I’m hardly surprised that most ex-NFL-players-turned-pundits sided with Danny Trevathan after his hit on Davonte Adams on Thursday night. Still, it’s disheartening. Calling out rulebook illegal hits that are meant to injure a defenseless player shouldn’t be something that threatens to cancel your “tough guy” card. Yet that’s exactly what Trevathan did. Siding with him doesn’t make you tough. It makes you dense. It’s not even an argument. If it were my NFL, he’d be gone 8 games, and DeMaurice Smith can file every grievance he wants in the CBA. One of these days, a hit like that will produce another Darryl Stingley. It will be a seismic event in the current media-saturated NFL of 2017. Seeing a Dez Bryant, or a Jordy Nelson, or Eli Manning, or (go ahead, pick a player who currently has a Fat Head you can buy and put on your kids wall) in a wheelchair is going to change everything. And not for the better. Defenders need to re-think how they hit. You see it happening already with the new rules. Receivers who would have once-upon-a-time been blasted into a segment of “Jacked Up!” with a high hit coming across the middle, are now getting cut-down at the waist or chest. Defenders have more control over their strike zone than the pundits claim. File this thought away.
The new overtime rules, color rush, and London games are among the worst of the worst ideas the NFL has spawned over the last 15 years. But the short OT, with needless TD-first rules takes the cake. The Jags-Jets game nearly ended in a tie. Imagine spending time and money to watch that game for 3 hours, sit in traffic for 2 hours coming and going… and to go home with a TIE! I’ve never ever left a game after a tie. I don’t know how anybody find it acceptable in 2017.
I hate Dean Blandino. He’s terrible on TV. Nobody asked for him. Why the hell did we have to bump the excellent and TV-smooth Mike Pereira for him on NFL games? Speaking of replay, you can stop tweeting and emailing me complaints about certain fumbles, interceptions, or calls that replay does not fix. I have achieved a level of inner peace after many years of railing against this false god. I fought the good fight. And lost. The technocrats and “fair-ies” have won. Replay is an awful tramp stamp tattoo what we will regret forever. And yeah, of course Bilal Powell was fucking down on that 71 yard TD run. Just another Sunday.
So let me get this straight: the Carolina Panthers had just scored 9 points in a win over Buffalo, been blown out at home by the struggling Saints 34-13, and Cam Newton registered a 43.8 rating with 3 INTs in the loss. Then, they go play the worst defense in the league in New England, win by a FG and after the game Cam starts talking about “dis-respect” from the media. Seriously? Get outta here with that noise. Whatever happened to “respect is earned.” They had done nothing until Sunday – and maybe not even this win means much. Like sleeping with Kim Cattrall at age 61.
While we’re on the Patriots, if this is the year the Patriots collapse, it’ll look like the fall of the Berlin Wall with people crawling joyously all over it. And while I’m not quite ready to order my “Buffalo Bills Division Champs” shirt just yet, the defense numbers for New England are staggering. 537, 429, 417, and 444 yards allowed – 30+ ppg. Three of the four games … AT HOME. Everybody thought the end Bill Brady-chick Camelot would be the sudden demise of a 40 year old QB who has been cheating the actuarial curve on his position. Who woulda thunk it’d be the defense? I know this: all that 28-3 chirping by Patriot Nation is coming home to roost. It was a great comeback. But ya got a little lucky. Shoulda been a little more classy.
Michael Bennett’s story of racial profiling and excessive force in Las Vegas was sacked for another loss on Friday. He’s down to 4th-and-26. The LVPD held another presser, and released the footage that supports their claim that officers responded logically and professionally. At best, Bennett told a wildly mis-remembered tale that was born of his own fear and panic. He has yet to issue any soft of retraction, apology, or softening of his story. I’m pretty sure he never will. Especially not with many otherwise “smart” members of the NFL media ecosystem so willing to “die with the lie” on this one. I’m embarrassed for them. Surrender your love a narrative you just WISH was true, and keep some shred of your credibility. Because once that’s gone, it’s gone.
I’m constantly told by media analysts that “you can get all the highlights you want these days on your phone.” This is not true. I yearn for the glory days of NFL Primetime, when games were broken down in meaty 3-minute plus packages. Now, it IS true that the handful of MOST spectacular plays in a given weekend of NFL play will certainly propagate themselves all over the web via social media. But the genius of NFL Primetime was that it helped you understand how games were WON and LOST. Highlights are sometimes, bad plays, or penalties. For example, on NFL Network – where, hello, all they DO is football! They should be THE BEST at this! – they ran a package on the Cowboys-Rams game. After Dallas scored to pull within 2 points late, they went for 2 and were successful! Until a penalty wiped it out. Then a Rams penalty gave them a 3rd try, which failed. Pretty important stuff, right? The NFL network highlight package showed and mentioned none of this, while NBC’s package didn’t show it, only Dan Patrick gave it a brief mention. Furthermore, when I watched the NFL.com lengthy highlight package of the Bears-Packers game, it had just a cut-up of the plays with network announcers. No studio host descriptions, and no analysis interjections like it was with Boomer and TJ. Worst of all: they didn’t even show the Adams hit! Absurd. While you don’t need to show it over and over as injury porn, you can’t just leave it out, like it did not happen. So much for “you can get all the highlights you want, on your phone.” That’s bullshit. Bring back the meaty, hour-long NFL highlight and analysis show.