The Internal Screams Of Saints' Fans Can Be Heard From Space, As Mark Ingram Just Signed With The Ravens For A Repulsively Fair Price
Half a million dollars per season. That's it. That's all.
There was one thing capable of putting out the fire that was sparked in Saints' fans when they indirectly learned of a beloved, long-time team leader having already worn the Fleur-de-lis for the final time. That thing was an absolute albatross of a contract would allow everyone to be happy that Mark Ingram finally secured his long-overdue bag, as well as glad that the cap-strapped team with which he grew from a scapegoat to a galvanizing force - both on and off the field - didn't meet the contractual demands of a 29 year old running back. Twenty-one million over three years, or something north of it, and I'd be able to stomach the idea of Latavius Murray taking over the reigns that he'll never be able to pull as prominently as the player he's replacing. Instead, an integral piece of a Super Bowl caliber team has a new home due to a breakup over the monetary equivalent of trivial matters. Half a million dollars per season. That was ultimately the disparity, as if the thought of Mark Ingram in colors other than black & gold hadn't already made me sick enough.
There's fingers to be pointed everywhere. At the Saints for not being more patient. At Mark Ingram's agent for being too greedy. At the entire concept of free agency, during which time is of the essence and markets can be so easily misread. Much like those that take sides after a divorce, I want to be able to lay all the blame on one person, but the truth is that marriages don't end without regrettable mistakes being made by both parties.
Knowing what they know now, I have the sneaking suspicion that both the New Orleans Saints and someone that embodies absolutely everything that they currently stand for would have been more than happy to extend their relationship by another three years for the more than fair price of fifteen million. If they could turn back time, I'm near certain they could have found a way to work things out.
What makes this change so painful isn't that it happened as much as how it happened appearing to be entirely avoidable. All else being so damn close to equal, New Orleans would rather have Mark Ingram and Mark Ingram would rather be in NOLA. There's very little doubt in mind that that's the case, just as there is very little doubt in mind that neither feels great about the results in the immediate wake of their business decisions. To consider each other 'the one that got away' might be a bit overdramatic, but I presume you'd be hard pressed to find a player in that locker room - from Alvin Kamara to Cameron Jordan and everyone in between - that isn't heartbroken by the absence of what was an unmistakable part of its soul. Especially now that said absence has proved completely unnecessary. Mark Ingram overplayed his hand, the Saints folded theirs too soon, and both are going to need to work on their poker face if their disappointment is anywhere near as palpable as that of the fans.
The Worst Run Franchise In Football Traded One Of Their Best Players To An Upstart Team That's Quite Familiar With That Designation
Rest easy, degenerate gamblers. While you might be a couple idiotic picks away from having to search the couch cushions to keep the lights on, you most certainly didn't bet $35 million dollars, albeit indirectly, on the cowardly corpse of Eli Manning to lead a team to contention without an offensive line...
Much like drafting someone with generational talent at #2 overall, signing Odell Beckham Jr. to a monster deal carrying enough dead money to fill a casket that would need a dozen pallbearers if moved wasn't the problem. The problem was thinking those weapons would translate to wins with someone who was more likely to sack himself than attempt a pass longer than 20 yards at the helm. The issue isn't that the Giants sucked last year. The issue is that Giants were the only ones that didn't realize they were going to suck last year, and that lack of self awareness led to the type of mismanagement that borders on malpractice.
Dave Gettleman, in his infinite wisdom, basically threw a beautifully woven tapestry over a hole in the roof, as if that was enough to keep the Giants' house in order. Now they have to pay out the ass for what were inevitable damages instead of just fixing the actual problem in the first place. This isn't even a retrospective view, because everything that happened over the last year was a foregone conclusion. Eli Manning was bound to be bad. Odell Beckham Jr. was bound to be underutilized. The latter bitching about the former was bound to be the result. You'd have to be more near-sighted than a quarterback that didn't look further than -2 yards down the field not to foresee that. Call me crazy, but that's not a characteristic I look for in any General Manager, never mind one entrusted with rebuilding a floundering franchise from the ground up.
What's funny about this is that the Giants, in dealing with the Browns, have basically become the Browns. I suppose that could change as soon as the upcoming draft, but - as of right now - they are a woefully run organization the likes of the one they've both taken over for as such while also helping to turn them into a division favorite. Baker to Beckham, along with the rest of Cleveland's weapons, is going to be a constant reminder of how badly this whole situation was bungled for no other reason than to spare the feelings of the otherwise apathetic face of the New York Giants' franchise.
There's a couple of reasons that I'm not going to wax poetic about Dez Bryant's fit in the Saints' offense. For starters, it seems like a bad omen to do so after the last time a sense of unbridled optimism accompanied his addition it took all of a couple practice routes run before the sobering subtraction of his functioning achilles.
In line with that, while time might heal all, Father Time has a way of making the recovery period from a devastating injury that much more extensive. Especially for a 30 year old player who was highly reliant on his athleticism before spending a full year out of professional football doing nothing more than watching and recuperating. The truth is that no one knows anything close to the truth about what Dez Bryant can still bring to the gridiron, so it's tough to opine on the entirely unknown.
That being said, as a low risk/higher reward signing, I can't see why the Saints wouldn't be interested in giving another shot to someone who has plenty to prove by adding him to a locker room that seemed to embrace him immediately. Banking on him as their premier pick-up at a prioritized position would be about as safe and sound as saving money under a mattress, but Dez Bryant makes plenty of sense as another fish in a pool of potential playmakers being given an opportunity to make a splash behind Michael Thomas.
While I think he got a bit of a raw deal towards the end of his tenure in Dallas, I can't imagine he sees himself as worthy of much more than the low price of a one year, prove it contract. If that's all it takes then I'd be glad to see him get the chance to finally start throwing up some X's in NOLA, as opposed to having them thrown up in his honor.
The Saints Have Signed Latavius Murray To A 4-Year(?!?) Deal, And Struck The Clock Midnight On Mark Ingram's Time In New Orleans
I'm going to say something that I haven't said about a Saints' personnel decision in quite some time, and that's that this signing, and more importantly it's implications, makes me want put down my lunch and throw up my breakfast. As someone who has always thought of Latavius Murray as a replacement-level running back, finding out by way of his shocking long-term signing that one of the faces of the franchise is about to grow unfamiliar makes me sick. I honestly don't know how absurdly pricey Mark Ingram's impending deal would have to be to settle my stomach and allow me to sleep tonight, because the Saints just gave a four-year contract to an average player of the same damn age with lesser production, lesser pedigree, and lesser personality. There's no way around it, regardless of whether or not they found themselves a better deal, the Saints just got worse by losing a versatile player on the field and a consummate leader off the field.
Of course, there's an emotional toll to be paid here, as Mark Ingram eventually won over a fanbase that he suffered right alongside during the recurring nightmare of 7-9 seasons. By coming out the other side and showing himself a selfless half of one of the most dynamic and delightful running back tandems in NFL history, the franchise leader in rushing touchdowns has ingratiated himself to the Who Dat Nation forever. That's something you couldn't imagine saying while he fought through some early struggles at the start of his career, which is a testament to his perseverance as the rare running back that gets substantially better with age. Mark Ingram was one of very few to survive the entirety of the rebuild, and in doing so became a main co-signee of the incredible culture shift in New Orleans.
That obviously makes the news of #22 throwing up the deuces that much more difficult to deal with, but this even reeks of being bad from a business perspective. There's just no world in which I can envision Latavius Murray being anything more than a B-level backup to Alvin Kamara, as opposed to a BFF of a complimentary running mate, well into his 30's. That's what the Saints just banked on, and - even if it required a lesser investment - it certainly has the potential to prove more costly both in their backfield and in their locker room.
This move reads like a desperate overreaction to negotiations that didn't go as smoothly as they hoped, and if they were going to get desperate I'd have preferred they instead lined the pockets of a more proven commodity and a beloved teammate who earned the opportunity to be part of another Super Bowl run. I would have understood moving on from Mark Ingram if it didn't mean going in the exact same direction but slower with his downgrade of a replacement. For that reason, I think they should have heeded the advice of deuce-deuce and taken a "look at the deeeeetails" that made him more than deserving of a raise and made his value to the Saints higher than just half a million more than that of Latavius Murray.
Although, most certainly not remotely close to this high...
It Sure Sounds Like Teddy Bridgewater Is Leaving Some Money And A Starting Opportunity On The Table To Return To The Best Locker Room In The League
I'm going to go ahead and run the risk of speaking too soon, being that there is a big difference between being expected to re-sign and actually re-signing, because this news doesn't surprise me as much as it probably should. That could be a product of my Saints' bias, combined with a laughable lack of belief in the teams that instead chose to recycle the painfully average passers they know (Joe Flacco, Case Keenum, etc.) rather than take a chance on the ceiling of a relative unknown, but the truth is that Teddy Bridgewater's best chance to succeed was always as Drew Brees' successor. The inevitable allure of more money and the immediate opportunity to start can't be undersold, but neither can the ease with which an insurance policy of a back-up quarterback danced his way into the hearts of a winning locker room despite playing a grand total of zero meaningful snaps as a part of it.
There obviously wouldn't have been any hard feelings if he chose to kickstart a career that was put on hold by a horrific knee injury, but it speaks to the culture in New Orleans that Teddy Two Gloves didn't already have one foot out the door. This premature news makes the Saints' front office look like geniuses for flipping merely a third round pick for what could potentially end up being long-term stability at the position in which it's the hardest to attain, but it's really a feather in the cap of the players for creating such quality cohesiveness both on and off the field.
It was safe to assume the business of Teddy Bridgewater was better left entrusted with someone like Sean Payton who can maximize his talents, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush when it comes to making your presence felt in a league as unforgiving to it's oft-forgotten athletes as the NFL. Whether it be more of a credit to the completeness of their roster or the unity of their front, the Saints reportedly amended that Bird Law by reportedly convincing a quality quarterback to wait out a black & golden opportunity. That's far easier said than done when considering how quickly earning windows close and opportunity costs plummet in professional football. Even if there is a suspicious amount of symmetry between Teddy Bridgewater's career path and that of someone who is Canton-bound after overcoming a career-threatening injury, slipping through the Dolphins' finger tips, and breaking every record in the book after being given the reigns as the franchise quarterback to a formidable offense in his mid-to-late 20's.
I Think It's Probably Safe To Say That Russell Westbrook Is Just About Done Pulling Punches Towards Entitled And Disrespectful Fans
One step closer. I don't know that Russell Westbrook would ever lose his wits to the point of putting his hands on an obnoxious, arrogant, entitled, or even racist fan. I do, however, know that I'd start taking whatever precautions possible if I were Adam Silver and the NBA, as it's certainly trending in the direction that even a Malice at the Palace-worthy reaction would be both warranted and foreshadowed...
Now, if he had to do all over again, I'm sure Russell Westbrook would have granted the following asshole's unfortunate wife a reprieve in his rant, as threatening a woman - no matter how haphazardly - only stood to distract/detract from his point. With some people actively looking for a reason to treat him as the bad guy in the situation, that's a pretty easy thing to latch onto. Still, all signs point to Westbrook being spot-on in his postgame analysis of the atmosphere in Utah...
The fact of the matter is that, no matter how polarizing the messenger, fans have begun begging with more and more frequency to be put in their place, and that place is in seats that either don't or definitely shouldn't come with some complimentary sense of security and a victim card taped underneath. There's only one person in this story who needs his ass kicked, and it's not the athlete that came over the top after being targeted with racial undertones. If neither other attendees nor the security in NBA arenas are going to get their shit together in enforcing a mutual respect between players and those that should consider themselves lucky to sit within earshot of the action then someone else just might. I promise that someone only stands to pour more gasoline on a fan-sparked fire, as throwing around inflammatory insults is just about the quickest way to find yourself cashing a reality check and catching some hands.
In Bidding Against Themselves, The Jaguars Reportedly Gave Nick Foles 22 Million A Year To Prove To Their Locker Room That He's A Leader...Or Something.
In case you were wondering if there was any one line of thinking too looney for NFL teams while in the process of convincing themselves to overspend in free agency, let this news serve as proof positive that there is no such thing as too stupid when it comes to throwing around money on the open market. Not particularly surprising that level of crazy is coming from the franchise that placed their fate in the wildly inaccurate hand of Blake Bortles last season, but it's still a professional organization nonetheless.
If this is indeed true, and the Jaguars reasoning behind paying Nick Foles 22 million per for the next 4 years was really nothing more than an attempt to buy him respect in the locker room then something tells me the locker room that now has 4-7 less million dollars to be spread out amongst it annually might be doomed regardless of their QB's price tag. I don't care if they are built to win right now or not, because you only conduct business against yourself but for so long before it catches up to you.
Never mind the fact that, in two seasons of merely starting in relief, Nick Foles has accomplished more than the entire Jaguars' franchise ever has, for of what reverence and importance is on-field success in the Super Bowl without meeting the minimum salary threshold for leadership? That's reportedly an actual thing that crossed the mind of an actual NFL team as they negotiated by basically doing the equivalent of filling out every line with their name and a steadily increasing number at a one team silent auction. Not that it matters with 50 fucking million guaranteed coming his way, but - in retrospect - Nick Foles probably could have saved some coin on an agent if he had known that the one team that was intent on signing him out of desperation planned to act as his.
Manny Machado, The Eternal Realist, Has Apparently Already Counted The Padres Out Of Contending For The Division Title...In March
You can say what you want about a high-priced free agent capping the potential of his new team before even seeing it in somewhat meaningful action, but don't say that Manny Machado didn't almost immediately come as advertised. What the San Diego Padres paid for in giving 300 million to someone who was last heard announcing to the media that hustling to first isn't part of his skill-set during the playoffs was not some wordsmith with a penchant for perseverance...
So yeah, it was undeniably hilarious of him to follow the waving of the white flag on the division title with the phrase "anything can happen in baseball", as if the Padres winning the division is such a preposterous notion that it doesn't even fit under the wide-ranging umbrella that is 'anything'. What it wasn't, however, was some out-of-character regrettable slip of the tongue. There's a lot to be expected of someone who just received well over a quarter billion dollars guaranteed throughout the next decade, but if white-lying to the people or leading in the clubhouse were included in those expectations then they were far too high.
Klay Thompson Took Issue With Warriors' Fans Lacking Enthusiasm After Allowing The Phoenix Suns Their 16th Win Of The Season
Well, if this ain't the sports' equivalent of #RichPeopleProblems. Klay Thompson has gotten so used to living such a blessed and charmed basketball life that he no longer understands that fandom is inherently fickle. Done so much winning at home that he's completely forgotten how lonely losing can be. I understand that he wasn't blaming the fans necessarily, but to even point out the factors that, god forbid, led to him playing in front of an unenthused crowd rings as hollow and entitled as a billionaire suggesting that even the most blue collar of business have a valet so that he doesn't have to park his own car.
The fact of the matter is that Warriors' fans aren't substantially better, louder, or more engaged than any other fanbase if granted the opportunity to root on a transcendentally talented team on a nightly basis for years on end. Let their relative silence during a reality check of a loss to the Phoenix Suns serve as proof of that. The bandwagoners that top off any capacity crowd in front of any quality team didn't sign up to cheer on a piss poor performance. Therefore, if Klay Thompson doesn't want his false sense of unconditional support in Oracle Arena compromised then he better do better than to let Devin Booker go off for 37 in putting the paddle to the ass of his far superior team. Even if I'd rather he not, as it was quite funny watching/listening to him repeatedly bounce his hand off the table and the Warriors feel a type of way that the rest of the NBA is all too familiar with...
Vince Young Got Fired From His Entirely Made Up, Six-Figure Part-Time Job With The University Of Texas For A Failure To Perform/Show Up
I'll tell you what, if absolutely nothing else, this firing might be the National Championship clinching touchdown scramble of all firings. That's how impressive it is to axed by your alma mater under such circumstances. Assuming that filling the part-time role of "development officer" isn't a priority for a university that would undoubtedly have a hard time describing that job, Vince Young was so bad at showing up and being Vince Young that not only did he get canned from the job of being himself but he also got a six-figure position scrapped.
The Longhorns tried to do right by a legend while hoping that having his face wandering aimlessly around campus would distract from the program's struggles since he left, and he failed in doing the bare minimum by showing said face. The hard part wasn't even keeping the job. The hard part was getting the school to justify its existence in the first place, and Vince Young still couldn't hold on to it. What Texas tried to do for their former quarterback was one step short of handing him a $100,000 allowance every year, and what he did in return was one step short of sending someone else in his place to collect it and set it on fire.
It's so preposterous that if it happened to almost anyone else I would just assume that they figured the best way to drag out their years of service in an entirely useless position was to disappear and hope it went unchecked on the payroll. I can't give Vince Young that same benefit of the doubt because, with two DUI's on his record, he hasn't exactly proven to be a forward thinker. Instead, he's just a former athlete with a whole bunch of problems, none the least of which being that he's trying to play the game of his own life on rookie mode with a disconnected controller.
Cool, I guess? I mean, I'm not exactly sure how else I am supposed to feel about a premier talent spending the end of his illustrious career in the beginning stages of a rebuild for a franchise who lasted all of one year before falling into the old habit of making a huge splash for no other reason than to remind everyone they are still in the pool.
I suppose a half-hearted and entirely disingenuous congratulations are in order for a player who, by way of stomping his feet and making a scene like a kid going through a Skittles withdrawal in the candy aisle, got himself a new contract that he did more than enough to earn. Especially since he managed to shove a 21 million dollar anchor up the ass of the team that he, rightfully or wrongfully, felt disrespected by on his way out the door. There's most certainly something to be said about Antonio Brown managing to shift the NFL's power dynamic simply by acting in a form and fashion that would make the 'Real Housewives' reevaluate their reputation. Unfortunately, that something is almost guaranteed not to be brought up during the broadcast of relevant, meaningful games since the Raiders won't be participating in those during his tenure.
If you viewed each trade as mutually exclusive then you couldn't argue with the return Oak Vegas got for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, nor could you argue with what they gave up for Antonio Brown. However, if those decisions were all thrown in a basket and you had to conjure up the prerogative of the team that made them you'd have a harder time cooking up something reasonable than the first person to get axed on 'Chopped'. Never mind Jon Gruden being the most old-school of coaches and having to maintain an absolute monster of a millennial, because paying top dollar to a 31 year old, temperamental wideout when you're not in a position to compete makes about as much sense as...well...the Raiders carrying on the organizational aesthetics of Al Davis post-mortem.
Even if Antonio Brown weren't a walking, talking, and ticking time bomb, he would still be an odd fit on a rebuilding roster that's supposed to be getting younger. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see if his newly guaranteed money is enough to keeping him smiling when Derek Carr only proves better than Ben Roethlisberger in personality and Jon Gruden isn't as quick as Mike Tomlin to play the role of preoccupied babysitter while the house is being set on fire.
From The Lips Of Ray Shero, The Chances Of Him Trading Taylor Hall At The Deadline Were "Less Than Fucking Zero"
TheAthletic- At the trade deadline, we saw the trend of teams moving players with term on their contracts continue to be an effective strategy. There seems to be a higher appetite among GMs to use assets on players who will contribute beyond just the one playoff run while shopping at the deadline. So with that in mind, was there any consideration in the Devils front office about shopping Hall at the deadline?
“Less than fucking zero,” Shero said. “Zero percent. Someone (in the media) asked me that two weeks before the deadline. Zero chance. Zero. Just to make it clear.”
So, one percent?
“Zero. Zero,” Shero said. “It was zero.”
Put it on a damn t-shirt. Time will tell whether that t-shirt will grow saturated with the tears of Devils' fans after another star player decides against committing the remainder of his prime to New Jersey, or if it will instead grow faded while being worn with pride throughout Taylor Hall's extended stay in Newark. Whatever the case may be, "less than fucking zero" is the type of defiant answer that either goes down in lore or laughs.
Of course, it's mostly just an obvious statement of fact, as the only way Ray Shero would have explored trading the reigning Hart Trophy winner so prematurely is if said MVP had grabbed him by both cheeks in making it clearer than clear that an unceremonious exit was inevitable. Especially since he was still nursing an undisclosed injury at the time. Still, sounding so sure of himself ahead of the start of a negotiation period that will speak volumes about Taylor Hall's trust in the direction of a team that's currently tanking is risky business for Ray Shero. That percentage could realistically jump to 50% as soon as July 2nd, so for it to be subzero at the end of February sets up for "less than fucking zero" to become the new "trade is one for one", for better or a hell of a lot worse.
Will Wade, Coach Of SEC-Leading LSU, Has Been Suspended Indefinitely After Getting Caught On Wiretap Discussing Recruitment Violations
...and the reaction...
LSU. Of all the teams, LSU. The program that hasn't sniffed the NCAA tournament since 2015, despite having rostered someone who then went on to be selected first overall in the NBA Draft in 2016. The program that hasn't won a regular season conference title since 2009, and hasn't tasted the Sweet Sixteen since 2006. That's the program that succumbed to outside pressures in telling their head coach to take a hike during the most important month of a dream season? Not Kentucky. Not Duke. Not Michigan State. Not Arizona. All schools that are undoubtedly committing the same damn recruiting violations behind untapped doors. But LSU? The football school with the basketball problem? That's who needed to be made an example out of in the FBI's takedown of a sport whose widespread corruption has long coursed through the veins of its bluebloods?
As someone who never needed the LASIK surgery because common sense was enough to keep me from wearing wool glasses when taking a look at the shady state of college basketball recruitment, I'm disappointed in LSU. I just refuse to believe that a significant amount of people found themselves so hurt by this information that not even a little bit of time, which is all it would take with the speed of the current news cycle, could heal their wounds. So Will Wade didn't watch Blue Chips through to the end while taking notes on Nick Nolte's approach to crafting a competitive team for a university that has a tough time doing just that. Who even cares? Is doing a little bit of damage control really worth potentially sabotaging the most pleasantly surprising of season, thus doing wrong by both the Tigers' players and their long-suffering fans? I think not, if only because March Madness is, without a shadow of a doubt, going to feature an entire pond's worth of far bigger fish to be fried.
The Browns Wished Kevin Zeitler A Happy Birthday On Social Media, And Then Promptly Traded Him To The Giants
There's really nothing more to this than awkward timing, as you can rest assured that the person pumping out online party favors for Cleveland Browns' players isn't the same person pulling the trigger on player movement. Chances are John Dorsey's primary concern when trading a high end guard for a complimentary pass rusher wasn't the calendar, so it's not like anyone within the organization missed the joke while making it.
Still, a sequence of posts that are inherently ironic makes for a pretty funny reminder of how fickle a career in professional sports can be. If Kevin Zeitler first found out he was being traded before all the NFL insiders did, which is questionable at best these days, he potentially could have gotten the call at the exact same time in which he was receiving a notification of birthday wishes from the organization that was telling him to go pack his bags to celebrate it in New York without booking a return flight. Pretty impossible to be at all naive to the cutthroat business of football when the facade that your franchise's interest in you is as much personal as it is professional gets stripped clean off, thus making the day of your birth one in which the sports' world goes about callously debating your value as nothing more than an athlete.
Oh well, being sent to make the overly cautious corpse of Eli Manning look somewhat conscious instead of being a huge part of the rise of Baker Mayfield and the long overdue renaissance of competent football in Cleveland isn't exactly the best birthday present, but I've seen worse...
Now Former Cowboy David Irving Lit Up Both A Joint And The NFL In Announcing His Retirement On Instagram Live
If David Irving was hoping to maximize the amount of people that would take heed of his actual point then making it with a fat ass joint in his hand was the wrong way to go about things. I respect that he clearly doesn't give a damn about what anyone might think about his decision to do what few would in saying "fuck the NFL" in the prime of his career. However, I kind of wish he did, because his actual story isn't going to get anywhere near the readership it deserves due to the headline.
The fact that the NFL encourages the popping of insanely destructive and addictive pills, while treating the most harmless of helpful habits like it's a gateway to heroin, and puts on a front like they actually care about concussions aside from the times players are left woozily wandering back to the sideline on national television is worth talking about. "Idiotic athlete puff, puff, passes on playing out the rest of a promising career", however, calls for a much shorter and less sincere discussion.
Simply put, the devil is in the details and, if that line about him crashing his car in a confused daze the day after a game is even remotely true, then he's probably lucky that all that devil has done to date is put his long-term health in jeopardy. As easy as it would be to assume differently in having your focus clouded by the suspensions and the marijuana smoke, that Instagram story wasn't about weed so much as weed was a supporting actor in a tale about a 25 year old who doesn't think the money can pay off the mental toll that football would continue to take on him.
The fact that we just accept that the NFL is run by greedy, repressed assholes who are making billions off the oft-broken backs of those whose contracts aren't even guaranteed speaks to how addicted we are to football. When you look at it that way, we as fans are really in no position to be criticizing others for their vices, especially when that vice just so happens to be one that's both popular and increasingly legal amongst those of us that aren't routinely bashing our brain en route to an early grave.
A New Rule In College Baseball That Makes Beaned Batters A Judgement Call Was Responsible For Quite The Awkward Finish To A Game
It runs completely contrary to my preferred system of officials doing the bare minimum in hopes of limiting the dose of shit they'll inevitably be force-fed, but - against my better judgement - I think I like this.
By "this", I don't necessarily mean the rule itself, because legislating more judgement calls into the hands of umpires is absolutely, positively guaranteed to go comically wrong in a massive way, especially when those judgements range wildly from being gifted the base path to having the rest of your at-bat stolen. However, in good faith, I can't argue with it being called into practice in this particular situation. As dumb as they might be 95% of the time, the play in question was the perfect example of why the NCAA thought a new rule was needed. That celebratory reverse skip was basically proof positive that the hitter was far too happy to lean his leg over the chalk and give a smooth smooch to a pitch that sat just a little off the inside corner in hopes of representing the game-tying run with one out to spare in 9th.
Again I'll clarify, the rule itself is very stupid, and I imagine it won't be too long before it results in the screaming of expletives and the kicking of sand, but - for what it's worth - the theory behind it was actually supported by that game-clinching "strikeout". Even if it did come on a ball that was only swung at by the knee of a batter who thought he was both figuratively and literally safe (ab)using his body to get on base in a big spot.
And that's how it is done, with "it" being a rerouting of career paths from semi-professional hockey to amateur MMA, since I can't imagine this sneaky little scumbag will be welcomed back onto the rink anytime soon. Never mind driving an opponent's head into the ice using jiu jitsu, thus rendering him unconscious, because waiting until almost everyone had their head turned to do so makes that move even more frowned upon than your "average" karate on-ice. If not for that goaltender, there's about a 99% chance we would have seen that coward shamelessly slither back to his skates and puff out his chest like he didn't just do the equivalent of enter a fist fight while hiding a frying pan behind his back. In my opinion, that would have been just as unforgivable as going full tiger-style in the first place.
I'm not even a big hockey fight enthusiast, but there's a code of honor amongst those that have the ball bags to try to beat each other senseless while desperately trying to maintain their balance. Though I'm less familiar, I'd imagine there's also a code of honor amongst fighters who are tasked with taking their combatant to the ground by any means necessary. Something tells me both of those codes, at the very least, infer a little something about not executing skull-crushing leg sweeps on a solid sheet of ice, though I doubt it's a subject that's ever needed to have been broached all too extensively.
Jesper Bratt Is Now Week-To-Week With A Lower Body Injury, As The Hockey Gods Continue To Stab Their Devils' Voodoo Doll
And the tank ruthlessly rolls on, though I'm starting to think they are under it as opposed to aboard with it the amount of injuries the Devils have begun to obtain on a game-by-game basis. The upcoming schedule might as well be that of the medical staff, because each and every line-up is low-key just a lottery for who will be the sacrificial lamb of the night. If the alarming opening of roster spots is a blessing in disguise by giving some premature prospects a chance to prove themselves in otherwise meaningless games then that disguise is basically a body cast, because the trainer's table looks like a quest for some good karma. With each nick, bang, scratch, and break it has become a constant, idiotically optimistic flow of speaking too soon...
Nathan Bastian has really come alo...
Great to see Miles Wood back on the ic...
Glad Sami Vatanen finally feeling bett...
At least Nico looks awes...
I can't believe Jesper Bratt is still on fi...
Travis Zajac's reputation is rocky amongst Devils' fans that have little to no idea what they are watching half the time, and he's a Blake Coleman brush with fate away from them being forced to reach a consensus that he's the primary offensive catalyst. I honestly don't even know what to openly root for anymore, because I feel like I've been bugged by the hockey gods as they look to break my will to watch a team that's about as recognizable as anything else you might find imported from Binghamton. I really hope there's some super enlightening lesson to be learned at the end of this surgical dissection of any and all positivity, preferably with Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko serving as the teacher's assistant.
Sidenote: I'm a John Hynes apologist, but finding a more depressing way to describe Jesper Bratt's timetable than "he's done for the year" was very insensitive to a fragile fanbase...
Otto Porter Jr. Was Mid-Leak During The Final Play Of The Bulls' Win Over The Sixers, As He Was Given An Ill-Timed Drug Test
As I can't imagine Otto Porter Jr. is uniquely skilled in being able to flawlessly fill a pee cup while making a bee line to the bathroom, I'm going to go ahead and assume he meant mid-stream* as opposed to mid-stride.
Still, fact remains, we missed out on an all-time ill-timed bathroom trips, the likes of which haven't been seen since the bubble guts cost your buddy his chance with a bombshell at the bar, with the Sixers being unable to take advantage of the absence of one of the Bulls' best defenders in the final half second following a clock reset. This story would be exponentially more entertaining, as well as fitting of Chicago's one long toilet trip of a season, if the NBA's quest for clean urine ended up doing the Bulls dirty. The idea of Otto Porter standing there, full Dixie cup in hand, helplessly restricted by his hydration while being distracted by a whole bunch of commotion in the background is still worthy of a chuckle. However, the idea of basketball's first ever bladder-beater resulting in a defeat by drug test would have been deserving of all the belly laughs...as well as a frozen invitation to the top of the draft lottery.
Rajon Rondo Sat Closer To Mark Jackson's Lap Than He Did To His Own Teammates In The Final Minute Of Yet Another Lakers' Loss
To be perfectly honest, I'm a little underwhelmed. I think we all figured that the Lakers' decision to stabilize their roster with the entirely unstable in stacking dysfunctional bricks around the foundational addition of LeBron James would eventually make for some dramatic moments that not even Hollywood's finest could script. That assumption was immediately reinforced when Rajon Rondo couldn't make it through one single game in Los Angeles without getting suspended for spitting on CP3 and igniting a brawl.
For that reason, I'm a little disappointed that giving his own teammates enough space for 2 Chainz' family and jewels while sitting far enough out of earshot to comfortably mutter not-so-sweet nothings to himself has been Rondo's most notable act of rebellion. When you consider how quickly the Lakers' season has combusted, Luke Walton must think of it as a minor miracle that the attitude of his relentlessly irritable point guard hasn't followed suit.
Say what you want of the professionalism of sitting closer to his car than his coach, but - as anyone who has been in a doomed relationship can attest - it does take a bit of maturity and self awareness to remove yourself from a situation in which you might say or do something stupid. If there's anything that Rajon Rondo has proven over his career it's that he's highly susceptible to doing just that. Therefore, while entirely dissociating from his struggling team was bad form, the alternative of a highly audacious asshole would've only been better for those of us that have been patiently waiting for the Lakers to start trippin' over all their lost marbles.