A Memphis Player Is Being Let Go From The Team After Tackling The Auburn Ball Boy And Stealing The Game Ball
BR- Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case Wednesday when Auburn beat Memphis, 31-10, in the Birmingham Bowl. After the game, Memphis safety Reggis Ball appeared to lay out an Auburn ball boy, snatch a pigskin and run off.
The University of Memphis athletic department later released a statement declaring that Ball had been dismissed from the team for his actions:
Ball had two picks in the contest, one of which he returned for his team’s only touchdown. As Kevin Trahan of SB Nation noted, Ball trotted back to the sideline with the intercepted touchdown ball after referees tried to get it from him.
According to Michael Niziolek of the Ledger-Enquirer, this isn’t uncommon:
Members of Auburn’s equipment staff were alerted Ball tries to steal a football from opposing teams after the game every time he gets an interception.
Ball had two interceptions in the 31-10 loss and returned his second pick for a touchdown in the second quarter, but he didn’t get away with one of Auburn’s eight game balls.
On the surface there is no explanation for Reggis Ball's actions after the Birmingham Bowl. I mean, tackling a ball boy and running away with the ball in one hand and a middle finger raised on the other is surely conduct that is considered unbecoming of today's student athlete.
That is, until you realize that this was a ritual, and if there is one thing I know about rituals it's that once they are developed they cannot be broken. That's why this isn't Reggis Ball's fault at all. He almost had to spear the ball boy to the ground and strip him of the game ball. That's what he does. I suppose you could say that stiff arming his head into the turf afterwards was overkill, but the best way to make sure ball boy's don't get assaulted is to not encourage your players to assault ball boys as a form of superstition.
That's why Memphis' is to blame. This wasn't some practice that Ball engaged in behind his coach's back. Even the Auburn coaches knew about it prior to the game. You let a young, dumb college athlete make his "thing" something as stupid and threatening as stealing balls from the other sideline and it is almost guaranteed to go poorly sooner or later. I'll be damned if I am going to support a kid's dismissal over something that his coach basically promoted through silence. Jesus Christ Memphis, figure it out! What if the kid's celebration was to fire a shotgun in the air after every interception? Would you just let him continue to go Yosemite Sam on everyone until a bullet inevitably came down from the sky and punctured someone's skull? What if his routine was to sacrifice a small animal on the sidelines after every touchdown? Would you just let your sideline become a pet graveyard before PETA finally got wind of it? You perpetuate ridiculous behavior amongst college kids they are ALWAYS going to push the limit. They shouldn't kick him off the team for behavior that they failed to put a stop to. They should kick themselves off the staff for not realizing that when you give a college football player an inch he's going to beat the piss out of a ball boy and take a mile.
You know what this reminds me of? When a veteran refuses to see a movie that glamorizes certain aspects of war. That seems like a fair comparison. I would say that a member of our armed forces and a loudmouth cornerback are both heroes in their own right. Sure, one protects our country and the other just protects his end zone. I guess you could say that defending our freedoms in exchange for peanuts is a little more commendable than playing a sport in exchange for millions of dollars. However, they both risk their livelihood, to varying degrees, to perform a public service.
How dare someone ask Richard Sherman if he has seen the 'Concussion' movie? Do you even know the types things that Richard Sherman sees out on that field? Well, I guess you probably do because there are about 3,000 different camera angles available to you every Sunday, but still. You think he wants to voluntarily see it dramatized right in front of his very eyes? The carnage that he witnesses weekly makes 'Saving Private Ryan' look like 'Driving Miss Daisy'. I demand that we all start thinking a little more before asking Richard Sherman such insensitive questions. Ha! The theatre?! Ten bucks (probably $12) to see something he is already so traumatized by experiencing sixteen times a year? Come on people. In between yelling, screaming, taunting, and begging for attention, Richard Sherman is out in the heart of the battle three hours a week. He doesn't need to see some fictional representation of it portrayed to him on a giant amphitheater screen.
Does Richard Sherman have a point? Sure he does. Professional football isn't all glitz and glamour. He is a first hand witness to the dangers of head injuries. I just think he's being a wee bit dramatic here. Passive aggressively speaking out against a league that lines his pockets with enough money per year to leave him set for life? Comes off as a bit disingenuous to me. I, as well as everyone else with an interest in sports and an ability to hear, know that there is no love lost between Roger Goodell and Richard Sherman. However, at the end of the day Sherman doesn't HAVE TO play football, he chooses to. So maybe the next time someone asks him if he has seen a movie about the risks of playing football he can respond by showing a little respect for a game which has him so gainfully employed. I don't really give a fuck which NFL players see 'Concussion' and which don't, but I would prefer that they don't play the victim in the process of discussing their decision.
The Sky Is Falling In New Orleans, Or At Least The Paltry Attempts By The Media Would Lead You To Believe So
Hey Ian, what the fuck dude? I thought we had an understanding? You were supposed to wait until after demoralizing Saints losses before posting tweets about how the Saints entire organization is going to hell in a hand basket? You've been so good at adhering to that philosophy all season, and now Week 16 rolls around and you couldn't temper your anxiety? Have a little respect for your profession man. Everyone knows Sean Payton only has one foot out the door after losses. Drew Brees would never consider playing elsewhere after a win. Jokes on you Ian, because as it stands now, the sun is shining bright in New Orleans. Maybe next week the Saints will throw up a stinker and you can regurgitate the same nonsense that you, and your merry band of unregistered physics, have continually spewed following every Saints defeat.
Obviously I don't know if Sean Payton is coming back, but I do know that anyone that is taking these rumors seriously is nothing more than an uneducated jackass. If every report that was released regarding the future of Sean Payton were true then he would be coaching in Indianapolis, Miami, and Los Angeles next year. That sounds like quite the conflict of interest if you ask me. If being an NFL head coach requires a hefty workload than I can't imagine how many man hours THREE head coaching gigs at the same time requires. Pray for Sean Payton's REM cycle, because he's about to be pulling 36 hour days with that many jobs. In all seriousness, Sean Payton will only be coaching elsewhere next year if he wants to be coaching elsewhere next year, and going to the Chargers makes less than zero sense. A big market that has an aging quarterback, an above average offense, and no defense of which to speak? He would basically be coaching the Southern California Saints. If Sean Payton fails in New Orleans he's still a hero to everyone in the city, if he fails in Los Angeles he's the target of an uncanny amount of criticism. There is literally nothing to gain from making that switch.
Ian, are you trying to tell me that Drew Brees cap hit will have to be less than $30 fucking million to play in New Orleans next year? Well, you don't say? He's going to be very sad to hear that his talent deficient team won't be able to withstand his contract taking up more than ONE FIFTH of their salary cap. I can't imagine that they notified him that he might have to sign a new deal that would undoubtedly lower his cap hit when both sides mutually agreed to restructure his deal (thus increasing his cap number to $30 million) earlier this season. This is probably all news to him. I know it's news to me. Not once did I ever think that Drew Brees would have to sign a team friendly extension to stay in New Orleans. What on earth are we going to do?!?
When asked about whether Brees could see a scenario in which he and Payton aren't back in New Orleans, he didn't skip a beat.
Via Conor Orr of NFL.com:
"No, I don't," he said. "I think we -- a plan was put in place throughout last offseason as to how we were going to build a foundation by which to make a run at it in the future. That includes some new faces, that includes some young players that, I think, will all have a chance to come together and kind of build a team that can make a run at it in the future.
"Unfortunately, we had high expectations going into this year and we fell a bit short. But I'm confident with the character, the leadership, the talent we have that exists on that team now that we will be able to have the run."
Let's be clear, I don't hate Brandon Browner for being really bad at football. At one point I did, but this season is a lost cause, and I prefer to think it wasn't strictly his fault that it turned out that way. Even though he is as responsibly as one man, not playing the quarterback position, could possibly be. I don't even hate Brandon Browner for being a self centered, money hungry dickhead that doesn't understand how privileged he is to make millions of dollars for providing next to nothing, other than a record setting amount of penalties, on a football field. Hey, getting paid more to do less is the American dream, so it would be hypocritical of me to criticize him for achieving it.
I DO hate Brandon Browner for thinking that I, or any Saints fan for that matter, ever loved him. Fuck a week, I have spent more time loving the concept of genital mutilation than I have spent loving Brandon Browner. The closest I came to loving Brandon Browner was when I liked the Saints decision to sign him and it's been downhill ever since. Enough flags to put the United Nations to shame. So much blown coverage that even Don Lemon thinks he's capable of playing cornerback in the NFL. Innumerable tiffs with the local media that have left even the most loyal of fans siding with the those whose job it is to get people to hate them. So many dumb, misguided posts on social media that even Gilbert Arenas thinks he needs a publicist. I fucking hate Brandon Browner and it has nothing to do with his salary. It has way more to do with his patently false Instagram post.
Hey Brandon, don't mistake our undying love for the New Orleans Saints as admiration for you. Don't mistake the joy we get out of every single victory, no matter how meaningless, as respect for your work. The Who Dat Nation loved almost every second of that win over the Jaguars on Sunday, except for the moments Blake Bortles spent exposing you to the tune of 150 yards and two touchdowns (highlighted by a 90 yard touchdown). Saints fans loved the outcome on Sunday, but that outcome had nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with you. Fuck love, we don't even like you. So enjoy those paychecks, no matter how unearned they are, but don't you ever, EVER say that there was any love between you and Saints fans. There was no love to be lost because it was NEVER, EVER found.
P.S. Generally speaking, when you need the help of a meme that features a fictional, drug pushing gangster that killed his best friend to make your point then your point fucking sucks. Say hello to my little friend, Brandon...
CBS- An Al Jazeera investigative report airing Sunday is linking Peyton Manning to the use of human growth hormone, according to the Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post received an advance screening of a documentary named The Dark Side set to premiere Sunday and, according to its story, a pharmacist named Charlie Sly claims drugs were sent to the Mannings "all the time" addressed to Peyton's wife, Ashley, while Peyton Manning was recuperating from neck surgery in 2011. Manning missed that entire season and was released by the Colts the following spring.
“All the time we would be sending Ashley Manning drugs,” Sly says in the video. “Like growth hormone, all the time, everywhere, Florida. And it would never be under Peyton's name, it would always be under her name.”
I can't sit here and tell you that Peyton Manning didn't do HGH. Hell, with the way he recovered from a career threatening neck injury it would certainly make sense. I am just saying that I kind of believe him. Not because I don't think Al Jazeera is a reliable source. To be completely honest I don't have the slightest fucking idea who Al Jazeera is, so I can't speak for, or against, their credibility. I don't believe him because I think that he's some morally upstanding citizen that would never sacrifice the integrity of the game. I believe Peyton Manning because he just seems like too much of a pussy to do HGH. Peyton Manning strikes me as the type of kid you wouldn't even smoke weed around in high school. Not only because he would always abstain, but because he would be the most likely to tell on you after he did. He just comes off as the type of person that would never intentionally do something wrong out of fear, not out of ethics. Just look at that interview, he's damn near in tears. He has the look of every kid that has ever been sent to the principal's office for the first time. That's not the look of someone that is comfortable breaking the rules. That's not the look of someone that would do anything to get back on the field. Just take a gander at Peyton Manning's playoff record. He's not exactly of the cutthroat mentality.
The obvious comparison to make here is to Tom Brady. When news of DeflateGate leaked Tom Brady wasn't given the benefit of the doubt by his peers. That's because Tom Brady's career path isn't the athletic equivalent of the kid that grew up in a privileged household, got straight A's, went on to become validictorian at college, and followed his father's footsteps in an ultra successful field. As much as someone could be spoon fed a successful NFL career, Peyton Manning was spoon fed a successful NFL career. Meanwhile, Tom Brady had to defy all odds to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He's like the kid in 'Good Will Hunting'. People don't expect him to be as exceptional as he is so they are more likely to believe a story that paints him as a cheater. Well, that and the Patriots have a pretty inglorious history of stretching the boundaries of fair play. Regardless, it's tough to believe that Peyton Manning is capable of sticking a bunch of steroids in his body to aide in his recovery. Not because he's some kind of choirboy like the NFL wants you to believe he is, but because he kind of seems like the "Gee, I dunno. What if my mom finds out?" type.
P.S. Like I said, it's totally possible that Peyton Manning did HGH. However, even if he did I really don't care all that much. It's not like he did it to gain an unfair advantage. Doing HGH to keep your head attached to the rest of your body is as commendable a reason as any. It's not like it improved his arm strength or something. Shit if anything, he should do it again so he can get whatever is left out of Hall Of Fame noodle arm of his.
Wait, wait, wait, am I hearing this right? People are upset with the punter for making a physical contribution to the game? Cheap shot? That hit looked like it came from the side if anything. That's a borderline call at best. We wouldn't be whining if that play freed him up to make the tackle on a big return, now would we? We are talking about a punter here. The only position in professional sports that is bullied on a regular basis. Despite bringing a very distinct skill set to the game, punters are treated like second class citizens in their own locker room. No one cries for a punter when he gets blindsided with a block on a return or nearly gets his leg amputated by superhuman players diving at his feet, why would we cry for the athletically superior man twice his size when the roles are reversed?
Sure, he looked like a coward ducking retribution from a couple of defensive players with bruised egos, but so what? He's a punter, everyone already thinks he's a coward anyway. Why not be the coward that finally stood up for the rights of his peers. Johnny Hekker is basically the dorky kid in 3rd grade that finally fights back after months and months of getting stuffed in a locker. Of course his bully could still kick his ass, and he should be aware of that, but at the very least he should gain respect for saying "enough is enough" and only going down after swinging. Maybe if Cliff Avril had his head on a swivel he wouldn't be picking grass out of his helmet. Sometimes you just got to remind an opponent that could break you in half that you're a professional football player too, so why not do so with a play that's nearly within the parameters of the rule book? It's better than being the bully with the fragile psyche that has to threaten unnecessary violence when their self-inflated sense of toughness is compromised. You can call Johnny Hekker a pussy if you want, but I am inclined to call him a hero. A hero that stood up for all scrawny white guys with strong legs in an NFL locker room that are constantly being marginalized. I thought that's the type of thing we were supposed to applaud in 2015? The fact that he had to apologize for playing aggressive football is just a sign of the bully-friendly culture we have created. This tweet is a win for every Richie Incognito in the league, and I for one am disgusted by it....
It's their fault, there is no other way to spin it. It's a testament to this team and this team only that Devils fans were on the edge of their seat, overlooking the steepest of cliffs, at the thought of being one period away from dropping both games of a home-and-home series with the Hurricanes. This team has instilled in us the most unlikely of playoff hopes, and consecutive losses to Carolina, no matter how well they have been playing, would have put a significant dent in those hopes with the schedule they have on the horizon in the new year.
Well, crisis averted. The Devils managed to muster a come from behind win in a game they absolutely needed. It wasn't always pretty. Hell, let's be honest, if couldn't have been more ugly. However, the box score doesn't lie. A win is a win, no matter how many lucky bounces it takes to get it. Who cares if it took a bad angled Bobby Farnham backhander to get us on the board? Who cares that it took Kyle Palmieri making an undeniably intentional redirect off his skate look like enough of an accident to tie it up? Who cares that it took David Schlemko completely botching a pass before throwing a harmless shot off a Hurricanes defender to finally take the lead in a game that neither team deserved to win? I am certainly not ready to apologize for it. Not with how many agonizing defeats I have watched over the last two years. It's about damn time the Devils, and their fans, were the beneficiary of some serendipity. Make no mistake, this team has to play better hockey if they want us to keep believing, but this win, no matter how laughably unsightly it was, lengthened their leash just a little bit. That's something that has become a habit with this team, and I can definitely think of worse routines to fall into. Just ask Peter Deboer.
P.S. It's equal parts hilarious and ridiculous that a career AHLer, that has been in and out of lineup, has his OWN FUCKING GOAL SONG! However, it's also hilarious and ridiculous that Bobby Farnham has actually earned his spot on this team. 'Wild Thing' might not be the smoothest player on the ice, and he may not be the most sound defensively, but he gives it his all on every shift, and somehow his all has actually been beneficial to this team. He's a lunatic, but he's lunatic that hasn't met a breakout he couldn't disrupt. It has a lot to do with the Devils lack of depth, but Bobby Farnham deserves a spot in this lineup, if for no other reason than his uncanny ability make my heart sing...
Do My Eyes Deceive Me Or Was Chris Paul Out There Throwing Down An Array Of Pseudo-Dunks Last Night?
Chris Paul, the rim rocker! Too much? Okay fine. The rim rattler? The rim shaker? I guess we can settle for rim grabber. Either way, we are really splitting hairs if we are going to get into the dunk vs. mini-dunk debate regarding a person that hasn't thrown one down in over two years. I think if you ask any athletically limited white boy who had dunk contests on eight or nine foot hoops in their driveway, like myself, if those were dunks then the answer is a resounding yes. When the person in question is Chris Paul then anytime his hand touches the rim and the ball goes trough the hoop it counts as a dunk, no matter how underwhelming it may be.
I know the only reason that Chris Paul was trying to do his Blake Griffin impersonation is because his lack of jumping ability has undoubtedly become an ongoing joke in a locker room full of high flyers. That's why he topped the first one off with a completely ridiculous, and equally as unnecessary celebration for his bench. However, this may also be a good sign for the trajectory of this Clippers season. While 18 points and 9 assists a game isn't anything to shake a stick at, one could make the argument that Chris Paul has suffered a slight drop in play this year. Well, that drop hasn't been noticeable throughout the last two games where he has carried them to victory despite the absence of Blake Griffin. This Clippers team doesn't stand a chance of getting to where they want to go without Chris Paul at the top of his game, and nothing speaks to his current level of confidence like running down the lane with authority and semi-succeeding in throwing it down in the opposition's face. This team still has a lot to prove, but winning consecutive games without it's most versatile player is a good start, even if the finishes from their veteran point guard could use some work.
I am not going to sit here and tell you that the 6-9 New Orleans Saints are even moderately close to being a good football team. They have fielded undeniably the worst defense in NFL history, an offensive line that probably couldn't protect Drew Brees from getting mobbed in a supermarket, and a host of offensive weapons that could easily be described as patchwork. However, that's kind of the point, isn't it? Every time the Saints played a brand a football that someone could potentially confuse as complementary they were, at the very least, a decent football team. They didn't need a great defense to be competitive. You didn't need an impenetrable front five to win games. The didn't need a superstar wide receiver to score points. They just needed a little bit of defense. A little bit of blocking. A little bit of playmaking. A little bit of cohesiveness.
I'm not trying to use a meaningless game against a lowly Jaguars team to say that the Saints are better than their record says they are. I am just saying that we will never know because the Saints team that showed up in the first half against the Jaguars has only shown up a handful of times this year. Drew Brees is still very capable of running a highly proficient NFL offense. The 400+ yards and three touchdowns with a bad foot made that pretty goddamn clear. He just needs a little bit of help. A little bit of a margin for error. A little bit of accountability from other areas of the team. That's what they gave him Sunday and that's why a game against a young, up-and-coming offense was never in doubt. Again, no small change would make this team a Super Bowl contender, but I'll be damned if it wouldn't make them better than they have shown to be through a majority of this season. Drew Brees can make up for a lot of deficiencies in your team, but he can't make up for an utter lack of support from his defense. All he really needs is a little bit, and there were far too many times when all he got was nothing.
As fans we get wrapped up in playoff implications, but you can't help but be happy for players like Tim Hightower, and to a lesser extent Travaris Cadat, for making huge contributions in a game that is undoubtedly more important to their careers than it is to the Saints season. This game may have meant nothing, but that didn't make it any less special for a couple of guys that have bounced around, or in-and-out, of the league far more often than they'd like. The season as a whole may be a disappointment, but the effort on Sunday certainly wasn't, and at this point that's the best you can hope for. Let's hope this is a sign of what we can expect to see next year, instead of the rash of lifeless, pitiful efforts that sent this season spiraling down the drain it's still trying to crawl out of.
P.S. Can't imagine that Cadet was too happy to get doused in beer, nor can I imagine that it's owner was to happy to spill it's contents onto the field, but if for only a brief moment neither of them gave a shit, and that's what sports is all about.
I got to be honest, I don't think I have ever seen anything like it. The Clippers simply can't finish against quality opponents anymore. We have seen teams that have had the inability to win the big game before, that's nothing new. However, I have never witnessed a team that had the ability to do so one day, and completely lost it the next. The last time the Clippers played well under pressure against a great team was when they put away the San Antonio Spurs in game 7 last year. How can a team that battled tooth and nail against one of the best teams in NBA history, and came out victorious, suddenly lose that killer instinct? It's like they sold their clutch to the devil just for a chance to get into the second round. I'm not even kidding. As good as this team looked in game 7, they have looked equally as bad in every pressurized situation since then. They don't even resemble themselves when the game is close and the stakes are high. Blake Griffin goes from one of the most confident, unstoppable players in the league to anxious and turnover prone. Chris Paul, one of the best pure point guards in NBA history, somehow looks like he has lost complete control of the offense. It's truly baffling.
That's not to say that the Clippers are a bad team, but it's impossible to argue that they have the ability to win a championship with the way they are playing now. Sure, they will reel off wins against mediocre teams, and likely make the playoffs as a 5 or 6 seed, but unless something drastically changes that's pretty much their ceiling. This team is far too talented to be content with a measly playoff birth. Anything less than the conference finals is an abject failure, and nothing about this team thus far has shown that they have the gumption to win two seven game series against good basketball teams. I thought they were starting to piece it together when they won four out of five on their rough trip. However this team's troubles, that were made glaring by two separate blown leads to the Golden State Warriors, resurfaced in the 4th quarter against the Spurs. They let that carry over into a demoralizing performance against the Rockets. And though they looked like the solved their end of game woes against Oklahoma City, when the lights shined the brightest their leader couldn't even get a shot off. In most situations you would just tip your cap to Kevin Durant and credit him for making a great play, but this Clippers team has the reputation of being choke artists, and unfortunately they deserve it. It's only December and things can change quickly, but with every 4th quarter failure the weight on their shoulders gets heavier and heavier, and they haven't proven mentally tough enough to shake it off.
Drew Brees Left After The Game Monday In A Walking Boot, And That Says All You Need To Know About Drew Brees
The pains me to say, because as demoralizing as Saints football has been it's still Saints football, but Drew Brees should sit out the remainder of the season. I know that's basically the same thing as saying that I hope the Saints finish 5-11, but it's true. There is simply no reason to risk further injury to a quarterback that has already given all he has to give, and more, this season. It's almost criminal that Brees' fate is one of a quarterback that some may see as regressing. This is a team with five wins that, if led by anyone else (not named Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers), would be lucky to have more than one.
This defense gives up touchdowns like they are 5 yard curl routes on 3rd and 15. This offensive line looks like it's on tape delay most of the time. The receivers, other than Brandin Cooks are either undrafted free agents or an aging (poorly) veteran. His second most reliable target is a 34 year old tight end. On Monday night he was handing off to a running back that hasn't played in the NFL since 2011, and his primary pass catching back can't even beat him out for carries. If you take Drew Brees out of the equation this is probably the least talented team in the NFL and it's not even remotely close. He'll stand in front of crowd and say that he needs to be better, and he'll mean it, but there is no shorter end of a stick than the one Drew Brees is currently in possession of. If life was fair every member of this team, it's coaching staff, and it's front office would line up so he could kick them all straight in the dick as he left the locker room for the final time this season.
The Saints have done a comically poor job at asset management and it has resulted in a team that is incapable of reflecting the excellence of it's quarterback. Drew Brees may be a 36 year old quarterback, but he's a 36 year old quarterback that dragged his team back from the dead last night despite battling an injury that left him nearly immobile. Sure, they just went on to die a while later when the defense decided to play two-hand-touch with the game on the line, but the fact that the game was on the line that late, after being down 28-3, is a testament to Drew Brees and Drew Brees only. My fear isn't that he doesn't have a few more seasons in him, my fear is that the Saints will waste them by surrounding him with hot garbage. Regardless, the last thing I need to see more of is Drew Brees struggling to carry this entire team on his back. He's done enough of that this season.
I have done you all a disservice. Thinking back on everything I have wrote about this team since the beginning of the season, I can't seem to remember one post with an unquestionably negative disposition. Maybe that's because I expected the overall tone of the posts this year to be depression inducing, and thus I have avoided heading in that direction as long as possible. Maybe this team, in all it's averageness, has so far exceeded expectations that it's extremely difficult to let yourself get truly upset when they drop a couple close ones. Regardless, the Devils have had too many ups and downs to avoid acknowledging their flaws.
That's why I was all set to do so following their game against Detroit. I was ready to enter the holiday break on a 4 game losing streak and have no choice but to accept that the Devils were coming back down to Earth. An effort against the Panthers that could only be described as effortless (and not in a good way)? A close loss against the Ducks that was nearly as enthralling as whatever your senile Grandmother got you for Christmas? A shootout loss to Boston where the Devils played well at times, abysmal at others, and ultimately couldn't catch one break from the officials? Before tonight the Devils, no matter how much they have overachieved, deserved criticism. The offense had dried up and, not coincidentally, their energy level seemed lackluster. Tonight was SUPPOSED to be the night I finally took a step down a dark critical path that I expected to be all too familiar with by now...
...And wouldn't you know it, this fucking team did it again. It wasn't always pretty. It certainly wasn't well in doubt. However, the Devils came out and beat a more talented Red Wings on the road to keep spirits high for the holidays in and stay in a position that no one outside of their locker room expected them to be in at any point this year. Just when you are ready to count them out they turn around and make you look like an idiot for ever doubting them.
Nothing has really changed, nor should Devils fans expect it to. They are still extremely top heavy both offensively and defensively. They still can't afford any kind of significant injury to even one of their core players. They are still far too dependent on their All Star caliber goaltender. They still, at times, look completely overmatched. That's to be expected. The large majority of this team's bottom 6 probably doesn't belong in the NHL. It's a credit to them that they have done such a good job in looking the part and keeping the Devils in the playoff hunt. This team doesn't have to play perfect hockey to win games, but they have to play far better than most teams do to earn their victories. That's why their record at the break is so impressive, but it's also why they are prone to dropping a few games in a row. Maybe next time they do I'll actually get a chance to open my mouth before they shove my foot in it.
Goal Of The Game: I am not going to compare it to one of the greatest goals in franchise history like SOME people, but Kyle Palmieri's dump in that bounced right back to him for a tap in was 100% intentional, and just as unexpected and impressive as he has proven to be all year.
Underrated Play Of The Game: I am not saying this play saved the game, but at the very least it saved Devils fans from another minute of agonizing stress, and that's enough for me. Thanks Little G.
Stat Of The Game: The Devils are the only team in the NHL to have gotten at least a point in every single game they have had a lead in this year. That may seem like an underwhelming stat considering the existence of the "loser point", but the Devils ability to avoid turning comfortable leads into soul crushing defeats is a fucking godsend if you care to remind yourself of the last few years.
BSO- Julianna Pena is an accomplished MMA fighter, The Ultimate Fighter 18 winner and now “junk punter.”
Pena was arrested early Sunday morning for assaulting two men at a bar in Spokane, Washington. Pena and her training partner Josh Gow tried running into Zola’s bar after having a street fight outside of the resident. Witnesses claim that Gow needed to use the restroom in the bar to wash blood from his face and the owners wouldn’t let him enter. Pena became irate when they weren’t allowed in the establishment and things escalated.
Witnesses said that Pena kicked a bar employee in the groin and then, while outside the business, kicked the owner in the groin twice. Gow did not get physical with anyone, witnesses said, and was described as being clearly drunk. The two attempted to enter Zola’s again, witnesses said, but were locked out. Gow then rubbed his bloody face on the bar’s front window, according to witnesses.
First of all, as far as weird reasons to get upset with a bouncer go, telling your drunk friend with a bloody nose to take a hike is pretty far up on the list. I've never kicked a bar employee in the balls, but if I were going to I would at least do it over something justified like being required to wear fancy shoes or letting 100 females in before me. All I'm saying is that having bodily fluids streaming from your face breaks pretty much every dress code I have ever encountered. Even the most lenient of bouncers have to put their foot down at some point. I do, however, appreciate the attempt at reverse phsychology. If you get sent to the street for fighting in the bar then where do you get sent for fighting in the street? Most would answer "jail", and they would be right, but "in the bar" sounds like some fairly reasonable drunk logic.
Regardless, this women should be sent to jail. All Ronda Rousey's career (and I guess Holly Holm's too) has taught me is that female UFC fighters are just as tough as the men, and if that's true than Julianna Pena's foot is basically a murder weapon. Those guys are probably coughing up their own testicles this morning. It's one thing if an 18 year old girl that catches her boyfriend cheating kicks him in the balls. That pain will subside in an hour or so. But a trained martial artist? Those feet are strictly cunt punters. Those kicks need to be saved for internal genitalia only. I'm not saying she shouldn't be able to put to her talents to use, but it should be in an octagon on the reproductive organs of her peers, not random dudes that aren't making nearly enough money to be have to argue with drunk assholes. The kick to the nuts is a move to be used on only your most hated of adversaries, and it's safe to say that a man that serves you liquor as long you don't leak DNA all over his establishment is not one of those adversaries. Lock her up and throw away the key, even if it's only to ensure the health of those that make our alcohol abuse possible.
Ladies and gentleman, your 2015 New Orleans Saints! If you missed the game last night then I hope you scheduled the DVR, because that was a perfect representation of this years New Orleans Saints. Letting fat face Matt Stafford march down the field and throw three touchdown passes in the fist half while they failed to do anything of significance offensively? Finally getting within striking distance as the clock ticked down, somehow managing to score three touchdowns in five minutes, and having none of them actually count? Those are the Saints you saw the fist quarter of the season. Battling back to turn a 28-3 embarrassment into a one score game? Looking unstoppable offensively and relatively decent defensively? Those are the Saints that you saw turn a 1-4 record into a 4-4 record in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Giving up a 40 yard run to a below average running back when the Detroit Lions had no intention of passing and were just trying to run the clock out? That's the Saints team you saw let any chance of respectability fly directly out the window during a 4 game losing streak to some of the most dreadful teams in the league.
Most fans just ask for their team to be strong in all three phases of the game, and I am over here just "happy" I got to see all three of this team's personalities in one night. It felt kind of like being a psychologist that has to observe a schizophrenic's daily activities, if that schizophrenic was actually an entire fucking football team and it's underwhelming coaching staff. This whole damn franchise has basically been a bi-polar person that no amount of medication could fix, but the only people forced to deal with their depressing behavior is it's fans.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect much better last night. The Saints holding the Bucs under 20 points last week was an anomaly and nothing more. So it wasn't at all surprising to see the historically bad defense Saints fans have come to know and hate this season reappear. It wasn't surprising to see Drew Brees attempt to almost singlehandedly will his team to victory despite getting banged up in the first half. It wasn't surprising for this team to have a laughable (it helps me not cry) breakdown when the game was on the line. That's what this team does. I don't care if it's because of a lack of talent, or a lack of execution, or a lack of competent coaching. All this team does is disappoint, and that's why I found myself more and more apathetic as the game progressed. It's just hard to get excited for a team that, at times, looks so unexcited to be there. So much so that sometimes you can't even tell they are there...
Umm, and? Is that Odell Beckham's best attempt at an appeal? Is that all he's got? Maybe he should just sit down, shut the fuck up, and serve his one game suspension for trying to behead his opponent while he wasn't looking. If that's his only excuse then it's a pretty lame one. Hell, even if it's only an explanation that sounds like an excuse it's still a pretty lame one. It's as simple as this, if you don't want people to make fun of the blonde Chia pet growing in the middle of your head than don't have an asshole haircut. If you don't want people to insinuate you like dudes then don't get caught staring at your teammates ass on the football field. There's nothing wrong with being homosexual, but getting mad because someone called you gay is the most middle school reason to lose your temper of all time. Let's put it this way, it might not be right (or politically correct for that matter) for the Carolina Panthers to be calling Odell Beckham Jr. a "faggot", but he's far from the first person to be called a "faggot" on a football field. Unless he happens to share in the same sexuality as Michael Sam then some gay jokes are pretty harmless.
Oh wait, I almost forgot the Panthers threatened him with baseball bats. I might have to take Odell Beckham's side after all. Where did all of this go down? In a rat invested back alley in New York City? In an abandoned warehouse? Outside of Eminem's trailer in '8 Mile'? No? It was just on a football field in front of hundreds of cameras broadcasting to a nationwide audience. Oh okay, nice try guys. If you feel threatened by someone carrying a baseball bat when it's blatantly obvious they have no intention of using it for anything other than getting under your skin then that's on you. Did the Panthers use the most praiseworthy of antics to get in the head of Odell Beckham? Of course not, but there's a reason it's called "trash" talk, and it's not because it exonerates you from blame when you play dirty.
At the end of the day there is no legitimate excuse for what Odell Beckham did. It wasn't just a freak incident that happened in the heat of the moment, and even if it was it certainly didn't come across as such given how he had acted prior to that play. He selfishly took personal foul penalties all afternoon, and that was just the culmination of his frustrations. You can say his Head Coach should have sat him down. You can say the referees should have done a better job officiating the full blown wrestling match that was taking place throughout the entire game. However, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your own actions, and Beckham's actions warranted a one game suspension. With the emphasis the NFL is putting on head injuries the last thing they can afford to let go unpunished is a disgruntled wide receiver launching his helmet into the head of a defenseless cornerback after the play. The fact that Odell Beckham is a mental midget that can't tell the difference between off the field gamesmanship and on the field play isn't a justification, no matter how much he means to the Giants dwindling playoff chances.
An Elementary School Replaced 'Silent NIght' With A Christmas Version Of 'Watch Me' In Their Class Play
Fox News- The latest yuletide lunacy comes from Johnson County, Kentucky where the school district has censored an elementary school presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
The district also ordered other schools to remove all religious references from their upcoming Christmas productions.
At one school, “Silent Night” was replaced with a Christmas version of the “Whip/Nae Nae” song.
Yes, good readers — apparently that is a real thing.
“How do you go from ‘Silent Night’ to the ‘Whip/Nae Nae,’” one distraught grandmother asked me. “We’re not at all happy about it.”
I could very easily sit here and talk about where I stand on the political correctness of the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays debate. I won't, because no matter what side people fall on they generally sound like petty little bitches when they do, but I could. Instead I would rather focus on something that means much more to me than what particular greeting someone uses during the most joyous of seasons, and that is my thoughts on the song 'Silent Night'. Cover your screen Catholics, because it's about to real blasphemous in here. 'Silent Night' SUCKS. Easily, without question, not only the worst Christmas song, but the worst song of any song dedicated to a holiday. Fuck sleeping in heavenly peace, 'Silent Night' needs to rot in an eternal hell.
I am glad this school decided to go with the Christmas rendition of 'Watch Me' instead of using that overtly religious snoozefest. You know why? Because much like myself, elementary school kids don't give a shit about immaculate conceptions, or virgin mothers, or the birth of Christ. If you are going to play 'Silent Night' during a 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' then you may as well just have them read Bible verses aloud while Lucy and Charlie botch field goals in the background. This play is for the children, and if I have learned anything over the last 6 months it's that the only foolproof way to get a child's attention is to play 'Watch Me' and let them whip and nae nae until their fucking arms fall off. It certainly isn't by playing a song that is better suited for background music while a couple stands atop a snow covered draw bridge and passionately kisses while the screen fades to black. BORINNNNNG.
I honestly don't even like the whip/nae nae song. It's gotten to the point where it makes me want to blow my brains out about halfway through the second chorus, but at least it evokes some kind of emotional reaction from me. The only thing that 'Silent Night' has ever got out of me was a snore and maybe a little bit of drool. I really don't care whether or not Christmas songs are used in kid's Christmas plays. I do care that shitty Christmas songs are used in kid's Christmas plays. So let the beat drop and the arms flail, because the only thing worse than a nauseatingly repetitive "rap" song is a psalm under the guise of a Christmas song.
Rams Defensive End William Hayes Had A Stedman Bailey Tribute On His Helmet So He's Definitely Getting Fined
Ironically the only reason I am writing this blog is to say that I didn't want to write this blog, and that officially means the NFL has won. I remember earlier in the year when DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing pink, during a month that wasn't October (AKA non-profitable for the league), to pay respect to his late mother who passed away from cancer. I was incensed writing that blog. I remember a few weeks later when Cam Heyward was fined for paying tribute to his deceased father, who played over a decade in the NFL, by writing his nickname in his eyeblack. I was pissed writing that blog. I remember a few weeks after that when Matthew Stafford was fined for wearing cleats that were apparently illegal, despite perfectly matching his team's uniforms. I was mildly annoyed writing that blog.
Starting to see a trend? Every petty, narrow-minded act of discipline has left me more and more apathetic. I should care that a teammate of a man that is recovering from multiple gunshots to the head is undoubtedly going to get docked a portion of his paycheck for letting that teammate know how much he means to him. That should leave me enraged, but I got to be honest, it's just not moving the needle anymore. You win NFL. I've become programmed to accept stupidity. I'm immune to senseless disciplinary actions. I'm desensitized by the constant invoking of punitive dress code violations. Getting mad at the NFL is like arguing with a woman. Their points only become more and more irrational, yet somehow they always manage to win. I can't keep fighting these battles when I know I will eventually have to succumb in the war of attrition. I know this doesn't matter to you NFL, but just know that you didn't win based on merit, you won because I'm tired of fucking arguing.
P.S. Can we get the man some stickers or something? If you're going to get fined anyway then don't get fined for writing in magic marker on your helmet.
The Pictures Of Tim Hightower Celebrating After The Saints Beat The Bucs Are Nothing Short Of Awesome
Sometimes you just need to see someone like Tim Hightower, who hasn't played meaningful NFL football in four years, celebrating all his hard work finally paying off to get some perspective. I know the NFL is a business. With non-guaranteed contracts and the constant threat of injury these guys have a very small to window to set themselves up financially for the future. As much a football is just a game, professional football is just as much about business, However, it's refreshing to be reminded that it's not always business. Occasionally it's nice to see a player not treating it like a job. With so many guys holding out, or complaining about touches, or getting in trouble with the law, or firing off misguided tweets, seeing Tim Hightower truly appreciate every opportunity he has to live his dream can't not put a smile on your face.
Far too often we question the work ethic of these guys, or doubt whether or not they are giving it their all on the field. That's just the natural reaction of a fan during a season like this in which things have rarely gone as expected. Well, I'll tell you whose will I will never question, and that is Tim Hightower. You don't stay in NFL shape for four years just in case you get another shot without realizing how much of a privilege it would be to get another shot. A lot of fans are rooting for losses in hopes of a better draft pick, but let these pictures remind you of one thing. These games still mean a whole hell of a lot to a majority of the players on that field, even if they may not be in New Orleans next year.
Though it is definitely safe to say that this isn't one of them....
You know what has been the most impressive aspect of the incredible three game run that Delvin Breaux is currently on? It's not that he has given up just ONE single yard over that span. It's not that just .00139% of the yards the Saints have given up have come against him. It's not even that he's managed to find success playing in a secondary that has been completely void of it all season. It's that his injury in the game against the Carolina Panthers can almost exclusively be viewed as the sole the reason the Saints lost. That sounds crazy, but his interception in the first quarter helped the Saints jump out to a 14-0 lead, and it wasn't until he was sidelined that Cam Newton, Ted Ginn, and Co. started making the Saints last line of defense look offensive. That's the very definition of being a "game changer".
Supposed "key" free agent acquisitions like Brandon Browner, and to a smaller extent Jairus Byrd, have turned this defense into a league-wide laughing stock. Yet Delvin Breaux, a player that has battled his way from a neck injured that nearly cost him his life on a high school football field, has quietly made a name for himself in the most unlikely of places; A backfield that can't stop fucking anybody. Think about the league's best cornerback's. How many of them play on downright criminally bad defenses? Petersen? Revis? Norman? I can't think of one, and that's how unbelievable Breaux has been in making his mark on the NFL in just his first season. It would be easy to say that teams aren't targeting him because everyone else at his position has been so bad, but that certainly wouldn't explain why he's amongst the best in the league in passes defended this year. The Saints high priced additions over the last few years have been, in a word, detrimental. However, they somehow lucked into their shutdown cornerback of the future, and that, if nothing else, should help Saints fans rest a little easier headed into next season.
TMZ- One of the hot basketball playing thong models in the video Gilbert Arenas used to bash the WNBA says Gilbert is NOT entirely wrong ... the league needs to sex it up if it hopes to survive.
Her name is Melody Rae --who played at the U of Tennessee at Martin -- and she tells TMZ Sports, "I'm all about empowering women ...and if wearing sexy attire helps to promote the game in any way I'm all for it."
Arenas said all WNBA players should look like them -- and the ugly players should get the ax.
Melody says Gilbert's approach wasn't exactly ideal -- but she agrees with his message.
"Look at our video for instance. We were doing a calendar shoot and this fun video gets released and goes viral. The only reason people are paying attention to it is because of what we are wearing."
"The women in the WNBA are prominent athletes that should have their arenas filled. I'm glad our video shed light on a league that deserves it and I support them whole heartedly."
Ha! Suck it haters. Gilbert Arenas isn't sexist. He's not misogynistic. I could see how someone would think that, but this girl just completely agreed with him, and thus dispelled all those rumors. Sure, it was just an online model that makes a living objectifying her body (not that there's anything wrong with that). I suppose some might see her words as disingenuous, seeing as she was the one that received millions upon millions of views and an endless amount of publicity from Arenas using a video of her ass to stir up controversy. However, she's still a woman and that means her voice matters too...
...I just kind of wish she decided not to use it in regards to this situation. Melody, society is going to need you to do us all a favor and just stand there half naked and look pretty. Here, dribble this basketball if you get bored. Whatever you do, don't speak while grown folks are talking. Less brains, more bra. That's your job, now fulfill the requirements of it. Let the basketball players play basketball, and the thong models model thongs.
Again, I agree with the premise that the WNBA would gain viewership if the players wore high socks and revealing underwear, but that doesn't mean the WNBA should make their players wear high socks and revealing underwear. That's kind of the point. Melody, and to a lesser extent Gilbert, didn't say anything that people didn't already know. A big ass lightbulb didn't suddenly appear over the head of the WNBA commissioner when she saw a video of a model playing basketball in a G-string. Not every woman feels empowered by showing more skin Melody. Your video may have shed light on a league that deserves it, but it was more of an interrogation light than a spotlight. All it really did, as a matter of fact, was give a former NBA player a platform to completely disrespect the women that you supposedly support wholeheartedly. That's not necessarily your fault, but it's certainly not something you should take pride in. All I learned from that Instagram post is that Gilbert Arenas thinks that WNBA players resemble a fictional gorilla from a video game series. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's probably not the exposure they were hoping for.
P.S. Credit where credit is due, this chick's got a WICKED cross.