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Patriots

Shake down the thunder

Posted by Charles P. Pierce November 23, 2010 02:22 PM
It has not been a good year for the football program at Notre Dame, and Notre Dame has not handled it well. Leave aside the fact that the team is not playing well. There was the preposterously reckless act of sending Declan Sullivan up a tower during a once-in-a-decade midwest windstorm, an insane decision that led to Sullivan's death and to some unlovely keister-covering by the ND athletic department that forced Fr. John Jenkins, the university president, to send out an e-mail that unequivocally put the responsibility for Sullivan's death on those representatives of the school charged with his safety -- to wit, football coach Brian Kelly and AD Jack Swarbrick.

And now there's this horror. If the Chicago Tribune is correct in its reporting, and Notre Dame police stonewalled the real cops in South Bend, and tthe player in question is still playing, it's time to ask serious questions (again) about who's really in charge out there, and to start wondering seriously about whether or not someone (or several someones) should lose their jobs behind this stuff.

Draft seers

Posted by Charles P. Pierce June 23, 2010 12:35 PM

Sometimes, Herself Up There conspires to make me happy. Now, at least one major mock draft has Taylor Hall coming to the Bruins. Among other things, this would guarantee that dealing Marc Savard is out of the question. You draft a gifted winger like Hall and then ship out your best playmaker? I watched Hall play in that great world junior championship game this past winter and became a fan. I'm less familiar with Tyler Seguin's game, but Hall turns this franchise around immediately.

I would like to see this happen.

 

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Moss backed

Posted by Charles P. Pierce June 1, 2010 02:55 PM

The glass-half-full part of me likes this whole notion of Randy Moss's becoming his own agent, at least for the purposes of contractual matters. (The fact that he still wants to hire a pro to handle his off-the-field stuff leads me to believe that this was a fairly carefully thought-out decision.) Remember how amazed and delighted everyone was when ol '38 negotiated his own deal? (And he cut himself a fine deal indeed, especially on the back end.) OK, so I cut Moss the same slack. He's a sharp, aware guy, for all his reluctance to be warm and fuzzy, and despite the nearly endless caricatures of himself that have become grist for radio contrarians of the silly kind.

It looks like both sides are shaping up for a hail-and-farewell season. (If Rodney Harrison makes a play, Moss has scored the gamewinning touchdown in a Super Bowl.)  If they manage to do that without egregious ill-will, then I suspect Moss will be perfectly capable of negotiating his way out of town at the end of what could be a fine season through what will likely be the last contract he ever signs.

Bowlderdash

Posted by Charles P. Pierce May 26, 2010 02:20 PM

Putting a Super Bowl in New Jersey is an idea so toweringly stupid that you'd be forgiven if you thought the NHL had come up with it. This is true for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which is that every major US sporting event should be held in New Orleans, forever.

(And you've got to admire the brass clangers on Roger Goodell for enthusiastically dumping the big honking football game into a uncovered stadium during February in the upper latitudes not long after admonishing Tampa because its stadium didn't have a roof and the BHFG got itself rained on.)

However, the worst part of it is that you can almost hear the delusions of grandeur begin to rise down along Rte 1. "If New Jersey, then why not us?" Stop, I beg you. Please turn off the engine and step away from your egos. Even granting that the stadium is now part of the world's most opulent strip mall, the infrastructure simply cannot support an event of this size. Anyplace anybody would want to go, except to the game itself, is going to be 45 miles away through hellish traffic, and that's assuming the weather cooperates. The only thing worse would be the Olympics.

 

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Shouldering burden

Posted by Charles P. Pierce February 2, 2010 01:03 PM
The news -- leaked by various NFL anonymice -- that Randy Moss played the better part of the season with a shoulder separation will change exactly no minds around these parts. (At least he achieved separation in something this season! Thank you. No, you're too kind, really.) The people who have determined that he was an integral part of the team's mediocre finish will simply ignore the news -- or, without any evidence at all, decide that he and the Patriots are lying about the injury for their own reasons. At the very least, they'll minimize it, talk about what other players play through, and get around eventually to telling us (again) that Moss remains the antithesis of what the Patriots are Supposed To Be About. Personally, I still think that, even despite his injury, he should have done a much better job on personnel issues. Why he couldn't come up with a decent pass rush is beyond me.

Assuming the story is true, this is yet another cautionary tale about opining beyond the available evidence when it comes to issues like desire and the rest of the Intangibles. Exhibit A, always, is the case of former Astros pitcher J.R. Richard who, in 1980, after a dominant few seasons, complained of a dead arm. He was accused of jaking it, of being jealous of Nolan Ryan's contract, and of a number of other offenses against the Intangibles. Then, on July 30 of that year, Richard had a stroke, nearly died, and never really pitched again. (At one point, after his career ended, Richard was homeless and living under a bridge.) And this was 20 years before talk-radio and the Intertoobz, before the notion of "Having A Take" won out over the notion of "Knowing What The Hell You're Talking About," before unmoored opinion became a career catapult. Anyway, folks in that business should watch out. Sooner or later, real life can make you look like a jackass.  Just sayin'.

Pees in our time

Posted by Charles P. Pierce January 15, 2010 04:41 PM
Sorry to see Dean Pees leave. If the guy hadn't gone out there behind everyone's back to sign Adalius Thomas, trade Richard Seymour, hire Junior Seau again, and stock the secondary with unknown soldiers, he might still feel comfortable working here. But you can't be doing stuff like that.

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