Thursday, March 29, 2012

NFL Rumblings; Part 2. What is Going on in New York?

I’ve been asked by a handful of people over the last few weeks as to why I am yet to write an article regarding the New York Jets’ strikingly unorthodox off season.  I don’t really have an answer to that aside from the fact that writing said article would inherently mean that I must seriously attempt to understand a collection of moves that have befuddled many New Yorkers and NFL fans across the country.  Do I include myself among the perplexed?  Well… uh…  I am confused – that I know for certain.  Any other feelings I hope to resolve by the time I sign off. 

In looking at the Jets’ offseason, the most relevant developments surround the quarterback position.  But, before I get into that, let’s look at some of the things the Jets have done well since their cross-hallway rivals took home the Lombardi Trophy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NFL Rumblings; Part 1

I’ve been out of town the last two weeks, one of those being spent road tripping throughout the South.  Keeping tabs on the sports world was not an easy task, but the fact that everyone in the car had a smart phone made it at least a little more possible.  I did get to catch a majority of the first round of NCAA games, albeit only bits and pieces of each as we moved from one bar to another.  As we honed back in on the Mason-Dixon Line, I began to think about which college basketball team would be the focus of my first column in some time.  Then, in a matter of ESPN App iPhone reloads, our car was hit with a series of trumping NFL issues: Tim Tebow was to become a New York Jet and the New Orleans Saints (just three days after we left the city) officially committed the greatest mistake in NFL history.  When you throw in the now-stale Peyton Manning situation, it was clear that even in a month for college basketball, football still dominates the American sports universe.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trivia Answers

My father informed me that I failed to post the answer to the trivia questions.  The answers:

1. Who set the record for most intentional walks (44) by a right-handed hitter in 2009?  Difficulty: 1/10
--Albert Pujols

2. Who is the only player in MLB history to win both the all-star game MVP award and World Series MVP award in the same season? Difficulty: 2.5/10
--Derek Jeter

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Peyton Manning Saga Begins

The old adage “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” has become a shared viewpoint for all fans of professional football with regards to Peyton Manning.  The 2011 NFL season, while littered with parody and newfound success for some organizations, was certainly incomplete.  The league was without its most iconic player – it’s best player.

It didn’t take long for us to know Peyton Manning’s time in Indianapolis had reached the final chapter.  For some, myself included, the news that Manning would miss a chunk of regular season games all but notarized what would inevitably be a horribly disappointing season.  Once we learned he was done for the year, there was little doubt as to which team would be the frontrunner in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. 

I spent a good deal of time writing about how the financial burden of picking up Manning’s option and signing Luck with the first overall pick would be more than worth it.  Allowing Luck to develop would have created an even more seamless Favre-Rodgers-like transition.  But, I am not a professional sports team owner nor general manager and my view on the situation would have probably led to a similar situation as what the Miami Heat had in 2010-11; almost everyone else would be hovering around minimum salaries.  The Indi situation would have been even more precarious.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Attempting to Rationalize The Bounty System

"Whoever is snitching on the Saints D should be ashamed of themselves. No one was talking about the ‘bounty’ when they got paid. #shame.” – Ryan Clark. 

After a season in which the NFL endured a battery of safety allegations amid the ever prominent fiery opposition to rule changes, the league is now in the midst of a new and potentially colossal development.  The once exalted defensive mind, Gregg Williams, whose coaching was one of the most integral components of the 2009-10 Super Bowl season in New Orleans, is now the face of what many fear is a “Bounty” system that permeates throughout the league.  Williams has reportedly orchestrated a clandestine system with his defensive personnel through which players were offered cash prizes for injuring opposing offensive players. 

NFL players, coaches, correspondents, and seemingly everyone in the blogosphere have been weighing in on the matter.  There are the extremists.  New Orleans should be stripped of their Super Bowl.  Or, on the other side, this has been going on for as long as there has been football, no big deal.  Then there are those more akin to my take.  Do we really think a few tens of thousands of dollars is enough to get people making millions to do something they may be doing already?  Williams’ bounty system, which, at its highest point, was about 50 grand, existed to motivate his players to engage at an intense level.