First and foremost, I most certainly do not feel bad for Kareem Hunt. According to multiple accounts, including the police report, it's very possible this whole situation was turned ugly by the incendiary use of a word that's been liable to get your ass whooped since a black and white world started sharing water fountains. However, when it comes from the mouth of female you cannot - without exception - get physical in shutting it for her. I don't care if that demonstrably drunk teenager slathered herself in blackface and put on a one woman minstrel show right outside his apartment door. He simply had to be smarter than to hit her in any form or fashion, especially an irate form and fashion that required him to fight through more blocks than a gunner on a kick return team to do so. Kareem Hunt made his bed, now he's got to sleep in it (until the bright lights die down long enough for another team to justify sneaking in and shaking awake his career, which could be as soon as Monday).
All that being said, let's not act like the Kansas City Chiefs tucked him in that bed on time as much as they rushed him to his room and locked the door behind them as soon as they saw that we saw the damage done under their negligent guardianship. The release of a 23 year old running back with a rushing title to his name is the right move, and there's no wrong time to make the right move. That doesn't mean we can't point out which times are worse than others, because the idea that - over the course of ten months - neither a professional football team or a professional football league had the "resources" (i.e. money) to get their hands on a video they knew to exist, but the most glorified of gossip rag did is the only laughable aspect of this whole situation.
Never mind said team still actively rostering a guy whose talent they bet on when his scouting report transcribed him strangling the pregnant mother of his unborn child in a way that made Kareem Hunt's lunacy look like a love tap. We don't even have to dig up Tyreek Hill's dirt to prove that Kansas City is only half full of shit because the other half is full of hypocrisy. If lying was enough to get you cut then every member of both the Chiefs' front office and the league front office would have to walk around in a full body suit so as not to be easily identified as self-mutilizers. Taking an athlete's word for it, in regards to a circumstance that could clearly cost him
his career, is just as irresponsible and dumb as said athlete putting himself in the position to do so. Therefore, the truth is that two entities that are worth billions of dollars really didn't want to see a form of evidence that's nearly undefeated in making things worse because, through both negative publicity and loss of star power, it would have only taken away from their product. The proof of that truth is in their half-assed attempt to obtain it, unless - of course - you somehow think Roger Goodell and Co. are powerless in comparison to Harvey Levin.
Kareem Hunt is undeniably guilty of putting his hands and foot on a woman. Just don't let that fact blind you to the fact that his guilt has made it all the more easier for literally everyone involved in a mess, of which there are ZERO sympathetic parties, to pile on him as the scapegoat for their complicity in not disciplining it until they had absolutely had to.
Just When You Thought The NFL Was For Suuure Beginning To Figure Out How To Discipline Domestic Violence, A 10 Month Old Video Of Kareem Hunt Assaulting A Woman In A Hotel Leaked
TMZ- TMZ has obtained video of Kansas City Chiefs star running back Kareem Hunt shoving, bull-rushing and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel back in February.
Kareem has not missed a single game this season despite the incident happening MONTHS before the 2018 NFL season kicked off ... and team CEO Clark publicly stated in August he doubted Hunt would be suspended.
In the video, Hunt is seen arguing with a 19-year-old woman outside of his room at The Metropolitan at the 9 at 3:22 AM on February 10, 2018.
Hunt turns a corner and confronts the woman, shoving her hard. The woman strikes him back in the face ... and that's when Hunt goes berserk.
As friends try to hold him back, the 2017 Pro Bowler -- who led the league in rushing yards -- explodes and knocks one of his friends into the woman ... who both go flying into a wall.
Both Kareem's male friend and the woman appear dazed -- but Kareem makes his way over to the female and kicks her while she's crouching on the ground ... knocking her over.
Police were called to the scene but no arrests were made. According to police reports, obtained by TMZ Sports, surveillance video from the hotel was obtained by law enforcement. We're told that video is part of the evidence that was submitted to prosecutors.
Look, the video is bad. Anytime a man places his hands (or feet) on a woman in an extremely irate and aggressive manner it's bound to be, never mind when said man happens to be the type of physical specimen that's able to absorb skull-crunching blows from behemoths who are twice his size on a weekly basis and said woman is a clearly intoxicated 19-year old.
That said, the fact that we're just seeing/hearing about it now, might be close to as bad. I don't know that the cover-up can ever actually be worse than the crime when the crime is literally kicking a member of the fairer sex when she's down. However, the "cover-up" (which seems like it was just the Chiefs and the NFL closing their eyes and screaming "LA-LA-LA-LA" loud enough to block out the noise) sure makes a whole hell of a lot more people complicit in doing whatever it takes to guarantee a 23-year old superstar in a prominent position for a powerhouse team stay on the field where he won the rushing title as a rookie...
My beef should really reside solely with Kareem Hunt, who (from what I can infer without audio) lost his damn mind in response to what looked to be an intentional antagonization, but instead I'm left fuming at how - nearly 5 full years later - absolutely nothing has been learned from the Ray Rice disaster.
To be clear, I don't think this was nearly as bad as the Ray Rice incident, nor do I think anyone is still naive enough to believe that the NFL actually gives all that much of a shit about their players being involved in violent disputes with other men, women, or fucking endangered species for that matter. Still, to know video evidence exists and have your plan of disciplining/dealing with the situation be nothing more than keeping one eye open while crossing your fingers and hoping on blind hope that it magically disappears was sheer stupidity at its finest...the first time they tried to put it into action.
UPDATE: Wouldn't surprise me in the least if the following were true, as evidenced by my use of "intentional antagonization" above. Can't imagine Kareem Hunt lost his damn mind without reason. That reason obviously doesn't excuse his actions (or the NFL's lack of action), of course, but it seems like we might have what could, extremely forgivingly, be considered an unsympathetic (Also see: Shitty) victim on our hands...
After Passing Him In All-Time Sacks, Cam Jordan Paid A Celebratory Tribute To The Late, Great Will Smith
As I tried to wick the moisture from my eyes with a series of blinks, I came to the conclusion that I needed this. By "this", I do not mean a solid cry after watching the bizarro world Saints get served on national television, but rather a tug on the heart strings in the form of a sentimental reminder of exactly what this team is, which is a cohesive group that's got as much love for each other as they do the organization itself.
Much like Michael Thomas can be viewed as the new, improved, and more petulant version of the man whose celebration he quite literally dialed up in a victory over the Rams, Cam Jordan is - in a lot of ways - the 2.0 upgrade (or, perhaps more fittingly, the 'level up' adaptation) of the late, great Will Smith. Therefore, for both of them to pay their respects to the past, albeit in a mind, manner, and with a motivation that couldn't possibly be more different, says something special about this Saints' culture.
The truth is, there is a lot of Will Smith to be seen in the play of Cameron Jordan. The commitment to taking on a leadership role as someone who pays just as much attention to the grind of playing defensive end as the glory of it is almost uncanny. Tragically, the only ways in which to still see #91 are in either a highlight video or a moment of mourning. So, for lack of a better phrasing, it's pretty damn cool that the All-Pro face of a resurgent defense has both an appreciation and an athletic resemblance to someone who represents the highest high and the lowest low in franchise history. On a night in which the eyes of the Who Dat Nation grew shockingly sore, seeing that patented flex get pecked in the opposing backfield certainly was a sight for them.
Credit to Cam Jordan for...well...being exactly who Cam Jordan has been, both on and off the field, since he arrived in New Orleans, and Rest In Peace to the Super Bowl champion who kissed that massive bicep many a time in mapping out a blueprint for how to best do so.
Humble apologies are owed. Last night's complete anomaly of an entirely disjointed performance from the New Orleans Saints didn't just force the tipping of a whole hell of a lot of caps to a defense that put one of the best offenses of all time in a 60 minute submission hold. It also made me wonder how I can convince DeMarcus Lawrence to give me some lottery numbers after I spent the last few days openly questioning his sanity. It's due solely to his shockingly prophetic words that we can't say "well, no one could have predicted that", because he laid out the plot so perfectly that you'd swear they had already seen the movie.
And ya know what, maybe at some point in time he had. It certainly felt like a call-back to the kind of game that, what seems like many moons ago, used to drive Saints' fans up the wall when an offense that's grown to bully opponents with balance inexplicably went three-and-out with three straight passes on their first drive. When a coach who has gotten better about going off only his gut had used both challenges before everyone had even gotten to their seats to watch a game that eventually called for more red flags than a Reuben Foster scouting report, things started to feel a bit too fucking familiar.
The most accurate quarterback in league history (and the ultimate creature of habit) was noticeably off the mark before the Cowboys' had even gotten the opportunity to pin their ears back, so I think what the Dallas' defense truly exposed - other than the absence of Terron Armstead - was the difficulty of playing three football games in eleven days while trying to maintain the momentum of a double-digit win streak. That's not to take anything away from a unit that walked every single step of their talk in strangling the life out of the Saints' offense. However, an offensive line that's been nothing short of dominant in taking on premier pass-rushers looked lethargic on a night in which the most dynamic of weapons were dropping the ball like it was hot. Mix in the seemingly forced decision to go for it on 4th down when points were at a premium and an untimely timeout that allowed the Cowboys to pass (interference) their way to a sure win, and even Sean Payton looked out of sorts in a situation he typically revels in. There's ten straight games, against all different kinds of competition, worth of evidence to prove that the Saints are every bit as good offensively as the numbers say, so you'd have to imprisoned by the moment to consider last night anything other than an aberration.
If there was a positive for the Saints to take away from a game that, even by Thursday Night Football standards, was an ugly disgrace to the sport, then it was the amount of opportunities their defense gave them to win after a rotten start for Eli Apple. Aside from some poor tackling on the occasional QB scramble, they completely shut things down in a second half and made all the game changing plays that the offense couldn't seem to find. To the victor goes the spoils, so the Cowboys will get most of the praise for subduing the previously unstoppable, but the Saints' front seven very much proved themselves in getting after Dak with consistency and holding Zeke in check.
If I absolutely had to pick out a game from last season that compared most favorably to this one, I'd say it was the loss to the Falcons in which they left points on the field as the defense kept them in it with turnovers, Kamara got knocked out early, and Brees tossed a game-ending interception that had no business leaving his hand. I only bring that up because I don't think it's all that much of a coincidence that both those atrociously officiated, poorly coached, and hard-to-watch games were played on the road during a night of the week that's most prone to producing weird outcomes.
To say that I think the Saints needed this reality check would be a retrospective copout, but with ten days to prepare for a team they owe a thing or two, I don't think that being force-fed some humble pie was the worst thing that could happen to them. It sucks that they are no longer in the driver's seat for home field advantage, but heading into the playoffs the winners of 15 straight was always a pipe-dream. They were probably going to need the Rams to trip up again along the way regardless, so let's hope they got their complete stinker out of the way in a situation where the entirely unexpected probably should have been a bit more expected. They unequivocally got their asses choked out last night, so a strong dose of mortality should serve as motivation moving forward.
Before we all share an uproarious laugh at yet another extremely telling look back into Hue Jackson's entirely inept tenure as the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch...
...ahem, excuse me, I meant as the Head (in the clouds) Coach of the Cleveland Browns, I inquire us all to take it a bit easy on Baker Mayfield for the pettiness of his actions on Sunday.
Just imagine kicking off your professional career facing the pressures of being the #1 pick in the NFL draft for the most long suffering of franchises while taking senseless direction from a superior that's best described as a bubbly boob. If Ian Eagle's anecdote is any indication, the poor kid had to suffer through countless meetings that ended with far more confusion than they started with and - once Hard Knocks packed up its shit - he didn't even have a candid camera with which to share a deadpan stare that silently screamed "you've GOT to be fucking kidding me". Never mind the idea of accepting a job with a divisional rival, because you might be liable to hold back a hug from Hue Jackson too if he spent months happy-go-luckily hovering around your workplace without so much as offering a complete sentence of constructive criticism.
Anyway, I can't be in the minority in thinking we need a Todd Haley 'tell-all' as soon as humanly possible, right? There's not a doubt in my mind that it would take more than two hundred pages to count up the amount of times in which he frustratedly gave up mid-"discussion". I know an internal power struggle was what finally got the cord cut, but is it possible that struggle was caused by the miscommunication of Hue Jackson dyslexically misreading obvious social and conversational cues? I don't know...but I feel like I'd be incredibly entertained by getting a look behind the scenes of the NFL equivalent of The Office.
One NBA Coach Set Back Gender Relations With The Astute Proclamation That Attractive Women Can't Coach Because Too Many Players Would Be Trying To Sleep With Them
SBNation- It’s yet another hurdle women face. And while other barriers such as playing experience may put forth a legitimate discussion, it’s clear this issue lies with the gatekeepers. The men who believe it to be problem, even when women consider it a non-issue. And it’s not solely about nudity — the problem lies with sex and power, and that becomes especially apparent when the tape recorders are shut off. “You can’t have a hot woman in the NBA,” says one veteran NBA coach. “Guys will be trying to fuck her every day.”
“By and large the NBA is an incredibly sexist environment,” says the veteran NBA coach. “I listen to players talk about women. I have a daughter and it’s sometimes disturbing. But it’s nothing new. It hasn’t gotten worse over the years. In our society there are men uncomfortable working under women and a handful of our players would have a problem with it.”
Obviously I haven't the slightest clue what NBA coach was unsurprisingly anonymous in saying that the professional athletes with which he works so closely have no more will power than a dog in heat, but I will say that he's likely the type that should probably keep the closest eye on the Becky Hammon's of the world. Maybe I'm off base on this, but if what your players respect most about you is the fact that you also have a penis then your job security is probably pretty flimsy.
Look, I get it. Unfortunately there is still an undeniable machoism that clouds the culture of professional sports like a lingering fart, and - as a result - you're more likely to find misogyny inside a locker room than outside of it. That's just the nature of putting a a bunch of young dudes with a whole lot of testosterone and even more money to burn in an environment where competition is encouraged. I just find it wildly insulting to talk about NBA players as if they are entirely incapable of swallowing their patriarchal pride, keeping their dicks in their compression shorts, and doing their damn job regardless of the sex of a qualified supervisor.
If only because it's extremely difficult to bust into the head coaching ranks period, never mind as a breaker of barriers, I think we're probably still a ways away from a woman being granted full autonomy over a team of grown men. That said, seeing as one of the greatest minds in sports' history chose to share a sideline with the fairer sex, I'd really like to believe we've progressed to a point where the biggest problem with hiring a woman of any aesthetic to a position of power in sports isn't the amount of athletes that would be shooting her the eyes while "trying to fuck her every day".
If we haven't then that should probably take priority over catering coaching searches to the handful of players that have a problem with learning how to better themselves on a basketball court from someone who just so happens to sit down to pee.
DeAndre Ayton, Who Stands At Approximately 7'1" And 250 Pounds, Admitted To Being Intimidated By The Size Of Boban
Do you truly understand how massive a person has to be to bring down to earth someone whose size and athleticism got him selected first overall as an imposing offensive force and a defensive deterrent in a league full of the type of genetic lottery winners that have to limbo through regulation size door frames?
I only ask because I most certainly do not. You could saw Boban Marjanovic clean in half, have only his torso guard me at the perimeter, and I would still probably kick it to the corner out of fear that he might put my attempt at a jump shot directly in the overhead compartment on a non-stop flight to his Serbian homeland. Simply put, while the pictures of him dwarfing mountainous men are almost nonsensically shocking, there's no way they do justice to what it might be like to see a real life giant standing over you in a way that damn near blocks out the sun, never mind boxes out the Suns.
As someone who stands a shade (or two) short of six feet and has an athletic prowess that's limited to blowing by most prepubescent ball boys, finding myself intimidated on a basketball court is nothing new to me. Therefore, by the law of relativity, I find the size required to humble the words of a 7'1", 250 pound professional athlete in making him feel just a pinch of the pain felt by the lone white boy in a playground pick-up game completely incomprehensible. I'm actually glad that DeAndre Ayton had to play a couple possessions with at least one toe in the shoes of mortality, but I genuinely can't wrap my mind around how that is even remotely possible in a non-fictional world without magic beanstalks.
After Having An OT Goal Against Him Upheld, David Rittich Summed Up How We've All Felt About Goaltender Interference Challenges In One Fell Swoop
First and foremost, I'm not sure the NHL's judgement in upholding Tyler Seguin's overtime goal was "give me something to break!" bad. I understand why David Rittich disagrees, as it sort of feels like his reward for having a cat-like recovery after being treated as a speed bump in Jamie Benn's reckless road to a loose puck was immediately facing a point blank shot from one of the best snipers in the sport with the game on the line. However, as far as the extremely loose letter of a polarizing law is concerned, he technically did have a chance to make the save. Contrary to what his regained form might have you believe, it was comparable to the chance one might have at catching a ball that's thrown at their face as the lights in a dark room are being turned back on. Still, taking into consideration the vast amount of times in which the league displays inexplicably dumbass decision making, you have to pick your battles. Ipso facto, I see both sides of the coin so I personally wouldn't freak out over the results of its flipping.
That's not really the point here though. The point is that David Rittich's reaction to a debatable ruling is entirely relatable. They've gotten more consistent as of late, but had the fans in attendance been armed with hockey sticks while the NHL was tripping over the tail they tucked between their legs in trying to define goaltender interference last season then arenas very well may have looked like the following scene out of 300...
The NHL might have a little something to say about hurling a splintered projectile in the general direction of an official (that didn't even make the final call, mind you), but - as far as I am concerned - the steam David Rittich let off in getting heated on the ice is entirely understandable. That poor stick might not have had it coming, but a punch-drunk process that only now is starting to show signs of sobering up sure did.
Analytically Speaking, The Saints' Offense Is Unprecedentedly Efficient In Doing What They Damn Please
Typically, the intricacies of analytics aren't something I concern myself with. I totally understand their usefulness, but I studied more than enough graphs throughout my education to feel inclined to keep a separation between school and sports. That said, what we have above is only as much of a percentage-driven chart as it is the closest possible thing to a connect-the-dots style drawing of the lead lion looking authoritatively down over the rest of his kingdom. Of a multigenerational era in which offenses has been increasingly unstoppable, statistically speaking, that of the 2018 New Orleans Saints stands alone atop the mountainside like Mufasa.
You don't exactly need to be a mathematician to add up the outliers of those axises, and what they equal is a unit that's unparalleled in both holding onto the ball and doing with it what they will. The strongest of flames aren't supposed to produce the slowest of burns, and yet a sinister Sean Payton, a puppeteer of a passer in Drew Brees, an indomitable offensive line, and a top-heavy list of weapons that's increasing in length each and every week are somehow incinerating their opponents in way that's record-breakingly slow but sure. 'Bully ball' is probably an overused cliche, but there might not be a better way to describe the style of a group that, by my math, is more liable to both beat you up and beat you down than literally any of their contemporaries. They aren't just keeping the ball from their competition. They are doing so in a way that compares favorably to placing your outstretched arm on the forehead of a child while he or she hopelessly tries to hit you in the torso.
To be honest, as awestruck as I have been watching this Saints' offense, the visual above aided in that shock. I mean, how could one not be surprised that they are operating with a level of effectiveness and efficiency that has two teams that combined for over 100+ points a week and a half ago squinting up at them as they shine markedly brighter than what many considered the brightest? The answer is that they can't, because as someone who has watched this machine operate so damn smoothly for over a decade now, I can barely comprehend that the peak of their production could have still been so far above and beyond. 2009? 2011? You name it. They are all in that cluster somewhere, which means that they comparatively fall back to the pack when put up against the black & gold boatracing we've seen orchestrated this season. Increasingly forgiving rules have helped, but so have peerless seasons from just about every aspect of an offense that...::checks calculator::...will bludgeon you to death, one stone's throw at a time.
Bad News, An Irish Soccer Team Needed To Postpone Their Match Due To The Death Of One Of Their Players. Good News, Turns Out He's Very Much Alive.
BusinessInsider- An Irish soccer team has issued a grovelling apology after it faked a player's death to get a league match postponed.
Ballybrack FC, an amateur soccer club in Dublin, told the Leinster Senior League that Fernando Nuno La-Fuente had died in a motorbike accident on Friday, November 23.
The league postponed Ballybrack's match against Arklow Town, organised a one minute silence before the kick off of other league matches, and published a death notice in an Irish newspaper to offer its "heartfelt condolences" to the La-Fuenta family and all at Ballybrack, the BBC reports.
Liffey Wanderers FC was one of the teams to observe a minute's silence before a match and even posted a photograph of the moment on its Facebook account.
But Fuente was not dead at all, so it was not long before Ballybrack backtracked.
On Tuesday, the club said the management team made "a gross error of judgment" and that the person in question had been "relieved of all footballing duties," according to a statement posted on the club's Facebook page.
But La-Fuente saw the funny side. "I was playing some video games and suddenly I got a call from work and they said 'You're a celebrity.' That's how I found out that I was dead," he told RTE 1 radio on Wednesday.
La-Fuente said he always knew something was amiss as the club had contacted him beforehand to tell him to ignore any forthcoming statement from the Leinster Senior League that might claim he had "an accident."
He was expecting fake news of an injury like a leg break, so when he heard he had died, he wrote to the league to say he was actually alive. "They wrote straight back and apologised," he said.
La-Fuente, who recently moved to Galway and cannot play for Ballybrack anymore, said he did not believe the team was afraid of playing Arklow but probably having "a rough time getting players."
Well, that's certainly one way to guarantee that your team's amateur soccer match gets postponed to a more a convenient date. Of course, it's also a way to stick an unexpected finger directly up the tight ass of the vindictive bitch that is Karma, as I'd imagine that faking the disastrous demise of someone who is entirely healthy without so much as notifying them that you've done so is as frowned upon cosmically as it's frowned upon societally. Still, if you go as far as to fabricate a tragic death in hopes of ever-so-slightly increasing your odds of winning a relatively meaningless game then it stands to reason you were more concerned with results than rationale.
That's why I can't help but find myself more perturbed by the lack of foresight that went into the execution of this plot more so than the plot itself. Personally, I'd encourage everyone not to make an enemy of the Grim Reaper, but if you're going to take a crap on death's doorstep to push back a stupid sporting then at least bring moist towelettes to clean your tracks after. Semi-metaphorically speaking, if you're going to bury a still-breathing body then maybe get your damn hands dirty in digging that ditch a little deeper.
Okay, that got dark quick, but - point being - you can't just speak someone entirely out existence without taking some precautions first. That web of lies was eventually going to grow into the stickiest of situations, but to not do the due diligence necessary to make sure you didn't get caught in it until after the fictitious funeral services is almost as stupid as putting yourself in charge of them in the first place.
Poor bastard didn't just have to learn that he died in a motorcycle accident. He had to learn that he died in a motorcycle accident without so much as a successful reschedule for his former team to show for it. That's the real shame in this story, as the person responsible for it clearly has none.
Oakland University Has Trained Their Students And Faculty To Deal With Active Shooters By Arming Them With...Hockey Pucks?
DetroitNews- The Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills university began equipping its faculty and some students with hockey pucks this month as a "last resort" precaution to throw at any active shooters on campus, officials say.
Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon said the idea emerged during a training session he was giving earlier this year on surviving an active shooter situation.
Gordon, a former youth hockey coach, said since the university has an ordinance against weapons, one attendee asked what staff and students could bring to prepare themselves for a fight. He recalled once being struck in the head with a puck and said it "caused a fair amount of damage to me."
Oakland University began equipping its faculty and some students with hockey pucks this month as a "last resort" precaution in the event of an active shooter situation on campus, officials say.
The university faculty union's executive committee took part in one of the training sessions that included the concept in June and soon after, decided to begin purchasing and supplying the pucks, said Tom Discenna, president of the American Association of University Professors.
So far, the union has spent $2,500 on an initial batch of pucks. Each costs 94 cents to make and they are printed with the union's logo, Discenna said. They are being distributed for free.
The union began passing out the pucks on Nov. 9. So far, 800 faculty members have them, and another 1,700 are expected to go to students. The university's student congress has ordered an additional 1,000, he said.
Garry J. Gilbert, director of the journalism program at Oakland University, said when he first heard the idea, he was skeptical. But he signed up two weeks ago for the training held in a classroom on the university's campus.
"I have been carrying it (puck) around since I got it. It's on my desk right now," he said. "We got it the same week as the training."
Gilbert said his wife, Holly Shreve Gilbert, who is also on the OU faculty as an adjunct journalism instructor, has a puck with her.
“We both said, 'Let’s hope we never have to do this. If we fight back, this idea makes as much sense as anything else,'" he said.
First and foremost, the fact that we, as a country, are - by design - so powerless against terroristic wackjobs with deadly weapons that the American Association of University Professors, theoretically the creme de la creme of academia, sat down to discuss potential life saving solutions and agreed on a police chief's anecdotal assessment of the painfulness of pucks is about the furthest thing from funny.
On the other hand, the fact that a former youth hockey coach who once took a wayward clear to the face from the stick of a prepubescent boy thought the best way to combat gun violence lied within the confines of the rink is, in an extremely depressing sort of way, pretty hilarious. As a hockey fan, I can definitively say that only a hockey fan could think that hockey held the answer to society's biggest head scratcher. There's no chance Mark Gordon even considered baseballs, and a mere mention that, logistically speaking, they are easier to throw with accuracy probably would have made him lose what's left of his mind.
In theory, I'd say that the type of person who shoots up a classroom full of innocent peers is the type to run when there's vulcanized rubber to be blocked, as self-acting psychos typically aren't team players. In execution, I'd say it's extremely unwise to use a projectile to draw the direct ire of someone with their finger on the trigger of a loaded firearm. In reality, well, I just can't believe that talking about the campus-wide dissemination of a sporting good as the "last resort" precaution to keeping students safe from mass shootings is the actual reality. Such is life (as we continue to treat it like it doesn't really matter), I suppose.
As Is Tradition Following A Steelers' Loss, Ben Roethlisberger Basically Blamed Everyone Not Named Ben Roethlisberger
TribLive- With 15 pro seasons, two Super Bowl rings and the seventh-most career passing yards in NFL history on his résumé, Ben Roethlisberger believes it’s part of his job description to publicly level constructive criticism of teammates.
“I think I have earned the right to be able to do that with as long as I have been here,” the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said Wednesday, “and I’ll just be just as critical of myself (in the media), as well.”
A day earlier during his weekly 93.7 radio segment, Roethlisberger expressed a level of dissatisfaction with at least three of his teammates/coaches.
• Receiver Antonio Brown’s route on a late interception during a loss at Denver on Sunday : “You have to come in flat. You can’t drift in the end zone.”
• Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s playcalling on the final drive of that game: “I think we should have went to (JuJu Smith-Schuster) four straight plays.”
• Rookie James Washington’s drop earlier in the loss to the Broncos : “You’re not going to be out there if you‘re not going to make those plays for us.”
While I find Ben Roethlisberger to be a woefully unlikable person and a terribly two-faced teammate, there is one thing I appreciate about him and that's his predictability in being both those things without shame. Like, to look up the amount of times that the Steelers' cranky quarterback has taken to throwing someone other than himself under the bus would be a glorious waste of time, since you could far more easily track the rotations of the wheels on said bus by taking a look at the right side of Pittsburgh's record with him under center. Unlike his performances prior (See: the laughable game-ending interception that should have counted as two turnovers since the only thing that stopped it from being picked off by the primary defender was the belly of the defensive lineman it was thrown into), the man - much like his head coach - is without fail in pointing the finger after a loss...
To be honest, I almost didn't even feel it was newsworthy that he hit on the unholy trinity of bitching and moaning by blaming a superstar receiver, a rookie receiver, and his offensive coordinator for the result of a game he unequivocally threw away all on his own. If nothing else, the fact that I've nearly become desensitized by his dumbass denunciations is a testament to his longevity as the NFL's preeminent prick. That may come off as disingenuous, but follow the juxtaposition of the following quotes, that were offered back-to-back during an interview, and tell me there's not an art to publicly crafting your innocence at the expense of others...
1) “Being around for a long time with a lot of different players,” Roethlisberger said. “You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways. I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. Sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them.”
2) "How does Roethlisberger think teammates receive it when he publicly criticizes them? “Go ask them,” he said. “I have no idea."
It's not exactly an admirable art, but that doesn't mean Ben Roethlisberger hasn't mastered it in putting in his 10,000 hours as an unaccountable asshole who just so happens to be pretty good at quarterback the rest of the time.
Jamal Murray Waved Bye-Bye To Kentavious Caldwell-Pope After Pump-Faking Him Into The Next County On A Breakaway Bucket
You can say what you want about Jamal Murray and his propensity to rub his way right under the skin of his competition. In just a year and change, he's clearly put together a pretty extensive package of pettiness at the expense of his opponent's feelings...
Just don't say that him waving goodbye to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wasn't just as much a gracious show of good manners as it was a good old fashioned act of mockery. Considering the quickness with which he took flight out of the frame, there's no telling when his primary defender would be returning to the court for pleasantries after getting pump-faked into a cheap seats. God forbid he wait around at the gate to see off the man whose travels he arranged.
Hell, I can even make the argument that KCP was the rude one for not biding Jamal Murray adieu before leaving the premises Jazzy Jeff-style. Dude didn't just get caught in the unforgiving position of trailing on a fast-break, he got caught Irish Exiting the hardwood. I were the Nuggets' guard I'd take offense too, if only because it's disrespectful to play that haphazard of defense on the primary scoring option for a team that has surprisingly taken the Western Conference by storm. Especially one who is nice enough to make sure you don't forget your 'L' on the way out...
Fresh Off Getting Cut After His Second Domestic Violence Allegation This Year, Reuben Foster Got Scooped Right On Up By Who Else But The Redskins
For whatever it's worth, which is one long walk of shame past the firing squad that is everyone with both a brain and a voice, Doug Williams and Dan Snyder really outdid themselves with this move. When you consider that they still proudly identify themselves by a racial slur in the year 2018, it's no small feat to top your organizational tone deafness, but I'll be damned if the Redskins didn't do just that by voluntarily taking on the headache that is Reuben Foster before that of the woman he allegedly struck...again...would have even subsided.
When it comes to the acquisition of talent, we've grown all-too-accustomed to seeing NFL teams operate outside the outskirts of a society of in which common sense typically figures into the employment process. However, this is a whole new shortsighted step in the stupid prioritization of football ahead of even the most bargain basement of business ethics.
We're talking about a player who might not even play football again. A player that a proud franchise like the 49ers was absolutely forced into admitting was a complete failure of a first round pick. A player who, with everything to lose, was presumably still with the goddamn girlfriend who had already both accused and admitted to falsely accusing him of domestic abuse within the calendar year. As good a linebacker as he may be, all signs point to Reuben Foster being a menacing moron at best and a menace to society at worst. Yet, the Redskins basically picked up both him and an amount of baggage that would have United Airlines charging you six ways to Sunday from right outside his holding cell, no questions asked.
If nothing else, the unprecedented lack of shame that resides in the Washington's front office sure is impressive, albeit for all the wrong reasons. The NFL is a league that loves to hide behind the otherwise admirable concept of handing out second (or third, or fourth, etc.) chances when all it's constituents are really doing is compromising any and all morals in a desperate attempt to improve on the gridiron. Keep that in mind when considering that the Redskins were the only organization anxiously lined up outside waiting to rip through the red flags and snag Reuben Foster like he was the most prized product at a 'Black Friday' sale. To make 31 other NFL franchises look like they care by comparison is an accomplishment, even if it's one that makes your own franchise look like a barren wasteland of which basic human decency has died.
To be clear, I don't know what to make of a situation that's sounds about as toxic as the braindead braintrust that voluntarily took it on as a PR nightmare. Therefore, I'll let the justice system run it's course before determining that an extremely talented 22 year old should be shunned from both professional sports and society forever. However, the idea that the Redskins, of all teams, chose to beat any sort of investigation to the punch (no unfortunate pun intended) in backing Reuben Foster because his college friends said it's okay is pretty damn astounding, even by NFL standards.
In An Attempt To Inspire His Team, DeMarcus Lawrence Said Something Very, Very Dumb Ahead Of A Game Against An Impassioned Opponent That Never, Ever Forgets
Objectively speaking, a rant fit for a 'When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong' sketch was a very, very dumb thing to spew to the media. I say that not as a Saints' fan, but as a person who has watched them take just about every perceived slight personally at the encouragement of a Head Coach that loves nothing more than finding vindication in victory. Credit to someone who shares a locker room with Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott for having nothing short of a delusional amount of confidence in a super secret plan to out-muscle one of the most impenetrable offensive lines in the NFL while outwitting both Sean Payton and Drew Brees, I guess. However, when you talk brazenly about how you're going to beat up a bully, it's typically best that you don't let them hear you.
It's not too tough to tell tone through transcript when said transcript explicitly and descriptively threatens violence, so the tone of DeMarcus Lawrence's words lead me to believe he thinks he's preparing for the type of offense that spent so many years finessing its way to 50 burgers. The truth of matter is that this iteration of the Saints is just as likely (if not more) to run through you or over you as they are around you, so revving them up prior to a primetime matchup required the type of foresight most commonly seen from a deer standing helplessly in headlights.
Any given "Sunday", be damned. About the best chance an average Cowboys' team had of beating a strikingly superior Saints' team that's playing as good of football as Sean Payton has ever coached was to hope to catch them sleeping off all the cheese they've been told not to eat prior to their second Thursday night game in as many weeks. That wasn't anywhere near likely to come to fruition a couple hours ago, as they've seemingly been immune to their own press clippings in gaining momentum like a boulder rolling down a mountain with each passing week, but it's a whole hell of a lot less likely now that they have some...shall we say...inspiration to internalize. My understanding of religious studies is a bit rudimentary, but I have a tough time believing that David pompously puffed out his chest before taking down Goliath, and Goliath has got nothing on the Saints' stoutness in the trenches.
Don't let all the laughing, dancing, and candy consumption you've seen on the sidelines fool you, because the fun merely follows the feeding frenzy. The Saints have proven themselves a team full of insatiable dogs when the game is at all in doubt, and DeMarcus Lawrence just kicked awake the most irritable rottwieler in the pack...
Therefore, all complaints of "running up the score" can be directed the way of DeMarcus Lawrence when Jason Garrett is left clapping himself insane like this monkey toy on national television while Drew Brees does a little more maintenance on his MVP odds...
...or when Dak Prescott finds himself awestruck by a dominant run defense, a prominent pass-rush, and an amount of yards and touchdowns he has never before seen grace the scoreboard at Jerry's World. The only points getting shaved are coming at the expense of that stupid, self-important star come Thursday, because a spite-driven Saints' team has just been given all the more reason to make sure they keep their unmatched arsenal of weapons sharp in order to best expose wounds that are now fresh for a salting.
One overeager Cowboy not only invited the Problem Child version of Sean Payton to the party but unofficially offered himself up as the muse during a season that's become a goddamn Picasso of pettiness. As my Dad always used to say, you're responsible for your own guests, and the one below undoubtedly just laughed maniacally at the idea of respecting the house of an opposing player that thought it smart to punch up at his antagonistic 10-1 team during game week. DeMarcus Lawrence desperately tried to speak into existence some sort of half-assed humbling of a team that won't stop at beating you if you give them even the slightest of justification to embarrass you. Can't wait to see how it works out for him!
I'll be honest, if feels like a missed opportunity. At one point late in last night's game, Marcus Mariota had 17 completions on 17 passes in the process of putting up 17 points against an opponent that had amassed 17 more, and that would have been the cleanest encapsulation of a team that - even when technically flawless - is the meh'est of meh offensively. Of course, garbage time trashed the linearity of a numbers' game that was somehow effectively ineffective, but not topping 20 points while going 22-23 for 303 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout loss is still a pretty good representation of a unit that is the physical embodiment of a yawn.
To be clear, I know they have been dealt a rash of injuries on offense and we're playing against the most prominent of pass-rushers in taking on a division rival that was riding in high on a 7-game win streak. Still, the only thing that could be more fitting of the Tennessee Titans than solidifying their quarterback as the most efficient loser in NFL history is, well, aggressively going for it on 4th and short by ultra-conservatively jamming the ball into the gut of a blocking tight end...
Actually, that might not even be true. After all, having the rationalization for taking that risk (which was obviously field position) immediately jammed 97 yards down their throat in a form and fashion that all-but-sealed their fate before halftime is also pretty brutally on-brand for a team that's as nauseatingly predictable in theory as they are insanely unpredictable in execution.
All in all, last night was almost a poetic display of the dull decency that makes the Tennessee Titans neither good nor bad enough to watch or talk about. It was the Mona Lisa of mediocrity, with the only thing that could have possibly made it more interestingly average being a shitload of 17's hidden in the stats.
Look, I love that quote. It's almost impossible not to. Professional athletes that wholeheartedly appreciate getting paid handsomely to pursue their passion at the most prestigious level have always and will always strike a chord with those that weren't blessed with the god-given (and oft-forgotten, time-intensive) talent required to play a sport for a living. The humility David Pastrnak displayed in, more or less, admitting he's cool with getting comparatively hosed on his contract so long as it allows him to pay his bills by playing hockey is undeniably awesome.
It's just not at all what we should require from those whose earning windows, atop a field that's as physically and mentally demanding as it is objectively fun, close far quicker than those of the people crapping on them for being selfish and/or greedy by doing the inherently human act of looking out for their own wallet. I don't know that William Nylander is doing the right thing for his career by holding out, nor do I know that he deserves the dollar amount he's looking for, but I do know that he owes a team that knew his contract was up when they invested $77 million in an outside source of offense absolutely fucking nothing.
Putting the onus on a 22 year old kid to save your salary cap, as opposed to someone who has already been crowned as a prodigy of team building for one of the most distinguished organizations in all of sports, is absolutely laughable at best and willfully hypocritical at worst. William Nylander should milk the Maple Leafs for all they are worth, as they've basically abused his utters in pumping every ounce of protein out of a rookie contract that might as well have been paid in peanuts. To see it any differently just because one of his most prominent peers is still made giddy by the thought of playing his way above the poverty line is to view the situation through either royal blue lenses or the scope of a jealous jackass. Blame the talent all you want, but those that aren't one awkward hit away from having secured their last bag are getting paid a hell of a lot too, and it's their responsibility to figure out how to balance the checkbooks in best assembling it.
Don't Fret UFC Fans, Jon Jones Is So Confident He'll Pass His Drug Test That He's Having It Administered By Lance Armstrong's People
Look, as a casual fan of mixed martial arts, I want to believe Jon Jones. Not only because he's got an unimpeachably awesome nickname like 'Bones' that fits his ability to splint an opponent's shin with the power of his own, but because he's one of the most athletically gifted fighters that combat sports have ever seen. Time and time again he's proven to be an unlawful prick, but the UFC as a product is undeniably more intriguing when it's most talented employee is fighting someone other than his own personal demons. Therefore, I genuinely hope he was being genuine in his response to a line of questioning whose tone was rightfully doubtful.
That being said, if that interview served as the actual drug test then that toxicology report is coming back more tainted than his own resume. To drop one name, and have that name belong to debatably the most longstanding and successful cheater in the history of competitive athletics isn't a red flag for one reason only, and that reason is that you can't inject yourself with a flag...though if Jon Jones were hopped up on enough blow he might be liable to test that theory.
Like, why even keep it at a Lance Armstrong reference? He might as well have covered his tracks by lacing his wrists with all the yellow Livestrong bracelets that got tossed in the trash when their spokesperson got outed for accepting any and all praise, profit. and glory that came as a result of cycling circles around cancer with the blood of a centaur and the moral high ground of Mother Teresa. After all, there's no real difference between that and coming within a half a step of calling Barry Bonds' biceps to the stand as his character witnesses.
Now, I suppose I didn't expect someone whose actively sabotaged his insanely promising career to be the smartest, but - if it's goal was to make people believe that he's changed his ways - an answer that asked us to trust the most disgraced of dope identifiers was undoubtedly the dumbest.
I guess if you wanted the short story of what's been going on with a Devils' team that would be desperately pounding the panic button like it were a Piñata full of points if not for a 4-game win streak to open the season, the following 37 seconds is about as succinct as symbolism gets...
Of course, Sami Vatanen adding insult to another absolutely awful outing by a goaltender whose team has given him nothing in the way of comfort since returning from injury was just the cherry on top of what was a shit Sunday. Still, what served as the punchline also served as a fitting #FAIL during yet another game that was lost in either the first or the last five minutes.
During a lengthy 82 game season, it's silly to point out one instance in which a team let what could easily prove to be a precious point in the playoff race slip through their grasp. Luckily for premature prognosticators (and unluckily for those invested in the success of a team who, at it's most resilient, snuck into the postseason by the skin of their teeth), the Devils don't have one of those instances. They have about eight...merely 23 games into a season that went from a solid reassurance to a complete shitshow in about as long as it takes for them to leave someone wide open in the slot when Cory Schneider happens to be starting. As evidenced by what was yet another comically tenuous 2-0 score last night, the only multiple goal leads that have been any sort of safe have belonged to the opposition during a time of the year in which padding your point total is at a premium.
And look, I get it. It's inherently a gimmick, so the results of 3-on-3 overtime are bound to be fluky. Unfortunately, if not for a forgiving post, the Devils could have just as easily let the 3-2 3rd period advantage become a 4-3 regulation disaster last night. If not for the reigning MVP of the entire NHL whiffing on a one-timer, Marcus Johansson wouldn't even have gotten the chance to beat the clock in batting the boys into an extra session against the Islanders. Simply put, they drew about even in the "shit happens" department in finding two points that just as easily could have been lost, and that still left two points to be desired in games that sandwiched an unwatchable shellacking.
It's not that there haven't been some positives. Aside from the occasional hiccup (more accurately, coughing fit), Keith Kinkaid has played to the level of an NHL starter that they otherwise don't have right now. For those that aren't still crying over spilled milk that has molded into a rotten testament to retrospect, Pavel Zacha is starting show himself on the scoresheet after providing a palpable boost defensively when called back up. Even in comparison to the 6th round shocker that successfully filled in as first-liner to start his rookie year, Jesper Bratt has been nothing short of a revelation since his return. Damon Severson has been everything asked of him and more in making those that lazily criticize him look increasingly stupid. The whipping boy that is Travis Zajac has been productive in a way that leaves you looking around corners and in closets to see where he's hiding Zach Parise. Blake Coleman has continued an upward trajectory that's matched only by his pickle juice sales. Kyle Palmieri has gotten quieter in remaining on pace for a career year. Nico Hischier has largely avoided a sophomore slump, and Taylor Hall is statistically right on track with a season in which his dominance proved award-worthy.
The undeniably negative, however, can be summed up in the following example: Damon Severson and Andy Greene have played their way into occasional first pairing minutes, which has only been a painful reminder that the latter belongs nowhere near a first pairing. In essence, the roster's select successes have only sustained success in showing its fatal flaws.
Analytically, the Devils are probably due for some positive regression, but the fact of the matter is that the things that have kept those percentages from evening themselves out in the standings are the type of stupid and untimely mental mistakes that can't be solved by any amount of math. I don't think they are bad as their record, especially recently, indicates. However, in a league with so much parity, there's not all that much difference between the bad teams and the reliably unreliable teams, and New Jersey couldn't possibly better fit the description of the latter right now.
I'm not going to pile on the fact that Jim Harbaugh can't win a big game, as that's been discussed ad nauseam after yet another rival made yet another mockery of the maize and blue as the person who wore it atop his ill-fitting, high-waisted khakis stood in helpless supervision. I'm not even going to talk about how an overbearing, condescending, and disingenuous blow-hard continues to spout his boastful bullshit despite winning nothing more than a couple dozen recruiting battles. You don't need me to tell you that his act has worn thin, for - by the time the 4th quarter rolled around and over the Michigan Wolverines - even those that swore by it were left swearing at it.
While facing off against a coach that couldn't possibly be more loathsome as a person (as feigning health problems that can only be cured by a multiple touchdown lead is far from the most despicable thing Urban Meyer has consistently done), Jim Harbaugh was only a challenge for the award of Most Unlikable Personality on the very same field where his "dominant" defense got dissected and deconstructed to the tune of 62(!) points on Saturday. Point being, I'm not exactly breaking any news by saying that his walk has been lapped by his talk so many times that it's more than debatable whether or not the race should just be called.
Then again, I'm not sure we ever should have expected anything different than far more bark than bite from the type of grown ass man whose lack of professional discipline demands for the wearing of a goddamn leash at work...