Safe To Say This High School Football Coach Wasn't Dreaming Of The Ensuing Gatorade Bath En Route To Winning The State Championship
Oh, irony. That sweet, sweet sugar on top of the refreshing treat that is watching irritable old men get drenched in barrels of sticky sports drinks and the ice that keeps them nice and cold. It's almost as it Randy Dreiling doesn't even realize that the dose of "tough love" (aka shit) that he undoubtedly dumped on his team over the course of a successful season - that he never even considered enjoying, mind you - made it all the more satisfying for them to return the favor with a dose of ass-clenching electrolytes. I don't know one high school football coach from the next, but I do know that one who responds to a championship-inspired celebratory soaking with an instinctual attempt at the assault of a minor probably had that impromptu bath coming and should probably be happy it was only filled with Gatorade.
After all, the tradition of making coaches wet and wildly uncomfortable following their greatest successes isn't about honoring coaches as much as it is entertaining the players that had to put up with their shit in order to get where they wanted to go. I have it on the good authority of this particular coach's bitter beer face in response to the longstanding taste of a title that playing for the Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints wasn't always the most pleasant experience. Therefore, "rewarding" him with the Varsity Blues by jamming the stick back in his ass during the 5 second stretch of the season in which he actually relaxed his sphincter enough for it to release probably added just a touch to the thrill of victory for a bunch of verbally-abused teenagers.
Unsurprisingly, Gregg Popovich And Kawhi Leonard Appear To Disagree In Regards To The Latter's Leadership Qualities
No offense to Kawhi Leonard, who has proved that he doesn't need to be under the watchful and trusted eye of Gregg Popovich to be the best player at both ends of the floor for a championship contender, but I'm not so sure it's his inactivity that got his leadership label erased as much as it was his invisibility. There's still a lot of fog hovering over a relationship that, according to the Spurs' medical staff, was more fractured than the belabored body part that caused it, and the player that made sure that separation held strong sure did a hell of a job of hiding in it. Therefore, even if you think the NBA's resident mute was done wrong by an organization that's gotten quite a bit right over the last couple decades, you'd still have to laugh at the idea that he's been some sort of leader.
To be clear, you don't have to be the "rah rah" type to call yourself a captain. If you weren't already aware that leading by example is most certainly a thing then you need not look further than the leadership lineage of which the NBA's incomparable introvert seemed poised to join, as Tim Duncan wasn't exactly the Tony Robbins of team bonding. That said, while being vocal isn't a requirement to being influential in the locker room, actually being in the locker room and actually having a voice kind of are. It might be tougher to communicate your message to a team while in street clothes, but it's toughest to communicate your message to a team while in street clothes that are being worn in another state from which you refuse to talk.
To put it bluntly, shit happens. Teams and players have irreconcilable differences all the time. It's the nature of the competitively cutthroat business that is pro sports. However, when you handle those differences with the maturity of a kindergartener packing up his piggy bank and running away from the home that helped fill it then a man of the house you are most certainly not. I don't know that Gregg Popovich was right in taking an unprovoked jab at a former player, but - word for word - I can't say he was wrong in doing so.
Jimbo Fisher's Nephew Celebrated Texas A&M's Thrilling OT Victory By Punching An LSU Staffer Who Has Parkinson's, Thus Drawing The Ire Of Kevin Faulk
LBS- A new report says the man who punched ailing LSU staffer Steve Kragthorpe following Texas A&M’s 7-overtime win over LSU on Saturday night was Cole Fisher, the nephew of Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher.
The Advocate’s Brooks Kubena reported the news on Sunday and says that a scuffle was started when A&M receivers coach Dameyune Craig came over and started talking trash after the Aggies’ 74-72 win. Craig had been a coach on Les Miles’ staff but was not retained by Ed Orgeron.
During the scuffle, Cole is said to have punched LSU analyst Steve Kragthorpe in the chest, hitting him where his pacemaker is located. Kragthorpe, 53, has Parkinson’s disease and has had a pacemaker in his chest since 2017 to help stimulate his brain.
“I didn’t appreciate getting punched in my pacemaker,” Kragthorpe told the Daily Advertiser. “I’m not feeling good right now. I have no idea who the guy is. But he was wearing an A&M shirt, and I think I saw him signalling during the game. He was credentialed, so A&M should know who he is.”
A photo shared after the game made it seem like LSU staffer Kevin Faulk was getting physical with Cole Fisher, but he says he was responding in protection of Kragthorpe.
The Advocate says Cole Fisher is an undergraduate football student manager at Texas A&M.
It's the most wonderful time of the yeaaaar. With kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you "be of good cheer!", it's the most wonderful time of the year!
No, but seriously, is there a better way to ring in the holiday season than with a reminder that family is as much a curse as it is a gift? Usually that annual testing of patriarchal patience comes when the passing of mashed potatoes turns into the mashing of political ideologies. However, a college kid who got his job as an "undergraduate student manager" (aka glorified water boy) through nepotism finding himself involved in a fight with both someone suffering from a degenerative disorder and a former NFLer while his uncle was trying to take a second to inhale after coming out on the right side of seven breathtaking overtimes works too.
This particular relationship might not be of the father/son variety, but that look that Jimbo Fisher gave his nephew certainly was. The turn of face that was made as one side of the fight was subjectively described by the person who escalated it despite having no business being in it is one that we've all seen before. It's one that parents have grown accustomed to making as they've been hardened by the extensive ripening process of the fruits of their loins. It's one that silently screams "you're so lucky I'm biologically bound to love you", because nothing tests the sturdiness of the connection of kin quite like being forced onto the defensive by the stupidity of your own family after an unbelievable offensive performance.
Cole (because of course his name is Cole) Fisher did us all a "favor" in reminding us that the only line that can repeatedly be crossed without increasing consequence is a bloodline. After all, 'tis the season in which the burden of unconditional love is at its most expensive.
Not Even Being On The Opposing Sideline Could Help Hue Jackson, As The Browns Continued To Make Him Look Bad
While my gut tells me it's a bad look for a football coach to graciously accept a trolling from hands that he's weeks removed from tying behind the backs of the players that made it a point to mock him yesterday, I'm just not sure what else Hue Jackson was supposed to do in this situation. After all, if there were ever a circumstance in which to ignore your surroundings and eat your feelings by diving face first into some humble pie, it would be after definitively losing a breakup with the Cleveland Browns.
We're talking about a man whose defense was in the process of being torn to shreds by his former offense, that just so happened to find life in the death of his otherwise hopeless head coaching tenure. Simply put, the time for letting personal pride get in the way of an all-too-fitting farce had long passed when Damarious Randall offered Hue Jackson a physical token of his professional failures.
Of course, given what we know about the former Browns' Coach that was non-ironically compared to Michael Scott by one of his players before accepting the role of Dwight Schrute on the Bengals' staff, it's entirely possible that Hue Jackson didn't have the self-awareness to understand that he was being both emasculated and made sport of. However, even if he did, what was he supposed to do? Break from tradition by not accepting the offer of something he did nothing to earn?
Also of note, Baker Mayfield is on the fasttrack to being the most beloved Brown of all time...
After Doubling Up On His Career Interception Total On Sunday Alone, Saints' Safety Chris Banjo Was "Randomly" Selected To Take A Drug Test
I wouldn't exactly consider this surprising. As a league that takes pride in it's ability to kill a buzz, the NFL was bound to try to figuratively take the piss out of a career-best performance by literally taking the piss out of the player who put it forth. Never mind that Chris Banjo's second interception came compliments of a quarterback who might as well have attached his hand towel to the ball prior since it very much served as the throwing of a white flag, because there is nothing the NFL cares more about than maintaining what little integrity they do have through suspiciously "random" drug tests.
Anyways, if anything, this is really just a huge compliment to the New Orleans Saints and a special teams' ace that made the most of his garbage time opportunity to get in on the fun of emasculating the Eagles. Up against last year's midseason favorite for MVP and the eventual Super Bowl champions, and even the reserves were flexing their muscles in way that made the league question whether or not they were artificially enhanced. The NFL might as well have given Chris Banjo and the rest of the 'Boonk gang' boys a breathalyzer while they were at it, because you could just as easily use the same thought process to determine that a once vulnerable defense couldn't possibly play so loose, confident, and carefree without some liquid courage.
Aaron Rodgers' Brother, Who Notably Hates His Guts, Is Making Thanksgiving Eve Very Awkward On The Internet
Ah, Thanksgiving. The official start of the holiday season. A time for reflection, appreciation, gratitude, and taking up your grievances with family in a painstaking manner that leaves every witness feeling both the undying desire to leave the room and the inherent need to rubberneck the wreckage.
Now, usually that "room" isn't an insanely popular online platform that's used for as many charitable endeavors as it is vindictive judgements, and that "family" isn't typically one that's otherwise excommunicated from each other. Still, aside from the complete lack of love lost, it's just nice to know that Aaron Rodgers house (divided) is only different from the dwelling where your own biologically belligerent bloodline gathers in being more destructively divisive.
So...uhh...yeaaaaah...Happy Thanksgiving(?), to you and yours, from a collection of individuals with dysfunctional DNA that should undoubtedly make you feel better about the contentiousness at the table when one too many pale ales leads to a polarizing political debate. In the spirit on the holiday, be happy with what you have, as the mood during your meal can't possible be as fiery as the natural disaster that can blaze across a countryside but (allegedly) can't get an NFL quarterback to reach out to the woman that gave birth to him!
Also, while you're here, maybe donate to a good cause, as it's more probable than not that saving lives during tragedies is more important than trying desperately to ruin reputations during the holidays.
When you anonymously dump on a teammate through the media, it says more about you than it does the teammate. When you anonymously dump on a teammate through Stephen A. Smith specifically, it screams more about the instability of the shit-show than it does any one person stuck flinging and dodging dung inside a clogged toilet of a broken locker room.
That being said, while a complete coward of an anonymous player (if he does indeed exist) makes a shitty messenger, there is reason to believe that the message itself might hold some validity. After all, as the volatile powder keg of personalities that is the Washington Wizards has basically devolved into something one stumble short of a Civil War-style Royal Rumble, there was only one player who professed his love for a franchise that's basically been running in place since he joined it...
It's entirely possible that John Wall's insistence that the solution lies within was just his attempt at doing damage control, but - if what was said about his selfishness is true - isn't it also possible that he's cool with being a big part of the problem so long as he has the power within a half-competent organization not to adjust his play? I mean, were talking about a player who told off his coach one day and was apparently back in his good graces the next, so the idea that John Wall does whatever the hell he wants in Washington isn't exactly a crazy one...
They currently suck, so I haven't felt compelled to watch nearly enough Wizards games to determine what exactly it is that ails them offensively, but there have been times in the past in which they've flourished in the absence of their best player. That shouldn't be enough reason for one of his teammates to run to the loudest of antagonists without even having the decency to put his name to the news, but it is a reason to worry that the guy whose 4-year, $170 million dollar extension kicks in next season might be burdensome on more than the budget.
As He's Been Known To Do, Brandon Marshall Waxed Poetic About His New Team, This Time Praising The Mechanical Inner Workings Of The Saints
Considering the source, this compliment needs to be taken with far more than a grain of salt, as Brandon Marshall is known for abusing the additive that is exaggeration. We're talking about a guy who needed to see no more than approximately one practice to speak glowingly about the promise of both Jay Cutler and Geno Smith, so to trust his initial analysis is to not understand its history.
History be damned, however, because the Saints - a team that bested last year's 8-game win streak with this year's 9-game win streak - have lent credence to the type compliment that has undeniably been seen coming to fruition on Sundays. From the top down, New Orleans is currently a machine, and it's one whose productivity, regardless of cog replacement, seems to be compounding with each passing week. There's a reason it seems as though they've been drippin' with the juice lately, and it's because Sean Payton and Drew Brees demand the grind that is the mid-week squeeze out of team that knows how talented they are while knowing how little that could mean if they don't keep putting the work in. They might look and sound cocky from time to time, but their Sunday swag is in full force because of their preparation, as opposed to in spite of it.
Brandon Marshall has played in a grand total of zero postseason games while making his rounds in all the wrong places at all the wrong times. Therefore, his bullish bias aside, it stands to reason that he hasn't seen anything like the relationship that exists between Sean Payton and Drew Brees and/or the effort that goes into making the most of their excellence. As both veteran wide receivers who have gotten no more than a glimpse into the game-planning have attested, this Saints' team in special in play, personality, and professionalism.
Zion Williamson Told A San Diego State Player He Was "Too Small", Which Kinda Buries The Lede Of Him Being Too Big
That's an insult. I know that's an insult. Any time you finish a demeaning proclamation with "boy", whether or not you are also still technically a boy, you are doing so in an attempt to emasculate your male target in question. That being said, I'm just sure how anyone could justify being insulted by that statement when it's coming from the genetic anomaly that is Zion Williamson.
Like, how do you even react to a criticism that's about as clever as saying "water is wet, boy"? I'm all for verbally castrating your opponent, but something that equates to "as an average sized D1 athlete, you are physically incapable of stopping me, a full-size brick shithouse that can jump clear over buildings that aren't as sturdy as my bone structure" isn't exactly as much of a sick burn as it an undisputed truth. Honestly, I hope the 6'7, 285 pound teenager works on his trash talk before next season, because - in a professional league full of pure pettiness - he's going to have to be a little more witty than one-liners that roughly translate to "I'm a biological asterisk and you are not".
Anytime you get called a boy by someone who, even if by age only, is also a boy, you reserve the right to protect your manhood. However, I can't help but think the smarter route for Devin Watson to have gone in response would be to insult Zion Williamson's intelligence, as nothing is worthy of the following reaction quite like mocking a college kid's inability to lockdown the bounciest of basketball playing behemoths...
First, some facts. If football was a drug then we all would have mainlined our way to an overdose last night. The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, led by two of the most innovative offensive coaches in the sport and two of most promising young passers in the sport, put on the type of show that could make a grown man pee in his cup so as to not miss one single second of live action (note: not a personal anecdote). If you told either myself or any other sports' fan that we could subscribe to watch even one such spectacle each and every week from September to January we'd sign for that package with our own blood without even reading the fine print. Football, like all sports, is inherently a form of entertainment, and games don't get any more entertaining than one that features two of the top teams in the league smattering the scoreboard with 100+ points by way of 14 touchdowns.
That being said, if you don't think Sean Payton (inexcusable misspelling, for the record) watched the entirety of last night's contest with the type of smug smirk on his face that makes his competition want to feed shit to his grin then your blind infatuation with the most simplistic of stats is comparable to that ten year old playing Madden on 'Rookie' mode. Twenty-one combined penalties, seven combined turnovers (with 3 ending up in the opposing end zone), and such a thorough cover-up of suspect decision-making with pretty point totals that each score should have been sponsored by Maybelline makes not great football, unless your interpretation of the word "great" is as subjective as that of a MAGA hat.
Fun football? Yes. Intriguing football? Undoubtedly. Addictive football? Pretty sure my prior reference to the mainlining of narcotics make that's question rhetorical. Great football? Hell no. One gunslinger of an MVP candidate shot his own team in the foot five times (including twice in a row with the game on the line), and offered up 14 points to the opposing defense. Another workhorse of an MVP candidate didn't touch the ball for the last eleven minutes of a one score game in which the clock was begging to be bled more than a self-mutilator.
Two great teams definitely faced off against each other last night, but the brand of play they put forth was basically the Four Loko of NFL football. That game was drunk and hyper as all hell, which - while more than worthy of all the buzz - is wildly unsustainable without all but guaranteeing an inevitable crash. Even in retrospect, I wouldn't have changed a damn thing about it, so you can certainly be mad at Trent Dilfer for bitching out and killing your vibe, but don't be mad at him for stating a fact.
On This Episode Of 'As The Basketball Bounces': Terry Rozier Sent A Cryptic Tweet That Toootally Didn't Mean What Literally Everyone Who Follows Him Thinks It Meant
I've got to admit, I'm sucker for shit like this, and I don't just mean the overall soap opera status of the NBA and all the social media shenanigans that come with it, but rather the preposterous playing of dumb that typically follows.
Now, to be clear, no one conclusively knows what Terry Rozier was actually referring to with that vague tweet that, objectively speaking, couldn't possibly be more relevant to his increasingly combustable working conditions. However, for a professional athlete who...::checks notes::...wasn't talking about himself when thinking "out loud" on his own personal and public page to a fanatical following to act like we're the ones who be playing too much on our phones is comical. Going the cryptic route is on-brand for 'Scary Terry', but - much to his dismay - when it comes to mysterious internet usage his core audience is more "birth-right" than "born yesterday".
People have been talking about how the Celtics were too deep with talent to not make a trade since well before the season started, and an underwhelming start to said season hasn't exactly put that elephant in the locker room on a weight loss plan. Yet, the person who appeared to be talking about said elephant behind its back without mentioning it by name thinks his target demographic has "happy feet", as if his itchy twitter fingers weren't completely complicit in pulling the strings to make those with a vested interest in the NBA dance...
Again, I'm not definitively saying that Terry Rozier passive aggressively demanded a trade on twitter, but I am saying that all that suspicious stream of consciousness was missing was a laughably unbelievable excuse that can be used as a punchline if/when (more "when" than "if") he gets moved...
You Won't Find A Bigger Juxtaposition Of Occupational Competence Than Jason Witten Announcing The Rams-Chiefs Game
Full disclosure, picking on Jason Witten for leaning on the non-ironic use of Michael Scott-isms and a laundry list of half-accurate preconceived notions to fumble his way through the Monday Night Football broadcast has become such commonplace that I almost feel like a bully in joining in. I'm not entirely sure how that's possible, as someone who is being generously compensated for a high-profile gig despite having no business being offered it in the first place isn't what anyone would consider a sympathetic figure. Therefore, I can't help up think it's a credit to his incompetence that I feel more inclined to pity him than pile on.
That being said, the juxtaposition of the Rams and Chiefs putting on the type of football fireworks show that required some sports' enthusiasts to cover their boner with a binder like they were in middle school again and the background noise of the type of conversation that makes you want to vigorously tweet about the stupidity of strangers is just too much to resist. Simply put, Jason Witten announcing a back-and-forth game in which 100+ points were scored in a vast variety of fashions is like hiring someone with a aggressive case of Tourettes to officiate your wedding. As bad for them as you feel, you'd feel even worse in letting their unfortunate and uncontrollable inability to communicate interrupt such an otherwise perfect event.
Now, my viewing experience wasn't compromised, as - over the course of the last ten weeks - I've become immune to the nonsensical noise that accompanies the NFL's early week escape. Still, in any worldly context, it's tough to find a bigger disparity in awesomeness, excitement, and all around good fun than was taking place on that field and what was being verbally vomited in the booth. No offense to Jason Witten, of course, but it was like watching a live-action art show with a tone-deaf third grader practicing the saxophone for the first time as the "symphony", and I can't help but think that both the artists and those that truly appreciate them deserve better.
Joel Quenneville Appears To Be Enjoying The Time Off, As He Was Seen Ripping Shots With Fans At The Bears' Tailgate
I wouldn't have said this before I saw it in action, but - by complete happenstance - I think Joel Quenneville just partook in the one activity that could bring him even more support in the city Chicago. The vast majority of Blackhawks' loyalists were already firmly in the corner of the mustachioed man with which they celebrated three Stanley Cups, as opposed to the corner of the management team that needed a scapegoat for their stupid mistakes following said Stanley Cups. However, getting caught on candid camera slugging some soul warmer with the most devoted of diehards is enough to get the attention of even the casual hockey fans in the Windy City. That's just a "man of the people" move amongst the people that would be most appreciative of that sort of thing. The only thing that makes the heart grow more fonder than absence is alcohol, and Joel Quenneville currently has both those things working in favor of a resume that doesn't need reinforcement.
So suck on that Stan Bowman, and by "that" I don't mean some bargain basement barrel aged whiskey from a repurposed piece of winter sports equipment. Instead, by "that" I mean yet another...ahem...shot to the credibility of a front office that was already deemed foolish following the firing of the 2nd winningest coach in NHL history, even before said coach became family with a grateful fanbase through a shared indulgence in firewater.
Marvin Lewis Took The Loss To The Ravens' Rookie QB In Stride By More Or Less Predicting A Premature End To Lamar Jackson's Career
What a pro. Dare I even say, a pro's pro? I mean, you can take umbrage with Marvin Lewis as an NFL coach (his longstanding job, mind you), as he's been granted just about the longest leash in league history and merely managed to hogtie the entire Bengals' organization into a state of immovable mediocrity with it, but as a football mind? Well, I'll tell ya, clearly they don't come any more intuitive.
Now, one might argue that the perfect time to remind a rookie quarterback of the oh-so-rarely referenced harsh reality of his position is not immediately after his first start/win for which he had a limited amount of time to prepare. However, if not the defeated coach who clearly didn't game-plan correctly for the mobility of a quarterback whose athleticism had senile draft blowhards trying to convert him to wide receiver then who would let Lamar Jackson in on such a well kept secret to being successful in not getting killed as a quarterback?
Sure, it would have been nice of the Bengals' eternally tenured coach to stop at humbly offering some praise to a young player who was impressive in experiencing the thrill of victory for the first time professionally, but how long were we expected to let Lamar Jackson enjoy his accomplishment before clueing him in on the agony of a potential career-threatening ACL injury? A day? A week? A week and a day?!?! The clock was already rapidly ticking in giving him a closer look, or shall I say scope, into the fragility of a body for which Marvin Lewis has apparently and graciously scheduled a donation to science, and who better to keen him in on that vision than the man who has got a goddamn Masters degree in job security?
Say What You Want About The Man That's Being Sued For Dressing Like A Ref To Fix His Son's High School Football Game, But Don't Say He's A Bad Dad
ChicagoTrib- The father of a football player is accused of influencing the outcome of a recent game in favor of Nazareth Academy and is at the center of a lawsuit filed by groups associated with Simeon Career Academy against the Illinois High School Association.
The Simeon Alumni Association, the Blue Machine—the Simeon football team’s booster club—and a handful of parents filed the lawsuit Nov. 16 against the IHSA in Cook County Circuit Court, less than a week after the West Chatham football team lost a Class 7A quarterfinal 34-27 to Nazareth Academy, a Catholic high school in La Grange Park.
The lawsuit alleges a parent of a player from Nazareth wore his referee uniform and was involved in calls the referee crew made though he was not officiating the Nov. 10 game. The father was also seen alongside referees in an area where only officials are supposed to be.
On Facebook, the father responded to criticism of him being involved in the game by saying, “I did what was needed to make sure Naz won,” according to screenshots included in the lawsuit.
In another comment, the father tells someone, “I didn’t make one bad call. I made sure the best team won.”
I think we can all agree that helicopter parents, especially those that take a vested and vicarious interest in youth sports, are an obnoxious breed. However, as that interest typically begins and ends with low-risk bitching from the sidelines, I think I have to begrudgingly tip my hat to the type of father that would go as far as to impersonate an actual official - without any bias whatsoever, of course - to "make sure the best team won". Anyone who has ever rooted for literally anything ever knows there's not a chance that he was of sound enough mind, clear enough head, or impartial enough heart to objectively recognize good balls from bad calls, but at least he tried to keep things fair while sabotaging a playoff game in his son's favor.
As a person, this dude is probably ripe for the looney bin, as Lord only knows what else the mind of someone who thought up the idea of dressing as a ref in an attempt to fix a Class 7A Quarterfinal is capable of. That said, don't tell me a grown ass man who voluntarily wore a costume that would make him a target for both the law and all the other psychotic sports' parents isn't a selfless father. If nothing else, he made the commitment at conception to do whatever it took to keep his child happy, and - short of landing an actual aircraft behind the uprights as the opponent was lining up for a game-winning field goal - I'll be damned if he didn't fulfill that promise as the most criminally devoted of helicopter dad. So, question the over-the-top actions of a nut job, but question not the paternal motives of a proud, soon-to-be-prison-bound Papa.
In What Has To Be Considered Progress, Kevin Durant Told An Unruly Fan To 'Shut The F--- Up'...IN PERSON!
We're coming from a dark and insecure place behind a computer screen on which Kevin Durant was anonymously defending his character from the grammatically incorrect attacks of teenagers, so there wasn't exactly anywhere to go but up. Still, this is a massive step in the right direction for KD and all 62 of his online pseudonyms. After all, what telling a fan to "watch the fucking game and shut the fuck up" lacks in professionalism, it more than makes up for in candidness.
Of course, optimally you'd want someone as skilled and accomplished as Kevin Durant to block out the nonsensical noise in the arena and on the internet, and/or have the nuts to talk that same type of shit to his human nutcracker of a teammate that questioned his manhood. However, I'm just glad that he's finally letting off some steam at the expense of fans with actual faces who only wanted smoke because they didn't expect it to result in that type of fire.
That resounding and whiney "HEY!!!" in the background of the video was all I needed to hear to know that the fans with which he took umbrage were some hypocritical snitches. Therefore, I don't even have to like Kevin Durant's personality to conclude that his...umm...strong suggestion was long overdue. You wouldn't be able to tell from his incognito social media presence in the past, but NBA players are real life people too. As such, I'm totally cool with them responding in (un)kind when being chirped courtside by those who are so quick to turn into crybabies when they get what they had coming.
Kirk Cousins Tried His Hand At Being Cocky And Was, Metaphorically Speaking, Left With His Cock In His Hand
Ya know, source aside, I actually like that line as a motivational ploy. There's a lot of inspiration to be taken from the "this is all about us, doesn't matter who we're playing" style of leadership. It's just that, in this particular case, the giver of it couldn't possibly be less convincing as the type of leader in question.
If history is any indication, odds weren't exactly on the side of a Kirk Cousins-led team as they headed into an unforgiving environment against an opponent with more wins than losses...
Therefore, I'm not going to act like the pump-up speech that preceded it all but promised a pathetic performance. That said, how is one supposed to take their starting quarterback seriously ahead of a rivalry game for division supremacy when he's all adopted an alter ego in preparation for it?
Simply put, the type of person/player to speak ill of others in an effort build up himself or his team, Kirk Cousins is most certainly not. Not that I think some cringeworthy monologue (like the one below) that's about as contrived as his attempt to sound cocky is all that much better, but at least it's on-brand...
You can't just copyright something as objectively corny as "You Vike That?" and then try to swagger on into the huddle like your Zack Morris showing up fashionably late to a pep rally. Not only because saying that the Vikings, on their own (at the time) 5-3-1 merit, are moving the needle ratings-wise is an obvious lie, but because it's an obvious lie told by someone who probably follows even the slightest omission of truth with a dozen Hail Mary's as penance. There's at least a sort of beauty to being yourself, and that's more than can be said for the ugly ass effort of the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback last night.
Malcolm Jenkins: "I'm a competitor. I love Sean to death. I know what type of guy and coach he is. That was more so personal between me and him. We talked after the game. It's all good. I know Sean. They're going to go for it. I was more so upset that it was on me. I got a lot of respect for what they're doing, especially Sean." (h/t NBCSports)
And there you have it, Sean Payton's weekly personal stamp of his own personality on yet another Saints' victory. This time in came in the form of an explicit gesture between old friends turned professional foes, but there's really not all that much of a difference between that and his allegedly back-and-forth with Marcus Peters, or his destructive extinguishment of an annoying fire alarm. All are examples of what makes him the rare coaching equivalent of the agitative asshole that's loathsome to everyone he plays against and lovable to everyone he plays with.
As a member of the Super Bowl Saints of 2009, Malcolm Jenkins has a ring that's the direct result of the bullish ways of the man that chose to send a "running back" streaking against the lone starter left in the Eagles secondary on 4th and 7 during the late stages of a game that was already well in hand. Yet, even in knowing what might be coming, he still couldn't suppress the frustration that typically follows a Sean Payton-sent message...
To be honest, I blame neither person, for - as explained by both parties - Jenkins is just as much of a competitor as the guy that decided to have a premium Porsche of a player blow right past him while refusing to take his foot off the gas that far from the finish line. For that reason, had the shoe been on the other foot, as opposed to the one that was firmly implanted in the ass of the Eagles, I'm inclined to believe that Sean Payton would have needed the goddamn power of meditative prayer to keep tucked his middle finger while sharing a snarky stare with Malcolm Jenkins.
There's a reason that between them exists the type of healthy respect that allows for the occasional flipping of a bird, and it's because they have a lot in common. As far as I'm concerned, that was a "real recognize real" type situation. The recognition itself wasn't exactly family friendly, but neither is the ruthlessness required to ignore, if not compromise, any and all off-the-field relationships on-the-field.
To break down the postgame pleasantries, Malcolm Jenkins was also absolutely right in acknowledging that Sean Payton is always going to go for it there. Sean Payton was also absolutely right in acknowledging that he screwed the priciest of pooch in letting Malcolm Jenkins walk only to pay hand over fist for the massive free agent flop that was Jairus Byrd (though that last part was conveniently left unsaid). So really, facetiously speaking, the only thing that was dead wrong was how dirty the former did the latter given circumstances that probably called for a good old-fashioned "fuck you" that was unquestionably enjoyed by the instigator it was directed at.
Let me start by saying this. The "coulda, woulda, shoulda" mentality is literally one of losers. Last season was last season, and credit to the Eagles for making sure it was a (Philly) special one. This season is a much different season, and given the fact that's it's one in which the reigning champs appear to be banged up and dealing with a crippling hangover, not even the inhumanity of a "sound the alarm, pull the covers off, and open up the shades to blinding light" style wakeup call can be used as evidence to some sort of revisionist history. Whether Alvin Kamara likes it or not, The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles will forever be Super Bowl champions.
The 2018 Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, are going to need a new bulletin board, because the current one must look like a car that got abandoned beachside during the summer after getting covered with every ounce of the shit that the Saints beat out of the Birds. Again, I'm personally not a fan of the "what if..." game, but never mind what Alvin Kamara said, because yesterday's actions of handing the team that currently holds the Lombardi an 'L' of historic proportions spoke even louder than the most hubristic of hindsight.
Honestly, to say the Saints beat the shit out of the Eagles is almost an understatement, as I'm not sure the way one's competitive spirit gets exorcised from their body is through the same manner as their supper. From touchdowns to turnovers and everything in between, the most complete of clinic was held at the expense of a team that, from kickoff, looked as physically and mentally overwhelmed as the teams they faced last season.
On offense, it appeared as though Sean Payton and Drew Brees took offense to every person who drew the obvious conclusion that the Saints needed more wide receiver depth while the Saints were bringing in more wide receiver depth. It was probably just the result of going up against a secondary that was as battered and beaten as the ego of the team it belonged to, but the only reason we're not talking about the notable contributions of Keith Kirkwood and Austin Carr is because, at some during the second quarter, Tre'Quan Smith scheduled an impromptu coming out party.
During a game where the Saints merely stopped themselves from hitting 60, two of the top ten playmakers in the league, in Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, were merely complimentary to what was a complete emasculation. Mark Ingram was fantastic, of course, but the real story is one we've heard time and time again this season. This time it was told with debatably the best left tackle in the entire NFL seated on the sidelines, but Drew Brees looked completely unbothered in his brilliance. Whether it was fitting the ball through a nearly non-existent window to Mike Thomas on the sideline, or creating the type of trust/confidence dynamic that had young players like Dan Arnold and Tre'Quan Smith laying out for highlight reel catches, Drew Brees was...well...familiar in his flawlessness.
They are undoubtedly benefiting from backing the most intimidating of offense, but - not as slowly as surely - the Saints defense is regaining the form they took last year. Much in the same way the absence of Terron Amstead was indistinguishable, the pass rush has been just as much of a problem for opposing quarterbacks without the services of the freakish player they traded two first round picks to select. Carson Wentz was under center looking like Markelle Fultz at the free throw stripe in how hesitant he was made by a defensive line that's trending towards dominant. Add to that the fact that Marshon Lattimore is becoming more and more lockdown, Eli Apple is becoming more and more comfortable, and P.J. Williams is becoming less and less of a liability, and it seems as the Saints' defense has made a full recovery from soreness after getting spanked by FitzMagic's wand.
All in all, I don't think it's even a lukewarm take to say that this is the most talented, the most complete, and the most cohesive team Sean Payton has coached in New Orleans. Even in "next man up" type situations, they've steadily improved and it's certainly showed itself on the scoreboard in a way that would make the causal fan double-check out of disbelief. If you believe either their words or their actions, this team doesn't even understand the concept of a letdown game. That might have something to do with growing accustomed to letting their hair down during the entirety of the 4th quarter as of late, but this Saints team is kicking ass regardless of names and they are having the most amount of fun in doing so. Their play hasn't just called for all the 'Who Dat' chants, but it's made it a viable question. Who exactly is it that can beat these Saints? When they are playing as well as they did yesterday, the rest of the league might not like the answer.
If there is anything that the Devils and their fanbase should have learned during the most deflating of road trips, it's that the rigors of an 82 game schedule are far too unforgiving for any apologies to be necessary when things do happen to be bouncing your way. Anyone that watched that game can attest that 3-0 probably doesn't do justice to the run of play. However, while the sights weren't always pretty either, it was one unmistakable sound that served as the perfect score to holding the Flyers' scoreless. The ping of the post was just about as friendly to the Devils as it's ever been, and it afforded a team that's found ways to lose on the road a chance to start flipping that script.
Now, that's not to say the Devils were entirely at the mercy of the iron. For almost each and every time they were saved by the proverbial bell, there was a time in which they managed to blow a glorious opportunity to extend the most precarious of leads. It's not like they were doing nothing more than standing in front of a shooting gallery and hoping not to get killed. Instead, it's more like they took a whole bunch of breaks to fire at their own foot (instead of a wide-open net) in between standing in front of a shooting gallery waiting to get killed.
All this sounds very pessimistic, but the truth is that I was impressed with the Devils' defensive play as they fought for another leg to stand on after Sami Vatanen limped off early. Admittedly, the road trip from hell has set the bar extremely low in giving me a new found affinity for basic in-zone accountability. For example, I'm already about ready to die on the hill that Pavel Zacha could set the NHL record for games held pointless and would still be a net plus to a team that desperately missed his size, strength, and positional play inside its own blue line. Still, they had no problems clearing that bar against Philly. Simply put, giving themselves even a chance to win was too much to ask as of a week ago, so they are slowly, surely, and structurally headed in the right direction.
I want it on record that the last time I said the following was probably two seasons ago when I was convinced that Taylor Hall was about as appreciative of being in New Jersey as the Statue Of Liberty, but he was probably the most turnover prone player on the ice last night. That's not me complaining, as the disproportional load he carries for this team (especially without Nico Hischier in the lineup) is bound to wear on him at times. Rather, it's meant as a credit to a roster that was able to get to the finish line first without riding his cape-tails or following his lead. Seeing the point-producing and penalty-slaughtering revelation that is Blake Coleman team up with two rookies in going tic-tac-toe for what eventually proved to be a game-winning goal was obviously awesome in giving Brett Seney and Joey Anderson some career firsts...
However, it was even more awesome in showing a flash of what lengthening out the lineup could do for a team that's been insanely top-heavy. With Jesper Bratt looking as shifty and strong on his skates as ever, you no longer need a magnifying glass to see where the offense might, and I emphasize the word "might", come from when the first line (who also helped...ahem...wrap-up a long overdue road win) isn't on the ice...
Last but quite obviously not least, when Keith Kinkaid wasn't showing tell-tale signs of watching too many highlights during Marty Brodeur's HHOF induction, he was absolutely awesome...
As was the case when the Devils were putting forth winning efforts earlier in the year, I would imagine it's his crease until further notice. The post certainly helped but, as he stopped everything else thrown at him, he's been granted the benefit of claiming it was the only thing he gave the Flyers to shoot at. Cutting down on the close calls would be nice, but - for whatever reason - consistency in net has come part and parcel with consistency in front of it, and the Devils are back to showing a little bit of both after showing a whole lot of nothing.