As a Philadelphian I have to talk about the Eagles, because for some reason people want to know what’s ‘wrong’ with LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles. Nothing is wrong with either person.
McCoy has lost a couple of linemen in front of him and defenses are able to crowd the line of scrimmage because the Eagles receivers are average if we’re being generous (although Jordan Matthews has shown flashes). Foles is having the same problem. Without Desean Jackson, no one is making the defense back up, and Foles is used to having wide open guys to throw to. Last year he was playing like Kurt Warner, but that wasn’t going to last forever. He’s a system quarterback, but most of them are, look at Alex Smith or Tom Brady.
The Eagles have the same problem with Chip Kelly that the Patriots have with Bill Belichick, they don’t seem to be that great at personnel decisions, but they’re great coaches. Any mastermind that decided to get rid of Jackson and keep the waste of a roster spot that is known as Riley Cooper has a blind spot.
Another blind spot is Rex Ryan of the Jets. They were destroyed 31-0 by the Chargers, in one of the least compelling games imaginable. Ryan pulled quarterback Geno Smith in the second half for Michael Vick, and both posted ugly numbers, Smith went 4 for 12 for 27 yards and a pick, Vick went 8 for 19 for 47 yards. The numbers don’t tell the real story though. Vick never left the pocket and made some good throws, but most of them were dropped. Smith was terrible.
It’s really hard to look at Geno Smith and understand why the Jets didn’t give Tim Tebow a shot. Smith is cursing out fans, missing meetings, engaging with the media, getting thrown off airplanes, and he’s a turnover machine. He posted a 7.9 Qb rating. You mean to tell me that Tebow couldn’t give you better than a 7.9 QB rating? You mean to tell me there’s nowhere in the NFL for a Tim Tebow or a Kerry Rhodes?
(Also, the NFL welcomed Michael Sam, a marginal defensive lineman, because he was gay. But the NFL shunned Kerry Rhodes, a Pro Bowl safety, because he was gay. What am I missing here?)
I’m happy for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Before this week, I actually saw some people asking if the 49ers were better off keeping him instead of Colin Kaepernick. I don’t agree with that logic, but for a man considered a ‘bust’ or a ‘game manager’ at one point it’s nice to see him get some respect. As far as quarterbacks I’ve personally been around, Smith and RGIII work harder than anyone I’ve seen to prepare for games.
It’s also nice to see Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano, a Parcells pick from Notre Dame, still in the league and still contributing. He was never a big name player, but if you were paying attention he made a lot of plays for the Cowboys, Dolphins, and Chiefs and he did it again this week with a touchdown catch. He reminded Bill Parcells of Mark Bavaro, but Jason Garrett didn’t want him. You tell me which football mind you trust.
In two years in Dallas Fasano had 28 receptions for 269 yards and one touchdown. The next year in Miami he caught 34 balls for 454 yards and 7 touchdowns. Because we tend to measure receiving tight ends by forty speed over everything else, players like Fasano get missed out on while Eric Ebron gets overvalued.
Teams are also catching on to running to control time of possession and not expose questionable defenses. Dallas figured it out quickly, and the Colts won with it this week. They had a 17 and a ½ advantage in time of possession which let them survive four turnovers. (The Ravens had three. This does not make for great viewing.)
I’m happy for the Browns and the Bills, and I don’t really feel like a genius for not trusting Detroit to finish strong, because, well, it’s Detroit. (Seriously Robocop was a satire based on how bad Detroit would get in the future, and it ended up being too optimistic.)
But I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t controversial.
This has been the year, more than any other year, where football wasn’t a refuge from real life, but it reflected our society and it’s depressing. We have a culture of outrage, based on a small minority of people that cannot be placated, but insist on being genuflected to. They rush to condemn people, without researching or looking into anything. The moment they hear something their mind is made up, and no other data gets in.
These people were always out there, but the NFL ignored them, and rightfully so. But for some reason, they are running the NFL and it sucks.
Let’s put it out there. Just because you’re a good athlete doesn’t mean you’re a great person, but when you compare them against every other person they get into trouble less than we do. And the standard we have in this country when you get in trouble is that you’re innocent until proven guilty.
This year, our Commissioner Roger Goodell has introduced a new idea, the idea that the moment you’re accused of anything, you can’t play, you get deactivated. That’s insane. How would you like to potentially lose your job the moment you were accused of something, no matter how credible the witness, or how absurd the situation? Don’t you deserve due process?
What about the teams? Is it fair to the Minnesota Vikings to lose their top offensive player on a charge that he already beat in May? Will anyone care a year from now that the Vikings weren’t able to fully compete because of this, or will these professional agitators have simply moved onto another issue?
Right now, Adrian Peterson’s charity has been shut down, and now is being raked through the coals of the media. At first, there were charges of corporate malfeasance, charities that never received money, and Peterson using the credit card for his own ends. Except no one did any actual research. Once Peterson found out about the problems with the charity, he fired the accounting company, hired a new staff, and kept up with the foundation personally. He didn’t take money, he put in $1.2 million when they needed it.
Maybe him beating his kid with a switch doesn’t feel right, but does this really sound like a guy who didn’t care about his community? A Community that condemned him without the benefit of a doubt despite the years he worked to earn its respect? And how does any of this help the kids that were the whole point of the charity? Are we surprised when athlete don’t want to give back anymore?
I have a dog in this fight. I admit it.
I was beat with a switch when I was child. My grandmother did it, not often, but it happened. I didn’t even remember. You would think it was this horrible traumatic event, especially because it looks so awful afterwards, but a lot of us who had Southern parents or grandparents got the switch and I’ve never met anyone who was too agitated about it. Peterson just has the extreme misfortune to play in Minnesota, a state that has literally no context what he’s talking about, because a Texas jury already refused to try this.
I don’t think anyone should be beat with a switch anymore. But where you might see a monster or a bully, I see a dad who was trying, and made a mistake.
I’m a large, black man. We don’t get the benefit of a doubt. Everything we do is uglier and more horrible than everyone else. The same people that find Adrian Peterson’s liaisons repulsive, find Charlie Sheen’s amusing. At least Peterson’s encounters were consensual. (Sheen is a long-time proponent of the casting coach, BTW, which is sexual harassment and intimidation at its foulest.) And to his credit, Peterson did change his life and get married.
I know what it likes to be accused of something horrible, and be condemned for it, even though you didn’t do it. All the positive things you did for people don’t matter. The credibility of the accuser doesn’t matter. The facts don’t matter. To some people, you are always that awful person, who did that terrible thing, and it never goes away.
Right now Adrian Peterson is getting ganged up on. And a lot of it is coming from his own ‘fans.’
This is going to end predictably. He already was a Cowboys fan, DeMarco Murray is outplaying his contract every second and you’d be a fool to think he’ll be that good anywhere else. Peterson is going to the Cowboys with a year of rest, a fire in his belly, and the best run-blocking line in the league. But what about the other guys?
You could believe that a cackling Greg Hardy threw a girl on a bed full of guns, or you could wait and see how it plays out. You could believe that Jonathan Dwyer went psycho over a couple of days, or you could have an investigation and then mete out punishment.
But for some reason, that just isn’t enough anymore.