Yet another week has passed in the sportsgasm that is the NFL season, and that means it is time for us to tell you some things you need to know without the self-serving spin those assbags at ESPN will never give you. We know this because if you think you can get real football information from guys like Merrill Hoge and Trent Dilfer, you probably also think the earth is flat and that Kennedy was assassinated by Daffy Duck.
1) Either the Jets aren’t that bad, or the Patriots aren’t that good: Pick one.
Let’s just cut through the bullshit here; the Patriots aren’t that good. When you see Tom Brady mugging, screaming, and eye-rolling at his receivers, you know that Patriots offense is more out-of-sync than a 1985 Yugo with bad spark plugs. In contrast, when the Orlando Magic were in their heyday, Shaquille O’Neal once famously called coach Stan Van Gundy the “master of panic.” Bill Belichick couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to being so stoic people are worried pigeons might start shitting on him, but make no mistake. Brady’s antics show there is panic in Foxboro.
If you are the Patriots, this is exactly the time to start panicking. In all fairness, the Patriots could easily be 0-2. There’s exactly four points separating them from being winless. They haven’t covered the spread yet. They were beat by Buffalo for 59 minutes, and they played down to the level of the sorry-ass Jets, so we can clearly understand why there’s a panic breaking out in New England. For all of us who have had to suffer through the pretentious attitude Patriot fans are known for, we love hearing the panic in your voices, because it’s better than your tacky Boston accent that sounds like somebody left an audio interview of Godsmack on in the background.
No, those words never came out of Pete Rozelle’s mouth, but you must remember that 1975 was a very different time. Bell bottoms were still in fashion. Gas cost about 40 cents a gallon. And the internet didn’t exist yet to explode rumors into news reports. Otherwise, more people would have known about the time the Washington Redskins were so desperate for help they called the WWE to inquire about the availability of a guy named André René Roussimoff.
You probably know him better as Andre the Giant.
Let that sink in if you will…a 7′ 4″, 520 pound football player. Just imagine the possibilities.
That’s what then-director of player personnel for the Washington Redskins Tim Temerario was thinking that fateful day in 1975 when he called the offices of the World Wrestling Federation now (World Wrestling Entertainment), to inquire about the gargantuan grappler.
At nearly seven and a half feet tall, he would be like trying to kick a field goal over a tree. At over a quarter of a ton, he could have been an immovable object as a defensive lineman, or a super-sized version of a “Refrigerator” Perry-type goal-line bulldozer.
Andre was skeptical at best of the idea at first, if for no other reason that his wrestling career was paying more than any NFL lineman was making at the time.
But fellow wrestler George “The Animal” Steele knew it was a terrible idea; he shed some light on the issue during a podcast with UnderScoopFire.
“…the Washington Redskins wanted to sign Andre the Giant to play football,” Steele said. “And they wanted to sign him to play as a linebacker on field goals and extra points, to stand up and kind of wave like a giant. And it would be great publicity for them and us.
“And because I was a football coach and had played a little bit, Vince Sr. says Jim what do you think about this idea? I says I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. First of all, if you take Andre the Giant — as big and strong as he is — and stuck him in front of me, with his hands in the air waving or something, I’d take his knee out.
“I said first of all, I think you’re making a mockery of the game. And he’s outstretched, he can’t protect himself, I’d cripple him. And I said every guy in the NFL would do that. He has no business doing that. I don’t know if you know that or not, but they had made the offer, and it almost went to signing, and that’s why they didn’t do it. Because it wasn’t the right thing to do for Andre, for wrestling, and really for football.”
Apparently, the talks went so far as to as to spawn a press conference Washington, D.C. by Andre and up-and-coming wrestling executive Vince McMahon. But nothing ever came of the Redskins interest in Andre the Giant, and contrary to popular belief, no tryout ever took place, and no contract was ever offered.
Besides, can you imagine what Roger Goodell would be doing now if the full body slam were a legal football move?
Editor’s Note: Mr. Rockford is a private detective based in Malibu, California. We here at Dubsism have retained Mr. Rockford at his standard rate of two hundred dollars a day plus expenses to investigate matters of crime and other general shadiness in the world of sports, then report back to us when needed. If you would like to contact Mr. Rockford, at the tone, leave your name and number and he’ll get back to you.
The first thing I want to say here is that I think Roger Goodell has a tough job. He’s the head of the most popular sports league in the country, and he has the unenviable task of dealing with some serious problems that the league’s popularity helps hide. The issues Goodell faces are big enough to destroy the National Football League if left unchecked.
Having said that, it is my considered opinion that his approach to handling these issues is wrong. Dead wrong.
I understand my specialty is investigating crime, and while there may or may not be specific “crimes” involved here, I can say that during the time I had Goodell and the NFL under surveillance, I couldn’t find the “smoking gun” type evidence to support actual criminal charges. But I certainly found enough to justify an on-going investigation, but more importantly, I discovered why the NFL has all the problems that it does. To anybody who is paying any attention, it is obvious that under Goodell’s leadership, the NFL has really become a totalitarian regime willing to engage in some seriously nefarious, if not borderline criminal activity in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union under Stalin.
To understand why Goodell is little more than a hypocritical dictator, look at the major problems facing the NFL now and match that against Goodell’s handling of them.
First of all, there’s the whole Bounty-Gate issue. I know this blog has posted pieces saying the whole drama created over the New Orleans Saints and their bounty system was much ado about nothing, but the fact that Goodell shipped Jonathan Vilma off to the gulag with a complete absence of due process and while giving Vilma cause to feel he had been defamed has led to the Vilma’s filing a lawsuit against Goodell and the league. It’s just like that time that little weasel of a prosecutor Gary Bevins tossed me in the federal slammer for contempt. I almost bought it getting shanked in prison all because I tried to exercise my right under the 5th amendment.
Then there is the matter of the lawsuit filed in federal court by a group of former players claiming that the league did not perform its due diligence in informing players of the dangers of concussions or their moral duty to take care of players battling the results of that negligence.
To top it all off, there’s the matter of the lawsuit filed in federal court yesterday by the NFL Player’s Union (NFLPA), which amongst other things, alleges the NFL owners imposed a secret “salary cap” in the 2010 season, which was supposed to be uncapped.
Did the NFL and its teams secretly impose a salary cap of $123 million in the uncapped 2010 NFL season? Were teams threatened by the league with “serious consequences” if they exceeded the secret cap? The NFLPA asserts yes to both questions, and earlier today filed Reggie White, et al. v. NFL, a collusion lawsuit against the league in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The players contend they lost $1 billion because of the secret salary cap; as stipulated by collectively-bargained language, such damages, if proved, would be automatically trebled to $3 billion.
Regardless of whether or not you think these suits have any merit, there’s no denying that Goodell has got himself backed into a corner. Football is a violent game comprised of sheer speed and raw brutality, and the league has marketed that to the extent that the NFL is a multi-billion dollar per year business empire. Given that, it is really hard for me to believe that anybody can be surprised at the existence of a Jonathan Vilma. I would bet you there’s at least one in every locker room in the NFL.
That runs smack into another problem. Now that the spotlight is being shined on the question of how the cumulative effects of this violent game contribute to debilitating brain trauma, Goodell found himself faced with a lawsuit from former players and the discovery of the existence of a bounty program which could give any lawsuit about the violence and danger of playing football some serious creedence. In other words, Goodell found himself at the head of an empire built on a culture of violence; a culture which produces billions of dollars in revenue every year. But Goodell also found himself in the position of trying to keep everybody’s interests on the same page despite the fact that the money is ripping everybody apart.
And now, for the real turd in the punchbowl…it now seems that Roger Goodell may have been involved in a plot to keep player salaries down and that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was forced to accept part of such a plot.
While this is happening in America, this is just like the end of the Soviet Union. The USSR was this monolith that nobody ever thought would collapse, but it fell like a house of cards once the individual member states saw there was no longer a future in communism; once they saw they could get to greener pastures by their own devices. Due to how wildly popular the league is now, nobody seems to be noticing the cracks developing in the monolith that is the NFL, least of all its’ “Kommissar,” Roger Goodell. This is exactly why he is acting like a dictator in charge of a crumbling empire.
I will be the first to admit this all gets a bit confusing. The NFL sells itself as America’s sport and its’ wild popularity disguises the fact that the sport has some major problems. The people running the NFL, namely Kommissar Goodell who is making up rules as he needs them to exploit his leverage over everyone and everything in football, embodies exactly the sort of greed and arrogance that’s slowly chipping away at America in general. But like they did in the Soviet Union, the real story was hidden behind obfuscation and propaganda. Goodell is getting away with this because in America, we just don’t seem to care about things that are either hard to understand or that we just don’t want to be bothered with. This is pretty much why it is easy to paint any major success in American business with the brush of greed and arrogance, and guys like Kommissar Goodell open the paint cans for us.
Think about it. Right now, you have the former players suing the league because they want money. This is happening largely because the former players no longer believe the player’s union or the league have their interests at heart. The Vilma situation proves the existence of a cash-payment system designed by players to take out other players, which means the player’s don’t have each other’s interest at heart. Then there is the matter of the NFLPA’s suit against the NFL, which means the player’s and the owner’s don’t have each others interests at heart. Given all that, one can’t help but notice how everybody is after money; and they don’t really seem to care about the football.
And at the top of all of it, there is Kommissar Goodell. At the same time, he is charged with keeping this monolith together while his actions are deepening the cracks. it. The fact that the Goodell basically collaborated with the players’s union to renege on a promise to fund a major increase to the pension plan for retired players led to one lawsuit. On top of that, Goodell went on a Stalinist purge once the bounty situation became public; Vilma is just one of several guys who got sent to the NFL’s version of Siberia, basically on nothing more than the whims of the Kommissar and the NFL’s “best interests.”
That’s the real problem here; there is simply no established policy guiding what Goodell does. Almost every decision Roger Goodell makes is based on little more than what is best for which ever interest he is trying to protect that day, which is a great way to get every decision you make vulnerable to a challenge in court. And as the years pass, guys who rule like Goodell only get more wrapped around their own axles from the sheer inconsistency of their dictates.
Realistically speaking, Goodell’s problems are only going to multiply from here. Right now, the relationship between the league and the players (both past and present) is in the crapper, and that’s only going to get worse as we edge toward the next time they go through the collective bargaining process. So, the only thing Goodell can do to make the collapse of the league more likely is to start jerking the owners around.
Oh, wait…he’s already done that.
If you recall, back in March, the Cowboys and Redskins were both penalized a combined $46 million in salary cap space after they spent freely during the uncapped NFL year in 2010, which also happened to be the final season of the league’s old collective bargaining agreement. This gets complicated, so let me start with a time line of events, because this was four years in the making.
- 2008: Owners agree to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement and agree play the 2010 without a salary cap.
- 2010: The Redskins spend $178.2 million on salary; The Cowboys spend $166.5 million.
- 2011: The NFL brokers a new collective bargaining agreement with the player’s union (NFLPA), which just so happens to include a “secret” provision where the NFLPA agrees to a punishment for the Cowboys and Redskins in order to avoid a league-wide reduction of the salary cap number.
- 2012: The NFL slaps the Redskins with a $36 million salary cap reduction and similarly hits the Cowboys for $10 million, citing “competitive balance” concerns over the amount of money the teams spent in 2010.
Those bullet points don’t really do justice to the double-ended screw job Goodell laid out for everybody. Let’s walk through it in detail, and as we do, don’t forget that there was no salary cap in 2010, which meant there was no limit as to what team’s spent on salary.
In other words, Washington and Dallas are being punished now for “breaking” a rule that didn’t exist at the time. They took advantage of a situation not of their creation by front-loading player contracts (paying the bulk of money in the uncapped year in exchange for paying less in later years which would be capped). Seemingly, everyone should have been happy with this arrangement; the players didn’t mind because they were getting paid either way, the owners didn’t mind because they would receive a discount on future salary cap hits. We know this was true because nearly every team in the NFL used this tactic, but the Redskins and the Cowboys led the pack.
The second problem is using the collective bargaining agreement ratified in 2011 to enforce anything which happened in 2010 is what is known in legal circles as ex post facto law, which virtually guarantees any challenge to such enforcement would prevail in any court. In other words, even if the NFL warned Washington and Dallas not to break a rule that didn’t exist, Snyder and Jones both have lawyers who told them there was no harm and/or risk in using this cap loop-hole.
The third problem actually is actually quite biblical. In the Book of Genesis, God created the tree of knowledge and then told humans not to touch it, in just the same manner Kommissar Goodell created the salary-cap loop-hole then warned owners not to use it. When God was asked why humans could not touch the tree, the response was largely based on “because I said so.” This just happens to be the same logic Goodell is using with Snyder and Jones. The problem comes in the fact there is absolutely no legal way to make “because I said so” stand up in court.
Given all that, why haven’t Snyder and Jones hauled Kommissar Goodell into court? The answer goes back to the question I posed a few paragraphs back. I’ll give you one last chance to guess the “magic word” which answers both questions.
Think of it in this context. Under the guise of compromise, Kommissar Goodell and the NFL claim the signatories to the collective bargaining agreement agreed on this punishment for the Redskins and Cowboys. The distinction between the “signatories” and the collective bargaining agreement itself is important, because the collective bargaining agreement contains no such language. This is why the “deal” to punish the Redskins and the Cowboys was done on the down-low.
So, let’s put all the pieces together. We have a collective bargaining agreement that was clearly to the benefit of the owners, we have a salary cap loophole which was allegedly created to draw a compromise between the league and the NFLPA, and we have a Kommissar who is actively looking to clip two of his most high-profile and richest owners.
What’s the magic word that ties all these pieces together? Collusion.
Collusion refers to two or more teams, or the league and at least one team, acting in concert to deprive players of collectively-bargained rights. Under Article XXIII of the expired CBA, the NFL and NFLPA affirmed that teams would not conspire, either explicitly or tacitly, to keep salaries down. The two sides also agreed that if they failed to reach an agreement on a new CBA before the 2010 season, the 2010 season would be played without a cap, though with more restrictions on free agency.
It becomes clear if you work the puzzle this way. The uncapped year was not about giving teams the ability to front-load deals; it was more about allowing teams to cut spending without taking hits against a salary cap that didn’t exist. This can only mean there was, for lack of a better term, a “gentlemen’s agreement” amongst the owners to drop player salaries. That’s your textbook definition of “collusion,” and the NFLPA knows it. Remember this, it becomes really important later.
If you doubt that, consider the following. In 2009, under the old collective bargaining agreement, every NFL team was required to spend $107 million in payroll. One would assume spending would have remained the same in the following year except for one over-arching fact. Since 2010 was the uncapped year, it was also the year without a salary floor. This is exactly why seven franchises spent less than $107 million, and one franchise made sure they spent over $30 million less.
Let me be very clear about this. The NFL owners agreed to an uncapped year in 2010 so they could opt out of the collective bargaining agreement and renegotiate a more favorable revenue split with their next deal, which they did. The “gentlemen’s agreement” was supposed to be that nobody would take advantage of this uncapped year, as it was intended to be an illusion to get the player’s union to play along; after all, the NFLPA would love to get rid of any salary cap. The real reason for the existence of the uncapped year was that it would also be without a floor, which allowed owners to slash payroll at will, which many of them did.
Backed by Kommissar Goodell, the owners all agreed to abide by the “spirit” of the now completely imaginary salary cap. 100% pure, uncut, USDA prime collusion; there’s no other way to describe it. The problem came when Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder realized that Kommissar Goodell and the other owners had no real way to keep them from breaking the “gentlemen’s agreement.” This monkey-wrenched the plan “uncap” the year without actually uncapping it. See, the minute somebody broke the agreement, the league would be right back to the days of a payroll “free-for-all,” with the winners being the guys with the biggest wallets, like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder.
This led to the series of stern, albeit impotent warnings from the Kommissar about not taking advantage of the uncapped year. Jones and Snyder knew they had legal cover for backing out of the “gentlemen’s agreement,” but they didn’t realize that the Kommissar had a NKVD-style plan for dealing with them. After all, what good is it to be a Kommissar if you can’t hold a pistol to somebody’s head?
When the Cowboys and Redskins didn’t play by the NFL’s unwritten rules, Kommissar Goodell went back to the owners and forced them to agree that something needed to be done to punish owners Jones and Snyder.
To do this, the Kommissar needed to create a justification for the NFL’s punishing the violation of non-existent rules and for essentially being a redistributor of wealth; a sporting Robin Hood who uses blackmail rather than a bow and arrow. Not only does he need to give himself a reason for such treachery, but that justification also needs to provide cover for activities which would normally get any enterprise sued out of existence.
To understand this justification, you have to understand the Kommsisar’s mindset. Ignore the teams that spent less than a mythical salary floor that season and focus only on the two teams that broke the “agreement.” Ignore the original collusion of the owners and by all means, don’t ask the question about how the owners got the NFLPA to go along with a scheme that would ultimately lower player salaries. Above all else, ignore the fact that the NFL is more concerned with driving down player salaries than it is with it’s fascination with so-called “parity.”
Once you do all those things, you can buy the Kommisar’s twaddle about the actions of the Redskins and Cowboys constituted “an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance.” The league says it all themselves…
“The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years. To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.”
Competitive balance? That’s a load of complete bullshit. Kommissar Goodell cares about “competitive balance” about as much as Lee Elia loved Chicago Cub fans. “Competitive balance” is just another way of saying “we care about the little guy.” Naturally, in the case of the multi-billion dollar per year NFL, that’s a bunch of crap. Ask yourself a question. If the Cowboys and Redskins were taking advantage of an uncapped year to spend more and try to win, isn’t it just as injurious to “competitive balance” to take advantage of an unfloored year to spend less, tank the season, and pocket the profits?
But if you want to be Robin Hood, you must act like you care about the poor.
Pretending to be benevolent is the bread and butter of totalitarianism, “I’m just trying to help you people” is the standard underpinning for all these types of arbitrary dictates. But no matter how much the Kommissar cloaks himself garb of the savior, his garment can’t hide the complete bullshit he is dealing. The bottom line is Goodell has put himself in the business of making up rules as he needs them, then applying them retroactively, all in the name of “compettitive balance.”
It doesn’t require the FBI crime lab to expose this as the crapola it is.
It’s Kommissar Goodell disguising himself as the God of all things football. He’s got a league full of owners willing to go along with a scheme designed to drive revenue sharing and guaranteed profits every single year. It would have worked had Snyder and Jones stood still for it.
It’s collusion disguised as “competitive balance.” One owner defended the penalties by saying Snyder and Jones “…was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap….” Not to belabor the point again, but there was no salary cap. In order to violate a salary cap in 2010, there would have had to have been a de facto cap which had been agreed to by the owners and kept secret from the players.
It’s socialism disguised as capitalism. Don’t forget that “revenue sharing” means the Snyders and the Jones of the world get to pay the frieght for franchises that don’t make any money…”here, Bill Bidwill, have $10 million dollars of Robert Kraft’s money.” Don’t forget this all started with the Kommissar arbitrarily deciding to redistribute $46 million of salary cap room for the sake of “balance.”
There’s another aspect to this as well. For a moment, forget about “competitive balance” and “competitive advantage.” Forget about collusion. Part of this is about getting even. Snyder and Jones didn’t go along with the plan, and now you’ve got 30 other owners pissed off at them for being double-crossed. You have Kommissar Goodell pissed off because Snyder and Jones both essentially told him to go piss up a rope. I’d bet even the NFLPA would love to get a piece of these two, but they are too impotent to wage a battle with anybody.
Under the Kommissar, the NFL has become a world where the league thinks screwing with two of the richest, most powerful, and most visible owners is a good idea. The Kommissar has deluded himself into believing he can continue to get away with strong-arming guys like Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones with hollow, barely-enforceable crap like “I don’t like the way you do business and you didn’t do what I told you,” then conjure retroactive punishments which have absolutely no legal basis, then literally daring them to do anything about it.
Ultimately, this will be his downfall.
Kommissar Goodell is ruling by dictate, and is keeping his power through sheer bullying. Ruling through fear and intimidation only works for a while. There’s already a player willing to drag him into open court. Now the NFLPA is leveling the collusion charge in open court. Eventually, there will be an owner who will wrap the Kommissar in legal documents as well. Snyder and Jones filed an appeal of the salary cap penalties; the dispute went to an independent arbitrator. However, this arbitrator upheld the penalties handed down by the Kommissar largely on the principle Snyder and Jones were appealing a ruling that the NFL and NFLPA had both agreed upon.
This arbitrator’s decision almost certainly guarantees the future of the NFL will be decided in a courtroom. First of all, now every owner knows that if they have a beef with the Kommissar, they will need to go into 0pen court because it will only be in court where the fraudulent nature of Goodell’s regime can be exposed. The arbitrator even said that himself. In his ruling, arbitrator Stephen Burbank noted “this is arbitration, not litigation” and the the the appeal filed by Snyder and Jones “assumes power in the System Arbitrator that does not exist.” If that doesn’t ensure an owner will at some point sue the league, this quote from Burbank defines the final nail in the litigation coffin.
“…if the Clubs are dissatisfied with the representation of their multi-employer association, they retain whatever remedies against the association under contract and agency law.”
That’s legalese for “if you don’t like my decision, sue.” In other words, Snyder and Jones and Redskins easily could sue the NFL.
They can’t, because in order to challenge Kommissar Goodell’s edict on the salary cap reductions, at some point in open court, the dirty little secret about the aforementioned “gentlemen’s agreement” is going to come out. There’s is far too much at stake to hand the NFLPA a “smoking gun” potentially worth $4 billion.
They can’t because because the scrutiny which would come with a federal lawsuit brought by two of the league’s highest profile franchises could change the league’s power structure forever, if for no other reason that the current 10-year collective bargaining agreement for which so much blood was spilled could get chucked if the NFLPA can prove it’s claim of collusion, which means the players can petition to have the CBA nullified since it was negotiated in bad faith. The trouble is that successfully proving a collusion claim necessitates actual evidence, rather than merely allegation or inference. If Snyder of Jones sued over the salary cap punishments, then every e-mail, memo, voice-mail, video, or whatever documentation entered into evidence in such a proceeding, even the court transcripts themselves become available as evidence for the NFLPA’s suit. It would also introduce potentially incriminating statements of witnesses.
Kiss that “10 years of labor peace” goodbye.
The likelihood the NFL’s destiny will be ejudicated is only increased by the fact that this decision garrisons the Kommissar’s belief that his rule is absolute. Given the problems simmering in the league, and given the Kommissar’s belief that his power in the NFL is limitless, there’s only one way this can end. Jones and Snyder can’t sue the NFL, but someday, some owner will.
And that could be what finally brings down Kommissar Goodell and the NFL’s Berlin Wall.
This is only the start of why the NFLPA’s suit is so dangerous for the NFL and Kommissar Goodell. I think that for NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, this is personal. Not only did Goodell and the league spend the summer of 2011 bending over Smith and the player’s union prison-style, but thanks to Yahoo! Sports we know that at the very end of the CBA negotiations, Kommissar Goodell and 30 NFL owners put a gun to Smith’s head by adding a provision to the CBA which forced the NFLPA to agree to the salary cap penalties for the Cowboys and Redskins. The gun came in the form of good, old-fashioned blackmail; if the NFLPA didn’t agree to the punishment of the Cowboys and Redskins, the other 30 owners would lower the salary cap across the entire league.
Getting the agreement of NFLPA was crucial, because this has been Kommissar Goodell’s vindication, if not justification, for the league’s bullying. One can argue that preventing a salary cap reduction is just the act of a union looking out for the best interests of its members, but it did so at the expense of its own members. The union didn’t seem to care about all the players cut from those seven teams that cut payroll in 2010.
That brings us full-circle. Like I said at the beginning, it matters little whether you are an owner, a former player, a current player, or even the Kommissar. Everybody’s interest is now money, which is why the future of the NFL is a likely to play out in court than on the field.
It is very possible that the Goodell regime will not be remembered for the era of continually rising profits, but rather for how it ends. The longer he stays in power, and the longer he is successful in his totalitarian tactics as NFL Kommissar, the more arrogant this his regime will become, and the more likely the regime will meet an unseemly end. It’ll be a black day for everyone when eventually the league ends up in court for some arbitrary dictate Goodell inflicted. Ultimately, the day will come when a judge (not some arbitrator) will get a close look at what Goodell has been doing, and somebody will get a big-time settlement.
The first successful settlement has every opportunity to start a cascade effect, meaning there could be a wave of people looking to get their piece of the Kommissar. This will only mean more investigations, with more and more sordid details of the activities of the Goodell regime being exposed for all to see. This will all hit “critical mass” the day some politician realizes that a league which has a long record of lawsuits and is full of publicly-funded, multi-hundred million dollar stadia certainly looks worthy of a series of high-profile congressional hearings like the kind that did such great things for baseball.
I hope I’m wrong about this. I really hope I’m not watching Roger Goodell starting the beginning of the end of the NFL as we know it. While the NFL is incredibly popular now, there are some seriously ominous clouds on the horizon, and it is Goodell’s totalitarian style which is bring the heavy weather. Someday soon, I’m afraid that everyone associated with the professional football in America will suffer because it is being run as if it were a Soviet republic.
1) This Year, the Entire BCS Argument is Moot
Name a team outside of the SEC that can beat Alabama, LSU, or Arkansas…I’m waiting…
2) We Sort Of Forgot About Miami
I think we all know why the scandal that gripped Hurricane football dropped off our collective radars. But now,for some reason, the University of Miami has decided to at least give the appearance of trying to do the right thing.
Despite qualifying with Saturday’s win over South Florida, Miami has made the decision to remove themselves from bowl consideration this season in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry into the Nevin Shapiro allegations. The school has informed both the NCAA and the ACC of its decision.
“We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University. The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties. “
Athletic Director Shawin Eichorst and head coach Al Golden addressed the decision briefly in a teleconference on Sunday afternoon. Eichorst informed Golden of the school’s decision early Sunday afternoon, and further meetings with the coaches and players followed.
Naturally, the fact that they were headed for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl had absolutely nothing to do with this decision.
3) Teams we can start the “Death Watch” on right now
San Diego Chargers
It’s not just the five straight losses, its they way they’ve lost them. They have no offensive line. They are without Malcolm Floyd and Shawn Phillips. They rely entire too much on Philip Rivers since they have a marginal running game, and there is the matter of the Human Handicap, otherwise known as Norv Turner. Turner could screw up a grilled cheese sandwich, and the Chargers will never win as long as he is on their sideline.
Like the Chargers, it’s not just the six straight losses, it’s the way they’ve lost them. Nobody defines “inconsistent quarterback” play like the Redskins; they got the “good” Rex Grossman against the Cowboys and still lost. In fact, despite the sideline weakness present in Mike “I never won shit without a guy named Elway” Shanahan, you really can’t fault the offense. While the Redskins defensive line has proven to be improved and often more physical than the offensive lines they’ve faced, the back seven gives up far too much on pass plays.
New York Jets
It’s official…I’m off the Mark Sanchez band-wagon. This guy sucks swamp-water. This guy saves his job once every six games or so. This guy has to go.
Look at the pattern. When the Jets were on a three-game skid last month, Sanchez led them to a win over then-winless Miami. This is just like 2009, when the Jets came back from a 4-6 record to make the playoffs at 9-7.
Now, Jets fans are stuck hoping history repeats itself again. This time, the Jets are 5-5 after dropping their and a suddenly-remembers-they-are-supposed-t0-be-lousy Buffalo team is coming to town. But none of that accounts for the dirty Sanchez secret.
Sanchez has chucked pick-sixes in each of the last two games. He’s tossed three total this season. He also has lost two fumbles that were returned for touchdowns and had an interception returned to the 1 by Dallas on opening night, and the Cowboys scored a touchdown two plays later. That’s 42 points the Jets have allowed, almost all because of Sanchez.
To be fair, the Jets offensive line isn’t helping matters. They’ve reverted to their early-season ineptitude. They allowed four sacks on opening night 11 in the first four games. Sanchez has been dropped eight times in the last two games.
4) Teams I Want To Like, But…
The Bears are the photo negative of the Chargers. The Bears have won five straight. They don’t win pretty and they depend on the running game. But when do they get Jay Cutler back?
The Bears’ Achilles’ heel on defense is the deep pass. If you can set it up, you can you can hurt the Bears on deep passes, something that will be a test for them when they play Oakland this week. But after that, the Bears get Kansas City, Denver and Seattle. In fact, after Oakland, they won’t face a team with a passing game to speak of until week 16 with the Packers.
Carson Palmer and Michael Bush might just be what the Raiders needed. Palmer has yet to be dominant, but he is efficient, doesn’t make mistakes, and gives the Raiders the ability to move the ball against anybody. Michael Bush can be flat out dominant with his bruising running style. Plus, all they have to do to make the playoffs is win the AFC West. But can they do it? They’ve already lost to the Broncos once.
5) …And in what promises to be an on-going saga…
That whole bit about the Raiders brings us to the ever-present Tim Tebow story. His heroics against the Jets only serve as another chapter in what I fear may be a story that won’t be ending for a while. You can say all you wan’t about how he is a “terrible” quarterback…don’t look now, but this guy is winning games, and with every win, he gets more fans. If Tebow isn’t careful, he’s going to be one of the biggest stars in the league because his appeal transcends football. Watch it it happen if the Broncos make the play-offs.
Don’t scoff at that thought. Like I said about the Raiders, all that is required to do it is to win the AFC West, and the Tebow-led Broncos have already bested the Raiders. The Broncos would be in the “Teams I want to like, but…” category, but my “but” on the Broncos is more of a belief question. Do I believe that Tebow’s winning ways are due to him, or due to the fact nobody in the NFL has seen an option offense in 40 years?
Several important football lessons were learned this weekend, both in the college ranks and in the NFL. So, without wasting time on a clever introduction, let’s just cut to the important stuff…
1) What Do Cam Newton and Notre Dame have in common?
To be blunt, they are both now officially over-rated. The Irish are getting all sorts of love for beating a Michigan State team that couldn’t stop shooting itself in the face, and Newton hung up another 400+ yard passing performance against a team that couldn’t put pass-rush pressure on him. The fun part is they are both over-rated for the same reason…they both committed three turnovers, which is NEVER acceptable. In the case of Notre Dame, the only reason they won is because Michigan State did a better job of beating themselves than the Irish did. When it comes to Newton, passing yard totals are nice, but one touchdown to three picks isn’t going to fly in this league…ever. A nice start for getting off the over-rated list would be for Notre Dame to beat a real team away from the shadow of “Surrender Jesus,” and for the Cam-shaft to win a ballgame, period.
2) The Early Leaders in Terrible
The Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and the Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs and the Colts just flat-out have no hope, and the Vikings found a way to blow a double-digit lead late. These three teams may not win 10 games combined.
As far as the NCAA is concerned, it was hard not to notice how overmatched Ohio State looked against Miami. For that matter, it was hard not to notice that most of the Big Twelevten looked generally shitty. There’s the aforementioned Michigan State debacle. Then there’s the Penn State offense, which looks like eleven shock-therapy patients whacked out on Goofenthal. The only Big Ten team which didn’t look lousy against real competition was Iowa, and that was only in the fourth quarter.
3) The Redskins are STILL not as good as they look
And that goes for the Bills and the Lions as well. There are teams with a 2-0 mark after two weeks; the Patriots, the Packers, the Jets, the Texans, the Bills, the Lions, and the Redskins. There’s no way all of those last three are making the playoffs. However, I’ve got to give credit to Mike Shanahan for one thing…even though Rex Grossman still sucks, he sucks less than Donovan McNabb.
4) Bronco fans are retarded
Check out the mindset behind this billboard.
“We believe in Coach Fox. We’re just tired of Kyle Orton. We were sitting around after Fox said he didn’t hear the chants for (Tim) Tebow and we figured if he’s deaf, we hope he’s not blind.”
It’s crap like this that makes me think Denver doesn’t deserve an NFL team. First of all, the Broncos have been mediocre at best for close to fifteen years. The last few years have been a long, slow descent into suckitude, and there’s no way Tim Tebow changes that.
If you don’t believe that, look at it this way. If you say you believe in John Fox, then it is time for you to remember he has coached a team in the Super Bowl far more recently than the Broncos have been there, and Fox damn near beat the Patriots with a hump like Jake Delhomme as his quarterback. That means John Fox has forgotten more than you will ever know about what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL, Mr. Bronco Fan.
That also means if you believe in John Fox, then you would also believe that he’s correct in saying Orton is the better starting quarterback than Tebow. Instead, you are out putting up billboards showing off your idiocy.
If you hadn’t noticed, Tebow isn’t even qualified to handle the clipboard. Remember, John Fox knows more than you, and John Fox’s number two man isn’t Tebow…it’s Brady Quinn. Let that sink in for a moment; a guy who knows waaaaaay more than you about quarterbacks thinks even BRADY FREAKING QUINN rates better on the depth chart than Tebow. So, where’s the “Start Brady Quinn” billboard?
Pull your heads out of your collective asses and understand something about Orton. He has a winning record as a starting quarterback despite the fact he’s played for Lovie Smith and Josh McDaniels, two coaches who have combined for exactly two winning season since 2006, and Orton was the starting quarterback in BOTH of them. He has a record of 22-10 as a starter at home; he DOESN’T suck.
Tebow is your future for a host of reasons, not the least of which is this guarantees Orton leaves town as a free-agent, and no other decent quarterback will sign on to be the guy you boo in favor of Timmy Rah-Rah. But the future isn’t now, and you need to come to terms with that. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Kyle Orton is not, repeat IS NOT the reason the Broncos suck.
5) Tony Romo showed some balls
I can’t believe I’m defending Tony Romo in two consecutive weeks, but all the people who piled on him last week now have to give credit where it is due. Leading a comeback in overtime after suffering a cracked rib counters everything that was said about Romo last week; namely he’s soft and he chokes in big-game moments. Granted, he needs to pull moments like yesterday more often, but he can only do it one Sunday at a time.
Without a bunch of fluff, it’s time to look at some things that happened last week that you won’t see again this week. In other words, let’s not go overboard on some things:
1) The Redskins are not as good as they looked, and the Giants aren’t as bad as they looked (but not by much). It’s hard to get a good read on the true state of the Giants defense without Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyora, not to mention the rest of the injuries the G-men have suffered. However, the offensive line couldn’t stop a conga line, which means Eli Manning could end up in a body cast just like his brother. Don’t swallow the hype, Rex Grossman isn’t the second coming of John Elway, no matter how delusional Mike Shanahan is.
2) Before we anoint Cam Newton as the greatest player in the history of ever, can I at least see him look like an NFL quarterback against an NFL defense? The Cardinals don’t count. They didn’t even bother pressuring Newton until the second half, and when they did, they decided not covering Steve Smith was a good idea. Who wants to take a bet that this season Cam Newton and Steve Smith don’t come anywhere near the numbers they posted last week?
3) Tim Tebow. Bronco fans need to quit bitching; Kyle Orton is not, repeat IS NOT the reason your team sucks. Until Orton plays defense, stop busting his balls.
4) Tony Romo won’t pull another choke job. As much as Romo has a reputation for being a choker, it’s Jerry Jones who can’t get Romo’s jock out of his throat. For some reason, Jones sees Troy Aikman when he looks at Romo. But to be fair, Aikman had a far better set of playmakers around him. Romo’s had the same pressure, and a hodge-podge, B+ at best supporting cast. Don’t get me wrong, Romo is still a mediocre at-best quarterback, but there are still a lot worse options out there. What do you think the Cowboy offense might look like with Donovan “39 passing yards” McNabb at the helm?
5) The Steelers won’t commit seven turnovers again. However, their performance last week begs a question: When did the Steelers get old? According to all the NFL punditry, they weren’t old in August, but they are old now? Did they age twenty years in the last three weeks?
Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.
Lately, all the attention for bad ownership has been focused on that shithead who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and the horse-thief who owns the New York Mets. But the fires created by these two douche-nozzles are sucking the oxygen out of a room full of bad owners; these are guys who really should not be slipping under anybody’s radar.
There’s really three main types of owners who are bad for sports. There’s the “only in it for the money” guy, there’s the “I’m the owner so I know everything about this sport” guy, and there’s the “Incompetent and/or Insane” guy. Peruse the following list and remember, some owners may represent more than one type.
15) Jeremy Jacobs, Boston Bruins
This pick may be hard to understand considering the Bruins just won the Stanley Cup, and a great deal of you don’t give a rat’s ass about hockey. However, that recent victory still doesn’t hide the fact that for most of his nearly 40 years of ownership, the Bruins have had one of the lowest payrolls in the league despite the fact Boston is a Top 10 market. This would be like buying the best strip club in town and filling it with chicks who look like Tim Tebow.
It also helps to remember that before 2009, the Bruins went for a decade without winning a playoff series, largely because even when Jacobs had stars like Ray Bourque or Cam Neely, he never put enough of a supporting cast around them to make the team a winner. In other words, Jacobs is the first on this list of what will prove to be a long line of cheapskate assholes.
14) Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Fucking Jones…where do we start? The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and we’ve all had that “America’s Team” bullshit rammed so far down our throats that little brown drops of it land in our shorts every time we sneeze.
We are convinced that at least half of all currently worshipped deities hate the Cowboys because the Gods keep fucking with them. You know they were sitting around in some big “God” club drinking whatever “God” type dudes drink laughing their collective “God” asses off when Tony Romo fumble-dicked that extra point hold against the Seahawks a few years back. The best part was that was a year where the NFC was weaker than no-alcohol beer as hell and the Cowboys were flying down the E-Z Pass lane toward the Super Bowl until Romo slammed the bus into the toll booth.
Even though they have tons of moments like that in their history, nobody ever seems to remember the Cowboys haven’t won shit in 15 years. That’s pretty much Jerry’s fault. Nobody ever seems to remember Jones has a long track record of making some of the stupidest decisions (Dave Campo, Chan Gailey, and Wade Phillips for openers…) because he IS the front office. Nobody ever seems to remember Jones is a megalomaniac who has a thirst for power rivaled only by Kim Kardashian’s thirst for B-grade jock spooge.
That amnesia on Jerry Jones completely escapes me since sports fans hate him more than groin kicks and flat beer combined. He’s the perfect guy for blue-collar America to hate because blue-collar America loves to blame all its problems on big money businessman, especially if they are obnoxious Texans who own sports teams. Its like he’s a drunker, louder version of George W. Bush.
Bush gets blamed for everything from male pattern baldness to the terribly high lesbian ratio in the LPGA, yet Jones gets a free pass for screwing up the Super Bowl by selling tickets to seats that were not usable. Plus, it’s a nuclear-powered level of hilarious that he worked his spotted, flabby ass off to get the Super Bowl in his very own building only to watch his team leave their season floating in the locker room shitter. Hey, if they’re America’s Team, and America loves to hate, l then we’re just being patriotic.
13) Charles Wang, New York Islanders
It’s time to play a little game-show we like to call “Stereotype.” You would think that an Asian guy who got rich building his own computer company would be good at math, right? Sorry, but if you were to assume that about Wang, you would be hearing a loud buzzer right about now and finding out about our lovely consolation prizes.
It takes a special kind of idiot to buy a sports franchise in an era of explosive growth and actually find a way to lower the value of the franchise, and Wang is that special kind of idiot. Wang bought the Islanders in 2000, and since has found a way to wang himself out of millions through some seriously stupid decisions.
First, the fact he employed Mike Milbury speaks for itself. His nickname “Mad Mike” doesn’t really lend creedence to what a terrible general manager he was; were he in the NFL, he would have made Matt Millen look like a fucking genius. Hockey fans remember monstrous Milbury moves like inking an underachieving Alexei Yashin to a 10-year, $87.5 million deal, trading away star goaltender Roberto Luongo for a case of urinal cakes, and taking Rick DiPietro with the first pick in the 2000 NHL entry draft ahead of future stars Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik. To top it all off, it was Milbury’s idea to sign DiPietro to a franchise-risking 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension which at the time it was signed was the biggest sports contract in history.
Sadder still is the fact the atrocities committed by Milbury with Wang’s blessing aren’t even the worst. My favorite Wang jerk-off move happens to be when he hired Neil Smith as general manager in 2006, only to fire him 40 days later and replace him with the backup goalie.
Things have gone so bad there is talk of this franchise leaving New York for Kansas Fucking City. Seriously, what could Kansas City offer over New York? More corn? Fatter chicks? A night life as exciting as spending an evening with your face buried in George Brett’s ass crack?
Not to mention, the NHL already failed in Kansas City. To find the old “Kansas City Scouts,” you have to look under “New Jersey Devils.”
12) Peter Angelos, Baltimore Orioles
Peter Angelos is Greek, and according to the Urban Dictionary, “greek” is a euphemism for anal sex. This is fitting, because nobody has butt-fucked Baltimore baseball more than Angelos has.
Before Angelos, the O’s were one of the most storied franchises in baseball; they had been to the World Series six times in the 25 years prior to Angelos. The O’s won three World Series Championships in that time. Now in the nearly two decades of Angelos’ ownership, the Orioles have made only two post-season appearances.
The contract that exemplifies Angelos’ extreme dumb-assery was the deal he inked with Albert Belle. This gargantuan bank-buster made Belle the highest paid player in baseball. Despite the fact Belle’s career would be in the shitter two years later, due to the terms of the contract he had to remain on the Orioles’ roster for the final three years of the deal.
But the biggest “peter” Angelos has wedged into the collective anus of Balitmorians everywhere is the fact there are a ton of Hall-of-Famers who have no role within the Orioles’ organization simply because Angelos’ values his pride more than his franchise.
First off, I stand by the story. Every single word.
Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. have taken turns denying parts of my report from last Friday, the gist of which was that Angelos recently declined to hire Ripken to help his wonderful team.Both declined opportunities to comment before I went with the story, and that’s fine.
Both dispute that Angelos told Ripken he didn’t want Ripken to receive credit once the team returned to prominence — a detail confirmed by three sources — and that’s fine, too. But now that both are in such talking moods, I have a few more questions, mostly for Angelos.
- Why isn’t Ripken already working for the Orioles?
- Why isn’t Brooks Robinson involved with the team?
- Why isn’t Frank Robinson?
- Why is a franchise with such a glorious history not taking better advantage of someof the greatest natural resources the game has to offer?
Funny, I don’t think it’s because the Orioles have all the answers.
A number of former Orioles — including Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray —serve the club as paid broadcasters, but the O’s need to draw from their tradition inways that go beyond Boog Powell cooking ribs on Eutaw Street. It’s damning — and a direct reflection on Angelos’ tone-deaf ownership — that Hall ofFamers Ripken, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson are nowhere to be found at Camden Yards.
What else can you say? Angelos is that kind of guy as described by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket – “He’s the kind of person who would fuck somebody in the ass and not even have the common courtesy to give them a reach-around.”
11) Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, Golden State Warriors
Granted, The Warriors have been a doormat of the NBA for two generations now, and granted, they just bought the team from Chris Cohan, a douchebag worthy of this list in his own right because under Cohan, they missed the playoffs every year from 1994 to 2007. That’s the longest drought in NBA history. The single shining moment of non-suckititude came in 2007 when they upset the #1 playoff seed Dallas Mavericks.
Lacob and Guber get on this list for being David Stern’s poster-children in his attempt to cut the balls off the NBA player’s union. Something stinks about the way these two fuckwads got into the ownership ranks. The “sale” was rigged; it included $150 million in league loans to get it done and the league forced multiple small percentage owners to raise the cash for the “sale” after the supposed bid was completed in July 2010. The whole reason these two exist are to be more of Stern’s stormtroopers against the union.
10) William Clay Ford, Detroit Lions
You’ll notice a theme developing here; one of a franchise having success until it was purchased by a hemmorhoid with a big wallet. Picture a time when the Lions weren’t a dingleberry on the anus of the NFL. You’ll have to set the Wayback Machine for the 1950’s, when Lions arguably were the most successful team in the league. They appeared in four NFL Championship Games, winning three.
Then, in 1964 William Clay Ford purchased the Lions and they have not been in a championship game since. In the 47 years Ford has owned the Lions, they have a single playoff win. Even the Bengals and Cardinals have more than that. That’s fucking pathetic.
Right now, the Lions fins themselves digging out of a hole dug by the steam-shovel of suck known as Matt Millen. Lets’ make one thing clear; we don’t have an issue with Millen as a broadcaster. He was simply the prototypical shitty general manager. He took a franchise that was already in the shitter and kept inventing ways to keep shitting on it. By the time he was done, the Lions’ franchise was like the Matterhorn of shit.
Watching Millen manage was like watching a retard masturbate. His eight-year jack-off-to-nowhere spree as head of the franchise led to the worst record in the history of the modern NFL (31-97 / .319), yet it took Ford until a month into the 2008 season to fire his ass. Billboards were actually being erected in Detroit, some which simply said “Fire Millen.” Others had a picture of what the Lions’ Super Bowl ring would have looked like, captioned with “Not this MILLENium.” Not like it mattered, English has been spoken only as third language in Detroit ever since they burned the city to the ground in the 60s.
Plus, the only time people read billboards is when they are on their way to work. Since nobody in Detroit has a goddamn job (because Ford also sucks at running a car company) the only people that noticed were the national media.
9) Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskins
It’s no fucking wonder that a guy who is the chairman of the board and majority owner of a chain of amusement parks would make watching the Redskins a roller-coaster of nausea. Snyder purchased the Redskins in 1999, and since then its been far more down than up on the Redskin roller-coaster.
In fact, there’s been no up; 1999 was the best season the Redskins had since their last Super Bowl win in 1991. It’s no accident 1999 also happens to be the best season they have had during Snyder’s tenure. Snyder loves to spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, but he also gets drunken results. He’s replaced a Pro Bowl quarterback (Brad Johnson) with an aging head case (Jeff George). He pumped a Potomac River of money into a washed-up Bruce Smith and a way past primetime Deion Sanders. He thought Richie Pettibone, Norv Turner, Jim Zorn, and Steve “ol’ Ball Coach” Spurrier were NFL head coaches.
If you have any question as to how football-clueless Snyder is, just look at the last eighteen months. In that period, he signed Donovan McNabb (only to trade him to the Vikings for a ham sandwich, a move made much more hilarious by the fact Snyder is Jewish), made virtually no improvement in quite possibly the most active offseason free agency period in the history of the NFL. Of course, there is no need to improve on a team that in a single game elevated Michael Vick’s status in white America from “degenerate dog killer” to “allowed to doggie-fuck my daughter.”
Now Washington should actually be a good team, not one that needs a minor miracle to beat a shitheap franchise like Detroit. The franchise has a prime location (there’s a lot of money in DC), they have a huge, new stadium, and they have a ton of history. Not even the liberal cry-babys who bitch about everything don’t give a fuck about this team, otherwise you’d be hearing their bitching about that “racist” nickname somewhere other than Rachel Maddow’s penis.
The really messed-up part is that Snyder has done incredibly well with the Redskins from a business standpoint; the Redskins are the second-most valuable franchise in the league. Of course that success doesn’t keep him off this list as he has stooped to such extreme ass-hattery like suing his very own season ticket holders to ensure that the Redskins remain profitable.
8 ) Al Davis, Oakland Raiders
For those of you under 30, you may not believe there was a time when Al Davis wasn’t a batshit crazy Cryptkeeper look-alike and the Raiders were not the laughing stock of the NFL. In an 18-year span during the 70’s and 80’s, the Raiders won 13 division championships, made 15 playoff appearances, and took home three Lombardi trophies. This is the era when the Raiders were the winningest team in all of professional sports, and love him or hate him, Davis was a respected and visionary leader who helped build the AFL into a league so successful the NFL couldn’t beat it so they joined with it.
But somewhere along the line; somewhere right around 1992, it all went wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
Since 1992, the Raiders have had just five winning seasons. Their 2002 Super Bowl crushing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led to a stretch of seven straight season in which the Raiders never won more than 5 games, and they have yet to have a winning season since then.
How can this happen? Simple. Davis is destroying that which he built. You could call it “suicide by head coach and draft pick.”
Rather than list the rash of terrible draft picks the Raiders have made in the last decade, let’s focus on the most telling.
“JaMarcus Russell is a good quarterback” – Al Davis
Davis drafted JaMarcus Russell in 2007, and he got glowing reviews from a lot sports “experts” at the time, despite the fact there were some warning signs he would become “fat and lazy.”
Other NFL scouts literally shattered bones in their haste to jump off the Russell bandwagon once they heard him talk about how much he was going to “relax and eat” after the draft.
Other teams thought it was sheer insanity to pay roughly the gross domestic product of Australia to a completely unproven rookie.
Most other owners would have seen their big-money rookie fatting up like a Christmas goose, especially since that rookie holdout made him miss all of training camp and several weeks of the regular season.
Most other owners would realize that when his big-money rookie has cheeseburgered his way into being JaMarcus the Hutt, that’s nobody but the big-money rookie’s fault.
Most other owners would realize when the head coach says the big-money rookie sucks, he probably sucks.
When Lane Kiffin dared tell Al that JaMarcus Russell was as much an NFL quarterback as Jayne Russell, Al told Kiffin that Russell didn’t suck…he did.
“He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field. That is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team.”
Then he did Kiffin the best favor he possibly could by firing him.
The beauty was that off-season proved to be a delicious one, Russell showed up at camp so fat he exerted his own gravitational pull. He was putting Shake N’ Bake in his Gatorade. When he wasn’t gasping for air or sweating bacon grease, he was showing his “commitment to excellence” by snoozing through team meetings, or just skipping them to go on a bling-gasm in Las Vegas.
Finally, even Al had to see his big-money rookie was just big. Four sets of “back-titties” big. Before being released, rumors were that Russell was well over 300 pounds, far above the 255 he weighed in his prime just 3 years prior. It takes a lot of prime rib to get that far away from your prime in only 3 fucking years.
But the Kiffin thing takes us back to Al’s relationships with his head coaches in the past 20 years.
Al hired Bill Callahan, a head coach who inspired so much trust in his players they accused him of ” sabotaging the season.” To regain their trust, Callahan said the Raiders were “the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game.” We must admit we really don’t understand that motivational technique, but it worked since Callahan was the last coach to post a winning record in Oakland and the last to lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl.
Then it starts to get scary. Let’s look at the lowlights…Al hired Norv Turner as coach; the Raiders went a combined 9-23 in his two seasons. Al hired Art Shell twice, the first time went OK; the second brought a franchise-worst 2-14 record.
Then, Al hired Lane Kiffin, threatened to fire him on a weekly basis, and when he finally did, it was a great moment in “Crotchety Old Man” history; Al held a press conference during which he put his “Kiffin Bitch List” on an overhead projector! You read that right, it was the dawn of the 21st century, and in the shadow of Silicon Valley, and Al is using the same technology as your Dad’s 5th-grade teacher.
Then, Al hired Tom Cable, a man who most famously broke the jaw of his assistant coach with a sucker punch, then threatened to kill him.
The thing all of us can see that Al can’t is the Raiders have massive trust issues. Al doesn’t trust his coaches to make good draft selections, Al’s players don’t trust his coaches, the fans don’t trust Al’s “commitment to excellence” enough to purchase season tickets, and even those of us who don’t give a fuck about the Raiders don’t trust their franchise not to suck.
What this all comes down to is Al Davis is old and he’s lost it. Nobody like hearing that because it reminds us all our time is coming; it’s disturbing to know someday we will all no longer be able to control when we do and do not shit ourselves. Most people who are lucky enough to live that long don’t run their own professional sports team. Even though Al Davis is now the kind of boss that walks into your office and gives you the choice of lancing a boil on his back or letting him drop his band-aid into your coffee (and you MUST drink it), he’s still just an old man who needs to retire so we don’t have to keep watching him shit his pants.
7) Tom Ricketts, Chicago Cubs
Tom Ricketts is the CEO of of Incapital LLC, a Chicago, an investment bank that packages corporate bonds for retail investors. He’s also the son of the guy who founded Ameritrade, so if you the typical blue-collar American who gets off on o hating people who are born into money, this is a good place to start.
The Cubs suffer from a lack of real direction, and this is partially Ricketts’ fault. He took over the Cubs in the beginning of 2009, inheriting the Alfonso Soriano contract, which might be considered a good deal if the entire planet’s economy ran off of how much money we could all light on fire all at once. Since then, the Cubs have grown one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and have one of the worst records. They’re in a market that is extremely critical of all of their sports teams, and radio is brutal even when your winning. Just ask the last season’s Chicago Bears.
Since Meehan is a regular guest on a Chicago Cubs internet radio (insert shameless plug for ivyenvy.com here) you might expect him to have more of an opinion on Ricketts. But the truth is, unless the Cubs go on a five game winning streak, the guy’s a fucking ghost. (Editor’s note: The Cubs didn’t win five in a row this season until last week.) To be quite honest with you, if Meehan’s producer hadn’t attended a press conference with Ricketts a few weeks back http://ivyenvy.com/?p=6034, he might fall into that same level of “does he exist” along with Sasquatch and Oprah Winfrey’s heterosexuality.
Let’s just put it this way, Ricketts and his family believed in 2009 the Cubs were worth 900 million dollars with a relic of a stadium that’s falling apart and countless personnel and financial issues, and he hasn’t done much to change it.
6) Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
Sometimes taking over the family business isn’t as easy as it looks. But when you get handed the keys to an organization built by a legend and you fuck it up beyond belief…that’s how you end up one of the most hated owners in sports.
Welcome to the world of Mike Brown. When the legendary Paul Brown passed away in 1991, Mike Brown assumed control of the Bengals. Since then, the Bengals’ record is a cesspool-worthy 124-211-1, with a single playoff appearance.
If the cavalcade of losing wasn’t enough to make fans want to piss in his hollowed-out skull, Brown continues to give the Bengal faithful all the reason they would need to want to drag his lifeless corpse around Paul Brown Stadium.
For some reason ESPN has continued to report on the Cincinnati Bengals situation. For the longest time, it was a complete fucking mystery why the World Wide Leader gives a tire-squished shit about the Queen City Kitties. But we finally figured it out.
ESPN is betting on curiosity…curiosity as to what will finally kill the Cats’ owner.
Will it be his ability to pinch a penny so hard he can make Abe Lincoln fart? Brown is notorious as cheapskate asshole. The Bungles have the most understaffed scouting departments in the league and he simply does not spend money on free-agents.
Perhaps, it will be his colossal stubborn streak. If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past, it’s that Mike Brown is one of the most stubborn owners in professional sports, and that also makes him exceptionally stupid. He steadfastly refuses to hire a general manager, which may explain this team’s terrible record.
He refused to grant Carson Palmer a trade, thus forcing Palmer to call Brown’s bluff and retire, thus forcing Brown to eat his value and not reap any of the benefits of such a trade. Granted, Palmer is also a total dick; he made it no secret that he thought Ohio sports fans were weak and simple since Day One. But when you consider all of the bullshit he had to put up with during his tenure with the Bengals, one can clearly see Brown is a dick of a higher order.
Not to mention Brown was the one who kept letting Chad Johnson act like a jackass, all the while believing that Chris Henry was going to turn his life around only to see him die by falling out of the back of a truck.
These issues are just the tip of the Brown-hating iceberg. Anyway you slice it, Bengals’ fans strive to ensure Brown knows they hate him, ranging from boycotts to erecting billboards to an anti-Brown website, fans in the Queen City have been nothing short of creative in their efforts.
What it comes down to is that Brown isn’t really a big dick; he’s actually a tiny, little dick who can’t get out from under the shadow of Daddy. Brown has been for years trying to prove to the sports media and the fans that on his watch the Bengals won’t take any shit from anybody and that you’d better do what he tells you if you know what’s good for you.
Typical pathetic little raisin-sac bullshit.
But in the end, it’s obvious nobody thinks Brown matters so nobody pays any attention to his false pride largely because nobody gave a fuck to begin with. After all, if you know you can’t finish higher than 3rd in your division for the next decade, then what the fuck difference does your pride make?
5) David Glass, Kansas City Royals
Glass may have been a great business executive, but he’s a shitty owner. In ten seasons as owner of the Royals, his team has finished and in that time – they have finished with a record above .500 just once, have lost 100 games or more four times, and have averaged nearly 95 losses for every season of the Glass regime.
Prior to his purchase of the Royals, Glass was the CEO of Wal-Mart. This is where he earned the reputation as one of the nation’s premier executives. In business, the Glass model was rather successful; reasonable products at dirt-cheap prices. That’s the same approach Glass has used with the Royals, and while the team’s revenue has increased every year, on the field performance and the player salaries have not.
This makes Glass the perfect representative of the parasitic effect silly things like “luxury taxes” in baseball have. They actually make it possible to be profitable and terrible at the same time, which is a cancer on the world of sport, not just baseball.
4) Jeffrey Loria, Florida Marlins
Very few people have shown the ability to drive a franchise over the brink, and this turdpipe has done it twice. Of course, what should we expect from a guy who made his money as an “art dealer?” I bet it isn’t even “real” art, I bet it is that “Elvis on black velvet” crap you see being sold at abandoned gas stations hanging on a chain-link fence.
There’s no coincidence in the fact that he owned two teams long rumored to be on the contraction block. His refusal to put any money in the Montreal Expos guaranteed their sale to MLB so they could be reborn as the Nationals and so he could buy the Marlins. His dismal leadership immediately placed the Marlins in a “build a new stadium or face the consequences” dilemma; and Miami knuckled under…the new ball park opens next season.
3) Bill Bidwill, Arizona Cardinals
The Bidwill family has owned the Cardinals for close to 50 years. In that time, have one exactly four playoff games. Three of those came a few years back when the Cards made that miracle run to the Super Bowl. Just the fact he is holding an NFC Championship trophy is proof a blind squirrel can occasional find a nut.
A common comparison is that the Cardinals are the Clippers of the NFL; it would be more accurate to say the Clippers who are the Cardinals of the NBA. The Cards have been the model were the model of dysfunctionality in the sports when the Clippers franchise were still the Buffalo Braves. The comparison stems largely from the fact these are both franchises that have had to move twice because of horrid ownership decisions.
2) James Dolan, New York Knicks and New York Rangers
James Dolan’s reign as the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers has been an exercise in following the Steinbrenner model with the Yankees of the 80s; money does not cure bad decisions. Since 1999 when Dolan took control of both franchises, fans of both teams would be well within their rights to join the paper bag squad.
Dolan has pumped a river of money into the Rangers; they have the highest average salary in the NHL, yet they have only made the playoffs four times and have not once been past the semifinals. There’s a school of thought which believes the blame should fall on general manager Glen Sather, but the people who think that rode to that school on the short bus.
First of all, Dolan refuses to fire Sather despite his blatant incompetence. Second of all, Sather doesn’t control the Knicks, who have exactly the same problems, which makes Dolan the common thread. Dolan has overseen the Knicks through nearly a decade full of seasons of fewer than 40 wins, to go along with just two playoff appearance, despite having one of the top payrolls in the NBA.
Then’s there whole Isiah Thomas fiasco. Insert your own rant on that mess here.
1) Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers
Sterling is possibly the best example of a guy being both a genius businessman and a complete shit-stain in the Fruit of the Looms of the sports world. There’s so many ways to look at the sporting idiocy that is Donald Sterling. There’s the numbers:
- 31 – Number of seasons he has owned the Clippers
- 2 – Number of seasons they have finished with a winning record
- .341 – Team winning percentage in those seasons
That is Donald Sterling’s sports resume in nutshell; great for the bankbook, lousy for on-the-court performance. The team has been a joke for over three decades, but Sterling keeps laughing all the way to the bank. Sterling has faithfully followed the model of keeping the payroll at “paying in recyclable cans” levels of cheap to maximize profit while never once giving a damn about the won-loss column. The Clippers have finished in the Draft Lottery so many times they’ve seen more balls than an Ava Devine gang-bang.
I know it won’t come as a shock to read that a miser like Sterling might also be just a bad human being. What kind of guy heckles his own players? We can’t imagine this would be productive under any circumstance, but of all of the sports where this would be a bad idea, basketball would have to be the worst. To top it off, of the all players not to piss off, you might think Baron Davis would be in the top five. For that matter, how sweet would it have been if Rasheed Wallace had ever played for the Clippers? He would have killed Sterling. Just picture ‘Sheed “keeping it real” by yanking Donnie Boy’s bow-tied ass out of his seat and dribbling his head off the scorer’s table for about five minutes.
I’m not sure there is a more telling commentary of Sterling complete level of tone-deafness than this:
It is actually fitting to use Blake Griffin in this ad. He is only half black, and this attempt by Sterling to reach out to the black community was completely half-assed, if for no other reason that Black History Month is in February.
But of all the stories, allegations, accusations and observations, this is my favorite:
“While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me,” Baylor said in the declaration. “During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.’ I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room.”
There you have it, fifteen owners who haven’t been getting the attention they deserve. Like we’ve said, just because the world is fixated on the antics of the Frank McCourts and Fred Wilpons of the world, these guys still need to have the light shone on them; there’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.
-J-Dub and Meehan
The sporting world is full of rivalries which engender so much passion there are clear battle lines drawn between the camps. But what happens to those of us who may feel animus toward both sides? Here’s a list of several such examples that make the collective colon here at Dubsism slam shut like a steel bear trap.
12 ) Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
It is almost impossible to find two teams that exemplify their shit-hole of a city more. Where better to put the two retarded little brothers of baseball who while steeped in history have accounted for one championship in 90 years than in one of the largest cities in the world that matters the least to anybody?
11) LeBron James vs. the City of Cleveland
Sometimes, you really have to wonder if we have completely succeeded in this country in growing a generation of complete morons we’ve put on pedestals. Nobody in the world would have blamed LeBron James for leaving Cleveland; nobody wants to be in Cleveland. It’s little more than a “Mini-Me” to Chicago; a rust-belt, blue-collar city that nobody wants to be in; Cleveland’s population has been dropping steadily for 80 years. All he had to do was not be a douche-bag about it. It really leaves you in a situation where you can’t figure out who is dumber, LeBron for screwing up a move millions of Clevelanders have made themselves or those same Clevelanders for managing collectively to sound like a bitter ex-wife.
10) Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Hate is actually too strong a term for this. The problem is the “Rhett Butler” approach is too weak, but it is closer to accurate. Let’s face it; I don’t really give a damn. I spent big chunks of my childhood in Southern California, which isn’t exactly where you develop strong feelings about Canadian hockey teams, and even though I loved the old-school Los Angeles Kings (seriously, we are talking about the pre-Gretzky Kings with the purple and gold uniforms that clothed an NHL retirement home; the Kings of my childhood featured such past-their-prime legends like Butch Goring and Marcel Dionne), you couldn’t watch the 12-team NHL of the 1970’s without knowing these two teams hated each other. All I cared about in those days is that both of these teams arrived at the L.A. Forum with a boatload of Canadians who weren’t past their prime and put as ass-whipping on the Kings. Even to this day, all I can say is “screw both of them; Canada sucks.”
9) Manchester United vs. Manchester City
For those of you not familiar with the English Premier League, picture this rivalry with the Red Devils of Manchester United as the New York Yankees with Manchester City as the old Brooklyn Dodgers. You perhaps didn’t really like the Dodgers, but they made a perfect underdog foil to those goddamn Yankees. But then the Dodgers went Hollywood, started winning and blew their lovability in the process, much like the Los Angeles Dodgers. 15 years ago, Man City was lovable in their feebleness, but then new ownership pumped that team full of money, and now they are every bit as douche-tastic as their cross-town rivals.
8 ) Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
As a Philadelphia Eagle fan, this one is really a no-brainer. There’s an old saying that culture in an organization comes from the top down, and Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder are a marvelous reflection of that. While we here at Dubsism have postulated that Al Davis makes the Oakland Raiders the “North Korea of the NFL,” Jones and Snyder are both in line to ascend to the NFL’s “Crazy Old Man Owner” throne. Thankfully, their leadership (or lack thereof) has made these two franchises combine for a grand total of three playoff wins in the past 15 years.
7) Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns
The way these two preen over that silly Saturday in October…well, it really is sad to think either of these two believe anybody gives a shit about them or their “make-believe” rivalry. It’s really sad that a couple of goofy-ass schools like Nebraska and Colorado are the ones who figured out the Big 12 is a repository for football nobody cares about.
6) Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
This is much like the “love triangle” situation outline in the 1980 J. Geils’ Band hit “Love Stinks.” The Vikings think the Packers are their main rival, The Packers think the Bears are their main rival, and neither the Packers or the Bears even know who the Vikings are.
5) Arsenal vs. Chelsea
More from the English Premier League, so I will make another baseball reference…Earlier I compared Manchester United to the Yankees. Continuing on this theme, Arsenal would be the Red Sox and Chelsea would be the Mets, only if the Mets didn’t suck. They are two of the biggest clubs in the league, and they can buy pretty much any player they want. Whenever these two get together, it is an exercise in dysfunction that somehow manages to be successful, like a photo negative of the Dallas Cowboys.
4) Auburn vs. Alabama
When these two compete in the annual “Iron Bowl,” they are battling for the bragging right for the entire state of Alabama. This is like two bums fighting over the least piss-stained raincoat at Goodwill. Do you know what the best thing that ever came out of the state of Alabama was? An empty bus. Alabama is just a collection of bimbos whose boyfriends still think Bear Bryant is alive, and Auburn thinks it is a real university.
3) Duke vs. North Carolina
What can we say about Duke that we haven’t said before? No matter their record, no matter their talent, no matter anything, Duke sucks. As much as we have beat on Mike Krzyzewski for being a pompous ass-hat, North Carolina’s Roy Williams is in the same league, and not just figuratively. My favorite was last spring when Williams compared having a losing ACC record to the earthquake in Haiti.
“Our massage therapist told me, ‘You know, coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you’re having is a disappointment,’ ” said Williams. “I told her that depends on what chair you’re sitting in. It does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it is my life.”
I’m not sure what the state of North Carolina did to deserve such a pair of pure, uncut assholes, but better them than the rest of us.
2) Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
The Yankees – Red Sox rivalry is one of the oldest, most famous and fiercest rivalries in North American professional sports. For over 100 years, Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees of the American League have been intense rivals. For nearly as long, fans of both teams have thoroughly annoyed the living shit out of the rest of us.
The rivalry is sometimes so polarizing that it is often a heated subject, like religion or politics, in the Northeastern United States. In fact, since ESPN is also based in the Northeastern US, they believe the Yankees and the Red Sox are the only two teams in Major League Baseball, judging by their broadcast schedule.
1) Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
College football gives us the twelve greatest Saturdays of the year, and it also give us the two greatest evils in sports. Ohio State and Michigan both represent all that is wrong with college football, and every evil that it contains. Recent events have shown that Jim Tressel, a.k.a. Cheatypants McSweatervest is a disingenuous, lying prick, and the Michigan fan base just hasn’t come to terms with the fact they are not an elite program anymore. I can only hope and pray that the NCAA grows the balls to make an example out of Ohio State, but they likely won’t, and I hope it takes Michigan at least three more head coaches before they figure out that “elite” programs don’t get man-handled by Purdue.
I’ll be honest; I don’t really give a shit about the Washington Redskins because, well, let’s be even more honest, there hasn’t been a reason to pay attention to them in close to twenty years. But they have a rabid and devoted fan base and I share something with at least one member of that base; a complete lack of respect for Albert Haynesworth.
Redskin fan and fellow devotee of the “Open Letter” S-Dott has what may be the quintessential doctrine on Haynesworth.
I don’t like you. I don’t like anything about you or who you think you’re supposed to be. I’m not speaking just as a Redskins fan, but just as a man who values principle. You were given an absurd $100 million dollar contract by an idiot owner and have yet to prove that you’re worth a single dollar. In an interview with Bryant Gumbel last year, you waltzed in wearing what Gumbel referred to as “the largest diamond necklace I have ever seen” and yet produced only 4 sacks, only 1 more than heavy-hitter LaRon Landry, and he’s a f*cking safety for crying out loud. You’re livelihood is your athleticism, yet you showed up to camp out of shape and couldn’t pass a f*cking conditioning test that Mike Golic of ESPN proved he could pass without suffering from over-exhaustion. Over-exhaustion from a ninth year pro? Please. That’s just a euphemism for fat-ass-who’s-out-of-shape.
When called out by Mike Shanahan, you cried like the insufferable b*tch you are, and you were put in your place over the course of preseason despite your laughable victimization campaign. In what I hope will a lasting memory in your legacy, there was a moment during the win over Dallas where you were spotted throwing a tantrum on the sideline by separating yourself from the defensive huddle. A camera spotted you, and zoomed in on your face where the entire world could see you were pouting like the selfish, self-obsessed eunuch you are while the real athletes on the team were out proving that the team’s defense didn’t need you.
You’re a washed up has-been asshole that doesn’t deserve a job sacking groceries for old people, and as a die-hard burgundy-to-the-bone Redskins fan, I can honestly say I’d rather get a Dallas star tattooed on my forehead while wearing a Troy Aikman jersey than spend a single penny in any establishment that sells anything with your name on it. You are the worst player I have ever seen play for a DC team and I’d pay double the ticket price if that’s what it took to buy out your contract. The Washington Redskins are a storied franchise that represent a group of professionals that play in a man’s league, which are two characteristics you couldn’t be any further away from possessing. Do the city a favor and pack your bags and take whatever trade you can get, because you aren’t worth the busfare to send your fat ass to the next game.
S-Dott, whoever you are, my hat is off to you and your perfect assessment of this nuclear-powered douche-nozzle.