Friday, August 7, 2009

Past News, Present Stain, Future Shame

Like a birth certificate's legitimacy being ridiculed by a kid born with the umbilical chord wrapped around its neck, it is time for POINTLESS PONDERING. That dried up dingleberry residing in the stretch marks of journalism's taint.

Though there is some dysphoria after Brett Favre retired again, joviality reigns supreme.

Never again will the Hyckocrite be written in this blog. Let us go over a few myths with the fine comb of reality in honor of his departure.

There are people who say Favre is the greatest quarterback in football history. These are folks who haven't watched much football, or being paid to promote their media darling. I can think of at least 30 other quarterbacks that I feel are better players.

If you examine his character, it reeks of a self serving ego who put himself first at all turns. This was first seen in his rookie season, where Favre clashed with the Atlanta Falcons coaches and spent most of his time partying.

Other lowlights included his throwing a teammate under the bus for holding out for a pay raise. Favre, of course, had nothing to worry about. He had just signed a lifetime contract a few years earlier, and became the first NFL player to get 100 million dollars. The multiple retirements also showed his true persona.

If you want to talk about on the field, you first must understand how much easier it is to play his position compared to the years before him. He never had to call his own plays in an era where blockers could hold and receivers could only be chucked in the first five yards.

In these times where the quarterback could practically wear a dress as defenders feared the leagues wrath for tackling them too hard, Favre was considered an iron man.

He played 273 games in his 18 seasons, and has the NFL record for the most turnovers in league history with 427. This includes league records of 310 interceptions thrown and 117 fumbles lost. That is an average of 1.56 turnovers in every game he played.

Brett Favre was a player who you knew what you got with him. A egomaniac who loved the thrill of taking risks, even if he cost the team a victory. He infuriated and clashed with his teammates and coaches. He played to the media, who gave him an image that has endeared him to the millions of people who had forgotten or never paid attention to his antics.

Favre is a first ballot Hall Of Fame player who won a championship in a record setting career. He won't be soon lost from memory, but he is absolutely not even close to being one of the greatest ever at his position.

His ego has many saying good riddance to him now, while his fans will probably never let go of his image nor the hope of his return.

Is anyone really that shocked about the Redsox Roids scandal that Major League Baseball is currently trying to suffocate?

If you are, you really haven't paid any attention to the game the past twenty years.

The bogus Mitchell Report, in case you weren't aware, was written by part BoSox owner George Mitchell. Notice only one scrub middle reliever from his team made that list then?

If you think Roger Clemens didn't start using junk until after he left Beantown, I would like to sell you the Longfellow Bridge for a nice price.

Now we hear David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are on it. My response is,"DUH!". Ortiz was a scrub on the bench in Minnesota before he hit Boston. ManRam's erratic behavior screams of a steroid user called "Roid Rage". Who else in their right mind would go urinate in the left field wall during a game other than a junkie?

Then there is the story where former player Jerry Remy's kid was recently fired for being on the stuff. Of course they don't know of any players who are on the stuff. Sounds like the ol' good soldier being a scapegoat. Taking one for the team, for his dad, and the faux legacy of the organization.

Now, I certainly am not saying just Boston was shooting up. It seems quite clear everyone was, and the list of non-users is going to be much shorter than the users.

Baseball was coming off a strike in 1994, and attendance was suffering in 1995. Owners had to do something, they thought, and this included George W. Bush. Bush owned the Texas Rangers at the time, and would become the President of the United States of America just five years later.

Baseball had already lowered the pitching mound and lowered and brought the outfield walls in closer to home plate. In order to bring in the fair weathered fan to fill seats, they decided to try other options to increase offense.

The first step was to wind the balls tighter, which is called "juicing" them. It makes the ball travel further, and this theory was proved by testing. Seemingly no one cared, because the media and MLB soon stifled this story.

Another way was to water down the talent pool through expansion. The Milwaukee Brewers moved to the National League in 1998. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the league also that year in what is called "a magical season" by some. These teams, along with the defending champion Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies franchise entering just their fifth years of existence, set the stage for a big public relations push.

Watering down the talent, shrinking the stadiums, and juicing the balls wasn't enough. For several years, many players already had begun to take steroids. The MLB owners chose to look the other way, especially in a lucrative 1998 season. Two of the poster children for steroids, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, began a binge on both drugs and home runs. The gloss of the home run shined over the steroids then, because the game and media were getting fat on these times.

Times were good to baseball. So good even guys with salami bats were going on home run tears in the 90's. In 1996, Kevin Elster hit 24 homers. He had 88 total in his 13 year career. Brady Anderson had ten career home runs in four years before 1992. He hit 50 in 1996 alone. Steroids were as common as a fastball down the heart of the plate from then on.

Now there seems some phony repent from the game. Long after they stole money from the fans. A repent that has been so untrue, we are seeing names casually trickle and fade quickly now. Players the game pushes into their spotlight like Ortiz, Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and others.

Can the players be blamed alone? The media slants it that way.

Imagine a teenager next door who is doing drugs and robbing your house daily. Does his parents deserve some of the blame? What if the parents supplied the drugs and served as a lookout as the kid did his dirt?

It is a sad time for the game, yet people seem to still attend as much as ever. Still, you cannot help but wonder if the Red Sox are a team that has not legitimately won a World Series since 1918.

Perhaps the "Curse of The Bambino" still exists?

Roger Goodell seemingly has the NFL off course, but there still may be a method to the madness by the owners puppet.

With the Pro Bowl being moved to the week before the Super Bowl, and is a moronic idea! All this proves is that Goodell is bad as hell for the NFL.

Let us imagine your favorite player on your favorite team having a spectacular year and leading the way to a Super Bowl appearance.

Only two scenarios can be played out. Obviously this first one is that the player skips the Pro Bowl entirely, which will be the most prevalent move by any Pro Bowlers on teams that make it to the Super Bowl.

The second option is what I call the "Robert Edwards" result. Edwards was a rookie who blew out his knee in a NFL event during the 1998 Pro Bowl week. He almost had to have his leg amputated, and did not return to the NFL again until 2002. No team in the Super Bowl is willing to risk this happening.

This move by Goodell takes away from the Pro Bowls legitimacy, because lesser players will have to fill in and make it more of an ALMOST Pro Bowl instead.

Why even bother playing this kind of game at all? The game already has been suffering from lackluster play by divas, now less talented and worthy ones will cause a deeper coma for viewers.

The last part is how the NFL is moving the game from Hawaii to Miami.

Cheap greed is the first thought that comes to my head. Miami is a nice city, but it ain't Hawaii. Players loved the trip to Honolulu, and brought family along. You really see this happening in Miami?

Then there is the sad reality the long shot player may be phased out of Goodell's NFL. Many players in the Hall Of Fame were not drafted early or at all.

With the NFL practically phasing out the preseason, you probably will see less of these types of long shots. The whole purpose for training camp and exhibition games is to get the best players possible on your roster. Now it can't happen.

Pretend the Jets try out an undrafted quarterback who easily outplays their first draft pick Mark Sanchez.There is just one roster spot open. With all the money invested into Sanchez, there is no way the undrafted kid beats him for the job nor has enough time to.

The UFL will be starting soon, and it could have the success of the last incarnation of the AFL if managed right. Some ex-NFL players, now coaching in the UFL, think the NFL wants the UFL to succeed. Some theories range from the UFL serving as a minor leagues for all the good players who fail an NFL job. Other think it could help the game eventually branch out to new cities then NFL would envelop the upstart league, much like they did with the AFL.

If this is true, and the NFL is using the UFL to grow, then it could be a win-win. There are many good players unable to make rosters each year. Some need time to develop and learn the game more.

Still, it is a bit sad and melancholy to think of all the possible future legends forced to go this route rather than doing it the way it has been done since the birth of the NFL.

Every few years, we get sports pages telling us about bike riding. Lance Armstrong brought it mainstream with his cancer battle, and his steroids cloud.

ESPN pushes the X Games yearly, and bikes are a big part of it.

The Olympics has bike riding events, though they seemingly get little air time.

One can appreciate the ability of the rider, but it seems amazing how much of a spectator sport it has become.

Not so much in the X Games, because they mix it up with other events like skating and skiing. The real surprise is how many people line up throughout the countryside of France. They line up deep and far to catch glimpses of the riders.

Though there is some history to this tour, as well as the bicycle itself, but is this a sport a great portion of Americans pine away for its arrival on television? Do even the highlights pump you up?

Why does it get so much publicity, yet women's sports get hardly any at all? Are you even aware the WNBA has played twenty games already?

Well, it's that time to make like a baby and head out. As they like to say in Ol' Mexico : AMF.


Rad said...

One of the longest posts I've read recently but I appreciate the detail you put into this rant.

On Favre-I agree that he is not the greatest QB to ever play the game, but I think 30 is a little high to put in front of him. I personally couldn’t stand the last 4-5 years of his career either, with the constant issue of his retirement being brought up by him every time they got knocked out of the playoffs or end the season out of the playoffs. He could have handled that a lot better. But like you said, his true personality showed and his love of media attention was exposed.

His comments when Javon Walker was trying for a new contract were way out of line. That’s something you say to a teammate face to face and behind closed doors, not talking to him through the media. This was the start of his downfall as the fun loving, good ole boy of the NFL.

I always loved his gun slinging ways, he seemed to be having a blast on the field at all times, but his penchant for drawing attention to himself just got really out of hand towards the end and I just did not see the joy out there the way I once did. I hope he stays retired so I can keep the good memories out front and forget about all this nonsense he put us NFL fans through.

As for the Red Sox being included in this steroid party, I hope that David Ortiz is hunted and questioned the same way Alex Rodriguez was when it was told that he too was on 'roids. And I hope Ortiz is not given credit for "admitting" he used once this is all said and done. They said this about Rodriguez when his name was released; he got caught and then confirmed the report. That's not admitting to anything, that’s apologizing for getting caught once the evidence has been shown to the jury. I want 1 player, just 1 who KNOWS he is on that list to step up and say "I used and I'm sorry". That guy I will sympathy and admiration for, not these cheats who hide the truth until it's exposed and then they play the "stand-up" guy role and pretend it's no big deal because "everybody was doin' it."

Speaking of the UFL, the Arena Football League shut down last week. Without them we may never have seen Kurt Warner play in the NFL.

Great post man, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post ... actually I say each part is a post in itself ... thus 3 excellent posts (or was it 4?)

You hit the nails on the head!