Months After Signing A Contract Extension With The NFL, Nike Turned Around And Made Colin Kaepernick The Face Of Their Newest Ad Campaign
ProFootballTalk- At a time when the legal question of whether the NFL “just did it” regarding Colin Kaepernick and collusion is still pending, Nike has boldly followed its own three-decades-old advice.
In connection with the 30th anniversary of the iconic “Just Do It” campaign, Nike has unveiled an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. “Believe in something,” the message superimposed over Kaepernick’s face declares. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
It’s a gutsy move for Nike, given that it holds the official apparel deal with the NFL. But it will be difficult for the NFL to retaliate, given that the contract runs through 2028.
You know, it's about damn time. I can't say I expected the NFL's foremost supplier of merchandise for the next decade to be the entity that waited until the ink dried to flip the script on a league that knows quite a bit about playing dirty pool in businesses other than billiards, but it actually makes quite a bit of sense now that they did. After all, as much as I love seeing the NFL force fed a taste of the same medicine they've administered in suppressing the rights of their players, it's worth noting that Nike's cold-blooded decision to push the parameters of "the customer is always right" is only as motivated by their desire to come out on the right side of history as it is to bank some profit in the process.
The NFL, at the dictatorial demands of Donald Trump, was so counterproductive in keeping Colin Kaepernick relevant that they actually made both his likeness and his message too productive for one of their most prominent affiliates to pass up. Love him or hate him, the polarizing opinions surrounding one man's choice to silently kneel on a sideline and his (former) employer's subsequent, one-sided, and - legally speaking - arguably illegal overreaction to them have made Colin Kaepernick into a pretty damn powerful spokesperson. Especially for a brand whose profit margins aren't exactly being inflated by the Uncle Fred Air Orthopedics that are selling for the low, low price of 'buy one, get one free' at Nike outlets across Middle America or under storefronts from which confederate flags fly.
In that sense, it shouldn't be all that much of a surprise that a sneaker company that's damn near synonymous with "the culture" beat a league run by greedy, old white dudes who bow before the President's bullshit to the realization that, when targeting the right (or, more accurately, left) audience, the fight for basic human rights can motivate the movement of money just as much as fabricated and forced patriotism.
The fact that said sneaker company ignored their recently extended, decade-long partnership with the defendant in giving the pariah-turned-plaintiff a massively public platform for the case he's set to make in a court of law, on the other hand, was bit of a shocker. That said, it's nothing that the NFL hasn't done in leveraging the omissions in contractually bound agreements (cough, cough...CBA's...cough, cough) to make Roger Goodell an irreproachable scapegoat as a nauseatingly protected shield for ownership.
I appreciate Nike for inciting the incineration of hundreds of dirty dad shoes (and potentially the dip-shits still wearing them) by putting their full support behind the man that did the seemingly impossible by getting someone to say "no" to a league as authoritarian as the NFL...
However, the real story here is that the strongest of arms got slow-played and pinned to the negotiating table by the type of cutthroat business tactic that they've all-but-copyrighted.
To that, I say "swoosh, bitch."
With His Third Statement/Friday News Dump In A Month, Urban Meyer Continued To Make Himself Look Guilty While Changing Not One Person's Mind
Ohhhhh, NOW I get it. My apologies. I should have caught on the first two times that Urban Meyer took to Twitter, at the end of a work week, to express his innocence by way of manipulative wordplay. Better late than never, I suppose! Can't believe I misread that three-game slap on the wrist as a half-assed penalty given to someone that somehow runs a college football powerhouse with a foggy memory that coincidentally can't retain knowledge of his staff's violent crimes. After reading that longwinded attempt at a conscience cleanse and really taking a second to digest nit-picked excerpts from a damning investigation, it seems so clear to me that the suspension was actually administered due to a vague violation that is most definitely not related to domestic violence.
Whew. Thank god Urban Meyer just kept tweeting away to a crowd that otherwise had its mind made up. If it weren't for this contradictory soliloquy that said nothing that hasn't already been proven at least half false at least twice then I would still be stuck thinking he was a pathological liar and a delusional deluder that cared more about his coaching record than literally anything!
In tooooootally unrelated news...
I hesitate to say this, as words like "stop" and "no" only stand to encourage the subject in question, but don't do it...don't you do this Jalen Ramsey. I'm not what anyone would consider opposed to arrogance in sports, but let's try to keep it within the realm of reality here. Not that the Jaguars' contentious, All-Pro corner would ever try to be someone he's not, but if he's going to keep running his mouth nonstop then I'd prefer it keep up with the standard set by Joel Embiid, as he's far too talented to be falling back to the level of LaVar Ball.
While I love the cockiness, it's just not nearly as effective when it's based on absolutely nothing. Like, the beauty of Jalen Ramsey's trash talk is that it typically makes you think, if not nod along in agreement. Him proclaiming he could play in the NHL six months after teaching himself how to properly lace up a pair of ice skates does neither, as it's nothing more than spewed nonsense for the sake of shock value. People like Jalen Ramsey's animosity because he says what his peers are afraid to, not because he says what his peers are too intelligent to. Again, I love the shit talk, but I'd prefer it not be annunciated directly from his ass, if only to avoid him being confused for one of Ace Ventura's speech pathology patients.
For a man so rich with validated confidence, this was a cheap headline grab, as hovering around 6-feet tall and being predominantly white doesn't make NHL players any less remarkable or more replicable as professional athletes that needed to master one sport to even have a chance to become the best at another. He surely already knows that, but the always thick-skinned hockey community doesn't know that he knows that, so he's on his own in dealing with the online mob he undoubtedly incited for no reason other than seeking attention he was already getting regardless.
Purdue's Chances At A Last Minute Comeback Against Northwestern Got Pissed Away By The Dumbest Of Penalties
I consider myself a proponent of officials loosening their grip on their whistles as the time ticks down in tight games. No one, from fashionistas to casual fans, wants to see a man in thick vertical stripes ultimately decide an otherwise hard fought contest with a questionable call.
That being said, had the whistle been put away, #9 wouldn't have been given about two dozen ear-piercing warnings not to finish off a play he didn't even originally make by flinging a defenseless player half his size ten yards into the backfield when he was already a good 12 yards from the first down marker. That's a flag that the referee has no choice but to throw, as he tried everything short of waltzing into the scrum and smacking a braindead defensive lineman on the helmet with a newspaper in order to get him to stop setting up his WWE-esque finishing move.
Oh well, with the return of college football comes the return of reminders that the freakishly large and long people playing it really are just kids who are prone to doing dumb shit at inopportune times. Usually that results in unexpectedly thrilling endings, but - as evidenced by this anticlimactic conclusion - immaturity both giveth and taketh away.
We've Made It To The Next Step Of The Colin Kaepernick Collusion Case, Which Means Someone Finally Said "No" To The NFL
From what I understand (which is not a whole hell of a lot when it comes to the justice system), this was just a preliminary proceeding that basically did nothing other than declare Colin Kaepernick's case as something at least slightly more solid than the most bullish of bullshit. I have absolutely no idea what it might mean going forward, but the important thing is that this is, indeed, going forward.
Now, I never really suspected that it wouldn't, as it's pretty obvious Colin Kaepernick was either blackballed or something all-too-similar, but the fact that someone finally said "no" to a league that usually has full autonomy in its unadulterated stupidity makes this feel like a bigger win than it actually is. If only because the NFL is officially going to be made to sweat by the trying of a presumably formidable collusion case, I am already kind of impressed by how far this has gotten.
That, of course, is probably just because I've come to expect a professional football league, of all entities, to get away with blindly governing itself with the consistency of Jerry Jones' stool. Still, watching David get in the first shot on Goliath, no matter how little damage it inflicted, gave me the much needed reminder that the most deep-seated of organizational idiocy (i.e. thinly veiled racism) isn't entirely beyond reproach.
I'm fully aware that things can go very south from here, as it's typically only in the movies that standing up to the playground bully works out favorably for the underdog. That said, we do have ourselves a fight. As large as the NFL looms, we've never really seen it have to throw such high stakes punches in this type of arena, as it's opposition is typically disarmed contractually. Let's see how it fares on its own, as its BFF of a CBA can't just jump in with an upper hand and an iron fist whenever its called upon.
The Timberwolves Are Throwing It Back With Their Classic All-Black Uniforms On A Limited Basis, Which Begs Only One Question...
I don't want to act ungrateful here, as welcoming back the jersey that prime KG made famous is an overwhelmingly joyous event, but since "they're back", I am sort of left wondering where the hell they went in the first place. This shouldn't even be a "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" situation, because those babies never went out of style. Sort of feels like someone with too much of a say couldn't see the forest through all those identical little trees when it came to fashion, because it's inexcusable how long I've been pining for the return of one of the most intimidating jerseys in NBA history.
For those that haven't resigned to a lifetime of TimberWolves fandom (aka unrelenting disappointment), try to remember one memorable set of threads they've worn since off the top of your head and then try to tell me it's not a crime against merchandising that the NBA equivalent of the blacked out Ravens' jersey flew the nest a full decade ago.
Nostalgia is admittedly playing into my faux fury here, as the all-black #21 hung in my childhood closet, but what do you want me to do? Twelve year old me would punch me in the arm and run away when I turned around if I didn't defend the honor of the jersey he wore (far too many times) well past it's presumed death. As well he should, because the only thing that should be brought back on a limited basis is the largely offensive offensive philosophy that Minnesota subscribed to last season. The classic throwback jersey, on the other hand, it can stay for as long as it would like.
P.S. Could they really not find one actual player to model these things? Kind of kills the buzz of the pump-up music and the howl to have the camera focused on an inanimate arm socket as it plays.
If James Jones Wasn't The Perfect Person To Break The News Of Aaron Rodgers Contract Extension Then He Was Damn Close To It
He might not know it, but I owe James Jones an apology. I was all set to talk about how he is the perfect person to break the news of Aaron Rodgers massive contract extension since his career is basically the embodiment of Aaron Rodgers value to the Packers...until I took a look back and realized that the dude just flat out made a lot more plays than I remember...
So, with respect #89, I must say that I was unknowingly ignorant to how many times he snagged balls away from defenders or shook them off the screen.
That said, by no means did James Jones possess the size, speed, or separation that you'd expect of a someone who once caught 14 touchdowns in a season. He was a talented guy, but not talented enough where he should have been able to adequately replace the production of an injured Jordy Nelson after getting scooped off the scrap heap in early September as a 31 year old. Those things can be attributed to the deadly accuracy of the arm on the $134 million dollar man.
In fact, if you had to choose one skill that best defined James Jones' career, it would probably be his ability to share a brain with one of the most accurate QB's ever by repeatedly putting his hands in windows in which a football should seemingly not fit. I don't mean for it to come off as too critical, as knowing where, when, and how to best be thrown open is a huge asset in the NFL. Still, look no further than the numbers a third round pick with otherwise average tools fixed up doing just that for clarification as to why you gladly pay Aaron Rodgers $80 million before one more spring has even sprung.
James Jones was just gifted with the opportunity to break this news because he's a former teammate turned friend in an industry that the subject of it doesn't exactly trust, but it's fitting that you don't have to look further than the @ name for a reminder of the deservedness of what comes after it.
Masters' Winner Patrick Reed Had Quite Possibly The Whitest Company Complaint In The History Of The Internet
A pro golfer? At a pro baseball game? On the company dime? Taking to twitter with a complaint that his free tickets in a highly sought after section that he self-named to sound dangerous because "third baseline" doesn't have the same bite to it as "line drive section"? While having more than enough money to casually piss away $650 to move up a couple dozen rows tops to be with his peers in the best seats in the house?
Honestly, if there's a @RichWhitePeopleProblems bot automatically curating the most caucasian of company complaints from around the internet then Patrick Reed just made it overheat and start billowing smoke with a tweet that makes "Hey @Starbucks, Becky only has one 'E' #ugh" look deserving of its own Sarah McLaughlin soundtrack. Seriously, someone get that grievance some SPF 90 and an umbrella, because that baby is a burning faster than the skin on the person who decided it was fit for public consumption.
You probably have to spend a hell of a lot of time in and around country clubs to develop the type of talent that's necessary to win the Masters, but is it possible that Patrick Reed has never actually been anywhere that doesn't require you to wear a collar? Like, perhaps he was delivered by way of a water birth in the type fountain that spits at the idea of being tarnished with change, and has just been getting shipped around from private course to private course ever since. This being his first venture beyond the safety of a security gate is really the only thing that could possibly explain being this out of touch.
Also, I thought the access into the world where the most privileged of circumstance is worthy of sympathy is dependent upon staying offline in these situations so as to not let people in on the extent of its exclusivity. Was Alfred not around to correct this injustice against full-blown entitlement? How is it possible that he was left with nowhere else to turn but to social media at its most sadistic when it came to righting a near impossibly unrelatable wrong?
While I am impressed with how much pretentiousness was crammed into less than 280 characters, I do think we need to send the collection plate around to gather some thoughts and prayers for Patrick Reed. After all, not only did he spend an inning at risk of having a foul ball hit to him, but he betrayed his fellow high society members in making public their ludicrous level of snobbery. For a guy who was already pretty hated in the golf community, I can't imagine that'll play well in the clubhouse.
Sidenote: Apparently Patrick Reed has completely cut off communication with his parents to appease his wife, and - if I were to be shallow for a moment - WOOF! That might actually be a more problematic choice than choosing to let the world take a glance at the thickness of the bubble he lives in.
Now we're getting somewhere! With the undeniable uptick in bullshit balls and strikes being called by umpires that have become frazzled by how close technology is to taking their jobs, we're probably pretty close to one ejection per game being the norm for most players. As I can personally think of nothing worse than watching the temper tantrums of grown men grow stale, I couldn't be more relieved to watch Mark Reynolds reinvent the practice of getting banished from baseball games.
I mean, two ejections? For the very same set of botched calls? That's even more revolutionary than the double glove throw! I'm not even sure I'll be able to take the frustrations of his peers seriously if they don't force blue to make more than one largely exaggerated motion to the parking lot going forward. As far as I'm concerned, if the players really want to make the officials pay for the two human fallacies in the middle of their face then they should bitch, moan, pout, stomp, and scream until every umpire is at risk of needing Tommy John surgery after repeatedly throwing them out of the game. It's about time we got that pitch count up on those haphazardly hurling around their authority complex. Mark Reynolds just raised the bar, so here's to hoping all MLB players follow suit in doing the baseball equivalent of drunkenly dancing on top of it until they are not-so-kindly "asked" to leave two or more times.
The Fingers Will Remain Crossed For Awhile, But The Saints May Have Taken A Huge Step In Fortifying Their Future By Trading For Teddy Bridgewater
There are a couple reasons that the battle to become back-up quarterback has quite easily made the most headlines at Saints' training camp. The fact that it includes the rare case that is a freakishly athletic 28 year old who is trying to package the skills that he displayed as a special teams ace into something that mildly resembles an NFL-caliber signal caller is certainly the most compelling of those reasons. The much more telling takeaway from the attention directed under center is that it's a direct result of there being no other glaring weaknesses on a young, rebuilt roster that looks set to contend for longer than it stands to be led by a 39 year old Drew Brees. It feels weird to say, as everyone in the Saints' organization knows the pressure to win is currently being applied, but a huge focal point of the preseason games has been trying to figure out the future.
Insert Teddy Bridgewater.
To be honest, when I saw the news that fulfilled what was previously considered to be a pipe dream of over-optimistic fans, my first instinct was to gather my jaw off the ground and shatter every window in my apartment in solidarity with a franchise that potentially had theirs broken open for the foreseeable future. As I am currently writing this, as opposed to making an extremely costly Home Depot trip, I was able to suppress that urge, deepen my breath, and think rationally about the prospects of a promising player who is currently on a one-year, "prove it" deal eventually taking the reigns of an otherwise solidified offense from an arm that will then eagerly await its induction into the Hall Of Fame.
The conclusion I came to is as follows. Considering both their recent success in the draft and the monster move they made for Marcus Davenport, there is no chance in hell that the Saints traded away another relatively high pick for someone they didn't fully expect to eventually play a valuable role for them. As I hardly consider holding a clipboard to be worthy of a 3rd round price tag, there is some sort of plan in place for Teddy Bridgewater to be that oh-so-elusive successor to Drew Brees.
Whether that plan comes to fruition or not is probably dependent on the patience of the former and the competitiveness of the latter. However, if there is a coach out there that can convince a 25 year old with successful starting experience to sit and wait his turn to take over an otherwise complete team then it's the one that basically shares a brain with one of the best passers in the history of football. Sean Payton seems to have gotten a pretty good return on the first investment he made in "damaged goods" at the most prominent of position, so what better mentor to have while putting a devastating, career-threatening injury in the rearview than the man under which a 27-year old Drew Brees began revitalizing his career and realizing his potential? Touchdown Teddy has all the talent and intelligence necessary to thrive in a versatile, star-studded Saints' offense that suits him perfectly. With the scarcity of quality starting quarterbacks in the NFL and the lottery-esque luck required to stumble upon one at the right time, a 3rd rounder isn't all that huge a price to pay in hopes that he'll recognize that when it comes to negotiating a contract beyond this season.
"Worst" case scenario, the Saints try to split the difference in flipping Tom Savage, solidify their special teams with the full-time return of Taysom Hill, and - if only for a year - are no longer one injury away from having an auspicious season flushed down the toilet while time is of the essence. Best case scenario, they just swapped mid-round picks to make sure time is no longer of the essence with the likelihood of continuing their contention well past 2020 on the arm of someone who already has no business being a back-up. Either way, it's a better day to be a Saints' fan than it was yesterday, even if we are a long way off from finding out if the gamble pays off and the true goal of a ballsy, forward thinking trade gets achieved.
I typically subscribe to the philosophy of letting children win in situations where guaranteeing their happiness is the easiest way to steer clear of headaches and maintain a moderate amount of peace and quiet. That said, I totally understand where this daycare worker was coming from in going to the rim with reckless abandon, as he spends all day carefully maneuvering around the fragile moods of young minds. If only for his own sanity, he needed to mix things up to assert his dominance.
Just like most things, the destruction of Pre-K confidence is better in moderation. Judging from the outfit change, that 8-10 play compilation was formed over the course of at least two days. Therefore, as far as I can tell, 'Kindergarten Kobe' was responsible in how often he called his own number. At least I hope that was the case, as the execution of no killer crossover, electric euro-step, devastating dunk, sadistic strip, or bullying block is worth dealing with the cries of tired and defeated children.
Odell Beckham Jr. Sometimes Feels Like A Zoo Animal When It Comes To Interacting With Fans, Which Is Only A Relatively Fair Complaint Considering The Source
In most cases, I would respond to an understandable yet impossible to address complaint with "that's what the money is for". In the curious case of Odell Beckham Jr., however, the reason why his life is so often interrupted is at least part of the reason why the Giants were so stubborn in offering an All-World talent the type of contract he was deserving of. After all, it's not every superstar athlete that is getting stopped in the streets for impromptu dance-offs. It's just the superstar athlete that makes a spectacle of himself literally any time he's in front of a lens.
I don't want to be too critical of OBJ, as his affability is what we like to see out of athletes and a vast majority of his antics are completely harmless. However, if all people ever see of you is a flashy, gregarious showman then that's probably who some people are going to assume you are when they actually see you. Whether that's right or wrong is largely irrelevant, as it's at least mildly disingenuous for the NFL's preeminent attention whore to be upset with the type and the timing of the attention he's getting.
As someone who treats stop-and-chats as the bane of my existence, I sympathize with even the most well-compensated of public figures for occasionally wanting to go about their day unbothered. Unfortunately, as someone who has far too often found myself rolling my eyes at the extracurriculars of OBJ, I have to stifle that sympathy for a larger-than-life personality who is the furthest thing from innocent in giving people the impression that he's always open for business. Personally, I think the 19 million dollars a year makes up for the constant inconvenience, but if I'm going to buy in to Odell Beckham Jr. comparing himself to a caged lion then I refuse to ignore that he made himself into the main attraction with how often he roared. In essence, the lines between person, player, and performer only stand to be made blurrier the more you quickly jump through them like they are part of a hopscotch board.
Browns' Mychal Kendricks Gave An Unflattering Scouting Report On Some Of His Former Eagles' Teammates Ahead Of Their Preseason Game
The truth is that there is nothing wrong with what Mychal Kendricks did by getting in front of his new teammates to share less than complimentary tendencies of his old teammates. In fact, that's a practice that takes place in just about every locker room in a league that employs so many players that are constantly on the move. It doesn't matter whether or not he was privy to experiencing the brightest moment of his career due to the efforts of some of same guys on which he threw shade. He could be of the same blood of some of the Super Bowl champs and his allegiance would still have to lie with the zero win team who he is preparing to spill blood with. Football is a ruthless game with a lot of turnover, so some relationships might be compromised by both the preparation and the execution that goes into lining up across from a familiar face and smashing it in the mouth all afternoon. That's just the way it is.
What I do question, however, is sharing a spicy scouting report with the camera of a widely viewed premium network ahead of a completely meaningless game against an out-of-conference opponent. Especially since the guy who did so had already flushed the entirety of his credibility with this gem of jackassery...
I totally get that the only way to guarantee loyalty in professional sports is to pay for it. That said, if winning a championship truly means "walking together forever" then I see very little reward in putting yourself at risk of an awkward eternal stroll for a handful of improved preseason reps from a defense that might not even retain you next year. I understand the desire to tip off your teammates, but Mychal Kendricks looks to be actively choosing to make himself a pariah in a city that would otherwise celebrate him for centuries in lessening the workload of a coach that might tell the world he's an asshole is he so much as turns an ankle.
I don't know, just seems like he's trying pretty Hard to deliver Knocks on the Eagles when it's their logo that will be embedded with diamonds on his ring finger when downside of his career is finished playing itself out. Can't help but wonder if he'll live to regret not being more inconspicuous with his...ahem...insider trading of secrets, as he might be hanging up his cleats a little sooner than he thinks...
Jerry Jones Thinks An 18-Game Season Will Make Football Safer For The Players, But Please Don't Waste Your Time Trying To Figure That One Out
Oddly enough, I'm not even mad about an opinion that's so disingenuously baseless that it would even raise an eyebrow on the face of Skip Bayless. After all, it's not like it's some secret that 100% of Jerry Jones' ideas are aimed at making him a wealthier snake oil salesman. If you dropped a blank check at his feet while the bombs were bursting in air then Mr. "Toes On The Line" would drop to his knees quicker than whoever is getting paid handsomely to keep cleaning the dust out of his exhaust pipe. Simply put, whatever "morals" he might have are shamelessly financial in nature, so being upset that Jerry Jones thinks an 18 game regular season is a good idea is basically the same thing as being upset that Jerry Jones woke up this morning.
That doesn't mean there's not an aggravating aspect to that quote, however, as there's nothing more infuriating than a completely pointless lie. I certain don't expect NFL GM's to start being honest with me, but if they are going to talk out of their ass then the least they could do is have an end game. Like, I'd ask who Jerry Jones thinks he's fooling by proclaiming that more consecutive weeks of skull bashing is the key to player safety, but the answer is nobody, because even he doesn't believe a line of reasoning that stinks so bad that it might as well have been snorted from a stripper's asshole.
In my opinion, just the smallest sliver of candidness would go a long way, and I honestly don't think that expecting someone who is universally known as a richest and greediest of living corpses to embrace his role as a pompous, self-serving prick such is all that much to ask. Especially since it wouldn't cost him a damn thing to do so.
I'm certainly not saying it was intentional. Hell, if only because the kid somehow managed to immediately get back up and presumably ask something along the lines of "hey! wtf?", I'm not even saying it was as bad as it looked.
What I am saying is that somewhere way deep down under that striped uniform was a pre-teen headhunter who saw a gap that needed filling and some stars that needed gazing, as I can't be convinced that was merely the work of an adult official that was doing his best to get the hell out of the way. The extension on that forearm shiver was enough evidence I needed to know that referee temporarily forgot he was refereeing, but the subsequent shrug was just icing on the cake that the ref temporarily thought he would be greeted with after the game for making such a sweet tackle. There's just no way to blame a kid who was dipping and dodging a bunch of tacklers whose balls were at the same stage of dropping for not being able to also juke the elbow of a grown ass man standing in the middle of the field, unless said grown ass man had been taken back to the days when he was one of those tacklers.
Therefore, I think it's time to put that guy on sideline duty before he lives vicariously through his own childhood and catches both a underdeveloped body and a case at his side gig.
Marty Brodeur Is Reportedly Taking A Role With The New Jersey Devils, And All Is Once Again Right In The World
To be totally honest, Devils' fans have had a whole hell of a lot of more important things to worry themselves with over the last few years, as the organization stripped itself to the barest of bones in starting from scratch. For that reason, an everlasting face of the franchise taking up employment in a front office other than that of New Jersey's wasn't exactly of the upmost concern.
No matter where his career took him, Martin Brodeur's legend was always going to live on, in all its transcendent glory, both in the Prudential Center rafters and outside the doors on which his statue casts a 13 foot shadow. For that reason, I never really faulted a player as hyper competitive as the most accomplished goaltender of all time for wanting to call it quits on his own terms, just as I never faulted him for taking up a team that was in a better position to give him those terms up on their offer to take his talents to the owner's suite. It was definitely weird temporarily knowing Martin Brodeur as something other than a New Jersey Devil, but letting ties to the past get in the way of a brighter future became all-too-characteristic of Lou Lamoriello, not the man that's done an unbelievable job in replacing him. Sentimentality aside, prolonging the split just made a lot of sense.
All that being said, the news that Martin Brodeur is returning to the franchise under which he endearingly became known as "Marty" and eternally became "better" couldn't be more welcomed. Only he knows exactly what type of role he's accepted under Ray Shero, but mixing a dose of old in with the new puts a nice twist on what's been a pretty damn successful turnaround thus far. Just having him around the building where his footprints are unmistakable will be cool, regardless of his level of influence in it. For now it doesn't really matter whether or not round two of the relationship ends up lasting anywhere near as long as round one, as we should just appreciate what feels like a fanbase's favorite Uncle coming back to live under the same roof for indefinite period of time. Add in the bonus that he'll officially be with the New Jersey Devils as his induction into the 'Hall Of Fame' as a New Jersey Devil is being celebrated, and it makes for pretty exciting news during an otherwise quiet offseason.
Welcome back Marty, I suppose it was only a matter of time...
Jacob De La Rose Took A Broken Resistance Band To The Ass While Training, Thus Concluding The Montreal Canadiens Season Preview
There it is, in all its glory. By "it" I don't just mean the inherent hilarity that comes as a result of someone crumbling to the ground with an unexpected pain in the posterior, but also the perfect microcosm of the current state of the most decorated organizations in the history of sports.
I honestly don't mean to make more of this than it actually is, but...like...how could I not? There's just something too fitting about someone dressed head-to-toe in a Canadiens uniform busting his hump in an effort to improve...only to end up laying lifeless on the ice with an unforgettable sting inside hump. That second-rate resistance band might as well be every trade that Marc Bergevin has made over the last 3-4 years, as each attempted stride in the right direction only made the resulting bite in the ass that much bigger.
I feel bad for Jacob De La Rose, as he's a talented kid who is clearly striving to make sure his young career outlives a depressing workplace. That said, due to no fault of his own, his shoddy training equipment basically made him a better visual representation of what we should expect out of his franchise this upcoming season than anything said franchise could have scraped together in between counterproductive personnel decisions.
Not to be too Frosty towards a once proud organization, but there must have been some black magic in that practice jersey he found, for when he placed it over his head he began to feel as if he had just been given a spinal tap. It's more than likely just a coincidence, but it's one that should be replayed on loop via Montreal's JumboTron to distract from the pain in the ass product the Canadiens will be putting on the ice.
A Team That Was Interested In Trading For Odell Beckham Jr. Reportedly Hired A Private Investigator To Tail Him This Offseason
ESPN- In the spring, when the Giants were listening to trade inquiries — the Rams and 49ers were the two teams reported to be interested, but there were others — one curious club hired a private investigator to track Beckham. The Paris video had introduced drug-use rumors that teams wanted to run down, even if recreational drug use falls below his surgically repaired ankle on most teams’ list of concerns. The PI’s report set off no alarms, but despite the Giants being “50-50″ on their willingness to trade him, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation, no team would meet their asking price, which was believed to be a pair of first-rounders.
Yup, I think that is where I draw the line. I understand the need for educated investments when deciding on something as frowned upon as giving a wide receiver quarterback money. Hell, I even understand that due diligence reaching crazy ex, online stalker status when said wide receiver is just as prone to being a needy, high maintenance attention whore of a distraction as he is to take a run-of-the-mill slant pattern 77 yards to pay dirt...
If only for a second, however, let's set aside the fact that professional athletes are, in fact, people that deserve what little privacy they are privy to, even if the player in question typically doesn't take advantage of it. Regardless of that privacy being breached in this instance, I just think you're too highly inclined to have your biases confirmed when you're so paranoid about someone's personal life that you make the decision to have him/her professionally pursued.
Perhaps sampling from those featured on a white trash, before-its-time reality show taints my personal "study", but if Cheaters taught me anything it's that the results of a private investigation are more likely to lead to some sort of stabbing than they are to lead to a healthy, long-term, and mutually beneficial partnership. Even if it was only in a baseline business sense, the New York Giants had to trust Odell Beckham Jr. to guarantee him $65 million dollars. Me thinks that Sherlock Holmes would have had to find himself parked outside of a homeless shelter, a children's hospital, or a monastery for a month straight for the franchise that hired him to reach the level of comfort required to trade at one-two 1st round picks for the right to negotiate a market resetting deal with a demonstrative diva that keeps both his employer and defenses up at night.
More importantly, desperately trying to catch Odell Beckham Jr. engaging in questionable behavior is just a gross mischaracterization of the main problem plaguing Odell Beckham Jr., which is that all of his questionable behavior gets circulated throughout the internet in about 10 minutes time anyway. We're talking about a monster created by millennials, so Dick f'n Tracy wasn't about to report back anything that couldn't have been found by checking in on OBJ's SnapChat or searching his name on Twitter.
The following is coming from someone who has been highly critical of the personality in question for quite some time. Aside from one short video in which recreational drugs made an appearance, Odell Beckham Jr. isn't some shady, criminal minded scumbag who is lurking in the shadows looking for trouble. He's just an insatiable narcissist, which means every precarious situation he finds himself in will be under the brightest of lights. Therefore, it probably would have been best to just save the type of money that a Private Eye commands now-a-days, for his findings would have been merely as helpful in deciding whether to take on the occasional headache that accompanies the most transcendent of talent for full price (and then some) as a YouTube deep dive. I know this may be tough for a half-dead generation of GM's to understand, but - with someone like Odell Beckham Jr. - you don't have to literally have him followed to follow him.
Andy Dalton Was Greeted By A Standing Ovation As He Took The Field In Buffalo, As Bills' Fans Remain One Extremely Appreciative Bunch
The pessimist in me started watching this scene unfold wondering whether the love affair between the Bills' Mafia and the quarterback that unknowingly provided the team with which they live and die the oh-so-elusive key to the backdoor of the playoffs has gone a bit far. Showing their appreciation for Andy Dalton's efforts by immediately flooding his foundation with tens of thousands of dollars in donations was an awesome example of how cool and unifying sports can be, but we are about eight months removed from Buffalo being given a short, but long overdue taste of the postseason. You'd just think that this level of gratitude would have at least mildly subsided by now...
Then the realist in me kicked down the pessimist in me's door, smacked him upside the head, and demanded I be proud of Bills' fans. It's all-too-easy for a long suffering fanbase to make the playoffs, get caught up in expectations, and immediately forget the depressing days they spent hoping against hope that other teams would give them just a little bit of help in their quest for a little bit of life after Week 17.
Now, assuming they didn't concuss themselves jumping through a fiery table or somehow tailgate themselves past the threshold where even security in Buffalo is forced to turn ticketed drunkards away, it's probably easier for most Bills' fan to remember what it's like to suck. After all, the quarterback that helped manage them to slightly above average for the first time in 17 years is now in Cleveland and his replacement could very well end up being the most temperamental talent to ever have been given the reigns to an NFL organization in his rookie year. Josh Allen is a complete wildcard, so if the Bills' season has a foregone conclusion then it's probably schizophrenia.
Therefore, I'd imagine looking back so endearingly at the experience that Andy Dalton helped give them has a bit to do with their stubbornness in looking forward to what has all the makings of a complete shit-show of a developmental season. Still, to their credit, they stumbled to their feet to give one of the loudest standing ovations I can remember hearing at a preseason game, and it was in the direction of an otherwise random and mediocre quarterback that launched a prayer that somehow landed him in the collective heart of Buffalo for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, that's the mark of a fanbase that's truly thankful for even the smallest smattering of success, and not too many of those exist.
Introducing 'The Green Zone', Which Is Presumably NBC's Attempt At Offering Football Fans A Booster Seat
Great! Just what we needed, and by that I don't mean a third visual aide, in addition to the broadcasted down-and-distance as well as the familiar and unmistakable yellow first down line, to notify us of the next offensive checkpoint on an NFL field. Instead, by that I mean a reminder that both the league and their broadcasting affiliates (probably accurately) see their loyal viewers as brainlessly herded cattle.
I often feel dumb for being sports' fan, but it's usually because the emotional toll they take on me is completely disproportional to my actual involvement in them, not because the networks are making it blatantly obvious they think I'm just as easily entertained as a toddler. Might as well insert a jingling keys sound effect prior to each snap if a slightly more vivid shade of green that tells me nothing I didn't already know is supposed to make me fall in love with watching football all over again. Al Michaels has got to be a grandfather at this point, so maybe he can work the "goo-goo, gah-gah" voice into the commentary, as that would be both more hilarious and less insulting to our intelligence than treating a temporary tint like some earth shattering graphic that's supposed to leave us drooling wing sauce all over ourselves in amazement.
We already feel like sheep for gathering around to watch a poorly run diminishing product all Sunday afternoon, so either feed us something more than greener grass or just leave us starved for some better football.