Well, you knew sooner or later the Masters of the Football Universe (MOTFUs) would prove their superiority to the mental midgets in Congress and get the deal done so as to not cook the golden goose. For once, Daniel Snyder is looking better than the other DC Deciders, although that is a relatively pitiful spectrum of comparison. Well, whatever, we gots teh football back on the burner, and that is awesome. Before we get to that, however, there is the little matter of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
There was no Grand Prix in Hungary in 1961, so we will pick up with the season long retrospective of the 1961 Yankee Champion with the Italian GP at Monza in early September. This weeks tilt is at the the Hungaroring, just outside of Budapest. It is a dusty course that has many of the limitations on overtaking and competitiveness of Monaco without an ounce of the charm and elegance. In other words, as a circuit, it is bleech.
Sebastian Vettel still has a 77 point lead over his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, and 82 points over a resurgent Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. They simply are not going to catch Vettel, but the remainder of the season looks to be much more competitive across the board and the race for all positions but the Championship will be fierce. Practice revealed Hamilton still fast, followed by Alonso and Button. The other marques waited just a little too late to catch up Red Bull, but they clearly have as to speed.
The BIG news is the continued Murdochization of F1, and it is not welcome:
The bad news comes from Britain, where the country’s F1 fans are seething over the announcement that the BBC and Sky Sports have signed a joint deal to show Formula One from 2012 to 2018, with only half the races being shown on free-to-air TV and the other half on pay TV.
More coverage of the SkyTV deal with F1 here; and the sad truth on where all the riches of F1 are going is to a spoiled little rich bitch. Well, at any rate, at least the race is back to live broadcast in the US again, with coverage starting at 7:30am EST and 4:30am PST on SpeedTV.
Now, and without further adieu (i.e. before Marcy kills me), we move to NFL FOOTBALL!!! Yea! It’s back! Thanks to universe masters that actually can cut a deal without screwing the pooch royally, the NFL is back and the agreement mandates a whole decade of uninterrupted football free of labor disputes. And with that, we are off on a flurry of signings trades and activity. Let’s take a look at what is up with that.
As Ms. Wheel has already pointed out, and somewhat unexpectedly, Bill Bel and the Pats have pulled another fast one and made a huge splash by signing both Fat Albert Haynesworth and Ochocinco. Even money on whether this is genius or catastrophe. Just to throw a little water on the parade, here is Jason Whitlock:
Albert Haynesworth has no love for football. He plays the game because he’s good at it and it financially rewards him. The money he bilked the Redskins for is all he ever wanted from the game. Mission accomplished.
He has no desire to be an all-time great. His effort will always be inconsistent. He is not Randy Moss, an edge player whose penchant for taking plays off can be worked around. Haynesworth, a defensive tackle, is a cancer at the heart of a defense. His unwillingness to work breaks down the entire unit. Defenses are built on trust, gap control and every man filling his lane. You can’t have trust with Haynesworth in the middle of your defense.
And I don’t get Ochocinco, either.
It’s a myth that Ochocinco has some great love of football. Ochocinco has a love of attention. He spent the entire offseason attention-whoring. He rode bulls and race cars. He tried out for soccer. He did whatever he could to attract the attention of ESPN cameras.
It’s the same act he pulls on the football field. The alleged Patriots Way is that no man is bigger than the team. From the name on the back of his jersey, Ochocinco contradicts Belichick’s philosophy.
Well, oky doky then. The good news for the Pats is, despite earlier predictions, the Jets Jets Jets didn’t really get as much done as they hoped. Read, they could not pull off signing Nnamdi Asomugha. They resigned Santonio Holmes, but that isn’t enough to separate from Belichick and Bieber Brady (Ooops, Scribe informs me Giselle mad Tom get a haircut, and he will now be known as “Dancin Queen Brady“). The Fish picked up Reggie Bush but still have a hole at quarterback. Still may be in play for the only real story left in free agency, Kyle Orton, but less likely with their signing of journeyman Matt Moore. Bills are still lame. A team that did get some immediate help at QB is the Titans, who signed Matt Hasselbeck, who will lead them and groom Jake Locker for the future. With Peyton Manning ailing, and the Colts nothing without him, the AFC South could be up for grabs.
In the NFC, the sleeper team may be the Falcons. The Dirty Birds picked up defensive end extraordinaire Ray Edwards, late of the Vikings; and added stud receiver Julio Jones in the draft. Both are going to really solidify an already very good team. The Cardinals didn’t do a lot, but the one significant move was a huge one in getting starting quarterback Kevin Kolb from the Iggles. Kolb is young, schooled by Andy Reid and has a cannon for an arm. That alone puts the Cards back in the mix in the NFC West and will make Spidey Fitzgerald a happy man. Still a weak division, but is going to be a lot of fun to watch, especially if Jim Harbaugh can firm up Alex Smith and the Niners and Sam Bradford continues to progress for the Rams
The Eagles have made themselves quite a bit better with the addition of star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who left the Raiders and could not be landed by the salivating Jets. Eagles also picked up Antonio Cromartie-Rogers in the Kolb trade with the Cards, and have gone from weak to very strong at CB. With their linebackers and Asante Samuel, the Eagles will be tough on defense. Better hope Mike Vick stays healthy though, because they now have Vince Young as backup, and Young cannot run the West Coast offense for shit. Andy Reid might want to risk getting a wang shot from Brett late at night and keep Favre on speed dial. Giants look like they may just resign Plaxico, which would be a decent move; but their draft was horrid and Eli is more bad than good lately. Redskins still suck, although they jettisoned the Haynesworth lead anchor and contract. Cowboys get Romo back, but jettisoned a LOT of talent, including on their O-Line; that is gonna hurt.
Oh, and the Cowboys also dumped flighty prima donna wideout Roy Williams. Williams was not exactly a genius, was a malcontent and had ping pong paddles for hands. So pairing Rock For Brain Roy with the sterling personality and self absorbed bonehead Jay Cutler is an obvious stroke of Einstein for the Bears. McNabb ain’t enough to help the Vikes, so the Pack should get another title in the NFC Central/North/Whatever. I actually think the Lions may be the second best team in the division at this point.
There are a lot of other moves and grooves, but I will leave that up to you folks in the comments.
Oh, and as a parting shot, the US State Dept has refused visas for the Ugandan Little League team; crushing their hopes of being the first African team to ever qualify for LIttle League World Series. Sad.