The DeSean Jackson Matter

Sports talk radio has been focused like a laser on “The DeSean Jackson Matter” for several days now. The fact that Jackson signed a multi-year deal with the Redskins last night will allow many of the hosts to recycle the segments they have been doing for the past several days simply by changing the objects of the verbs. Instead of talking about what Jackson might do in the future with regard to his playing venue, they can talk about what he might do in the future with regard to the Washington Redskins in specific. Here are 3 things that do I know about “The DeSean Jackson Matter”:

    1. Jackson is an elite WR. Players of his caliber do not hit the open market often.

      1a. If Jackson’s contract with the Eagles were closer to the league minimum than to $12M a year, would he have been cut?

      1b. If Jackson were a choirboy and made $12M per year, would he have been cut?

      1c. Suppose he was a “good guy” in the locker room and in the community and he flashed what might have been a “gang sign”, would he have been cut?

    2. I do not know why the Eagles released him and I refuse to concoct a narrative that would make it seem as if I do know. What I am confident in is the fact that the Eagles did not release him because he could not play football any longer.

    3. RG3 now has all the receiving weapons any top-shelf QB needs. The onus to produce just got heavier for him.

Another NFL-related story that is out and about is the report that Donald Trump was approached to be part of a group to buy the Buffalo Bills franchise now that Bills’ owner-founder, Ralph Wilson has passed on. Trump said that he would “look into it.” Interestingly, the original report here was based on a remark attributed to Trump himself. Using that model, I want everyone here to know that I too have been asked to be part of a group that will seek to purchase the Buffalo Bills franchise. I would be the face of the franchise should we be successful because my associates tend to prefer to stay in the shadows. I will be joined in this endeavor by:

    Harvey the Rabbit
    Mr. Snuffleupagus – and –
    Hobbes the Tiger.

We will continue in our efforts to recruit Mandrake the Magician to our consortium so that he can cast a mass-hypnotic spell on everyone in the organization and on the executor of the Wilson estate to allow us to get the franchise for 3 easy payments of only $49.95.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump would be a “colorful” owner should he ever buy a franchise in any major sport. In the NFL, he could join folks like Jerry Jones, Danny Boy Snyder, Stephen Ross, Jim Irsay and Woody Johnson in the ranks of owners who are “participative” – to put it mildly. Just like those other owners, no one should expect Donald Trump to sit offstage quietly and let others run the show by themselves. Interestingly, that kind of ownership behavior also exists in Mark Cuban and Cuban recently had some less-than-fully-laudatory comments to make about the NFL and its owners.

Boiled down, what Cuban said was that the NFL owners were “hoggy” in terms of trying to inflate their revenue streams and he pointed out the old Wall Street adage that pigs get fat while hogs get slaughtered. It made for interesting copy for a couple of days and then passed into oblivion. Thinking about the idea that Donald Trump might – yes, I know it is a long-shot but let me fantasize here for a moment – become an NFL owner, the drive to increase revenues would be accelerated. And perhaps that might lead to more comments from Cuban and as they say in the tabloids, “There is history between Cuban and Trump.” That would be fun…

Regarding Cuban’s suggestion that the NFL and its owners are being “hoggy” and that might lead someday to their slaughtering, here is something I feel deep in my gut:

    Notwithstanding the potential demise of the NFL, Mark Cuban would willingly give up any bodily appendage in order to become an NFL owner.

An NFL player had been in the news for behaviors that were less-than-laudatory. Recall several weeks ago when the security tape hit the airwaves of Ray Rice getting off an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City with is fiancée and the fiancée was either unconscious or was not going to get up by the count of ten. There were reports of a disagreement and the police got involved. After the police investigated, they took the matter to a grand jury where an indictment happened. That process took about 6 weeks. The day after the indictment showed up, Ray Rice and his fiancée got married. I do not recall any fairy tale romances following that path through the space-time continuum…

Bob Connolly writes a column for the Bronx Times Reporter and posts it online to his Dreams Blog. Recently he reminisced about a boxing match between Randy Newman and Chuck Wepner in 1974. Wepner was known as the “Bayonne Bleeder”; that should tell you something about all of his fights. The fight in 1974 was evidently a “Red Cross Special”. Here is the imagery Bob Connolly used to describe it:

“This was the type of night where the first three rows of fans would have been better off wearing raincoats as if they were going to attend a Gallagher concert.”

Finally, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald put baseball’s Spring Training into perspective:

“Oakland A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz missed the first spring training session due to an ingrown leg hair. OK, now can we dispense with talk that players take spring training as seriously as the regular season?”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Siggurdsson  On April 2, 2014 at 10:31 am


    You are aware D. Trump was owner of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL during 1984-1985. He had also persuaded his fellow owners to move the league’s season from spring-summer to the fall, in direct competition with the No-Fun League. So, it’s not like he has no major sports ownership experience…

    • Rich  On April 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

      One might posit that the last time Mr. Trump owned a pro football team the entire league folded.

      • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm


        Moreover, there are USFL “historians” who believe that it was Trump’s insistence on challenging the NFL in autumn football that led to the demise of the USFL. The league would never have been as big as the NFL playing in the Spring/Summer, but it could probably have survived.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm


      Indeed I recall the NJ Generals – the team that signed Herschel Walker out of college before he had used up his eligibility at Georgia. That was OK according to USFL rules and the NFL eventually came around to that way of thinking years later.

  • gary  On April 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

    On DeSean – I neither know or purport to have a clue as to what he did off of the field other than the usual Howard Eskin rumor mill “stuff” – which now includes potential insurance fraud, consorting with those accused of homicide, hanging with the wrong crowd, playing at much less than his potential for an entire season while in a money dispute, being stopped by the police with drugs and guns in his car (which Eskin implied could have led to up to four felony charges) and maybe even such dastardly things as walking across an intersection while the light was red or chewing gum in team meetings. None of this sets Jackson apart from a large percentage of NFL players. What was most telling to me regarding both some matters that have not yet come to light and how he was perceived in the locker room were 3 interviews with other Eagles a day or so before the release in which none of them said anything positive about someone who at that time was still a teammate, and clearly were not going to miss Jackson from the team. They (Herrmanns, Maclin and Cole) talked in terms of how no one is irreplaceable and how they were really happy about the team culture that Chip Kelly was trying to build. That tells me that most if not all of the players on the team will not miss him from the locker room, even given the obvious contributions he has made on offense. That’s good enough for me. Sports are supposed to be a pleasant diversion from real life. Drama, including that which is created by the diva players and others, does not make the diversion as pleasant. While I am all for success on the field, I much rather prefer the enjoyment of the game and the lack of the complexities of these side issues. I’m guessing that would label me an anachronistic purveyor of the Curmudgeon…proud to be one!

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm


      I had not read about the interviews with the three “teammates-at-the-time”. I agree their remarks as you have conveyed them says that DeSean Jackson was not a “clubhouse leader”.

  • Rickey  On April 2, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    There is a very good ESPN 30 for 30 show about the USFL called Small Potatoes: Who killed the USFL?

    Didn’t Trump sue the NFL? Not sure if the owners have long memories but that can’t help his case.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 3, 2014 at 9:07 am


      I must have missed that 30-for30 show; I will keep an eye out for a rerun – which is something ESPN has been known to do with those programs.

      I don’t think Trump was alone in the lawsuit; I believe that he convinced a majority of the other USFL owners to file the lawsuit as a league against the NFL. And yes, I agree that the owners who were around back in the mid-80s when that lawsuit was in process will remember it well.

      Recall that the NFL was found guilty of violating the anti-trust laws in that trial. The problem for the USFL was that the jury awarded the USFL $1 in damages which were then tripled in accordance with anti-trust laws. So, the NFL wrote a check to the USFL for $3 and the case was over.

      • Rich  On April 4, 2014 at 12:10 am

        I forgot all about the three dollar anti-trust settlement. That must have made Trump’s hair stand on end.

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