The Trouble With Tom Brady

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

With one, swift, arbitrary NFL commissioner’s office decision, Tom Brady went from perhaps the best quarterback in league history to the game’s biggest pariah. And the sporting world seems to be ecstatic over the ruling.

That, my friends, is an interesting dynamic and defines so much about the players we like and don’t like.

Brady is too perfect. He’s tall, handsome, has a Brazilian supermodel wife, and is secure enough to rip up his man card and wear Ugg boots, the brand created primarily for women. And, he plays for a team that, outside of New England, is universally despised because they win, they cheat, they have a curmudgeon coach who’s about as likeable as a lizard, and an owner who flaunts perfectly coiffed, $500 pocket silks on his five-thousand dollar suits.

So when we can chip away at the perfect man’s statue and stuff flakes off, we are very content. Read more »

Philly’s Ibraheim Campbell on Being Drafted by the Browns

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Ibraheim Campbell grew up in Germantown, went to Chestnut Hill Academy and still has a huge family in the area. And in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft, Campbell heard the rumblings that the Eagles — whose secondary struggled last season — might be interested in drafting the prospect out of Northwestern who looked good at the Senior Bowl. But he said he never really saw himself getting drafted by his hometown team: “I didn’t think they were all that interested.”

In contrast, he had several visits with the Cleveland Browns, the team that took him in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft. He met with them three times at the Senior Bowl and twice at the NFL Combine, an event where the only physical activity he did was bench press due to a nagging hamstring injury. Read more »

No Mariota? No Hope.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

For Philadelphia fans, the most nerve-racking 10-minute waiting period of any professional sports draft ended with a figurative hot knife to the belly.

After months of anticipation coupled with downright obsession that the Eagles would land Marcus Mariota and everything would be right for the world, the Tennessee Titans took Mariota with the No. 2 pick in the draft. And if that weren’t enough, minutes later, the Titans general manager popped out of his war room to say that they were not trading him ANYWHERE. Ouch.

Does it really matter that the Eagles tried hard to get Mariota? Perhaps reports are true that the Birds offered two starting defensive players and three draft picks in an attempt to move into the No. 2 drafting spot. Chip Kelly can never admit that because if he does, he tells the quarterback who now must start for him this year, Sam Bradford, that he wasn’t adequate enough. Bradford’s a big enough boy to understand what was going on this whole time, but still.

I’ve said that if the Eagles didn’t acquire Marcus Mariota, it would haunt this city’s fan base forever. So let the haunting begin. Read more »

St. Joe’s Prep Holds Prayer Service for Student Who Died at Football Practice

Today, Prep students, faculty and staff gathered for a prayer service in memory of our brother, Ryan Gillyard ’18.

Posted by St. Joseph’s Prep on Monday, April 20, 2015

St. Joe’s Prep this morning held a prayer service for Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old student who collapsed Saturday morning during a football team practice; he was declared dead at Temple University Hospital soon after.

6ABC reports: “Grief counselors were on hand at St. Joseph’s Prep Monday after a freshman football player collapsed and died during practice.” Read more »

Ed Sabol, Founder of NFL Films, Has Died

Ed Sabol touches his bust after  it was unveiled during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Ed Sabol touches his bust after it was unveiled during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Ed Sabol, who founded NFL Films, has died at age 98. The company is headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.

NFL.com reports:

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011, Sabol was the visionary force who revolutionized sports on camera and mythologized football at its highest level of competition.

“Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “Ed ignited the fire at NFL Films and was the Keeper of the Flame with a remarkable vision and dedication to telling the stories of the people who played, coached and loved the game.

“He earned the ultimate recognition by being selected in 2011 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he will forever be remembered alongside the men he so greatly cared about. Ed’s memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of fans around the world whenever they see the work of NFL Films and of the many people he inspired.”

Here’s the film his now-deceased son, Steve, used to introduce him at the Hall of Fame.
Read more »

Marshawn Lynch’s Upside-Down Example

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

As Marshawn Lynch made a mockery of his Super Bowl interviews last week, he also became the symbol of the persecuted black man.

In a day and age where all of us have the responsibility of thought to real racial issues, I found the Lynch caper to be a waste of some really good energy.

With Marshawn Lynch, where was the cause? He didn’t want to talk to the media. Apparently his attitude for not talking goes back to his days as a running back with the Buffalo Bills, where the press excoriated him for some off-the-field transgressions. OK, I got that. Lynch wanted to get back at the press. But where else was there a racial cause?
Read more »

Cheaters Sometimes Win

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Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.

The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.

But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.

Read more »

Chris Christie’s Magical Ride With the Cowboys Is Over

It wasn’t a good weekend for noted Dallas Cowboys fan Chris Christie. His team lost, on a controversial call, and well, you can see his reaction in the photo above.

Christie’s fellow Republican, former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, was … not sympathetic.

Well. Now that’s over, Christie can finally decide if he wants to run for president. And excellent timing. We think the best way to run for president is to pick a swing state and then alienate all the voters in that state who love the team you’ve been dissing lately. Electoral gold.

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