nfl

IK Enemkpali Breaks Geno Smith's Jaw

No word yet on whether or not the Raiders have picked him up:

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles announced Tuesday that the team’s quarterback, Geno Smith, will be out for “at least” six to 10 weeks after teammate IK Enemkpali “sucker punched” him and broke his jaw. “There was an altercation in the locker room [Tuesday morning],” Bowles said. “It had nothing to do with football. It was something very childish. And he got cold cocked, sucker punched, whatever you want to call it, in the jaw. He has a broken jaw, fractured jaw, requires some surgery.” Bowles added that Enemkpali, a second-year outside linebacker, has been released from the team.

It'll be interesting to see whether or not Enemkpali signs somewhere else or, through collusion, is denied a roster spot in the NFL. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but if this had nothing to do with football, where's the police report? Has Enemkpali been charged with anything?

Somewhere, Peter King is getting ready to write an insider story on how the NFL really doesn't like it when players fight, but the demonstrations of intensity show that guys care and you want tough men to play tough, and show that they care about their positions.

Finally, one decent thing happened today:

the Hall initially decided that his family members would not be allowed to speak for him at the ceremony. Seau died by suicide in 2012, two and a half years after retiring from football. A study of his brain tissue found signs of CTE, and in January 2013 his family sued the NFL, alleging that his suicide was caused by a brain disease developed from years of sustaining hits while playing in the league. A policy had been in place since 2010 disallowing others to speak on behalf of posthumous inductees.

The Hall later reversed course, allowing Sydney to speak. The New York Times reported the late Seau told his family that he wanted Sydney to introduce him should he ever be inducted. Seau did not discuss the circumstances of her father's death.

Even though Sydney Seau let the NFL off the hook and didn't say anything about how Junior Seau killed himself, we cannot forget that this man gave his life to play a game that has a billion dollar fixation on minimizing the impact of concussions on players.

Tom Brady Cheated

What are we talking about here?

The Wells Report on whether or not the New England Patriots "deflated" the footballs used in a regular season game clearly shows that the team cheated. It cheated with the assent of the starting quarterback and it extended down into the franchise.

Via Deadspin:

Jim McNally is Rosencrantz and John Jastremski is Guildenstern and I'm not sure who Brady is because he just doesn't sound moody enough to pull off Hamlet.

The only question now is whether or not the Patriots will face severe fines and suspensions. I know Roger Goodell takes care of Bob Kraft, but how is that going to be possible after this report?

Richie Incognito is the Face of the Buffalo Bills Now


This is not how you want your tenure as a head coach to start--with a Richie Incognito issue.

I don't know what Rex Ryan thinks he's going to get out of a player who has uniformly been considered a detriment to good order and discipline. You might get a renewed level of effort out of him, but you'll never get him to buy in and contribute in a positive way. The NFL has failed to deal with poor player conduct and now Incognito is the face of the Bills.

How much do you want to bet that they will cut him in August?

Everybody Hates to Waste a Draft Pick


Johnny Manziel is making a laughingstock out of the Cleveland Browns franchise. There are some players who have dumped on him and some that are cautiously optimistic that he'll be able to solve his issues and be the quarterback next year.

Manziel's drinking and alleged drug abuse are the equal of Tim Tebow's Christian beliefs? Should we expect them to get a reality show together and talk about what they've learned because the NFL doesn't think they have what it takes to win football games?

It's all a sickening mess.

The Biggest Choke Ever


Today was a "win" for the New England Patriots.

However, the Seattle Seahawks lost today's game with the worst decision possible--they turned over the ball on an interception on the one yard line without handing the ball to the most powerful running back in the NFL.

Seattle threw this game. There are gamblers right now screaming hell back down into their souls over this call. Someone, not me, is convinced there was a fix in on this game. Holy hell.

Tom Brady was once drafted as a catcher for the Montreal Expos. He chose football instead. Today, he became the greatest quarterback in NFL history. When he retires, which I suspect won't happen for another couple of years, he will pass Manning and Favre's records and walk away from the game with all the marbles.

The Mainstreaming of Problems in the NFL


This is the way it starts.

When they are discussing your major and minor controversies on entertainment shows, you're in trouble. And this year, the NFL borrowed more trouble than it knows what to do with.

It's not enough to name bullshit committees and dump a little money on research and give out pithy payouts. It's not enough to run a few Public Service Announcements. It might not be enough to simply break a player and drive them out of the league.

Marshawn Lynch is the number one problem in the NFL right now, if you're an owner trying to control the labor pool. Lynch is the one thing that the NFL won't tolerate, and that's a star who defies the League's inviolate rules on maximizing revenue streams and exposing the players to good publicity. So, of course they're going to do whatever they can to make him worse than Hitler and eliminate his defiant pronouncements from the public consciousness.

The problem is, Lynch is not being unreasonable enough and the popular culture has latched on to the excessive zeal that the NFL has used to break the man. This is the unexpected outcome that exposes the NFL for not only being unfair and ridiculous but overly punitive as well. The NFL is an owner's league and operates as if the rise of powerful stars is anathema to the business model. Stars are fine, so long as they do nothing to impact revenue streams.

I just can't figure out what Marshawn Lynch's refusal to mouth cliches is doing to hurt the league. If anything, congratulate him on being thoughtful enough to hold back, right? No, the NFL can't do that. Lynch is breaking through to the fans by refusing to play along with the need for sports writers to fill their columns and their wire stories with what amounts to little more than moral lessons and conformity. Lynch, being a Millennial, sees through the phony world of sports writers and their magnification of inane details (those gold shoes are a distraction! you can't be a cancer in the locker room! we have to establish the running game!) and he represents a modern threat to the outdated morals of the game.

Deflated Balls in New England


Oh, come on:
WTHR's Bob Kravitz is reporting the NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots illegally deflated footballs during the team's AFC Championship game against the Colts Sunday night.
Enough about the sanctity of the sport. If the NFL can't run a game where the game balls are under some sort of fair and neutral control, of course the home team is going to deflate the balls and get some sort of advantage.

You Can't Hate Chris Christie Because He's a Cowboys Fan


Joan Walsh is a of a mind to spank Chris Christie for being an avowed Cowboys fan, and there's something weird about this that brings to mind the current state of NFL fandom.

NFL fans don't care about these three things--politics, concussions, or winning. They want to see their team and that's the tribe they identify with. If their team is losing, and is staffed with losers, they will rail about the owner or the coach but they'll still buy the gear and they'll still come back to the games. If the old timers come on and complain about being hit in the head twenty-six times in one week, they'll nod sagely and flip over to the other game and do nothing.

Nobody cares about politics so if Chris Christie is seen putting a body on Jerry Jones, so what? It's a free country. You can like whatever team you want.

If You Win, You Can Get Away With Anything


Like I've been saying, if Johnny Manziel had won anything during his brief tenure with the Cleveland Browns this past season, his off the field behavior would be a non-issue. There are plenty of losers out there and no more than a handful of winners. The winners can do whatever they want and the losers will be subjected to the NFL's stodgy lifestyle analysis and the whims of billionaire owners, none of whom are losing any money by putting a lousy product on the field. Pardon me if I'm not impressed by the idea that him partying had anything to do with the fact that the Browns were pleading with Rex Grossman to come back and save their season.

Did Jimmy Haslam give his team a chance to win this past season? Does that even matter anymore with free agency and parity in the league being what it is nowadays? If Haslam cared what his fans thought, he'd discount tickets for next year as an apology for the fact that he didn't find the best players. Call me when that happens.

Johnny Manziel and the NFL's Tired Old Cliches


So the kid wasn't so great in his NFL debut. So what?

Now that he has prostrated himself so that NFL writers can lecture all of us about teamwork, maturity, and practice (we're talking about practice? Not a game, practice? - thanks NBA), I would expect that, between now and this time next year, running Johnny Football out of the game will be the blood sport of the post-Tebow era.

Sportswriters project their worldview onto athletes and, in so doing, can crank out between one and five columns that they wouldn't already have had to write. All they have to do is look for a kid like Manziel and get all serious and tell everyone about the sanctity of the team sport.

This is all bullshit because if Manziel had won and not gotten hurt, he'd still have three girls on his lap before and after "practice."

If you win, you get to keep doing whatever you want. If you lose, take a knee and kiss the ring.

The Minnesota Vikings Are a Hapless Franchise


For the first time since 1983, the Minnesota Vikings will not be sending a player to the useless human endeavor known as the Pro Bowl:
For the first time in three decades, the Vikings did not have a player selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Vikings had a pair of strong candidates in defensive end Everson Griffen and safety Harrison Smith, but they were edged out by other top performers at their positions in voting done by fans, coaches and fellow players.
The last time the Vikings were not represented at the Pro Bowl was 1983.
In his first season as a starter, Griffen ranks eighth in the NFL with 12 sacks through 15 games and also has recorded 51 tackles. But he was not one of the six defensive ends selected.
Smith, meanwhile, is tied for fifth in the NFL with five interceptions and his three sacks are tied for the most among defensive backs. But six other safeties were picked.
While no Vikings made the Pro Bowl through the voting process, there is a chance that Griffen, Smith or another Vikings player could later be selected as an alternate.
If this sort of thing still mattered, I'm sure it would be an issue. I don't know that I've even ever seen a Pro Bowl game. Why do they still play it? Are they afraid that the NFL junket to Hawaii will cause someone to actually feel a measure of outrage that they were denied a chance to go play a meaningless game?

The Minnesota Vikings remain a hapless franchise. They should sit down with the team that plays in Washington D.C. and figure out who can claim the mantle of worst professional sports franchise ever.

Colts Player Arrested in D.C.


Joe Lefeged, Colts safety, arrested in D.C. | WJLA.com

If you're going to raise hell in the District of Columbia, at least make your friend sit down:
Police say officers stopped the car for speeding and because another passenger in the car, 23-year-old Aaron Timothy Wilson, was standing completely upright in the backseat.
Mr. Lefeged was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people doing the wrong things with the wrong items in the wrong car. That's pretty much the end of his career unless someone comes up with an alternative real fast. When the Indianapolis Colts go to training camp in the months ahead, there are plenty of people who are willing to be the next Joe Lefeged who don't raise hell in the District.

I'm beginning to think that there are people out there who are in the NFL who don't want to be in the NFL. Let them get out of professional football. Really, it's not that hard to understand. If you want to play football and make a good living, get yourself as far away from the kind of people who bring guns and liquor in cars into Washington D.C.

Chris Kluwe Was Gotten Rid Of


The Minnesota Vikings have proven, once again, what a classless organization they are when it comes to dealing with players.

Chris Kluwe "had to go" because of what, exactly? Because he was a "middling" punter? The distance between him and the best punter in the NFL amounts to a few yards per punt and little else. That can certainly make or break a game or two, but so can having an inexperienced punter try to break into the league and so can having a guy who has played multiple games against your division opponents. If Kluwe had collapsed, statistically, and been the worst punter in the NFL last season, I wouldn't argue against him being cut. He did not do that. He played adequately for his position which, I'm sorry to say, isn't even that important.

The Vikings are free to do whatever they want but don't tell me getting rid of Kluwe was a "football" decision. They got rid of him because he was an outspoken supporter of ending bigotry in professional football. The NFL has a lot of problems, and hating people who are gay is one of them right now. If you area  player and if you speak out against this, you are going to be gotten rid of.

That's all.

Pacman Jones Hit a Woman


And why is Pacman Jones still in the NFL? I can't understand that at all.

If you want to play professional football, at least pretend that hitting women is one of those things you are not going to do from time to time.

You'd think a list like this would wake people up. This is 2013. Nobody remembers what an assclown this man truly is.

The following are incidents in which Adam "Pacman" Jones, or people allegedly associated with him, have been involved since the Tennessee Titans drafted him in April 2005. There is only one charge pending against Jones.July 13, 2005: Two weeks before training camp is scheduled to begin, Jones is arrested by Nashville police at Titans headquarters. He is charged with assault and felony vandalism stemming from a nightclub altercation.
Sept. 5, 2005: Six days before the season opener at Pittsburgh, Jones attends the annual Nashville Sports Council Kickoff Luncheon. Later, Jones has a loud, verbal tantrum when told he must wait in line for his vehicle, according to witnesses. He does not pay for valet service.
Oct. 25, 2005: Five days before the eighth game of the season, it is alleged by the state of West Virginia that Jones has violated the terms of his probation, going back to a suspended sentence after a barroom brawl during his freshman year at college. A judge extends his probation 90 days.
Feb. 6, 2006: Jones is arrested in Fayetteville, Ga., and charged with possession of marijuana. He is handcuffed after throwing a punch at an officer, according to police, and charged with a felony count of obstruction and two misdemeanors of obstructing police. The drug charge is dismissed in January 2007, although his mother Deborah and a friend, Marcus Bowens, are convicted of possession of marijuana. Jones will appear in court later this month to face the obstruction charges.
March 23, 2006: A Fayette County drug task force SWAT team serves a search warrant at the Georgia home Jones bought for his mother. When Jones steps out of his Corvette, a drug investigator notices that the car reeks of marijuana. Jones admits to police he has been smoking and that it will be several weeks before he is able to pass a drug test.
April 18, 2006: According to Nashville police, who cite surveillance camera footage, Jones is one of 12 people gathered at a gas station when a fight breaks out and gunshots are fired.
Aug. 25, 2006: Jones is arrested in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. At the Sweetwater Saloon, he is accused of assault by Toya Garth, who says Jones spit in her face and she spit back. A judge sentences Jones six months probation provided he stays out of further trouble.
Oct. 26, 2006: Jones is cited for misdemeanor assault at Club Mystic, a Nashville nightclub, where he allegedly spits in the face of a female college student. He is suspended for one game by the Titans, on Nov. 5 at Jacksonville.
Feb. 19, 2007: Jones is present when an early morning brawl breaks out at Minxx Gentlemen's Club in Las Vegas. Three people are shot. Club co-owner Robert Susnar claims the shooter -- still at large -- acted on Jones' behalf. Jones denies this. No charges have been brought against Jones.

Randy Moss Retires at 34


In this age of the 42 and a half year-old professional athlete, it's a shock to see Randy Moss retire so young, but, there it is. He's called it a day:


Randy Moss never found a place in the NFL where he could be himself and play with a team that wanted him around. Too often, he found himself playing with scrubs and has-beens, or, in the case of the Patriots, with a team that just didn't think he was their guy. I suppose there will always be those who say that he was a head case. Well, so what? Even a head case can play the damned game. The NFL is full of head cases. Randy Moss was just one of the more talented head cases.

Can Plaxico Burress Come Back?

Michael Vick showed that a player can go to prison/jail/detention and come back in top form and win games in the NFL. Is Burress tough enough? Did he wow them with a great workout? All well and good. His debt to society is paid, give him a chance.

And when I say, give him a chance, I mean, give him just that one chance to show that he isn't a violence-prone headcase. Give him a chance to prove himself. And if he screws up, cut him.

I wonder if he has a clause like that in his deal. Any of that headcase stuff, and his money is gone, something like that.

Big Ben and His Counterproductive Behavior Under the Microscope


You have to love the para at the end:

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spent last weekend undergoing a behavioral evaluation rather than at the team's minicamp, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

The paper, citing a team source, said that Roethlisberger, suspended for at least the first four games of the 2010 season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for off-the-field conduct, will be evaluated for "days" rather than weeks. After that, the report said, Roethlisberger could either return to the team or undergo further evaluation.

Roethlisberger was ordered by Goodell to stay away from the Steelers' training facility until his evaluation was complete. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he didn't know when Roethlisberger would return.

"I have talked to him," Tomlin said, according to the Post-Gazette. "I will continue to talk to him, and I don't have a crystal ball in regards to when he's going to be back in the facility. A lot of that has to do with the things he needs to do and of course the judgment of the commissioner."

While Roethlisberger was in his evaluation, quarterbacks Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch were all on the field for the Steelers. 


Do you know why the Steelers haven't outright gotten rid of Big Ben?

The answers are Leftwich, Dixon and Batch. Big Ben has job security, you see. But the real issue here is behavior.

If he's properly evaluated, and really given a chance, then who are we to judge him?

I think it comes down to this: the young man is an asshole. That's right. A douchebag. At least, in social situations and public places. He's difficult and demanding. That's what a lot of money can do to a young man.

What he needs is counseling, to show him that being an asshole and a douchebag are counterproductive. He can still be those things, but he needs to curtail his public activities with regards to assholery and douchebaggery because they are leading to legal jeopardy, lawsuits, and bad press. I will let you in on a little secret. Everyone with money is, to some extent, an asshole and a douchebag for a reason--everyone wants your money. How you deal with that aspect of life is where Big Ben has been wearing his ass for a hat.

Posted via web from TalkingSmackAboutSports

Was I Really That Wrong About Brett Favre?

This is not an attempt to dishonestly "walk back" things that I have said about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. It does tell you why I said what I said:

As it turns out, Chilly isn't such a chump after all. Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that, both before and after the "heated discussion" that Vikings coach Brad Childress claims wasn't a "heated discussion," Childress targeted some heated words at members of his team. Per Jensen, the offense got it at halftime, and Favre himself was the target after the game, presumably after Favre aired the dirty laundry to the media. At the half, Childress reportedly cursed at the team and said it's "laughable" that the Vikings consider themselves a Super Bowl team. Though a kinder, gentler Chilly emerged on Monday, Jensen writes that "all is not well between Brad and Brett, and the primary difference centers on the quarterback's penchant to check out of runs and into passes." And so, as several of you have suggested in the comments, it sounds like there's finally a schism in Minnesota. Favre might not have known what the term meant in August, but we've got a feeling that he knows it now.
Originally, I took the line that Favre was finished. That turned out to be wrong--his season has been productive and fantastic. He is not finished. Therefore, my main point was proven absolutely wrong. Like the good blogger that I am, I did my penance.

I did say he was a cancer and a diva who could ruin a team, and that's born out by what you see above. I don't believe in team "chemistry," but I do think that if your star quarterback is an aging veteran who has had a lot of success coming back from injuries and has helped the team win games, fighting with the coach as the team begins to take a December swoon is a recipe for disaster.

Posted via web from TalkingSmackAboutSports

That Ricky Williams Sure is a Good Football Player

Given his strange odyssey, games like this one are worth noting:

Ricky Williams showed he's still got it.

The 32-year-old Williams rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns, and the Dolphins beat the Carolina Panthers 24-17 on Thursday night for their fourth win in six games to get into the AFC playoff picture.

A day after learning Brown is lost for the season to a foot injury, the Dolphins (5-5) continued their surge after an 0-3 start behind Williams. The 2002 NFL rushing champion had a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game for the first time in his career that included a couple of lost seasons.

"Coach always talks about finishing," Williams said. "Sometimes in this league, in a physical game, it's difficult to finish. I think in the past we've prided ourselves on finishing games and we did a good job tonight."


There aren't many 32 year-old running backs who could do half of what Williams did against Carolina (yes, the photo above shows Ricky running against Jacksonville; Jacksonville and Carolina occupy the same space in my head).

Posted via web from TalkingSmackAboutSports