Category Archives: NFL

Do The St. Louis Rams Have The Balls To Cut Michael Sam?

michael sam

Sam: Running his way on to a practice squad near you.

In a word, no…because they can’t, and they know they can’t.

We all know the story here, because the ESPNs of the world have done nothing but try to make a story where there really isn’t one. Gay or straight, the issue is that Michael Sam is at best a marginal NFL player; the fact is that without his pronouncement of being gay, nobody would give a damn about him as a football player.

First of all, let’s cut through the guano here. The Rams were the NFL’s back-up plan in case nobody drafted Michael Sam.  With all the publicity Sam was getting, it was a potential public-relations problem if he were to go undrafted. The sports media community wanted their “barrier-breaking hero,” and it just didn’t matter anymore if he was worthy of actually playing in the NFL. If you doubt that, just look at what was an obviously staged scene at Sam’s home on draft day.  was completely staged.  After all, how many guys taken in the last minute of the last round of the draft have camera crews in their homes?

In other words, this means the Rams knew exactly what they were getting into when they selected Sam. The “distractions” that Tony Dungy caught so much shit for pointing out are very real. Once the Rams took him, there were stuck with him until the end; there are only four ways the relationship between Sam and the Rams ends this summer:

  1. Sam makes the team on his merits as an NFL player: That’s a prohibitive long-shot, I’ll get into why in a minute.
  2. Sam gets a roster spot even if he doesn’t really deserve it: That’s not very likely for two reasons. NFL roster spots are far too valuable, and there a real risk of getting accused of favoritism.
  3. Sam gets released outright:  His footprints out of town won’t even be cold yet and ESPN will softly accuse them of homophobia by writing shit like “Did Sam’s Sexuality Play a Role in His Release?”
  4. Sam gets put on the  practice squad: This is the most likely to happen, because it gives the Rams the best of both worlds; they don’t have to waste a roster spot on him, and they don’t have to release him.

We are two games into the pre-season, and Sam hasn’t really done much to change the math. Numbers don’t lie, and a lot of them are not in Sam’s favor.  The overall odds of a seventh round draft pick making an NFL roster on his first shot are long at best.  It doesn’t help matters the Rams are exceptionally deep at defensive end. Worse yet, Sam is very limited as an NFL defensive end; he really only is a “jail-break” pass-rusher.

To be fair, Sam has shown some upside; he tallied his first NFL sack last week against Green Bay.  But to be ever more fair, he’s playing against back-up level talent, and even then, defensive coordinators are leaving him unblocked more often than not.  Sam is too small to take on a head-on run block; he gets pushed all over the field. That means he isn’t really considered a threat, which does not bode well for his chances of making the Rams final roster.

Tonight’s exhibition game in Cleveland should tell a big part of the Sam story. If you tune into that in a few hours and see Michael Sam playing special teams, just pencil him in for the practice squad now.  If you will notice, you don’t see a lot of linemen playing on the kick squad.  The reason is big guys never do well chugging all the way downfield.  If they put him on special teams now, the Rams will be admitting two things we already all knew:

  1. Sam lacks the size to be an every-down defensive end in the NFL.
  2. Sam’s only hope to make the rosters i s on special teams.

Don’t look now, but it has already happened.  He’s played six special-teams snaps against the Saints, and three more against the Packers. That means the Rams already see the writing in the wall; they are expanding any possibility they can to keep him on the roster.

The biggest problem Sam has is the Rams are absolutely stocked for starting D-lineman; Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Eugene Sims, are locks to make the roster, and with William Hayes returing from an injury and looking to be fully recovered, Sam looks like the odd Ram out. Couple that with the fact that an undrafted free-agent from West Texas A&M named Ethan Westbrooks is getting more game time and is being played in games before Sam is another problem. Even by the best accounts, Sam is only an upfield pass-rusher, while Hayes can play both inside and outside.  Even if the Rams decided to get fatter at a position in which they already have more than sufficient depth, that would mean making a choice between Sam and a proven second-year player in Sammy Brown. Given Sam’s aforementioned athletic limitations, that doesn’t seen very likely.

That’s why you are going to see Sam on the kick team a lot tonight; not just because the starters always get the lion’s share of the snaps in the third tune-up game, but because the only way Sam is making the roster is to run on to it on special teams.

Roger Goodell Wants You To Be A New York Jets Fan

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Der Kommissar with J-Dub, who is doing his patriotic best to help the NFL.

This post is all about questions, not the least of which is why the hell does Roger Goodell care which team I support? The answer to that is a bit more complex than you might think, and to get you there means seeing a few more questions.

How do we know Kommissar Goodell wants you to be a New York Jets fan? Why else are the New York Jets on national television 3 times in this upcoming season? Because Kommissar Goodell wants you to be a New York Jets fan.  Maybe he doesn’t care specifically about you, but there’s really no doubting the NFL wants to give the Jets as much exposure as they can.

Why does the NFL want to expose the Jets as much as they can to a national audience? The magic word is “television.”  To be specific, this is about the numbers of people watching the NFL on television. The dirty little secret is the NFL is rapidly approaching maximum capacity for television viewership, which is exactly why Kommissar Goodell and the rest of the NFL Politburo are constantly beating the bushes for ways to grow the NFL’s television market. This is why we keep seeing silliness like games in foreign countries and the expansion of Thursday Night Football. Continue reading →

Thursday Night Football Is Another Example Of How The NFL’s Bullshit Quotient Is Rising

Goodell Liar

If you like Thursday Night Football, then this piece isn’t for you.  You are the NFL fan Kommissar Roger Goodell loves; the one who keeps gulping down the sports slop the NFL is pumping out these days.  The NFL remains the most popular sports league in this country despite the fact that under Goodell’s watch, the NFL keeps finding ways to ruin  its own product.   Thursday Night Football is yet another example.

Honestly, I never had an issue with TNF before now. The fact that the NFL used its own network to get its bottom feeders a shot at a nation-wide audience didn’t put a burr under my saddle. But now that CBS is getting a part of this package, it’s pretty clear the NFL is selling us some serious lies about the quality of the product they are dishing out.  If you doubt that, consider the following points.

1) They want you to think now TNF will feature better games

Ironically, the best lies have a kernel of truth in them. While Goodell and the rest of the NFL Politburo can honestly say this year’s TNF schedule is better than previous years, it’s like saying not shooting yourself in the face is better than shooting yourself in the face. Last year’s schedule is interesting not for who is on it, but for who isn’t. If you look at it, there wasn’t a single game that featured two teams who made the playoffs. The closest examples were Seahawks vs.  Cardinals and Chargers vs. Broncos, but when both of those games were scheduled, nobody was picking Arizona or San Diego to be in the play-off hunt. Conversely that schedule was chock full of barn-burners featuring play-off teams against dogs, like Patriots-Jets, 49ers-Rams, and Colts-Titans.

The party line coming down from the NFL Kremlin is now TNF will feature games between divisional rivals. At first glance that sounds pretty damn good, but when you look at the schedule, it looks like more of the same. If you doubt that, look at this list and tell me how many of these games look like both teams could be play-off contenders?

  • Pittsburgh at Baltimore*
  • Tampa Bay at Atlanta*
  • New York Giants at Washington*
  • Minnesota at Green Bay*
  • Indianapolis at Houston*
  • New York Jets at New England*
  • San Diego at Denver*
  • New Orleans at Carolina
  • Cleveland at Cincinnati
  • Buffalo at Miami
  • Kansas City at Oakland
  • Dallas at Chicago
  • Arizona at St. Louis
  • Tennessee at Jacksonville

*Games on CBS, all others on NFL Network.

I count one…two if you think Pittsburgh and Baltimore can be anything more than mediocre. Three if you looked at Dallas at Chicago after drinking a quart of varnish. Other than that, this is just more bad football brought to you by the people who don’t want you to notice it is bad football. The best way for you to not notice is to keep it on the NFL Network.

2) The season opener and Thanksgiving games tell the story

It’s not an accident that these two games which feature Green Bay at Seattle and San Francisco at Seattle respectively are not part of this crap-tastic TNF package.  The reason for that is obvious, what but not what you would expect. The NFL already made a concession to the TNF schedule to entice a network partner; there are three teams over the past ten years which have consistently been at the top of the league in terms of merchandise sales and television ratings: Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. Do you think it is an accident the two teams on that list which have had any recent play-off success are on the network portion of the TNF schedule?

3) Sunday Night is the new Monday Night

The hard reality is that the prime real estate for non-Sunday afternoon football isn’t Monday anymore. You can look at the Sunday Night schedule and see that pretty plainly, but what really bears that out is the presence of Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas on Sunday night. Those three teams are on SNF a combined seven times, as opposed to 4 combined appearances on Monday.

4) Even CBS doesn’t buy Thursday Night Football long-term

Think about that for a minute. Normally, bidding for NFL broadcast packages is a feeding frenzy with the winners inking multi-year deals worth billions of dollars. That’s not what happened here. CBS got this contract despite the fact they weren’t the highest bidder.  The Eyeball Network only ponied up $275 million for the rights to TNF, and it’s only a one-year deal, with an option year. It’s almost like CBS signed a utility shortstop rather than a deal to broadcast the most popular league in the country.

There's no truth to the rumor that Elvis shot his television because he was forced to watch Thursday Night Football.

There’s no truth to the rumor that Elvis shot his television because he was forced to watch Thursday Night Football.

What’s weird about this is the NFL expected a $400 million price-tag, yet took the low-buck offer from CBS when they could have got their asking price from Turner, ESPN, NBC, and Fox, who had all placed bids.  Another fun fact is that CBS gets no additional play-off games under this deal.  Clearly, CBS is hoping to make Thursday Night Football into a long-term franchise, but hope is not a strategy. Keeping your options open at the lowest commitment possible is, and both sides are doing it.

CBS is clearly using 2014 season as an audition for the NFL because they have doubts about another weeknight of football, and NFL may be coming to the conclusion they have either hit the ceiling for their pricing,  or the saturation point for their product, or both. The NFL surely isn’t putting out a marquees product, and CBS isn’t paying marquee prices.

But this strategy will probably work because there are still enough of the fans Goodell loves; the ones who will slurp up anything he lays down.

The Deep Six: NFL Broadcasting Figures We Can’t Make Up Our Minds About

nfl network microphone

By J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

The Deep Six is another series from Sports Blog Movement that has found a new home on Dubsism. In its history, it has sometimes been written by J-Dub, sometimes by Ryan Meehan, and sometimes a collaboration. Sometimes it has appeared on  Sports Blog Movement, and sometimes on Dubsism, but it has always been about delving deeply into the topics that live in the intersection of pop culture and sports.

In today’s installment, J-Dub and Meehan continue the long march toward the beginning of the real NFL season by taking a look at the people with whom we share that season. No, they are not here to discuss your drinking buddies; they are probably drunken reprobates like they are. Rather, this is about the television personalities we must all suffer during that enjoyment of football.

Here’s the premise. We all know the broadcaster ranks are full of people who don’t suck, like Gus Johnson. We all know those ranks are full of those who do suck; they are far too numerous to mention.  But in between there is wide band of broadcasters no one just can’t definitively assign to either category.  That why J-Dub and Meehan are going to look at people in four different broadcasting categories: Analyst, Color Commentator, Play-by-Play, and Sideline Reporter.

To help decide into which category these folks should be flung, J-Dub and Meehan are going to explore the pros and cons of each.  Being that the theme of this series is the Deep Six, normally they would cover six members of each category.  But since this is about football, they’ve decided to include the extra-point.

Without further adieu, here they are (in alphabetical order).

I.  Analysts

Continue reading →

The Blast-Cast: Tales of Depression and Sorrow – The Philadelphia Eagles

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This is another installment in the Sports Blog Movement series which now calls Dubsism home. Tales of Depression and Sorrow takes a hard look at certain instances, or specific seasons which would make sports fans cringe in horror and pain, or expands on that to take a hard look at the long-suffering fans of franchises who have tortured their supporters for decades.

Last year, we did an examination of Ryan Meehan’s tortures at being a fan of the New York Giants. Now, we turn the tables, as it is Meehan’s turn to ask the questions; to probe J-Dub’s deepest traumas over years of being a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan.

Only fun things can happen when a Giants’ fan and an Eagles’ fan get together; you can almost hear the knuckles hitting the teeth from here!

Click here to listen to or download the Blast-Cast (MP3 format)…The Blast-Cast is also available on Itunes.

P.S. During the Blast-Cast, J-Dub and Meehan ask for your Tales of Sorrow and Depression. They say there is no story they won’t hear, but to be honest, they’ve already heard from far too many Chicago Cubs fans…

The Blast-Cast with J-Dub and Meehan: Stuff You Need To Know About the 2014 NFL Season

blast cast header 07222014 meehan

Sports Blog Movement may be gone, but the Blast-Cast has returned. Today’s episode is all about a preview of the upcoming NFL season that only J-Dub and Ryan Meehan can bring you. This is more than just which team is better than which…this is stuff you really need to know!

WARNING: This Blast-Cast gets a bit more R-rated and addresses some controversial subjects. This is because J-Dub and Meehan get into a discussion about how NFL Kommissar Roger Goodell is going to screw up the NFL somehow, and this leads to a point where J-Dub has a profanity-filled tirade and says some things that some may find objectionable. Granted, that’s not really news, but the point is that if you are easily offended, maybe you should skip this podcast and stick with something more NPR-ish. In other words, if you choose to listen to this Blast-Cast and hear something that pisses you off, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Click here to listen to or download the Blast-Cast (MP3 format)…The Blast-Cast is also available on Itunes.

Radio J-Dub, Volume 4 – Donald Sterling Strikes Again

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a never-ending well-spring for bloggers because he just can’t help sticking both feet in his mouth. Once again, he’s done so, and once again, the issue is race. In this episode, J-Dub proposes a unique solution to the problem; one that would be awesome, but won’t happen.

You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live. Radio J-Dub can also be found on Itunes.

Radio J-Dub, Volume 3 – Social Marxism and Sports in America

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What do women’s college basketball and a high-school baseball field in Michigan have in common? In today’s episode, J-Dub talks about how the idea of “fairness” really has us all missing the point when it comes to athletics. Sports is the one true meritocracy left, but that is being assailed every day, and J-Dub explores how.

You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live. Radio J-Dub can also be found on Itunes.

Radio J-Dub, Volume 2 – How The Jim Irsay Situation Illustrates America’s Hypocrisy Toward Addiction

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In today’s episode, J-Dub talks about how Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s arrest for driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance has morphed from a story about a man and his demons to a pointed commentary on how America has a huge problem when it comes to addiction and how we as a nation view it.   This podcast was inspired by a piece posted on Sports Blog Movement by J-Dub’s regular collaborator Ryan Meehan.

You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live. Radio J-Dub can also be found on Itunes.

Radio J-Dub, Volume 1 – NFL Free Agency and the Phil Jackson Saga

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We here at Dubsism are excited to bring you a new feature, an audio podcast to go along with the series of video podcast we produce.  In the inaugural episode, J-Dub talks about how NFL free agency is like having a girlfriend who is jet-screaming hot, but is also bat-shit crazy. He also puts to rest some misconceptions about the Phil Jackson as president of the New York Knicks saga, and lays out a reason you’ll never get from the dick-tards at ESPN about why a Jackson return to the Los Angeles Lakers is all but impossible.

You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate live when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live.

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