Recent Comments by dfleming

Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games

You're moving the goalposts a bit by talking about whether men are doing enough about it. Where we started was whether men care.

I consider sitting idle, or not changing your behaviour because you find out a man beats women, as an attribute of a "meh" attitude. You don't care enough to do anything about it. If your definition of caring about things is the words we use, then we've got different definitions of what constitutes caring about something.

The goalposts were that people wouldn't change the channel because Ray Rice has beaten a woman - and that's the only morality the NFL knows. If when Rice comes back, and nothing changes in terms of Ravens viewership - then it's clear a predominantly male audience accepts a person who beats a woman so long as they play football. We can wax poetic about our beliefs, but it's our actions that are more than just smoke.

The suspensions would be longer if there were more $$ consequences for the NFL for employing people who commit domestic violence.

posted by dfleming at 05:39 PM on July 26

Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games

All I'm saying is that I question the idea men have a "meh" attitude about this. I don't think you give most men enough credit.

Credit for what? Being aware it's a problem?

posted by dfleming at 09:41 AM on July 26

Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games

I don't know any men who'd take a "meh" attitude about domestic violence, going back through my entire adulthood.

1 in 4 women report being the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. Nearly 1 in 5 women report being the victim on sexual violence in their lifetime. And yet, in protests and organizations working to get those numbers down, the vast, vast majority of people standing up are women.

You don't have to be vocal to show you don't care - not showing up or doing anything about it is enough, particularly when these numbers mean with any kind of social circle you know people who've been a victim - whether you're aware or not.

posted by dfleming at 07:32 PM on July 25

Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games

So how does the NFL justify the mentality that smoking pot is worse than beating on a woman?

They're a self-policing entity, for which the majority of fans either embrace or shrug off a massively cultivated violence culture.

The viewership is predominantly male and based on most research I've read, males as a whole tend towards a more 'meh' attitude towards physical and sexual violence towards women. We are perhaps getting to be more enlightened, but there are a metric fuckton of male viewership out there who won't change the channel because a woman-beater is playing.

Why are drugs so unfairly scrutinized? A largely Republican ownership group, surrounded by largely wealthy Republican friends, and the Maud Flanders' of the world who believe that athlete drug activity leads to kid drug activity, and thus smoking pot in your free time is worse than hitting a woman in your free time because ol' Whitey might not buy ad time next year.

There are no morals on what's worse or better - it's all about what brings in viewership and revenue. I find it more challenging every year getting geared up to cheer for a sport so fundamentally morally bankrupt.

posted by dfleming at 04:07 PM on July 24

Germany Wins World Cup

I was ranting to my wife about the same thing: sometimes soccer players fall to the ground without bracing themselves, but that's because they threw their arms up to indicate sniper fire. Arms down, no brace = unconscious. FIFA needs to offer either a stoppage or some kind of substitution rule for concussions. This World Cup had too many of them to ignore.

I agree. I've thought a third-party doctor running concussion protocol on any player who hits the deck claiming a head injury would do two good things - one, it would get players out of the game who need to be, but two, it might curb the dangerous embellishments to get a foul that lead to these kinds of injuries if they need to sit out 5+ minutes for an assessment.

posted by dfleming at 11:00 AM on July 14

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

LeBron was well liked until the Decision. His letter admits his mistakes in how that was handled and in his boastful predictions of championships, but it's not like he was breaking a promise by leaving. He didn't owe Cleveland his entire career.

Well, the the thing about words like you are using - loyalty - is that it's about sticking it out through the tough times. It's about promises. Nobody owes anybody anything in the sports business, but if you're going to use hero and loyalty and all these big words - they mean transcending the ego and the business of sport. Otherwise they're meaningless fluff words.

I liked LeBron before the decision, and I think I can go back to liking him, but I and am further away than a one-year with a player option from talking about loyalty and forgetting the last four years. A week ago he was in Vegas with Pat Riley and talking to other teams. If it was such a no-brainer, loyalty-based decision, those meetings were completely pointless and wouldn't have happened.

He's owned up to his mistakes, and I'll give him credit for that, but let's see what happens if Cleveland goes 41-41 this year.

posted by dfleming at 11:27 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Some people don't want to take LeBron at his word, but why would he go to Cleveland if it wasn't primarily about loyalty to the area?

It's about his tarnished image. LeBron is tired of being the villain and wants to be the hero again. He got his championships, so now people can't criticize him for not being a winner, which weighed on him before he left.

He certainly has the right to use the leverage of being Cleveland's only shot at a championship to get more say over the team and to maximize his capacity to earn revenue over the next five years, but I retain the right to think the same guy who orchestrated "The Decision" four years ago is still out for his ego first, finance second, and Cleveland a distant third.

posted by dfleming at 09:40 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Why do you fault him for trying to maximize his salary when the new TV deal arrives in two years?

posted by rcade at 09:44 PM on July 12

Here's more on LeBron's salary strategy.

It's not faulting him about his strategy, it's that he's got this strategy while simultaneously writing letters about how he is going to finish his career somewhere and how much he loves Cleveland and blah blah. He's making this out to be about Cleveland above anything else, which it isn't.

posted by dfleming at 01:29 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Let's see if Northeast Ohio truly is bigger than basketball a couple of years down the road if the nucleus around him doesn't result in a championship. LeBron left to play for a dream team, and now plays on a team who've drafted first overall three years in a row.

LeBron isn't a romantic, he's a pragmatist - he sees star level talent in Irving and Wiggins (or Love) and a shot to repair his tarnished legacy. And I've no problem with him being pragmatic, but the Stephen A. Smith's of the world who make this seem like a benevolent act make me ill.

posted by dfleming at 04:36 PM on July 12

Michael Bradley Covered Most Ground in World Cup

He seemed to turn the ball over a lot (particularly in the Belgium game), but I suspect in proportion to his time of possession it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

He didn't seem to get a lot of help, in terms of his teammates' positioning and getting opportunities to feed productive passes, so occasionally he'd end up carrying the ball 2/3 of the pitch before running into a wall of defenders.

posted by dfleming at 08:06 PM on July 02

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

During one of his runs yesterday, with the ball still moving in front of him, he blazed ahead and flew over a leg tackle as though he were in an equestrian event because he knew he might be able to finish.

To be fair, Robben had pace and room to make that jump. He can't jump with forward momentum on a lot of his challenges where he's speedily dribbling but moving laterally or slowly forward. The foul was a cutback from the goal line with next to no pace. You could jump up, but not forward with the ball intact.

Robben certainly flourishes every contact made with him, but on the Marquez foul he'd have had to contort himself and would've landed into three other Mexican players to avoid it. It was a certain turnover otherwise and Marquez really didn't need to make that challenge.

posted by dfleming at 10:10 AM on June 30

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

Why do Liverpool pay the big price for a bit of idiocy done in an Uruguay shirt? And why is this punished more harshly than headbutting? FIFA BS, that's why.

Agreed on the former - Liverpool doesn't stand to gain anything via international play, so why should teams take on the risk of injury AND suspension if there's no reward?

The latter - attempts to penetrate (quit it) the body are always treated more severe than to hit it. Think of the penalties for eye gouging vs. punching in most sports. There's something particularly barbaric about it that garners a worse fan response. That and the serial nature of this seems to make it a lot more appropriate.

posted by dfleming at 12:17 PM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Dascenzo, for the record, was so unremarkable as a position player than his 1991 Score card position/photo ended up pretty confusing.

posted by dfleming at 10:02 AM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Lince gets a few Smoltz points for doing well out of the bullpen.

Well, Lince's RP resume is only 9 innings more than former utility infielder Doug Dascenzo's sparkling 0.00 ERA resume. Sample sizes and such.

posted by dfleming at 09:57 AM on June 26

LeBron Taking His Talents Out of South Beach

I love this - the dream team that has won 2 of the last 3 championships and has been to the finals each year is obsolete and LBJ now needs to be "pitched" on a new plan to win him some championships.

Wade and Bosh now look like the bad guys if they don't opt out, because LeBron leaves and takes all their championship hopes with him if they don't have the flexible cap space to add another star. Great set of coattails to have ridden.

Meanwhile, Duncan gets championship #5 and has nurtured a sustainable core that will survive past him. The mark of a true leader isn't just how many championships you've won, but leaving teams better off than you found them. Cleveland gutted. Miami, on the verge of gutted.

Legacies are earned, not crafted, and the subtlety seems totally lost on LeBron.

posted by dfleming at 09:36 AM on June 25

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Oh, by the way, if there are bite marks on the Italian, check them against Suarez's dental records. It would not surprise me if there might have been a nip or two taken in the locker room in order to prove the case.

So you're purporting that every player on the Italian team bit each other in the locker room on the off-chance that Suarez might bite them? Did they do it before the game, and then again at halftime, to ensure they have fresh marks?

I just want to be clear how far the lunacy of this statement goes.

posted by dfleming at 09:10 PM on June 24

Alex Torres First Pitcher to Wear Protective Cap

Style-wise, it's a big of a step back from John Olerud's field helmet. I'd think convincing people to wear a low-profile helmet vs. what effectively looks like an overstuffed couch would be easier.

posted by dfleming at 12:15 PM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The Iranian defender crumpling is a little heartbreaking.

posted by dfleming at 10:31 AM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Seriously. The players need to be hounding the NHLPA to be putting pressure on the league. Cooke's setting a precedence that you can be as dirty as you want and still have a long and prosperous NHL career.

posted by dfleming at 09:24 AM on May 14

Gay Athlete Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis

I would actually call it a masterful PR-written apology. I don't think it could have been done better

I think, at least personally, when a player reads an apology so masterfully written that it had to come from a PR pro it doesn't come off as very sincere.

A better one would've included something about his beliefs were wrong and he's going to work on tolerance and respect, and not just that his outward expressions here on out will conform to the team he's trying not to get cut from.

posted by dfleming at 10:06 AM on May 12

Gay Athlete Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis

You can assert that, but I think the absence of an out gay athlete prior to Michael Sam suggests otherwise, as does how far he fell in the draft.

Do you think if Sam had Clowney skills he wouldn't have gone in the top 3 of the first round?

posted by dfleming at 06:44 AM on May 12

Gay Athlete Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis

The spread on that is telling - Jeffcoat (another undersized DE who won the top college DE award this year) was also supposed to go in the middle rounds but didn't get drafted. They project as guys who need big adjustments to make it in the pro game and guys you might need to wait a year or two for results from.

I'm not naive enough to think that there isn't one executive or team out there not willing to pick him for either his sexual orientation or the additional pressure he'll face as a rookie, but college results are rarely enough to overcome physical limitations. Troy Smith's an example - a Heisman winner who went in the 5th round because a lot of people didn't trust he could put the same numbers up in the pro game.

posted by dfleming at 04:29 PM on May 11

Gay Athlete Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis

I'm glad the Rams picked him, but I have trouble believing he fell as far as he did. I thought a few more NFL front offices would be more enlightened.

He was ranked by many scouts as a 4th or 5th round pick before the combine - he's got the body of an undersized DE like Cameron Wake, but his foot speed is that of a huge bull-rush style DE. Cam Wake ran a 4.55 40 and had a tough time making it right away - Sam is running 4.92.

If you look at the last DE taken before him, Shelby Harris - Harris is 25 pounds heavier, benched 8 times more than Sam and still ran 0.2 seconds faster. I am sure the entire lead up had something to do with his combine results, but it's pretty easy to see that a straight Michael Sam was going to be a project NFL player who with bigger and stronger OL would need to change his body to approach his college results.

posted by dfleming at 03:47 PM on May 11

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The difference between the guys you listed and Jeter, is that they only had ONE horrible final season. Jeter is working on his second one right now.

Hank Aaron hit .234/12/60 and .229/10/35 his last two years. I think people will remember those years exist, but when you go looking for Aaron/Mays/Gibson memories, they're not going to be the ones people go for as summing up your career.

Plus, we're talking about a small sample size here. His line in 2011 after 27 games (.250, .577 OPS) is nearly identical to this year's. Couple that with last year and it's not unthinkable he's got some rust to shake off and something left to give.

That said - if it is July, and things haven't improved and the Yankees are still in the midst of a pennant run, I think the thing to do would be retire early - given it'd be sacrilegious to bench #2 no matter how he plays in his final season, it'd be pretty damn selfish to finish your PR tour at the expense of a team that's trying to grow its next group of leaders into playoff veterans.

posted by dfleming at 03:14 PM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Anyone having this Jeter in their book of memories 10 years from now is not a baseball fan. Babe Ruth hit .181 for the Boston Braves in '35. Aaron hit .232 his last two years with Milwaukee. Mays, Halladay, Bob Gibson, Alomar - lots of greats had completely forgettable ends to their careers.

So long as he's a class act and his piss is clean all year, Jeter's memories are already forged.

posted by dfleming at 12:19 PM on May 05

A's Demote Closer Jim Johnson After 8 Games

Johnson had 9 blown saves last year - there were times he seemed tenuously holding on to his job as it is. That contract, particularly from the A's, was kinda nutty.

He reminds me a lot of Todd Jones' career where he certainly showed he could close but never was steady enough to give you the confidence to think he'll ride through rough patches and come out the other side.

posted by dfleming at 10:24 AM on April 11

Exceptionally Small Crowds Greet New Baseball Season

Baseball is becoming one-dimensional. All position players think they are home run hitters, and the days of players knowing how to actually hit, especially hit to all fields, is practically gone.

Wholeheartedly disagree. There have always been dead pull hitters, and there are still an exceptional number of truly pro hitters. Guys like Cabrera, Pedroia, Trout, McCutchen, Jeter, Posey, Votto, Cano, Molina - they all go the other way.

Jack Clark existed 20 years ago. The defences have shifted, but not because there are more pure pull hitters, but they've adjusted how they play 'em. The league average since 1972 has fluctuated between .255-.275, and while we're currently at a .256, you have to also take into account that the defences are much improved and players are more athletic today than ever.

posted by dfleming at 07:10 AM on April 11

Josh Hamilton Needs Thumb Surgery

Dude can't catch a break.

Well, I'd say he caught a $125m break a year ago, but I guess it's relative.

posted by dfleming at 11:30 AM on April 10

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Dallas Braden (the second worst pitcher to ever throw one)

Len Barker had a longer career, but he was pretty damn pedestrian. The way he progressed, Braden would've lapped his WAR had his career not gotten cut short at 27 due to injury.

posted by dfleming at 08:46 PM on April 07

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Meanwhile, can someone explain why anyone would use up $10.5 million of cap space on DeSean Jackson? Maybe college coaches will make it in the NFL, but one place they need to adjust to is playing their cards closer to the vest. You might as well cut him now Chip.

There's no downside - maybe you drum up a trade for a late round pick, maybe you don't. There are two teams who are desperate for playmakers (Raiders and Jets) who also have a ton of cap space - perhaps one of them blinks because they think the other will.

It's not like the Eagles are actively speaking about their attempts to trade him either - there are "NFL sources" and sources close to the player talking about it.

posted by dfleming at 09:50 AM on March 22

Cowboys Release DeMarcus Ware

Revis to the Patriots for 1 year, $12m. Probably a good number and a good term.

posted by dfleming at 09:11 PM on March 12

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Klesa's statement is pretty specious - he talks about "moving several times to new teams", but both moves were within 24 hours of one another and he didn't make this statement when he was heading to a playoff contender. He's had a tough year, but just call it like it is - you don't want to play hurt for a last place team.

posted by dfleming at 11:03 AM on March 09

Nets Sign First Openly Gay NBA Player

The Nets know Collins well - so the 10-day contract is likely for two reasons - one, given Glen Davis and/or Ron Artest have recently hit the open market (and perhaps because the Nets had an interest in Davis which only today they seem to have lost out on), there's no sense tying yourself to a guy with a fairly defined ceiling when someone else might come up in the next three weeks (waived, released, or via trade) - and two, to make sure that the layoff hasn't impacted his ability to contribute on the court.

posted by dfleming at 12:22 PM on February 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

You could say the same about the Canadians with Stamkos and Tavares - nobody was playing with a full deck, although the Canadians certainly have the depth to absorb key injuries.

posted by dfleming at 06:07 PM on February 23

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Homer Bailey joins the $100 million club. Somewhere, Brandon Phillips can be found shouting angrily into a pillow.

posted by dfleming at 06:17 PM on February 19

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Still, the honesty is refreshing.

I suspect the fact that Dempster was probably bullpen-bound anyways had something to do with it. After a lot of money's been made and the prestige is largely gone, there's not a whole lot left to play for if you miss your family. I suspect a lot of guys who retire could pitch middle relief for another year, but don't for similar reasons.

posted by dfleming at 10:46 AM on February 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I can understand that most of the stuff involving Martin could've been missed by staff (texts, strip clubs, etc. - not where the staff are) - but the assistant trainer stuff I can't. The head trainer knew about it, as did multiple Dolphins employees who witnessed it. The offensive line coach as also aware of some of what's going on overall.

So - Philbin gets praise for bringing a conduct manual with him, but has absolutely no responsibility or knowledge of whether or not the players are actually following it. That's bullshit. If you are the leader of an organization, you are responsible for what the players do. Good leadership is a reflection of your enforcing your values - bad leadership is this.

So Philbin, if he knew nothing about any of it, is a shit leader for having his passion for locker room conduct end at the printing of a manual.

posted by dfleming at 11:57 AM on February 14

Derek Jeter to Retire From Yankees After 2014 Season

A testament to a career well done when you have to specify WHICH outstanding out-of-field catch you're talking about.

posted by dfleming at 10:40 AM on February 14

Derek Jeter to Retire From Yankees After 2014 Season

Nope!

posted by dfleming at 10:24 AM on February 14

Derek Jeter to Retire From Yankees After 2014 Season

What other concessions should we make to Jeter's glory?

We'll still play out the playoffs, but the only way to win the World Series is to have a guy jump into the stands for a foul ball and come up with it. The MVP of each series will be Derek Jeter and the player who caught the ball will be forced to retire for copycatting Jeter.

Each 7th inning stretch will feature Minka Kelly being forced to cry on the pitcher's mound while the crowd sings "if you like it, you shoulda put a ring on it" before pelting her with pretzels.

posted by dfleming at 09:56 AM on February 14

Derek Jeter to Retire From Yankees After 2014 Season

Hall of Fame should bend their rules for Derek Jeter

What a braindead argument. Lou Gherig was dying. Joe was elected just as they were introducing these rules. There are a ton of romantic storylines in baseball just as worthy as this one, particularly if you're not a Yankee homer.

If this writer really want this, they should petition BBWAA writers to not vote Rivera in the first time so they can elect him with Jeter. Both guys are effectively getting a full year of send-offs, which is appropriate, and they'll both be first-ballot hall-of-famers, so I'm not sure they need THAT MUCH more pomp and circumstance to celebrate illustrious careers.

posted by dfleming at 09:43 AM on February 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Haslam's making a pretty compelling case for worst owner in NFL history (still not near worst human being who's owned a team, but at least Jerry and Al were successful at some point).

He's had, what, a year? Tough to come up with a case that passes Mike Brown or Dan Snyder in that time.

posted by dfleming at 04:06 PM on February 11

Missouri All-American Defensive Lineman Michael Sam Announces He Is Gay

I think he should be drafted by whatever team sign Ricky Incogneto. (media members heads explode)

For the record, Incognito actually tweeted support for Sam, although Richie I think is pretty heavily into "clean up my image" mode to get himself another job so the context is probably important there.

posted by dfleming at 02:55 PM on February 11

Missouri All-American Defensive Lineman Michael Sam Announces He Is Gay

I heard a scout talking about how, as an undersized DE, he was probably going to drop to the 3rd to 5th round anyways and how he might have to switch positions. Elvis Dumervil, despite all his college awards, went in the 4th round. That said - Dwight Freeney, who's the same height/weight as Sam, went 11th overall and obviously thrived. JJ Watt isn't the only model for how a DE can dominate in the NFL.

To me, if you're going to include the character/intangibles in your evaluation, a guy who's willing to be honest about who he is despite the fact it might hurt him financially through a drop in the draft has to get some points for that. He was out in the Miz locker room and his teammates seem overwhelmingly supportive (although cue a journalist finding someone who says something other than that.) This is a huge step forward and I hope he succeeds like hell in the NFL.

posted by dfleming at 06:34 AM on February 10

St. Louis Rams Owner Buys Land in Los Angeles

I am so fucking tired of sports owners holding cities hostage. The problem being a city who has the balls to say no is there's a city with a sleazy mayor somewhere ready to roll out the red carpet. It's negotiating with criminals who have your daughter tied up in a basement and a chopper on the roof.

posted by dfleming at 09:51 AM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Andrew Bynum to the Pacers. I don't expect it to happen, but if the Pacers can get even 75% of Bynum's abilities night-in and night-out, that is some scary center depth.

posted by dfleming at 01:31 PM on February 01

Lawyer Reveals Martin's Texts to Incognito

One thing's for sure, I don't think it makes his behavior any more permissible.

Most people see a difference between a fight and an assault. There's differing agency involved.

Let's go back to the timeline of this whole affair - Martin leaves the team. His camp accuses Incognito of harassing him. They release a voicemail that is pretty damning to that end. Incognito is suspended.

Incognito's teammates report things like Martin laughing at that voicemail and that the two were actually friends.

This is a quote from Martin about the treatment he got:

"But of a personal, attacking nature, I don't think there's any place for that. I don't think there's a place to disrespect people in a professional sport."

They also used phrases like "malicious personal attacks."

So evidence that suggests that Martin was sending texts about killing Incognito's family suggests that he did exactly the same thing. Whatever happened mentally to him - he was a willing participant up to a point. He said shit that I wouldn't say to anyone else.

The point is that Incognito was painted by Martin as maliciously attacking him - when, in fact, this seems to corroborate his and other Dolphins' accounts that this is what they did to one another. So that, to me, changes this from an assault to a fight and the narrative around it has to change with it.

Also Martin's looking to return to the NFL (and has been doing interviews), so yes, I do think he owes the media an explanation.

posted by dfleming at 07:11 AM on February 01

Lawyer Reveals Martin's Texts to Incognito

It's a little rough that Incognito's lawyer released these texts to the public. I don't know how well it will play, because it is self-serving in the sense that it shows Martin in a bad light and because I think Martin's still entitled to his feelings.

Well - Incognito's been painted a bully, a label that might just end his career. Martin's texts, particularly the one after he left the team, are a completely different narrative than the one Martin himself painted of his relationship with Incognito.

So I guess I sympathize with what Martin's going through, but Incognito has a reputation and a career to try to save and these texts make it seem like perhaps it's not as simple as one guy bullying another past their breaking point.

posted by dfleming at 02:49 PM on January 31

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Media Day sucks, but people are still watching.

Just because the media cover it does not mean people are watching. The interviews are by far the worst part of SportsCenter because they're exactly the same, over and over again. My informal survey of people I know seems to get more of a kick out of Lynch than anything - the only ones who seem upset are the journalists.

posted by dfleming at 03:05 PM on January 30

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Suck it up and continue to light cigars with hundred dollar bills. After all, the sports media is nothing more than the NFL's hype machine, especially Super Bowl week.

The media has been getting a ton of airtime through Lynch's refusal to be a willing participant in the theatre of sports journalism. They ain't hurtin'.

The vast majority of interviews are talking points and cliches. If you get too real (criticizing referees, the league, etc.) you get a fine. Richard Sherman gets called a thug by many for actually being emotional after a game. It's all bullshit, and I dig that Lynch is just calling it what it is.

posted by dfleming at 10:09 AM on January 30

Richard Sherman, the Man Behind the Mouth

It's possible his post-game rant is now one of the best PR moves ever. The publicity he has received, while not all positive, is publicity nonetheless. If he winds up shutting down Demaryius Thomas in the Super Bowl, his stock will be through the roof.

Exactly. Sherman's a guy who was top of his class everywhere he went - he understands what motivates him, and importantly, how the media circus can help you. The guy is setting himself up for the moment when his rookie contract ends for a huge payday. Be the biggest star in primetime and the world is your oyster. It's Deion Sanders all over again.

I think he also knows that a receiver with a huge ego who knows his QB isn't going to throw to him is liable to dog it a little or create issues on the opposing sidelines, making his job even easier.

posted by dfleming at 06:59 AM on January 27

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Masahiro Tanaka Headed To Yankees On 7-Year, $155M Deal

Total value including transfer is $5m less than Verlander's deal. Stunning, really.

posted by dfleming at 02:20 PM on January 22

Ex-Agent: Ryan Leaf Blew Chance to Go No. 1

Of course, this assumes that Leaf was ever rated higher by the Colts than Manning, which I am sure nobody with a perceived future in talent identification would ever cop to.

posted by dfleming at 04:52 PM on January 21

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

You get a fine if you start your 4th line?

He was fined because he put Westgarth out there and who immediately dropped the gloves against Bieska who wasn't asking to fight.

posted by dfleming at 02:31 PM on January 21

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Goodell is musing about the potential for scrapping the extra point. Kickers around the league can finally see an end to the oppressive workloads of yore.

posted by dfleming at 01:27 PM on January 21

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Damnit, what sporting pelota am I thinking of then?

Lacrosse?

posted by dfleming at 01:14 PM on January 21

Seahawks Edge Niners

Justin Verlander gets his two cents in on Sherman - "If he played baseball, he would get a high and tight fastball." Somehow, a pitcher tough-guyying a football player just doesn't seem terribly impressive.

Especially the part where he goes on about Bowman and the way the fans treated him make him seem less like a nut and more like a smart guy who's figured out the media and how to mess with receivers' confidence.

posted by dfleming at 02:47 PM on January 20

Seahawks Edge Niners

He is an above average thrower with unbelievable foot speed, able to immobilize defenses by posing a throwing threat behind the line of scrimmage, and thus creating wide open spaces which he can then slide into for first downs and then some.

...and that's a problem why exactly? If it was so easy, Kaepernick would've had a lot more than 524 yards this season. Teams adjust, as Seattle did, and Kaepernick wasn't able to run as easily later in the game.

Also - that 58 yard run wasn't uncontested. There were hands on him behind the line of scrimmage and three other times. They missed tackles because he's tough to take down. How many times has Aaron Rodgers taken off on a broken play to get yardage or a first down? Fran Tarkenton?

I don't get why it's a problem that defences have to account for a QB who can run, other than a personal preference.

posted by dfleming at 06:48 AM on January 20

Seahawks Edge Niners

That TD throw from Kaepernick was sick. On the run, into basically zero room for error.

posted by dfleming at 08:42 PM on January 19

Seahawks Edge Niners

I hate it when Harbaugh's tantrums are justified, but that personal foul penalty after the 4th down in the 1st half on Carlos Rogers was baffling.

posted by dfleming at 08:31 PM on January 19