Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

And just like that, the sports world revved back up this weekend. What should have been a nice, quiet Summer weekend, was instead stained by a steroid suspension, an alleged subsequent cover-up, terrible quarterback play by the Arizona Cardinals’ $64 million man, and of course, the Jets offensive offense. Here we go:

Melky Cabrera- Not sure if everybody caught this story, but All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended 50-games over the weekend for using banned substances. Unfortunately, the public is numb to this sort of disgraceful behavior so there isn’t really much to discuss about the suspension itself. But in further news, it was revealed Mr. Cabrera hatched an elaborate cover-up to fool Major League Baseball in an effort to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately for this cheater, the cover-up didn’t work so well.

You see, Cabrera allegedly created a fake website to show he had ordered a supplement that had been accidentally spiked with testosterone. As part of the collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for banned substances and face suspension are allowed to prove they accidentally took a supplement that caused the failed test. While there has always been excuses for ingesting foreign substances in the past, Cabrera’s creation of a website hocking a fake product takes the cake. What a idiot…

Not only did Cabrera cheat the game, fellow players, and fans alike, but the fact that he contributed an MVP performance at the All-Star Game, a game that determines which league has home-field advantage in the World Series, means his actions have also tarnished the upcoming Fall Classic. I hope Major League Baseball comes down on Cabrera hard – not just for the failed drug test, but having the audacity to further deceive league officials once he had already been caught. Baseball is a beautiful, albeit slow, game. There is no room for this deceitful cheater.

Arizona Cardinals/Kevin Kolb- “Ultimately Kevin was the guy that we had the highest grade on, that we felt was the best fit for what we’re trying to get accomplished as far as a fit with our offense, where he was age-wise, what he had done in the league,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.  That quote was from July 29, 2011 – the day the Cardinals completed the historically lopsided-trade for Kevin Kolb. While I realize hindsight is 20/20, how could the Cardinals have been so wrong? The part that is most shocking to me is the final part of the quotation, “…what he had done in the league.” Umm, Mr. Whisenhunt, what exactly had Kolb done in the league?

At the time of the trade, Kolb’s injury-plagued career stats were: 194 of 319, 60.8%, 2052 yards, 11 TD, 14 INT, 7 Fumbles. I don’t understand what it was about his past performance in the league that made the Cardinals so sure he wouldn’t continue to be an injury-prone, mediocre quarterback? Obviously they saw something the rest of the league didn’t… If they didn’t believe he was more than he had shown, then how else do you justify giving up a 2nd-Round Pick, a solid cornerback, and $64 million contract. Only the Cardinals…

After another on-field debacle this past weekend, it seems most Cardinal fans’ optimism in Kolb has finally flown the coup. While handing the reins of the franchise over to a former 5th Round pick from Fordam isn’t the most ideal situation, its seems the Cardinals’ miscalculation of Kolb’s mediocrity has left them with few options. As a Cardinals fan, let’s just hope the team does not compound one mistake with another. Just because Kolb is undeservingly getting paid like the starter, doesn’t mean he has to be it. For what its worth, my vote is to go with the low risk/low reward Skelton.

NY Jets- One of the great things about living in New York City is the media-firestorm that accompanies any local sports story. This past weekend, the New York Giants treated the New York Jets like the attention-seeking little sisters they are. The 26 – 3 victory by the Giants proved to fans everywhere who owned New York on the field, if not the headlines.

I know one should not look too much into a pre-season outcomes, but the media in New York is going bananas. Plain and simple, it doesn’t look like the Jets are going to be any good. In a league where offenses have become more and more explosive, the Jets’ looks like it is stuck in the mud. Even with the alleged-defensive mastermind Rex Ryan at the helm, asking one’s defense to consistently shut down opponents is a tall task to ask in this offensively-evolving NFL.

I’m not a fan of Mark Sanchez’s, but the Jets have done him no favors in recent years.  Since taking Mark Sanchez 5th overall in the 2009 draft, the Jets have done an abysmal job of surrounding him with playmakers. Since 2009, the organization has had three opportunities in the 1st Round  to draft additional offensive studs to help Sanchez, but instead choose to take  a cornerback and two defensive linemen. Good luck with that, Mark.

Speaking from years of experience being a Cardinals’ fan, you need playmakers to score points. Unfortunately for Jets’ fans, Tim Tebow isn’t what was needed. Instead of rattling the confidence of your alleged franchise QB, why didn’t the Jets spend their resources on actually giving Sanchez a chance to succeed? To Jets’ fans everywhere, enjoy the next 3 seasons of 5 to 7 wins.

That’s that.

Breaking News Alert: The NFL announced today that all players will be required to wear knee and thigh pads starting in 2013.

Really, NFL? This is your latest move to improve player safety? Please excuse me if I greet this news with little more than a roll of the eyes and a collective feeling of ‘who cares’. In the modern NFL universe, one in which player safety has been at the forefront of this off-season’s chatter, today’s latest rule change is nothing more than a public relations ruse preformed by the league.

As the NFL finds itself being bombarded by lawsuits from thousands of ex-players, the league seems determined to make as many reactionary moves in as blatant fashion as possible. One only needs to analyze today’s rule change to understand why the NFL is losing the very public battle regarding player’s health.

For the sake of this exercise, let’s try to believe the league truly, deeply cares about the health of its players as they say they do.  Let’s also try to believe such concern is the main reason the NFL is taking these ‘protective measures’.

Unfortunately for those attempting to believe such things, the actions of the league don’t fall in line with its rhetoric. It would be much easier to believe this ‘noble crusade of player safety’ had the owners not cut so many corners in passing these new rules.

The seemingly insignificant fact that owners swiftly disregarded the need to make hip pads (as well as knee and thigh) mandatory may not be so inconsequential after all. What initially started as an idea to make hip, knee, and thigh pads mandatory, quickly became about just knee and thigh pads. It begs to question –  If lower body safety is so important, then why not make hip pads mandatory as well? Is the league saying that hips are not nearly as important as knees and thighs? Or is the league simply attempting to do the bare minimum so they can later say, “Look, our new rules tried to improve player safety”… We’ll get back to that thought..

If one is also expected to believe these changes truly are vital to the improvement of player safety, then wouldn’t it be logical to assume the immediate implementation of such policy would be imperative? ‘What’s that? These rules don’t go into effect this season? But 2013?’  I’m confused.

There are so many things wrong with this equation that I don’t even know where to begin. First, I love how the NFL has collectively determined that while lower body pads are critical to player’s safety, they believe some pads are more important than others. Second, while lower body safety is so important that the league must legislate it, its just not important enough that players must abide by the new rules this upcoming season.

Combine the aforementioned head-scratchers with the fact the NFL is now shamelessly promoting new lightweight lower body pads designed by Nike (who just happen to be the NFL’s new sponsor), and we may have a full-blown conspiracy on our hands.

While the league publicly claims to care about player safety, the casual fan may get a different message when they turn on their television. Given the ongoing battle of player’s health, it is strange that the NFL still seems to glamorize the dangers of the game in an almost provoking and hypocritical way.

Every time the NFL Network shows old highlights of some of the hardest, dirtiest, and now illegal hits in order to promote the game’s ‘great history’, the NFL slowly chips away at its own credibility. For comparisons sake, can you imagine if Disney, amid allegations of racism in some of their earliest cartoons, continued to loop the alleged racist cartoons on a ‘Classic Disney’ channel? How would that public relations battle go?

Times have changed, knowledge has grown, and now the NFL must do both.

Unfortunately for all involved, making knee and thigh pads mandatory is not the change and growth that is sorely needed. If anyone actually believed such measures were  going to make a positive impact, the NFL would not have removed thigh pads from its policy nor have pushed back the implementation date until 2013. As many players have stated, and I agree, these new rules are nothing more than a public relations ploy by the NFL. Worst of all, such maneuver falls in line with a series of recent decisions made by the NFL that have been grossly transparent and ultimately insignificant. That’s that.