We’ll start things off today with a hot take from Drew Brees that the decline in NFL TV ratings is a direct result of the league and Goodell.
Personally, I don’t buy into the whole “Goodell is a bad commissioner” thing. Seems like a scapegoat for a lot of league wide issues that are out of his control and I think he takes the criticism in stride.
However, when the vocal majority of Goodell-bashers switched from upset deflate-gate activists to Richard Sherman and other well-respected NFL players it began to lend credence to the idea that maybe our national football league might have issues from the top.
Brees has always been an outspoken critic of Goodell, apparently not happy with the way he managed the Saints “BountyGate” scandal as well as other domestic violence mishaps from league players. As if it’s Goodell’s fault that K Josh Brown’s girlfriend doesn’t know how to act right, but that’s none of my business…
Anyways, Brees and fellow Saint and bodyguard Zack Streif had some interesting things to say about the state of the relationship between A.) League executives and fans and B.) League executives and fans. Here are my 5 favorite hot takes.
1.) "I know the players don't have any faith in the way that things are conducted within the front office in the NFL -- certainly when it comes to any type of investigation, when it comes to any type of commissioner discipline," Brees said. "It's really kind of a joke at this point, unfortunately. And it shouldn't be like that." – Drew Brees, NFL Quarterback
2.) The NFL's declining TV ratings could be a result of "probably a buildup over the last few years…It's hard to separate 'em. It all works together," said Strief, who is in his final years as the Saints' player representative. "The NFL front office has seemed to have found a way to make everything somewhat contentious. It feels like there's this constant assault on the players, like we're two entities. It's like they don't think they need us to do this." - Zach Strief, Professional Football Player
3.) "And I think over time, as it's constantly in the media and it's constantly a public issue, I think the fans start to feel a similar way. It's just a constant contentious issue. When you take Brady and say it affected Tom Brady and it affected the New England Patriots, well the fans feel like they're a part of that. It does affect them and it does affect their team and it does affect how you feel about the league, and it does turn you off.”- Zach Strief, Professional Saint
4.) "At the end of the day, the relationship between the front office and the people who are not in the front office has probably never been worse." – Zach Strief, Career Saint and Athlete (Not to be confused with Tebow’s “Saint/Athlete” hybrid role)
5.) "I think it's just been a culmination of a lot of things over the last three years that unfortunately might have just turned people off or caused them to be less engaged," said Brees, a former player rep and a former member of the NFLPA's executive committee, who said his hope when he first joined the NFLPA was that there would be a "partnership" between the players and the league office to move the game forward. – Drew Brees, NFL Quarterback
6.) "And unfortunately we've never felt that feeling reciprocated from their end," Brees said. "In fact it's very much been a, 'We're gonna do things behind closed doors. And you just kind of believe what we tell you.' And unfortunately that's jumped up and bit us, and I named all those cases ... where you certainly can't trust anything that's coming out of the league office at this point.” – Drew Brees, NFL Quarterback
7.) "Listen, we as players want the best for this league. This league has so many great things to offer ... and for a long time the fans were really enjoying it. And now it seems like that's taken a hit. And it really feels like it's been the culmination of the last few years and the way the business of football is being run in the front office. That's the concerning part at this point for us." – Drew Brees, NFL Quarterback
Expect both parties to be fined for their comments and for the Saints to forfeit a 3rd round pick.
To introduce a section I’m experimenting with where I say a useless statistic and try to tie it into my love for the song “Monster Mash”, here is…
The Cavaliers and Indians have won a combined 168 games since the last Browns win. # DawgPound
If the Cleveland Cavaliers go undefeated, and the Browns go winless, they can reach 200 by January 11th.
-Despite using 7 different QBs since his final start, Johnny Manziel is still the last Cleveland Browns qb to win a game.
1.) Austin Davis
3.) Josh McCown
4.) Terrelle Pryor
5.) Charlie Whitehurst
6.) Cody Kessler
7.) Kevin Hogan
All have played but none have won a game since Manziel. #DawgPound
As someone out there once said, “The curse of Billy Goat is dead, but the curse of Billy Vegas lives on”
-Former NFL Panther and League role model Greg Hardy has been charged with felony charges and is facing jail time. This news comes after other news that he was “balls-deep” in revitalizing his MMA career, one of which he has been on a hiatus for some time after a knockout win over his girlfriend. (still trying to find a balance between tasteless and raw-truther)
On a serious note he was said to have been taking his transition to MMA very seriously, training with former champion King Mo at American Top Team gym, where he also allegedly slept.
Unfortunate to see his comeback stifled, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
-Rex Ryan and Richard Sherman settle their creative differences on the sideline on MNF after Richard Sherman obliterates Bills kicker and doesn’t get flagged for it.
Rex allegedly told Sherman “You’re too good a player to act like an ass”, but we’re sure there was a few “fuck you’s” in there that the media isn’t telling us about.
As to whether or not Sherman should have been flagged, not my place to say. However, liberals who are more opinionated than me, like Adam Schefter, have tweeted this on the matter: “If that rule stands, teams should rough kickers before the end of each half or game-winning FG....”
Rex and Sherman seem to be the true polar opposite ends of the “Outspoken NFL personality spectrum”, which makes this a perfect time to introduce a new benchmark concept on grading players on their public display of grittiness.
On one end of the spectrum, in the blue corner, we have Richard “All-Pro Stanford Graduate” Sherman, who uses his platform to bully Michael Crabtree (Grit) bring to light social justice issues.
And In the red corner, we have Rex Ryan who allegedly friends with Donald Trump (Grit) and used to be obese but is now overweight (Double Grit)
Being so similar yet so far apart, they are perfect benchmarks for the ends of the spectrum and it is a wonder that these two haven’t had more engagement in the past.
-Rams DT Aaron Donald is on pace for DPOY with JJ Watt out of the Race. Donald has 47 QB pressures this year so far, 2nd in the NFL behind Von Miller, which is crazy impressive considering the position he plays.
-Speaking of the Rams, fans of the franchise likely have to suffer through more Case Keenum “QB” play, as it has been reported rookie QB Jared Goff won’t start until the Rams are out of playoff contention.
Jeff Fisher has since denied these accusations, however stating that Keenum will start because he gives the Rams the “Best chance to win.”
Goff must be terrible.
-Last, for a few more “Leaks of the Week” from within the Jets organization, it appears DE Mo Wilkerson was benched for the 1st quarter of the Dolphins game for missing his own birthday party.
His “party” was actually a team walkthrough that happened to have a birthday cake waiting for him there, but nonetheless he was a no show and he needs to be held accountable.
On the state of the QB situation, add Bryce Petty to the list of healthy quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick will sacrifice to the black magic gods in exchange for 3 quarters of semi-competent quarterback play.
Coach Todd Bowles said that the former Baylor standout QB will be ready if Fitzmagic isn’t.
Look for him to be injured some kind of freak accident and then Fitzpatrick to heroically come off the bench and throw for 100 yards.