackout rule is in order. Prior to 1973, every televised NFL game was blacked out in the city where the game was played. This irked the politicians in Washington when the 1972 Washington Redskins had a great season. They did what angry politicians are prone to do and passed a law requiring the NFL, as well as other sports leagues with national TV contracts, to broadcast a local team’s game if it sold out that game at least 72 hours prior to its start.

The law expired at the end of 1975, but the NFL, not wishing to have its antitrust exemption threatened like it was following the 1972 season, kept the basic parts of that They extended the blackout requirement to any network affiliate with a signal that reaches within a 75-mile radius circle of a stadium. The NFL also allowed teams to purchase regular-season tickets for 34 cents on the dollar, to not count unsold club or luxury box seating against the sell-out requirements, and to ask for extensions of the 72-hour deadline to move any remaining tickets. At the same time, the FCC enacted sports blackout rules that, among other things, applied the NFL’s blackout rule to cable and satellite providers inside the 75-mile circle.

The NFL modified the “sell-out” requirement in 2012, allowing teams to have as few as 85% of the regular seats sold during the regular season to avoid a blackout in exchange for a larger cut of the revenue for seats sold beyond the relaxed “sell-out” threshhold.

Because the NFL both sets the ticket prices for playoff games and retains all of the ticket revenue, neither the reduced-price team buyout provision nor the relaxed “sell-out” threshhold apply for playoff games.

That brings us to this week. I’ll speak of the Packers’ experience because I call Wisconsin home and the Packers my NFL team. There are two sets of season ticket holders because of the legacy of the Packers playing some of their games in Milwaukee. While Lambeau Field holds a bit over 80,000 after the latest expansion, only 68,000 of those seats are “general admission” seats. Even though there are somewhere north of 60,000 people on the waiting list, the face value of the tickets is in the mid-range of NFL ticket prices, between $74 and $97.

Playoff tickets, ranging from $102 to over $300 as dictated by the NFL, went on sale to season ticket holders just after the Packers lost big in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day to drop to third in the NFC North and out of the wild-card hunt, with requirements to buy all three possible home games at the highest available ticket price level and, in a change from prior years, apply any unused balance toward next year’s season ticket invoice instead of having an option to receive a cash refund.

Needless to say, that didn’t receive a good response, with fewer than 28,000 general-admission tickets sold. On Monday, season-ticket holders had an exclusive opportunity to buy just the wild-card game against San Francisco through either Ticketmaster or the mostly-unused Lambeau Field box office. At 3 pm Monday, when tickets became available to the general public, there were still 40,000 tickets.

By that time, the forecast for Ice Bowl-quality cold on a late Sunday afternoon was widely known. Apparently, the NFL and Fox failed to check the forecast before scheduling the game for a 3:40 pm Central kickoff. By 3:40 pm Thursday, there were still over 3,000 tickets available, so the Packers applied for and received a one-day extension. At 9:30 am Friday, the Packers announced they had fewer than 1,000 tickets remaining, and at 11:30 am, they announced that several local businesses and the three Fox affilates that would have been forced to black out the game (Green Bay, Milwaukee and Wausau) had purchased the remaining tickets.

Re-enter the politicians. The FCC already has a proposed rule that would allow cable and satellite providers to ignore blackout rules applied to broadcast stations. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) already have a bill that would strip the antitrust exemption of any league that does any blackout. McCain used this as an opportunity to resurrect his bill.


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Wasn’t it just a few months ago that everyone was talking about Tim Tebow finished as an NFL quarterback.

Time for them to cry:

The New England Patriots will sign Tim Tebow, league sources told ESPN.

The Patriots are signing Tebow, who is expected to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, as a quarterback, according to sources.

Why sign Tebow?

The move reunites Tebow with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the Broncos‘ head coach when Denver traded into the first round to draft the Heisman Trophy winner in 2010.

Many sportswriters have said Tim Tebow is no NFL quarterback. I submit if you want to develop into one being in practice every day with one of the best coaches in the league and one of the finest quarterbacks in the history of the game certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Mike Reiss:

Sometimes Bill Belichick sees something in a player — both on and off the field — that makes him want to have him around the team. In Flutie’s case, there was great respect for his competitiveness and history in the game, and how he’d fit in the quarterbacks room with Tom Brady and rookie Matt Cassel.

In Tebow’s case, he’ll join a quarterback room with Brady and third-year player Ryan Mallett. Similar to how he viewed Flutie, Belichick has great respect for Tebow’s approach to the game and his team-first approach, and it makes sense to think he’d view that as a positive addition to the locker room. Just as Flutie was the No. 3 quarterback in 2005, Tebow is currently in line to compete for the same type of role after the club released No. 3 man Mike Kafka on Monday (note: the Patriots kept just 2 QBs on the 53-man roster last year, so Tebow is no roster lock).

The difference, of course, is that Tebow potentially brings a media circus that Flutie never did.

I don’t think the circus. In both Denver and NY there was a question of who might start at QB. There s absolutely no chance of there being such a thing without a serious injury to Tom Brady. Combine that with a person of Tebow’s character there is no danger of this getting anywhere near out of control.

Bottom line Tebow is a winner and he’s joining a winning team with a winning tradition and a system that rewards players who celebrate team first. That’s Tebow all over, he’ll thrive here.

Granted the Tebow haters will laugh at him being on the bench but I doubt that Belichick if he can find a use for Tebow will certainly do so.

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.

You’ve seen the bumper stickers bemoaning teacher pay vs athletes pay. At the Wall Street Journal Fran Tarkenton imagines the NFL playing under the teachers union’s rules:

Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.

Let’s face the truth about this alternate reality: The on-field product would steadily decline. Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt?

This piece should be required reading to anyone arguing in favor of the current system.

That is the NFL

The two sides met for more than eight hours before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, the fifth day of mediation but the first since April 20. Neither side would elaborate on the discussions, citing the judge’s confidentiality order. Michael Hausfeld, an attorney for the retired players who joined the antitrust lawsuit against the league, said the players were reviewing a new proposal from the owners.

So it’s lockouts and court rulings. Hey it won’t hurt the NFL long term, it’s not like we live in a world with a million different types of entertainment available for people.

At least the players have an excuse for this idiocy, they get repeatedly hit in the head for a living, The owners have no such excuse but maybe they could use a collective whack upside the head.

I don’t really care, after all it not like it’s something that matters….like Baseball.

Being that football isn’t baseball I have very little interest or coinage involved if they bother to play a season or not next year, but I was rather surprised to read this story:

The NFL and its players’ union agreed to federal mediation Thursday in an effort to help settle the labor dispute that is threatening to lead to a lockout of players in as little as two weeks.

This is such a wise and sensible move that I’m totally shocked that the players and owners managed to do it. The amount of revenue generated by football is incredible and there is no reason why these two sides can agree to an acceptable split that keeps them both rich.

I assumed the NFL would do something stupid to threaten the money pot, it might still happen but for now they just might have figured out that quibbling over millions while people are hurting is bad PR.

This weekends NFL games are an excellent metaphor on the more tragic events of this past weekend.

Looking at the Wild card games
3 times out of 4 the home team (the actual division winner) lost. The one exception was when the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks, after a week of breast beating concerning their presence in the postseason , defeated the defending Superbowl champion New Orleans Saints.

All of the predictions and punditry meant nothing, when the actual game was played the only things relevant were the facts on the ground. (Fans of teams like New England should take this to heart)

Likewise in the last election cycle. People claimed that opposition to the health care plan would not work, that opposing a president who was wildly popular would hurt Republicans. That conservatives needed to compromise. As the polls failed to back up those views pundits instead talked about how the John Stewart Rally, the Coffee Party and the idea that the president’s healthcare plan were not as unpopular as people claimed yet when the dust had settled a net gain of 63 seats in the house was the result.

One again prognostications were useless when compared to the actual facts on the ground.

Now we see the violence in Arizona and once again we see an incredible array of pundits making statements concerning the motivations of the shooter. It’s Palin’s fault because of a map icon, it’s the tea party’s fault because of their support of the 2nd amendment, On twitter this morning (1 a.m EST) an incredible array of people are trying to blame Andrew Breitbart.

All of these have in common a complete lack of evidence or objective facts to support their claims, in fact as time progresses the facts tend to show exactly the opposite.

As Glenn Reynolds has pointed out the narrative has been written long before this event and no quantity of facts on the ground is going to change it.

For example an Arizona state senator when faced with the anger and objections of supporters of the US Military after falsely stating the shooter was an Afghan vet (when in fact the Army rejected him) rather than retracting and apologizing (an easy thing, it was early and all the facts weren’t in) instead removed her contact information from her site.

This morning I suspect we will see the usual suspects continue this narrative, unfortunately unlike a football game or an election this isn’t a question of an actual result that is scored. This is all about massaging the ground for political gain. The goal is to influence those who normally don’t pay attention in the hopes that they will dismiss any arguments to the contrary.

With the race card gone the way of the dodo the violent tea party card is about to be played, facts be damned.

It will be up to the American people to decide if this rhetoric will be rewarded or not.

…I had done some channel surfing so when I went back to the game and saw Manning out I assumed he was injured or shaken up. I kept waiting for them to show the replay of the hit that brought him out. It never came.

In New England we appreciate how bad a perfect season capped by a Superbowl loss can be but lets face facts.

There have been 43 Superbowl winners. There have been 2 perfect teams.

It would be like pulling a pitcher throwing a no hitter to save him from a playoff

The interest of the fans are the reason why the NFL is a profitable enterprise, they deserve more respect than this.

Let’s see what the results of the successful campaign to deny Rush a minority ownership of the St. Louis Rams.

1. Lots of attention to his radio show, is it even possible for him to get higher rating? We will soon find out.

2. Lots of attention on all the news shows on TV

3. Lots of attention on Sports Radio shows

4. ACTIONABLE actions against major MSM members and perhaps other groups for slander.

5. ACTIONABLE actions against the those same MSM members AND some NFL figures for lost profits from the potential sale.

6. The NFL now risks it’s anti trust exemption.

All of this in order to deny Rush a minority ownership in an NFL team.

on #4 the slanders is a gimmie. It’s really hard when you can’t support a slanderous quote of someone whose every word for decades is transcribed in the hope of a “gotcha” moment. It is going to take a lot of effort for him to lose this and remember every victory he wins will be broadcast to the nation.

on #5 consider this: Is there a moment where the Rams are going to be worth less? Every dollar that the Rams increase in value from today on is a measurable loss for Rush and can be direct rather than punitive damages it’s a potential fortune.

on #6 lets quote the Blackbook legal blog:

Commentators have analyzed whether some of the NFL’s current policies would implicate the boycott rules under § 1 of the Sherman Act. But could a boycott of Mr. Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the Rams–be it through a players’ joint refusal to deal with him, an owners’ boycott or otherwise–be subject to antitrust scrutiny? My hunch is that a boycott could be problematic, even under a favorable rule of reason analysis, because it does not seem to have much of an economic motivation. From current rhetoric–and perhaps understandably–the boycott would be based almost entirely on the controversial statements Mr. Limbaugh made regarding Donovan McNabb several years ago.

That doesn’t even consider stuff like this:

In a candid moment during today’s Al Sharpton radio show (probably not intended for the rest of us to hear), Oben admitted that Rush’s political views regarding Obama were key to the opposition that appears to have derailed his bid to purchase the St Louis Rams

You are dealing with a group of people out for instant gratification, today’s gratification is going to be very expensive.

And remember Rush has plenty of money, if the case drags out for 10 years it won’t matter to him, he will still have them by the gonads.

This is going to be a big mess for a lot of people, and none of them are Rush.

Update: Listening to the show, Soros is in Limbaugh is out?