New England Patriots - Now I know that the annihilation of the Minnesota Vikings by the Patriots came while the best player on the Vikings (Adrian Peterson) was banned from the game by the team, but a 30-7 victory no matter how it comes is always a good thing. In that respect I'm very pleased with the result. But given that the offense is still mostly out of sync, there is definitely cause for concern.
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, 34 of the 50 points the Patriots have scored through two games have come after the defense has forced a turnover. And the defense most definitely played a huge role in the game against the Vikings. They grabbed four interceptions off of the arm of Vikings QB Matt Cassel (including the one seen below by Logan Ryan).
The defense also forced a fumble while sacking Cassel (see below) six times.
The defensive line shut down the Vikings run game to just 54 yards.
After a lackluster to poor showing in the first game, the offensive line did a much better job of protecting Tom Brady (gave up one sack) and opening up holes for the run game. Unfortunately for Brady, with the offense unable to fire on all cylinders, he was just 15-22 for 149 yards and a TD (to Julian Edelman, see below). While the win is the thing, given Brady's desire, the fact "his" offense isn't lighting things up at the start of the season has to be galling to him.
Stevan Ridley (see below) had a good day, leading the team in rushing with 101 yards and a touchdown.
The biggest problem for the Patriots is not the offense though. Rather it is the team's impression of the Oakland Raiders. Against Minnesota, they got called for 15 penalties. This includes lineman Nate Solder somehow managing to get called for 3 penalties total on back to back plays. Bill Belichick doesn't like his teams to get even one penalty so fifteen yellow flags no doubt caused a lot of sleepless nights leading up to today's game as the coaching staff figures out how to get the players to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Cincinnati Bengals - While most of the headlines the last couple of weeks have involved players getting into a bunch of legal trouble, there have actually been some good stories coming out of the league. The best one has to be the story of Devon Still and how the Bengals have helped him deal with his daughter's cancer diagnosis. You can read the article HERE.
BYU - The school announced they will retire Jim McMahon's #9 in a ceremony on October 3rd. I was a big fan of his when he was with the Chicago Bears and I'm happy to see him getting this honor. I know that he's not the guy he once was due to the cumulative effect of his injuries from playing the game but I remain a fan. You can read more on the ceremony and how he completed the course work necessary to finally graduate from BYU HERE.
Florida State - If you needed even further proof that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston is a complete and utter freaking moron with no common sense whatsoever, you should check out this article and have his idiocy confirmed. And if your Heisman Trophy winning QB who has had to dodge shoplifting and a rape investigation already, manages to get into trouble for spouting off a phrase that is likely considered offensive by many who heard it, how does the head of the football program react?
The school originally suspended him for the first half of this weekend's game against Clemson. But late Friday night came the announcement that Winston would be suspended for the entire game. Call me suspicious but I think his benching for the whole game has more to do with the uproar surrounding what he said rather than the statement the school put out that read in part: "Based upon the results of the continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night."
Additional reporting in this article has the suspension being extended for the whole game after the school's administration discovered Winston hadn't been entirely truthful with them. I would guess you could read that as they found out he outright lied to them.
At this rate, when Winston kills a family of five while out drunk driving, he'll smile for the cameras, pretend that he's sorry, and get drafted in the first round of the NFL. The guy is a ticking time bomb and people should run as far away from him as possible.
Some people might say that this is a major overreaction to a college student acting like a college student. And if it wasn't the Heisman trophy winning starting QB of a major college football team, they'd probably be right. But with the history that Winston has, he has no margin of error and has to wake up, smell the coffee and start acting like an adult and not a bad imitation of any number of characters you could name from the movie Animal House.
Alabama - Last Week: The Crimson Tide rolled to a 3-0 record with their 52-12 shellacking of Southern Mississippi. Bama outgained Southern Miss 547-263, including a 333-56 edge in the rushing attack. Kenyan Drake scored 3 touchdowns on the day. Amari Cooper (pictured below) was the prime target in the passing game for the Tide. He finished with 8 catches for 135 yards and score.
QB Blake Sims (pictured below) was 12-17 for 168 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran for 46 yards and TD.
It is funny that Alabama is 3-0 and yet if you read everything online and listen to the talking heads, they aren't in consideration for the 4 playoff spots. The strength of schedule arguments are definitely going to be used to hurt Bama's chances to get into the playoff.
This Week: The Crimson Tide played host to Florida yesterday and almost in spite of themselves came away with a resounding 42-21 victory. But I can't imagine Nick Saban is going to be overly happy about the win when there is so much that went wrong that he can obsess over.
In the first half, Alabama had 3 fumbles lost and it helped Florida hold a 14-7 lead at one point. The Bama players just couldn't seem to hang on to the ball. And you can add in an interception for a total of four turnovers for the Tide. When you factor in 11 penalties for 80 yards, I'm amazed Saban didn't just lose his mind right there on the sideline.
In between some rather large mistakes though, Alabama did at times manage to look rather amazing. Blake Sims had a pretty good day for himself. He was 23-33 for 445 yards (2nd most in school history) and 4 touchdowns. Two of those scoring strikes were huge plays dialed up by offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and they were beauties. Sims (pictured below 1st) hit running back Kenyan Drake for an 87 yard TD score and then followed that up with a 79 yard pass to Amari Cooper. Cooper (pictured below 2nd) was so wide open on the play, I think the closest defender was at least 20 yards away. He finished the game with 10 receptions for 201 yards and a total of 3 touchdowns.
Derrick Henry led the rushing attack with 111 yards and a TD run.
The defense for Bama held the Gators to just 200 total yards of offense and had 2 interceptions. And while practice this coming week is likely to strongly reinforce the no turnovers, no penalties aspect of the game, it is nice to see Alabama at 4-0.
Boston College - LAST WEEK - Last Saturday, I was on a date while the BC Eagles played on national television against #9 USC. Let's be honest, there's very few people who can truly say they expected to see the Eagles up 20-17 at the half. Especially since they started the game down 10-0. But even fewer could've kept a straight face if they told you they foresaw the Eagles upsetting the Trojans 37-31.
I got to see the end of the game and I'll tell you, it was just so thrilling to see Alumni Stadium filled, the place rocking and the fans storming the field after the game was over. BC is probably always going to see their football team fall under the "Just Another Program" designation in the world of college football but it is always extremely satisfying when they rise up to knock the premiere programs off their perch once in a while.
The school honored 9/11 hero and alumnus Welles Crowther at the game and some of that emotion must've rubbed off on the team. After getting whipped by Pittsburgh last week, the Eagles just dominated USC. Yes the score was close but make no mistake, Boston College owned this game.
It was the offensive and defensive lines that shined brightly in the game. The defensive line held USC to just 20 rushing yards on the night.
And while the secondary gave up 317 passing yards and four TDs to Trojan QB Cody Kessler, it wasn't enough to offset the defense sacking him 5 times.
As for the offensive line, they steamrolled the USC defense and opened up holes all game long. The BC rushers hit those holes and racked up 452 net yards. For those keeping score, that's 452-20 in rushing yards! And if that wasn't enough, Myles Willis, Sherman Allston and John Hilliman (pictured below) along with QB Tyler Murphy racked up 5 TDs on the ground as well.
Speaking of Murphy (pictured below), he didn't have an especially good night throwing the ball. And while he didn't HAVE to do so, I think people are going to expect a bit more than 5-13 for 54 yards with a sack and an INT if BC wants to return to a bowl this year. But on this night, he tossed in a career high 191 rushing yards and all was mostly forgiven (until the first practice after the game, I'm sure).
The surprising win and the effectiveness of the Eagles in the game caught the eye of the ACC because Murphy was named Offensive Back of the Week while Andy Gallick (Offensive Lineman of the Week) and Josh Keyes (Linebacker of the Week) also picked up awards. You can learn more about Gallick (pictured below) HERE.
By the way, if you want to learn more about who Welles Crowther was and why he is a hero of 9/11, you can check out this ESPN Outside the Lines video. I saw it when it premiered on the network and it was pretty amazing.
One final note about the BC Eagles focuses on Barry Gallup. You can learn more about why he is called "The Heart of BC Football" HERE.
THIS WEEK - Fear of a letdown after the emotional win by BC over USC was put to rest relatively early in the game. While Maine scored first to take a 7-0 lead (their first touchdown against BC since 1915 according to one recap article I read), BC just steamrolled the Black Bears on their way to a 40-10 victory. BC improves to 3-1 on the season.
QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was leading the nation's quarterbacks with 401 rushing yards coming into the game and he added 99 more yards to that total. He ran for two touchdowns including a big 71 yard scamper. In the passing game he was 11-18 for 130 yards with an interception. He hit Josh Bordner for a 48 yard TD pass.
Once again the rushing attack was the big story of the BC offense. Marcus Outlow led the run game with 107 rushing yards, but it was John Hilliman that really stood out. He had career highs in carries (21) and yards (98) with two touchdowns. In all, BC had 413 rushing yards to help give them a 513-139 edge in total yards.
The BC defense had 2 interceptions and once again stymied their opponent's run game. Maine managed just 16 total yards on the ground because the BC defense (pictured below) just swarmed any runner that carried the ball.
You can see highlights of the game below.
USA Basketball found itself in a bit of a brouhaha this week when an article by Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski called out coach Mike Kryzewski for using his position as the national team coach as an unfair recruiting advantage in his "real" job coaching at Duke. Here's that article.
The article prompted Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (an assistant on the national team) to speak out in defense of Coach K. And on Thursday, Kryzewski himself addressed the situation himself. Click HERE for that story.
I think it is a bit of BS to think being the national team coach is an unfair advantage in the college basketball recruiting wars. It is likely AN advantage, but not an unfair one. Particularly when you consider that Coach K (as Tony Kornheiser said Thursday on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption) can walk into any recruit's living room and say "I've got four national championships, what's your guy got?" And he doesn't even have to bring up the national team to do that. Those titles are just his Duke titles.
New York Liberty assistant coach Katie Smith has posted her second blog where she talks about her downtime. You can check it out HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Do you remember that 1983 TV movie starring Helen Hunt called Quarterback Princess? She played a girl that went out for her high school team as a quarterback and along the way also ended up as the homecoming queen.
Well this week we have another story along those lines. She's a kicker instead of a QB but 17 year old Mary Kate Smith of Mississippi will be crowned homecoming queen and then turn right around to suit up for the football game. You can read about her in this article.
As for the area teams I follow:
Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team lost to Seekonk 8-0 and to Bourne 7-0 to fall to 0-6. They have now lost 42 games in a row. The JV didn't do any better against Bourne. They also lost 7-0.
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams picked up a 6-0 win over Old Colony, but on Friday night they lost to Norfolk Aggie 5-2. They are 2-3-1 (1-1 in conference) so far this season.
Upper Cape JV Football - The Rams lost to Diman Regional 20-12 to drop to 0-2 on the season.
Wareham Boys Soccer - The boys team dropped games to Seekonk and Bourne by identical 7-0 scores.
Wareham Field Hockey - The girls picked up their first win of the season with a 3-0 win over Case, but closed out their week with a 6-0 loss to ORR to stand at 1-6 on the season.
Wareham Varsity Football - Despite building an 18-0 lead over Seekonk in the second quarter, the Vikings suffered a heartbreaking defeat when the Warriors scored the winning touchdown with 4 seconds left in the game. After building that early lead, Wareham went down 21-18 but scored with to take the lead with 26 seconds left in the game. But two quick long completions by Seekonk stole the game out from under the Vikings.
Five lost fumbles in the game didn't help Wareham either. My ex-player Josh had a great first half as he racked up 103 yards including a 28 yard TD run on offense. He also had 2 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. But in the second half, he was held to just 1 yard on 10 carries as well as a 13 yard reception on the final Wareham drive.
Wareham falls to 0-2 on the season.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - After beating Seekonk 3-2, the Vikings dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to Bourne. They are 3-4 on the season now. Against Seekonk, Rae-Lyn had 7 kills and 13 digs. In the loss to Bourne she had 8 kills, 17 digs and 8 service aces. Meanwhile, Erica had 5 kills and 12 digs in the Bourne match.
They had a nice bit of coverage in the local paper this week including some more photos from their earlier match this season against GNB Voc-Tech. Rae-Lyn and Erica were featured in a number of shots and here are a couple of them. (All the volleyball photos here are by the Wareham Courier's Adam K. Ellis.)
And this one of her killing the ball was on the front page of the Wareham Courier this week:
I was fully expecting to lose both leagues I'm in during Week 2, but for a change I have to be thankful to a Philadelphia team. The Eagles got a come from behind victory on Monday night and it was thanks to the Foles (Nick) and Sproles (Darren) show. And as luck would have it, I have both of them on one of my teams and picked up a come from behind victory of my own. So once again I split the two leagues.
In last week's column I made mention of the resignation of manager Ron Washington and how I hoped it wasn't due to drugs since he'd been caught using them before. On Thursday it was sort of revealed by Washington that he cheated on his wife. I say sort of because he didn't come out fully and say so but what little he did say seemed to point in that direction. You can check out this article for more.
I made mention earlier in the column that I was out on a date while Boston College was on TV. My girlfriend Julie and I went out to dinner at this restaurant neither of us had eaten at before called Matt's Blackboard. Our meals were really good and we look forward to going back there again soon. The second half of the date ended up being some time at the lanes.
Yes readers, I went BOWLING! Previously, I'd only been bowling once and I was so bad at it that the 5 year old boy in the lane next to me had a better score. This time around it was the small ball (candlepin) type of bowling and while I won't be joining the PBA anytime soon, it ended up being an enjoyable time for the both of us. We rolled three games, and laughed at ourselves when we threw a gutterball, and heckled ourselves when we failed to convert on that one last pin left standing.
But as I said, we had a good time and we'll probably do it again. Oh and yes, we had to do the whole rented shoes thing. Want proof?
Music - The fact that I prefer my music to come in physical form (a CD) instead of digital is something I usually get called a stick in mud for. But it appears Japan is kind of like me, they prefer the CD to digital. You can read more HERE.
The new Robert Plant CD lullaby and...The Ceasless Roar came last week and I added it to my pile of new music to listen to and review at some point.
In the meantime however, you can check out a CD review I was able to do up for the latest disc from the progressive rockers Uriah Heep. The album is called Outsider and I think it is one of the better albums I've heard this year. The review can be read in full via this Pop-topia.com link.
Comic Books - A couple of comics came out last week that I wanted to make mention of. DC Comics released the collected edition Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. Yes it is a funny animals type of book with humor and puns, etc. But it is also one of my most fondly remembered series from the 1980's. When I saw that the book had been schedule to come out, I knew I was going to buy it.
The other comic I wanted to mention is the first issue in the new series called Copperhead. The selling point of the book is "Deadwood in Space". It doesn't quite do justice to the rather superb opening installment. Writer Jay Faerber has usually managed to entertain me in the past on books like Teen Titans, Noble Causes, Dynamo 5 and Firebirds so I was really happy to see he was the creator on this book. And one of the main characters has the best name of the year in comics: Budroxifinicus!
Conventions - I was already looking forward to going to this year's Rhode Island Comic-Con. They had scheduled guests I wanted to see/meet like Walter Koenig (Star Trek/Babylon 5), Mark Sheppard (Firefly/Doctor Who) and Colin Baker (The 6th Doctor on Doctor Who). But this week brought the announcement of Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and I'm pretty much over the moon about the possibility of meeting her!
TV - While a few shows for the new fall season have already started, the real start to the new season gets into full swing starting later tonight. CBS has the new show Madam Secretary and the returning series The Good Wife that will draw my eyeballs tonight.
This week saw the release of the sixth season of Castle on DVD. Being a huge fan of the show, I ordered it promptly and it arrived in my mailbox on Friday. Whoo Hoo! Even more exciting is the fact that I've gotten Julie into watching the show and after the first four episodes she loves it.
Movies - Despite the company effectively going out of business, did you know that there are actually still some Blockbuster stores still in operation? They might be kind of "In Name Only" stores, but this story was pretty interesting.
The official trailer for The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1 has been released and you can check it out below.
Good morning....welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Fall is upon us. I'm gather the last of my tomatoes out of the garden. Hope to be canning them on Monday. Mom has an over abundance of pumpkins too. I'll snag a couple of them for the freezer. Pumpkin cookies, pumkin bread, pumkin soup, pumkin whoopie pies and on and on I could go. Very versatile vegie.
Speaking of vegies, my favorite farmers market burnt down last Friday. I have so many farmers markets to choose from in my area but this one really was a bummer to hear about. The buildings were 75 years old. They still don't know what happened yet but the owner is promising to be back up next week if all goes well. Lots of good times and awesome eats at The Green Dragon.
I am so blessed where I live. I could go to a farmers market every day if I wanted. I love hitting the stands that have produce that's marked down for quick sale. It may be bruised or close to expired but I have a freezer and a juicer. Got to pinch those pennies but try to eat well too. I haven't bought any junk food or soda in months.
Clint Bowyer's wife is about to give birth to their first child so Matt Crafton, points leader in the truck series is on stand by just in case the baby decides to arrive this weekend.
OVARIAN CANCER SUPPORT
A number of drivers will be sporting teal ribbons with Sherry Pollex's name on their cars this weekend. Sherry is Truex Jr's long time girlfriend. She's been fighting ovarian cancer and teal is the official color for ovarian cancer awareness. Last week Dale Jr wore teal gloves in the car. He put them up for auction on eBay with the proceeds going to the ovarian cancer research charity of Sherry's choice.
DANCING WITH THE STARS
Michael Waltrip has made it to the next round. After watching the video I'm not understanding how. He and his partner did a Cha Cha. I should say that she did the dancing and he pretty much stood there. I'll be tuning into You Tube next week to see how he doesn't do.
STEWART / WARD CASE UPDATE
The investigation is over and now is moving on to a grand jury to determine what action to take if any. Stewart pledges his continuing support. NASCAR says they're monitoring the situation and will make no comment.
I for one hope they bring Stewart's winged sprint car to the court house parking lot so every one on the jury can sit in it and see just what you can't see. From the 80's till now the wing has dropped so far down that you have an equivalent of a key hole to look out onto the track. Maybe they need to raise that wing. Just a thought.
The usual suspects were up front most of the day fighting over first. Our rookie with the mostest Mr Larson is just awesome right now. He had the lead with 30 to go and kept it till with 23 to go Bowyer is in the wall for caution # 5 of the day. Larson & Harvick fought for several laps on the restart which gave Keselowski just what he needed to catch up and drive right between them for the lead and the win. Was bummed out about that. My dad and I were cheering Larson on. I really want to see the rookie win.
Top 15 finishers - Keselowski - Gordon - Larson - Logano - Harvick - Hamlin - Ky Bu - Ku Bu - McMurray - Kenseth - Dale Jr - Johnson - Kahne - Truex Jr - Newman
NEW HAMPSHIRE PREVIEW
It's #2 race of the Chase. Almirola blew a motor and was the lowest Chaser on the finish in 41st. OUCH!!! Now he needs to win in the next 2 races. We were at this track in July of this year. Gordon and Harvick ran out of fuel losing their top 5 finishes. Hamlin pitted with 4 laps to go also giving up a top 5 finish. This is a 1 mile flat track. Very little banking. Got to keep those tires on the track in order to do well here.
Gordon - He's starting 13th. No worries. Top 10
Keselowski - On a tear all of a sudden. He's got pole this week and 2 W's in a row. He's punched his ticket to round #2 of the Chase. Will he lay back and ride or charge hard for 3 W's in a row? Top 10
Harvick - Starts 3rd. He was robbed by the fuel mileage bug in July. I say he'll be there for a top 10
Hamlin - Starts 4th and he says he has a #2 on his door. I'm guessing that means he's got something for Mr Keselowski. I'll bite. Top 10
Larson - That rookie with the mostest is hot right now. I'm betting on a W before the Chase is done.Got a 3rd place finish in July here. He's a quick study too. Top 10
Kenseth - He has no W's yet this year but he's in the Chase. Had a 4th in July. Top 10
Dale Jr & Johnson are not doing good right now. For what ever reason these 2 didn't get top 10's last week. I don't see top 10's this week either.
Logano - Starts 7th. Not really his track. Top 15
Newman - Starts 9th. Top 10
Ky Bu - He's been peeking in the top 10. Got one last week. As scary as it sounds, I'll give him a top 10 this week.
McMurray - Starts 2nd. He's been fighting and clawing his way to get top 10's and I'm betting he gets one this week.
The Danica - Starts 18th. She and her boyfriend Mr Stenhouse got into an on track oops last week. His fault. Bet it was a really quiet ride home last week. Top 20
Rusty Wallace's brother Mike will be in the #66 this week. A $5 value in salary cap leagues. Timmy Hill is back in the #32. Also a $5 value.
Well folks, big day ahead. Grandson #2 has a birthday party. So I probably won't see the race. I'll be helping with all the screaming sugared up kids. So I need to look over all my fantasy line ups in racing & football one more time.
It's not like there's nothing going on in sports. The NFL season may be young, but already we've had incident after incident off the field. Is that news?
Nope. Why should anybody be shocked when our esteemed colleges recruit hired guns to play sports and slide them through 'curricula' that probably make the old basket-weaving 101 courses look like nuclear physics, after which some of them get to the NFL and walk into tens of millions, yet don't comport themselves exactly as the social engineers insist grown men, millionaires to boot, should? Are they suddenly supposed to act like distinguished, top-hatted millionaires who actually worked for decades to earn their fortunes?
Apparently they are. And apparently the same social forces that made football and other sports a cash bonanza aren't handling their instant upper class's behavior patterns very well.
What did they expect? That Adrian Peterson should suddenly turn into an avid devotee of Dr. Spock?
Roughly the same forces now are avidly pushing legalization of pot nationwide. And the NFL is starting to show signs of following suit. Mixed message here? Or just a confused set of aging 60s/70s/80s 'smash the state' college radicals still trying force a new set of social rules that somehow let everyone have it both ways? State smashing is out, of course, because now they are the state.
Whatever it is, nobody should be surprised when today's hi-tech social microscope gets applied to professional athletes and bad behavior pops up.
Then there's the scarier part of it all, the apparent lockstep between the media and, of course, the government. Somebody's gotta be coordinating a dozen news agencies, all of whom have the same editorial posture. Not that you expect to hear one of them say "slugging your girl friend is a good idea" or "child beating is fine". But all too often the cases end up making you wonder whom exactly to be afraid of.
Aaron Hernandez has been in jail for a long time pending trial. If this case was such a slam-dunk, what's taking so long? Lack of evidence, it would seem. So why's he still in jail? Maybe it's clear he did it without all those bothersome legal details getting in the way, and perhaps he did. But I don't care about celebrity justice. I care about how I'd like it if I got fingered for something I didn't happen to do and the same thing happened to me --- eons in jail, reputation and life ruined, yet no resolution. Hernandez' legal status continues to be 'held without bail on 3 murder charges'. That's it.
Clearly Hernandez had some associations that nobody who's privileged to become a zillionaire ought to have. From what little of substance we've been allowed to hear, he likely did some bad things, even if it turns out murder wasn't one of them. But apparently he'll be held for the rest of his life the way things are going for something nobody's yet been able to prove. And the legal parameters of the case keep getting changed as prosecutors try every trick in the book to get around their embarrassing logjam. Is this how we do things now?
Ray Rice socked his wife in front of a camera. Dummy, not just for the camera being there. But she wasn't his wife yet, then she married him. She had second thoughts about the police involvement. Her reaction to the proliferation of the video was negative, to put it mildly. She wants nothing to do with it and (obviously) wants her husband 'working' again. So who's pressing charges here? The 'concerned public'? The media? Women's groups? Obama? All of the above? What is wrong with this picture?
Mike Vick got caught dogfighting. He grew up with it. Nobody complained. Was the filthy-rich athlete stupid for going that far back to his 'roots'? Of course. So why is he back in the NFL, if it's such a travesty? On the one hand, we object when somebody 'makes it' and forgets 'all the little people back home'. If he chooses to continue to live with and/or like them, though, then the doodoo really hits the fan.
Richie Incognito became a national cause-celebre because he was 'bullying'. In a football locker room? Nobody thinks that happens? Suddenly locker rooms are supposed to become professional 'workplaces' where everybody treats everybody else with a facade of respect? Bullying? Incognito's position on the team was revoked. Love him or hate him, he was fingered by a teammate and his NFL career apparently ruined. And he was good. Who's bullying whom? His accuser, Jonathan Martin, was sent to San Francisco. Judging from their performances to date, he hasn't been much help.
Adrian Peterson, of course, whacked his kid with a stick and left marks on him. Enough marks that the kid's mother felt compelled to report the case. Peterson, of course, has left a trail of illegitimate children (can I say that anymore?) as he goes from port to port like a drunken sailor. Great social behavior? Of course not. He's another heroic idiot hustled through a football factory to draw crowds, and the mothers are just as stupid. Does he take an interest in his children though? Apparently. Why else would he be visiting them? He may well have thought he was doing something that had to be done.
We could go on with cases like these. They aren't the only ones though. NFL players regularly get into trouble with the law, cases ranging from drugs to life and death, and as often as not slide out. Are they getting privileged treatment? You bet they are.
The NFL of course has the right to 'fire' anybody who does something stupid and sullies its corporate image. Regular corporations would do the same thing. It's not a matter of criminal guilt, it's a matter of making your employer look bad. All that is understandable. And in an age of smartphone justice where a picture or video spreads everywhere in minutes, the mainstream media, corrupt and biased or not, have to report it or look like fools. Of course, since it's never a 'scoop' anymore, they now feel compelled to take it to the next level --- analysis --- and then editorialize it to death. It's the editorial postures that have that frightening 'harmony'.
What's also understandable, regarding several cited cases and others like them, is that the real media hammer comes down on someone who commits an act that gives some group with political clout a chance to bag a poster boy. Then the media/government coalition comes into play and it's often the end for said offender. Whatever you do, if you're even marginally famous, don't do something that offends a PAC. You become a tool of their propaganda machine. Sound Cold Warish? Does to me. And not necessarily reminiscent of our side.
Through all this, Aaron Hernandez remains a mystery. Murder isn't just something that offends PACs. Drug dealing isn't just something that offends PACs. Hell, there are PACs that want drugs legalized. But what he was and wasn't doing remains in a cloud, and he's being held for spans of time that used to be reserved for places like the Soviet Union. "We know you did it, so you're staying in jail until we find a reason for having you there." And led by the media, the public demands it. One wonders whether his celebrity status works against him in this case. Joe Blow wouldn't be eating up tax dollars with jail accommodations for years pending trial, would he?
I begin to wonder. I begin to wonder about a lot of things. One of them is not, however, how it could be that NFLPA has so many members who do so many stupid things.
I thought today I'd try something different. We are at the end of the season, and I thought I'd look at some stats, both individual and team:
Individual Hitting. Jose Altuve dominated here: #1 in MLB BA at .343 and also led the league w/216 hits, and was 3rd in steals at 54 and 3rd in doubles with 44. Meanwhile, Nelson Cruz has 39 HR, followed by Stanton at 37, and Chris Carter (Houston - AGAIN) with 36. Meanwhile, 9 players have over 100 RBI's with Trout leading at 107. Dee Gordon in LA has 63 SB.
Honorable Mention. Can we give a shout out to Chicago's (AL) Jose Abreu, who is at .315, 35 HR, 104 RBI going into today. Oh yeah, he's played in 137 games to date.
Individual Pitching. As you can imagine, Clayton Kershaw dominated with a 1.8 ERA, a 20-3 record (both MLB leaders) in 26 starts and tied with Johnny Cueto for opponent BA at .195, while Price out of Detroit has the strikeout title w/255. Fernando Rodney leads MLB with 46 saves.
Honorable Mention. It seems like this guy doesn't get enough credit, but King Felix was 14-5, 2.07 ERA, and 236 strike outs.
Team Hitting. Detroit currently leads with a .279 BA, while Baltimore just clowned everybody in terms of HR (199, far and away better than #2 Colorado at 177), Kansas City has the least strikeouts and leads everybody in SB, Anaheim and Detroit lead in team RBIs.
Team Pitching. Seattle and Washington lead MLB with a 3.04 ERA, while Seattle gave up an opponent BA of .228, while Tampa and Cleveland dominated in team strikeouts. Seattle also was the best in ER given up. Anaheim has the most credited pitcher wins (95).
Rookies. Abreu is far and away the best, but some other notables, among so many:
Danny Santana in Minnesota: 93 games, .322 BA, 39 RBI, 19 steals
Betances in New York (AL): 5-0, 1.33 ERA, 132 SO, 88 IP
Tanaka in New York (AL): 12-4, 2.51 ERA, 135 SO before getting injured
That's right Derek Jeter, take a bow - this New York hater is wishing you a fond farewell. I certainly don't need to wish you luck considering the hotties you went through and the money you have, but you earned it and did it the right way, so congrats. Oh yeah Derek, your team still sucks!!! :)
Given the issues and scrutiny the league is currently under, the NFL has hired yours truly, IHM, to create a new, comprehensive plan to deter any further black eyes and ugliness for the league due to player conduct. As members here at Yougabsports.com, you all get an exclusive first look at the new plan in its entirety…
First rule… Roger Goodell will personally chaperone all player dates/ social outings. This should help ease the concerns of Mrs. Terry O’Neil, president of NOW (National Organization of Women), who wondered aloud last week what Roger Goodell was doing to protect these women. Since apparently the abuse suffered by these women is exclusively the fault of the NFL commissioner, and certainly not the idiot players who decided to lay their hands on women, I felt it best that he be personally involved in any and all contact between a female and an NFL player. Even married players, if they want a date night with the wife, had better set it up in advance with the Commish as a third wheel… he’ll be there. Should things head to the bedroom, he’ll be sitting bedside, and even be ready and willing to tag in if necessary.
Second rule… the NFL is to attach a tracking device to each of its nearly 1,700 players and provide everyone with a free app allowing people to know, at all times, their proximity to the ever-dangerous NFL player.
Third rule… If you see a woman or child… DON’T FUCKING HIT IT! How fucking hard is it?
Unless, of course, that bitch spilled your coffee...
Well, there it is! Not very complex at all, but it solves all the NFL’s problems.
But in all seriousness, what is the fucking problem here? If you ask me, there IS NO PROBLEM! Am I saying domestic abuse is not an issue? Of course not… but if you compare the number of NFL players currently under investigation for some form of domestic violence, whether it be against a woman or a child, it is actually LOW compared to males aged 20-30 out there in the real world. You know why you generally don’t hear about any regular people that age getting into trouble for that sort of thing… because it is so commonplace, it is a non-story. Yet, just like Greg Hardy of the NFL, millions of men across the country get away with domestic abuse on a daily basis. Sure, they are caught, arrested, prosecuted, and then given the same kind of bullshit punishment Hardy received.
When we talk about Greg Hardy, we’re talking about a six-foot-four, 278 pound man who threw a woman around like a rag doll, punched and choked her, and threatened to kill her repeatedly. Yet, he got a sixty day suspended sentence and community service. Is this really the NFL’s problem we are talking about here… or should we be focused on the real issue, the absolute fucking JOKE that is our legal system. Everybody wants to take down the fucking juggernaut that is the NFL these days… everybody wants to say they played a part in getting Roger Goodell fired… that’s great. In the meantime, what exactly are you accomplishing for the cause you claim to care so deeply about? Huh, NOW… how about the 16 female senators who stepped forward and demanded Goodell resign? What is it you are getting done here? Not a fucking thing. Nobody wants to accomplish anything here, they simply want to start a fucking hashtag, get their filthy whore name in the news, and move on to the next thing that the entire country should be infuriated about and try to get in on that gravy train.
In the end, we’re going to see several men lose their jobs… but we’re going to see no real, actual change. Women are not going to be any safer. There will be a few more dames walking the halls of the NFL’s league offices, simply as an attempt to appease the unwashed, angry masses. They will have no real pull; they will just be window dressing. People will continue to get a slap on the wrist for domestic violence, and nobody will gain a damn thing. So to anybody who is actually enjoying this horse shit, make sure you get your fill on being a women’s rights advocate… because there will be a bright, shiny new cause for you to fight for next week. But don’t worry, just like this week, you won’t be required to actually do anything.