Rollie Massimino died yesterday at age 82. He was the coach at Villanova when Villanova upset top-ranked Georgetown (one of the Patrick Ewing teams) in the NCAA basketball tournament final game. It was one of the great upsets in March Madness history.
RIP Rollie Massimino.
I have been writing these rants since 2001; this is the first time that I have referenced the Hamilton TigerCats three times in a week. In fact, if I were sufficiently motivated to check, I am pretty sure that I have never referenced them even twice in a single week before. But here we go…
After hiring Art Briles and then firing him less than half a day after hiring him, the Hamilton TigerCats are in the news again. According to reports, the coaches and at least some of the “upper level execs” associated with the team worked out Johnny Manziel in Buffalo a week or so ago. In a way, I actually get this;
- The TigerCats are 0-8 and are not much more than an afterthought in the CFL this year.
- They score about 20 points per game and in CFL games that is not nearly enough.
- Art Briles is a coach whose reputation is made on offense.
- Johnny Manziel is a mobile QB who – in a former existence – made things happen on offense.
Having said all that, the Hamilton TigerCats got it right twice. The PR hit the team took from hiring Art Briles would not likely ever be paid off. The “workout in Buffalo” was sufficiently questionable to get everyone there to the point where they just did not want to be under the microscope that will focus on wherever Johnny Manziel next tries to play football. Good for them…
Just a suggestion here for the TigerCats:
- Open the wallet and think about signing Colin Kaepernick.
- He ought to thrive on the larger field of the CFL.
- His protest has to do with events in the US and not in Canada.
- He needs a job; you obviously need offensive firepower…
Since I mentioned Buffalo in relation to the putative “Manziel workout”, let me offer a comment about the Buffalo Bills. They are cleaning house out there in northwestern NY state almost to the same extent that the Jets have cleansed their roster in southeastern NY state. As a franchise, the Bills are as much a “sad-sack” as are the Jets. Consider:
- The last time the Bills participated in a playoff game was in January 2000. They lost that game to the Tennessee Titans.
- Since that game the Bills’ cumulative record is 112-161.
- In the intervening years, there have been exactly 2 seasons where the Bills’ regular season record was over .500.
I mention all this because the Bills have a highly talented defensive lineman on the roster named Marcell Dareus; in the morass of mediocrity-at-best, Dareus stands out like a corncob in a lettuce patch. The problem is that Marcell Dareus is also a stand-out when it comes to “off-the-field issues”.
- In his career, he has been arrested twice.
- In his career, he has been suspended by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy.
- Despite all of that, the Bills recognizing his physical talents signed him to a contract worth $96M over a 6-year stretch. That deal still has 5 years to go…
Recently, the Bills sent Dareus back to training camp prior to an Exhibition game for “disciplinary reasons”. I understand that his contract extension was done by a “previous administration” in Buffalo, but still… If you give a defensive lineman that kind of money and tenure, you should expect some “leadership” from him too and given his previous behaviors – both in his collegiate years and his time in the NFL – one must wonder how he was supposed to become a “leader” once that kind of money was dangled in front of his face. In microcosm, this is why the Bills have been without any participation in the playoffs for so long. And looking at the roster they have going into the 2017 season, that playoff drought looks like it will be continuing for a while…
Another defensive tackle in the NFL also got a recent contract extension but seems to have reacted to that event more positively. Linval Joseph of the Vikings (a really good DT and one who is comparable in skill to Marcell Dareus) recently signed a 4-year contract extension worth $50M. After that signing, someone saw Joseph arrive at the Vikings practice facility in his pickup truck and asked him if he was going to spend some of his signing bonus money on a flashy car – – like a $200K Maserati. Here is how Joseph responded:
“Why get one — I can’t fit in it.”
I really like pragmatists …
Finally, leave it to Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times to figure out what caused a record in MLB to be broken:
“Yankee slugger Aaron Judge broke the major league record by striking out in 33 straight games.
“That’s what he gets for changing his breakfast menu from Wheaties to Special K.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………