Mitch Trubisky Has Shifted His Work-Week Focus to Shutting Off Every Truth-Telling TV That Dares to Remind Him of How Much the Bears Suck
Truth be told, I can totally empathize with where Mitch Trubisky is coming from. I can definitively say that I also wouldn't want to show up to work only to have TV's in all corners of the office loudly and defiantly debating the exact extent to which I am despicably bad at my job. It might just be the most salient and Undisputed point made on sports' television in the last five years, but it's hardly the First Take I'd want to bear witness to while desperately trying to figure out how to remain gainfully employed over my morning coffee. As dead-on-balls-accurate as they may be, it makes total sense that a complete bust of a quarterback doesn't want to hear blowhards bloviate about the ramifications of his professional failures to millions of people while in the building in which he's trying to fix them.
That being said, that's probably a mild inconvenience that I would have kept to myself if I were him. Needing assistance is clearly not new to him, but silently pressing the mute button may have been the move as a guy drafted egregiously high to fill a position that requires a thick skin and a short memory. I honestly don't think anyone emotionally invested in the Bears could think any less of their quarterback at this point anyway, so it probably doesn't matter that he doesn't understand that "earmuffs" and "tunnel vision" are merely metaphorical suppressors to sensitivities or that he's incapable of using the well-deserved mockery as motivation. Still, I can't imagine that griping about having to watch people criticize his team when he's the primary reason they are damn near unwatchable is doing him any favors in terms of public perception.
On the list of Chicago's priorities, granting Mitch Trubisky some professional courtesy and/or peace of mind falls about 300 spots below finding him a mildly redeemable replacement. Therefore, may I suggest clicking the power button and biting his tongue on small bothers while hundreds of thousands of much more bothered midwesterners are one step and a light nudge short of going to extreme lengths to cut it out of his head?
Inbounds? Pass. Eric Bledsoe May Have Forgotten Something While in a Hurry to Get a Possession Started Last Night
First week of November and Eric Bledsoe has already skipped clear over midseason form and straight into postseason form. That might be a good quality in some fast starters, but unfortunately the postseason form of the Bucks' guard at best resembles the preseason form of his peers and at worst resembles a pre-teen playing pick-up.
Mandatory mockery of playoff futility aside, Eric Bledsoe is just one of those players that refuses to get out of their own way in playing slap-happy defense against his own reputation. He's talented enough to be a recognizable name to the vast majority of NBA fans, and yet repeatedly uses that notoriety to turn said name into a punchline. It's a bit like JR Smith, if JR Smith took himself just a little too seriously. In essence, those laughs are not with, but rather at the man that treated the basketball like a baton during the first leg of his own, very personal race to a viral shaming. He really turned on the proverbial jets down the stretch with a flop that would make Shamu turn in his flippers...
...but there's just something so perfectly so fitting about him being under absolutely no pressure whatsoever in Shaqtin' that much of a fool.
That type of low could literally only be explained by being high, so while I don't want to put any blunts in Eric Bledsoe's mouth, I sure hope he hit the hashish a little too hard at halftime. If only because the lone remaining alternative is that he was of completely clear mind when he confidently snatched the reins and took the lead as the most handicapable player in the NBA about as quickly as he got blown dead as brain dead.
P.S. Never forget...
Bill Polian Finally Emerged From the 1960's and Waved the White (No Pun Intended) Flag on His "Lamar Jackson Should Play Wide Receiver" Take
USAToday- “I was wrong, because I used the old, traditional quarterback standard with him, which is clearly why John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were more prescient than I was,” Polian told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday, referring to the Baltimore Ravens coach and former GM who drafted the explosive, multi-dimensional talent with the final pick in the first round in 2018.
Alluding to offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Polian added, “And Greg found a way in how he’s developed a system to use those dynamic skills. Bottom line, I was wrong.”
You know what they say, it takes a big man to admit when they are wrong.
I'm not so sure "they" were referring to a situation in which an old, out-of-touch analyst stated the blatantly obvious after having his casually racist corpse dragged up, down, and allllll the way around the entire sports' landscape for a year and a half. I suppose it would be safer to clarify with the "big men" that originally authored that phrase to make themselves feel better about being defiantly dumb for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, they've undoubtedly been dead (ass wrong) for quite awhile, so I'm going to go with my gut here and say that Bill Polian passed the statute of limitations in which receiving credit for taking responsibility is due.
I mean, Lamar Jackson dipped, dodged, and - most importantly - passed around a dominant defense in scrambling his way into the MVP race at the same position that his biggest and crustiest detractor implied he shouldn't even bother trying to play before he was offered amends for such race-based idiocy. Consider this, if it took a pregnant woman that long to realize she may have missed her period then by the time she first admitted that the pull-out method doesn't work she'd be doing so while weaning a toddler off of her tit.
I guess it's not entirely out of the question that Bill Polian has been napping since Week 1. However, assuming he has cracked open one eye and/or caught even one highlight this season, the timing of this apology is about as prompt as his long-belated induction into a nursing home. His opinion being erroneous went without saying as it was leaving his old, dry lips. Therefore, him making sure to offer a half-ass concession before croaking doesn't really count for much, though I do appreciate it providing another gratuitous opportunity to praise Lamar Jackson as an unconventional quality quarterback while incessantly mocking him as a hardheaded and close-minded baby of a boomer who created one of longest running nonsense narratives in all of sports.
The Devils Filled Another Glaring Hole in Their Suddenly Respectable Resume by Gutting Out a Shootout Win
I'm not going to lie, it feels good. Not just this sudden feeling of respectability, but rather coming away from an overtime game with something to harp on other than how moronic the NHL is for continuing to roll out an overdone gimmick that is 100x less exciting and 1,000x less in line with the sanctity of the sport than the extra session that precedes it.
That's not just my bias as a Devils' fan (that's watched too many uber-talented players deke the goalie out of position and the puck harmlessly into the corner) talking. After all, the only time this team's eyes are collectively made wider with confusion and panic than they are during a breakaway contest is, ironically enough, when the ice is their oyster. The Devils look as overwhelmed as a bunch of stoned teenagers scouring a 12-chapter novel of a diner menu when granted the gift of autonomy and options of 3-on-3 hockey, and just about every opponent has been quick to fill the role of pissed-off night manager as opposed to overly patient waitress. If not for MacKenzie Blackwood, that would be the prevailing storyline from last night, so credit to the goaltending for providing what's been their rare primary assist in achieving the goal of gutting out a tightly contested game.
The truth is that the feeling of dread that's been accompanying each and every third period lead could only be overtaken by the feeling of dread accompanying the clock striking zero with the score tied. Exorcising both demons that haunted their nightmarish start to the season, in back-to-back games, dumped a generous amount of holy water on the burning, "oh god, not this shit again" sensation that had the fans feeling as fatalistic as the team looked. I hardly think that finding a way for the Goose to make a contribution that was positive in nature, as opposed to fecal in nature, is going to be the catalyst for them turning a 180 after regulation. Still, it simply has to add to the confidence they've largely lacked after otherwise impressive 60-minute efforts.
Speaking of 60-minute efforts, last night wasn't their most awe-inspiring, but it was the type that is often necessary to pick up two points on the road. Aside from Blake Coleman throwing a behind-the-back pass from right outside his blue line, as if he just arrived to a season that appeared sunk by such stupidity, and Matt Tennyson filling the annual role of third-pairing punching bag a little too perfectly, the self-sabotage continued to be greatly diminished. The comfort provided by chemistry now consistently has the team...well...actually appearing to be one. It's no coincidence that that has allowed for everyone's favorite unproven to adapt to something other than complete chaos while maintaining the active roster's delicate balance of at least one token Jesper at all times...
That win over Winnipeg is obviously far cry from the type to be replayed on MSG during the offseason, but it is the type that good teams typically win and bad teams typically don't. That's not to say that the Devils are one or the other right now, but they've started what easily could have been a confidence-crushing road trip by exhibiting more far more positive signs than negative. If they can continue to get competent goaltending behind them then there are hardly any recent reasons to believe there aren't still better things in front of them.
With Taylor Hall getting into a groove, Nico Hischier looking seven million dollars worth of dynamic, Miles Wood having Wayne Simmonds help pen the prologue to his redemption story, and the defense looking entirely unfamiliar in its downright decisiveness, the Devils are starting to fill the gapping holes in a resume that was short quite a few qualifiers and requirements as of less than a week ago. Whether they can continue to find ways to get the job done on the road remains to be seen, but they have - at the very least - proven themselves capable of consideration while making their head coach's job security a topic for only the idiotic.
The Chargers Twitter Used the Infamous 'Wolf of Wall Street' Clip to Dispel the Rumor of Relocation to London, but There's Just One Tiny Problem...
Let's, for just the time being, agree to look past the fact that the Chargers' social media manager problem doesn't have a seat at the end of the table when it comes to discussing the inner-workings (or lack thereof) of a franchise whose move to Los Angeles has objectively been an abject disaster. The truth of the matter is that the clip above could be of Chargers' owner Dean Spanos himself denouncing the entirety of the British Empire in front of a backdrop of stars and stripes and people still wouldn't believe he's ruled out packing up his team and hopping across the pond so long as he's been promised a Brexit bump to his bottomline pending his Brentrance. That, however, is neither here nor there, as this defense being entirety disingenuous isn't even the biggest issue to take with it...
What I find most problematic is that the overused pop culture reference in question is completely non-applicable to the situation at hand. If you filed every person that is super concerned about the Los Angeles Chargers taking their perennially underperforming talents overseas into the room in which Leonardo DiCaprio acted his ass off in pledging allegiance to a corrupt company, you'd still need to hire about a 100 extras to fill the gaps of overall apathy.
It's not the fanbase's fault, as they have obviously been dissipated by the disrespect of Dean Spanos, who basically spit in San Diego's face in order to fill the roll of second fiddle in a big city that was more interested in hiring a one-man-band. Regardless, aside from opposing fans looking to attend an unofficial home game in sunny SoCal, almost no one that isn't coked out of comprehension could reach the level of excitement portrayed above in response to the whereabouts of the NFL team taking temporary residence in a half-full soccer stadium.
I'd consider Dean Spanos more of a snake than a wolf anyway, and that's mostly because he doesn't have the support of anywhere close to that large of a pack in Los Angeles (or anywhere else, for that matter). I'd appreciate his organization's use of social media reflecting that better, even if gathering followers for a nomadic failure of a franchise is a job as thankless as that of Philip Rivers.
Drew Doughty Offered the Maple Leafs Advice on Playing Championship-Level Hockey, Which is Kinda Idiotic But I'll Allow It
First and foremost, I don't like Drew Doughty. Somehow, even if you consider his rape allegation to be inadmissible evidence, him having the look of something that even the proverbial cat would be too principled to drag in while harboring a demonstrably disgruntled point of view towards just about everybody makes him seem like a bit of a douchebag. Long story short, an apologist for any of his idiocy I am not.
That said, while I care for his opinion of what's been a mediocre Maple Leafs' team about as much as I care to watch his anchor of a contract rapidly rust while sinking with the old, broken-down dinghy of the Kings' roster it is attached to until it rests alongside the Titanic, I do respect his right to offer it.
"To the victor goes the spoils" might typically be a saying reserved for those that have...well...actually won something recently, but - in my opinion - hoisting the Cup puts you in the type of rarefied air from which you can eternally look down and snobbishly scream superficial suggestions to struggling hikers. After all, what fun is "walking together forever" if you can't offer vague and condescending cliches to those that are still learning to crawl? If you run your way through the entirety of the unforgiving marathon gauntlet that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, never mind doing so twice, then you should feel more than free to glorify that accomplishment more smugly than someone who once ripped through the ribbon after 26.2 miles. Doing so, without any real reason to, isn't going to ingratiate you to any of your prospering peers that are currently performing at a higher level, but I think we can all agree that that ship took sail long before Drew Doughty took it upon himself to coach an out-of-conference opponent through the most parasitic of media.
While still being a good defenseman, Drew Doughty hardly remains a chancellor of championship hockey (See: his team's spot in the standings). He does, however, have his name engraved on the ultimate prize for reaching the pinnacle of the sport on multiple occasions. Therefore, if he wants to babble on about blocking shots and displaying leadership as if those are things he still bothers to do during the cash-checking phase of his career then he can be my guest...of honor at the shit-talking symposium for people subtly punching up at aspiring contenders.
The Devils Cracked Down in Carolina and Finally Offered an Opportunity to Praise Their Improved Process
Lord willing, this will be the very last time I have to say so much as a boo about anyone saying boo. The Devils' fanbase collectively feeling an alleviation of anxiety that'd make you think Xanax bars were Friday's postgame giveaway after a torturously tormented team finally held tightly to a third period lead on Saturday is proof positive that bringing conclusive cheers was always the only way to put an end to jeers. I'm somewhat shocked that Taylor Hall didn't already know that fans are overly emotional and largely fickle brats, but hopefully this sudden wave of positivity starts to wash away both the negative energy of their own building as well as the stink of a storyline that makes just about everyone in it look bad.
Now, before I continue, you can go ahead and knock on Miles of Wood, because the very same New Jersey team that felt like they were set to fully source their supporters seasonal affective disorder in losing both a late lead and a shootout on Friday night was playing at a 109-point pace over the last six games by Saturday night. That's quite obviously a cherry-picked sample, but it's the exact same size of the one that got John Hynes' face photoshopped into clown makeup and pinned over every dart board currently residing in a Devils' themed man cave.
The undeniable truth of the matter is that the Devils are playing far, far more cohesive hockey as of late. All it took was an impressive road win over one of most well-structured opponents in the NHL to be able to look past the cruel and unusual circumstances of leads lost and focus on what's been a significantly more sufferable style of play...
The goaltending is still a massive concern, as recently (and desperately) acquired Louis Domingue would have to sprout about six more legs to be considered the savior to a problematic position group, but there's more going right than there is going wrong at the moment. Considering a season-opening stretch during which they looked doomed to be a doormat, that's a trend that everyone whose semi-unrealistic expectations were immediately humbled will gladly take.
Once a head coach gets labeled a know-nothing nincompoop by the fanbase it becomes a scarlet letter that not even a 10-game winning streak could completely scrub free, so I hardly think we're merely a couple thousand pacifiers and/or free nipples away from silencing the cries for John Hynes' job. That said, outside of some questionable line-up decisions and dumbfounding deployment, he's been better at it (with the help of Tom Fitzgerald) as he's gotten increasingly acquainted with a revamped roster. Much like the improved performances of his players, it's just far easier to both notice and appreciate when a winning formula actually produces a victorious bottomline...
Now, despite Nico Hischier starting to look like the type of developing talent that can make a $50+ million dollar contract seem like a steal before it even starts (as evidenced by him calling Jacob Slavin's jockstrap an UberX and sending it straight across state lines)...
...and Jack Hughes looking more and more like a man (the operative word) on a mission since being tasked with top line duties...
...the Devils still have a lot of work to do to crawl out of the hole of their own digging.
That said, we're starting to see a consistency to their cardio as they've managed to maintain the lead in their run of play regardless of whether or not they've failed to do so on the scoreboard. It was just one game, but it's one that highlighted what they are capable as opposed to undercutting any optimism by rendering what they are capable of a footnote to a seemingly fatalistic final score. We'll see if their road woes and third period problems resurface in Western Canada, but - in the building of a team that gave them fits before it was a contender - the Devils gave us an untainted look at what they could be going forward...without the deafening distraction of defeat.
When asked about the celebration, Hall laughed, saying there wasn’t any ill will behind it.
“I thought I heard, I thought I was getting booed in the second period there,” Hall said. “So just making light of that fact.” (h/t NJ.com)
And onward we go. Episode two of a show of stupidity that no professional athlete should ever want to find himself starring in the pilot of, never mind going out of his way in actively attempting to get it picked up for further (counter) production.
To be very clear, under exactly one condition, I took ZERO issue with Taylor Hall capping off a third period, go-ahead goal on an impressive end-to-end effort by making light of #BooGate and the fans' doomed demeanor with a little celebratory mockery...
Unfortunately, that one condition was not met as the Devils found yet another way to blow a late lead at home and lose in front of a crowd that wasn't nearly as vocal in its criticism as it could, and probably should, have been after being called out for articulating its well-earned anger on Wednesday.
To be fair, I understand that the team is playing much, much better as of late and has recently been sunk by bad bounces and worse goaltending...
I also understand (all too well, I might add) that, very conservatively speaking, a quarter of the people that attend Devils' games don't have an intricate understanding of the sport outside of the score. I also understand that the rest of us poor bastards have already grown exhausted of praising an improved process, that's merely cleared a bar low enough to serve someone who has drank themselves off-the-stool unconscious in defeat, as it has continued to lead to a repetitively unrewarding result.
Judging by my eardrums, whatever boos that Taylor Hall took oddly personal offense to last night were a predominantly a product of the voices in his own head, which is a whole different issue entirely. However, lets for one second say that they weren't...
As these down-to-the-wire games have somehow defied the odds of a coin flip, wouldn't it make more sense to pay full attention to detail as opposed to paying any attention whatsoever to every gaff-induced grunt and groan? I don't know, but having already helped completely waste four much more comfortable third period leads on home ice prior to last night, wouldn't it have made sense to worry a bit more about actually maintaining one than taking a laughably premature jab at fans who had laid woeful witness to all of two wins in ten (and now 11) games?
The fact of the matter is that Taylor Hall could gave quickly untied his skates, trudged up to my seats, spit on my shoe, and shoved his sweaty sock in my mouth as his celebration for scoring that goal last night. So long as it was eventually part of the Devils picking up two points, I'd be sitting here singing his praises loudly enough to drowned out the Neanderthalic jeers of the half-wit he mistook me for.
The lesson to be learned from that absurdly hyperbolic hypothetical is as follows. If the New Jersey Devils reach a point in which fan frustration is anywhere near the top of their growing list of concerns then, not-so-ironically, there will be no frustration amongst the fans. Cause-and-effect, it is about as novel a concept as winning curing all.