After the Chicago Bears stunk out the joint at home – again – last week against the Dolphins, there was not a lot of peace and harmony in the Bears’ locker room. People heard loud voices through the door and they were not trying to organize a team clambake for their day off. Brandon Marshall in particular was heard saying more than a few provocative things.
Marshall says that he does not regret what he said; he only regrets that people outside the team heard him say what he said. Marshall says the Bears have all the players and all the coaches they need to be a great team [He and I will have to disagree on that point.] and the only thing the team needs to do is to come together and play to its ability. If indeed that is all there is to the matter, the whole story about yelling and discord in the locker room is a tempest in a spittoon.
However, I believe that Brandon Marshall needs to take a deep breath and do just a tad of introspection lest he get himself sucked into a wormhole. Brandon Marshall is a highly talented WR; he is 30 years old; he is in his ninth year in the NFL; he is on his third team in the NFL. Brandon Marshall has some prodigious stats including an NFL record 21 receptions in a single game. Brandon Marshall also carries more than just a little baggage with him to include this fact:
To date, no team with Brandon Marshall on the roster has ever participated in a playoff game.
His talent will keep him in the NFL until one of two situations obtains:
1. The talent erodes to the point where his baggage becomes too burdensome.
2. His baggage becomes too burdensome even for his significant talent.
Brandon Marshall is never going to ask me for advice – nor should he. Nonetheless, I really think that in one of his reflective moments – perhaps in the Green Room as he prepares for an episode of Inside the NFL – he might want to reflect on the latter stages of the career of Terrell Owens. That is probably not a path on which he would choose to travel but it is also a path on which he may just find himself one of these days…
In the English Premier League, Sunderland played at Southampton last week. For those not immediately familiar with English geography, Sunderland is in the far northeast of England on the coast of the North Sea by the border with Scotland. Southampton is in the southwest of England on the English Channel west of Portsmouth. It is a tossup whether Southampton is the furthest distance from Sunderland in the EPL or if that distinction belongs to Swansea. In any event, it is a long journey.
About 2500 Sunderland supporters made that trip to support the team last week and the final score was:
In the aftermath of that debacle, the Sunderland goalkeeper said he would ask his teammates to refund the cost of the tickets to that game to the 2500 fans who made the trip and had to watch that game. Team captain, John O’Shay said of this offer:
“We win and lose as a team, players, staff and fans. However we wanted to acknowledge and thank the supporters who travelled such a long way to give us their backing and despite everything, stayed with us until the final whistle.”
Any money that remains unclaimed by those traveling fans will be donated to a local children’s charity. Sunderland is not off to a good start in the EPL this year; they are ahead of only 3 teams in the table at this early point in the season and in the EPL, the bottom 3 teams are relegated to a lower level of competition for the next year. Sunderland just avoided relegation last year; they are not a “top-shelf side”…
Tickets to this game cost approximately $40 meaning there is “pool” of about $100K available for refunds. Do not expect this concept to make its way to the NFL any time soon…
I want to give you the career stats of two long-term MLB players anonymously at first for a reason that will become clear at the end. Importantly, these two players played the same position for the vast majority of their careers:
Player A: 17 years in MLB; 7 times an All-Star; career BA .260; career OPS .667; career WAR 36.2
Player B: 18 years in MLB; 5 times an All-Star; career BA .255; career OPS 675; career WAR 34.7
Considering the length of these two careers, I think it is fair to say these players are pretty much “peas in a pod”. Player A is Bill Mazeroski; he is in the Hall of Fame. Player B is Frank White the long time second baseman of the KC Royals; he never even sniffed election to the Hall of Fame.
I have said this since 2001 when the Veterans’ Committee inducted Mazeroski into the Hall of Fame:
He is there because of one at-bat in a 17-year career. If his World Series winning home run had been a pop-up to the shortstop, he would never have been considered for the Hall of Fame.
Finally, a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Parting thought: Ron Washington revealed he abruptly resigned as Rangers manager because he admitted infidelity to his wife. He had earlier admitted to using cocaine. One or two more embarrassing off-field incidents and he might be ready for the NFL.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………