Roger Goodell should be ashamed of his insufferable NFL
David Cone's fallacious ump trashing part of the lunacy on sports airwaves
Cincinnati Reds go out of their way to avoid controversy
MLB loaded with questions without good answers
Exploiting shift is just the start of playing true winning baseball
MLB whiffing and becoming a waste of time
It happened in Cleveland. This time.
From its salacious Super Bowl halftime shows, to its annual draft productions that are sound and look like pro wrestling extravaganzas, to blind pandering to the extremist, destructive, selectively outraged BLM movement, to its chosen silence in addressing rosters featuring gun-toting criminals, Roger Goodell’s NFL has become tough to suffer.
From PSLs designed to make financial suckers out of fans while abandoning its oldest and most devoted customers, to games increasingly determined by rotten behavior, to come-ons to bet on every player and game for its cut of the action, Roger Goodell’s NFL can’t seem more eager to let intelligent, civilized fans know that the league is no longer for them.
Thursday’s first round, flash-driven draft coverage from Cleveland on ESPN reflected what the NFL has become: an enterprise geared toward young men who act as if they were just released from juvenile detention and into a whirling, mindless and desensitizing WWE show.
The cuts from a glitzy, graffiti-themed stage — what was the purpose, the sell and to whom? — to young, howling caps-backward yahoos, to live music where none was necessary, this unwelcomed variety show left the early message that you’ll read about it in the morning rather than suffer another insult to the civilized senses.
As reader Doug Gibson, lifelong Packers fan from Jersey, wrote 20 minutes in, “I’m outta here. Back to ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ ”
At the same time, Goodell’s NFL continues to quietly indulge the arrests of players in escalating, near-standard episodes.
On April 23, Steelers cornerback Justin Layne was arrested near Cleveland and charged with a felony. He had the modern NFL checklist of charges covered:
Booked at 3 a.m., he was driving — speeding at nearly 90 mph in a 60 mph zone — on a suspended license. He was in possession of weed. He was charged with illegal possession of a gun. What else is new?
Where do NFL players go and what do they do — often well after midnight — that so many need to carry guns? Are they for offense or defense? Why would anyone exceed the speed limit at nearly 30 mph with no driver’s license, carrying weed and illegally carrying a gun?
We can now ask such questions on a regular basis. But Goodell’s NFL won’t even acknowledge the problems.
Recently, Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, with a contract that guarantees him nearly $16 million, was arrested for alleged possession of a stolen gun, known on NFL telecasts as “off the field problems.”
Google “NFL gun arrests” to choose from piles of gun-busted players on Goodell’s watch. Yet, judging from his silence — he’s a very selective activist — he hasn’t noticed.
Though Goodell consistently ignores such serious in-league issues, he has no problem investing big dough to publicly scold the presumed “systemic racism” of hundreds of thousands tuned in to NFL games. He’d have white fans believe they’re all racists in need of fixing.
Yep, those who invest their time, money and devotion in a mostly black sport are all racists.
The Steelers’ Layne, as heard in a tape from the back of the police car complaining he was busted for just “a blunt,” is another college man who seems functionally illiterate.
He was recruited to and played three seasons for Michigan State, another among scores of publicly funded colleges infamous for producing, then spitting out, those who depart in worse social condition than when they arrived.
The conclusion that the NFL draft, same as NCAA Division I football, is rooted in academic and financial fraud is inescapable to eyes, ears and brains that can calculate two-plus-two.
Then there are the former NFL criminals hired by TV to tell us right from wrong. For no good reason, that’s also a new standard.
Kay goes out of his way to lean on gimmicks, catchphrases
The problem with YES’s Michael Kay is that he’s too slick to realize he’s not that slick.
Last week, as the first pitch was about to be thrown, he realized he hadn’t issued his worn “Let’s do it!” so he quickly jammed it in, thus, from the game’s start he chose to be heard as extra forced and extra foolish as an ill self-advised self-promotion artist.
His now steady, highly defensive praise of Giancarlo Stanton as per his superior “exit velocity” relies on rationalizations to badly miss the point.
Naturally, a batter who swings as hard as Stanton will hit the ball hard when he makes good contact. But otherwise he’s a strikeout machine who treats 0-2 the same as 2-0. Thus Kay’s claim that his “exit velo,” is proof of successful achievement becomes repetitive nonsense.
Last week, Kay spoke a long discourse about how tough it must be on Gary Sanchez to have to concentrate on both hitting and catching in the same game, though he noted that Sanchez used to be a good hitter.
Yep, multi-tasking has diminished his skills, though it didn’t afflict the 16 catchers in the Hall of Fame. And it hasn’t seemed to hurt the steady climb of Kyle Higashoika who, unlike Sanchez, appears to have paid attention in baseball school.
If catching has caused Sanchez such two-way problems, but catching never did a few years ago, as Kay suggested, why not make him a DH — as if as a DH he won’t strike out as often trying to hit homers. Besides, in Stanton, the Yankees have a $29 million-per DH to fill that need.
If only Kay called the game rather than trying to serve as a feckless, wishful and transparent Yankees propagandist wedded to tired, predictable and silly signature phrases.
Thursday, as Yanks-Orioles went to the 10th, Kay had to issue his “Free baseball!” call. Clever stuff — once, perhaps.
How will that work when one of those new nonsense seven-inning games goes to the eighth? Will he holler, “Free baseball”?
WFAN pushes parlays
Do WFAN “Promo Code” hosts — Gregg Giannotti and Maggie Gray, among others — truly believe what they put their names to, that parlay wagers are good bets? Do they sincerely believe that such bets are of greater financial benefit to their listeners than to FanDuel? If so, why would FanDuel be eager to pitch bets that diminish their daily rake?
Sparky Fungobatz Stats of the Week: As of Friday, the Tigers had 164 hits and had struck out 262 times. The opposite used to be acceptable. Thursday the Tigers K’d 13 times in a seven-inning game. In the 14-inning doubleheader versus the White Sox, they struck out 22 times.
NBA box scores often include DNP — “did not play, coach’s decision.” Kyrie Irving has inspired a new entry, DFLP — didn’t feel like playing
Anyway, a hot dog and a hamburger walk into a bar, order a beer. “Sorry,” says the barkeep, “we don’t serve food.”
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