Just when you thought it was safe to go back and read the NFL news summaries … I thought – until last evening – that the only interesting plotline going forward regarding Antonio Brown was the possibility that he might not blend into The Patriot Way thereby setting up a divorce process that would be short-and-sweet. How wrong was that?
The latest is that Antonio Brown has been accused of forcibly raping his former trainer on 1 occasion in 2017/ 2018 and sexually assaulting her in 2 other incidents. The Pats assert that this is the first they have heard about this behavior; Brown professes innocence and his lawyer says that Brown:
“… will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself, including all of his rights in countersuits.”
You can read the details of this woman’s allegations in a dozen places; suffice it to say here that it will be interesting to see how the NFL handles these allegations and these investigations and balances that with Antonio Brown’s eligibility.
Speaking of Antonio Brown, if anyone were to create an award named the “Antonio Brown Yoo-Hoo I’m Over Here Look At Me Award”, I believe we would have our first nominee for that award to be given at the end of the NFL season.
- Odell Beckham, Jr. wore a wristwatch – supposedly worth $350K – during the Browns/Titans game last weekend. He says he is going to continue to do that in future games.
I have a question here … a watch could be used as a weapon and it certainly might inflict a totally accidental injury; so how is that allowable under the NFL rules? If a player were to wear a pair of brass knuckles that had a watch built into the crossbar piece, would that also be an allowable accoutrement on the field? Sheeeesh…
When I got home from Las Vegas on Monday, I had time for a nice dinner with my long-suffering wife before settling down to watch the ESPN doubleheader for Monday Night Football on opening week. Here are a couple of observations:
- Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland – in the booth and liberated from the sideline roving “Boogermobile” from last year – are an improvement over the three-man booth with Jason Witten. My problem with this duo is that it does not eliminate a significant flaw for the viewer/listener who knows even a smidgen about football.
- Let me put this in a nutshell. Every 5-yard run or 3-yard pass completion in the flat – even if either play results in a first down – is NOT an Earth-shattering event that demands a high-decibel and breathless call on the air. Joe Tessitore – and to a lesser extent Booger McFarland – need to dial that level of commentary back and save it for the REALLY meaningful plays in the game.
Technically, I misspoke above. The ESPN announcing booth is really a 2.5-man booth this year. They have a retired NFL referee, John Parry, in there to be used on an “as needed” basis and here is the deal on John Parry:
- John Parry speaks English very competently instead of “Rulebook” which is an arcane language used only by game officials, rules analysts and roger Goodell when he wants to shut down a line of questioning.
A good telecast of a well-officiated game would keep John Parry in the background collecting whatever his contract calls for on a per game basis simply because he is not needed. But he looks to be a good addition to the ESPN announcing team for Monday Night Football.
ESPN deployed a “B-Team” crew to do the Raiders/Broncos game as the second half of the double header. In the past, ESPN has botched the choice for that assignment; simply recall when Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did the late game and you will understand what I mean by “botched the assignment”. Steve Levy was very good on play-by-play; I think I prefer him to Joe Tessitore despite Levy’s lack of experience in that sort of role. Louis Riddick was also very good as a color analyst. Brian Griese was OK as a third voice in the booth – – but my preference would have been to have Levy and Riddick do the game as a pair and not as a trio.
USC accepted the resignation of Lynn Swann as the Athletic Director there. Swann is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; he is never going to be inducted into the Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame should one ever be created. Let’s review the bidding here:
- USC Athletic Directors seem to get the job because they were star football players for USC back in the glory days. That explains the selections of Mike Garrett, Pat Haden and Lynn Swann. None brought any “Athletic Director experience” of any significance to the job. If the school wants to follow that recruitment model, may I suggest that OJ might have some time on his hands soon once he finds the real killer(s).
- Swann’s most notable post-football career accomplishment was to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2006 and to lose that election in a landslide.
- Swann was supposed to make USC athletics relevant again without incurring any scandals along the way. USC athletics are nowhere near as relevant as they have been in the past and there have indeed been scandals during his tenure. We had the rich parents bribing coaches to indicate that the rich parents’ kids might be athletically relevant to gain an admission advantage; we had the FBI probing the USC coaching staff for improper/criminal basketball recruiting…
Finally, since I wondered why officials allowed a player to wear a wristwatch during a game earlier today, consider this comment from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Argentina’s women’s basketball team was forced to forfeit its Pan American Games contest against Colombia for showing up in white uniforms instead of blue.
“And you thought the NFL’s fashion police were strict?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………