In fairness, I don't think too much should be made of a proud pass catcher voicing frustrations that were probably only meant to be heard by his primary defender during an offensive performance that would have needed a Beyonce-style upgrade only to be considered anemic.
That said, it bears mentioning that what was unintentionally heard is entirely fitting of the bottom-feeding career of the person it was indirectly directed at...
The Vikings' offensive line was admittedly atrocious, but not atrocious enough to completely explain their quarterback's struggles in getting the ball to some of the league's most prominent playmakers. Much like he has been against almost every good team he's ever faced in a big spot, Kirk Cousins was exactly the type of overwhelmed player that the Redskins felt comfortable letting walk last night, and it's not all that easy to make Washington look right these days. These clear misses against a Seattle secondary that was made to look like the second coming of the post-PED 'Legion Of Boom' did just that...
...and managed to get an offensive coordinator officially dunked (albeit one who had already put himself on thin ice)...
The fact of the matter is that the guy who was paid oh-so-handsomely to be the difference maker has historically only made a net-negative difference when it actually matters. For about 60 million more guaranteed dollars than Case Keenum himself would have cost, the Vikings basically got themselves a slightly more talented but much less clutch version of him as his replacement. Therefore, whether the question is "you like that?!" or "you Vike that?!", I think we can fairly accurately use stats, context clues, or a hot mic to determine what Adam Thielen's answer might be.
A Ballsy Fan Sitting Courtside At 'The Garden' Took It Upon Himself To Get The Nets' Assistant Coach In Front Of Him To Take A Seat Via Jacket Tug
On one hand, you'll never get me to fully side with the type of entitled fan that thinks merely purchasing a ticket gives him (or her, but 99.9% of the time it's a him) the right to go around disrespecting anyone and everyone that just so happens to enter an oh-so-expensive line of vision. Tugging on someone's suit tail is basically one step short of palming their head and pushing it down, so doing so to Travon Bryant, who is a former professional athlete turned NBA staffer, should - in a perfect world - result in your whooped ass getting handed to you.
On the other hand, I think it's fair to question whether it was entirely necessary for a second row assistant coach, who stands at 6'9, to be standing more erect than the Empire State Building in getting a better look at a matchup for which his in-game input is, in all likelihood, limited. To be honest, it seems like more of a power move than anything else, which doesn't make all that much sense considering the lack of true power he actually wields.
Let's just keep it real, if Travon Bryant thought he needed to be standing then he would have remained standing, as opposed to conceding his view to some middle-aged man who was dressed for the nosebleeds. Let's keep it even more real, if Travon Bryant's authority was truly respected then the fan that laid a hand on him in a disparaging manner would have gotten forcibly removed from The Garden before he got a chance to smell the flowers, never mind pick a fight.
Maybe I'm wrong here, but if the same on-court security team that dragged Charles Oakley out of the building responds with nothing more than a"hey, don't do that!" then they probably sort of sympathize with the plight that caused you to do just that. Doesn't mean you should do it, as there's certainly something to be said for not showing up to someone's workplace and telling them how to do their job. However, there's also something to be said about knowing your standing in the workplace. With all due respect to a short-tenured developmental coach, Travon Bryant's standing is probably...well...seated.
LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Hugged It Out, In Front Of Approximately A Billion Cameras, After Going Head-To-Head For The Final Time
I was going to let it go, I swear I was. The idea of two close friends, former teammates, co-champions, and competitors, who are central figures of a golden era of NBA basketball, showing love and appreciation for one another was awesome enough for me to look past the amount of lenses eavesdropping on a conversation that was bound to tainted by their presence. It was as inevitable as it was weird that, while taking a moment to reflect on the upcoming culmination of a career that means so much to the both of them, they had to look either down at the ground or directly into one another's eyes so as to not accidentally get intimate with the Channel-Whatever news. Such is life when two larger-than-life, generational superstars hug it out under the brightest of bright lights for the last time, but the coverage it got all-but-guaranteed we'd be privy to the sentiments they damn well knew would be shared...
And those sentiments themselves? Bleh. Dwyane Wade pandering to Los Angeles' superiority complex? LeBron James offering even more mystique to "The Mecca" while torturing/trolling Knicks' fans? Predictably, that conversation was a whole hell of a lot cooler and more genuine in theory than it was in execution, and theory is all we would have had if not for nosiness of news cameras. If given 60 seconds to think on it, never mind 15 years, I could have put more sentimental words on lips that instead chose to service two fanbases that were doing a fine job of fluffing themselves. I don't care if it's truth or if LeBron just wants everyone to think it was the truth, because both the following picture and the relationship it represents are iconic enough in their own right not to have the preceding discussion invoke a love-fest of two tradition-rich cities that already love themselves too much.
As a Saints fan that watched an entire Super Bowl-worthy season get salted away in a fashion that was just as unbelievable, inconceivable, and inexcusable, I needed that. As a viewing audience that largely loathes how much success the Patriots have had over the years, you needed that. Hell, they'll never admit it, but even the most braggadocios of Boston sports' fans needed that. By "that", I just don't mean the apparent dawning of Hook-and-Ladder SZN....
...but also an indisputable reminder that no one - and I mean NO ONE - is entirely immune to falling victim to the fickleness of football's freakiest plays.
Due to the combination of their own dominance and the undeniable effect it has on opposing coaches that start outsmarting themselves once they take the field opposite it, New England has found a way to end up on the right side of the vast majority of "W...in...T...actual...F" plays since David Tyree caught a fateful pass with his cranium. For that reason, I couldn't be more certain that Gronk was going to come roaring into the screen looking like Tedy Bruschi in his prime only to deliver a perfect form tackle that would make it seem as though it was an ending that Bill Belichick brilliantly drew up in his lab of irregularity. Instead, an otherworldly athlete managed to trip over his own feet like Frankenstein taking his very first step in making the greatest coach of multiple generations look like he got too cute in mismanaging personnel.
In all honesty, if the game wasn't being played in Miami - aka Bizarro World Foxboro - Dolphins' fans probably would have had their hopes raised up juuuust enough to make it that much more painful when Kenyan Drake got bulldozed through the turf by a mutant tight end turned last line(backer) of defense. Fortunately, that game was played in Miami, so the concept of "any given Sunday" was able to be emboldened by yet another example, this one coming at the expense of both a team and a head coach that have grown nauseatingly used to seeming smarter than everyone else in setting it.
Add This Perfect No-Look Pass To The Pile Of Evidence Supporting Patrick Mahomes As A Living, Breathing Cheat Code
Keep in mind that it's quite hard for me to find the words, as 'speechless' is the only one coming to either mind, mouth, or fingertip at the moment. NFL quarterbacks have a tendency to defy their learnings on a weekly basis, but even playing 'Madden' at anything above a rookie level is supposed to teach you not to throw back across your body, never mind doing so when you're not even looking.
Therefore, what Patrick Mahomes did in trusting only his third eye by throwing a pinpoint pass to a moving target while locked in a close game against one of the NFL's best defenses was wipe his ass with the unwritten rules of football. That sounds more critical than it was meant to, as he's not cheating by being more physically gifted than anyone else at his position, but he sure is playing as a cheat code. MVP candidate or not, it takes an unprecedented amount of gumption and gall to have the overconfidence to sling that sucker blindly as a first year starter, and yet the Chiefs' baller/shot caller did so with a lack of fucks that could only be matched by Brett Favre after his 4th daily dosage of painkillers. I'm working under the assumption that other athletes will eventually follow his evolutionary lead, but - as it currently stands - Patrick Mahomes is a proverbial 3.0 to the 2.0 of everyone merely hoping to contain his superhuman skill-set.
"The New Jersey Devils play better in front of Keith Kinkaid."
Even if you follow the team from afar, that's something you have heard deafeningly whispered about their inability to win a single game in which Cory Schneider gets the start. As of late, it's something that's become harder and harder to believe, as the quick fix of leaning heavily on Keith Kinkaid has stopped the bleeding about as well as a bandaid placed over a bullet wound.
Which honestly makes it all the more depressingly impressive that they went to such laughable lengths to keep that narrative alive last night. By the time they tipped, flubbed, or whacked the third puck into their own net, I was just about damn sure that they had taken it as a personal challenge to prove that they had saved a whole new level of dysfunctional defense for a goaltender who has become nothing short of disgraced.
Count em', one...
And, despite making solid contact, three strikes...the Devils arrrrre OUT of luck when #35 is in net...
The first goal he let up was an eye-roller, but Schneider made plenty of huge saves and gave his team plenty of timely opportunities to help out his shockingly sad record as a starter only for them to, almost literally, throw them back in his face.
The truth is, aside from netting a hat trick of self-harm, the Devils played pretty well in picking up a third of four possible points on a road trip that, historically speaking, has given them fits. Unfortunately, it's hard to think of it as even a small victory as they all but beat themselves prior to a shootout loss. One less own goal or one less missed breakaway and we're talking about a team whose inventory is still clearly lacking in the confidence department finding a way to turn things around while dealing with the ruthlessness of the road. Instead, we're left wondering if Cory Schneider accidentally sent a dick pic to a group chat containing every team mom over the offseason, as that seems just as rational a reason as any for how actively disaster prone they've been in front of him during what's been a relentless return from hip surgery.
If they manage to secure a win in San Jose then it'll be easier to forget that they pumped another elusive point passed their own netminder, as 5-outta-6 on the West Coast ain't bad. What won't be so easily forgotten is that their goaltending is as much a problem in and of itself as it is a byproduct of a bigger problem. That being that their mettle - offensively, defensively and otherwise - is currently as flimsy as tin foil...no matter who has the misfortune of taking a disproportional amount of blame simply by being in net on any given night.
De'Vante Harris Couldn't Help But Pose With His Former Teammates After Ending Up On The Wrong Side Of Their Swagger
Culture. Often times, it's just an intangible that not-so-coincidentally correlates with your state in the standings. Look no further than yesterday's game for an example. The Saints are part of the NFL's elite and the Buccaneers operate better as a quarterback carousel than they do as a functional NFL franchise. Case in point, how both teams are viewed off-the-field couldn't run more parallel to what they've put forth on the field. Simply put, the impact culture can have on a team of professional athletes is debatable at best and overstated at worst, as - more often than not - talent trumps all in explaining the outcome in sports. The amount of talent in New Orleans is, without a doubt, the independent variable to their winning formula, while the undeniable fun they've had in creating a collective personality over the last two seasons is the dependent variable. Perhaps that's fitting, however, as there is nothing "independent" about a group whose love for one another is palpable.
De'Vante Harris is a young, likable corner who defied the odds of undrafted free agency to claim a spot on a Saints' roster when their secondary was the primary concern. Unfortunately, he's also someone who struggled mightily to retain that spot as the vast majority of his best plays occurred during practice to the point in which it became a running joke as he eventually forced the team's hand in cutting ties. The truth is, the only reason it's not fair to say that he got run out of town is because every Saints fan within driving distance would have offered him a lift if it meant they never had to see him blow another coverage in black & gold. Given that he was as victimized by vitriol as much as he was by opposing quarterbacks, he had plenty of reason to come into yesterday's game with vengeance on his mind.
Yet, when said game ended he couldn't help but put aside the fact that he's now on the wrong side of a rivalry and be buddy-buddy with the former teammates he views as family. That, as much as the post-turnover posing and the Stomp The Yard-style celebrations that accompany every Saints' win on social media, speaks to the cohesive culture of a locker room that - from the outside looking in - leaves you so desperately wanting to be sucked in by a level of synergy that even has their competition actively jacking their swagger...
This team isn't just special on Sunday's, and no one knows that better than a player who considers himself fortunate to have been a small part of it, as opposed to feeling scorned by the fact that he no longer is.
The Saints Are Sitting Atop The Conference As NFC South Champs, And That's All You Need To Know About A Semi-Forgettable Sunday
To call the start to yesterday's game uninspiring from the Saints' perspective would be all too kind. The ease with which Jameis Winston navigated down field on the open drive while looking comfortable both in and out of the pocket despite crappy conditions reeked of the same type of familiarity that always seems to serve as the ultimate equalizer in divisional games. It didn't get much better from there, as the offense that got humbled in Dallas looked like it it did nothing more than travel to Tampa Bay by horse and carriage during their ten days off. The run game was less than legless, as it averaged negative yards per carry in the first half. For the second time in as many weeks, Drew Brees was far from blameless, as inexplicable turnovers basically slide-tackled the Saints' defense as they were just finding their footing. All in all, the 14-3 deficit they carried into the locker room felt entirely deserved, as the fumble they opened the second half with didn't leave much reason to believe that halftime was all that helpful.
Insert Taysom Hill.
Ironically that could make for a very fitting name to a chapter in the book if the Saints end up making this season worthy of it's own literature, but his blocked punt served as the foreword to an entirely different story...
Referring to it as a wakeup call wouldn't even do it justice, because it's almost as if it snapped the offense out of a six quarter trance. The Buccaneers suffering from hemophilia is just about the only thing that can explain how helpless they were when it came to stopping the bleeding as the Saints' swiss army knife seemed to seal their fate with just one timely stab.
All the sudden, the unit that was damn near allergic to punting for a month straight reappeared back on the field with a renewed commitment to force-feeding a resurgent rushing attack while the quarterback who was once a lock for MVP finally found his keys. A defense that has proved dominant in becoming a catalyst for the offense as opposed to a byproduct of it kept up their streak of terrorizing quarterbacks, and before you knew it there were 25 unanswered points were tacked on to scoreboard that so instantly became lopsided that you'd swear it got struck by lightning. Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas, Cam Jordan, and Sheldon Rankins - just to name a few - stood out as incredibly complimentary football (and the positive field position that comes with it) cured the proverbial coughing fit that ailed the Saints for 2.5 quarters about as quickly as a touch from the Lord and Savior himself.
The start provided just about every ounce of cause for concern, but as a wise man who probably coached a bipolar team once said, "it's not about how you start, but how you finish". The Saints finished the game looking like every bit the part as the NFC South Champions, and they finished the day sitting in the driver's seat for home-field advantage. If the foot truly is back on a gas pedal that temporarily looked to be jammed then there's no reason why the Super Bowl shouldn't have to go through New Orleans. We'll see if that's how the season plays itself out in the coming weeks, but in about a half hour's time a couple underwhelming weeks were put far, far behind them. The Saints found their mid-season swagger on the leg of Bryan Anger, and immediately reminded everyone how goddamn good it looks on them...
In a word...
I'm not even sure I have all that much more to add, because I'm not even sure the victim of that vicious verbal assassination had enough life left in his lungs to conjure up a retort of his own worth hearing. "Waaaaaiv-ers" sung through that toothy, shit-eating grin of a shit-stirring legacy to someone who only made his way through them because no other team wanted him is pretty much a lullaby to a professional nightmare. Zack Smith's pride got serenaded to sleep by an indisputable reminder that the objectively bad team whose roster he's currently breaking his balls to remain on basically left him out on the curb like a used couch only to lug him back in when they couldn't find a better way to fill the space he vacated.
Of course, the stats of the two players involved in this interaction are oddly similar over the last few years and I remember people being relatively stunned when the Senators' forward was initially offered up to any takers like he was no more intriguing than a yellow Starburst. However, for the sake of a knife-to-the-sternum-style ribbing, waived is waived and the only thing more emasculating than being told to take a hike by your own team is having someone else mock the fact that they didn't really care if you ever returned from it.
Anyway, it's nice to see a good, old Canadian rivalry getting fired back up again. Just don't let anyone tell you that words don't hurt, because their power is what best explains Zack Smith going low blow-for-low blow in using a stick to try to break Max Domi's bone two nights later...
A Tip Of The Hat To Rudy Gobert, Who Lasted All Of Three Minutes Before Getting Tossed From Last Night's Game By An Official That Clearly Had It Out For Him
Hey, for what it's worth, we've all been there. If there's one thing that can make almost anyone want to aggressively clear a nearby table of all beverages then it's walking into the office only to be slapped with the cold, harsh reality that the people, places, and things around you are going to make sure the next however many hours of your day-to-day life are a real son of a bitch.
An NBA court ain't your average workplace, but Rudy Gobert still has a job to do and - to a professional rim protector - getting called for a foul on the goddamn opening tip-off is the equivalent of finding out on Monday morning that the coffee machine is broken and the mouth on your boss is not. Add to that a second foul for apparently inciting the king of flop to do his fish-out-water impression and I can kind of see how the frustration of being sent to the bench for an extensive stay no more than three minutes into the game might boil over. I've heard that suppressing the type of anger one might be caused by an official with a fairly obvious agenda can eat at you, so good on him for quenching that thirst for a clean conscience by spilling a lot more than his thoughts on the super suspect officiating all over the court...
As for the official in question? Other than harboring an unhealthy amount of resentment for referees that unnecessarily impact the outcome of games, I have no horse in this race. That said, I would suggest waiting at least one possession of game-time before exacting revenge, in ridiculous fashion, on behalf of the entire NBA officiating community. I understand that he was chomping at the bit to blow his whistle out of spite, but I don't think it's too much to ask to hold your breath past one bounce of the basketball. Surely there was a 50/50 call to be made somewhere in the opening minutes, as opposed to basically concocting one out of thin air in the opening second. Tossing the guy who called into question the state of his profession before the seats were even filled probably felt good, but patiently waiting until a more subtle point in the game when it wouldn't have every other casual observer calling into question the state of his profession probably would have felt better. After all, good things - like respect or benefit of the doubt - come to those who wait.
In Classic Vegas Fashion, The Golden Knights' Goal Horn Was Set Off Mid-Announcement Of A Disallowed Goal
Well, at the very least, we can let that be a lesson. It's just that the student isn't the anxiously optimistic goal horn operator with the itchy trigger finger, but rather the Vegas' virgin that thought Sin City was just going to sit silently still as he finished a sentence that started "after video review, the puck was in the net before the net came off...". Damn near everyone with a two mile radius of that arena is just looking for any old reason to get loud and enthusiastic in either figuratively or literally dropping their drawers, and this referee is out there burying the lede like an audience that's high off oxygenated casino air and drunk off desire has any intention of listening past it?
I don't want to make it seem like I don't appreciate the full disclosure of a detailed description, but save that shit for a building that isn't located in the heart of the a city whose draw is the immediate gratification or instant disappointment of flipped cards, rolled dice, and pulled levers. It's Las Vegas man. Whether the outcome be good or bad, ain't nobody got time or patience for a slow and/or misleading dealer, and that goes especially for the guy whose ability to send tens of thousands of fans into hysterics with the press of a button would make Pauly D. jealous.
The fact is, you can't talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars season without bringing up the laughable and entirely foreseeable failures of Blake Bortles. They basically served as the short fuse that led to the implosion of both a locker room and a once dominant defense, so it's not particular fair to mock said defense ahead of the quarterback that defied the odds of having no competent backup in getting himself shunned to the sidelines.
Fortunately, diplomacy went out the window when Jalen Ramsey spent all offseason going around calling everyone short of his own mother "trash", so I feel as though I'm at liberty to bring up how he was taken out like such. Simply put, if you want to be the guy to rescind the offer of a helping hand to an opposing quarterback (below) when things are going well then you can't be the same guy who is so quick to flail faintly to the ground like you just received devastating news as the most overdramatic actor in a low budget movie when things are going poorly.
Seriously, especially for someone so pompously proud, that flop was matched only in shamelessness by the defensive "effort" it came during. If you didn't have enough time to watch Derrick Henry lumber 238 yards en route to 4 touchdowns, thus becoming the only known predator to any and all Jaguars that dared to put themselves in his crosshairs, then I'd tell you to watch that GIF and think of it as summing up both Tennessee's rushing attack and the defense that was nothing short of submissive to it...
Jacksonville's defense didn't just get bullied. They got "footprints on their back" trampled as they tried to pander for pity. It was simply a sad state of affairs for a front-running unit that had no problem playing with purpose when playing from ahead, but it was a sad state of affairs that couldn't do a better job of explaining how easily a defense that arrogantly declared itself mighty has fallen.
Ryan Reaves Signed Pictures Of The Aftermath Of His Concussion-Causing Hit On Tom Wilson To Be Put Up For Sale, Which Makes The Incident Feel A Hell Of A Lot More Ugly
And here's me, reflecting on why it was stupid for the NHL not to temporarily force into the shadows (i.e. suspend, even if only for a game) the anti-hero who delivered a blindside hit that, while to the shoulder, was pretty obviously premeditated and indirectly caused injury to a head, whether it be empty or not...
In this analogy, Gotham would be the NHL, the Joker would Tom Wilson, and Batman would be Ryan Reaves. However, and you can correct me if I'm wrong here, I'm quite certain that Batman left all the pandering and public appearances to Bruce Wayne and let his inconspicuous actions as a caped crusader speak for themselves.
I promise you I fret not over Tom Wilson's bell being rung or his feelings being hurt. The image that Ryan Reaves presumably signed for profit is one that we, as hockey fans, have come to deserve at this point. It's just not the type of comeuppance the NHL needs to see proudly and publicly put up for auction while they are waging war on the unnecessary and dangerous hits that cause both concussions and all the awful, awful complications that come along with them.
Much like the Joker did to Gotham, the NHL's resident reckless asshole who repeatedly plays with zero regard for the short and/or long term health of his peers merely gave a stupid face to a much larger problem. So while seeing that face get counterpunched felt long overdue, him being on the opposite end of a hit that was literally signed off on as "predatory" when the person who delivered it referred to himself as a "lion in the jungle" on multiple occasions is more of a fitting fate than any sort of quick fix. If you truly hate all that Tom Wilson stands for then you shouldn't be openly applauding the result of the type of play that could potentially cause him to die early, even if you are rooting for him to die alone.
I think we can all appreciate the occasional act of vigilante justice, especially when it's levied on such an irredeemable idiot, but there's a reason why those that typically administer it do so in a mask. It's inherently a thankless job that's done anonymously, so - even though the kibosh was put on this with the quickness - the fact that Ryan Reaves spent even a few minutes autographing his dirty work like bruising someone's brain is some sort of sadistic art is proof that he did it for all the wrong reasons. Not so coincidentally, those wrong reasons characterize a mindset that the NHL is supposed to be discipling out of its sport.
ESPN- The Saints have unfortunately gotten used to wet and windy weather at Tampa Bay over the years. Back in 2013, they had a lightning delay that lasted more than an hour in the first half. When asked about he possibility of rain on Sunday, Sean Payton said...
"It doesn't look like it's gonna rain — it's gonna rain. It's 95 percent chance of rain. There'll be some wind, 10-12 miles an hour. We know the direction it'll head from — their locker room toward the pirate ship. I think the footing is going to be important relative to the shoes that we're wearing. Today we're outside (for practice), wet ball drills, the whole nine yards. So it's just understanding ball security, understanding the conditions. We've been there before when we were sent in at halftime to go eat oranges for a half an hour, then stretch and come back out and play. You know, it's South Florida."
And there you have it, perhaps the most accurate forecast in the history of the inexact science that guessing the weather, and I don't even say so sarcastically.
"It doesn't look like it's gonna rain...it's gonna rain".
I promise you this isn't meant as an ode to Sean Payton's preparedness like those clips of Sean McVay showing off his memory to a room of reporters that don't even realize he's acting like the kid that keeps everyone after class. Instead, what reads like a highly-detailed parody of the most unreliable of occupations is actually spoken like someone, or really anyone, that has spent more than six hours in Florida and thus knows the predictable unpredictability of it's precipitation like the back of their hand.
The only way the Saints and Bucs are sneaking in that game without storm-like conditions is if they somehow fit the entirety of it into the 30 minute window immediately following the very last drop of an early afternoon shower. Be forewarned if you see that sun start to shine as it might as well be the fire to the type of alarm that can drown the whole damn stadium in 10 seconds flat. The lightning rod of NFL Head Coaches doesn't need a green screen to guarantee you that. Matter of fact, having one to point to might actually make him less believable.
Alex Smith Has Reportedly Had Serious Complications With Infection Following Leg Surgery, Which Have Required Even More Surgeries
First and foremost, here's to hoping modern medicine clears all this up so that Alex Smith can finally stop going under the knife and get a little peace of mind. Football aside, the unknown of internal infections and the everyday importance of one's legs is a frightening combination, so I can't even imagine what Alex Smith the person, as opposed to Alex Smith the quarterback, must be going through mentally while getting repeatedly dissected physically.
That being said, doesn't the shocking nature of this news really speak to how routine we consider the recovery process following injuries that are damn close to dismemberment? We watched Alex Smith's leg do things that toys for children under the age of 6 aren't legally allowed to do. Then we winced while begrudgingly watching it again in slow motion to make sure we really did see the Saw-esque scene that we thought we saw the first time. Then we basically just offered him a casual "goodbye and a good luck" while under the assumption that he'd quickly be pieced back together well enough for him to be putting his weight behind NFL caliber passes by the start of next season. That's pretty crazy when you actually think about it.
Hopefully this is just the most harrowing of hiccup in Alex Smith's healing process. However, our expectation that even the most sophisticated of surgeries will go as smoothly as a band-aid over a paper cut in allowing for a somewhat seamless return to the most physically demanding of professional sports is a credit to both the athletes themselves and the doctors that could put Humpty Dumpty back together again with a high rate success. That's the last possible way in which you want to see a career potentially come to an end, but it sure is mystifying that it's not the way a whole lot more do.
Gregg Popovich Had A Short And Simple Answer For A Stupid Question After LeBron Went Off On The Spurs In The 4th Quarter
First, a quick little look into what made the Lakers hard to guard down the stretch...
Yeah, so...uhh...while I think the bloom has long come off the rose as it pertains to Gregg Popovich condescendingly cutting short interviews, I'm not sure what else he was expected to offer up there. "He's LeBron James" is a pretty good retort, but I personally think one of the best minds in basketball history could have taught a much more valuable lesson about journalistic uselessness if he flicked that reporter right in the middle of his forehead.
What made the Lakers hard to guard, HA! Um, presumably the ageless freak of an athlete knocking down flat-footed threes from 30-plus feet with ease for the fuck of it? I'd have to check the game tape, but perhaps it was the biological anomaly of a human boulder rolling downwind at mere mortals? Wouldn't want to jump to any conclusions before the re-watch, but going off the initial eye test it seemed as though the most physically gifted basketball player in the history of the sport decided to be back on his bullshit in slamming his fist on side of the scales when the game hung in the balance. I'll get back to you once I get better look at our rotations, but - off first glance - it appeared that they got all-but-abducted by the opposing alien.
Those would have been my responses to one of the dumbest inquiries in interview history, so - on the Gregg Popovich scale - "he's LeBron James" is about as easy a hard time as you're going to get.
The NFLRA Statement On Referee Roy Ellison, Who Was Put On Administrative Leave For Insulting A Player, Accuses Bills' Jerry Hughes Of Being A Big Old Meanie
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Threatening words? A history of abusive language? From the dude whose job description calls for him to engage in hand-to-hand/skull-to-skull combat on a play-by-play basis at one of the most violent positions in professional murder ball? And towards the whistle blowers that tend to have an inconsistent but direct impact on the outcome of the game? Why, I NEVER!
Look, other than his incendiary postgame response to (allegedly) being called a 'bitch', I have no idea what Jerry Hughes said to NFL referee Roy Ellison. More importantly, however, I don't particularly care what else Jerry Hughes said to NFL referee Roy Ellison, because Roy Ellison accepted the occupational hazard that is being a lightning rod for any and all verbal abuse when he decided to go into the field of disciplining impassioned athletic freaks while they try to tackle the air out of each other's lungs.
If his, or the NFLRA's, defense against escalating some run-of-the-mill frustration into an actual altercation is, more or less, "...but the hyper-competitive quarterback terrorizer that was hopped up on adrenaline after coming within mere inches of winning in the most physically taxing of sport was a big meanie first!" then you can strike it from the record. It's entirely possible that what Jerry Hughes said prior was fine-worthy and the ensuing threat was unquestionably a bit much, but the most emotionally uninvested parties on what's basically a battlefield can't be entering into wars of words with combatants without expecting to draw every ugly ounce of their ire. You want to call that a double standard then be my guest, because the standards should be a bit different for players partaking in an afternoon long test of their will and the officials who are expected to objectively block out all the noise while regulating it.
Tristan Thompson Celebrated A Massive Two Point Win Over The Nets By Flipping A Few Uppity Fans The Bird
Calling Tristan Thompson "mighty" would be a misnomer, so - in more accurately portraying him - I'd have to say it's a shame how far the mighty-lucky-to-have-formed-a-fruitful-friendship-with-LeBron James have fallen. I mean, it was mere months ago that he was confidently staking the Cavaliers' continued claim to the Eastern Conference, and now he's resorted to puffing his chest out at a handful of heckling hipsters in...Brooklyn? Of all places?
Trust me, I'm typically all for giving it to back to annoying fans that won't shut the fuck up, but the type of fans that haven't been able to celebrate so much as the selection of their own first round draft pick since before LeBron put the 'believe' back in BelieveLand? Someone whose last on-court incident was a scuffle with basketball's preeminent prick on the NBA's biggest stage should know that type of behavior is unbecoming of even the most woefully uncompetitive and entirely self-proclaimed "contender".
You want to sound crazy in trying to convince everyone that the departure of potentially the best player of all time was just a speed bump on the Cavaliers' path back to Eastern Conference supremacy (or your reality star of a baby mamma that it wasn't you caught cheating with multiple groupies in public, for that matter) then at least commit to the lie. After all, everyone loses when you stoop to the level of bickering with fans who are just trying to get their word's worth because they haven't gotten their money's worth in ages. Unfortunately for Tristan Thompson, he picked an opponent that has already grown accustomed to accepting a loss upon entry.
Personally, I'm not of the belief that someone who clearly lost the locker room, primarily by losing the ear of his All-World starting quarterback, deserved to finish what was already a lost season. I understand that Mike McCarthy has a Super Bowl ring, but I just fail to see some huge disparity in disrespect between getting canned late in the year and getting after the year. From a professional standpoint, they both seem pretty non-optimal to me, so why not just get the inevitable out the way when a failure to do so has your team defying historical odds by way of clear dysfunction?
This, however, has nothing to do with my opinion and everything to do with Sean Payton's, which is understandably influenced by the fact that he sees a lot of himself in Mike McCarthy. Even if you set aside the fact that both interviewed for the Packers' job during the offseason in which they were hired by their respective teams, as of last week they were two of the NFL's longest tenured coaches whose leashes were unquestionably made longer by both working alongside the elite quarterback they won a championship with.
That's not even an indictment of their leadership as much as it's a fact. Without 2009, Sean Payton wouldn't be putting on a coaching clinic in New Orleans in 2018. Hell, without 2009, he almost certainly wouldn't have survived being shunned to professional purgatory in 2012, and he definitely wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to triumphantly tunnel his way out of a three year stretch of 7-9 last season. That championship bought patience and trust with a long-suffering organization. Perhaps more importantly, it strengthened an existing bond with a quarterback who wouldn't so much as mutter a discouraging word as he went on to be stuck in the Groundhog Day-esque scenario of helplessly throwing a defenseless team to mediocrity over, and over, and over again.
The truth is, It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, because Drew Brees and Sean Payton share a brain, a chip on the shoulder, the difficult decision to come to New Orleans, and the life-changing experience of aiding in an entire region's recovery. That's why Mike McCarthy's dismissal isn't as unfortunate as the circumstances surrounding Sean Payton's continued employment are fortunate. The latter's otherworldly offensive mind plays largely into the equation as well, but the main reason Mike McCarthy couldn't keep riding his peak through to the end of this valley is because Aaron Rodgers had grown goddamn tired of sitting shotgun with him. Honestly, if not for a rare and special kind of kinship, we'd probably be saying the same thing about Sean Payton, because there were a nauseating amount of times in which Drew Brees deserved far, far better as he had to fend for himself as a complete and competitive team was being rebuilt around him.
From the front office, to the sideline, to under center, the Saints' organization has been spoiled by the unwavering belief they've had in each other for well over a decade now. That belief is finally starting to pay dividends again, but it's not one that exists amongst all that many teams in professional sports. Though one could see why Sean Payton, in particular, might expect it to be.
The Flyers' New Defensive Coach Either Uses His Eyes For Analytics Or Needs To Work On His Comedic Timing
As someone who couldn't possibly have less interest in the Philadelphia Flyers finding their way upon any sort of proficiency in defending a net that's still - after all these years - minded by a suspect goaltender, I must say that this is great news. Take one step forward, and then two steps back, and that's how you do the electric slide of organizational ineptitude! I did the math that Rick Wilson apparently refuses do, and - as it turns out - his hiring is actually addition by subtraction. I'm going to keep that on the DL, as I don't want to be the one to question the results of the extremely intricate "see it, believe it" strategy that he's spent so much carefully constructing. Still, someone who actually cares might want to slip a calculator in his desk, just in case he stumbles upon any obvious flaws in living in the 70's while coaching in 2018.
I'm probably giving someone who basically poured fuel on the fire in trying to comfort the most flammable of fanbase too much credit, but I think Rick Wilson was just trying to make a funny. Personally, I'd leave the jokey jokes to Gritty, because admitting to an inexperience in using the plethora of tools at your disposal is pretty much the coaching equivalent of what Kramer committed at the 'Laugh Factory' all those years ago (aka career suicide). Long story short, NOT...FUNNY. People are just as sensitive to an apathy towards analytics as they are too an over-reliance on them, as they clearly serve a practical purpose without being the end-all, be-all of the practice in purpose.
As evidenced by how long they clung to the Broad Street Bullies pseudonym, I know the Flyers aren't the most progressive of franchise. Still, their fanbase isn't made up entirely 85 year old technophobes (or rational room readers, for that matter), so - even in jest - it's probably not the best idea to go fanning their flames by talking about qualifying your coaching entirely through your cornea on your first day.