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 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 did just that...
...and managed to get an offensive coordinator 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. 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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Packers' Associate Coach Winston Moss Got Canned Hours After Tweeting About Holding '12' Accountable, Which Was Probably His Plan All Along
I know exactly how this looks, but you don't have to read between two many lines to get the not-so-sneaking suspicion that LB coach/Associate coach Winston Moss knew of his fate before he decided to seal it electronically. With new head coaches come organizational redirections and, far more often than not, entirely new regimes. It takes quite the reverent resume to get retained, and I don't know if you've watched the Packers' linebacker play the last few seasons, but it's not exactly popping out in a pile. If his demeanor prior to a then-promising season going straight to hell in a hand basket was any indication, then he's been ready to return his borrowed time for awhile now, so I highly doubt he's shedding any tears over it getting cut short given the circumstances...
That's why I absolutely love what Winston Moss did in both cutting his losses during a losing season and continuing the narrative that Aaron Rodgers is the type of prima-donna that is beyond even the slightest of reproach in Cheesehead Country. Even if his loyalty didn't lie with the man who was just unceremoniously dismissed after keeping him employed in a replacement-level role for the last decade+, it certainly wouldn't lie with a quarterback that can do noooo wrong but is more than willing to point it out from across the room.
You can say that Winston Moss idiotically cost himself a job with his Twitter fingers, but I'd bet a dozen to your dime that he was more than happy to beat the yet-to-be-named Head Coach to the punch in offering his 4 weeks notice in the form of a disingenuous challenge. He didn't technically quit, but he certainly forced the hand of the organization by targeting '12' during such a tumultuous time in franchise history. Judging by a #thankstwitter hashtag that's probably not anywhere near as sarcastic as it reads, that's pretty close to as satisfying.
Herm Edwards Not Only Encouraged, But Publicly Endorsed N'Keal Harry's Decision To Sit Out The Las Vegas Bowl
And there you have it, another feather in the cap of those that scoffed at the idea of Herm Edwards putting an end to his sabbatical from the sidelines and adapting to the pressures and responsibilities of coaching college football. Never mind his...::checks standings::...7-5 record in the Pac-12? Huh, actually not all that bad. Must have been beginner's luck, because clearly there is no room for a quality communicator and impassioned motivator who prioritizes the best interests of student-athletes ahead of their participation in a meaningless football game being played primarily for sponsorship dollars they'll never see.
I mean, who the hell does this guy even think he jumping off in front of any and all criticism N'Keal Harry might make himself the target of by making the calculated move of looking out for his bright future as a consensus first round draft pick? Ugh, (quite literally) the humanity! What's next? Herm Edwards plan on using objectivity to take the stance that kids who are risking their brains and bodies on his behalf deserve to be incentivized with something other than moral support? No wonder people questioned his hiring at Arizona State. Where the hell is the greed? Does this guy even get that grace, gratitude, and common f'n sense have no place in the NCAA?
Explicitly Speaking, Titans' O-Lineman Taylor Lewan Was None Too Pleased With Officials After The Game On Sunday
I don't hate myself anywhere near enough to have watched the Jets-Titans take part in what, from the outside, seemed like a slugfest only in the sense that both teams essentially took turns counterproductively punching themselves in the face. Therefore, though it has collectively gotten worse throughout the league with each passing week, I can't speak with any level of expertise to the quality of officiating during that particularly awful game.
That said, I do appreciate a solid picking of battles, so I tip my cap to the script-flipping that was a Titans' player slandering one of the few teams that has less postseason success than his own, with that being a team of officials. I can't imagine it's all that often that referees get openly and abrasively mocked for their standing amongst all stripes, so Taylor Lewan going one-by-one to directly and then publicly point out their inefficacies relative to their peers certainly can't hurt in getting them to fine tune their whistles.
Even if these allegations of "trying to ruin it" by way of "bleepity bleep bleeping" are true, I don't think NFL officials are out there intentionally botching calls. However, NFL players not named Marcus Peters don't intentionally miss tackles and we still crap on them when their seasons consistently end in Week 17. Only fair we give the same treatment to inept crews of referees that can't be trusted when it truly matters that we give to inept teams that constantly fail in big spots, and better to be hard on them than someone that knows a thing or two about being an easy target.
Jason Witten Contradicted His Thoughts On The Signing Of Greg Hardy With His Thoughts On The Signing Of Reuben Foster, Which Was More Inevitable Than It Was Hypocritical
While ripping to shreds just about everything that spills from the directionless mouth of Jason Witten has ever so quickly become one of my favorite hobbies, I'm not about kill him for being blatantly hypocritical as it pertains to how NFL teams treat domestic abuse and/or allegations of such. Take into consideration every hollow, haphazard, and hackneyed expression he's bungled in his short time as Monday Night Football's unintentional comic relief, and it shouldn't be any sort of surprise that he spent his playing days toeing the company line under the "toe on the line" dictatorship of Jerry Jones.
The following may sound strange, as Jason Witten's extensive NFL career was predicated on being built farmer-tough, but we are picking on a guy that's woefully incapable of defending himself if we are going to retrospectively hold him accountable for things he thoughtlessly said while trying not to cause a rift in the Cowboys' locker room. As if his Ron Burgundy-esque display of mental processing in the booth hasn't provided enough evidence, Jason Witten might be the most vanilla person/personality on the planet. I bet he's never even swirled his ice cream, never mind stirred the pot. Even in condemning what the Redskins did by giving Reuben Foster a second chance before the paperwork for his failed first chance had been put through the shredder, he basically offered a boilerplate critique of domestic abuse. If you Google'd 'is it okay to beat women?' the very first result might damn well be a word-for-word transcript of his opinion above, so I'm not about stomp my feet and accuse someone that can barely think on their feet of hypocrisy.
Now, if his family truly has been affected by domestic violence then he too looks spineless for ever taking on the role of robotic spokesperson for the moral-less serpent that is Jerry Jones, but I can't tell you I expected him to do anything other than speak on behalf of the safety of his own personal circumstances. That's something that we all do more than we'd like to admit, never mind those whose job security is as weak as Jason Witten's sentence structure.
10-2 ain't bad. I mean, you can't really complain about a 5:1 success ratio in just about anything other pulling out, so - while I admit that Michael Thomas comes off as salty in this week's spreading of spite on social media - it's a small price to pay for the amount of sodium he's rubbed in the wounds he's opened in opposing secondaries. To the victor goes the spoils, so - considering the Saints' record - the Cowboys were nothing if not opportunistic in mocking the previously unguardable for a performance in a primetime game that was as underwhelming (due in part to the double-team of questionable officiating, for both teams) as that of the rest of his offense...
That said, even when it comes across as sour grapes, the truth still burns bitterly. Therefore, regardless of being in the right place at the right time when Drew Brees tried to toss one into the turf, Jourdan Lewis isn't exactly setting any snap-count records this season.
The court of public opinion is one in which statistical evidence comes secondary to the scoreboard, so Michael Thomas is going to have to hold an 'L' off the field just as he did on the field. However, at least he can take some solace in how heavily weighted that scoreboard has been in his favor thus far. He's emptying the entire economy size can of Morton's this season, and only twice has he had to use it to season his pride. He definitely won't settle for those odds, but Saints' fans are more than happy to.
How, On God's Green Earth, Did Alabama Manage To Make Themselves Into The Feel-Good Story Of Conference Championship Weekend?
The Devil. It's either that or a lack of a God, and - while I'm not all that religious - I think I'm more inclined to believe that Nick Saban is either Beelzebub in the flesh or his risen representation on Earth. That might sound like a strong allegation to make, but it's basically blasphemous that the college football equivalent of Goliath came from behind to do what they were supposed to do by winning their conference in a way that makes them seem as sympathetic a success story as David.
For the second time in as many years, Georgia's cheeks clenched (or they crapped themselves, depends on how you choose to view the management of the wasted lead that led to the foolhardy failed fake punt that sealed their fate) when all that was left to be done was continue what they had already been doing prior to the untimely insertion of a less-prepared quarterback. Yet, the team that's hard to root for once again proceeded to 'Roll Tide' right over them under the leadership of someone who's hard to root against.
As have most uninvested observers, I have grown tired of watching Alabama shit-kick the competitive spirit from the bowels of just about every undermanned team they play, and even I couldn't stop my heartstrings from getting tugged by the warm, selfless embrace of Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts...
In a way that might as well have played out as the perfect sequel to the sick and twisted screenplay that was last year's National Championship game, the consummate villain somehow retained their reversed role in having their victory scripted as heroic. It's a credit to their untouchable talent level that they can bring former Heisman Trophy candidates off the bench in the blink of an eye, but to do so in dramatic fashion that tempts you, if only for a second, to question whether you want them to finally fucking lose for once is either the stuff of Lucifer or it was written in blood on the contract that was made with him.
If the following touchdown wasn't proof that Alabama had a horseshoe that could seat more than Ohio State's entire stadium up their ass...
...then the fact that they won under unholy circumstances was solidified by the fact that the victory jerked tears from the undead eyes of Nick Saban certainly did...
There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought as it pertains to what turned the Green Bay Packers from a perspective playoff team to a punchline about as fast as Aaron Rodgers can lead a miraculous, last-second comeback against a team he has no business in playing from behind in the first place.
1) Mike McCarthy is a hardheaded nincompoop that actively clashed with the one player that could guarantee his job security beyond the inevitable expiration date of his voice in a locker room that lacks talent.
2) That one player has always been an unruly antagonist (code for 'asshole'), which makes him almost impossible to coach when his...::chokes back vomit::..."arm talent" and accuracy isn't at All-World level that's gotten him praised as a superhuman despite having a very mortal resume.
So, I guess my question is, why can't it be both? I don't care how many holes may be on the roster. A coach/quarterback relationship can't erode to a point in which the team their tasked with leading defies the odds by losing to an otherwise unworthy adversary at home without both parties being petty in a way rubs off on the rest of the room. Unless Mike McCarthy's play calls were drawn up on one-ply toilet paper using his own feces, they can't possibly be alone in explaining what we saw from the Green Bay Packers in a stadium that is legendary for it's ability to intimidate opponents far more menacing than Josh Rosen.
Aaron Rodgers has definitely been done wrong managerially, as his supporting cast has long been mired in mediocrity, but that doesn't mean he's right in how he's handled it. Of course, he's the transcendent talent so his blame doesn't come part and parcel with unemployment, but that's not the point. The point is that the cheeseheads have stunk in a way that could sting the most hardened of nostrils, so the pointing of just one finger ain't gonna cut it.
It's not an apples:apples analogy because the following have an incredibly rare, apple-of-each-other's-eye relationship, but Drew Brees and Sean Payton aren't currently competing for another Super Bowl together if the former didn't stand in support of the latter after three straight defenseless 7-9 seasons. With great power comes great responsibility, and Aaron Rodgers certainly had the power to passive aggressively piss and moan his admittedly average Head Coach out of a job. Therefore, stats aside, he has some responsibility in the disastrous run that preempted his dismissal prior to the end of the season.
The Seahawks Busted Out The Perfect Celebration In Welcoming Richard Sherman, And The 49ers, Back To Seattle
Perfect. Just perfect. You don't have to like the Seattle Seahawks, the legendary 'Legion Of Boom, or Richard Sherman (in fact, I'm sure they'd prefer it that you don't) to appreciate how well that orchestrated reenactment embodied the attitude of all three. Like, if the wordsmith who once-upon-a-time coined the phrase "you mad, bro?" felt feelings other than angst than his heart would have grown two sizes in watching his former team, led by his good friend, mock his current team with respect to his legacy.
Richard Sherman can say otherwise all he wants, but spite seasoned his decision to jump ship to the divisive division rival he spent so much time torturing, just as spite seasoned a celebration that pandered to his loud and proud personality in being an unprovoked reminder of both his successes and the 49ers' failures. It had the feel of an ex-girlfriend posting an inflammatory inside joke on a social media platform that the new girlfriend was sure to stumble upon. Yet somehow, that seems super fitting of the extremely healthy love/hate relationship that exists between the Seattle Seahawks and the player that served as their venomous mouthpiece while they bullied their way to Super Bowl glory.
That recreation of the defensive play that represents an era that was abbreviated by underlying animosity was near flawless in execution, as all it was missing was an emasculated shell of a receiver acting as Michael Crabtree. However, it just might have been more flawless in theory, as it embraced all that the Seahawks were as a team during their short run of dominance, for better or worse.
Surprisingly, Bills' Jerry Hughes Did Not Take Too Kindly To Allegedly Being Called The B-Word By One Ballsy Official
On one hand, I have it on the good authority of my own common sense that NFL officials get called worse than "bitch" on a bi-quarterly basis. On the other hand, NFL officials aren't having whistles blown at them and flags thrown in their general direction while risking their physical and mental health by actively cutting short their life span in the name of sport, so catching an attitude in "disciplining" by use of profound personal digs is bound to elicit an "enough is enough" style reaction. I'd typically say the league is sure to have some stern words for a player that attacked the tunnel like it was the goddamn 'A' gap in order to offer up a threat to an associative employee that was as clear as it was empty..
...but then again...
All in all, when your job is primarily to stay the hell out of the way while bringing some sense of regulation to a sport that would probably just be considered barbarianism if not for the presence of a ball, I'd say no good can come from explicitly stoking the competitive fire of a combatant who is tending to his wounds. Like, maybe make sure to steer clear of any and all words that so much as rhyme with "bitch", because even that confusion - which there's precedent to believe didn't exist in this case - is liable to instigate the type of blind, instinctive rage that had a professional battering ram sounding like it gave him immediate Alzheimer's...
First and foremost, I most certainly do not feel bad for Kareem Hunt. According to multiple accounts, including the police report, it's very possible this whole situation was turned ugly by the incendiary use of a word that's been liable to get your ass whooped since a black and white world started sharing water fountains. However, when it comes from the mouth of female you cannot - without exception - get physical in shutting it for her. I don't care if that demonstrably drunk teenager slathered herself in blackface and put on a one woman minstrel show right outside his apartment door. He simply had to be smarter than to hit her in any form or fashion, especially an irate form and fashion that required him to fight through more blocks than a gunner on a kick return team to do so. Kareem Hunt made his bed, now he's got to sleep in it (until the bright lights die down long enough for another team to justify sneaking in and shaking awake his career, which could be as soon as Monday).
All that being said, let's not act like the Kansas City Chiefs tucked him in that bed on time as much as they rushed him to his room and locked the door behind them as soon as they saw that we saw the damage done under their negligent guardianship. The release of a 23 year old running back with a rushing title to his name is the right move, and there's no wrong time to make the right move. That doesn't mean we can't point out which times are worse than others, because the idea that - over the course of ten months - neither a professional football team or a professional football league had the "resources" (i.e. money) to get their hands on a video they knew to exist, but the most glorified of gossip rag did is the only laughable aspect of this whole situation.
Never mind said team still actively rostering a guy whose talent they bet on when his scouting report transcribed him strangling the pregnant mother of his unborn child in a way that made Kareem Hunt's lunacy look like a love tap. We don't even have to dig up Tyreek Hill's dirt to prove that Kansas City is only half full of shit because the other half is full of hypocrisy. If lying was enough to get you cut then every member of both the Chiefs' front office and the league front office would have to walk around in a full body suit so as not to be easily identified as self-mutilizers. Taking an athlete's word for it, in regards to a circumstance that could clearly cost him
his career, is just as irresponsible and dumb as said athlete putting himself in the position to do so. Therefore, the truth is that two entities that are worth billions of dollars really didn't want to see a form of evidence that's nearly undefeated in making things worse because, through both negative publicity and loss of star power, it would have only taken away from their product. The proof of that truth is in their half-assed attempt to obtain it, unless - of course - you somehow think Roger Goodell and Co. are powerless in comparison to Harvey Levin.
Kareem Hunt is undeniably guilty of putting his hands and foot on a woman. Just don't let that fact blind you to the fact that his guilt has made it all the more easier for literally everyone involved in a mess, of which there are ZERO sympathetic parties, to pile on him as the scapegoat for their complicity in not disciplining it until they had absolutely had to.