Monday, August 24, 2015

Is it Worth it?

Football is a violent and aggressive sport; even with the limiting rules that have been put in place in recent years. This aggression and nonstop action is what draws millions of eyes to televisions every Sunday, Monday, Thursdays, and even some Saturdays. Fans are so desperate for football action that they're willing to shell out money to watch football practice. Not to sound like Allen Iverson, but we're not talking about a real game we're talking about practice. The NFL season lasts 17 weeks, but if you throw in the preseason that adds 4 more weeks and OTA's (Offseason Training Activities) that adds up to about 23-24 weeks of football action and fans can't get enough. Is it possible that the NFL is overexposing it's product and more importantly overexposing its players? This offseason players have been dropping like flies from Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey to Green Bay Packer wide receiver Jordy Nelson two vital players on their respective squads.

I think it's time for the NFL to do away with some of their preseason activities. Either drop a preseason game or drop some of these recent inter-team practices; in which fights tend to break out like the brawl between the Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams. If the league really is interested in the safety of players (which I really don't believe they are) and not the all mighty dollar (which is their main focus) they would make the necessary changes to make sure that players aren't in harm's way. Yes, freak accidents will always happen, but limiting how much time players are on the field helps players avoid concussions and snapped ACLs and hurt ankles that need surgery. Some fans will be turned off by this, but understanding the damage these players take on every snap should make it with it because the players will still be fresher during the season, you know, when games actually count.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Oh the Jets

As if having Geno Smith as your starting quarterback isn't bad enough, he now gets even more proof of the lack of respect that the locker room has for him. In allegedly getting punched in the face by a linebacker over a reported 600 dollar debt and some disrespectful finger wagging with no other player willing to step in between both players just shows that no one else cared what happened to Smith during the altercation. No other quarterback in the league (no matter how bad he plays) would get punched in such a fashion. It doesn't matter if it was a sucker punch or a squared up punch to the face no quarterback would be punched like that. In all my years watching football I don't remember a quarterback getting disrespected in such a way.

Jay Cutler is reportedly not a great teammate and some ex-teammates have come out stating their desire to punch him, but yet the way NFL locker rooms are supposed to work quarterbacks are to be respected and supported even if they suck. Unless you're Geno Smith and the Jets. The lack of support for Smith in the Jets locker room has been quietly reported around the league and the fact that Smith hasn't performed on the field never helped his cause. In the two years Smith has been in the league he's thrown 34 interceptions to his 25 touchdowns leading the Jets to a 12-20 record in those two years. So the joke of the league has been the Jets' organization and the Jets' fans whenever Geno took the field, but now with a broken jaw and missing 6-10 weeks over a petty 600 bucks the Jets have to rely on Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead them. The league will keep on laughing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hindsight is 20/20

As the trade deadline past on July 31st both the Chicago White Sox and the San Diego Padres were expecting to sell off players and rebuild their respective farm systems. The issue was the White Sox were on a winning streak that had them within a shot at the second AL Wild Card spot while the Padres are loaded with talent and could've made a push for the second NL Wild Card spot if said talent played at the level that they normally played at, but unfortunately for both teams neither one has made the run that their GM's expected. In Chicago, while the Cubs have made the push and has captured a Wild Card spot the White Sox have floundered and have fallen to six and half games out of the second spot. The White Sox have some players that could help other teams Jeff Samardzija was an attractive option after the big names came off the board. After Johnny Cueto and David Price were dealt to Kansas City and Toronto respectively many teams probably called the GM of the White Sox to get their hands on Samardzija and he turned them away.

The Padres gave up a lot of their top prospects over the offseason building their super team. Trading for Kimbrel and both Uptons from the Atlanta Braves cost the Padres a lot. Getting Matt Kemp and Wil Myers from both the LA Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays cost more prospects and signing James Shields from free agency cost the Padres four years and seventy five million dollars. The GM of the Padres was quite the busy man in the offseason and he was expected to be busy at the deadline too trying to replenish some of the talent that he had used to build his team. Instead AJ Preller (the GM of the Padres) decided to sit on his hands and not make a move. Trading away Shields, Kimbrel, and Justin Upton (who is going to be a free agent at the end of the season) would've been logical and would've brought back a return that could help add talent to a farm system that needs it. Given the chance to do it all over I think these two teams would've been much more aggressive at the deadline. Moving the deadline back would solve these issues for teams, but that's a story for a different post.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Can an Undefeated Boxer Actually be Hurting Boxing?

Floyd "Money" Mayweather is undefeated and has held titles in every weight class he's fought in, but his demeanor and antics have soured most of the female fan base and the casual boxing fan. Inside the ring Mayweather is a defensive magician. Many and all fighters have thrown punches in Mayweather's direction and one second he's there and the next he's not. All of his opponents have looked foolish for swinging at air and making fighters who usually land a high number of punches land several percentage points lower. When Mayweather tucks his chin behind his shoulder it's almost impossible to get through to land a flush hit. The casual boxing fan has grown tired of watching a fight where the outcome is always in Mayweather's favor and where there's a lack of offense because of Mayweather's defense and because his knock out power has seemingly gone away. So if you're a casual fan it isn't difficult to understand why you would rather not shell out the 60 or 70 dollars to watch a boxer "run" around a ring and still win the fight.

Mayweather's expensive tastes and the way he flaunts the amount of money he's made off these "boring" fights have also alienated fans of boxing. Mayweather is considered to be arrogant and stubborn and has tailored his demands from the challengers, who step up to fight him, to make fights relatively easier for him to win. Being an undefeated champion does have it's benefits and Mayweather takes full advantage of these benefits. As many fans support Mayweather there are as many, if not more, who order the fights just to see Mayweather lose and they've been disappointed 48 times. So as Mayweather sets up to finish his storied boxing career with his last fight in September against Andre Berto I expect to watch the defensive magician work his magic and end his career with as many losses as he started with.