Pre Pro Bowl
Wow what a quiet week in sports. Seems like there is nothing going on. So deflating.
The worst part is the Pro Bowl isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves. This might be the most befuddling event of the four major sports. For the tremendous success the NFL has had and the amount of money the league makes, the approach to this game couldn’t be more ass-backwards.
First of all, the Superbowl participating players opt out and many other marquee players frequently bow out because they don’t care. The NFL has tried to liven things up by doing a fantasy draft. The top two revenue sources of the NFL are based on fantasy leagues and gambling. Those don’t apply in the Pro Bowl hence no interest in conjunction with what I mentioned above. And when Andy Dalton got named as an alternate that was the last straw. How about having the Pro Bowl after the Superbowl. I know the NFL would have nothing to offer its fans between the conference championship games and Superbowl, but more Superbowl hype would be more appealing than a boring game with alternates and players not caring. The NHL has the skills competition, the NBA has the slam dunk and 3 point contest, MLB has the home run hitting contest and the NFL has a fantasy draft and beach football??????????
Okay so let the trash talk begin. Seahawks nickel corner Jeremy Lane said “Gronkowski isn’t very good.” I would say Lane isn’t very good but I didn’t know who he was prior to the quote. What I simply don’t understand is why insignificant players are stupid enough to provide bulletin board material and specifically to go into detail about Gronk being ineffective when people are physical with him. Yes these guys should be motivated regardless of bulletin board material, but if what Lane sees on film is correct, than why call it out and instead just take advantage of it. As competitive as Gronk is, you don’t think now more than ever he is going to try and shed that label in front of gazillions of fans on Superbowl Sunday.
Remember prior to the Eagles-Pats Superbowl in 2005 when Freddie Mitchell said he just knew the numbers — not the names — of New England’s cornerbacks. Stupid, not necessary and coming from an insignificant player trying to make a name for himself giving needless extra motivation to the other team.
And one more trash talk note. I found it comical that Aaron Rodgers felt the need to call out Richard Sherman before the NFC Championship game saying he wasn’t afraid of him and then proceeded to get picked by Sherman in the first quarter. Again, why say anything at all and let your actions and the actual game do the talking for you.
Green Bay is probably the model franchise in the NFL and its fans and team has always been classy. But that was not only one of the biggest sports chokes I have ever seen, but one that will stick with the players and fans for years and too much of the focus was on Seattle’s big comeback and not enough on the multiple wasted opportunities by the Packers in the first half.
So I guess that’s it. I think there was one other thing. Ichiro Suzuki and the Marlins are close on a one-year deal. I kid I kid.
“Inflategate”. I refer of course to 1977 when former great Raiders kicker Ray Guy was suspected of kicking a football filled with a substance lighter than air. Houston Oilers return man Billy “White Shoes” Johnson said he has never seen a ball hang up there that long. According to news accounts, the Oilers were able to retrieve one of Guy’s footballs and took it back to Houston. The Oilers would send the ball for testing at Rice University, but no helium was found, according to the AP.
And now we have “Deflategate”. This has been talked about ad nauseum all week so I am just going to make a few points.
When the Raiders were a dynasty/always winning and successful (this was before they changed their slogan in the last 25 years to (“Just Lose Baby”) in the 70’s and early 80’s, people hated them and found every reason to pick on them. Same with the Steelers. Then the 49’ers and then the Cowboys. I mean people were so resentful of “America’s team” and so many people rooted so hard for them to lose. And now we have the Patriots, who to add insult to injury have a coach the majority of the country despises because of his obstinate, secretive and unfriendly nature and a QB who is perceived as the ultimate pretty boy.
Yes there is a pattern of cheating and crossing the line, but what is more disturbing is that the players who have lost key games to the Pats over the years are using circumstantial evidence in some cases and no evidence in others, as an excuse for their failures instead of owning up to not being good enough.
I wear my “City of Champions” badge of honor as fiercely as anyone and have always prided myself on being able to have a comeback when an annoying fan from an opposing city tries to trash Boston teams. Prior to 2004, I had nothing to say to Yankees fans. Now I can say the Yankees have the biggest choke of all time in pro sports and the Red Sox have been the better team in the 21st Century. Montreal hasn’t won a Cup in 20 odd years and the Bruins have had more success overall for a while now. The Celtics have the most championships in NBA history and now I have nothing to say for the Pats. There is nothing worse in this world in my opinion than being called a liar or a cheater. Once you open the door, it is virtually impossible to close and regain trust. Belichick opened the door and now the entire team, and fan base suffers for it and permanently has to answer for it. So disappointing and frustrating. The most detestable word in the English language now has to be asterisk for Pats fans.
If Bill Belichick really did spy on the Rams prior to the Superbowl, did he have that little confidence in his own team or when he taped the Jets: Same question? So if Belichick didn’t know about this, and this was on Tom Brady, did Brady have that little confidence in his receivers and himself where he needed this slight meaningless edge against a team that has been clearly inferior to them for a while. A home game, bad weather, inexperienced QB wasn’t enough. Maybe this is a conspiracy but I am having a hard time believing Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky any more than Tom Brady wasn’t aware of what happened.
Until next week!