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 »
Hernandez, if you don’t know, is the former Patriots tight end who this week was convicted of killing a former friend and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. The questions of his future — not to mention NFL career — have been pretty definitively resolved.
It looked like Northwestern was going to lose. Notre Dame led the Wildcats by two scores with just over four minutes to play. But the Fighting Irish had picked up two first downs and looked poised to run out the clock. Then Ibraheim Campbell stepped in.
Or, rather, laid into Notre Dame senior Cam McDaniel, forcing a fumble the Wildcats recovered. It was a devastating turnaround. “The amount of self-hatred I had after the game,” McDaniel — who had fumbled just once in his career previously — said later. “It wrecked me, it really did.” Northwestern drove down the field for a tying field goal, and upset the Fighting Irish on another field goal in OT.
Campbell forced two fumbles in that contest, Northwestern’s first game against ND since a famous upset in 1995. Now, the Wildcats have a winning streak against the Fighting Irish — their first since 1962. “It’s the reason that you play college football, to go into those environments, to get those opportunities,” Campbell said via phone earlier this week. “Those College GameDay moments.”
The Germantown native is hoping to move to a bigger stage soon: Campbell is a top safety prospect in this year’s NFL Draft. At the NFL combine, he has a chance to help (or hurt) his draft prospects with a good performance.
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.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid the cost of Chris Christie’s travel — including a private jet — to Sunday’s NFL playoff game featuring the Cowboys versus the Lions. (You know: The one featuring “The Hug.”)
Christie has now attended three games at the invitation of Jones, who invited the governor and picked up the tab, said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.
“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.
The governor’s office cited The Code of Conduct for the Governor, adopted under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, in Executive Order 77, which says the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”
Out athlete Michael Sam graces the cover of the GQ “Men of the Year” issue, out on newsstands nationwide November 25, where he gives a candid interview about his childhood, his coming out, and all of that horrible locker room reporting. We have a preview of some of the more poignant moments of Sam’s interview with GQ writer Andrew Corsello. Read more »
I tweeted the above joke yesterday. In 2010, a Vikings-Eagles game in Philadelphia was moved to Tuesday night because of snow. Rendell fumed over it, and the incident somehow led to a book by Rendell, A Nation of Wusses.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, during happier times.
I once met and interviewed Adrian Peterson.
He greeted me, as he does everyone, with a vice-grip handshake that stuns you to your core, a handshake that I found extremely peculiar. A firm handshake is what most men do. But this was ridiculous. It was as if Peterson was out to exert and display his power for no particular reason at all other than to exert and display that he was stronger than you. And it was like he didn’t want you to forget it.
With that story, I make a rather lengthy, but pertinent leap to his case of child abuse. Adrian Peterson whupped up on his 4-year-old boy, perhaps as a form of backwater punishment, but certainly as an exertion of power. After reading about this case and seeing the photos of a bruised 4-year-old, I come to the conclusion that Peterson is a loathsome and contemptible man.
But this is not just a story about a bad human being. It’s a story of how the National Football League has turned into a joke when it comes to governing their employees. Their punishment of Adrian Peterson for the rest of the NFL’s regular season may pass a moral test, but it’s another ass-backward attempt to gain public trust by manipulating rules and regulations solely upon the whims of an empty suit named Roger Goodell.
There’s a name for the soup: CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It’s a brain-wasting disease notable for producing depression, sharp personality changes, and erratic, even violent behavior among those who suffer from it — and those who suffer from it seem to be disproportionately people who hit and get hit for a living: Football players. I’ve written about it before, noting that it seemed connected to the suicides of Penn lineman Owen Thomas and former Eagles standout Andre Waters, and asking whether it might’ve had anything to do with the murder charges against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
It’s worth revisiting now because of three reports that emerged in recent weeks: Read more »