I guess I can't be too critical here, as it's logistically unreasonable to believe that either Nick Saban or Alabama football are defecating NFL-caliber defensive players en route to plumbing their way to the four team playoff on an annual basis. Setting aside the fact that comparing uber-talented teenagers to fecal matter is pretty messed up, there's just too much work that goes into stocking the nation's preeminent college football powerhouse year after year for their building strategy to be considered anything close to a mere rectal release.
On the other hand, if you absolutely had to pick a sports' team whose product is as consistent as the human digestion process then it would almost certainly be the Crimson Tide. Poop jokes aside, Nick Saban could have a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe as he walked the recruiting trail and he'd still flush out a top-five class. His at-home visits could consist of him ringing the doorbell, asking to use the bathroom, and leaving a massive floater as a token of his appreciation and he still wouldn't end up starved for young talent.
He deserves all the credit for becoming a household name in the sport, and leveraging that into the development of an extremely appetizing NFL-feeder system. That said, he isn't exactly going door-to-door trying to sell Squatty Potty's when he's laying out an undeniable track record in trying to convince 5-star recruits to follow along in it's massive footsteps. To say he's shitting out players is disingenuous (even though me thinks he doth protest too much by fabricating that crap-tastic criticism in trying to defend himself against it). However, while it's not necessarily a result of cheating, it's also not a coincidence that Alabama has a shitload of quality depth at their disposal at all times...
A's Pitcher Shawn Kelley Damn Near Through A Pitch Out Of The Stadium When A Timeout Was Called During His Delivery
First of all, let's take one second to acknowledge the hilarity of a baseball being flung from an MLB mound to the cheapest of seats in the Oakland Coliseum. If nothing else, it's another reminder that the beauty of sports are that they are liable to leave you saying "well, you don't see that everyday" on damn near a daily basis.
Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's take a second to admire the underlying takeaway from that clip, which is not-so-obviously that professional athletes are physically skilled in a way that's almost unfathomable to the average viewer. That might seem like an ironic conclusion to draw, as Shawn Kelley appeared to miss his spot by the length of the re-porposed football field he was playing on. However, the idea that attempting to launch a ball clear out of the stadium was both the safer and more instinctual option in comparison to stopping his pitching motion is proof of just how powerful said pitching motion is.
A lot of NFL players are upset about the new tackling rules not just because even the people enforcing them have a hard time defining them, but also because they are moving at such high speeds with such mutant-like momentum that doing anything other than what they've been trained to do since Pop Warner is unorthodox in a way that could lead to more injuries. The same concept applies here, as the only thing more inhuman than hurling projectiles at upwards of 100 MPH per hour is slamming the brakes on an arm as it's in the process of doing so.
So, in a weird way, the idea that throwing a baseball to a neighboring county on split-second notice was the optimal way for a pitcher to preserve his health should, oddly enough, reinforce our appreciation for the type of talent said pitcher, and all others like him, possesses. Your first reaction should be to laugh along with Shawn Kelley, but don't let that distract you from the fact that you've thrown in a couple pump fakes upon realizing the target of your pass was sipping his beer or talking to a friend and your average ass arm was made no worse for the wear...
The Canucks Are Confiscating Youth Lacrosse Jerseys Bearing 'Johnny Canuck' Due To Copyright Infringement, As They Presumably Hate Themselves
VancouverSun- The Vancouver Canucks won’t return to the ice until next month, but when it comes to protecting their copyright, the franchise has no offseason.
Their latest opponent is a pick-up team at this weekend’s Top Cheese three-on-three youth lacrosse exhibition in Langley.
The team, which has no formal name and is comprised of just four pre-teen boys, was planning to wear a customized jersey featuring a modified version of the Johnny Canuck logo carrying a lacrosse stick.
The boys were going to be participating in a “fun day” event organized by a youth academy run by the Vancouver Stealth, the local National Lacrosse League team recently purchased by the Canucks. Participants dress up in silly clothes or made-up uniforms for an informal, day-long tournament.
The jerseys in question made the rounds on social media earlier in the week, leading some to speculate online that the design might be a sneak peek of the sweaters for a re-branded Stealth team, which will begin its season under Canucks Sports & Entertainment ownership in December. But the Canucks shut that speculation down in a hurry, demanding that the unsanctioned jerseys be turned over to the franchise upon completion of the tournament.
“I hear that now that the Canucks want the jersey back,” said Rob, a father who commissioned the uniforms from Port Coquitlam’s Xtreme Threads and paid roughly $1000 for their creation. He declined to give his last name out of concern that the Canucks might target him legally, an expensive process he can’t afford.
“It’s a fun tournament,” he said. “They want (the jerseys) back to destroy them. No way, shape or form am I looking to profit anything from this, or looking to take any money from this,” he said. “It was done because my son came to me and wanted to put a team together for this tournament.”
Reached for comment by Postmedia, Canucks Sports & Entertainment said the lacrosse jerseys “created confusion”.
“We were made aware that a local jersey company created and supplied jerseys for a team to participate in a weekend lacrosse tournament,” said the organization. “While we applaud the ingenuity of the fan that suggested the concept, the company did not have the right to use either the Johnny Canuck or Stealth trade-marks in the design. The use has created confusion as we are heading into a team and logo launch for Vancouver’s new National Lacrosse League Team.”
I suppose it's important to start by saying that I know the business of sports to be a cutthroat one, and thus the protection of any and all copyrights as a part of such is more likely to make Donald Trump's dream scenario for border patrol seem lenient by comparison. As over-the-top as confiscating custom lacrosse jerseys following an otherwise meaningless youth tournament may seem, Canucks Sports & Entertainment is just doing their job by attempting to do so.
That being said, in a way fitting of a bouncer who strictly enforces the dress code in taking out his frustrations with his line of work on drunk 20-somethings in sneakers, I can't help but feel like the Canucks' entire operation would be a lot more likely to let something like this slide if they were comfortable with where they were at as a franchise. Hurt people hurt people, and no one is hurting more than an organization that couldn't leverage the emergence of the league's best rookie goal scorer into even one single nationally broadcasted game during his sophomore season. Playing the bad guy is in the job description of those enlisted to maintain the license of professional sports logos, but I'd imagine the pettiness has been ramped up the amount of pessimism they are surrounded by. Simply put, those lacrosse jerseys might not be causing such a stir if they weren't currently scheduled to get as much NBC airtime as the franchise they were derived from.
They can hide behind the "confusion" caused amongst a community of lax fans that's compact enough to clear it up themselves with couple retweets, but the truth is that you hardly ever see unfavorable headlines that are wildly unnecessary trailing alongside good teams. All this story did was remind me that the Canucks even had ownership over some super Canadian stereotype that, despite appearing workmanlike, couldn't earn a promotion over a largely irrelevant orca or an elementary illustration of a hockey stick. In essence, giving their cock a courtesy shake in raining on the parade of a handful of kids that, against all odds, actually want to let it be known that they are still Canucks' fans does more harm than good. Any team that wasn't made shortsighted by sucking (as a result of being made to suck by shortsightedness) probably would have realized that this was an impossible battle to win publicly. Unfortunately, the practice of projecting isn't just a thing that has people prematurely penciling Jack Hughes into Vancouver's 2019-2020 lineup.
Jimmy Butler Heard About It From Dwyane Wade After Getting A Bit Froggish In Gabrielle Union's IG Comments
I'm 96% sure this was all in jest, as Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade are former teammates whose friendship was strengthened by getting the hell out of Chicago. That doesn't make publicly salivating over another man's gorgeous wife any less of a no-no, but nothing short of an unsolicited dick pic is breaking the type of bond formed by two grown men who sing K-Ci & JoJo together...
That said, for those of you whose platonic relationships aren't reinforced by belting out 90's R&B ballads, I warn you not to try what Jimmy Butler did at home. To be safe, I'd steer clear of commenting on the appearance of your friends' wives and girlfriends on the internet all together. However, if you absolutely must, then stick to harmless, non-sexualized terms like "pretty" that can't be read into and definitely, definitely do not post them under pictures in which their nipples look to be slicing clear through your computer screen.
In fairness, "WELL DAMN" is just about the only fitting comment to leave on that picture of Gabrielle Union presumably air-drying after a dip in Dwyane's cold tub. Unfortunately, similar phrasing is also fit to catch you an all-time ass-whooping at the BBQ if the person hosting it doesn't see you as close to him just like his mother, father, sister, or brother.
Jon Gruden Believes Derek Carr Has "Mastered" The Raiders Offense, And I Can't Think Of Any Reason Not To Believe In His Effusive Praise Of A QB...
LBS- Gruden, who is entering his first season back in the NFL since 2008, is regarded as a quarterbacks expert. He has a complex system that takes a while to master, but it can produce great results once you do.
And good news, Raiders fans: Gruden says that Carr has been working hard all offseason and has “mastered” the offense.
“I think he’s one of the best, in terms of processing information,” Gruden said of Carr, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “I think he craves new things. He wants more… ‘What do we have today? What are we doing today? What’s new? What do we got?’ He has a photographic memory. It comes so easy to him. He’s got the offense mastered more than I do.”
Normally I'd remain skeptical of such high praise, as the only kind of NFL offense that can be truly "mastered" in under one offseason is the kind that isn't worth being mastered, but the source must be considered here.
I mean, other than approximately 87% of the broadcasts he appeared on during his time as ESPN's resident fluffer, when you have you ever heard Jon Gruden speak glowingly of quarterback play that wasn't entirely deserving of outside erections? I suppose you could argue his televised QB Camp made every prospective first round passer out to be the second coming of Christ, but now that he's approximately 5% more firable there's no way he'd continue to blow smoke in recognition of one passer who is of particular relevance to him as if he is the next Pope.
If all goes well, Jon Gruden is in line to lead the Oak-Vegas Raiders for the next decade. Since there's only two-three dozen massive concerns regarding how those years turn out, I see very little benefit to him talking up the quarterback to which the success of his tenure is entirely tied as said quarterback comes off an underwhelming year. Therefore, if Derek Carr's coach, more or less, implies that he's ready to marry the playbook after a month and could redraw it from memory while blindfolded then we almost have no choice but to believe him. The liquidity of that learning curve makes next to no sense, but if the man who turned the effusive praise of any and all quarterbacks into 100 million dollars has proven anything over the years it's that he's usually right on the money with these things.
Terrelle Pryor Released A Public Statement Regarding #FlinchGate, Which Is Only As Preposterous As His Explanation For It
You know, I never really thought it to be a crime that Terrelle Pryor instinctually ducked and covered when his face became aware of an incoming fist. A terrible visual for someone who was taller, heavier, and more protected than the person who owned said fist? Definitely. An offense so unforgivable that it required a public defense? Not quite.
That's why I kind of feel like I should start viewing the flinch mocked 'round the sports world as more a of a societal violation. After all, the person who committed it was apparently left with no other form of recourse but to go with an even more embarrassing form of self preservation by holding up the irrefutable well-being of children as a transparent shield to playful teasing. Flinching must be a much more inexcusable transgression than I ever imagined if the person who did it felt the only way to come back from it was to talk about the role he modeled himself in as the forbearing example of pacifism for our youth.
I honestly didn't think that Terrelle Pryor owed us any sort of explanation for engaging in the inherently human and involuntary act of detecting danger and reacting accordingly, no matter how bad it looked. Following the most counterproductive and unnecessary of public statements, however, I'm left feeling as though his explanation for getting completely punked isn't good enough.
Apparently, in the split second that his brain had to tell his muscles to protect his face, it also managed to ask what the poor children would think if they saw football players fighting. If that's the case then a couple of his neurons should be fired for not considering what the internet would think about a 6'4, 230 pound wide receiver in pads and a helmet getting shook clear out of his skin by a pump-faked punch.
NYPost- NBA journeyman J.J. Redick claims he freaked after seeing a woman apparently being caged under a blanket in the back of his car service in Manhattan, prompting him to jump out and call cops.
Redick shared the story on his “The J.J. Redick Podcast” on Thursday, saying it happened Wednesday after he had done a photo shoot for the fashion line Mr. Porter.
The former Duke University and current Philadelphia 76ers guard said he was with his wife, Chelsea, and sister-in-law Kylee as they got into the Cadillac Escalade livery cab arranged by Mr. Porter.
As they motored through Manhattan, Kylee became “pale as a ghost” because she said someone was in the vehicle’s back storage area, according to Redick.
They demand the driver pull over, saying they saw a child or small woman in back, according to the hoopster. The driver then sped off, leaving Redick and his party on the sidewalk.
Redick, 34, said he called the NYPD.
The player later called the car service to complain — and was told the driver had been disciplined for bringing along another passenger in the front seat, according to Redick. There was no mention of any woman in the trunk, he said.
“So, possible scenarios here: I think best-case for everyone involved is that maybe his sister or his cousin, or maybe a girlfriend or wife needed a ride across town and they didn’t want to pay for an Uber or taxi. That’s probably best-case scenario,” Redick speculated.
“And then from there you can go darker. This is not funny, but child abduction, human trafficking. Like, Chelsea’s dead serious texting me today and she’s like, ‘I’m calling the FBI tip line and I’m opening a claim. This is serious.’ I don’t know what to make of it. It definitely was not a dog. I will say that. It was a human being in the back seat of his car, under a blanket in some sort of box or cage. That’s my story.”
I'll tell you what, there's not all that many things that could get me to change my "sit down and shut up" approach to using ridesharing services, but I think that potentially being seen as an accomplice to human trafficking is on the short list of social infractions that could get me to begrudgingly start up a dialogue. I've always maintained that it's none of my business what my affordable and conveniently contracted chauffeurs keep in their car, but an unlawfully imprisoned man, woman, or child might just challenge that theory, as it seems like a pretty big problem to bring to work with you. If J.J. Redick knew his mode of transportation was going to have him at risk of running into people being treated as rabid animals regardless, he might have opted to take the subway where riding along to such a thing wouldn't make him a witness to a felony. Therefore, the least his driver could have done was offered him an undoubtedly unsatisfactory explanation for the jailed stranger clanging around under a blanket in the back seat.
I don't go less than 5-stars often, but making me remove both headphones is at least a 2-star penalty, whereas turning me into the lifeguard in an Uber Pool is at least a 1-star deduction. Assuming the Sixers' guard and his lady were offered Aquafina's upon entry, that's a 2-star experience at best, and seeing as there was no mention of a water dish in the back, that's the furthest thing from a safe assumption.
John Elway Says Colin Kaepernick Had His Chance To Join The Broncos, Which Would Be Correct If There Were No Such Thing As Context
Seeing as all that John Elway did with that answer was take every Colin Kaepernick hater by the hand to carefully lead their blind asses through a virtual minefield of context and facts that would completely blow up his argument entirely, I'm not even going to get into the legitimacy of his claim. It's quite obvious that the "chance" in question came before a particular person's public protest led to his blackballing, as well as required said person to flush five million guaranteed dollars down the toilet to take him up on it. Therefore, it's irrelevant to the point that the Broncos' General Manager probably broke the law in trying to make.
Anyhoo, as an aside to the continued nonsense spewing from the mouthes of NFL executives that are digging themselves deeper and deeper by desperately scrambling to explain their way out of a collusion lawsuit, I do have one question. How has John Elway been at evaluating talent at the quarterback position? Must be feeling pretty damn confident about the state of his team under center to talk down to a guy that didn't feel as though he should have to relinquish damn near half the salary he earned taking a team to the Super Bowl. I'm not surprised, as it was but a foregone conclusion that the Broncos' GM would adequately fill the one position he knows better than the side of his neck that he just spoke from. It feels like years ago that, due to absolutely no foresight of his own, John Elway managed to dodge the woefully inaccurate bullet that was that Brock Osweiler contract. Have to imagine that Paxton guy they spent a first round pick on to replace him is returning dividends in front of a dominant defense by now. Surely that's the Case! I mean, it would have to be for this brand spankin' new "one shot, one opportunity" policy to get put into effect at such an inconvenient time for Colin Kaepernick, right? RIGHT!?!
Did The Timberwolves Pass On Steph Curry Because He Wouldn't Be Able To Golf Enough For His Liking In Minnesota? Maybe Yes, Definitely No.
CBSSports- Curry went seventh overall in that draft, behind back-to-back point-guard picks by the Wolves -- Ricky Rubio at No. 5 and Jonny Flynn at No. 6. And now, years later, the three-point specialist has revealed a story he once heard about why then-Minnesota executive David Kahn opted to steer clear of Curry despite two opportunities to take him.
"I don't know if that ever came out -- that's a story," Curry said on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week. "Everybody knows how much I love golf -- play it in my spare time and whatnot ... I think the word on the street was that he [Kahn] didn't draft me because, in Minnesota, it's cold and I wouldn't be able to play as much golf, so I would have been miserable."
First things first, there is exactly a zero percent chance that this "story" has even a hint of truth to it. A tongue-in-cheek "explanation" for the stupidity required to select Jonny Flynn ahead of Steph Curry that somewhere along the line morphed into something that could be loosely defined as a rumor? Probably. A legit reason as to why the Timberwolves ended up passing on a player who beat the odds to become one of the best shooters in league history, as well as the valedictorian of the new school of scoring point guards, to select someone who played in as many NBA seasons as the player he was picked in front of has NBA Finals? No f'n chance.
The thought of a President of Basketball Operations looking at a prospective lottery pick like he were a potential client in trying to cater to his love of golf is abjectly preposterous. Yet somehow, it's matched in ridiculousness by the idea that said President of Basketball Operations would be left with anything other than a cold, barren prospect pool if he was intent on filling it only with people that are at their happiest during the depressing dead of winter in the middle of Minneapolis. Plus, as if this weren't an absurd enough theory as is, believing in it would require you to think that sports' executives genuinely give a damn if their players are well-rounded individuals with outside interests and an optimistic view on life.
Hell, if David Kahn had altered the course of history by selecting Steph Curry, I'm willing to bet he'd have been more likely to have been caught flooding the greens at the local links than booking tee times for the prepubescent looking kid whose development as a basketball player was tied directly to his job security. If anything, not having immediate, year-round access to his favorite hobby would have been a plus in Steph Curry's pros column, as it would have forced him into shooting J's in a snow covered gym during his down time throughout the season. That's far more preferable to a General Manager than his most promising player having a fulfilling life away from basketball. Therefore, we're just going to have to continue blaming organizational incompetence, because - seeing as we're talking about the NBA Draft and not divorce court - it's certainly not golf's fault.
Watching P.K. Subban Do A Wide Receiver Drill Will Give You A Whole New Appreciation For NFL Athletes
I hate to this about an All-World athlete that can hop on a pair of blades and change direction as fast as a bouncy ball thrown in a phone booth, but P.K. Subban looked kind of awkward and heavy-footed while running through that drill.
That, of course, is entirely relative to the lateral quickness of the people we usually see starring in these videos, and thus not nearly as much of a knock on P.K. Subban's route running as much as it is a massive compliment to those that do it professionally. Still, the same guy that can shave through an entire sheet of ice in fifteen seconds flat merely looked like a slightly above average athlete once he got on grass, which is nothing more than a reminder that we are spoiled by the absolute freaks that are able to move their feet at a mile a minute during football season. Just as spoiled as we are by having the pleasure to watch people that can do this, in fact...
After Homering In 5 Straight Games (Including 3 Straight While Leading Off), Ronald Acuña Was Beaned By Marlins' Pitcher José Ureña With The First Pitch He Saw
It's almost as if José Ureña took the mound last night with the intent to draw attention to everything that is wrong with baseball. I know he didn't, as his time in the Majors has taught him that winding up and hurling a high-speed projectile at the ribcage of a hitter is a reasonable way to show said hitter that his sustained success is not appreciated. That being said, you couldn't script a more scathing indictment of the unwritten rules of baseball than the Marlins' pitcher, who had yet to spend so much as one single pitch attempting to get out the red hot Ronald Acuña Jr., using his high-end heat to target a rookie whose biggest breach of etiquette was batting beyond his years...
They are very, very different crimes against common sense, but - the way I see - that scene last night should basically be looked at in the same vein as "Dez caught the ball". Of course, this particular play didn't alter anyone's playoff fate, but why wait until something similar does when it's an antiquated practice that isn't anywhere close to being outlined in print? This should be something that is repeatedly looked back on as one of the most radical examples of objective idiocy being so obviously detrimental to a sport in such an unforgettable way that it ultimately inspires change.
It more than likely won't be, as baseball touts its "tradition" over its talent in a way that makes you think their decisions makers have taken a few too many heaters to the head. However, for a league that blames Mike Trout for his failure to market himself, it doesn't get anymore astronomically stupid than an exciting, young prospect having his 5-game home run streak brought to an end by an injury that was inflicted for no other reason than his 5-game home run streak existing in the first place.
If only to send an unmistakable message to Major League ball clubs, José Ureña should have been instantly tossed for taking the most exciting player in the game out of it before it really began. The only reason it took both benches clearing, as well as minutes of screaming, yelling, and deliberation to do so, isn't even that baseball is broken, but rather that - pending the announcement of a suspension - it appears to have very little interest in fixing itself.
DeAndre Hopkins Forcing A Fight After The First Rep Of A Joint Practice Is The Furthest Thing From Shocking
You know, there's not all that many wide receivers that need no more than one route to create that much animosity between themselves and an opposing corner, but DeAndre Hopkins is definitely one of them. It's not that the Texans' biggest and brightest star beats corners off the line, or beats them out of the break, or beats them downfield. He obviously does all of those things with regularity, but what I imagine drives his opposition the most nuts is that he just simply beats them. Like physically, and with a near oxymoronic display of subtly violent hand jousting. DeAndre Hopkins has creating separation down to such an intricately abusive science that it simply has to be annoying to those that fall victim to the forcibly aggressive formula.
Assuming there was no more to that fight then what met the eye prior, Jimmie Ward wasn't being a sore loser by skipping and jumping up on Hop after the catch. He just foresaw himself becoming a hell of a lot more sore and doing a hell of a lot more losing if he didn't respond to getting smacked and bullied off his spot by a receiver who treats his routes as if they are being run through the thickest of brush.
Although he's one of the most skilled guys in the entire league, I wouldn't go telling DeAndre Hopkins he plays a "skill position". If his decision to throw the first punch sans helmet is any indication, he'd be more than happy to show no finesse in feeding you a lot more than your lunch.
Pour one out for DeAngelo Hall's ankles, which may or may not have been seen since...
Alex Okafor Going Down In Practice Is An Unpleasant Reminder Of The Saints' Lack Of Depth On The D-Line
The good news here is that this is probably the worst news that has come out of Saints training camp thus far. I'm knocking on wood as I say the following, but keeping in mind offseason's past, a man down that forces a little stunned silence but is followed by said man returning to his feet and making it off the field under his own power isn't any reason to take shelter in Chicken Little's coup. It's unfortunate, but it isn't a sign of the sky falling on what looks to be a promising season.
The bad news, on the other hand, is that a pass rush that was starting to look as though it wouldn't be dependent on a significant contribution from the rawest of rookies isn't anywhere as deep as it seems on the surface. A substantial injury to Alex Okafor would obviously be a horrible turn of events for him, as he's responded about as well as one could have possibly hoped coming off a season that was cut short by an Achilles tear. However, it would also be a horrible turn of events for the Saints, as it would make Marcus Davenport's absence from practice a hell of a lot more concerning for an otherwise lopsided defensive line. Trey Hendrickson's development has been encouraging, but a starting caliber compliment to Cam Jordan he is (more than likely) not.
I'm not saying it will, but - to play the pessimist - if Alex Okafor's diagnosis ends up having been foreshadowed by the nerve-wracking reaction of his teammates then the pressure on the player on which the Saints spent two first round picks will be increased substantially. It could be worse, as that pressure was presumed to exist the second he was picked anyway, but his lack of participation in practice isn't going to continue being a footnote if there's a disappointing headline regarding their current starting RDE coming around the corner.
The Braves' Postgame Went Without A Hitch As A Security Guard Took A Big Time Spill In The Background
Professionalism, personified. Seriously, get these two on an Emmy ballot, for acting as if they didn't see the...umm...sizable security guard go heels-over-head in eating the steamiest of shits on-air required a unforeseen amount of focus.
People taking an unexpected spill is always worth a laugh regardless, but it being its own scene completely separate from the postgame show it served as the comic relief to made this one all the more hilarious. Honestly, if it weren't for the slightest of smirks from the guy on the right, you could have convinced me that a green screen was used to insert a viral clip into the background of the Braves' broadcast. It all just took place in such a matter-of-fact way that reminded us that sometimes life is better scripted by itself.
A special thanks to both the man looking for his five seconds of fame and the man who fell victim to some sort of obstacle in taking second place to his momentum in trying to deny those five seconds of fame, but the concentration of the hosts turned supporting actors was award-worthy as well. All in all, just a fantastically funny performance all around.
Ben Zobrist Received His First Career Ejection For Reminding An Umpire That Computers Are Coming For His Job
Bravo! Bravo! That might have been a first time dismissal for the 37 year old, but there was no beginner's luck behind that barb! I'd say that's the perfect thing to snap back in earning an ejection, as the feelings it hurt will still be sore long after the game in which Ben Zobrist's active participation was cut short, but the truth is that I'm not even sure I feel comfortable calling that ejection.
I mean, what else was the Cubs' veteran utility player going to do but leave the stage after dropping the mic on an umpire that was apparently pretty sensitive to his job security? Ben Zobrist knew damn well that line was going to get him tossed before he said it, so the end of that interaction was really more of an "I quit!" than a "you're fired!". Unfortunately, I'm not so sure the target of it will be so lucky to leave on his own accord if him and his peers keep making robotic officiating seem like an extremely viable option by backing up their bad calls with worse arguments.
Despite its obvious detriment, I also see the benefit of the human element to a sport that misrepresents its stubbornness as tradition. That, however, doesn't mean I can't encourage its victims to highlight its flaws in pouring fuel on the fire. If were going to keep umpires around then we might as well shame them into shaping up by threatening to ship them out in the same box in which their replacement is potentially being packaged. I don't know if it will make any tangible difference, but it should make the ejection process a hell of a lot funnier for the time being.
Newly Assumed Browns' Leader Jarvis Landry Spiked A Football Off His Teammate's Helmet Before Rolling Around The Practice Field Wrestling With Him
I don't want to make any declarative statements, as that's how this narrative started, but is it possible we watched an irate Jarvis Landry call the peers in his position group a bunch of bitches while trying to shame them into practicing injured (against their head coach's wishes) by way of a rant that leaned hard on the use of expletives and prematurely assumed he was a great leader?
In retrospect, it feels like we were a little quick to crown the guy that (without further context) looked to wildly overreact to an incidental bump by spiking the football off his teammate's face mask from point blank range thus turning practice into a backyard brawl as captain material. I still think that both his talent and his competitiveness are huge assets for a team that's been woefully untalented and uncompetitive for years. However, it sort of seems like we just saw an accomplished veteran who appeared passionate in voluntarily committing the prime of career to Cleveland and jumped to the conclusion that, due to a lack of capable alternatives, he had to be the one to instill maturity and accountability in an organization that might still be unfamiliar.
I get that training camp fights happen as an organic result of emotions and aggression running as high as the humidity. That said, if that clip of Jarvis Landry's temper turning a run-of-the-mill collision in a contact sport into a street fight is any indication then he's only proven himself as much of a leader as he has a ringleader for a franchise that's yet to prove it's done being a circus. It can't be argued that the former Dolphin hasn't raised the bar on what type of effort and intensity is expected out of his Browns' teammates. Unfortunately, seeing as he only raised it high enough to smash a glass on it and hold it to his own cornerback's throat, I think that's more of an sizable indictment of the organization he joined than it is some massive compliment to the influence his addition has had on it this far.
Jalen Ramsey Went Scorched Earth On A Whole Bunch Of QB's During His GQ Interview, Which Must Make It Pretty Awkward For One Particular QB
Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger:
As a football fan, I appreciate Jalen Ramsey for what he is, which is quite obviously an insanely cocky and unabashed asshole that would probably enjoy being identified as such if he actually cared what people thought about him. The packaging on some his opinions is nothing short of obnoxious, but the opinions themselves aren't too, too far off from the general consensus on quality quarterback play, or lack thereof, in the National Football League. As much as I want to say he's wrong for crapping on a bunch of other professionals that have accomplished far more than he has at this point in their respective careers, I would be lying if I said he as was more wrong than he was funny. Therefore, I found some of those critiques worthy of a laugh while knowing full well that my belly might damn near burst when some of these guys that he targeted are inevitably successful in targeting him downfield.
That's not really my main takeaway from what was a league-wide roast of the quarterback position though. Instead, my main takeaway was the one punch that was not-so-surprisingly pulled, as the person that would have taken it square on the chin must be sitting pretty awkward right about now.
Imagine watching a terrible movie in which all the crappy cast members reminded you of a slightly better version on yourself, with that movie being written by one of your immediate family members. That's how I imagine Blake Bortles felt while reading Jalen Ramsey's thorough dismantling of much, much more preferable and decorated passers. I'd like to believe that even the most combative cornerback in the NFL would never wipe his ass with the name of his own quarterback, but there must be a small part of Blake Bortles that wishes he just got it both out in the open and over with by shitting on him. After all, the things that are typically better left unsaid usually aren't so obvious in being unsaid.
At some point or another, I imagine someone is going to bring up this GQ article in the locker room, and only one man's laugh is going to be through gritted teeth when they start joking about it. Unfortunately for Jalen Ramsey, it's the same man with the erratic arm on which his championship aspirations currently resides. As unbearably overconfident and outspoken as the subject of that interview was, the one guy he wasn't comfortable being entirely honest about is really the only one whose performance should matter to him. For that reason alone, being all-too-truthful in talking down all those quarterbacks could make for quite the comeuppance.
The Nationals Broadcast Went Completely Silent For A Full Minute After The Bat Cracked On What Ended Up Being Their Second Straight Loss On A Walk-Off Homer
You know, at this point, I'm sort of starting to feel bad that the Washington Nationals have to play out the rest of their schedule.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm more interested in seeing the players or those that are contractually obligated to both watch and talk about them every day put out of their misery first. You'd think it would be the former, considering the amount of on and off the field incidents that have plagued playoff hopes that are somehow still alive despite taking multiple kill shots between the eyes. However, after listening to two men who are paid to speak through the most trying of circumstances go dead silent for the broadcast equivalent of the running time of Titanic, I'm not so sure that it's not the latter. Suffering heartbreaking loss and heartbreaking loss is tough, but is it as tough as trying to be anything other than speechless while watching Bryce Harper's time in Washington tragically trickle to the darkest of depths?
If only because their commentators are apparently running low on words that can accurately describe their dramatic demise, I really hope the Nationals start losing both leads and games prior to the bottom of the 9th inning. It's pretty clear all invested parties would benefit most from letting go and enjoying the sweet release of complete irrelevance together instead of having to flip a coin to decide who's pulling whose plug.
Their heart might go on, but their collective soul has already been vanquished...
Cam Newton Took A Not-So-Subtle Dig At Kelvin Benjamin On Social Media By...Professing His Love To A Wall?
That's it? That's it?!?! Kelvin Benjamin's retrospective blaming of everyone other than himself and his gutlessness in the confrontation that followed afforded his former quarterback all the leeway in the world to be aggressively passive in response to the easiest of targets (that didn't start as a fat joke, but alas...), and with it he chose to go full-Ernie in professing his love to the damn wall? I just knew it was an accident to be so complimentary of the way Cam Newton handled an awkward situation with a scorned playmaker (by position only). I mean, talk about peeing his proverbial pants when it comes to taking advantage of such a golden opportunity...
To be clear, I'm aware that the grade of shade that Cam Newton is able to overthrow from his team's official social media account is limited by the age range of its audience. Still, complimenting the trustworthiness of inanimate objects in an effort to call Kelvin Benjamin a backstabbing snake without actually saying so doesn't exactly disprove his point. I personally think his point sucks. That, unfortunately, makes it all the more inexplicable that the person who was the direct target of it didn't go find one single teammate to loyally stand by his side as sturdily as some sheetrock as he tried his hand at public pettiness.
As far as I am concerned, Cam Newton can take as many shots as he wants at the Bills' wide receiver that's about to learn in the hardest of ways exactly how stupid he was in saying that any QB would have been an improvement to his former QB. That said, if the goal there was to hit Kelvin Benjamin with a comeback, then the first dig was ironically inaccurate.
Terrelle Pryor Damn Near Flinched Onto A Neighboring Field After Getting Torn To Shreds By Former Teammate DJ Swearinger
Let's start by stating some facts here. Flinching is an involuntary reaction to an instantaneous and unexpected threat of harm. Therefore, it knows not size, safety, or circumstance. We neither will nor should treat the fact that all the Jets' wide receiver did was prove he has the inherently human ability to detect immediate danger as the main takeaway here, but it is important to note that competition only makes a select few athletes into robotic lunatics that aren't programmed to have fearful instincts...
All that being said, this is just a terrible, terrible look for a guy who was already getting zero respect from the team he underwhelmed for last season. That visual of a fully-padded player that stood 6 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than the entirely unprotected ex-teammate that was verbally setting fire to the fiber of his being getting head-faked halfway into a Tony Hawk trick after having a ball he had both hands on battled from his grasp. That visual is one that can only be recovered from by way of physical confrontation. It's not so much the flinch that I'm critical of, as almost everyone of us would have done the same if we were in his much bigger shoes, but his refusal to tie those big boy shoes back on after having his feet shook straight out of them that leaves me thinking a little bit less less of Terrelle Pryor.
Just take into account the tone that has been set by the Jets and Redskins joint practices...
...and it's almost impossible not to question the personal pride of the towering presence who turtled then tucked his tail in the face of someone who was reminding the entirety of two organizations of his past failures.
I'm not the hyper-masculine type to think that every war of words needs to be hashed out with haymakers, but you can't simply walk away sheepishly after getting both bodied and emasculated like that while playing a sport in which the ability to intimidate is such a huge asset. Especially after having your own claim that your former team can't guard you made to look laughable...