Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who knew the ACL had such a profound effect on someone's memory?

I think Donovan McNabb has a touch of T.O. Syndrome. If his name isn't in the press or if the media isn't talking about him 4 or 5 times a day then he needs to fix that. Whatever the reason, the thinking behind his black QB vs. white QB treatment is asinine. Apparently, he has no recollection of this:

or this...

or thiiiiis....

or this....

Every other year the past 7 years, a black QB has been on the cover of Madden. For comparison's sake I'll go ahead and post all the white QBs (and heck all the white players) who have been on the cover of Madden:

That about wraps them up, almost too many to handle there. You know who the only white guy ever on Madden was? That's right, this guy:

The guy it's named after. Now, I'm not going to pretend there is no racism in this country. But honestly, who has received more criticism from the media the past ten years? Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, David Carr, Eli Manning, Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Jake Delhomme, Drew Bledsoe, Rex Grossman, Kurt Warner, Joey Harrington, Jay Fiedler, Chad Pennington, Kyle Boller, Jeff George pre-Super Bowl Peyton Manning, and past couple seasons Brett Favre? Or Donovan McNabb, Dante Culpepper, Vince Young, pre-dog fighting Mike Vick, Steve McNair, Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Jason Campbell, Akili Smith, or Kordell Stewart? McNabb may want to complain about the fans booing but it's fuckin Philly for Christ's sake, what's he expect? And did he miss Chad Pennington and the Jets week 1? What about how Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, David Carr, Jeff George, Joey Harrington all being labeled busts (most cases colossal)? Steve McNair being brought in to replace Kyle Boller? Heck, the whole Leftwich drama came about because the coach and player hated each other. The media was caught completely off guard when he was cut and then all the talk was, "How has no team signed this guy yet?" Why does Donovan feel the need to say this other than to get his name in the paper? Why does Larry Johnson go say, "I respect Herm Edwards and love playing for him, I hated playing for Dick Vermeil, black players can't play for white coaches"? What is the appeal of playing the race card? If McNabb was cut tomorrow, Chicago, Miami, both New Yorks, Buffalo, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Atlanta would all welcome him with open arms with Cleveland and Arizona also inclined. No one is looking at him saying, "Oh he's black, maybe we wouldn't want him." The only reason a team might not want him is he's coming off knee surgery (see: Culpepper, Daunte 2006). The Redskins have been ecstatic with Jason Campbell since he was drafted despite the white QBs in front of him. All anyone can say is how poised he looks despite so little experience. Mike Vick found constant support before he decided flipping off fans, and then later killing dogs, was acceptable behavior for a team leader. Culpepper's struggles last year were attributed to his injury (despite the horrendous start sans Randy Moss the year before prior to his knee injury). Steve McNair claimed Tennessee treated him the way they did because he was black. Then shortly after his release, Steve Fisher and Billy Volek had a rather public pissing match that led to Volek being traded amidst claims he was lied to about his chances at earning the starting spot. Kerry Collins was brought in a for the first couple games then Vince Young was given the reigns. Despite less than gaudy stats, Young is this year's Madden Cover Boy and McNair was/is (barring injury) Baltimore's starter (over the white Kyle Boller who has received nothing but criticism in B-more). Even the most recent QB controversy with Leftwich in Jacksonville led to him being released so that the equally black David Garrard could start. You know what all of this looks like? Typical movement of quarterbacks regardless of race.

Even the media's response to all of this does little for McNabb's case. Blogs are mixed in reaction between indifference to mild support/rejection. Compare that to what Rush Limbaugh said in 2003:

"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

They're comments are nearly identical. The only difference is McNabb says the media is tougher on black QBs and Limbaugh said the media was easier on black QBs. Limbaugh's comments caused a huge uproar that led to his resignation while McNabb hasn't dealt with any backlash other than a couple questions from reporters asking him to confirm he stands behind his statement.

You know who's looking at this the right way? Mr. Poise himself, Jason Campbell:

"As a player and as an African-American quarterback, sometimes you have to support other African-American quarterbacks in the league. At the same time, that is something I can't get caught up in. That's his opinion and some other peoples' opinions, but I look at everybody the same. I respect everybody the same, anybody who plays the quarterback position. It's the hardest position to play in professional sports. I support any guy that's in a starting position or getting playing time in the quarterback position. You get graded, you get rated differently than any other position on the field.

"For 90 percent of the game you have the ball in your hands, and everyone's watching you and all the mistakes that you make. Since you are in the spotlight, everything gets noticed. It's a tough position to play, but at the same time you have to have a short memory. I don't look at it as a color issue; I look at it as all of us in a brotherhood together."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Michael David Smith is a giant douche

Nothing fancy in this title but really, it needed to be said. The guy's a fucking douche. Why did AOL hire him? Everyone else there I love, enjoy, like or feel at least brings something to the table. This guy just lives to be a dick. He's the stereotypical sports radio talk show host but in the blogosphere. He's the Shrutebag of the Fanhouse. I'm not exaggerating here or trying to use hyperbole, the guy does nothing funny, productive, insightful, or smart. His only purpose seems to be to create controversy. That's it. And maybe that's not his actual purpose, but that's all he does in the Fanhouse. He takes something going on and then makes leaps saying, "Well if it's like this then so and so is just as bad," or, "If they do this then why won't they do that?"

Recent example: "Jon Gruden Stole Signs in the Super Bowl -- That Was OK, Bill Belichick Is Different"

nd in fact I believe the single greatest coaching job I've ever seen was done by Jon Gruden in Super Bowl XXXVII. Gruden had previously coached the Raiders, and the Raiders were continuing to run the offense Gruden ran in Oakland. So Gruden taught his Buccaneers defense everything the Raiders did offensively, including audible calls. That's a form of sign stealing."

You're killing me Smalls.

How on God's green Earth is that stealing? Stealing is taking something from someone that doesn't belong to you. Gruden gave the Raiders their offense and audibles. Guess what, Bill Callahan is a fucking moron for not changing them at all, especially in the week he had before the Super Bowl when he knew he going against his former boss and his team's former coach. I bet the Bucs switched up their signals, and Gruden hates changing anything about his offense (part of the reason he doesn't start Chris Simms is Sims is a lefty and Gruden doesn't want to change his entire offense to compensate for the reverse in routes/protection). Either way, it's not stealing. The audibles and plays were brought in by who? Jon Gruden. So how did he steal them? He didn't. He said, "Hey defense, if they say 'Blue 720' that means it's a run left."

Hypothetical situation:

Super Bowl XXXVII

Rich Gannon walks to the line. Dexter Jackson is 14 yards off the line, Derrick Brooks is playing a little deeper than usual, and the nickel back is in. Gannon audibles, "Running play to the left off tackle on 2...running play to the left on 2." Immediately Warren Sapp and Brooks shift to their right (Gannon's left), Jackson creeps forward, and Rhonde Barber steps in toward the line as Gannon gets under center. On the second "hut" Sapp gets a monster jump and the whole D converges at the Oakland left tackle. According to Michael Douchebag Smith, the Bucs stole signals. No, fuckhead, that's called using common knowledge (and common sense) to improve your situation. And everyone on the Raiders staff knew who the Tampa Bay coach was and knew he knew the audibles from the previous seasons. Belichick deliberately broke league rules (misinterpretation my ass) and videotaped the opponents' signals to sync up with their defense and wired his defensive linemen like an FBI sting operation to record offensive audibles to again sync up with their plays. It's clearly stated to be illegal and it's cheating. That is stealing signals and in no way is it similar at all to what Gruden did (or really, what Callahan didn't do). A real world example would be insider trading. If it's public knowledge that a company is about to declare bankruptcy then it's legal to sell off the stock as soon as possible to maximize gain/minimize loss. If you're the accountant for your company and you realize the company is about to declare bankruptcy in the next couple months so you sell off all your stock weeks before the report is public that is insider trading and your ass is going to jail (ask Martha). But don't tell that to Shrutebag lite. The ol' pot stirrer decided he needed to make a little noise and used a shady headline with the express purpose of causing controversy.

But hey, lest he stick to ridiculous comparisons, he can get quite melodramatic. Apparently if your big rival decides to jump into your stands, you should welcome him with open arms.

"I know a lot of people will say Johnson got what was coming to him for jumping into the stands at the opposing stadium, but there's no excuse for fans dousing a player in beer, and if those fans can be identified, the team shouldn't allow them back in Cleveland Browns Stadium."

You're fucking right he got what was coming to him. Now I don't think he should have been hit or injured, spit on, anything like that but what did you want the Cleveland fans to do? They can't exactly all just move out of the way and even if they could, why should they? They're in the seats they paid for. That is the fans' area, the field is the players' and coaches'. I love the Lambeau Leap and if I played for the Packers and could actually jump (which if I played for the Packers I imagine I could) I'd do it. But I wouldn't go jump into the crowd at Soldier Field, Ford Field, or the Metrodome (or anywhere else). A fan threw beer on him? Big whoop. It isn't something I would do but then again, if I had front row seats at FedEx and fucking TO jumped into my lap...I don't know, maybe I would. If that fan had been removed from the game, I would have understood. The fact that he wasn't I understand as well. "Shouldn't allow them back"??? Pretty extreme there. At most, I would say if they took away one, maybe two games, I'd be ok with that. Either way, I think everyone handled it fine. Chad had his fun and jumped up by a Dawg Pound guy he'd apparently been talking to for a couple seasons. Fans got to "get back" at a rival's star player. No one was hurt, none of the parties involved had anything bad to say after the game, everybody goes home happy...except Michael David Smith who is never happy unless he is stirring up a hornet's nest.

Then, as I was finding these two stories in the backlogs of the Fanhouse, I come across one of the more recent examples of Michael David Smith: Moral Authority. ShruteSack, yeah I've decided that's the appropriate descriptor for the Shrutebag imitator, loves to get his righteous indignation on a couple times a week (see Michael Vick story when it became a couple times an hour).

"Merriman says that in his rookie year, he spent $32,000 on a dinner for the whole team. That is absolutely insane. Even if every single player on the 53-man roster showed up, that's more than $600 a man. Sure, he could afford it shortly after signing a five-year, $11.3 million contract, but that's just stupid."

First, if you can afford it, why is it stupid? Kobe spent $21,000 on Cristal just to put an uppity poker player in his place, who gives a fuck other than it's a funny anecdote (I wish Jordan had been there because I bet that wouldn't have ended until MJ bought several of the wineries in Champagne, France...or Charles Oakley slapped Kobe, that seems to be his preferred method of ending any arguments, and hey, it works). These guys have tons of money and a one night "splurge" that still doesn't equal a significant portion of their salary is hardly something to make note of, much less get all self-righteous "I don't care how much he makes, it's stupid." Second, "that is absolutely insane"? Ok, ShruteSack, go to NFL.com, go to Redskin videos, and watch the interview Joe Theismann gives about taking his linemen to dinner each week. 7 or 8 guys put down several thousand dollars in food (I think averaging close to $1,000 per head) and they did it weekly (and was 25 years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if it came close to $32,000 in today's money). So they spent a lot, they probably went to a fancy restaurant, ordered a ton of alcohol, and I bet none of it came from plastic bottles. Basically, ShruteSack needs to realize we're here for news, humor, and the breaking stories (and no, letting everyone know that nothing new has developed in the Vick case in the past half-hour does not count as a breaking story). ShruteSack thinks he's here to be the Shrutebag of the interwebs.

And we're back

Well, not that I imagine anyone has actually stumbled in here, but for a while there (2 months) my job blocked all blogspot.com websites. Assholes (kidding Dept of Defense, don't kill me). Anyway, somehow they became unblocked and so now not only can I continue to catch up on all the sporting world's blogs at work but I can again join the in the snark-fest and throw my 2 cents out there into the Money Bin of Scrooge McDuck. (man, Transformers has gotten me on such a nostalgia trip, go to websites like tv-links.co.uk and you can watch tv shows, movies, and old cartoons like TMNT, Duck Tales, Transformers, Thundercats, Darkwing Duck, Tailspin, I heart the 80s).