The Cardinals Made Some Edits to Their Schedule Release/Hype Video After "Forgetting" to Include Josh Rosen in it Even One Single Time
Second time's a charm:
Normally I'd say we might be reading way too far into the contents of a 90-second social media schedule release by using them as cold, hard evidence to a rumored franchise altering personnel decision of an NFL organization. I honestly wouldn't even have noticed Rosen going entirely unChosen in the first video without having been made aware of it prior to watching, so it's probably a bit premature for the second year, first round pick to start packing his bags based solely on its circulation.
That being said, as underwhelming and uneventful as his rookie season may have been, it is near impossible to incidentally put together a highlight package for a professional football team without once featuring the man who holds the hand with which the ball passed through on all offensive plays of note. I mean, even if I wanted to offer the benefit of the doubt, I'd have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to consider that there were close-up cameos made by EIGHT other NFL quarterbacks, none of which are currently employed atop the Cardinals' depth chart under center. If that's not a sign that, at the very least, the online marketing team has taken their first step to securing a seat on the Kyler Murray bandwagon then I don't know what the hell is.
You don't go from getting a glimpse as the future face of the franchise to being a forgotten face in the franchise's glimpse into the future in one year without something being afoot. What's afoot could very well just be the passive aggressive hands of a presumptuous video editor, but me thinks the whispers in Cardinals HQ are about as Josh Rosen-friendly as the "returning" starting quarterback needing to be remixed into a role bigger than that of the team's long snapper. One just can't help but wonder where those whispers originated...
The Falcons Snuck An NFC Shampionship-Inspired Troll Job Into Their 'GoT' Schedule Release, And It's About Damn Time They Made a Funny
When you're so quick to give it, you got to be able to take it. Seeing as the Falcons have, through their unforgettable failures as a franchise, given the Saints and their much more faithful fanbase no choice but to give it, it was theoretically a matter of time before those same fans had to take it. For that reason, I tip my cap to Atlanta's social media team for putting together that clever animation, despite it being a nod to a play that still rips my heart out on...ahem...replay. Like it or not, and I most certainly do not, it's objectively funny.
Now, is it as objectively funny as putting billions of dollars into the building of a mechanical butthole that's perennially half-full and shares a sponsor with the much louder and prouder stadium of your most hated division rival? Good question. Is it as objectively funny as not only having to pipe in artificial crowd noise to your home venue for it to sound like anything remotely close to an NFL atmosphere, but also getting caught doing so? Who's to say? Is it as objectively funny as defying the constraints of time as a construct by blowing a 25-point lead in the second half of the biggest game in your franchise's history while on the brightest stage in sports? It suppose it's all a matter of perspective, but from my perspective the Saints pack far less as a punchline than does the organization that's unsurprisingly much less arrogant and accomplished as an antagonist, especially since having vacated the divisional throne.
Despite Spending the Pistons' First Two Playoff Games in a Suit, Blake Griffin is Padding His Stats...With Technicals
I'll admit, Blake Griffin having made himself a thorn in the side of officials by picking up two technicals despite spending a grand total of zero minutes in uniform throughout the start of what's all-but-guaranteed to be an early and otherwise uneventful finish to the Pistons' postseason is statistically impressive.
It's just not nearly as statistically impressive as the 75 games played this season by a freakish talent whose body has betrayed him more often than a sociopathic lover with a crippling sex addiction.
In all likelihood, it's the second stat that explains the first one. This has been Blake Griffin's healthiest season since he was 24 years old, never mind one of his most productive, and yet he's still been shunned to the sidelines when it matters most by the only body that's been able to consistently limit him as an otherworldly athlete, with that quite obviously being his own.
I'm sure the fact that his team is getting predictably pissed all over by the unrelenting water pressure of the Greek Freak's golden shower is making the matter worse. However, what's really the matter is that he can't do anything about it for the umpteenth time in a career that will sadly be remembered for what it could have been. That's not to discredit what it actually has been, which is one of sports' most seducing cockteases, as much as it is a testament to the MVP-worthy talent in a DNP-worthy skeletal structure. We can laugh at him quickly working towards ejections from games he's not even participating in, but if you were Blake Griffin then untimely injuries would have you feeling pretty damn irritable too.
Wesley Matthews Threw an In-Bounds Fade Pattern to...Basically No One In Sealing a Game 2 Win For The Celtics
I just have one question and shockingly it's not "dude, WTF?". Well, on second thought, I suppose it could be pretty easily translated as such, but in the interest of my own curiosity I'd just like to ask what the plan was there. Far be it for me to think I have better court vision than an NBA player, but like...in his perfect world, how did Wesley Matthews see that cross-court, overhead throw-in to a blanketed teammate playing out?
From the outside looking in, it kinda seems like the optimal result would have been suboptimal in prospective completion percentage. With all due respect to Bojan Bogdanovic, he doesn't exactly strike me as a Randy Moss-type receiver who is even open when he's not, so depending on him to pull in the type of circus catch that saves NFL head coaches from their own lack of creativity in calling untimely fade patterns seems questionable at best.
Maybe there's something I'm missing, but I don't think it's a good sign that I'm struggling to see whatever the hell it was that Wesley Matthews thought he saw. In fact, I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb in saying the absolutely absurd outcome lends more support to my confusion than his confidence, so perhaps an explanation would do some justice to his Fail Mary of an instant turnover that all-but-ended a playoff game in anti-climactic fashion. Probably not though.
Jared Dudley Took an Exaggerated, But Not Entirely Untrue Jab at Ben Simmons' Offensive Abilities Ahead of Game 3
Typically I would find it very dumb of a veteran role player and leader of a young team whose biggest advantage is that they have nothing to lose to provide motivational material to one of most impactful members of a much more talented opposition ahead of a pivotal Game 3.
The key word being typically, for as much as I think Jared Dudley should have just shut up and let the crowds in both Philadelphia and Brooklyn loudly remind Ben Simmons of his offensive inadequacies, I hardly think of the latter as the type of player who is more successful playing with spite. After all, if he could be instigated into playing with more aggression in an effort to prove people wrong then it probably would have manifested itself in a couple more wide-open jump shots during the first hundred times he casually crossed the 3-point line like it didn't exist and turned his own fanbase's hopeful cheers turned into exasperated sighs.
Point being, until proven otherwise, Ben Simmons just is what he is on the offensive end. That happens to be a athletic marvel who is selflessly innovative, ultra-skilled, and stupid fast regardless of having a frame that makes him an immediate mismatch. What he is not, on the other hand, is someone who is going to mercilessly use that to his advantage in taking over a game by scoring a basketball that he's simply afraid to shoot from outside 10-12 feet. Still a massive threat, of course, but not the type you'd dread looking dead in the eyes after challenging him.
Now, I'm still not sure I agree with any Nets' player, never mind one that's extremely limited in his own skill set at this stage of his career, going out of their way to offer the Sixers' billboard material. However, it does say quite a bit about Ben Simmons' reputation around a league in which confidence is key that the lumbering 33-year old who successfully helped shut him down in Game 1 before sitting out Game 2 was far from worried that slighting him will stoke his competitive fire and bring the best out of him in Game 3.
Martin Jones Was MIA When it Came Time For His Media Availability Following Another Rough Start And Early Finish
The main problem, other than an inexplicable percentage of shots finding the back of the Sharks' net, is that this was far too predictable. By that, I don't mean it was inevitable that Martin Jones would end up MIA after having been burnt by a rough night in Las Vegas like Doug from 'The Hangover'. Rather, I mean that they should have known they might have to make up some such shitty excuse to protect what little, entirely shaken confidence he has been playing with all year by shielding him from the media more successfully than he's shielded the puck from the net.
Of course, goaltending hasn't been San Jose's only problem throughout what's shaping up to be a short and sour playoff run. Just last night their two stud defenseman got walked around like they were as permanent in their defensive position as actual studs...
...thus making way for the game to get out of hand and for two of their 30 goal scorers to get mercifully escorted off the ice like they were being led to the principal's office for being juvenile jackasses during the formality of a final period to an absolute mollywhoppin'...
Still, the fact that the best thing I've seen in the Sharks' crease is their backup goaltender's pads (which are fire, for the record) speaks directly to how many times they've had their back broken by bad goals. Like, even if Martin Jones was as lost literally as he has been figuratively, it's not like his team could enlist the services of the puck as part of the search committee with it being unable to find him since the series started.
Of course, it's even more inexcusable for veteran leaders like Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson to let themselves get treated by pylons while knowing their last line of defense has been offensive, so there is plenty of blame to get passed around. I just think a lot of that blame should be directed at their front office for not being proactive and presumably needing more than decades of undeniable proof that you need consistent and competent goaltending in the postseason. Most of the mental immaturity and physical mistakes can be attributed to the players, but the team having nowhere to turn when they need even a mildly big save is on the organization, as Martin Jones has long left far more juicy rebounds than doubt to the type of leaky goaltender he's been all season.
I'll admit, peaking at the wrong time during the regular season is absolutely something that can come back to haunt you during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In fact, I'll even go as far as conceding that the NHL's most prolific scorer who no-showed two playoff games before selfishly and stupidly getting himself suspended for a third didn't have too many satisfying responses at his disposal when it came to answering to his team getting soullessly swept.
That being said, on the long, long list of unsatisfactory responses, referring to some sort of slow organizational watch following a 62-win season is second only to "well, I had a vacation scheduled, so..." in terms of absolutely infuriating answers. Blaming the stars for their refusal to align in your favor following an unlucky overtime bounce in Game 7 is one thing. Talking fate after getting brushed aside quicker than Spring cleaning is quite another. A failure to adopt an astrologically friendly offense isn't what has Tampa Bay icing their asses at home as opposed to getting ready to regain home ice advantage. Entitlement, maybe. Complacency, probably. A false sense of security, definitely. But for sure not some Daylight Savings Time-style shift in their competitive clock.
This Lightning team was as built for success as any team in the history of hockey, so skirting accountability by pointing the finger at vague, mystic circumstances immediately after the Columbus Blue Jackets finished picking the final remnants of professional pride out of their brooms is evidence of mental weakness throughout a locker room that's the furthest thing from short on physical talent.
Perhaps it's just a coincidence that Nikita Kucherov was the one that happened to speak to it while in the process of trying to explain an inexplicable embarrassment. However, it's quite fitting as his absentee series alone is a pretty perfect example of the Tampa Bay Lightning waiting for the wins to come easy as opposed to going out there and taking what they earned. Artemi Panarin certainly can't relate...
For it to still be a surprise that the NHL postseason is a fickle beast whose results so often fly in the face of 82 games worth of evidence to everything we thought we knew requires a dedication to logic and rationale that is entirely unwelcome in most hockey circles this time of year. Therefore, while we weren't yet to the point where the unexpected is to always be expected, seeding being nothing more than a formality is far from a new concept.
Still, there were very few things that you can get the vast majority of society to agree upon in the year 2019, and the love of a true underdog was one of them. Unfortunately, with a mesmerizing meltdown for the ages, the 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning took that love and stomped all over it, as there is no longer such thing as a sure thing to root against during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As fans of unforeseen failures, we've officially peaked in watching the Columbus Blue Jackets go all-in to win their first ever playoffs series by way of an uncompetitive dusting of a team whose talents will undoubtedly make for multiple hilariously uncomfortable appearances at the NHL awards. In terms of shock value, it is now eternally depreciating. Every other matchup in which the favorite falls short for the foreseeable future will be met with a mere shoulder shrug, as we've been desensitized to dumbfounding outcomes by the All-World juggernaut that took not one single step in a middle ground in going from Valedictorian to dropout in six days time.
If there is a saving grace to a series that was really only intriguing in the way that a billionaire going broke is intriguing then it's that an organization managing their assets how a drunk college kid might manage his bank account actually worked out in a way that might result in franchises being less risk adverse going forward. The Columbus Blue Jackets gave a middle finger to the future on behalf of the present, and not only narrowly avoided suffering an embarrassing end to their own season but basically pulled down the pants of the Presidents' Trophy winners and sent them into the summer with the most public of spankings. At least we can appreciate the boldness it takes to even attempt that, because we certainly can't continue to appreciate even the most astronomical of NHL postseason odds after they were overcome with such ease.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Blamed His Birthday Cake-Heavy Diet For His Out of Shape Showing at Offseason Workouts, Which is Quite Fitting
Honestly, who has got it better than Ryan Fitzpatrick? Never mind being subjected to a dumpster of a diet that comes part and parcel with having to sneak in ways to satiate yourself while raising an entire touchdown worth of children. The truth is, he might as well wake up and eat some cake regardless of whether or not the calendar says it's a date on which he once successfully reproduced.
36 years old. Starting NFL quarterback. Still living good off an Ivy League education in and on a field where it largely doesn't translate. No real expectations of which to speak. Can show up unkempt and overweight to his job as a pro athlete and have it be a laughing matter. His blessed life might as well be the product of blowing out all the right candles, so who is to say every day isn't his birthday? All his wishes have seemingly some true, like two dozen times over, so it would simply be ungrateful of him not to show his appreciation by bulking up on a bunch of batter and icing for another stress-free gig under center that probably best described as...well...cake.
Oh. My. God. My jaw just about hit the floor right around halfway through that transcription, and it was still left looking down at how low Evander Kane went in ripping Ryan Reaves' entire on-ice existence limb from limb.
That interview, in its totality, is far and away the most disrespectful you'll ever see one NHLer be towards another publicly. Of course, that's mostly due to professional hockey players biting their own tongue so often you'd think it satisfied some sort of sexual fetish. Still, the fact remains that the oft-enigmatic San Jose forward damn near made up for decades of dumbed-down diplomacy in going below and beyond to emasculate the impact of Las Vegas' resident goon.
And ya know what, seeing as he already faced both the literal and figurative music by being played off to 'Baby Shark' following his decision to fight up a weight class and down a skill level, Evander Kane should say whatever he damn well pleases...
Ryan Reaves' primary role is to intimidate, and the player he invested his little amount of playing time in targeting certainly doesn't sound as though he was too phased by the experience. Evander Kane losing both the fight and the game is a moot point in the discussion of how much his opponent actually contributes to winning. Him feeling comfortable enough to call it exactly how he sees it is in the aftermath of answering the bell points directly to the irrelevance of the antiquated, WWE-esque role he just verbally ran over thrice while cutting a Game 4 promo that would make 'The Rock' proud.
I say the following as someone who doesn't even particularly like Evander Kane. If you want to drop the mitts and start swinging with an exponentially more talented player just to prove your place then you better make sure you connect well enough for the message to get through his admittedly thick skull. Either that, or he has every right to give a middle finger to personality-less political correctness by not showing you an ounce of respect as the type of player whose best skill is supposed to be in pounding it out of opponents.
Props to Mitch Marner For (Almost Literally) Eating Some Pucks in Helping Secure Toronto's Game 3 Victory
I hesitate to give too much praise to Mitch Marner, as Mike Babcock has killed careers for less than belonging to players who are unwilling to go eye-to-eye with high-speed vulcanized rubber when it matters most. Point being, the fact that he was put on the ice in the waning seconds of a pivotal Game 3 in the first place is evidence, in and of itself, that we shouldn't be shocked by his willingness to do whatever it takes to win in a fairly unfamiliar end of the ice.
That being said, convincing your coach that you're selfless enough to literally put your baby face in front of a slap shot is a hell of a lot easier than actively throwing yourself in front of some live grenades, so credit goes to a young, offensive dynamo like Mitch Marner for gambling the authenticity of his smile in potting a huge victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The reaction from his teammates speaks to how much it was appreciated, even if it wasn't entirely unexpected of someone who's apparently not nearly as self-interested as you'd be led to believe by the regularity which his upcoming contractual demands are discussed.
Andrei Svechnikov's Brother Did Not Take Kindly to the Ugly Results of What Was a Very Foolish Fight to Start
As much as teenagers can be young and dumb with full ass plums, I'm not sure Andrei Svechnikov's decision to lure the gloves off a grizzled grown man who still plays the game like he's in desperate need of a cocaine fix can be classified as nothing more than a "rookie mistake". There are first year players who've been benched for putting blind, cross-ice passes onto a platter for opposing players that would resent the idea that their birth year leaves them liable to poke an absolute bear of a physical freak. Therefore, it feels like there was something more to that fight than youthful ignorance.
Now, far be it for me to assume that "something" is some sort of regional blood-feud that dates back generations. However, if the threat strongly implied through the use of a universally understood horror movie reference is any indication then said indication provides better reasoning for a super-skilled 19-year old to go blow-for-blow with Alexander Ovechkin than any other I can think of. Seems pretty far fetched for Russian mob ties to rope two professional athletes into an unfair fight on American ice, but the illogical obligations of gang-like affiliations make for a more logical motive than the inherent idiocy of adolescence alone.
I'm certainly not suggesting that polarizing opinions on Putin were ultimately responsible for an unnecessary fight that resulted in an unfortunate knockout whose ramifications could theoretically be felt throughout the rest of a suddenly competitive series. Just saying I'd understand that more than I understand a boy being frustrated enough to believe it behooved him to man (a whole hell of a lot of levels) up in actively and inexplicably escalating an oddly timed confrontation between fellow countrymen.
The Warriors Made NBA Playoff History in Blowing a 31-Point Lead (3...1...Ha!) to the One Team That Has Every Reason to Never Let Them Forget It
Make no mistake, that one hurts more than your "average" cataclysmic home playoff loss in a game that was led by 30+ midway through the third quarter. I don't mean that in the sense that the Warriors' odds of winning a championship, much less this first round series with an undermanned-but-unrelenting opponent, have taken a significant hit. However, you can bet your ass that their pride woke up this morning feeling like it absorbed every big shot in a 12-round slugfest with a bottle of tequila, and that's due - in part - to the identity of the opposition that, metaphorically speaking, proceeded to crack them over the head with it.
Ever since Chris Paul & Co. delayed their dominance by one year in a contentious postseason series, the Warriors have pounded their chest just a little a bit more pompously in beating the Clippers. Though the roster for which they harbored such resentment has changed drastically, the spite with which they have shot their lights out over the past few seasons has far from faded. Patrick Beverly has talked...and talked....and talked himself into the role of demonstrative defensive nuisance that was left vacated by the departure of CP3, and Golden State has used that to fan alive a flame that probably should have died out once Blake Griffin got shipped off to Detroit.
I don't know whether the Warriors would admit to the following or not, but it's pretty obvious that the only thing they relish more than winning is doing so at the expense of the Clippers losing. Therefore, it stands to reason that the sting of being defeated in the most humbling, humiliating, and historical of fashion (well, since they blew a 3-1 series led to LeBron, anyway) would reverberate just a little more painfully with said loss having carved out a spot for the Clippers in the NBA record books.
If you wanted to pull down the corner of the web page on which you watched the highlights of history being made in order to look at the big picture then you could craft a decent argument that the Warriors aura of invincibility is much more penetrable than in years' past. You could also use last night as proof in suggesting that the Clippers are the perfect destination for premier free agents, as their proposal of pieces young and old is laughably more intriguing than that of the self-important team they share a city, arena, and market with.
However, I would rather take some time to appreciate last night for the aspect of it that the Warriors are most likely to dismiss, with that being the most unforgettable of role reversals in the otherwise one-sided rivalry that they went out of their way to resuscitate.
Incredible. Simply incredible. I mean, how? Just how? I don't even have the words for the work ethic it must require to...::gathers breath::...continue pulling otherwise asinine tasks out of your ass in hopes of making an athletic alien shed a bead of perspiration.
Honestly, I'm only being half-sarcastic when I say that the most shocking thing about this video was the creativity of the trainer. That's partially because neither my body nor brain is capable of truly comprehending the difficulty of the exercise at hand. However, it's mostly because Alvin Kamara, whether it be on or off the field, has spent the last two years getting Saints' fans way too used to his ability to make near impossible feats of physicality look entirely effortless. The pegs on those projectiles being red and blue is quite fitting, because that is some Matrix shit...if Neo had both swag and his superpowers weren't a product of pill-popping. Yet still, due mostly to desensitization, I was left responding to that video with nothing more than a shoulder shrug that matched what little anxiety Alvin Kamara appeared to be exuding as his ears, eyes, and hands casually coordinated to put forth an otherworldly display of instantaneous telepathy.
I personally didn't need to see this to know that someone who could probably break your balls while balancing himself on a bed of marbles is an absolute freak far beyond this galaxy, never mind a football field. Therefore, I'll treat this clip as a relief knowing his offseason regimen isn't in the idle hands of someone who is going to rest on their laurels and stop going above and beyond the call of duty in the hopeless endeavor to humanize AK's talents. I wish Dr. Reef the best of luck, for he genuinely looks to be working harder than the wonder kid he's allegedly working out.
Ironically, my sentiments mirrored those of Victor Hedman until Victor Hedman echoed those sentiments in the direction of the opposing bench of players who was in the process of orchestrating a near clinical destruction of his own bench's aura of invincibility.
As a fan, I am supposed to sink into my own couch while lazily drawing convenient comparisons to series' past between two teams that are, when you take into consideration the amount of moves the Blue Jackets have made over the last 12 months, entirely different. The reigning Norris Trophy winner whose most notable contribution to the series thus far was facilitating his team's untimely collapse in the postseason opener by putting forth a preseason-opening effort, on the other hand, is not...
Point being, there was plenty of reason to believe that the Tampa Bay Lightning, with their embarrassment of riches from a talent perspective, could "buy" their way out of a surprising two game hole.
I say was because that reasoning took a sizable hit when one of their most prominent and underperforming players chose to openly base all of his optimism on the efforts of a Stanley Cup Championship winning team that he, need I remind you, proceeded to lose to later in last year's playoffs.
I say was because the Head Coach of the team in question referred to the first gut punch his team has taken all year as a "five alarm fire" in an overreactive way that reminds you that the smoothest of regular seasons has left him entirely unfamiliar with alarm fires one through four...
I say was because last we saw the league's leading scorer he was more concerned with selfishly going out of his way to try to damage the brain of the defenseless opponent he chopped down in a fit of frustration than trying to carry his success into the time of year that actually matters...
Honestly, I don't know what's more dispiriting for Tampa Bay, the fact that their most prolific game-breaker did something that was sure to get him suspended from a pivotal Game 3 despite having run-in's with Player Safety in previous postseasons or that it might not even matter with how he's played thus far.
The truth is, Nikita Kucherov acted out like a spoiled brat who thinks winning is a given despite having entered the time of the year where not even an inch is given. The even harsher truth is, if Victor Hedman's lousy and off-target trash talk is any indication, that sounds like it may be a prevailing thought process in a locker room that's in too deep to keep playing like they deserve to win as opposed to playing like they are desperate to win. The harshest truth is that the comparison of a 2-0 series deficit to a five alarm fire sounds like somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as no one thought their chances of coming back were that close to ashes before the member of their organization who is supposed to be the most grounded said so.
Each round of the NHL postseason is an up-and-down grind, so at the end of the day it's not exactly 'The End of Days'...but someone might want to notify Jon Cooper of that. And someone might want to let Victor Hedman know that history doesn't just magically repeat itself because it's happened do so enough times since the advent of written word to popularize that saying. And someone might want to put a drop of vodka under Nikita Kuchero's tongue and have him suck on a binky in the owner's suite until he sleeps off his irritable entitlement during the game he made sure not to be a part of.
Again, the Tampa Bay Lightning may very well show some spine and rebound from this, as they have the top-end skill, depth, and experience to do so. However, as of last night they were all on very different pages and not one of those pages read like it was destined to lead into a more uplifting chapter. That's far more of a cause for concern than one of best regular season teams of all-time sputtering off to a slow start in the playoffs.
My head is well aware that the defenders with which a 47 year old Jaromir Jagr seamlessly split through like a fat-barreled ginsu knife are inferior in talent, and that his speed wouldn't look to match his immortal skill anywhere near as well if it were on the ice alongside NHL players.
My heart, on the other hand, doesn't really give a shit that his ability to twerk overly optimistic opponents a town over has aged out of the NHL and just wants to see him back playing in a place where the horses in his back can be appreciated on a bi-weekly basis. I get that the style with which Father Time has forced him to play doesn't quite fit the direction in which the league is trending. Still, can't we just Grandfather back in someone who would be old enough to be a Grandfather if he wasn't still sleeping with women who he could have theoretically Grandfathered had he not eternally eloped in marrying himself to the game?
Team owner or not, it just feels wrong to have Jags overseas dangling through dummies with a reach that must make them feel as helpless as getting posted up by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Especially when he should be solidifying his status as a national treasure somewhere in the states while approaching the half-century mark of 50 years young.
The AAF, Also Known as the Broke Ass League That Folded After 8 Weeks Due to a Lack of Funding, Is Denying "Their Players" a Chance to Sign in the CFL
It's times like this that I am reminded that I didn't go to law school. I'm sure the stupidity of this situation would have been easily explained in detail during the first semester, but I'm at a loss for understanding how already breached contracts handed out by a now defunct business could still, in any form or fashion, be binding.
Somehow even more so than that, I'm baffled that a league which was theoretically formed to give fringe players a second chance to extend their playing careers is now treating those players less like human beings than the NFL does their athletes. I'm sure there is a bunch of legal liabilities (::pats self on back for sounding somewhat versed in the subject::) wrapped up in the laughable amount of lawsuits they are about to be drowning in. Still, denying rapidly expiring job opportunities to those whose jobs you just unlawfully terminated is a move that makes Roger Goodell's heart look like it bleeds for the bruised brains his league leaves in its wake.
Honestly, solely by comparison, the AAF self-destructing about as quickly as a seagull that's been fed an Alka-Seltzer is basically the best PR the NFL has gotten in ages. So much so that if I didn't know any better, I'd assume the outside competition (that wasn't) was an inside job. The NFL won't fully guarantee you a contract for killing yourself slowly, but at least they aren't at risk of folding only to actively sabotage your next chance at employment. They'll let your earning window close with the quickness, but they won't board up all your doors from within when a comparative opportunity comes a knockin'. The AAF is the ultimate reminder that business ethics could always be worse when the NFL had us presuming that was impossible as little as 2.5 months ago.
I say the following definitively as someone who wouldn't dream of watching a full 9 innings prior to late September at the absolute earliest. I'm more than fine with 10 minutes being added to the running time of a Major League Baseball game by a senior citizen ball shagger so long as his spirit shines as brightly as that of the Orioles' ball boy. That endearing elder might have the first step of Manny Machado in late May, but - as far as his effort is concerned - you can call him Mr. Hustle...even if he'll undoubtedly tell you to stop aging him and just call him Johnny.
I know baseball's braintrust has started checking their watches with the hopeless regularity of a teenager nodding off during post-lunch history class. However, if they want to maintain a little love in their game then the Grandpa who speed shuffles only to package each souvenir with a smile is just the guy to do it, as he's irrefutable proof that you can actually send a man to do a boy's job.
Plus, as an added bonus, if Baltimore ever needs someone to replace Chris Davis' production in the lineup, I could certainly think of less enthusiastic people to provide an easy out.
This Old Clip of Derrick Rose Finding out He Was Traded to New York is Humanizing for Him...And Mildly Embarrassing for the Knicks
Look, without a shadow of a doubt, 95% of the emotion that Derrick Rose was overcome with when receiving that news was a product of having his first run-in with the business side of basketball be one that sent him packing from the hometown where he experienced the highest of highs (MVP) and the lowest of lows (enough injuries to finance a medical startup) as a professional athlete. As evidenced by his instant and audible loss of breath, the fraying of his strong ties to the city of Chicago was undeniably devastating. In that sense, this was a pretty relatable and humanizing moment for someone that's said some dumb shit and allegedly done some disturbing throughout the course of his career.
However, in the sense that being traded for by someone who owns two entire fists full of championship rings and offered a home arena that's long been lauded as a mystifying Mecca where basketball players grow up dreaming of having their success, that reaction is at least slightly embarrassing for the Knicks. I can't emphasis enough that it says far, far more about his love for Chicago than his feelings toward New York at the time, but there wasn't even a half second of excitement about being courted by Phil Jackson to play at MSG. That proved more than fair seeing how instantly an era that was overseen by the senile became a contributing chapter in the dark comedy that James Dolan has spent the last two decades drawing up. Still, that doesn't make it any less funny to look back on a starting PG of the New York Knicks being unable to see any silver lining in being given that title.
As if Anyone Needed the Confirmation, Sean Payton Finally Shot Down The Cowboys' Rumors With His Signature Sass
NOLA- The speculation about New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton eventually leaving to coach the Dallas Cowboys seem to be never-ending, but Payton had a funny line when discussing the topic Thursday evening on WWL radio.
“I’ve got fleur-de-lis tattoos that can’t be erased!" Payton said during the interview.
“I’m in my 13th year. I don’t know how to answer it,” he said. “I feel like it’s every other year; it’s on the odd number years, so 2019 it comes up and then we’ll hear it in 2021.”
With regards to staying in New Orleans, Payton said, “That’s clearly the plan.”
Despite being best described as NFL insiders crying wolf, the annual Sean Payton to the Cowboys rumors were never anything more than whispers. Whispers that could be rationalized by circumstance, with the Saints' head coach having a home in Dallas and a relationship with Jerry Jones that predates his tenure in New Orleans, but whispers nonetheless. For that reason, it became increasingly easy for the Who Dat Nation to tune them out as those riding America's bandwagon continue to hopelessly and shamelessly yearn for the day that their organization hires a head coach that can't be walked all over from an owners' suite.
Still, if only due to the lack of a defiant dismissal from the one man most likely to open up and offer one, there was a small seed of doubt left untended to in the back of the mind of Saints' fans.
Thankfully, Sean Payton finally put all his weight into the heel of his work boot and squashed that seed to smithereens. Speaking to the city of New Orleans and the Saints' organization being woven into the fabric of who he is as a person and a professional is the type of classic quotable that's always ingratiated him to fans and gotten under the skin of his haters (of which are there are many). Granted, it could have went without saying, for as much as he's been eternally influenced by the local culture, he's also pretty clearly put the stamp of his own petty personality on the team that serves as its heartbeat. Still, it was refreshing to learn of him boldly saying so in a way that only he would.
Now more so than even the unforgettable honeymoon period, the relationship between Sean Payton, New Orleans, and the Saints is a symbiotic one. Due to the nature of the business, plans change and it'll inevitably come to an end at some point. However, if that point wasn't when the franchise stuck by his side throughout a season-long suspension or during the demoralizing deja vu of 7-9 seasons then it sure as shit isn't anywhere in a near future of which he can prove his brilliance beyond Drew Brees with the young, talented roster he put together.
Luckily, you no longer have to take my word for it, as the ink has long dried on tattoos that, be they literal or figurative, speak for themselves.