Monday, January 26, 2015

This Is Going to Be a Long Week

  • Unless your head has been mercifully buried in sand for the last week, you probably have heard that the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in their victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, apparently tipped off by another team, complained to the official that the Pats were using under-inflated balls. Each team gets 12 footballs, which are checked by the official prior to the game, then the balls are sent to the respective sidelines. The officials checked both the Patriots’ and the Colts’ sets of footballs at halftime, only to discover that 11 of the New England balls were two pounds per square inch under the minimum requirement. Some delusional Patriots fans have been pointing to the cold weather as a factor, except that the Colts’ balls were at regulation pressure. Furthermore, the refs inflated the New England footballs to regulation at halftime, and they were still at regulation when they were measured after the game.
He knows nothing.

  • A few things:
    • This is getting old really fast.
    • One of two things is going on: A) the NFL and the media are selectively releasing information that makes New England look guilty; or B) the Patriots are dirty cheaters. They didn’t need under-inflated footballs to win, but they did it anyway because they’re cheating cheaters who like to cheat. It makes me angrier that it didn’t really affect the game(s). If they cheated in a way that significantly increased their chances of winning, I’d get what they were doing. But it’s more irritating if they cheated just because they’re the Patriots and they’re ***holes and they think they can do whatever they want, rules be damned.
    • I don’t think anything will come of this because I don’t think the league will be able to find any hard proof that someone on the New England payroll intentionally let air out of the footballs. The end result of this will most likely be just another reason for America to hate the Patriots.

  • The only upside of this whole controversy is Andrew Luck, talking about his season-ending loss to the Patriots saying, “You do feel deflated,” before realizing what he had said and doing his endearingly-dorky, “Ohhhh shhoooot.”

  • The Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks (*vomits everywhere*) are -- whaddya know? -- talking a lot. We’ve got cornerback Jeremy Lane saying he doesn’t think New England Patriots tight end/freak of nature Rob Gronkowski is “that good.”

  • Richard Sherman weighed in on the deflated footballs controversy, saying he doesn’t think the Patriots will receive any punishment since Roger Goodell is buddy-buddy with Pats owner Robert Kraft.

One of the many reasons I'm angry the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl is
that I'm already sick of the media attention that they'll get this week.

  • Sherman, who owes much of his fame to his media-loving personality and brash statements, is apparently suddenly put off by the media baiting him. When a reporter asked, “Do you still think you’re best corner in the league?” Sherman replied, “I don't really answer preschool questions, so you improve your line of questioning, and we'll talk." So preschool statements by egomaniacal athletes are perfectly acceptable, it’s just the questions that go too far?

  • Yes, the NFL threatening to ban Marshawn Lynch from a game for wearing gold cleats is ridiculous. Yes, the NFL is often hypocritical, but I’m all about them penalizing Lynch for a) refusing to talk to the media and b) his sophomoric touchdown celebration. I imagine it’s not fun to have to answer stupid questions from the media after every single game, but that’s kind of why they pay athletes millions of dollars. It’s not just because they’re very good at a specific skill; it’s because they’re entertainers, as well. I get annoyed at athletes who think they can pick and choose. “Hmmm, I’ll say yes to the money, yes to the fame and glory, but no, I don’t want any of the annoyances, thank you.” As for his celebration, players get fined $50,000 for flipping the bird, which is categorized as an “obscene” gesture. Grabbing your crotch is worse than flipping the bird, and Lynch should be glad he wasn’t fined more.

Don't let reality get you down, Doug.


  • Recently, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's wife, the famous-for-no-reason Kristin Cavallari, had to fly out of town. When she landed, she was greeted by a series of SOS texts from Cutler regarding their two young sons. This is kinda the only thing I’ve ever seen that makes Jay a little likable.

  • Doesn’t Josh Gordon have any friends or family who care about him?? Anyone who can tell him to stop drinking and smoking pot while he’s in the NFL substance abuse program? The uber-talented Cleveland Browns receiver is facing a year-long penalty for failing a drug test (this time for alcohol). Gordon was banned for the entirety of the 2014 season for a second fail drug test (marijuana), but that penalty was reduced to 10 games on appeal. Gordon was then suspended the final game of the season for skipping practice. Due to his 2014 DWI arrest, Gordon is not supposed to consume any alcohol while he is in the substance abuse program. Since this is his fourth substance violation, I don’t see Gordon being able to appeal what will be a year-long ban. It’s very sad to see.

Come on, dude! Get it together! You could be so amazing!

  • So the Pro Bowl was pretty much all I had left to care about until August, so I had to half-heartedly watched it. It was fine, but it definitely could have used more Jordy and Cobb.

  • Jordy, Randall, and JJ in one picture??? Why did I not fake press credentials and infiltrate Phoenix????? What was I thinking?!

I really dropped the ball on this.

  • I think we all know Sam Shields is not quite Pro Bowl level yet. He got lit up quite a bit. As for John Kuhn, yay for him and all, but they need to make that fullback roster spot a fullback/tight end spot for the Pro Bowl because it’s not really that much of an honor when it’s between you and a couple of other guys who don’t play much.

  • So the obvious highlight from the Pro Bowl was when Jordy Nelson caught a touchdown and then celebrated with Clay Matthews, who was playing for the opposing team. Squeal.

  • One of the Pro Bowl gimmicks is live, in-game tweeting by the players, which led to a very rare occurrence: a Jordy Nelson tweet!!!!

  • Is Lisa Salters the only non-annoying sideline reporter who has ever existed? I actually like her!

  • The uniforms were hideous. Grey and highlighter orange and yellow are not attractive. I don’t know why, but these uniforms make me really mad.

Oh look, Sam Shields getting beat again.

  • The Pro Bowl experimented with narrower field goal posts (14 feet instead of 18) and longer PATs, which led to some misses. Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey, who kicked in the Pro Bowl, was not a fan: “They're picking on us … We're already the odd balls on the team.” He makes a good point.

  • New York Giants receiver O’Dell Beckham Jr, who catches touchdowns like this:

  • And warms up for the Pro Bowl like this:

  • ...says he has not been healthy this entire year, due to a hamstring injury that kept him out for the first four games of the season. If what he says is true, and he hasn’t been at 100% this year, that really, really, really sucks for the defensive backs of the league.

  • You know I love JJ Watt, and I had no problem with him winning the Pro Bowl defensive MVP -- he had an interception and a fumble recovery to go with his quarterback pressure -- but Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes really should have been defensive MVP. He was all over the place! Optimus Grimes, as he is also known, had one interception, and nearly had two or three more. He finished with five passes defensed against the best wide receivers in the NFL.

  • It wouldn’t be a Pro Bowl without the standard wringing of hands over the quality of play. Sportswriters -- because they lead lonely lives mostly devoid of meaning -- can always be counted on to write a “The Pro Bowl Must Be Fixed” article this time of year since the players obviously are not trying very hard. Why should they? Why should they risk injury in a meaningless game? So what if it’s not very competitive? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. The Pro Bowl is a chance to see cool trick plays, players playing out of position, players goofing off like it’s a backyard game. Yes, it’s boring. But why is that a problem? Millions of people still watch it every year. Since it doesn’t count for anything, people who complain so much about it are free to do something productive with their Sunday for the first time in five months.

Also, sportswriters, you get a free trip to a warm location, so quit with the angst.

  • To be honest, I watched a lot of the game on fast-forward. The upside is the seemingly interminable game felt dragged on at a slightly faster pace. The downside is I’m sure I missed a lot of Jon Gruden lines. I caught one or two that made the game worthwhile, like:
    • On JJ Watt: “I don’t know how he isn’t the MVP of pro football.”
      Mike Tirico: “So you would take him over Aaron Rodgers?” Gruden: “Well, I don’t know…
    • On Tony Romo: “Great to see him finally have a healthy season this year.” Do you mean other than the two vertebrae he fractured??

  • Charles Woodson was just signed by the Oakland Raiders for his 18th season! I MISS YOU, CHARLES!!

We'll always have this moment.

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