Now let me start by saying that regardless of how the headline may read, I am not all that upset. If I were upset I would say something along these lines: "Cory Schneider not receiving credit for being one of the top 3 goaltenders in the NHL this year is a league wide embarrassment of epic proportions, and it probably is worthy of a third party investigation that would undoubtedly return evidence of collusion". Like I said, however, I am not that mad and the reason being is two fold.
First things first, it doesn't really matter. Braden Holtby is as pure of a lock to win the trophy as any goalie I can even remember in recent history. He played for far and away the best team throughout the regular season and his performance was consistently brilliant. Hard to get too riled up about one of your players not receiving a nomination for an award they have next to no chance to win.
Second of all, it's just not that surprisingly. For some reason people still think that putting up eye popping numbers as the last line of defense for the New Jersey Devils isn't all that much of an accomplishment. It's really quite fascinating when you think about. Scott Stevens retired over a decade ago. Scott Niedermayer left shortly thereafter. Yet, the fact that - at one point - Cory Schneider was 23-1 when his team scored more than ONE single goal goes without notice. His 2.15 GAA while playing behind one of the youngest, most inexperienced defense corps in the entirely league merely a product of some long forgotten system. A save percentage that only becomes more impressive by taking a quick look at how many quality shots he faced on a game-by-game basis? Somehow lost in the shuffle.
I don't think it's too hard to see what happened here. The team's failure to make the postseason is likely what cost him the (very) off chance at an INDIVIDUAL award. Pretty ridiculous considering how much he did to make sure this team could even mention the word 'playoffs' without the rest of the league laughing in it's face. All this decision tells me is that NHL GM's don't pay enough attention to games that aren't theirs. I can't say I blame them. If I was a rich man I wouldn't spent my free time tuning into GameCenter. That said, maybe we should put the nomination privileges in the hands of others, because saying that Ben Bishop OR Jonathon Quick had a better season between the pipes than Cory Schneider is flat out irresponsible.
P.S. Don't you dare Dubuttsky. I have put far too much into hating you to let you try to weasel your way into my good graces by tugging on my most vulnerable of heart strings...
I already talked about how silly it is treat an NFL prospects lack of culinary skills as if they are detrimental to his FOOTBALL career, but before we go any farther with this let's just have another look at the scouting report...
Now obviously the whole allegation that he doesn't have the life skills to play professional is a pretty slanderous claim, but did anyone else notice anything about those series of tweets that are sent out by Eli's teammates, family, and friends? Like - oh, i don't know - the fact that none of them addressed the actual football criticisms in this scouting report. What a world we live in. Not only are analysts judging whether or not college football players would make good housewives, but the player's inner circles are ignoring the most insulting critiques to defend their boy's ability to whip up some quality mac 'n' cheese.
I just imagine Ezekiel Elliot reading that report like "Inconsistent? Check. Squats on routes? Check. Let's receivers run by him too often? Check. Slow reaction time? Check. Can't cook? WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, HAVE THEY EVER HAD HIS FRIED CHICKEN!!!". Just laugh out loud funny that there are two sides having a legitimate conversation about food preparation when the draft is around the corner. Oh well, if defending yourself this staunchly against an outrageous claim is the only thing that can validate it then maybe Eli Apple's inability to make time appropriate meals after 10AM is the worst thing about him. I would argue that only being able to cook breakfast food is a blessing in disguise, but hey, that's why they don't pay me to dissect NFL prospects and their "off-the-field issues".
NFL Draft Hopeful Laremy Tunsil Is Being Sued By His Step-Father Who Clearly Doesn't Understand Lawsuits
LBS- The Clarion-Ledger reports that Tunsil is being sued by stepfather Lindsey Miller over an alleged attack last year. Both men filed domestic violence charges against each other last year for an incident. Tunsil alleged that Miller attacked his mother, leading him to attack Miller in response. Miller alleged Tunsil attacked him unprovoked. Both charges were dropped the day of Tunsil’s arraignment in August.
Now Miller is suing Tunsil as the former Ole Miss lineman is set to become a top-five pick in the draft.
Miller claims the fight was to warn Tunsil about agents. He is seeking damages, attorneys fees, and costs associated with suffering from the injuries and defamation.
Miller claims in his suit that Tunsil struck him multiple times and four people had to pull him off.
The defamation part is based on Miller’s claim that the version of the story Tunsil shared with Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, who then repeated that story to the media, made Miller look like a wife beater.
Tunsil was suspended seven games to start the season for receiving impermissible benefits. He also was thrown under the bus by former college teammate Robert Nkemdiche.
I don't know if Lindsey Miller is familiar with rookie pay scales, but that might have been something to look into before trying to prosecute someone who is set to become an NFL rookie literally one single day later. Not saying the pursuit of justice isn't a virtuous one, but a little more patience could have potentially made it a much more profitable one. I can't say I know all that much about lawsuits, but I do know they are better used on people with money. For instance, all things being equal you're probably better off suing a top 5 pick in the NFL draft than you are suing a late first round pick that had his reputation damaged by a clueless stepfather who associated his name with domestic violence 24 hours prior to the draft.
See what I am getting at here, Lindsey? You basically took money out of your own pocket. It's like waiting outside a 'Cash Only' restaurant to rob someone. Yeah, you know your potential target has money to be had, but you also know that that amount will be significantly less because of your timing. If I were Laremy Tunsil's step-father I would have spent today and yesterday out on the streets singing his praises. Sending anonymous letters to NFL front offices about all the selfless things he had done for me. Just walking around the entire city of Chicago passing out copies of a full length thesis on behalf of his step-son's ethics and integrity. Anything to get him drafted as early as possible.
Hell, if he was really thinking he would have started a random 'GoFundMe' in his stepson's name for no other reason than to increase his net worth. Save the slander and the prosecution until after he throws on that hat and shakes the commissioner's hand. You don't starve a cow before you slaughter it, you stuff it with as many greens as possible. You gotta keep your blue chip prospects grass-fed if you want to take them for all they are truly worth.
Chris Paul And Blake Griffin's Injuries Occured 2 Years To The Day The Donald Sterling Tapes Were Leaked
April 25th: A day that will live in Clippers infamy.
Listen, I am not a big ghost guy, but has anyone checked Donald Sterling's pulse recently. This is just too much of a coincidence for me to wrap my head around. How many times has a prejudice owner of a professional sports franchise that's worth billions of dollars been strong-armed out of his position due to the leaking of a secretly taped recording? How many times have two star NBA players from the same team suffered season ending injuries in the same playoff game? Those answers are (literally) one and the same, and they both just happened to occur on the same exact day out of all 365 days? I don't buy it. Isn't the practice of Voodoo more of an African phenomenon? How much did that racist bigot have to pay to get someone to teach it to him? That old half dead corpse is sitting around on his plantation somewhere poking Chris Paul and Blake Griffin dolls with pins and needles. I couldn't be more sure of it. The Clippers finally had the smallest glimmer of hope to make the NBA Finals with Steph Curry going down. They had a chance to put all of Donald Sterling's losing in the past and finally become winners, and their roster immediately gets swarmed by injury bugs? That's straight out of a really terrible sports movie. No franchise's luck can possibly be that bad. This would be like the time Steve Bartman ruined the Cubs hopes and dreams if that took place on the same date as the start of the great Chicago fire. Just two treacherous, once and a lifetime events coinciding to share the same date? I never thought I believed in the supernatural, but I'll be damned if I don't believe in the ghosts of racists yet-to-pass. Especially when something that would warm their discriminatory heart so much happens mere hours before their BIRTHDAY!
BSO- Third-year sophomore from Voorhees, N.J. “He got beat probably more than you want but he’s got tremendous upside,” said one scout. “He is too young (20) to be coming out but he is so you’ve got to project what he’s going to be. I think he’s going to be a pretty high-level starter.” Started 27 games, finishing with 86 tackles (7 ½ for loss), 4 picks and 18 PBUs. “Some there (OSU) were worried he wouldn’t break 4.6 and then popped the (4.39),” said another scout. “They were surprised he ran that well. I worry about him because of off-the-field issues. The kid has no life skills. At all. Can’t cook. Just a baby. He’s not first round for me. He scares me to death.” Wonderlic was 21. “He probably has as much talent as anybody but he, like a lot of those Ohio State guys, is inconsistent,” said a third scout. “He squats, and receivers run by him. He’s more in catch-up mode than reaction mode. He bothers me a little bit.”
Uhh, I thought we cleared this up last time Eli Apple was forced to sit down and answer ridiculous questions from scouts? How many different ways are you going to ask the kid if he's gay? Is this some sort of witch hunt? He doesn't like men in that way and he can't cook. I thought we weren't supposed to care about our athlete's sexual orientation as much in 2016. Can't we just let Eli Apple live, whether or not it be in or out of a closet?
In all seriousness though, I think I owe Richard Sherman an apology. I tried to stand up for NFL Draft analysts and they immediately let me down. I was just trying to get a closer look at the pros and cons of each prospect and I get blindsided by a wayward critique of a cornerback's cooking ability? A dissertation on his lack of LIFE SKILLS? What is going on?!? Have these lunatics officially gone off the reservation trying to dissect 40 times down the millisecond?
You know how many 20 year olds have life skills? None. Zero. The only life skill I had at 20 was the innate ability to avoid succumbing to alcohol poisoning. Why would you need life skills when those 4 years are devoted to something that doesn't even remotely resemble real life? Cooking? COOKING?!? Does putting leftover fried rice in the microwave count? If not then I can probably remember every single meal I cooked in college down to the side dish. If not being able to bang to a tiramisu at a moment's notice is an "off-the-field issue" then literally every single eligible player has off-the-field issues. Shit, that would mean I still have off-the-field issues. Did this scout even go to school? Why would Eli Apple teach himself how to season and sear when Universities force you to get a meal plan anyway? God forbid he didn't have time to sneak a self taught course on how to baste a turkey in between his academics and athletics. If only he had known that his inability to iron his clothes and budget his expenses were going to have such a negative impact on his draft stock.
Say what you want about the NFL's vetting process, but I'll be damned if it's not thorough. I know people say that the combine results are overrated, but I didn't know they had gotten this useless. Not to the point where Eli Apple becoming your personal nanny for the weekend says more about him as a football player than his vertical leap.
Ted Cruz Tried To Channel 'Hoosiers' While Campaigning In Indiana, And I Bet You Can Guess The Result
People are going to give Ted Cruz a lot of flack for accidentally referring to a basketball rim as a "basketball ring" and he deserves every ounce of that criticism. The bigger problem I see with this, however, is that fucking politicians have lost the ability to pander. Forget that their views are misguided and that every potential Presidential candidate is as unlikeable as ever. The fact that they can't even schmooze a crowd for 30 seconds without making complete asses of themselves is the true indictment of the current state of politics. We always knew they were slimy, corrupt douchebags, but at least they were smily, corrupt douchebags that could talk us in circles. Now they can't even verbally cradle our balls without slipping an accidental finger in our ass.
You have Trump thinking that Tom Brady is a beloved figure in Maryland. Campaigning in the same city in which a tragic terrorist attack took place and mixing up the date with the name of a store that sells bacon cheeseburgers in the shape of hot dogs. Now we got Ted Cruz failing to be able to memorize a few lines from the most famous film Indiana has to offer?
How late do you think he was up replaying this YouTube clip on loop before he felt comfortable enough to go out there and use it on a bunch of people that fall asleep to that very same movie every night? Probably stood in the mirror reciting it for a good 45 minutes that morning and he still fucked up the most basic part of it. Yeah, it was just one slip of the tongue. He did say "rim" literally seconds before that, but that's not even the point. I don't care if Ted Cruz doesn't know the most basic of sports terminologies. Not every politician can be a relatable human being like Obama. That said, it's not supposed to be THIS hard to say what people want to hear. After all, 6th graders running for Class President of their shitty middle school do it all the time. Actual stances on certain societal issues are one thing, but these fucking idiots can't even brown their nose before they are losing the room. I'm legitimately starting to think that the best way to win the Presidency is to go radio silent and just let everyone talk their way into submission. Let 2016 go down as the year in which a mute would have had a real life opportunity to become the leader of the free world.
Okay, so I won't fail to acknowledge that a majority of the people in attendance of this Justin Bieber concert were ecstatic teenage girls that wouldn't know a sports curse if it slapped them upside their empty heads. Still, you can't help but laugh while listening to the entire crowd work itself into a frenzy as Justin Bieber only further cemented the notion that the King is never delivering a 'Ship back to 'The Land'. Wouldn't even be mildly surprised if he came out today and preemptively set a date for 'The Decision Part II'. At the very least we are definitely getting some ridiculously vague subtweet about a teammate's work ethic within the next few hours. No chance the self imposed social media ban doesn't temporarily get removed today so that LeBron can post some polarizing video of him knelt at Chris Paul's bedside instead of preparing for the rest of the playoffs with this actual team.
The funny thing is that It doesn't even matter if the Bieber curse is an actual thing that exists, LeBron James is enough of a mental midget to think that it does and let it subconscious control his actions. You just know he's the type of person to go out there and miss his first jump shot of the second round and immediately have flashbacks of Biebs in a personalized Cavs jersey. Hell, I bet he welcomed his endorsement. Just another scapegoat when things go south. When LeBron inevitably tucks that 5th finals loss under his belt it won't be his fault. That blame is falling squarely on the shoulders Tyronn Lue, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, or - if he's really at a loss for a fall guy - the well publicized bad luck charm that is a jersey wearing pop star.
P.S. I think Delly needs a new ticket guy...
One thing is for certain, leashes simply do not get any shorter than that. You send a guy all the way over from China to help head the American division of your Chinese newspaper, and then fire him after he asks one inappropriate question (albeit repeatedly)? Didn't even give the poor bastard a chance to shake off the culture shock before they had him boarding the next flight back far east? They basically threw this guy in the lion's den and got pissed off when he came back with a couple flesh wounds. He pisses off one NBA player and he gets the rug ripped out from under him? Hasn't this company ever heard of occupational hazards? The more aggravated the athlete the more viral the interaction.
I gotta tell you, I don't like this one bit. Sure, he asked just about the most offensive question possible by trying to correlate basketball stats with the damage done by a natural disaster, but I am pretty sure his heart was in the right place. Success in his industry is based on persevering in the undying quest to get noticed and he got damn near every single eye and ear on some Chinese publication that literally no one outside of Asia has ever heard of. He may have gotten his company some bad publicity, but that's more publicity than they had before Draymond Green chewed him up and spit him out ALL over social media. He may have went about it unconventionally, but this guy did his job to perfection. Fucking China doesn't even know a good contrarian news reporter when they see one. Let one hour of criticism cost them their only employee that wasn't afraid to go out on the leanest of limbs for a soundbite. This is like the stock trader that tries to explain a flaw in the system to his superiors and gets completely ignored because it's his first month on the job. Congrats to this Chinese news source. Enjoy the last three months of your existence. At least you'll perish with your journalistic integrity, right? Probably would have asked every American based newspaper how much they were enjoying their imminent demise before you canned the one guy that wouldn't hesitate to ask the hard hitting, non-sensical questions that cause just enough controversy to get clicks.
Little Weird That Chandler Parsons Is Recruiting Dwight Howard While His Season Is Still Going On, No?
Ooooooooh, I'm telling!!! Two can play this game Chandler. You want to incessantly cry for months at a time like a toddler whose parents don't realize he is sick when the Clippers use an obnoxiously long moratorium period to convince their starting center to spurn a handshake deal he had with the Dallas Mavericks? Well then I can alert the presses when you engage in the most obvious act of tampering that professional sports has ever seen. Consider yourself lucky that literally no one cares where Dwight Howard ends up next year, or you might have an NBA investigation on your hands. Trust me, if Chandler Parsons and the Dallas Mavericks want that ticking 7 foot time bomb in their locker room then they can be my - and the rest of professional basketball's - guest. In fact, I have it on good authority that if the Rockets weren't contractually obligated to play him tonight then they would have already called for an Uber to Dallas on their dime. There's not a single executive from Toronto to Los Angeles that is upset with a current player's enthusiasm to pursue Dwight Howard in a MORE timely manner, even if that manner isn't exactly law abiding. I just find it a little hypocritical for a guy to whine about fairness one summer and then pander to a soon-to-be free agent while he's still technically (VERY technically) playing in the postseason the next. If I had a word of advice for him it would be to wait until after tomorrow night before slobbering all over Dwight's knob. Not only because I am pretty sure it's illegal to do so right now, but also because they are the only team that seems to be lining up to give him a "happy" ending.
One last question on this matter. Was Dirk advised of this decision to yearn after Dwight Howard? I feel like that's a pretty volatile piece to add to a team led by someone that's just trying to happily play out the final years of his Hall Of Fame career. I don't know Dirk personally, but I would imagine he doesn't want to spend his last couple of seasons as a babysitter to - literally and figuratively - the biggest, most high maintenance child in the entire league. Especially since that child hasn't proven that basketball means enough to him to give consistent effort on a game-by-game basis.
This Guy That Waited Outside The Saints Facility For A Job Is A Harrowing Reminder Of How Bad Their Defense Was
NOLA- McClue, a 26-year-old St. Augustine product studying visual arts at Dillard University, spent about 20 minutes outside the team facility Monday with a cardboard sign that read "Will (lock) down receivers 4 food!!!"
"I really want to play for the Saints," McClue told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune by phone. "They need DB's."
McClue, who did not play college football, said he drew inspiration from Breaux for his football comeback from a neck injury that kept him from playing football in college.
While at St. Augustine, McClue played left guard as a junior 2006 and linebacker as a senior in 2007. He briefly attended Northwestern State and did not play football, before he transferred back home and attended Dillard.
At Dillard, he continued to work on his art, which he said has been a passion since childhood and is displayed on his Instagram page. He began playing football again in 2014, first with the Bayou Vipers out of Hammond in 2014, and then the Crescent City Kings in 2015.
McClue, who said much of what he learned about playing defensive back over the last three seasons has been self-taught, because semi-pro football offers unique challenges.
I'm going to be honest with you, I had almost forgotten how historically piss poor the Saints defense was last season. I was just sitting here in my bubble of blissful ignorance and optimism when some ESPN live mock draft found it's way onto my television screen and start rattling off stats that would have been sobering to even the most straightedge members of the Who Dat Nation. As if that wasn't enough of a reminder of how desperate the Saints are for talent on the defensive side of the ball, I then had to stumble upon this story which really sheds an extremely dim light on what people think of their secondary.
Yup, this is how bad it's gotten folks. High school linebackers - that took seven years off from football to focus on pursuing art in college - think they can just teach themselves how to play defensive back, haphazardly scribble down fake promises on some cardboard, and sign on to play in the Saints secondary in no more than 20 minutes. The only reason this isn't depressing is because it's just so damn infuriating. Talk about a slap in the face to the organization. They should buy up all his paintings, throw them in a pile, set them aflame, and make them into a bonfire for all the actual draft picks. I don't even care if this guy can run in lockstep with Brandin Cooks. They need to tell him to kick rocks simply to protect their brand. We can't have aspiring artists thinking that standing out in the New Orleans sun for one lunch break is worthy of an open tryout. Nothing - and I mean NOTHING - makes a team look worse than high school heroes trying to live vicariously through themselves and treating an NFL roster spot like it's a volunteer position down at the shelter.
This isn't Delvin Breaux we are talking about. Delvin Breaux battled all the way back after nearly losing his life to football, this dude quit the sport to play with his easel. This isn't even Joe Anderson we are talking about. At least that guy had football on his collegiate resume and dedicated multiple days to waiting outside pleading for a shot. This isn't some unfortunate kid looking for a chance. He's an opportunistic man trying to take advantage of a susceptible situation. You think he would want to play for the Saints so bad if he thought they had quality DB's? Fuck no, this dickhead can shove that Sharpie up his ass and give that makeshift mattress back to the homeless man he stole it from. I don't know if the Saints will be able to defend better this year. Statically speaking it would be hard for them not to, but even if they can't - what they don't need is the help of a casual athlete that is already assuming they won't.
"Oh my God! Steph is down! It looks BAD. Let's hope he's alright, but..The Clippers have a chance!!!"
I know people hate the Clippers and some probably think this is weird misplaced karma stemming from Blake Griffin going 'Wreck It Ralph' all over their trainer, but it's pretty tough not to feel bad for them here. It's one thing for a team like the Rockets that went into the playoffs knowing they had no chance. It's another for a team like the Clippers - who were getting healthy at the right time - to know that they could at least compete with a healthy Warriors team, find out Steph Curry would be out for at least half of the next round, and almost immediately get blasted back into obscurity with one strip of the ball. The Clippers went from a likely second round elimination, to a team that could legitimately win a championship, to a team whose roster is going to get completely decimated after losing in the first round - all in 24 hours.
In all likelihood we just saw the last of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan on the same team when we were just discussing whether or not they had what it took to hoist a Larry O'Brien Trophy together. In a really fucked up way the Clippers won the lottery and got robbed of the ticket on the way to cash it in. They basically snorted a line of blow and got a call about the death of their grandmother as soon as it started to kick in. I'm sure they didn't want to see Curry go down, but I'll be damned if their eyes didn't get a little bigger when he did. Talk about the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. One game later and Chris Paul is out for the rest of the playoffs with a broken hand, they just announced Blake Griffin is getting sat for the rest of the playoffs with the same injury he's been nursing all year, and the Clippers might as well pack up their bags and call it a season. Steph Curry's injury brought their hopes to the top of the mountain, and Chris Paul's injury kicked them off the cliff like King Leonidas. No team - no matter how despised - is deserving of a fate that excruciatingly bipolar.
P.S. If that doesn't make you feel sympathetic towards the Clippers then just think about how unbearably hard it has been to watch the NBA playoffs to this point. Okay ready..now take out two of the top 5 MVP candidates.
YardBarker- The $30 million cap hit the New Orleans Saints will absorb in the final year of Drew Brees’ contract in 2016 hangs like an albatross around the organization’s neck, leading many to believe the team and the quarterback will work out a more cap-friendly contract extension sooner rather than later.
But Brees, appearing Tuesday morning on NFL Network’s “NFL HQ,” had nothing new to report on that front.
“No, I mean listen, conversations are ongoing and as this usually goes, it usually goes with contract talks, it kind of goes throughout the offseason,” he said, via NFL.com. “As soon as there’s something to report I’ll let you know.”
Before the Saints and Brees can even begin hammering out a deal, it will have to be determined how much longer the 37-year-old signal-caller intends to play. When asked about his NFL future Tuesday, Brees — who enjoyed a pretty good season from a statistical standpoint despite the Saints’ 7-9 2015 campaign — took a more conservative approach than what he had to say two offseasons ago.
“I definitely feel like I’ve got quite a few more but I’m taking it one year at a time because as you know, you’ve got to prove it every year,” he said.
Drew Brees is a team player in every sense of the word. He's nauseatingly optimistic. He takes way too much responsibility while trying to make up for a defense that almost annually borders on abominable. He takes an excruciating amount of hits to make plays. When he fails to make near impossible plays he takes an excruciating amount of hits from the media. The guy has not only become the face of the Saints franchise, but he's become one of the most beloved men - outside of football - in the entire city of New Orleans.
So why - WHY - has it been next to impossible for the organization to negotiate contracts with him? Why - despite his ever increasing age - does that cap number continue to climb every time he signs on the dotted line? I'll tell you why, it's because he's got a new fucking kid every single time he signs a new deal. I am not sure if that's factual correct, but considering he's had four children since 2009 I feel pretty comfortable saying that it is. Will someone please tell him to slow down? I love the fact that he's a family man. It's probably one of the reasons why he is so loyal to the franchise that gave him a second chance, but he needs to STOP HAVING CHILDREN! That should honestly be something that is included in his contract. I don't want to say it because it's probably not even in Drew's vocabulary, but it rhymes with schmasectomy. Hell, this is my vasecto-plea. If there's more in the future than please, PLEASE make sure that future is at least 3 years down the line. Am I asking too much for him to wear a bag a few times this decade? Does he know the pill isn't considered a PED? I know he's not one to leave any deed undone, but will someone convince him that pulling out won't be a black mark on his sexual resume?
You've given it all for this franchise Drew, just give up a year or two of completely unprotected sex so the Saints can trot out something with more coverage ability than a fucking parking cone at linebacker. I promise that nothing makes a pay stub seem larger than not opening it within earshot of a crying toddler.
And the award for least surprising news surrounding DeflateGate goes to...
Okay but seriously, I am not going to act like Drew Brees' distrust with the league is something that is worthy of discussion. We are talking about a guy that withstood the unprecedented punishment of being without his Head Coach for a full year following a season in which the Saints were very close to making another Super Bowl run (I know, revisionist history). Drew Brees had a portion of his career compromised by a witch hunt that returned nothing but circumstantial evidence. Not exactly shocked that there is no love - or faith - lost between him and the commissioner.
Again, that's not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is that Roger Goodell has actually done the unthinkable. He has gotten the rest of the league - sans maybe the Colts - to take the Patriots side in this ongoing circus of epic proportions...
People that despise the Patriots. People that blindly hate the Patriots because of their success. People that never cease to bring up their oft-questionable tactics. Division rivals. Playoff adversaries. Rex motherfuckin' Ryan. Everyone of them has no choice but to support New England's never-ending search for justice. Not because it's what's right, but because their franchises could be at risk if Roger Goodell so much as wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning. The Saints and Patriots may be the only two teams that feel truly persecuted, but it's Roger Goodall's unwavering desire to victimize the Patriots that has left the rest of the league feeling vulnerable. I am not trying to say that a mutiny is upon us, but at what point is enough enough? When does an entire's league suspicion of one man start to effect how much control he has over it? Forget the legal loopholes, how can the NFL maintain it's level of success while avoiding even the most minor of fallouts when it's been made clear that it's a league primarily regulated by deceit? How can you continue to flourish when you've managed to lose the faith of this wonderful man...
Personally? I think it is a little bit ridiculous to be that excited after closing out the 8th inning of a one run game 1/10th of the way through the season, but I am not all that big of a baseball fan so I will be objective. After all, I am not nearly as concerned with the situation as I am with the mental state of the man in the situation.
People will laugh at Matt Albers (who I didn't know of until right now, but have a new found affinity for) for screaming "I'M FUCKING LIKE A CAT!!!" and they should. They should just know that as ridiculous as I think the level of celebration is in this scenario, it couldn't possibly be more genuine. This is why people aren't interviewed immediately after experiencing the highest of highs. They are so happy, so overjoyed, and so elated that they literally can't find the words to speak for themselves. What I am saying is that Matt Albers doesn't think he's fucking like a cat, his emotion does. You never know what will come out of your mouth when emotion is talking for you. Maybe emotion is thinking about fornicating like a domesticated pet. Maybe emotion's voice cracks while exuding a child-like level of exuberance. I know from experience that the only predictable thing that is sure to come out of emotion's mouth is profanity. The rest is TBD until it's already too late. That last part where he says "...or something like that"? That's the 'WTF?' moment in which Matt Albers began to retake control of his own voice, because comparing his mating rituals to that of a stealthy, enigmatic feline while sounding like he is was in the process of getting neutered was as involuntary as speech gets without being the direct result of Tourettes.
Well, I don't like this. Nope, not even a little bit. I can't have aging veterans - that were acquired to push the team over the top but instead instantly became scapegoats - leaving the Rangers on bad terms. Now, I know that Larry Brooks is a dickhead. I know that because I know the name Larry Brooks and every time I hear it referenced it's because he pissed somebody off. Hell, I am pretty sure that he and John Tortorella still stay up into the wee hours of the night aggressively insulting each other through text. Those are just two guys built from the same mold. That being said, I need players like Dan Boyle to ignore his repeated attempts at instigation, gather their belongings, and humbly leave the facility. Come on Dan, next time take notes from Brad Richards. Take your playoff benching like a man - because you deserved it - and get out of New York as soon as possible. Whatever you do, don't remind the Rangers that you represent YET ANOTHER unsuccessful trade for a veteran that was clearly past his prime.
The repeated failures of literally every big name acquisition the Rangers have made is not nearly enough for them to stop acquiring big name acquisitions that are doomed to fall flat on their face. However, if those acquisitions leave the franchise with their lasting impression being a child-like temper tantrum in which they curse out multiple reporters then the franchise might just carry that bitterness with them into the offseason. With the Devils rebuilding and making smart, calculated trades for young cost controlled players, the Rangers annual purging of assets for half dead superstars from the previous decade is the only thing that really moves the needle for me anymore. There is no emotion that compares to the happiness I feel when Rangers fans gain a false sense of optimism following a lopsided trade for 35-40 year old roster fodder. I can't have the guy whose defensive ineptitude rivaled that of Dan Girardi selfishly take those precious moments away from me.
Live look at Drew Brees...
Notice the headline said NEXT to no sense. Drew Brees is 37 years old. He may still play like someone 5 years his junior, but - as we witnessed with Peyton Manning these past few seasons - Father Time has a recovery speed that you wouldn't even believe. It's not crazy to think that the Saints could look for an eventual replacement at the quarterback position in this year's draft. Especially since their Hall Of Fame signal caller's contractual status is currently in a state of flux. That being said, Sean Payton doesn't seem like the type of person that is going to rebuild if he doesn't have to, and trading the eyeopening amount of assets that would have been necessary to get the #1 pick would have broken this franchise down to it's barest of bones. Everything we heard when Payton signed his extension was that there was a short term plan in place. Any short term that includes winning involves Drew Brees. Not only because he is still one of the best players in the league at a crucial position, but because there is nothing short term about trading EVERYTHING for your quarterback of the future. Especially when success in the league is so obviously predicated on building through the draft.
That's why I have to assume that these supposed "talks" were nothing more than due diligence. All signs point to Drew Brees remaining in New Orleans for at least another year or two, and nothing would render those years completely unproductive like unloading any and all resources for the team to immediately improve. The New Orlean Saints need to get younger and faster on defense and add a reliable playmaker on offense. They couldn't do any of that if they traded away a handful of draft picks to reinforce a position that's already solidified - albeit temporarily.
P.S. Not entirely sure this wasn't released intentionally as a message to Drew Brees about the state of his contract. By that I mean, I hope this was released intentionally as a message to Drew Brees about the state of his contract.
I'll tell you what, whatever world Dwight Howard is living in doesn't sound half bad. That egregious large grin he constantly walks around with is a testament to that. In Dwight's world you can just impregnate as many women as you want without taking responsibility. You can make tens of millions to play a sport but only try when you feel like it. Dwight's world doesn't have any silly rules like the regulation of foreign substances such as stick'um. Hell, in Dwight's world there are thousands of dedicated Rockets fans boarding planes to fly out to Northern California with the hopes that they will see their depressing, enigmatic team put forth a winning effort. Happy Gilmore's 'Happy Place' can eat it's heart out, because it appears that Dwight's world is the most euphoric fictional destination in all of the land.
I'm not saying that no Rockets fans will travel out to Golden State for Game 5. I'm just saying their isn't one single Rockets fan that is doing so with the idea that they are going to win. The people traveling across the country to watch this Rockets team can be broken down into two groups. Self loathing masochists, and people whose houses were damaged by the flood that need to get away during the repairs. That's not even a flood joke. The only way I can see someone paying to travel for a team that looked like their dog died when James Harden won them a game and forced THEM to travel is if they hate themselves or if they literally don't have a place to go home to at the moment. Dwight Howard thinking that this insufferable Rockets team has enough jet setting fans to tell the negative ones to stay home might be the craziest thing he has ever said, and that's an accomplishment in itself. As an eternal optimist I would probably only have Game 5 on television as background noise if I were a Rockets fan. Never mind paying to watch them quit on themselves in person. In fact, the only thing that would make me consider going would be the defiance of Dwight's authority, and I would boo his ass off the court when I got there.
JaMarcus Russell Said He Would Play For Free Making Him A Strong Candidate For 'Most Improved Player'
You know we are always so quick to dismiss the idea that a person can change, but I really think it's important that we acknowledge said person when they have done so much to prove that they have. Say what you want about JaMarcus Russell, but he's clearly a different man. The guy that was once paid over $36 million dollars - on a rookie contract that inevitably changed the entire rookie pay scale - to not play is now willing to play for free?! The man who once failed to compete for a starting position as a #1 overall pick has somehow transformed into a competitor who kinda sorta wants to play sometimes? The man that responded to getting cut by packing on weight so fast you would think his personal trainer was Kirstie Alley is now so dedicated to getting back on the field that he's managed to work himself to the size of a respectable human being? How can we count this guy out?! You see that letter? By my count that was at least three paragraphs. Probably didn't even do that much writing in all his time at LSU, and he did it just to tell NFL teams that he would put his not-so-ridiculously-out-of-shape body on the line free of charge. A man so committed to being in professional football that he'll take a job as the water boy just to work his way on to the scout team? That laugh following "you might see me back" may not have proven to you that he's the most devoted athlete in the world, but in terms of determination he's at least worthy of consideration for 'Most Improved'.
P.S. I stand by the second paragraph of this blog.
Look, I am all about accountability. That's why I don't mind a well placed boo at a sporting event. Sometimes it's just the easiest way to send the message that whatever is happening on the field of play is unacceptable. I just don't consider a ball lost in the lights that results in an extra base hit when you're up 6-0 in the 6th inning of the 18th game of the season all that unacceptable. I don't exactly know the back of Tyler Collins baseball card, but I do know he has no more than 20 at bats to this point in the season. He hasn't even played enough baseball for fans to be fed up with his performance. Raining a chorus of boos down on a part time player for making one mistake when your team is winning handily is like going to an Open Mic Night and throwing tomatoes. The punishment simply doesn't fit the crime.
So just like the player's need to be held accountability, the fans need to be held accountable too, and I can't think of a better way to let them know they are overreacting than by giving a nice panoramic middle finger to the entirety of the crowd. Put your hands over Little Johnny's eyes if you don't want him to see a gesture he probably already learned in school, but this situation could teach him a thing or two about appreciation. You want to know what he probably hasn't learned at home or in the classroom? How to be a gracious winner. That's a lesson he needed Tyler Collins to instill in him by reminding the Tigers faithful that shit happens over the course of a 162 game season. And as far as "shit" goes losing a ball in the lights during a win isn't all that bad, and as far as inappropriate body language giving thankless fans the birdy isn't all that disrespectful.
I Trust Chris Ash, But I Don't Think I Can Survive Another Year Of Watching Chris Laviano Play Quarterback
A funny thing happened as I sat in the stands of Highpoint Solutions Stadium on Saturday night. I was relatively sober (in comparison to my usual state when I step in the building). Just looking to take in some meaningless football, enjoy the environment, and see a couple players stand out from the rest. Wasn't about to get emotional over a play or two in a glorified scrimmage. That's what my intentions were anyway.
Then it happened; Chris Laviano threw a screen pass about 5 yards over the head of an unexpecting wide receiver. Now it goes against every fiber of my being to do this, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the wide receiver screwed up the route - which was essentially to jog 3 feet to his right and stand still. Maybe - JUST MAYBE - it wasn't the quarterback's fault at all. That's what my brain was thinking but - as is usually the case - my mouth beat me to it. I let out a "You gotta be fucking kidding me! This guy is going to fucking kill me!" without hesitation. I am not going to sit here and tell you I know what it's like for a military veteran to recover from the traumatic experience of going to war, but I can confidently say that that exact moment was the closest thing I have felt to PTSD. It brought me right back to last season. The 6 dreadful hours I spent sitting in the rain at Penn State and Wisconsin combined. The 3.5 dreadful hours I spent sitting in the rain in Piscataway as Kyle Flood let a 20+ point lead slip away against Maryland in what turned out to be his final farewell to the fan base. The comical stat line of the Rutgers starting quarterback in those games.
Judging by the reaction from within a three row radius (hearty laughter), I can only imagine that many others felt just the way I did. I don't think Chris Laviano is as bad a quarterback as he showed last year. I don't think any one player on the team is as bad as they were last year. That said, I'm not sure I have it in my heart to give the man that caused me so much anguish (mostly as a result of his braindead Head Coach's undying faith in him) another chance. He overthrew a touchdown pass by about 5 yards on Saturday and I almost started to get excited that he actually recached the receiver. Then I realized what I was celebrating and it only made me more mad. With every incomplete pass I felt my blood start to boil. The visions of his Instagram post where he told the Rutgers faithful that he didn't give a fuck about them dancing through my head. I think I even caught a vision of a soaking wet Kyle Flood clapping in his visor on the far sideline. I don't think I can survive another season of it. Not when there is a quarterback with 10x talent waiting in the wings. Now, Hayden Rettig wasn't exactly Joe Montana at the Spring Game, but he did flash the ability that had so many Rutgers fans desperately tweeting #FreeRettig last year. If Chris Ash starts Chris Laviano I will support his decision, but when heart palpitations force me to keel over and die by halftime of Week 1 he will have my blood on his hands and be out a season ticket holder. Be forewarned.