I feel like Joe Btfsplk this morning. He was the character from the L’il Abner comic strip who was the world’s worst jinx; anyone near him was going to suffer misfortune. Yesterday, I merely mentioned in passing that Sergio Garcia would join an elite group of golfers if he were to win The Masters this year. And what happened to Sergio Garcia?
- He shot a 13 on the 15th hole.
- He finished the day at 9 over par.
- The leader after Day One is Jordan Speith at 6 under par.
- Sergio Garcia ain’t winning The Masters this year. If he does, it will be the greatest comeback since Lazarus.
The Baltimore Ravens made news this week by signing RG3 to compete for the backup QB slot on the team. The minute that news hit the crawl at the bottom of the screen, at least a half-dozen of ESPN’s talking hair-dos flipped into “Outrage Mode”. Here are the elements of their Outrage:
- If the Ravens wanted/needed a backup QB, they could have signed Colin Kaepernick.
- Colin Kaepernick is a better QB than RG3.
- Ergo, the league is colluding to keep Kaepernick unemployed because of his kneeling during the National Anthem.
I am going to avoid completely my “Outrage Mode” and say from the outset that all of those talking heads may be correct. However, I cannot read minds and I doubt seriously that they can either and so to be very polite about it:
- They are expressing their opinion(s) about the behaviors of other people and those opinion(s) are nothing more than guesses at best and expressions of their own biases at worst.
First of all, while Kaepernick is indeed a better QB than RG3, let me not make him out to be Aaron Rodgers. Kaepernick has flaws in his game (accuracy is one of them) and in his last 11 starts his record was 1-10 and his completion percentage was under 60%. I stipulate that RG3 does not bring a great history to the table here, but we are talking about signing a potential backup QB here and not a franchise QB.
Second, RG3 signed a 1-year deal for a reported $1M – – not guaranteed. Can any of the folks in “Outrage Mode” say with certainty and supporting evidence that Kaepernick was offered an equivalent contract and turned it down? If they cannot, then their outrage denies the existence of any economic dimensions to roster decisions for NFL teams.
Third, imagine yourself as head coach John Harbaugh with the Ravens signing Kaepernick instead of RG3. Now imagine that the team goes through OTAs and through Training Camp and the following situation obtains:
- Colin Kaepernick has been outplayed by Josh Woodrum (the other QB on the Ravens roster other than Joe Flacco). He knows it; all the coaches know it; the fans have seen it in the Exhibition Games.
- How would you like to be the head coach who cuts Colin Kaepernick and immediately becomes the target for the folks spring-loaded to go into “Outrage Mode”?
Fourth, Colin Kaepernick is suing the NFL now over his inability to play for a team; he alleges a conspiracy to keep him out of the league that stems from his anthem protests. Forget for a moment the validity or the ineffectiveness of his allegations in that lawsuit and ask yourself this:
- Is it a good stratagem for a job applicant to sue the company he/she is trying to hire onto?
- Does that act itself add to or subtract from his/her résumé?
Remember; I do not read minds, so I do not know how the Ravens made their decision to sign RG3 and not Colin Kaepernick – or any other unemployed professional QB. What I do know is that there are some rational, unemotional and tolerant reasons why Colin Kaepernick was not their first choice.
In other NFL player movement news, the Pats traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams for a first-round draft pick and a third-round draft pick this year. Cooks is a big-play WR; he has had more than 1000 yards receiving in each of the last 3 seasons. Something just does not ring right here:
- Last year, after two 1000-yard seasons, Sean Payton traded Cooks to the Pats for about the same compensation as this week’s trade.
- Now, after yet another 1000-yard season, Bill Belichick traded Cooks again.
Finally, here is a comment from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune on new Bears’ coach Matt Nagy:
“Nagy said players are ‘going to understand why it’s so important for them to put on the Bears uniform,’ and I’m thinking, because the Bears are paying them to.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………