Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed Patrick Mahomes, their Super Bowl-winning QB, to a 10-year contract extension. Now that the NFL has jumped into bed with the Black Lives Matter Movement, I’m officially a former fan of the NFL, including the Minnesota Vikings. Any corporation or organization that sides with Marxists isn’t worthy of my patronage.

Last year, I officially stopped watching the NBA because they sided with the Chinese. We were lectured that the NBA was trying to open up China’s market. Anyone that supports the manufacture of Nike products in Chinese sweat shops by child labor won’t get a penny from me.

When the NFL announced that they’d play “the Black National Anthem” right before the official National Anthem, they made it clear that they were doing this to “recognize the victims of police brutality.” According to this article, “the league is also considering allowing players to wear helmet decals or jersey patches recognizing those who have been impacted by systemic racism and police brutality.”

In June, in the wake of nationwide protest over systemic racism, the NFL released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter, writing: “This is a time of self-reflection for all – the NFL is no exception. We stand with the Black community because Black Lives Matter.”

What about black children like Secoriea Turner, the innocent 8-year-old who was killed “while riding in a vehicle with her mother and an adult friend, according to police. The driver was attempting to enter a parking lot at 1238 Pryor Road where a group of individuals illegally placed barricades. Someone in the group opened fire on the vehicle, according to police, striking Turner.” Doesn’t this beautiful child matter?

Here’s more from the official NFL statement:

“Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us,” continued the statement.

Like the rest of the nation, the NFL will make symbolic gestures to appease Black Lives Matters. What the NFL won’t do is pay attention to the innocent lives lost like Secoriea Turner. What the NFL didn’t do is their homework. Does the NFL want to partner with an organization that wants to defund the police? Check this out:

May 30, 2020
Enough is enough. Our pain, our cries, and our need to be seen and heard resonate throughout this entire country. We demand acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police. We call for radical, sustainable solutions that affirm the prosperity of Black lives.

That’s right. Defunding the police leaves the poorest minority neighborhoods in the most precarious positions. Apparently, the NFL doesn’t care about those black lives. After all, poor blacks aren’t likely to attend games and produce revenue for the NFL.

Question for the NFL: isn’t it an injustice that poor minority neighborhoods are the neighborhoods where violent crime is most prevalent? What about that injustice? Doesn’t that injustice matter to you because they don’t have a high-profile mouth-piece to lobby for them?

I already stopped watching the NBA last fall when the NBA decided that siding with China was more important than standing with the free people of Hong Kong. LeBron James lectured us about how nuanced US foreign policy is, especially when he’s relying on opening Chinese markets to sell products with his name on them. It doesn’t matter to him that the athletic gear that bears his name is made in Chinese sweat shops with child labor. That nuance isn’t worthy of King James’ consideration.

Now, the NFL is jumping into bed with Black Lives Matter and other Marxists. The NY Post reports that “the league will have renditions of ‘Lift Every Voice And Sing,’ traditionally known as the Black national anthem, played before ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as the NFL’s regular season gets underway. The NFL is also considering other ways to recognize the victims of police brutality during the upcoming season, which is slated to start on Sept. 10. Among those ideas is listing the names of victims on helmet decals or jersey patches, per ESPN.”

It isn’t that I hate recognizing “the victims of police brutality.” It’s that they’re ignoring the black-on-black crime that happens every weekend in Chicago. Those lives apparently don’t matter to the NFL. Further, the NFL is infamously leftist. DeMaurice Smith, the current leader of the NFLPA, was part of President Obama’s transition team in 2008. Joe Lockhart, a professional partisan hack for the Clinton administration, was also part of the NFL’s league office. When he was part of the Clinton administration, he was the WH Press Secretary.

The decision comes in the weeks after commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league fumbled its handling of previous peaceful protesting done by players. The NFL has since committed $250 million to fight systemic racism over the next 10 years, and Goodell has urged teams to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unable to land a contract since he knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality in 2016.

Tonight, I’ve talked with several friends. When I told them about this, these friends immediately said that they wouldn’t watch the NFL anymore. I then told them that I’d already made that decision. First, I wholeheartedly dispute the notion of systemic racism. That’s a quick dodge of personal responsibility. Check this stupidity out:

It’s time to start ignoring the NFL, too. If they’re hopping into bed with leftists and Marxists, which they are, they won’t get my business. The NFL is caving to the NFLPA to “recognize the victims of police brutality” but they aren’t doing anything to recognize the victims of black-on-black crimes? What’s up with that? That’s what people without principles do. That isn’t what mature men of integrity do.

I’m fairly certain that there’s more than me and my friends that think the same way out there. When people turn off their TVs in droves, I’ll be there to say I told you so. Finally, let’s finish with a little humor from Yogi Berra:

If people don’t want to come out to the ball park, nobody’s gonna stop ’em.

Amen, Yogi. For that matter, I won’t even watch them on TV.

Saying that the Vikings nailed it Thursday night is, IMHO, understatement. With 2 picks, the expectation was that the Vikings would get 2 plug-and-play guys who would start on Day One. Not only did they meet those expectations, they exceeded them.

After trading WR Stefon Diggs this offseason, the need at WR was pretty obvious. With the pick they got in the Diggs trade, the Vikings just let things come to them. That worked perfectly when LSU Tigers WR Justin Jefferson dropped into their laps. The things that jump out at you about Jefferson are his quickness, his precise route-running and his contested ball rate. According to ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who was part of ABC’s broadcast of the NFL Draft last night, “Reminds me of a kid that grew up playing a lot of backyard football with those brothers – being the youngest one, trying to prove himself. Natural ball skills. Everything you want to see from a guy. What I love is they get the ball to him early to kind of set the tone because of the energy that he can provide and the personality that he has. He’s dominant in the slot because of that length, and the quickness to be able to separate, but like I said, you get the ball downfield.”

Most of the mock drafts I saw had Jefferson going to the Iggles a pick before him. When they passed on Jefferson, Vikings GM Rick Spielman pounced. After the night finished, Spielman told reporters that they think Jefferson can play outside or in the slot, which was the underlying presumption. That might not be necessary if Spielman’s coaches are right in their evaluations.

The Vikings other first round pick came later than expected because the SF 49ers decided they couldn’t risk letting Brandon Aiyuk get away. The Vikings were the recipients of that decision, with the Vikings trading back from 25 to 31 while picking up additional picks in the fourth and fifth rounds. Specifically, the Vikings picked up the 117th and 156th overall picks from SF.

After dropping to the 31st pick, the Vikings still got excellent value when they picked TCU defensive back Jeff Gladney. The Vikings released Xavier Rhodes this offseason, then lost Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander through free agency. Saying that the secondary was a concern is understatement. Had the Vikings stayed at 25 and picked Gladney, Vikings fans likely would’ve approved. shared this with their fans:

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer shared an anecdote from Thursday’s call with Gladney, a First-Team All-Big 12 selection with the Horned Frogs who is happy to stay in purple. “When we called him — [college scout] Pat [Roberts] gets him on the phone — and he said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you guys to call.’ That’s part of what you like about him,” Zimmer said. “He’s a competitor and he wants to get out there and go.”

The Vikings needed to get off to a fast start in this year’s NFL Draft. Thanks to great player evaluations and some fortunate decisions by other teams, that’s exactly what the Vikings got last night. They filled 2 needs but they still have other needs to fill. They still need help with the offensive line, defensive line, the secondary and probably another receiver. The good news is that they still have 12 picks left to fill those needs.

Approximately a month ago, I started reading articles about how the Vikings were paying attention to NC State center Garrett Bradbury. As the draft approached, it became clear that offensive line was one of the positions that the Vikings were focusing on in the first round. (The other position group was defensive line.)

Thursday night, the Vikings got the man they wanted all along when they drafted Mr. Bradbury with the 18th pick in the NFL Entry Draft. The thing that jumped out at me with Bradbury was something Coach Zimmer said in his interview with Voice of the Vikings Paul Allen. With about a minute left in this interview, Coach Zimmer talked about a conversation he had with Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson:

Patterson was watching tape of the trio of Clemson Tiger defensive linemen that were drafted in the top half of tonight’s first round. Patterson walked into Zimmer’s office and asked who this NC State center was that was standing up to Clemson’s D-Line. That pretty much cemented the Vikings’ attitude about drafting Bradbury.

It sounds like the Vikings will now move Pat Elflein, last year’s center, out to offensive guard, then plug in Bradbury at center for the next 10 years. I’m giving this pick an A- grade, partially because he’s the best interior lineman in the draft, partially because the Vikings upgrade 2 positions with a single pick.

Tune in to LFR on Saturday morning for more updates on the Vikings draft picks.

In his open letter to the NFL, it’s pretty apparent that NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar forgot to read the Constitution. In his letter, Jabbar said “In May, you implemented a childish policy about how grown men must respond to the national anthem: a player can stay in the locker room during the anthem, but if he takes the field and then protests, the team and the player can be fined. Oh, Dear Owners. You stood at the precipice of history tasked with deciding whether to choose the principles of the US Constitution over profits of commerce, patriotism over pandering, morality over mob mentality, promoting social justice over pushing beers. Sadly, you blinked. Courage, it seems, is expected only of players.”

Actually, the Constitution gives employers the right to squash free speech if that speech hurts their business. Each individual NFL franchise is worth lots of money. For instance, the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise is worth $4,800,000,000. The NFL’s TV contract is literally worth billions of dollars each year.

For that reason, these owners have the right to protect their financial interests. Abdul-Jabbar’s whining about owners choosing “the principles of the US Constitution over profits of commerce, patriotism over pandering, morality over mob mentality, promoting social justice over pushing beers” sounds like socialist blather.

The Constitution is just fine. Just because it doesn’t give you the outcome you prefer doesn’t mean it isn’t intact. The truth is that the Constitution is built on the premise that there’s constantly competing principles that have to be balanced against each other. That’s why the First Amendment doesn’t prohibit business owners from limiting their employees’ speech.

Further, this didn’t help the players’ cause:

The entire Hands Up, Don’t Shoot thing was a myth. That isn’t opinion. It’s a finding of fact. If players want to be activists, let them do it on their own time. NFL fans tune in, at least partially, to escape politics. Then, too, if the players want to use the opportunity to be activists, I’m certain that lots of fans will be willing to eliminate the NFL from their TV schedule. I’m certain because lots of them already have eliminated it from their TV priorities.

For all of Abdul-Jabbar’s high-minded talk, he apparently hasn’t figured out that free market capitalism still drives this nation.

Between Stephen Ross and Roger Goodell, the NFL have candidates to play idiots covered. First, Stephen Ross was stupid enough to tell the world that he’d suspend any player for 4 games if they didn’t stand for the National Anthem. By doing that, he made the matter a collective bargaining situation. That’s per the NFLPA-NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Next, Roger Goodell, the NFL’s spineless commissioner, decided that he’d make a difficult situation worse. He started by being spineless. Colin Kaepernick decided he wouldn’t stand during the National Anthem because he disagreed with this nation’s racial policies. Had Commissioner Goodell done the right thing right then, he would’ve implemented a new rule saying that all players would stand ruing the National Anthem. That would’ve ended things right there.

Instead, he let the problem fester, which led to the NFL’s TV ratings cratering and increased numbers of empty seats in stadiums. Commissioner Goodell should’ve sent the message that what players do away from the stadium is their business but what they do prior to the game is the NFL’s business. Commissioner Goodell gets paid almost $50,000,000 a year. The owners have a right to expect him to make intelligent business decisions. He hasn’t. He’s a disaster. He’s the most overpaid disaster in NFL history.

By now, NFL fans know that the Commissioner caved to the NFLPA, aka the NFL players’ union, over the issue of standing/kneeling for the National Anthem right before the start of each game. This joint statement summarizes things quite nicely:

It opens by saying “The NFL and the NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”

This wouldn’t have gotten to this point if Spineless Roger had laid down the law with the owners, then the players. First, he should’ve told Ross that there wouldn’t be suspensions of players if they didn’t stand. Then he could’ve said that deactivating players for games was acceptable. Next, with that situation fixed, Goodell could’ve told the NFLPA to pound sand because there weren’t any CBA issues to discuss.

Instead, Commissioner Goodell caved because he doesn’t understand what’s bothering the fans. This isn’t about disrespecting the military. This isn’t about the flag or the Anthem. It’s the American people collectively saying that they just want to watch a football game. They’re saying that they’d tune in FNC, CNN or MSNBC if they wanted the latest in political activism.

Just once, wouldn’t it be nice if the NFL got a simple PR matter right?

Michael Nutter is the former mayor of Philadelphia. He’s written this op-ed to defend the Philadelphia Eagles football team for not attending the customary Champions Day event at the White House. In his op-ed, Nutter quoted President Trump’s statement, which said in part “(The Eagles) disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

Nutter then said “Here is where the lying begins and ends with Donald Trump — none of the Eagles took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during last year’s regular season or playoffs.” Technically, Nutter is right. None of the Eagles took a knee a la Colin Kaepernick. Saying that they didn’t protest during the national anthem is another story.

This article proves that Eagles players protested during the Anthem. The title of the article is “Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins explains why he protested during the national anthem.” Instead of taking a knee, here’s what Malcolm Jenkins did:

Does Mayor Nutter really want to base his argument on a trivial technicality? What’s most interesting is that Jenkins didn’t deny protesting:

Last week, prior to this political firestorm, Jenkins’ explained at his locker why he started protesting during the national anthem by raising his fist, and whether he believes the initial message has been lost.
Here is what he had to say:

“I think that is why the demonstrations were in fact very effective. Here we are going into three years later and we are still having conversations about it. Even though it gets confused sometimes, it is still creating that dialogue. I think the reason that we are still talking about it is that we have yet to find a better way to do it. To create this much buzz. Nobody has provided another platform for it to have the same weight so we will continue to figure out what we have at our disposal to bring as much attention to this cause as possible. To continue to stay on message about it being about systemic racism, about our criminal justice system, about police brutality, about lack of education and economic opportunities in our community of color. We will keep repeating that. If you want to talk about the anthem and the anthem is going to bring the cameras to me, so be it.”

My first recommendation to Jenkins is to stop listening to DeMaurice Smith. He thinks like a politician. My second recommendation for Jenkins is to pull his head out of his ass and start working towards a solution. Starting conversations without a goal in mind is just wasting time. Saying ‘we want to start a conversation’ is saying ‘pay attention to us. We don’t have a solution.’ If you want to change society, prepare enough to recommend a solution or a series of solutions.

Putting a fist in the air isn’t a solution. It’s a high-profile temper tantrum. If you want to be taken seriously, do the homework. Do the research. This isn’t kids’ stuff. This is about positively impacting millions of lives who need help.

Finally, I’d recommend to Jenkins to start advocating for African-American athletes to stop giving the Democratic Party 90-95% of their vote. That’s a surefire way of guaranteeing that you’ll be taken for granted. Putting that bloc of votes up for competition increases the politicians’ accountability.

Prior to the Vikings signing Kirk Cousins, I wasn’t totally sold on him. From a skills standpoint, I thought he was better than Teddy Bridgewater and significantly better than Case Keenum. After watching his introductory press conference, though, and watching film of Cousins, I’m totally thrilled he’s the Vikings’ QB for the near future.

What’s most obvious is the fact that he’s a leader. Questioning whether he’ll be the face of the franchise shouldn’t take much time. He’s straight from central casting. Vikings GM Rick Spielman perhaps put it best when he said “I spent two-and-a-half hours with him and his family and then got a chance to meet his parents last night before we went to dinner, spent some time with them, and you knew right off the bat. I didn’t need to spend two-and-a-half hours; I needed to spend 10 minutes with him and his family to know what they mean, what they’re about and what’s important to them – and it’s everything that checks the box here with the Minnesota Vikings.”

From an arm talent standpoint, Cousins is high quality. From an intangibles standpoint, he’s outstanding. Watch this video of Thursday’s introductory press conference at TCO Performance Center and you’ll see what I mean:

Something that jumped out for me was that Cousins said he’d met a bunch of Vikings at the Pro Bowl after the 2016 season and that he immediately knew that they were genuinely a tight-nit group. He said all 32 teams talk a good game that way but that the Vikings immediately showed that it wasn’t talk. The impression I got from Thursday’s press conference is that this guy is CEO smooth and he can’t wait to put in the hours to become this team’s leader.

As for the people who’ve highlighted Cousins’ record as a starter, that’s the past and it’s irrelevant. This guy is the definition of a leader. Keenum knew how to maximize his performance despite his less-than-impressive arm talent. Cousins’ arm talent is light years better than Keenum’s. Cousins can drive the ball down the field with velocity whereas Case Keenum had to put everything he had into his deep throws.

Mentality-wise, Cousins plays with a chip on his shoulder because he’s been underestimated all his life. He was drafted in the 4th round in 2012, the year when Andrew Luck, RG III were the first 2 picks and Russell Wilson was drafted in the third round. In fact, he and RG III were picked by the Redskins. RG III was an instant celebrity whereas Cousins went to work learning the playbook. Now RG III’s career is virtually over and Cousins just signed the richest contract in NFL history.

I have no doubt that Mr. Cousins will be the impressive face of the Vikings franchise for years to come.

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Last year, the Vikings got shredded in the NFC Championship Game by the now-world championship Philadelphia Eagles, finishing the season 13-3 while handily winning the NFC North. On the plus side, they finished far better than the Sporting News predicted. They predicted that Detroit and Green Bay would both finish 11-5, with the Vikings finishing 8-8 and the Bears finishing 3-13. predicted that the Lions would win the NFC North. It wasn’t just that they predicted this outcome.

It’s what they didn’t say, writing “Admittedly, this is a tough sell. Predicting the Lions will win a division they haven’t ever won (the NFC North was formed in 2002) already feels shaky after two sentences. Yet, there are reasons to think Detroit could pull off beating out Green Bay for the top spot. Start with addition by subtraction, as the Lions signed former Packer guard T.J. Lang in free agency. General manager Bob Quinn further bolstered the offensive line by adding tackle Ricky Wagner. Each should help running back Ameer Abdullah stay on course. Abdullah merely needs to stay healthy. This team was on its way toward winning the NFC North last year until Matthew Stafford injured his middle finger. How many teams can survive their starter hurting his throwing hand in the midst of a playoff run? No major injuries and no Hail Marys might mean an end to the days of merely sneaking into the postseason.”

They didn’t even mention the Vikings. (That’s the definition of a snub.)

Going into the 2018 season, everyone will have their eyes on the Vikings. Kirk Cousins is their starting QB. For the first time in his career, he’ll play behind a rock-solid O-Line. For the first time in his career, he’ll have a plethora of weapons to attack with. Never has he had the opportunity to throw to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook. Never has he had a running game featuring Dalvin Cook.

With this collection of weapons, though, comes high expectations. Winning the NFC North is a worthy goal but it isn’t the only expectation. Paying $84,000,000 guaranteed over 3 years gives the Vikings the reasonable expectation of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at least once in those 3 years.

I’m proud to state that I won’t watch tonight’s Super Bowl. I won’t watch because the NFL is attempting to get back in the good graces with the average fan by putting on big displays featuring the military. Apparently, the PR meisters told Commissioner Goodell that the NFL’s ratings drop is tied to the disrespect shown to police officers, the military and the average working joe.

At this point, I’ll emphatically state that Commissioner Goodell is the most tone-deaf commissioner of a major sporting league that I’ve ever seen. How could he have gotten the Ray Rice and Charles Johnson rulings that badly wrong? Those are decisions that the average eighth grader would’ve gotten right. Further, what commissioner would’ve gotten things so badly wrong with the kneel-down protests of the National Anthem?

The NFL owners can’t be too bright if they agreed to a lucrative contract extension for Commissioner Goodell. What has he done that a dozen other people couldn’t have done better? Wouldn’t Condi Rice make a better NFL Commissioner? I’d predict she’d be light years better than Commissioner Goodell in terms of PR.

Part of the reason why I won’t watch tonight’s Super Bowl is because I refuse to watch another Bill Bellicheat-coached team in the Super Bowl. Anyone that thinks that any of New England’s Super Bowl-winning teams is better than the worst of Bill Walsh’s Super Bowl winning teams is delusional. Imagine how many thousands of yards Jerry Rice would’ve accumulated had he played with the defenseless receiver rules they have now. On the flip side of that, imagine the match-up between Gronk and Ronnie Lott or the match-up between Dion Sanders and whoever the Patriots’ top wide receiver was.

The great thing about being a Vikings fan is that I don’t have to put up with the stupid things that Marshawn Lynch, Colin Kaepernick or Michael Bennett have done. The Mike Zimmer-Rick Spielman Vikings are old school. They played poorly in the NFC Championship Game but they consistently play the game right. Last year, a script was flipped this season in the NFC North. Going into this season, there’s no reason to think that the Vikings aren’t the pre-season favorite to repeat as NFC North Champions.

I’d rather wait until the Vikings are playing the final game of the season. It isn’t a stretch to think that might not be more than a year away.

While I’m boycotting the Super Bowl, I’m applauding 2 of this year’s NFL HoF class: Randy Moss and Ray Lewis. Both of these gentlemen are iconic players that transformed the league. These are some highlights from Randy Moss’s coming out party on Monday Night Football in Milwaukee:

As for Ray Lewis, he was the leader of the Ravens team. It wasn’t that he was the leader of their defense, which he was. It was that he was Baltimore’s leader. When Ray Lewis was playing, every Baltimore player had to play up to Ray Lewis’ expectations.

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