The Big Business Of Name Calling

NFL Fines Washington Football Team $10 Mil After Sexual Misconduct Probe

Remember when winning made headlines? Yeah, that shit’s over.

Take the Washington Football Team (I’m thinking they stole this moniker from the classic video game, Tecmo Football), which has announced they will have a new name in 2022. Last year it retired the nickname Redskins; a name it carried since 1933 when they were still based in Boston. After years of refusing to do the right thing, team owner Dan Snyder finally came to his senses. Or maybe it was because his reign as King of the Iron Deficient Throne was being threatened and he needed him a positive news day . . either or.

Washington Football Team vs Eagles - Week 1 | Tecmo Super Bowl 2021 - YouTube

The once perennial contenders have won a single playoff game since the turn of the millennium. Which is one more playoff win than the Washington Sentinels. Seeing as how the Sentinels are a fictional team from the Keanu Reeves movie The Replacements, that’s no bueno.

None of this matters because the football team in Washington (the realish one) is as relevant now as it was back in the time of Gibbs and Theismann and Lombardi trophies. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a decent football team as things currently stand. But for most of the past two decades they’ve been winning headlines without winning much of anything else, which, come to think of it, makes them a perfect fit for that town.

Game of Thrones' 101: Who's Left from House Bolton?

We’re talking about an organization whose work environment was on par with anything the Fox News skirt hounds had going on. Washington was fined $10 million in January of this year for its “highly unprofessional” treatment of women. Which makes all the talk about banishing the derogatory nickname Redskins quaint in comparison. But since this post is about a more positive form of name calling, I will stay on message. For once.

A few ideas? On it . . .

Filibusters- Because the games will feel as if they’re never going to end, and yet . . nothing gets accomplished.

Vetos- For the team that has delivered rejection to its fan base for more than a quarter century. It’s perfect, really.

Scandals- I’m sorry, but it’s a slow news week without a good scandal in our national’s capitol.

Pork Barrels- It’s more dramatic than “The Hogs”, which was under consideration.

Motions- I really dig this one. It merges Congress with Motown.

Parliamentarians- Okay, maybe it’s a tad long, but it can always be abbreviated. Call them “The Parliars”.

Presidents- When they lose, they’ll make a federal case out of it. Never mind.

Luncheons- If you want to pack the stadium, this name will get ‘er done.

Monte Cristos- Can you imagine the concessions? It would be the best part of the game!

Hashtags- It merges a contemporary term used on social media with the term for lines on a football field. As an added bonus, slap a hashtag on the helmet and you’re trending, just like that.

Buckaneers- Add the k so as to avoid any legal hassles, and maybe . . just maybe, someone will confuse them with a Super Bowl champion this year.

Hollabacks- It’s a song from back in the aughts of 2000, fashioned in brass knuckle pearls by the great Gwen Stefani. I’m not gonna lie, I always thought this would be a cool team name. If I ever play Fantasy Football again, Imma go with it. And as the Pina to this Colada milkshake, an homage to girls wouldn’t be the worst idea for this franchise.

Of course, this entire exercise is a moot point since the new nickname for the team formerly known as the Redskins has already been chosen, probably. In the event there is still time and someone from the Washington front office is reading this and sees something they really, really dig? Have at it. All I ask in return is that you don’t offer me season tickets in return. I’m good.

Washington has some company when it comes to name changes, as the Cleveland Indians will also roll out a new nickname in 2022. Unlike their gridiron counterparts, however, the Tribe didn’t wait to unveil theirs. They will be going with the Guardians, and I cannot wait until they play the Angels for the first time. Think about it . . .

If you’re wondering what happened to all the Redskins merch, check Trump’s website.

 

 

 

 

Olympic Heroes Of The Week!

Simone Biles wins bronze medal on balance beam at the Olympics

Of course the lovely Simone Biles is gonna score my billboard capture in this week’s special Olympic edition. Because she just won the best damn bronze medal in the history of ever. After removing herself from the final three events in the women’s all-around last week, her team held on for a silver medal while this young lady held onto her mental well being. It was a win merging with an even bigger win. And it was made all the more beautiful when Simone was the first American to congratulate Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova after her team won the gold.

And then this week happened and Simone came back. She competed in the balance beam and while she wasn’t quite her championship self, she was plenty good enough to gain the podium yet again. And I have to think this bronze medal is going to mean every bit as much as all the other medals she has earned in her career. Because this one is representative of her every day struggle, where winning and losing take a backseat to peace of mind.

“I was just happy to be able to perform regardless of the outcome,” Biles said. “I did it for me and I was proud of myself for being able to compete one more time.”

The result was worth its weight in gold.

It is the true spirit' - Olympics athletics gold shared for the first time in 113 years

What’s the only thing better than a gold medal at the Olympics? How about two gold medals? That is how it went down when Mutaz Essa Barshim of Quatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy ended up tied in the men’s high jump finals after four jumps each. An Olympic official informed them they had two choices: They could take part in a jump-off, or they could share the gold. Moments later, Tamberi was jumping into the arms of his friend and rival when Barshim decided on the latter.

Barshim explained it this way. “He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together. This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message,”

A cynic might scoff at the idea that the medal wasn’t settled on the field, but I really can’t blame the guys for choosing to share gold after watching the sheer joy on their faces. Let’s face it, they did something most athletes can only dream about.

They won a tie.

Belarus' Krystsina Tsimanouskaya 'won't return' home after Olympics

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya of Belarus has a story that puts everything in perspective. In her homeland, opposition leaders disappear and dissidents are threatened with assassination. Freedom of speech doesn’t stand a chance in a country that will silence anyone who speaks out about the government’s business in general, or president Alexander Lukashenko in particular. And it is in this vein that Tsimanouskaya found herself in the crosshairs of a “higher up”. And while I’m not saying this individual was the guy currently serving a sixth-term as President, I ain’t saying it isn’t.

The trouble began after the sprinter complained on Instagram that she had been forced to run the 4×400 relay by team officials, even though she had never competed in it before. She was subsequently banned by the team from participating in the 200 meters; a decision she tried to fight legally, but lost.

Tsimanouskaya was then told she needed to take the next flight home, where she would face “punishment” for her outspoken behavior. Thankfully she was intercepted and taken to the Polish embassy in Japan, after which she was flown to Vienna. Upon hearing the news, her husband travelled to Ukraine and hopes to be reunited with her soon. This ordeal has changed Krystsina’s definition of ‘home’.

Now, it’s wherever she can be reacquainted with her family.

Heading into Tokyo, American Lily King was the prohibitive favorite to defend her title as queen of the breaststroke; the defending Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion hadn’t lost the event since 2015.

But that’s why they play the games. Because South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker had something else in mind. And if breaking the world record (held by King) wasn’t an expectation, guess what? It happened. As a result, Schoenmaker is bringing home South Africa’s first gold medal in a quarter century.

But the reason this story makes it to Friday is because of what happened next. If you want the cheat code on this video, fast-forward to 2:42 when she touches the wall, followed by King. And then a group hug that reminds us why we watch the games, and why we love them so.

Tokyo Olympics: U.S. Runner Helps Competitor to Finish Line After Fall | PEOPLE.com

Imagine being thisclose to realizing a life long dream, and then in the next moment, it’s gone just like that.

Isaiah Jewett doesn’t have to imagine this scenario, seeing as how he experienced it in the men’s 800 meters. As the runners were kicking up their heels for one final push around the curb, Jewett could feel it. He had a top two run within his reach, which was going to put him in the finals. And then Botswana’s Nijel Amos clipped him from behind and the two men were collapsing to the ground, taking that Olympic dream with them.

“I just felt like when I was starting to lift, somebody hit the back of my heel and that caused me to fall,” Jewett said. “It was devastating. I’m not going to lie.”

Out of this stunning loss came something you can’t practice. When Jewett got to his feet, he helped his opponent up and then the two men embraced as Amos offered his apologies before they set off once again, buoyed by a spirit that defines what these games truly mean. Because while winning and losing belong to the headlines temporarily, sportsmanship has keep. When they arrived at the finish line, Amos yielded so that Jewett could finish ahead of him.

It was the kind of moment not even a podium could top.

 

Yesterday Once More

Canadiens-Golden Knights Game 6 score, live updates: Artturi Lehkonen's OT goal sends Montreal to Stanley Cup Final - The Athletic

There’s a line from the movie Miracle in which the legendary Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks lets his young troops know what’s really at stake inside the sixty minute crucible of the biggest hockey game of their lives against the Russians. He tells them the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.

The Tampa Bay Lightning may not be confused with the Soviets powerhouse of a hockey team, but the Bolts are pretty damn good in their own right. And it’s going to take everything this young Canadiens team has to raise that Cup. And unlike that American hockey club at Lake Placid, these Habs have to do it four times in a couple weeks. So where you might be helped by a lucky bounce or a bad game by a superior line in a single game elimination, those chances dwindle when you’re talking about a seven game series.

These Canadiens are good with that. They came into this Stanley Cup playoff season with 500-1 odds to make the finals. Of the four Canadian squads with a dance card, they were given little to no chance of being the first team north of the border to get this far since Vancouver did it in 2011. And when they fell behind to the favored Toronto Maple Leafs three games to one in the first round, you wouldn’t have blamed their fans for toasting to last rites. And then the Canadiens pulled an Ali and got up off the canvas and punched their way through the Leafs, the Jets and the Golden Knights. And now you’ve got a group of kids with a whole bunch of tomorrows in their back pocket, intent on making today the beginning of a brand new chapter in their proud history. It’s been twenty-eight years since the Canadiens were last in the finals, and yet their twenty-four titles are still far and away the most of any team in the sport. Where some might find such a task daunting, this group seems to feed off of it.

These Habs bring a solid mix of veterans and kids to the party. From Brendan Gallagher to Cole Caufield, Tyler Toffoli to Nick Suzuki. And then you have Carey Price in goal, who happens to be in the middle of a playoff run for the ages. He’s been around long enough to know what to expect, and it’s a fine hockey blessing that he gets to sit at the high stakes table now. You want to see guys like Carey Price doing their thing on the sport’s biggest stage, getting his chance at immortality. And now Carey Price has the one thing, the only thing, a competitor really wants. He has his chance. And so does a Canadiens squad that doesn’t know what it doesn’t know, playing for history.

The Canadiens have made June a magical place to be, awakening the echoes of a once mighty empire as they topple the modern day giants of the sport. And now there’s one heavyweight champion left in front of them, looking to defend their belt, after having dispatched the Islanders in a seven-game nail biter.

Tomorrow in Tampa is where past meets present, and all that’s at stake is every single thing these guys play for. It’s when the names on the back of the jerseys get known and it’s where the name on the front of the jersey counts most of all. For this Habs squad, it’s a halcyon dose of recognition for what they have achieved thus far. And they’re well aware tomorrow isn’t promised.

It’s earned.

Winning By Pinocchio’s Nose

Medina Spirit | 2022 Kentucky Derby & Oaks | May 6 and May 7, 2022

With Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby win now being called into question after traces of the steroid betamethasone were found in his system, it’s clear the sporting world will stop at nothing in pursuit of glory. Trainer Bob Baffert claimed the horse has never been treated with the stuff because most sports figures are just frustrated politicians.

Pete Rose has been telling and re-telling a thirty year lie that changes with each new book deal. Dopers everywhere- from the four major sports to the Olympics- always play it like that guy in the show Cops who insists the drugs aren’t his. College recruiting reads like an episode of Law and Order. Little leaguers pretend to be smaller while college players pretend to be bigger and the Patriots . . . well, yanno.

Back inside the brutally simple time known as the ’70’s, NASCAR driver Richard Petty issued a sporting proclamation that has proven to have more lasting power than his hat . . or his legendary career for that matter.

“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,”

Without a twenty-four hour social media dragnet to collect every last dangling participle of an athlete’s most innocuously lonesome thoughts, the checkmate of a raging morning after headline was still a twinkle in every sports voyeur’s eye. Petty’s southern drawl was saved the slings and arrows of our current day claw machine which would have issued the “Breaking News” headline at three in the morning. After which Twitter would’ve split in two like the Titanic, sports debate shows would’ve argued over whether Petty should be suspended and Petty would’ve read a PR crafted apology that was about as heartfelt as a zombie flick.

The thing is, his simple syrup was a sporting truth long before he let it pass go. Need some proof? Okay why not . . .

Fred Lorz's lift and the rat-poison runner – Tale Runners

Fred Lorz lapped the field at the 1904 Olympic marathon in St. Louis by completing the race in three hours and thirteen minutes. Only problem was, he hitched a ride with a passing car for 11 miles of the race. When reading about Lorz, my question was, “There were passing cars in 1904?”

ECC | [New York Giants baseball player John J. McGraw, walking on

Before San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds’ noggin grew to twice the legal limit in the name of bad science, there was John McGraw. The New York Giants third-baseman played the hot corner like a gangster. A middling player who would later make his Hall of Fame bones as a skipper, McGraw was notorious for slowing opposing runners down by whatever means possible; from tripping them to latching on to their belt loops. How much fun would instant replay be with this guy around?

Michael Beschloss on Twitter: "Black Sox Scandal emerged from 1919 World Series, which ended 95 years ago today: http://t.co/BrVVhglnZF"

 

Several key players on the 1919 Chicago White Sox canoodled with New York mobster Arnold Rothstein, after which they threw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The worst part of it is, the infamous Black Sox scandal kept one of the all-time greats- Shoeless Joe Jackson- from reaching the Hall of Fame after his ban. The second worst part of it is they made a movie about it in 1988 called Eight Men Out in which John Cusack proved he is not nearly as good at throwing a baseball as he is at holding up a boombox.

Dora Ratjen - Wikidata

Dora “The Explorer” Ratjen finished fourth in the women’s high jump at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Turned out, Dora’s real name was Hermann. Those fun loving kids known as the Hitler Youth talked Hermann into hiding his balls in order to compete as a woman. I’m thinking their game plan didn’t include a fourth place finish . . .

From Heroes To Villains': CCNY Basketball's Dramatic Fall From Glory | Only A Game

The 1951 CCNY point-shaving scandal involved seven college basketball teams, with the Beavers squad leading the way. The players involved prevented their clubs from covering the spread until one player refused to play along, after which the jig was up. To think, today’s college coaches- whose cheat sheets are part of the recruiting process- would shrug at this quaint little racket.

The East German women’s swimming team dominated the sport from the late ’60’s through the early ’80’s. Which . . I mean . . it took the IOC that long to figure out these gals were loading up on their carbs by filing them with steroids? Of course it did, because they were even dirtier than the culprits!

Like it or loathe it, as long as there are sports to be played, cheating is going to be a part of the equation. Because the risks are always going to be outweighed by the rewards for a whole lot of athletes who don’t care how they become somebody, just so long as they do. And I don’t much give a shit if they choose notoriety over nobility.

Just leave the horses out of it.

 

When Football Meets Festivus

Miami Dolphins 2020 Draft - 1st Round Draft Picks Since 2000 - The Phinsider

This Thursday night, the NFL will prove once again that professional football is playing chess while all the other sports are playing checkers. More fans will tune in to watch an event where no game is being played than will watch the World Series or NBA finals. From its humble beginnings, the NFL Draft has become America’s second most favorite sporting event behind only the Super Bowl. And the added bonus is that Tom Brady can’t win this one . . I don’t think.

The first NFL Draft took place in 1936 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, inspired by an all out bidding war, a mayoral candidate out of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The NFL was comprised of nine teams at the time, with Stan Kostka- a star running back for the University of Minnesota- being the coveted prize. Rather than signing right out of school, Kostka decided to hold out. He even ran for mayor of his hometown before inking a deal with the Brooklyn football Dodgers for the princely sum of $5,000 dollars. When some owners cried foul, a selection process by which college graduates were chosen by teams was agreed upon, and the draft was born.

The presumptive top pick in the 2021 NFL draft- Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence- will sign a four year contract for somewhere in the neighborhood of $35 million when the Jacksonville Jaguars make their selection. And he won’t even have to run for mayor to get it.

I just figured out who Trevor Lawrence looks like | SECRant.com

The only Vegas lock is that Trevor Lawrence will be the first overall choice as God, Central Casting and Mattel intended. After which a quarterback feeding frenzy will ensue since the prevailing opinion is that getting the quarterback right is more important than electing a President. Don’t take my word for this, just ask 2016.

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Quarterbacks are the belles of the ballers, since every club dreams of plucking the next Tom Brady out of a bag of maybes. Of course, back in 2000, nobody knew Tom Brady was going to be Tom Brady, seeing as how he was selected with the 199th overall pick. But that doesn’t stop teams from trying, and usually failing. And this year, no fewer than five quarterbacks . . and perhaps as many as six or seven, will be chosen in the first round alone. It’s the Waiting For Godot Theory, where teams let Jesus take the wheel . . . so long as he can sling the ball, use complete sentences and stay out of trouble for at least ten minutes.

The Odell Beckham Jr revival tour: How a flashback to New York supremacy has left NFL wanting more | NFL News | Sky Sports

Historically speaking, wide receiver is another popular position even though the failure rate for first round receivers is higher than Snoop Dog was last Tuesday. Choosing a first round receiver is akin to buying the latest Apple product. You’re going to pay way too much for something you want but really don’t need. The Odell Beckham Jr. Rule states that a first round wide receiver should possess more playoff wins than hair colors in order to be worth the investment. The Browns did make a playoff run this year . . . after OBJ got injured and was out of the lineup, so there’s that.

NFL mock draft 2021 (4.0): Oregon's Penei Sewell prepares for a reunion and the 49ers make a surprise QB choice; trades and other first-round predictions - oregonlive.com

If you’re looking to maximize your Maximus, you gotta go big or you might as well go home. Offensive linemen are like the dorky girl in that eighties teen comedy who gets a makeover during the musical montage. When most of the popular girls- quarterbacks and wide receivers- have already peaked, the O-linemen are just getting started. If the Miami Dolphins selected Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell based entirely on the image above, I would be totally on board. He’s the winner of my Rick Ross Boss Award. I mean, he’ll beat the Jets twice just by fixing that stare on their asses!

NFL Draft Preview: Florida's Kyle Pitts headlines deep, but not elite, tight end class

Then there’s Kyle “The Unicorn” Pitts. He’s a tight end/receiver hybrid who is currently the “IT” player this football holiday season. He wins the Johnny Come Lately Award for this year’s event since he’s the new kid in town and everybody loves him most of all because there are only a couple days to the draft and not enough time to hone in on some other can’t miss prospect. The only critiques I can offer as far as this kid is concerned is that he doesn’t play quarterback, and he didn’t play for the U in Miami. I would be over the moon excited if Miami ends up grabbing him at 6, but please . .don’t tell Penei Sewell I said that.

None of this matters, of course. Because trying to predict how a college player’s skills will translate to the next level is akin to teaching a cat how to wake you up in the morning without using their claws. It’s why your guess is as good as the so called experts who write up dozens of mock drafts over the course of a year . . each one wronger than Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram page.

As long as the Dolphins don’t select Stan Kostka, Imma chalk it up as a win.

History’s Uppercut

Baylor Falls to Gonzaga 83-71 - Our Daily Bears

This happens to be more times than I figured on writing anything about college basketball, and it’s entirely the fault of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. And maybe I’ll never write another word about a sport I have no investment in, excepting for a signed basketball by the 1991 Duke team that won a national title. And that’s okay with me, because Gonzaga made me pay attention on Monday night.

Watch? Well . . no. I was tired and so I napped away the first half before waking to a Baylor rout in the making. And so I figured it was a good bet that the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers would remain the last undefeated champion in the sport. I didn’t feel the need to watch history take its best shot, because I know how that usually turns out.

The Zags had a great season at 31-1, even if that one loss looks bigger than the thirty one wins that came before it. That’s how it works in sports. History doesn’t play nice when it comes to matters of perfection. I’m not sure how many college basketball teams have gotten close to a perfect season. I remember UNLV losing their chance to that Duke team in the ’91 National Semis. And I think Kentucky had a chance a while back. Gonzaga got further than either of these teams, but still . . falling forty minutes short only feels worse.

The New England Patriots had the worst 18-1 record in NFL history back in 2007, seeing as how the one loss came in the last game of the season with a chance at perfection in their grasp. Since the Hoosiers perfecto of a season, many have tried but none have succeeded. Because the only sure thing about sports is that, more often than not, it flips the script on you when you least expect it.

To set a course for perfection is a brilliant sounding plan, but as former New York Giant Michael Strahan once remarked “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. And while he was talking about how his Giants took it to those perfect Pats, he might as well have been talking about history’s uppercut. It’s a keeper.

It doesn’t change the narrative, not for me it doesn’t. Because the Gonzaga kids earned the right to be immortalized by getting to the final game of the season with nary a pimple on their season’s resume. Inside the forty minutes they played last night, it wasn’t about wins or losses as much as it was about the chance to deliver an outcome whose echo will keep paying it forward for decades on end.

And in the end, the echo will carry. Sure, the ending is going to look a lot different than they were planning on. But they’ll be remembered nonetheless, and for a good long while. Until some other college team makes it through a season unscathed, at which time it will become their turn to figure out how to win the gauntlet with history breathing down their necks.

I’d have to believe the Gonzaga kids will be pulling for them.

 

Partly Interesting With A Chance Of Greatness

Beavers bound for Elite Eight with 65-58 win over Loyola | Ncaa Basketball  | hastingstribune.com

In lieu of common sense and because I don’t drink the way I used to, Imma dish yet again on the world of college basketball. Or more specifically, “March Madness”. For those of you unfamiliar with the college basketball tournament, congratulations! It means you have a life.

For the rest of the population, this month long carnival validates our belief in the underdog. It’s a time when fans can rejoice in the accomplishments of student athletes while paying homage to sacred programs run by coaches who value teaching above wins and losses . . . okay, that’s not it at all. Nope, March Madness is when fans blow their vacation money on schools they never heard of. It’s also a convenient excuse to drink too much beer and eat too many hot wings . . and call off work.

In spite of the much hyped moniker, there’s precious little madness to it all. It’s a tournament that involves sixty-four teams, although by now it might be sixty-eight . . or a hundred . . rest assured it’s a shitload of teams. They all have one thing in common, they’re all unpaid amateurs . . tall, lanky pups who’ve been seeded based on the opinions of a committee made up of . . you guessed it, NCAA suits. But it doesn’t matter what the suits say because these are kids we’re talking about here. And if the star player for a “prohibitive favorite” ends up getting dumped by his high school sweetheart? Well, you can use your bracket for toilet paper.

Tournament seedings are based on qualifiers such as conference strength, conference records, ranked vs unranked teams and other important sounding bullshit. But it’s all conjecture. You’re better off wagering a thousand bucks that you’ll run into your doctor in a grocery store checkout today than pluck it down on a group of young men who have little idea what their lives are going to look like next month.

The selling point of “Madness” is that there are upsets aplenty, but a quick look at three of the most talked about finals upsets tells a different story.

1983- North Carolina State defeats Houston: The late Jim Valvano was every bit the crooked recruiter as Houston, he was simply more charming.

1985- Villanova defeats Georgetown: Villanova is a big time basketball program, always has been. No upset there.

1991- Duke defeats UNLV: This was considered an upset because Duke’s roster was full of kids who went to class.

A couple years back, a sixteen seed (the lowest a bracket has to offer) beat the number one seed Virginia Cavaliers. But to go and call it a “monumental upset” is to conveniently forget that Bob Barker is older than the combined age of the Virginia roster. So there’s that.

Which brings us to this year’s darlings of the dance, the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. They are now two wins shy of the title game, and it’s a tilt I would tune in to watch. Not because I believe they’re a mortal lock, but rather, because I know it’s never that easy when you’re talking about kids. Hell, the 2007 New England Patriots were a bunch of grown ass men with rings on their resumes and they got their asses handed to them in a one game winner take all contest.

Of course, there’s still time for some club to knock off the Bulldogs before they get there. After which paid shills journalists and broadcasters will exclaim that “Cinderella” crashed the dance, even if it’s just not true. And what’s even dumber is that these talking pinheads can’t shut up long enough to let the games just be. To let the kids just . . be kids. In all their bluster, they miss the point of it all. Entirely.

The only thing that really has to be true is the chance.

The 4th-ish Annual Sorryless Super Bowl LV Preview?! (Results May Vary)

Myth-busting Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady: The five worst Super Bowl 55 narratives for Chiefs-Buccaneers | Sporting News

In the week leading up to the big game, Tom Brady announces he’s a vampire, after which author Stephenie Meyer offers to write a three-part life story. The Chiefs file suit, claiming European products are superior to American made- thus giving Brady an unfair competitive advantage. The Bucs counter by asking for Mahomes to produce his birth certificate, claiming he is actually a Martian. The Chiefs quickly drop their suit as a result.

League news goes heavy metal throughout the week, with one standout headline after another.

  • Texans QB Deshaun Watson is traded to CBS where he will star in a reboot of a long running series on the network. When he asks which series it will be, his agent replies “It’s Elementary, my dear Watson,”
  • Aaron Rodgers announces he is retiring from football so he can host Jeopardy and drink scotch. Simultaneously.
  • The Jaguars announce they will be moving to London, but are rejected. “We already have football teams that kick the ball around and don’t use their hands,” explains Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • The Los Angeles Chargers are bought by the Kardashians for $2.6 billion. Their name is changed to the Vuittons and they are relocated to a more spacious locale: The Kardashians’ backyard.

The game is being billed as the sexiest matchup since Brad Pitt and Angelina’s first date. And the first thirty minutes live up to exactly none of that hype. As the half comes to an end, Tony Romo is shocked by the scoreless tie and remarks “Nobody saw this coming!”. To which Jim Nantz replies, “That’s what she said” and is promptly terminated by CBS which puts out a statement decrying the remark. The network assures its viewers that degrading remarks about women will not be tolerated. The halftime show’s opening act then begins its set with “Bitch goes down for a dollah”, after which the Weekend takes the stage and performs for exactly that long.

When the teams take the field for the second half, it’s Tuesday afternoon and Mahomes is still AWOL. So is the Chiefs offense, which accumulates minus 81 yards and is trailing 2-0 after the referees chip in to buy Tom Brady’s team a safety. Brady promises the officiating crew seats in his cabinet when he becomes President.

In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay scores twice; first on a twenty eight yard pass from Brady to Julian Edelman. The referees come together to review the play after KC objects to the fact that Edelman does not play for the Bucs and is actually seated two rows up in the north end zone. The call stands and less than a minute later Brady is sacked and loses the football before he can pull it back in. Nonetheless, after another review Brady is awarded a touchdown for pain and suffering in what is deemed the “What the Tuck Rule”.

Kansas City replaces Chad Henne with actor Ryan Reynolds. Andy Reid will later admit he didn’t realize Reynolds was even on the roster. “He’s a great locker room guy and he always brings donuts in, so I wasn’t asking any questions,”. Reynolds then proceeds to throw for 311 yards and three touchdowns before accepting a lucrative offer to become the Green Bay Packers new quarterback.

Tampa Bay storms back and leads 37-21 with thirty five seconds remaining. On the cusp of winning his seventh title, Tom Brady takes the snap and is about to kneel down when he breaks his hip. The Chiefs recover and call a timeout. As Henne runs back onto the field, Mahomes makes an appearance. He explains that someone placed a tire spike in the parking lot of his hotel, blowing all four tires. “It only took AAA eight hours to respond, which is record time for those guys . . .”

Bill Belichick produces tape from a spy-cam he installed in the parking lot that reveals the culprit bears a striking resemblance to Tom Brady. The quarterback denies all charges, claiming he was in his cryogenic chamber at the time of the incident. Commissioner Roger Goodell settles “Deflate-Gate 2” and “Spy-Gate 3” by removing the Chick-fil-A concessions from both the Patriots and the Buccaneers home stadiums. The inimitable Jason Whitlock will later opine, “Brady and his former coach now have more gates than a posh California suburb,”.

Mahomes enters the game and promptly throws a forty two yard touchdown strike, after which the Chiefs complete a two-point play to close the deficit to eight. The KC wunderkid then recovers the onside kick himself and delivers yet another forty two yard score. He follows this up by running in the two point conversion to tie the game . . . with his eyes closed, while running backwards, and reciting poetry. In Mandarin Chinese.

The Super Bowl goes to overtime and the Chiefs win the toss. Mahomes tosses his third forty two yard score in as many throws and Kansas City becomes the first team to win back to back titles since Brady and the Patriots accomplished the feat in 2004. The Bucs ask for a recount. Brady asks to be driven to a blood bank. Chiefs coach Andy Reid asks for a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke.

Hating A Player Means Ignoring The Game

I know I’m in the vast majority here, but I gotta say: God Bless Doug Pederson.

Contrary to those hot-take heads, I don’t think the Eagles coach has got to be got for what he did and more specifically, what he didn’t do in the Eagles season ending loss to the Washington No Names. I refuse to semblance a thesis paper on why Pederson should be brought up on charges for playing the role of Butch Coolidge in a game the Eagles sorta/shoulda/coulda won.

For those unfamiliar, Pederson took his starting QB, Jalen Hurts, out of a game the Eagles still had a chance to win the other night against Washington. He brought in some fellow named Nate Sudfeld, who is behind yours truly on most NFL depth charts. The Eagles would end up losing the game, and a result, handing Washington the division title.

The vitriol hurled at Pederson comes as a result of what was at stake. The Eagles had nothing to play for, outside of a higher draft pick if they lost. Washington was playing for a division title while their I-95 rival New York Giants were rooting hard for an Eagles upset that would have given them the chip.

Now, I could argue that Pederson’s decision to yank his starter was justified considering that Hurts was 7-20 for 70 yards, an INT and a QB Rating of 25 to that point. I could say the coach was looking to give Sudfeld one last chance to show his stuff before sending him off to sell life insurance. I could even be so bold as to imagine that Pederson was playing the margins: Maybe he figured Washington would take a nap once he subbed in a human paperweight under center.

could say all of those things, but I won’t.

Because the mafioso in me feels like Coach Pederson put out a hit on the New York Giants division title dreams while at the same time looking out for his own interests. And he won . . I mean lost. Both.

I learned many lessons growing up in John Gotti’s Howard Beach. One of which is that for every bad guy, there’s always a worse guy. And if you’re talking NFL business, there are a ton of worse guys than Doug Pederson, starting with Sheriff Goodell, who runs his league the way Gotti used to run his empire.

Now I can dispense with the tongue in cheek defense of Doug Pederson, who for all intents and purposes, is a genuine creep. He skipped town after an alleged sex scandal when he was in KC. And he’s thrown a ton of look away passes in regards to certain members of the Eagles engaging in criminal behavior since he’s been here. Let’s just say the guy is building up quite the resume in the event he ever wants to run for political office.

There’s a robust irony to the NFL community getting all disjointed over Pederson’s assault on its warped senses. They cry about how coach is messing with the integrity of the game by positioning himself for a higher draft pick rather than trying to win a game. Am I being too cynical if I laugh at the idea of the league having any integrity left to mess with? I mean, we’re talking about a Commissioner who took money from the US military in exchange for those patriotic pre-game ceremonies. And a league where all manner of criminals are given second, third, fourth, fifth and six chances to play their game, so long as they have some talent left to give.

So yeah, thank God for this “Tank-Gate” moment, because it shines a light on the low down dirty shame of a league it’s coming from. And I really don’t give a flip if Giants players are upset that the Eagles “weren’t trying to win” the other night. They went 6-10 on the season, so it’s evident they know all about not trying to win. And I say to those Eagles players upset at their coach that they can ask for a trade, which really means a raise. And to all those talking heads out there concerned that the game they love is in dire need of change, I gotta ask.

Where you been?

Sports is like Family: Dysfunctional with lots of yelling

With the MLB season only days away and the NBA season not far behind it, this felt like a peach time to cook up some sports paella. Please note that if you plan on using any of this information for wagering purposes, you’re probably a degenerate gambler . . . .

  • New name for the Washington Redskins? That’s easy. The Washington Champions. Because as long as Dan Snyder owns the club, they ain’t gonna be winning in January.
  • And not for nothing but, are the revelations about sexual harassment in the Washington organization enough to force Snyder out? And if not now, when?
  • We need a new NFL commissioner. Raja makes it rain for his old boy network, but he isn’t quite so proficient at braving the social issue storms that rock the boat. He merely provided lip service when it came to getting Kaepernick back in the league. And he was silent on the anti-Semitic rhetoric being spewed by one of his players after he got done preaching inclusivity on the BLM front. He is tone deaf, inaccessible and downright aloof in a time when the league needs much better.
  • Have the Dodgers and Astros start the season with a one game, winner take all reboot on the 2017 World Series. Houston doesn’t get to steal signs and Los Angeles doesn’t get to opine on the one that got away in perpetuity.
  • Move the three point line back in the NBA. Make what happens inside the blocks matter again, rather than rewarding teams who play no defense and simply hoist half a hundred three pointers a game.
  • Someone please mention the NHL? Somewhere? All these overpaid hacks who write about the same damn thing every day now that there are no games being played . . haven’t once mentioned the NHL even in passing.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have one of the more underrated jerseys in sports.
  • How about an open air hockey game in Alaska sometime? Or Central Park?
  • And see what I mean, lazy sportswriters? It ain’t hard . . .
  • Contraction in the MLB will never happen even though it should. Sorry Florida baseball fan (singular), but the Marlins and Rays have to be dissolved. We start there and move forward. The league is too watered down and these two locales are money pits.
  • STOP BEATING US OVER THE HEAD WITH USELESS DATA!!! If you work up the data, you can figure a way to make Dak Prescott a ‘better’ QB than Patrick Mahomes. Thing is, since his rookie season Dak is 6-17 vs teams with a record of .500 or better while Mahomes just won a Super Bowl. Imma take the real world results over data.
  • And may I say again how proud I am to root for a Dolphins club that has a black GM and head coach? They didn’t talk it into being, they simply made it happen. So how in the blessed does Eric Bienemy of the Chiefs not have his own team right now? No good reason.
  • Note to NBA players: Shush ups, buttercups. We don’t want to hear about your hardships inside the bubble. Ever since the Association made the scene in Orlando, various players have been bitching and moaning about how horrible the amenities are. Meanwhile, businesses nationwide are shuttered and scores of people are still jobless. Funny how these guys will let us know how socially conscious they are in one breath while giving themselves away in the next.
  • Note to sports television analysts: Speak English. We know y’all make way too much money, considering the fact that not a single fan tunes in because you’re calling the game. But stop complicating the language to prove you’re worth the monopoly money. It’s not “putting the ball on the ground”  . . it’s a fumble. And it’s not “exit velocity”, it’s hard hit! And the probability of a catch being made is either zero or one hundred . . and nowhere in between, sorry. Oh, and one more thing. It’s not a walk off hit . . it’s a game winner. Thanks.
  • Let’s please stop pandering to the divas. Cam Newton and Odell Beckham have many things in common. They’re both immensely talented, they both came into the league with tons of hoopla, and neither one of them has actually won anything. No one is being unfair to them, so please kill that stupid narrative. Give the pub to guys like Chris Long and Larry Fitzgerald, whose contributions on and off the field possess substance. Because style may grab the headlines, but it gets old quickly.
  • Without fans in the stands, how on earth is FOX going to litter the good seats with actors for its fall TV lineup? I’m thinking holograms.
  • Can we please give Monday Night Football to a network not named ESPN? Because they done ruined the franchise.
  • I hope someone in the MLB hits .400 in this abbreviated season. Because while it won’t count against Ted Williams’ historic ’41 season, it’d just be nice to have a baseball moment that doesn’t include more home runs.
  • And I hope deGrom wins a third straight Cy Young. To which there is no asterisk, because every pitcher has the same chance.
  • And one more baseball wish? Trout in October. The best player in the MLB on the biggest stage. I’m in.
  • May all the games and all its players be safe inside this craziest of times.