Tuesday Musings …

There is a report on CBSSports.com this morning saying that a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan tweeted to Terrell Owens and to Chad Johnson about their interest in coming to the Eagles to augment what is a sub-standard corps of wide receivers on the team. Owens said he is “available”. Pigs will not only fly before the Eagles sign Owens again; pigs will have their own space program before the Eagles sign Owens again. This is not a mystery novel; the “criminal” is not required to “return to the scene of the crime”.

The NFL trade deadline is today. There have been plenty of trade rumors going around for the past couple of days – including ones involving the Eagles chasing WRs from teams going nowhere this year – but one rumor that was not out there became reality yesterday. The Pats traded LB, Jamie Collins, to the Browns for a 3rd round pick in the 2017 Draft. The first reaction many folks had to this announcement was shock and amazement. As the day wore on, I heard various “NFL insiders” saying that Collins had been offered a contract extension in the $11M per year range and had turned it down and that he would be a free agent come March 2017. Additionally, one said that Collins was looking at getting “Von Miller Money” which was 6 years and $114M. If that report is correct, the Patriots made a great deal because Jamie Collins is a very good linebacker but he is not nearly in Von Miller’s class as a defensive player.

    Paying Jamie Collins anything near $19M per year on a long-term deal makes about as much sense as the Eagles bringing Terrell Owens back into their locker room.

In the last week or so, two veteran NFL players announced that they will retire in mid season. Andre Johnson is calling it quits during his 14th season in the NFL. Johnson had five seasons with more than 100 receptions; three times he led the league in receiving yards per game; twice he led the league in receiving yards; twice he was named as a first team All-Pro. Andre Johnson will be in the Hall of Fame one of these days but Father Time simply caught up with him in 2016.

Last week, Arian Foster announced that he was retiring at age 30; he has had groin and hamstring injuries this year and has had injury issues in recent seasons including a ruptured Achilles tendon that sidelined him for most of one season. I always liked the “Adrian Foster Story”. He was an undrafted free agent who led the NFL in rushing in his second year in the NFL with more than 1600 yards in that season. What I liked about Foster was his intelligence and his willingness to tell the truth.

He admitted to taking “illegal benefits” while he was in college at Tennessee. Per his recounting, he and other players had no money nor any food and when they asked the coach for something to eat, he bought them tacos. That is an NCAA “illegal benefit”.

I also liked the fact that Foster was his own person. His parents are Muslim and he grew up in that environment but Foster is a professed atheist. There are more than 1500 NFL players on rosters this year; Arian Foster’s religious beliefs – or more properly his non-beliefs – are clearly unusual among his peers. Moreover, he is willing to speak about his non-beliefs when asked. Foster was a philosophy major in college – – again not a typical major for your typical NFL player – – and he has written and continues to write poetry. Arian Foster was a very good player who was interesting to watch; Arian Foster is an interesting person who just might have a career in broadcasting somewhere down the line.

The furor over Giants’ kicker Josh Brown and his domestic violence issues seems to have abated once the Giants released Brown and he is no longer in the league. Now that things have calmed a bit, I want to comment on one small part of that story that seems to have been glossed over.

Brown was in therapy/rehab trying to resolve whatever issues led him to become a spousal abuser. That act does not justify in any way what he did; spousal abuse – or violence against women in non-domestic settings – is fundamentally abhorrent. Seeking professional help to remove oneself from whatever drives one to do such things is a positive response to that abhorrent behavior; it indicates that, de minimis, the perpetrator has some interest in behaving in more constructive ways.

As part of that therapy/rehab, Josh Brown kept a diary recounting his actions and his feelings as he was in treatment. That diary became public during this investigation/exposé. In an age where privacy concerns have led to laws that require my dentist to protect my dental history of cavities and fillings from prying eyes, that diary kept by Josh Brown as part of his mental health therapy was made public.

In no way, do I condone what Josh Brown did with regard to his personal life and his relationship with his former wife. Likewise, I do not condone whatever happened to made Josh Brown’s “therapeutic diary” a matter of public record.

According to a report on profootballtalk.com, one of the issues that may be under negotiation for the next NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement is the 18-game regular season schedule. The current CBA has 4 more years to go; I surely hope we do not have to debate that issue for the next 4 years. Here is what I do hope happens over the next 4 years:

    1. Someone ascertains the key elements of the TV ratings decline afflicting the NFL at the moment. The reason this is important is that one reason MIGHT be that people are saturated with NFL football on TV and simply do not want more of it. IF that is the case, then an 18-game regular season makes as much sense as reinventing the flat tire.

    2. The NFL Exhibition Season is reduced from 4 games to 2 games – with or without any agreement to go from a 16-game regular season to an 18-game regular season. The most wildly anticipated NFL exhibition game does not come close to the interest fans have in a Browns/Jags regular season “showdown”.

Finally, with the World Series drawing to a conclusion and with the NFL season in full swing, consider these comments from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“The Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are playing each other in the World Series. I always thought this would take place on the recently colonized Jupiter.

“What a year for Cleveland sports. The Cavaliers won an NBA title, the Indians are in the World Series and the Browns almost made a first down.”

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