Yesterday, I mentioned that the Dolphins’ cutting ties with Chad Johnson might be a signal to other potential NFL miscreants that they had better be close to indispensable to their teams if they are going to act like anti-social a$$holes. That warning should apply to every player at every position but there seems to be an abundance of potential miscreants/a$$holes at the WR position in the NFL. Let me simply highlight two of them here and offer advice to them – and their NFL player colleagues – to be circumspect in their behaviors:
Brandon Marshall (Bears): He has had more than a couple of accusations of assaulting women in the past but no charges have ever been filed so obviously there have never been any convictions. Consider that this guy is in the upper echelon of WRs in the NFL and that he has been ushered out of both Miami and Denver in the past two years. Neither of those teams is carrying a plethora of future Hall of Fame WRs on their rosters. In 2009, Marshall caught 21 passes in a single game; he also caught 100 or more passes in three consecutive seasons prior to leaving Denver to go to Miami and then on to Chicago. The Bears will happily put up with a guy who does not pay his parking tickets in Chicago; however, they might be in an embarrassing position if they find themselves with a WR on their roster who has broken some facial bones on a woman in Chicago.
DeSean Jackson (Eagles): Here is a guy who has been benched in the midst of a game by his coach for lackadaisical play; here is a guy who was benched for missing team meetings; here is a guy who celebrates before he scores to the point where he has fumbled the ball rather than scoring a TD. He is either an immature diva or a certified a$$hole; you make the call. In this off-season, the Eagles gave Jackson a huge long-term contract and the track record for immature divas/a$$holes dealing with big long-term contracts in a positive way is not a good one. DeSean Jackson has used some of his signing bonus money to found JacPot Records; he is the CEO and he is the money that will keep it afloat unless it catches lightening in a bottle and releases a monster hit album in the first 9 months of its existence. This does not look as if it will end well…
Speaking of the NFL, the lines for the opening week of the NFL season are out there. The OVER/UNDER line for the Cowboys/Giants game as the NFL season opener on September 5 is 47. Based on the horrible offense shown by the Cowboys in the first exhibition game – - and no one should extrapolate much of anything from the results of any team’s first exhibition game – - I have to believe that Total Line will come down at least a couple of points.
The NFL adopted a new set of rules whereby teams could decide whether or not a home game would be blacked out in their home TV area. In the past, all of the non-premium seats had to have been sold 72 hours before kickoff or the game was deemed not to be sold-out and the team could keep it off of local TV. The new rule sets the “tickets sold threshold” at 85% of capacity for non-premium seats. According to reports I have read, three teams have availed themselves of this less stringent definition to determine which home games might be shown to local fans. The Dolphins, Bucs and Raiders have announced that they will use the 85% threshold to determine if home games will be shown locally. The Raiders’ calculus is very interesting:
They have three home games against divisional opponents (Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs). Those games should have robust ticket sales.
They have two home games against the Steelers and the Saints. You would think those teams would pack the house too.
However, three of the Raiders’ home games are against the Browns, Bucs and Jaguars. Those games have the potential to draw fewer fans than a concert featuring the Harmonic Farting Champions for 2012.
Here is an NFL training camp report from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:
“Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick said on the debut episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks that he does not use deodorant, effectively ending all speculation about that position switch to Right Guard.”
The MLS once had the situation where one owner was the person in charge of at least four teams in the league. That is not a good idea. Earlier this year, the NBA owned the New Orleans franchise and exhibited its hegemony over the league in general by nixing a trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers. At one point the NHL owned the Phoenix Coyotes and took ownership to prevent an owner they did not like from paying about $50M more for the franchise than they were able to get in the open market after owning the team for a year. Nevertheless, consider this bit of ownership goofiness:
The Canadian Football League has 8 teams.
One guy owns a team in the West Division (BC Lions) and a second team in the East Division (Toronto Argonauts)
Obviously, the Argonauts and Lions had to play each other during the season and here is what Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News had to say about that:
“In case you missed it, the CFL held its credibility-eating Braley Bowl on Monday in Toronto. That’s when the B.C. Lions, who are owned by David Braley, beat the Argos, who are owned by, yes, David Braley, 18-9. . . . There are eight teams in the CFL. The fact that two of them are owned by one individual can’t be good.”
With six games played so far this season, the Lions are 4-2, which ties them for the lead in the West Division. Meanwhile the Argonauts’ record is 3-3, which ties them for the lead in the East Division. If it were to come to pass that the Lions and the Argonauts were the teams facing each other in the Grey Cup on 25 November, that situation would have to be mightily embarrassing for the league. Then again, the owner of these two teams, David Braley, is a member of the Senate in Canada making him a politician, which confers on him an inability to comprehend the concept of “embarrassment”.
Finally, here is an on-point observation by Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot regarding the target audience for a segment of the college football fanbase:
“Age gauge: If you’re excited by the possibility of Notre Dame playing ACC teams in the Orange Bowl, you must be over 60.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………