Ravens' Corner Marlon Humphrey Was Arrested For Robbing His Uber Driver Of A Charger...That Didn't Fit His Phone
Go ahead, laugh at Marlon Humphrey. He undoubtedly deserves to be the butt of more than a few jokes. After all, he's a professional football player that got locked up for stealing a $15 phone charger - that was as useful to him as the power cord for a VCR - from a person who had his personal information saved in the app he used to hail him in the first place. As long as you weren't the star-crossed chauffeur who received a notification that some dude named Marlon was waiting four minutes up the road on the right hand side, thinking about this entire scenario playing out is pretty goddamn hilarious.
However, just know that while you clown him, you've likely walked a drunk mile in his stumbling, bumbling shoes before. Hopefully you haven't blown your chance at a female-dominated 4-some by threatening assault on an Uber driver in the process of stealing property that you could have inconspicuously plucked from literally any outlet in the frat house you just left, but you probably have "borrowed" someone else's phone charger at some point. Whether it be accidental or intentional, from friend or foe, as provisional or permanent, phone chargers just have a weird way of changing hands when alcohol is involved.
Now, usually those hands don't belong to two strangers that are desperately playing tug-of-war with them through an open car door, so I guess I'm far more sympathetic to his predicament than his impromptu and inebriated non-solution. Still, those fingers might get a little sticky if you're getting ready for a night on the town and the electronic life-blood in that bar is slowly trickling down. As sad as it may be, maintaining your spot on the grid is like the modern day survival of the fittest.
P.S. I'd certainly hope it was a misunderstanding. Jacking a charger you understand that you can't use is just mean spirited...
The Saints And Nick Fairley Are Still Hammering Out The Details Of What's Sure To Be A Complicated Contract Dispute
NOLA- Defensive tackle Nick Fairley signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Saints last March, but he didn't play after a team doctor discovered he had a heart condition. After Fairley made three visits to heart specialists, the Saints determined he could not play in 2017 and placed him on the non-football illness list.
But, because of how the contract situation played out, it's unclear what the Saints owe Fairley, and General Manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday that both the team and Fairley have filed grievances with the NFL's management council.
"There's grievances filed, so we have to go through the process," Loomis said.
Loomis would not say where the grievances stand, and spokesmen for the NFL and NFL Players Association didn't immediately respond to emails Wednesday seeking details. The grievances were not filed recently, Loomis said, but he didn't provide a date.
Fairley was due an $8 million signing bonus as part of his deal as well as $14 million guaranteed. It's unclear how much the Saints have already paid Fairley.
I'm not going to lie to you, this contract dispute sucks. It sucks for Nick Fairley, who would undoubtedly rather be healthy enough to live up to the big money deal he earned than trying to bleed it for whatever it's still worth. It sucks for the Saints, who are forced into looking out for their business interests by doing all they can to recoup as much money as possible from a signing that - as callous as it sounds - turned out to be an awful investment. It sucks for the fans who were looking forward to having a fairly (no pun intended) big-ticket free agent signing work out for once. I don't fault either negotiating party, but hopefully there are no hard feelings when it all shakes out, because they made for quite the marriage when football was the primary focus.
And in looking at this unfortunate situation with a football focus, it's tough not to come away even more impressed with what the New Orleans Saints were able to achieve this year. The wounds of backbreaking playoff ousting haven't completely healed, but the fact that they were even in a position for their championship aspirations to implode is a credit to just how well they were able to overcome an offseason that seemed to frighteningly foreshadow the all-too-familiar purgatory that is mediocrity.
Between Terron Armstead's shoulder surgery, Nick Fairley's heart condition, and the misdiagnosis that inevitably ended Delvin Breaux's season before it began? There wasn't even a hospital bed available for the injured optimism surrounding the organization. To succeed despite the loss of one of the best left tackles in football (even if temporary), your best interior pass rusher, your most proven cover corner, and your first two games? It's impossible to give this year's draft class the praise they truly deserve, because they saved a season that could have redefined the franchise's future. As seven Saints make the most of their Pro Bowl trip, the "next year..." narrative no longer rings hollow. Hopefully the prolonged health and well-being of a young core keeps it that way while Sean Payton and staff add the missing pieces to a roster that - despite an IR that was more crowded than the ER - was realistically good enough to win a Super Bowl.
Booooo! Hssssss! Get him off the stage! Someone hand me the heaviest orange on the tree so I can make Draymond Green feel the vengeful wrath of the low hanging fruit. I mean, a fat joke? Really? Someone that's widely considered one of the best shit stirrers in a league that encourages its players to talk that talk, and the best he's got for one of the more objective media members in the hyper critical world of sports is a shot at his weight? Anatomically accurate or not, calling Brian Windhorst "no neck" is just a lazy ass dig.
With how often they are on the other end of overly presumptuous critiques and hot takes, I have no problem with professional athletes firing back at reporters. But when you publicly embrace your reputation as having a clever way with words, you damn well better come with a higher form of humor than that which you'd expect to hear during 3rd grade recess. Contextually speaking, an anecdotal call-back to something he definitely said was just about the most harmless Draymond Green name-drop you'll ever hear. So while I know low blows are kinda his thing, wouldn't saving them for the endless amount of media personalities just waiting for him to slip up so they can hurl actual insults his way make a bit more sense? Brian Windhorst doesn't have to worry about protecting his neck, for obvious reasons, but that was nothing more than a subtweeted sucker punch below his protruding belt.
Police Had To Be Called On A Kansas Fan That Showed Up To The Basketball Team's Dorm To Offer Up Free Throw Advice
LJWorld- University of Kansas police were called to the men’s basketball dorm Wednesday afternoon, where a man reportedly kept showing up to give a resident there some “free-throw advice.”
The call about the man “wanting to give free-throw advice” came in about 3:30 p.m., but when police got to McCarthy Hall, the man — who’s not a KU student — had already left, KU police Deputy Chief James Anguiano said. For that reason, at least as of about an hour after the call, police didn’t plan to file a trespassing or other criminal report, Anguiano said. (Radio traffic indicated the man had been there multiple times that day before the police were called, and may have come back again just before 5 p.m.).
In the final 3:37 of the KU’s 85-80 loss to Oklahoma Tuesday night in Norman, Oklahoma decided to repeatedly foul Udoka Azubuike, sophomore center from Nigeria, in hopes he’d miss his free throws. And the strategy played out just like Oklahoma wanted.
Azubuike — shooting an abnormally low .375 from the free-throw line — went 1 for 8 in free-throw shooting for the game. In the final 3:37 he went 0 for 6.
I don't know, seems a little ungrateful if you ask me. I suppose I could see why someone might think it requires a criminal amount of fandom for a grown man to show up outside a college dorm multiple times throughout a Wednesday afternoon to scream about the intricacies of foul shooting, but can we at least appreciate the lengths this guy went to in hopes of improving his team? You can call it harassment, but I'm calling it the urgent offering of much needed advice. As far as I am concerned, that's a lot more proactive than what 99.9% of Jayhawks fans did by going home and cursing Udoka Azubuike's name until their tongue became twisted.
Now granted, I'd imagine Kansas has someone far more knowledgable in the expertise of free throw shooting on staff, but you can never be so sure when the 5th ranked team in the nation blows a tight in-conference game at the charity stripe. At the very least, you can't tell me the tips of someone who probably took a day off from a trade that is almost assuredly not basketball-related to yell outside the window of an amateur athlete could hurt the Kansas center's 37.5% rate of success. Delivering those tips from outside a player's residence hall in the type of loud and desperate fashion you'd expect from a jilted ex-lover is a good way to get the cops called on you, but is it more unjust than refusing to throw a proverbial life raft to a struggling kid as he's clearly drowning under the pressure of an opposing crowd while walking to a foul line that might as well be the end of a plank?
We've Got A Good Old Fashioned Golf Controversy, Highlighted By A Caddy Getting Pegged With A Head Cover
What caused it:
3) Gilmore, Not so happy.
Only in a sport that takes itself far too seriously could something like this happen, and by that I don't mean that other athletes don't react immaturely to bad news or mistreat the poor schlubs tasked with carrying their shit and catering to the fragile psyche of a frustrated competitor. On the contrary, I do mean that only on golf's professional circuit could the meaning of the word "fuck" be misinterpreted.
I want to say that this self-important tour official should be ashamed of himself for not using common sense to decode the obvious context of the word used most liberally by literally every person who has even causally hit the links. Unfortunately, I think he's just a product of his own repressed environment. This caddy had to get pegged in the face with a head cover on national television solely because golf's overly strict regulations don't allow for the un-bunching of panties or for expletives to be treated as answers. Meanwhile, out here in reality, a strongly annunciated obscenity is as decisive a response as "yes" or "no".
I mean, if Rhein Gibson been asked for a clarification it likely would have been something along the lines of "what the hell do you think?", and considering my newfound familiarity with his temperament, it damn well might have been accompanied by a green-side spanking. Even in the most proper of workplace, "fuck" should be as emphatic a conversation ender as you will possibly encounter, but the point is that a piece of private property that's been perfectly landscaped for the smacking around of a ball shouldn't be considered the most proper of workplace.
So, for fuck's sake, maybe it's time to loosen the reigns on the sport that thinks it's too formal for the type of language that an untimely slice most often elicits. If not in the interest of making it more relatable then in the interest of every glorified bell hop whose worst case scenario is becoming noticeable to the casual observer...
Marcus Johansson Is Dealing With Another Concussion After Taking An Elbow From Brad Marchand, And It Looks Like The NHL Didn't Entirely Screw The Pooch
If you told me you couldn't definitively say whether or not the guy who clearly treats the label of "repeat offender" as a badge of honor truly meant to elbow Marcus Johansson upside the head then I wouldn't call you a dangerously biased Masshole who is one Tom Brady retirement speech away from having not one single reason to live. I might think it...out loud...to myself...and others, but - due entirely to the fact that the mere thought of conversing in R-less broken English makes me want to screw-drive myself deaf - I wouldn't say it to your face.
After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even if that opinion is that in breaking a fall that had yet to occur, a 5'9 player who could have officially been branded as a scumbag five suspensions ago accidentally had his right elbow make full-force contact with the helmet of an unsuspecting 6'2 opponent.
Hey, you know what, just for kicks (Marchand is familiar with those), let's see if there's any validity to that line of thinking by way of the NHL's most tried and true process of video review...snap judgements based off the over-analyzation of millisecond by millisecond freeze-frames!
As you can see here, we have one of the most shifty, skilled, and well-balanced skaters in the entire world quickly approaching the crease with both his feet under him...
Oh, and wouldn't you know it, there he is again! This time slightly closer to the crease with both feet still under him. I suppose it's a bit odd that his skates appear to be leaving the ice unprovoked, but - wait - why is his arm doing that?! Hm, strange...
Now this one, I'm not sure what to make of. I know what goes up must come down, but that looks like a pretty controlled leap, and I was made to believe that Brad Marchand was aimlessly flailing around while uncontrollably plummeting downward. Weird, it almost looks like it was a conscious decision to raise his arm above shoulder level and into the awaiting cranium of Marcus Johansson...
And now, only after the brain damage had been administered, do we witness any sort of catalyst for what some might call "a fall", and others might consider "a half decent cover from someone whose learned how to best get away with being a shithead after spending nearly a decade doing so"...
So NHL, you tell me. If the half dozen goals the Devils' have had waved off over a quarter of an inch this year are any indication, you guys are the experts on this sort of thing. Was Brad Marchand just preemptively protecting himself against a tumble that he, himself, initiated by delivering an unsuspecting player his second concussion of the season? Or, is it all possible that he's actually just as much of a malicious prick as he has proved over...and over...and over...and over again throughout his career? Hmm, tough call!
UPDATE: Or is it?
While common sense tells me that this is a gross, overly dramatic exaggeration of how much it sucks to coach the Cleveland Browns, I can't help but get a giggle out of a grown man being stressed into senselessness. Like, as utterly untrue as it is, the thought of him waking up after his thirteen defeat of another lost season and - just like that - he's amidst a dreary, black-and-white world where quality quarterback play would only be as awe-inspiring as the color red? In a complete haze as he tries to navigate the NFL-equivalent of Unpleasantville without the benefit of the smallest of daily satisfactions like colors, tastes and smells? I think it would make for more of a hilarious sketch than an actual movie, but there's some entertainment value in Mike Pettine's ungratefully dismal portrayal of the only organization that was dumb enough to give him a head coaching gig.
Assuming, of course, that you can look past the fact that becoming a sensation-less human being out of absolutely nowhere is likely a symptom of clinical depression. On second thought, considering he hasn't worked an exasperating NFL job since, maybe we should get this guy a prescription before we work him into a script.
Due To Some Circumstances Outside Their Control, The Devils Had One Of Their Best Efforts Of The Season Spoiled In Boston
I refuse to take the lazy way out here. Therefore, I'm not going to say a double minor so patently bogus that it got someone of the most shameless profession to apologize in person was the reason that Devils lost a hard fought game against a team that's needed no favors as of late...
The truth of the matter is that the Bruins scored on the first half of what became a 5-on-3 after Marcus Johansson's tripping penalty, so the extra two didn't do any excess damage on the scoreboard. One could certainly argue that a team who looked wholeheartedly reenergized from the first drop of the puck didn't benefit from sitting around for 45 momentum-killing minutes while the scorekeepers in Boston summoned their inner-Andy Reid and made the stoners working your 11:30PM men's league game look like expert time technicians. But, aside from being blind to the elbow (that even I admittedly missed in real time) of a certain scumbag, the officiating didn't lose the Devils the game...
As has been the case for what seems like the last two months, crappy officiating certainly didn't help matters, but - other than having half their line-up plucked from the ice for in-game visits to the trainer's table - I'm having a tough time pointing out one thing that cost the Devils a game that they did more than enough to win. I suppose Ben Lovejoy's dimwitted pinch that ultimately led to the game-winning goal and was only successful in waking me up from the lengthy dream sequence we've been living out with him filling in as an adequate defensive fixture bears mentioning, but - as far as inexcusable gaffs go - that was pretty much it against a team that's been forcing them with consistency. Kyle Palmieri looked as though his skates had hit happy hour a little too hard, but whoever aided in injecting liquid courage directly into the blood stream of Pavel Zacha more than made up for that. Mix in a pair of increasingly rare 5-on-5 goals and what was perhaps the most well-rounded, composed, and - dare I say - dominant performance of Damon Severson's entire career, and it feels like there was way too much good going on for the outcome to be bad.
In fact, maybe the lack of having someone to truly blame is what made last night's loss so goddamn infuriating, because whatever was talked about in that closed-door, players-only meeting quite obviously hit home. For as close to 60 minutes as you could possibly ask out of a team hampered by injuries, they took it to not only one of the best teams in the conference, but one that has given them fits for years. Due - in part - to the same type of lucky, bullshit bounce that somehow evaded Devils' sticks all night, the Bruins stole two points that they probably didn't deserve. So while the result was insanely aggravating in the moment, the process was pretty close to perfect, and that should theoretically bode well for them if Taylor Hall and Cory Schneider can quickly return to a team that played like their asses were on fire on the second night of a back-to-back.
Prior To The Spurs' First Possession, Gregg Popovich Called A Timeout 14 Seconds Into Last Night's Game
There you have it. Undeniable proof that even the most shortsighted of tactic can be considered an act of genius when employed by the one and only Gregg Popovich. I suppose that reads as a sarcastic critique of a legendary head coach who burnt a timeout before the squeaking of one sneaker, but the truth is that I'm in complete awe of the mastermind behind the timeless success of the San Antonio Spurs. Imagine reaching a point in your career in which everything you do is universally praised, even if it's done on a complete whim and purely out of frustration? If it were literally anyone else then tipping off a game with a 1:1 mistake-to-timeout ratio would serve as an indictment of their team's preparedness. If it were literally anyone else then that impractical allocation of intermissions would be mocked all throughout NBA Twitter.
Instead, all I see is a proverbial inflating of the balls it takes to pull your team aside and ask them what in the fuck they are doing when the extent of what they had done was fail to close out on a shooter. Personally, I would consider that decision to be rash if not for the person making it having long transcended the peasant-like philosophies of sport.
And let's be honest, that timeout might as well have been a Jadakiss-esque laugh in the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. While managing a roster that - for the first time in ages - is almost unrecognizable to the casual basketball fan, Gregg Popovich prematurely decided that he needed one less opportunity to draw up a play before even running a play. Against a team that features LeBron James, he chose to devote an in-game adjustment period to berating his starting lineup before they even got started. I know the coach in question isn't particularly worried about the outcome of mid-January regular season matchups, but still. Going up against the best player in the world on a night in which he had incentive (30,000 points) to return his team to Eastern Conference Championship form, Gregg Popovich basically said "meh, we won't need this break in the action later". That might not be directly disrespectful, but indirectly it was the equivalent of chugging from a limited supply of water while knowing that - worst case scenario - the dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Cavaliers could be extinguished with nothing more than the resulting piss and vinegar.
A Member Of Michigan State's Board Of Trustees Just Did The University President No Favors In His Defense Of Her Handling Of The Larry Nassar Scandal
CNN- "The NCAA has sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State," the NCAA said in a statement. It did not provide additional details.
Jason Cody, a spokesman for Michigan State, said the university is reviewing the letter for a response.
University President Lou Anna Simon has come under fire for what critics say is mishandling of the scandal.
Several victims said they reported Nassar's behavior to the university years ago, but that they were either silenced or officials did nothing to end the abuse.
Larissa Boyce, a former youth club gymnast at MSU, is one of Nassar's first known accusers. Boyce said she alerted coach Kathie Klages about Nassar's abuse in 1997 but was told she probably didn't understand medical technique.
Full disclosure, I don't exactly know what role a 'Vice Chairman' plays within a university. What I do know is that his counterproductive, braindead defense that highlighted the out-of-whack priorities that were responsible for letting a predator do his hunting on campus is probably going to force Michigan State's president to resign. Therefore, I think it might be time to also review Joel Ferguson's status as a "trustee", because - as ignorantly intentioned as he may be - that accidental indictment waiting to happen is not a guy I would trust to look both ways before crossing the street, never mind covering my tracks.
I believe the saying goes "it's better to shut the fuck up and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all reasonable doubt". Well, whatever doubt still remained that Michigan State wasn't treating this Larry Nassar investigation seriously enough got erased with one diabolical deflection that might as well have read "yeah, the misconduct is unfortunate, but....HOW ABOUT IZZO AND THE BOYS!". I'm no expert on the #MeToo movement, but - as I understand it - it's not boosted by profitable relationships with boosters. I haven't exactly spoken to the victims, but I don't think their testimonies were given in hopes of improving their alma mater's training facilities. It might just be a hunch, but cartwheeling right past the sexual assaults of multiple student gymnasts like it was a tidying-up topic at a PTO meeting just to talk some sports might not be the greatest of looks for the person whose only path to keeping her job is drastically reorganizing her responsibilities.
Sean Payton Is Quite Fond Of One Particular Quarterback In This Draft, And You'll Nevvver Guess Who It Is
Wait, Mayfield? Like...that Baker kid? The one who proved to a hyper-competitive winner that plays with a chip firmly implanted on his shoulder and isn't afraid to make any throw on the field? But isn't he something slightly less than prototypical in stature?
Yeaaaaah, sorry. I'm going to have to call bullshit on this report. Not so sure he fits the bill for a Sean Payton-led offense. While both impressive and extensive, his toolbox looks to lack the biggest indicator of professional success. Simply can't make that huge leap to the NFL without those all-too-important measurables, so - since there's not a one person within the organization that should have them thinking otherwise - you can scrap that name off the Saints draft board!
In all seriousness, I think I would like to see the most recent Heisman Trophy winner become the successor under center in New Orleans. I say "think" because the state of quarterback play in the NFL is proof positive that even those that stake their reputation on scouting signal callers don't actually know how they'll turn out, and I say "like" because I certainly wouldn't love to give up what it would take for them to move up and select him. However, in some hypothetical world where the Saints wouldn't have to purge a bunch of high-end assets for what would likely be a short-term back-up, I would be ecstatic to bring in a faster, rawer, more rough-around-the-edges version of Drew Brees to develop under him.
I just say that knowing full-well that if it were to happen a spot on the staff would have be cleared out for a full-time baby sitter, because what would soon become the most cocksure Coach/QB combo in the history of football could not - in a million years - be trusted to internalize their emotions. I don't even care about the age difference, because - in the same exact fashion that brothers tend to encourage each other's problematic behavior - I view Sean Payton and Baker Mayfield as two peas that would need their own podcast with how much trash talk they would incite amongst themselves. Leave them to their own volition and not a week would go by without controversy. From choking gestures to crotch grabs, this is like a "chip off the old block" situation if the old block engaged in the type of immature behavior you'd expect from a young buck. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and about a half dozen sideline taunts have some people thinking this particular apple is forbidden fruit.
Personally, I don't buy the lazy Johnny Football comparison so I think Sean Payton and Baker Mayfield would do a lot of winning together. That said, I know that would be the case if the amount of panties bunched along the way were a statistic that lent itself to success.
Mavericks Reserve Salah Mejri Got Served An Insulting Dose Of Reality By Rick Carlisle Following His Ejection
As objectively hilarious as the above interaction is, I got to say that I kind of feel bad for Salah Mejri. There aren't many places in which a surly 7'2 backup from the relatively unknown African republic of Tunisia who averages nearly as many personal fouls as points in his 10-11 minutes per game feels welcome, but his own damn bench should definitely be one of them. I do understand Rick Carlisle's frustrations with a guy who wasted his nine minutes of garbage time whining his way into a needless ejection in a blowout victory. However, I can't help but feel like he went a little too hard on him by reminding him of his statistical importance - or lack thereof - before sending him for a shower that was more customary than necessary. I mean, for Christ's sake, even a member of the team that was getting their ass kick waved him a more earnest goodbye!
Like, imagine if an episode of Cheers began with a regular happily bursting through the doors of his favorite neighborhood watering hole in Boston...only to catch a wayward beer bottle right upside the head. That's how I look at Salah Mejri receiving an antihero's welcome to what is normally the comporting confines of his second home. If my need to double check the spelling is any indication, the bench might literally be the only place where everrrybody knows his name, and his head coach literally played the role of irritable bouncer upon his arrival. Not exactly the type of nightcap that any of us are looking for, if you ask me.
Even if it was only the result of him needing a big body to contently keep that extra seat warm, apology well deserved...
Kevin Durant Brushed Off The Idea That The Rockets Are Better Than The Warriors Because Clint Capela Makes A Lousy Source
I really, realllllly want to say it's absolutely precious that the player who only started talking a little bit of smack after he made his job exponentially easier is criticizing a less talented opponent for chirping from an impervious place of comfortability. Unfortunately, Kevin Durant - aside from his undeniable ability to constantly come across as a snarky hypocrite - makes an excellent point here.
I would never say Clint Capela's job responsibilities are "easy" seeing as I'm about 12 inches of height, 60 pounds of pure muscle, and a pair of spring-loaded sneakers away from being able to understand what it's like to make a living above the rim. However, in terms of doing the Houston Rockets heavy lifting come playoff time, he's basically the drunk chick starting pushing matches that her boyfriend will inevitably have to punch their way out of. The absolute worst case scenario for him is that he's made to look like a loser by association if James Harden and Chris Paul get knocked out after going blow-for-blow with the best basketball team in the world.
That's not even meant to discredit his importance to a roster that, due to his presence, would maintain an advantage in and around the paint. It is, however, an acknowledgment that it's exponentially easier to talk that shit when the media that you're doing it through doesn't give a damn whether or not you personally do your part in backing it up.
KD might have an "easy" job relative to what it would within a less talented organization, but failing to get it done would only open him up to that much more scrutiny. The same can't be said for the athletic center who doesn't touch the ball anywhere near enough to truly feel the pressure of his pompous postseason prognostication. To put it simply, in a hypothetical series that would ultimately be determined by a backcourt full of insanely underwhelming playoff resumes, no one is particularly concerned about the confidence of an offensively limited member of the front court.
Auston Matthews Had A Goal Disallowed On A Ridiculous Goaltender Interference Call, So He Decided To Do The Officiating Himself The Next Time Around
They say if you want a job done well then you should do it your goddamned self. Unfortunately, in my interpretation of an NHL rulebook that has yet to define goaltender interference with any consistency, it seems as though it's highly frowned upon to pummel a referee, steal his stripes, confiscate his whistle, and drop the puck at center ice so as to restart the action in any sort of manner that could be considered timely.
Therefore, a triumphant point to the back of a cage following an almost immediate compensatory scoring effort will have to serve as Auston Matthews' "fine, let me just fucking do it for you" moment. Turns out, all you have to do to achieve vindication over a suspect video review process that - despite the league's insistence otherwise - appears aimed at finding new and creative ways to keep games low scoring is to be a second year superstar who is capable imposing your will on the scoreboard at any given moment.
It's not exactly as easy as hopping on the lawnmower to cut the corners that were skipped by your son, but - ironically enough - both are usually made necessary by the anal-retentive misreading of a space so small that is could be measured by a blade of grass! The NHL's replay system might not make any sense whatsoever, but they should at least get credit for employing young, transcendent talent that is capable of overcoming it in a way that makes polishing off the last of the dishes seem time consuming by comparison.
The Cavaliers Held A Team Meeting To Discuss Whether Or Not Kevin Love Was Sick Enough To Sit Out This Past Weekend
There's only one thing I took away from the most predictable scapegoating in the history of sports, and that's that Kevin Love's post-retirement tell-all book is going to be a must-read. I don't know how an All-Star caliber athlete becomes a 'Hall Of Fame' caliber doormat, but I do know that I can't wait to find out when he's no longer stuck under the passive aggressive thumb of the most heavy handed narcissist in the NBA. Prior to publishing the most self-aggrandizing post that a medium as egocentric as Instagram has ever seen (below), LeBron James led a team-wide intervention to call into question a veteran teammate's level of internal discomfort. You can't possibly tell me that reading that sequence of events from the viewpoint of the oft-sctunized secondary scorer who was basically told he was only shivering from fear of being found out as fraudulently afflicted wouldn't provide a level of insight that's fit for the New York Times Best Seller list.
Truth be told, while I find it very hard to believe that a professional athlete said "fuck this" by way of faking a few coughs and quickly asking out of a game in the same way a child pleads with his parents for them to pick him up from school after finding out about the 2nd period test he forgot about, I don't know if Kevin Love quit on his team. I do, however, know that I wouldn't even dare to blame him if he did finally fall victim to nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy that's been three years in the making. Christ, how many times do you expect a proud, talented player to be inaccurately referred to - either directly or indirectly - as an organizational infection before deciding he's come down with one at an inopportune time? Kevin Love's rebuttal on behalf of his alleged non-disease was probably the most impassioned defensive effort put forth by any member of the Cavaliers this year. Yet, standing in an intimidation circle and (metaphorically) sticking a thermometer up the ass of a professional athlete to determine whether or not his immune system was trying its hardest on a day in which the rest of the active roster gave ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHT points was priority numero uno in the locker room?
Honestly, the Cavaliers - and most notably, their self-proclaimed King - are lucky that Kevin Love is either easy-going or a complete pushover. If the guy whose defensive effort against Steph Curry ultimately sealed LeBron's legendary status in Cleveland didn't take disfunction in stride then he would have already aired so much dirty laundry that the organization that continually stains his reputation would be in need of a thorough bleaching.
Here's the thing about players-only meetings. While on the surface they look to promote a cohesive locker room and a strong veteran presence, they generally don't pop up out of nowhere on the "schedule" when those qualities are coming to fruition where and when it matters most. In fact, more often than not, they tend to serve as thee most desperate of attempts to get one last grip on saving a season that's slipping away.
That's what made the news of this particular closed-door conference so encouraging. As bad as things have looked of late - most notably the two games against a red hot Flyers team - the Devils weren't in need of damage control following a complete implosion. Even in getting blanked by a back-up goalie for a mediocre Red Wings team, they didn't come up short in creating offense without the presence of their most dynamic forward, they just failed in finishing it off. I'm not saying the team decided to have stern talk amongst themselves following a fantastic effort. They most certainly deserved the 'L' they took home with the lack of urgency they showed in the early going, but deciding amongst themselves just how unacceptable it is to lose a winnable game to an inferior opponent when they are still second in their division with at least a game in hand on every single team in it? That's the type of accountability you want to see from an overachieving team whose biggest motivator should continue to be initial outside expectations.
It's already a long season, and - when you are getting significant contributions from kids playing in their longest season - it's going to seem even longer at times. 2-5-3 in their last 10 certainly seems dreary, but it's all about weathering what was an inevitable storm. That won't be easy while playing the ass end of a back-to-back in their own personal house of horrors against a team that's been clowning every one of their recent opponents, but - if not the results - their effort tonight should speak to effectiveness of their leadership. It never optimal to reach a point where it seems as though the coach's words are no longer enough, but there's no better time to give themselves a kick in the ass than when a vast majority of the division is still staring up at it. This Devils team didn't get where they are by accident, but complacency isn't going to keep them there for very long. I'm glad they realize that in the room, and it shouldn't be long before we find out how that realization materializes itself once they reach the ice.
The bad news is that the Metropolitan Division is too damn good to be effected by way of an inspiring, unifying, and empowering scene that you'd expect to see in a Mighty Ducks movie when they are facing seemingly insurmountable odds. The good news is that - considering both the injuries and deficits they've overcome to this point - nothing seems insurmountable about retaining the oddest of leads in the Metropolitan Division.
I guess if there's anything not completely and utterly dejecting about the absence of far and away their best and most consistent player, it's that this Taylor Hall-less territory is not one that has gone unchartered by the New Jersey Devils.
In fact, the last time he was forced out of the lineup the Devils managed to collect three out of four points in back-to-back games that ultimately kick started their longest winning streak of the season and put a dismal effort against a division rival far in the rearview. Not sure that saying about history repeating itself was coined in reference to small, random pockets of games that are separately by just a month throughout an 82 game schedule, but on the off-chance it was? The Devils already got the ugly part out of the way by completing approximately 3.4% of their attempted passes against the Flyers team that put them away before I even had a chance to finish my lunch. Now all that's left to do is completely shift their focus, play an entirely opposite brand of hockey without their most talented player and most selfless penalty killer, collect a couple of points that aren't expected out of them, and welcome back a rejuvenated superstar back to a confident and upbeat locker room. Please note the intended rhetoricalness of the following question...what could possibly go wrong?!?!
In all seriousness, as I have recently taken to the idea that the Devils are absolutely a playoff team, I have no choice but to believe in the active players in a locker room that has always responded positively when things have looked their bleakest this season. Due to circumstances that are eerily similar to this one, I've stopped doubting this team. Glimmer of hope or ray of sunshine, I trust the Devils to once again shine through adversity.
Props To This Vikings Fan Who Was Definitely Not To Blame For Destroying The Table His Girlfriend's Family Inherited From Her Grandmother
Credit where credit's due. Garrett's attachment to reality might be something severely less than loose on Sundays, but it takes a true dedication to fandom to continue deflecting blame to your team after your own irrational behavior.
Me personally? I get hit with that wave of regret the second I'm picking up the Energizer's after a unpredictable remote and a lively couch cushion make for an unfortunate bounce. That's why I thought that we might get a very different (and potentially apologetic) G-man after the initial self-assurance that the play of a group of extremely talented strangers were at obviously at fault for the shattering of the table his girlfriend's family inherited from her grandmother.
Turns out, I severely underestimated our boy here. He persevered right through that SKOL'ding and came out the other side unscathed. As long as you don't count the dozens of microscopic cuts that he undoubtedly collected in his palm while scooping up shards, the rationale that abject playoff failure calls for the destruction of the property of your significant other's parents pushed him right on through that shameful period of self loathing.
As it turns out, the 'Minneapolis Miracle' was appropriately named, since the Vikings apparently had no earthly business playing for the right to represent the NFC. Good thing no one mentioned that to this kid as he continued fuming well into the late stages of a game that had already been all-but-over for what felt like 10 hours at that point. Pretty sure Garrett was more likely to keep a closed fist than an open mind when accepting the current state of his team.
Myles Jack Probably Got Robbed Of A Game-Changing Touchdown Due To An Issue That Existed Well Before Yesterday
As is normally the case when the team that nearly everyone wants to lose goes ahead and wins in come-from-behind fashion, I see a lot of scapegoating being done on behalf of the Jaguars.
And hey, why not? The Patriots first touchdown drive was aided heavily by Brandin Cooks innate ability to look like a helpless little boy every single time he's battling against someone better than him...
New England was also deemed guilty of no more than one penalty on an afternoon in which two or three untimely flags may have thwarted their seemingly inevitable come back victory. As if that weren't enough reason to blindly question officiating that (mostly accurately) felt lop-sided then the fact that the refs appeared ready to shed their tops and pop bottles with Brady certainly didn't do much to silence suspicion...
If there's one thing that Patriots' haters (myself included) shouldn't be doing, however, it's acting as if a premature whistle was part of some sort of conspiracy. I don't care how many points it was worth (to be clear, it was worth seven), because erring on the side of a play stoppage isn't some new phenomenon. Myles Jack and the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't fall victim to bad officiating in the moment, they fell victim to stupid officiating protocol, but that's been plaguing the NFL for years. They aren't the first casualty of the overeager enforcement of 'down by contact', and - unless that rule costs Roger Goodell any sort of capital in the near future - they won't be the last.
It will never not make sense that potential changes of possession are instinctually blown dead when the result could have a lasting impact on the outcome of the biggest of games. That's not to say that I definitively knew what took place as I viewed what looked to be a destiny-defining sequence unravel in real time. Not even 20:20 vision through red and blue (or teal and black) tinted glasses could definitively tell you when Dion Lewis lost control of the ball on first viewing, but that's not even the point. The point is that the entire goddamn play should have been left to unfold prior to what was very likely to be a guaranteed second, and much slower viewing of what should have been a scoring play.
There's no bigger momentum swing than a turnover for a touchdown, yet - in a league that prides itself on point scoring and unpredictability - it's also the circumstance that is most often unjustly interfered with. It will get more attention now because it benefited the Patriots, but early whistles have long been a problem. They are basically built into the fabric of football as we know it, so they shouldn't be used to deter from the fact that Jacksonville remembered that they were Jacksonville when it mattered most. That said, this particularly one should be used as an example to show how detrimental they have been to the integrity of the sport well before Tom Brady's bandaged boo-boo was being covered like it resulted in a bloody sock or something.
I can't say I saw it coming, but while watching the NFC Championship - a game that the Saints were ten seconds of torment away from participating in as the favorite - I couldn't help but feel better about being on the wrong side of one of the most excruciating of losses in NFL history. Make no mistake, while Drew Brees and Co. almost assuredly would have put forth a more admirable performance than that of the group whose emotional let down was just as sizable as their margin of defeat, they wouldn't have beaten that Eagles team in Philadelphia.
I think what prolonged the initial sting of snatching the the biggest of L's straight from the jaws of victory was the idea that it inevitably cost the Saints their second Super Bowl appearance. Fortunately for those trying desperately to ease the pain, even the most biased of Who Dat would have to admit that - judging by yesterday - the Eagles were all 'Dat' and more. To think otherwise would require you to believe that the same team that fell into a 17-0 hole in Minnesota would have been completely and utterly flawless in an outdoor stadium that was even more hostile. Perfection would have been required to top perhaps the only team in the league whose swag compares admirably to that of their own, and - despite the incredible and unforeseen strides they made as young team - the New Orleans Saints are certainly not perfect.
Now, Marcus Williams and the gang would have appreciated the opportunity to prove me wrong nonetheless, but I can't - in good conscience - tell you that they were an in-bounds arm tackle away from conference supremacy. Not after Nick Foles torched a Vikings secondary that gave Drew Brees an entire half worth of fits, and the Eagles defense easily dismissed of the curious Case that was the career resurrection of Keenum. Underdogs or not, the Eagles' bite was even bigger than their barks for respect. That may have been aided by an opponent whose excitement level had nowhere to go but down, but it doesn't take away from a SKOL'ding so dominant that it made everyone outside of Philadelphia question how a team that cohesive and - dare I say it - likable plays in Philadelphia.
Hats off to the Eagles. They saved this Saints fan from an entire offseason rehashing what could have been. With the amount of season ending injuries they were dealt at positions that would be made most vulnerable by a team that was surgical in dismantling their opponent, it's safe to assume that it would have been a season that lasted just one week longer.