Training Camp Trash Talk

Welp, the NFL and Olympics have both descended on us. There is not much up in F1, the same usual boring Mercedes dominance with intra-team squabbling and petulance. Yawn. There is some really decent racing behind the Mercs, but the crappy coverage afforded in the States by the craptastic NBCSN shows little of it. So, unless you have a foreign feed, or are actually there, it is yet another worthless and boring season. F1 needs to get its act together fast, or become increasingly irrelevant.

On to the good stuff. training camp and the “pre-season” are here in the NFL. As you know by now, Tom Brady and the NFLPA got hammered and reversed by a split panel of the 2nd Circuit. The dissent, by the Chief Judge for the Circuit, Katzmann, was spot on, but he was outvoted by a majority who truly did not seem to be particularly prepared or knowledgeable in the nuances of the lower proceedings record. Either that, or just did not care and were determined to uphold the iron vise grip of arbitration no matter what.

Be that as it may, the majority prevailed, and Judge Katzmann did not. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Everything you could possibly want to know is covered and/or linked in our friend Dan Werly’s superb blog, The White Bronco, including the pleadings and opinions, most importantly the 2nd Circuit majority and Katzmann dissent.

To put a coda on the affaire du Deflategate, this week the 8th Circuit, finally after months of waiting, issued its decision in the Adrian Peterson case. It tracked the anti-labor nimrodery of the 2nd Circuit militating against any semblance of Due Process if there is a collective bargaining agreement. A sad and terrible end, and an unfortunate one not only for the labor in the NFL, but all labor subject to CBA’s.

With Deflategate finally receding in the rear view mirror, NFL training camps have opened and the pre-season games are approaching. The first, as always, is the Hall of Fame game from Canton Ohio. That will be Sunday night between the Packers and Colts. But there will be little Aaron Rodgers, and little Luck, so view at your own peril. But the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony is tonight, starting at 7 pm EST on ESPN. The draw is, of course, The ‘Ole Gunslinger, Brett Favre, who will be the last inductee tonight. Here are some interesting notes on Favre from Andrew Brandt, who worked with him in Green Bay. If every player in the NFL played with the same pure joy as Favre, it would be a better place.

In other news and notes, the Bolts can’t even sign their first round draft choice (or maybe they should have steered away from Ohio State lunkheads that have been under Urban Meyer’s dubious tutelage) in spite of the fact the rookie caps and specs are supposed to avoid this type of situation. It really looks ugly, and the Bolts will have to either trade Joey Bosa or risk having him sit the year out and turn into draft vapor. What a mess.

In local news, the Cardinals have extended both Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald for an extra year. Both are no longer spring chickens, but incredibly productive and absolutely critical for the Cards chances of staying near the top of the league. Seems like a good move as to both, but let’s wait to see what the toll of another full NFL season brings. Also recently signed up by the Cards long term is Tyrann “Honeybadger” Mathieu. He is an injury risk, but such an awesome player and even better person in the community here, it had to be done. Let’s hope the Honeybadger stays healthy for a while.

There are news and notes all through the league. Please, bring them from your team and area. I know Scribe is dying to drop some Steelers info on us, and maybe JoeSixPac from the Niners (who still look dicey to me!). Maybe Marcy will even bring some updates on the Kittehs and Pats!

Rock on folks. This weekend’s music, Seasons of Wither, is an older classic cut from Aerosmith off of their second album, Get Your Wings. This is a live and unplugged version they did later, just because live music is the best music. It goes out, along with best thoughts and wishes, to our good friend Jason Leopold.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
26 replies
  1. John Casper says:

    bmaz, thanks.

    From Hall-of-Fame reporter Bob McGinn, “McGinn: Favre embodied courage, competitiveness.”

    “About 11 minutes remained when Favre threw late and incomplete for Sidney Rice. Fox’s Troy Aikman, the Hall of Fame quarterback, called it Favre’s first bad throw of the game.

    His mobility severely impaired, Favre led a 62-yard drive to the Saints 10 where Bernard Berrian fumbled the ball away (one of Minnesota’s five turnovers). He came right back with a 57-yard touchdown drive to tie the score, 28-28.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2016/08/04/farve-embodied-courage-competitiveness/88069540/

    • bmaz says:

      Favre was hurt. But the Vikes should have won and gone on to the Super Bowl but for Favre, trying to win it fast and get out of there, making that unconscionable interception.
      .
      Have always wondered how well, given how truly banged up he was, he could have played in the Super Bowl anyway. Oh well.

      • Bitter Angry Drunk says:

        As a Vikings fan old enough to have his childhood marked/scarred by the Super Bowl 8, 9 and 11 losses, I’ve come to believe 2009 was the closest they’ve ever come to winning the championship. With two weeks off, I’d expect Favre could have dragged his ass onto the field one more time and, with the help of an outstanding team around him, beaten the Colts.

        But man, that New Orleans game sucked. Vikings should have run them off the field. It was everything; inept play, screwed over by the refs, over and over and over. And Brad Childress. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Childress.

        On the other hand, as great as Favre was his first year with the Vikings, I’ll never not be sick and tired of hearing about him. Has nothing to do with him being a Packer and everything to do with the media fawning all over him to this day. Even as a Hall of Fame player, Favre is quite overrated. But it’s his (and Packers’ fans) day so I’ll stop my rant here. Believe me, it goes quite a bit longer.

    • JohnT says:

      Had to bring up THAT game (know you didn’t mean it) ;-)
      .
      I haaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttte the Saints
      .
      FRrizzle! Frazzle! Mother $%$#^&*&%ers
      .
      I didn’t think any team in any sport could supplant my searing red hot hatred for all things Yankees/Cowboys/Lakers i.e. the King Ghidrah of pro sports
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC4rMWD7MXw
      .
      But that game cemented them as the alpha and omega of pure evil
      .
      PS Dick Cheney prolly thinks they went too far

  2. emptywheel says:

    I’ve been absolutely entranced with the women’s 7’s rugby (which I’ve been streaming). So much fun to see high level women’s rugby on the TV.

    On football (the gridiron type) when I saw the HoneyBadger signing I remembered how many doubts there were about him when he started. Thrilled to see he has not disappointed.

  3. Jim White says:

    .
    Fall camp has also opened for college football, too. My Gators truly embarrassed themselves this week.
    .
    We had known for months that both #1 wide receiver Antonio Callaway and former QB Treon Harris were suspended. They had even been banned from campus for months. Harris decided to transfer and Callaway was, we were told, working his way back toward eligibility and even opened training camp under full participation with the team.
    .
    Then, we found out yesterday that the incident triggering all of this was an alleged sexual assault. The victim apparently chose not to file a criminal complaint, reporting the incident to UF authorities. It appears UF handled things pretty well from the start, keeping McElwain and the athletic department pretty much in the dark.
    .
    And then they fucked up big time. The victim’s attorney is the same media-savvy guy who represented Jameis Winston’s victim in Tallahassee. For the final Title IX hearing on Callaway (I suppose Harris didn’t have a hearing since he announced he was transferring; this was his second accusation), UF chose a “neutral” hearing officer who just happens to be a UF alum (varsity track and field) who also is a football and basketball booster donating thousands of $$ extra for tickets. The victim rightly chose to boycott the hearing. What a stupid move by UF.
    .
    Mike Bianchi has a great column today on the mess: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/florida-gators/os-antonio-callaway-gators-mike-bianchi-0806-20160805-column.html
    .
    More from ESPN: http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17226092/woman-accusing-florida-gators-players-sexual-assault-boycotts-title-ix-hearing

    • bmaz says:

      That attorney for the victim is John Clune, and he is very good. And a very decent chap personally to boot.

  4. JohnT says:

    College football in three words: Fear the Tree
    .
    I don’t care what happens in the fried chicken and chitlins cheating cheaters conference (SEC) even though ESPN is hyping them like a furniture store commercial w/ their 10,000th going out of business sale (BTW, ESPN is to the SEC as MSNBC is to HRC, or Monica to Bill). Whatever11!!1!!
    .
    I only care about the Big Howevermany (around the Great lakes), and the Big Howevermany (in the Great Plains), the Pac 12, and the little conferences (like the one w/ Houston and Memphis, or the Mountain West)
    .
    I think the Tree goes 11-1
    .
    I’m only hesitating on Notre Dame (their tradition) and Oregon. I think they sweep the LA schools and might only get tripped up by someone they’re overlooking.
    .
    They’re a defensive factory. They’re an offensive line factory. McCaffrey’s back. They have good WR’s. And the only real question mark is at QB
    .
    On to MLB
    .
    Even though it’s an even year the Giants are in an inexplicable slump. But That’s ok w/ me the Twinkies are hot
    .
    http://www.foxsports.com/north/story/minnesota-twins-joe-mauer-tampa-bay-rays-hitting-streak-success-080516

  5. scribe says:

    Well, it’s about f’g time to take out the trash. Nice you got around to it, BMAz. You’re like that kid in Galaxy Quest saying he;’ll get to it when it comes to taking out the trash.
    .
    BMAz and I have gone back and forth a number of times this past off-season on lots of things, not the least of which was F1. I spent some time (working) in Yerp this spring and got to watch the Yerpeen TV coverage of F1. #1, they use better TV equipment and have a lot better resolution than US coverage, which makes for a more interesting race. Fer instance, watching NBCSN’s coverage, you never see the cascades of sparks off the bottoms of the cars. In Yerp, you do. BMAz kindly explained to me that those sparks come from large steel plates on the cars’ bellies bouncing off the pavement as they go around corners and such, where suspension travel caused by cornering force leads to the belly scraping the pavement. #2, they care a whole lot more about F1 over there than they do here. You read the German papers and there are usually at least one, sometimes more, articles on F1 every day, depending on the race schedule. Their commentators are both extremely knowledgeable and good at doing their jobs without being too full of themselves. OTOH, there is NO – that’s right N-O – coverage of NASCAR over there unless you want to count the occasional mention of it on the American sports wrapup show that airs for an hour every Wednesday night at 11:30 on one of the obscure German cable channels and comprises just about all their coverage of ALL ‘murcan sports. With the exception of Dirk Nowitzki, who gets a good deal of coverage in Bavaria, being from Wurzburg and all. They look at rednecks going in circles as … people who can’t drive worth a lick. On a charitable day.
    .
    All that said (and there’s more, if you care) the problem is F1 is killing itself b/c the races are basically decided during qualifying, barring accidents. It’s getting so bad that the other week, when Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law (who is, I think, a couple decades younger than he) was kidnapped, the kidnappers set her free a few days later with no ransom money having changed hands. [Insert mother-in-law jokes here.]
    .
    On to football.
    .
    While turning the magazine rack at the supermarket into my personal library the other day, I saw where the Sporting News’ preseason survey of The League predicted my Stillers would win it all, beating the Squawks in Super Bowl LI. This displeased me immensely, because it seemed to be invoking a close analog of the Madden Curse on MY TEAM. Then, I read the article and saw they based a lot of their forecast on the Stillers having LeVeon Bell et al. all on the field at the same time. Seeing as how Bell just couldn’t avoid his friend Dr. Feelgood and wound up “missing” (skipping) a drug test – the implication all over sports-talk radio being that he knew he’d fail and skipping/”missing” a test bears a lesser penalty than failing one (where was that rule when I was in college taking Differential Equations?) – I gave the predication a little less cred than it would ordinarily get, coming from so august a source. Indeed, since it looks like Martavis Bryant will also be missing some time in King Roger’s Dungeon of Collectively Bargained Punishment, I am now treating that Sporting News prediction as being invalid and therefore petitioning the Football Gods to refrain from imposing whatever curse might have obtained had it been valid.
    .
    I think my request will be considered and implemented. The Football Gods are nothing if not fair.
    .
    As to Biebs I hear rumors that, during his coming stay in King Roger’s Dungeon of Collectively Bargained Punishment he will not be spending inordinate amounts of time weakening his legs with Giselle’s help but, rather, will be working out with Randy Moss and Wes Welker. I dunno what working with old, slowed-down guys will do for his timing, but I guess it’s better than nothing. I think this story has more merit than one I saw the other day – from a reputable internet source – that the Owboys were considering bringing Gunslinger Favre back in the role of backup to Fragile Tony Romo and his fat suit. Or was it body armor to protect his delicate clavicle? http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/internet-reacts-to-fat-photo-of-tony-romo-at-cowboys-training-camp-073016 Inquiring minds want to know. Regardless, I liked best the image you find when you scroll down there. Still, when Tim Tebow and Johnny Football are both available, it might make more sense to go with someone still a few years away from grey hair. Maybe Favruh can take one or both of those washouts under his wing and straighten them out enough to be credible backup QBs in The League. But I think he should stay off the field. And who said Jerry ever used much sense anyway.
    .
    As to the Olympics, I’ve been pitching rugby sevens to EW for a while, seeing as how NBCSN was using the various tournaments as filler between replays of old/classic car auctions and such. It is pretty exciting. Moreover, given the rate at which global warming is raising sea levels this might be the only chance some of the Pacific island countries (Fiji, I’m looking at you) may have to get a medal before they wash away. The opening ceremony was lame in all the ways opening ceremonies are though, to be fair, it didn’t have to whitewash Stalin’s purges and mass murder like they did at Sochi. Meh.
    .
    I’m betting that NBC gives absolutely NO coverage other than livestream (Friday 8/12, am)to Kim Rhode, going for another medal in her sixth Olympics. She’s got 3 golds, a silver and a bronze starting all the way back in Atlanta. Of course, since she’s a shotgun shooter, that makes her inherently evil. Given the idiocy which currently possesses America I’m suspecting that by the next Olympics she may have to join the refugee team. She might get a one-line mention in the 3 am wrapup, but surely no loving profile like some teenaged gymnast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Rhode http://www.usashooting.org/12-the-team/usashootingteam/nationalteam/nationalshotgunteam/kimrhode When you can break 376 consecutive clay birds with 376 shells in one session, let me know. She has. The best I’ve ever done in 40+ years was 25.
    .
    Happy trails, kids.

    • Peterr says:

      when Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law (who is, I think, a couple decades younger than he) was kidnapped, the kidnappers set her free a few days later with no ransom money having changed hands.

      I think this was akin to The Ransom of Red Chief. I know nothing at all about the woman in question, but can imagine her telling her captors something like: “You big nasty kidnappers think that this little old lady is going to whimper and cry? Compared with dealing with my son-in-law on a daily basis, you boys are nothing. NOTHING. You think you’re going to pry a single euro out of Bernie? Ha! Have you not ever read anything about my son-in-law and money? Not only will he not pay you, but he’ll send you a bill for the expense of having to deal with this. But you just go ahead and ask for that ransom, and I’ll just put my feet up for a while. In fact, I could really use a break from Bernie, so feel free to take your time . . . “

    • Peterr says:

      Re the Stillers and the Madden Curse . . .
      .
      I think you are a little too late with that prayer of yours. It looks to me as if the Football Gods began enacting their Curse as soon as the Stillers were picked to win it all, rather than after that issue of TSN actually went to press.

  6. bloopie2 says:

    I don’t understand how someone can be interested in particular players (footballers) as opposed to watching the game itself. I watch the game for entertainment. But I don’t give a ^^^^^ about any one player. Why should I idolize, or care about, or even think about, Brett Favre, or Tom Brady? Do they make a difference in how you conduct your life? Please explain. I certainly understand that (as to this blog) I am in the minority with this view, so, help me understand why I should pay attention to any given professional football player. Thank you.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      New England fans will never get over Goodell’s witch hunt, it is part of history, like the
      Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials of the 1600 hundreds
      —-
      As Babu Bhatt says…. Goodall — “you very bad man”

  7. rosalind says:

    echoing John T: go Tree!!
    .
    and the City of Angels welcomes back into the fold the L.A. Rams, appearing at the Coliseum until their new home is built upon the remains of Hollywood Park, site of Zenyatta’s 19th and final victory, covered by this Roving Reporter. Good times. Rams are this year’s Hard Knocks victims, so I’m sure there is some curse associated with that.
    .
    to conclude: Team Tree!!!!!!!!!
    .

    • Peterr says:

      ESPN has a transcript up, and this is my favorite couple of lines on first read:

      My mother-in-law who for 33, 34 years has been by far my biggest fan. I have never thrown an interception that has been my fault according to my mother-in-law, Ann.

  8. lefty665 says:

    Looks like the ‘Skins are continuing to assemble a real football team. That’ll be a first in this millennium. NFC East won’t be the joke it was last year, but the ‘Skins seem likely to repeat. No need to change the oil in the Superbowl bandwagon yet, but look for a good season. The second half of their schedule gets tough so they need to get off to a fast start.
    .
    Scott McCloughan as GM is the sorcerer behind the changes, apparently keeping Snyder’s paws out of things, relegating Brucie Allen to ceremonial duties and letting the real football people do their jobs.
    .
    Cousins looks like the real deal and we can expect continued steady progress from him. Don’t expect him to lead the league, but to be a solid QB and winning games. Receivers are as good as any and better than most. O line is healthy and more experienced. D secondary looks solid, with Norman and Breeland an awesome pair of corners. D line is a question, but with major changes this year will at a minimum be significantly improved over last year. They’re also adding depth so injuries may not be season killers as in years past. McCloughan is awesome.
    ,
    I wish RG3 well in Cleveburg, but some of the news smells familiar. It’s things like McEwen being the better QB so far, and Hue Jackson’s comments about how much Griffin has to learn. At the end in D.C. in the pocket his feet looked like Snoopy dancing on top of his doghouse as he stalled getting rid of the ball until he got sacked. He wasn’t reading defenses and adjusting. Receivers had to run short crossing patterns for him to see them.
    .
    Looks like his legs are healthy so they may be able to get some mileage out of him there, but it’s clear he can’t continue to take NFL defenders head on without getting broken to pieces. Cleveland apparently doesn’t have much of a O line, so if he doesn’t step up his skills in the pocket sharply it could be a long year for him and them. Hope he does well, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • bmaz says:

      Completely agree about the upward arc of the Skins, and largely (as Trump should say “bigly”), due to McCloughan taking control and Snyder releasing it. Better question is whether this really is long term or whether Snyder will raise his ugly head in long term football personnel and strategy decisions.
      .
      Arizona is very similar to Washington: Once the elder Bidwell was out of the picture, and the younger found real football people in Steve Keim and Bruce Arians, things look soooooo much better. Hope Washington is truly committed to that too, because Washington is good for the entire league when it is meaningful as a franchise.

      • lefty665 says:

        You’ve got it bmaz. We’ll find out what really motivates Snyder, success or playing with his toy. So far success is prevailing.
        .
        Phil P: We’re seeing some of what drives McCloughan. He’s making solid acquisitions, and it’s clear he cares about them as people. They’re his “football players” as he calls them when asked about what he’s looking for in talent. It clearly hurts him when he has to cut one. Right soon now he’s going to have to go from 90 to 53. What makes him great at what he does hurts really bad too. It’s enough to drive you to drink.

    • Phil Perspective says:

      As long as McCloughan can stay sober, the Washington football team will be okay. He’s a damn good talent evaluator. He’s part of the reason the Seahawks are where they are right now.

  9. bloopie2 says:

    Not intending to denigrate Brett Favre, a great athlete and a hard worker. But let us put also into our individual halls of fame the “most of the world” who work years, decades, even lifetimes without any acknowledgment, just to accomplish something that they hope can be seen as good—support a family, support a cause. For example, the Olympians. Many of these athletes are ordinary people, living down the street, who work their butts off for decades, all the while others telling them whenever they speak of aspirations of glory that they are merely tilting at windmills. Bless them.

  10. jo6pac says:

    My report on the 9ers.

    OMG it’s amazing how fast a good team goes to bad 8 & 8 maybe. The only good news has been Navarro Bowman has a new contract paying him what he deserves. Eddie D. is in the HF and should have been along time ago as so should have been The Snake.

    I don’t know anything about Chip K. other than if the O can’t control the ball the D will be very tired in the 3rd Q. The owners should be happy the team spent only what they had to according to nfl rules and still have 49 million in cap money. The 9er org. is aberration with santa clara county because they didn’t earn enough in the season on tickets and concessions. 9ers lease is for 10yrs and the stadium bond is 20yrs. This won’t end well and they have become the santa clara 9erss to most of us. Last yr. people couldn’t sell or give away tickets. Good seats for $15 to $25 but parking was still $35.

    The good news is in Oakland, the Raiders spent their cap money really well. Players were calling them to see if they could come to the new team. I do see them going to the second round in the play offs barring injury but they do have some depth at most positions.

    We’ll see it snider can keep his mouth shut and let McCloughan and Gruden run the show. McCloughan also built the 9er SB team.

    F-1 I’ve stopped watching it. Why drivers have to manage tires, fuel, and their feeling is been as bad as it can get. They still sound like lawn mowers and the rules changes from week to week? Sad. Yes the feed on Spanish TV is better.

    Oh well the always the coming election for entertainment. It’s the saddest election I’ve witness and I’ll be voting Green again.

    Cheers;-)

    • bmaz says:

      F1 has always been amazing for the relative technical sophistication that goes into it compared to ANY other form of racing, not to mention relative to cars in general. But the micromanagement of all that is so oppressive and ridiculous that it is killing the sport. And, yeah, they do sound like refined Briggs+Stratton lawn mowers, don’t they? Ugh.

      • lefty665 says:

        Might be worth trying the NASCAR boys in Phoenix in the fall. It ain’t sophisticated, but there’s something to hp, torque and mass with suspensions jacked tight enough they lift the left fronts in the turns all bumping and jockeying around. Got my first taste of stock cars at the 3/8th mile dirt track at Winchester when I was a kid. It sorta stuck with me. I’ve liked to watch the super modifieds run too. They’re not F1s, but they don’t sound like lawnmowers:)
        .

Comments are closed.