emptywheel

Are You Ready For Some Football? Week One Trash Talk

We may have started Trash Talk last weekend because of college football, but we start it in earnest this weekend because not only are the student athletes back in action, the NFL regular season is officially underway.

Now, before getting to the games, let’s talk about the so called “student athletes” for a moment. The Charleston Southern Buccaneers are a small school playing football in the lower NCAA Division 1 tier. Today they play a non-conference game against nationally third ranked Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. On television. Maybe the biggest game setting the players at tiny Charleston Southern will ever experience. Except not all of the student athletes will get that chance, because the NCAA, as led by Mark Emmert, are usurious assholes, and the administrators at Charleston Southern are worthless idiots. 14 of the Buccaneers are suspended.

You see, mistakes were made. From USA Today:

Fourteen football players for Charleston Southern have been suspended for the school’s game against No. 3 Florida State on Saturday.

The punishments announced by the school Friday are part of NCAA violations involving 32 players in the program related to book purchases. Each player is serving a one-game suspension with the school staggering the penalties across multiple games. During Charleston Southern’s first two games,16 players serve their punishment. Two additional players will serve their suspensions at a later date.

What heinous crimes did these pirates engage in? Rape? Murder? No, those are crimes that Florida State Seminoles routinely engage in and get away with. Charleston Southern players don’t get that kind of coddling. These Bucs – gasp! – bought some school supplies at the campus bookstore. Buccaneer player Ben Robinson explained it thusly:

“So basically about 30+ players on my team including me have been suspended for using book money to buy other things in the book store like pencils, binders, and electronics, out of our school bookstore. We would have left over book money and the workers in the bookstore advised us to spend the money because we would not get it back, so we did. Now the school and NCAA are saying that is against the rules. So we all have to pay a fine and sit out a game. About 30mins before practice started I was given the option of sitting out this week against FSU or next game against a conference opponent.”

Thats right, the players used scholarship money placed on their accounts at the school bookstore to buy pencils, binders, lab books and other items necessary to attend class. BECAUSE THE COLLEGE EMPLOYEES TOLD THEM TO. And now they are being punished for it. Not the college administrators that failed to guide them, the players that did what they were told.

This is shameful and unjust. The fact that a pompous jackass like Mark Emmert and the worthies at the NCAA allow this to occur is reprehensible. The further fact that the administration at Charleston Southern appears to have blithely accepted this bogus punishment without fighting tooth and nail, loudly and publicly, for their students is despicable. Nobody would even know about this atrocity if Robinson and a couple of other players not have discussed it on their social media. The Charleston Southern Buccaneer players have now been punished as much, if not more, for buying necessary school supplies than Jameis Winston was for raping Erica Kinsman. What a pathetic joke Emmert and the NCAA are.

As for the actual games this week in the NCAA, the schedule is a little thin. Last week had ridiculously great matchups and exciting games, given that it was just the first week. Wow, that was fun. Not this week though. There are no ranked matchups, and, really, few even interesting games. Penn State at Pitt may be okay. The two best bets are probably out west, where high scoring Texas Tech comes here to Tempe to face the Sun Devils. The game may be in Sun Devil Stadium, but I am not sure ASU can keep up with the Red Raiders in a shootout. And Todd Graham’s gambling blitz all the time defense is pathetic. Devils are 2.5 point favorites, but I wouldn’t take that bet, I think Klif Kinsgbury’s boys leave with at least a double digit win. BYU at Utah could also be interesting.

But the pros are another thing. The NFL is already rocking and rolling with Thursday night’s barnburner at Mile High between Denver and Carolina. Speaking of sick, it is hard to fathom how Goodell and the NFL can claim to be so concerned with player concussions and let Cam Newton blithely continue playing dazed and confused as he was Thursday. So, the money grubbing craven nature of the NFL is unchanged.

Probably the best game of week one is the Patriots here in Phoenix Sunday night to face Larry Fitzgerald, Pat Peterson, Honey Badger and the Cards. Jimmy Garoppolo will be at the controls instead of Brady, who was of course screwed by the petty lying ass dishonest Roger Goodell because the duplicitous morons at the NFL can’t understand the laws of physics. But not just Brady will be be missing against the Cards, so too will Gronk and starting offensive tackles Nate Solder and Jonathan Cooper, who are all also out. As in didn’t even make the trip with the team. So, this means a Cards win at home, right? Nope, not going there, the Pats still have Bill Bel you know. Game is NBC’s Sunday Night entry, and should be a great one.

The Steelers at Skins on Monday Night should be excellent. I may be in the minority, but I don’t think Kirk Cousins and Washington were a fluke last year. They are finally letting professional football people run the ship instead of Dan Snyder, and it is paying off. Big Ben and the Steelers are, as always, formidable though. I rate it as a pick em. Giants at Cowboys also seems kind of interesting, if for no other reason than to see how Dak Prescott does in a real game. Kid seriously tore up the preseason, and Trent Dilfer is all over ESPN saying Tony Romo will never get his job back. I’m not buying that in the least, Jerry Jones loves Romo, but am excited to see Prescott.

The Raiders at Saints might also be of interest. Saints are always tough at home in the dome, but it just feels like the Rayduhs are a better team now. Packers at Jags should also be good. Jacksonville is a team on the rise, but Aaron Rodgers is getting Jordy Nelson back, so I’ll take the Pack.

In a bit of hilarious news you can use, things got a little dicey last night on Long Island. There was a sushi chef fight! From the New York Post:

A knife fight broke out at a Long Island sushi restaurant Friday, with one angry chef nearly turning a rival into human sashimi.

The violence at the Ichiban Sushi restaurant on Montauk Highway in Oakdale left one of the kitchen combatants so sliced up, he had to be rushed to Southside Hospital. His injuries were not life threatening, police said.

Police busted Kong Chen for assault. It was not clear what caused tempuras to flare.

Well, that’s it for this week. Crack open a few cool ones and enjoy the games. This week’s music is via Aretha and Blue Lou Marini from the Blues Brothers.

Update: emptywheel here, sneaking in to show off what Tommy was doing while his team was beating the Cardinals.

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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.
37 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    What a pathetic joke Emmert and the NCAA are.

    Just when you think their reputation hits the bottom of the barrel, you can always count on Emmert & Co. to blow the bottom out of the barrel and go even deeper. I think Emmert heard someone say “How can the NCAA top the way they handled Jameis Winston?” and took it as a personal challenge.
    .
    Meanwhile, turning to the pillar of rectitude that is the NFL . . .
    .
    It was a truly bewildering experience to be pulling for the old Fighting Journalist alum Trevor Simeon while watching him wear the orange of Denver, a color banished from the palette in greater Kansas City. All in all, he had a pretty good game, and much better than some folks expected.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Yes, suspended for buying pencils is not good. However. These days a college bookstore sells a lot more than just books and “school supplies”. Likely many personal things that no one would want scholarship/book money going towards. Where do you draw the line? “Electronics”, for example (one of the items they purchased), is a pretty broad category—lots of “non-educational” items in there. Or do you say, “Here, spend this money any way you want, we don’t care if you don’t buy books and don’t learn while you are in school” ?

  3. Peterr says:

    Following on last week’s victory of Houston over the Sooners, the hurt continues in the state of Oklahoma, this time courtesy of the mighty football power that is Central Michigan. From ESPN:

    STILLWATER, Okla. — Corey Willis grabbed a lateral from Jesse Kroll at the Oklahoma State 12, raced for the end zone and reached across the goal line for a miraculous last-play touchdown that gave Central Michigan a stunning 30-27 victory over the 22nd-ranked Cowboys on Saturday.

    Perhaps the Cowboys were laughing too much all week at the Sooners’ expense, and that’s what got them taken down today.
    .
    Oh, and really really good musical choice, bmaz. Is it a good day to listen to some Aretha? It’s *always* a good day to listen to Aretha.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    Speaking of the NFL, next time the union wants to take them to court, is there a way to go out of the Second Circuit? The league has a presence in a lot of places—find a friendlier venue?

      • Jim White says:

        .
        But all the pundits in the off-season seemed to think the Mildcats had a real chance this year, but, alas, the Gators have now won 30 in a row over them. And finally topped 30 points after a ten game drought of not doing so.
        .
        It’s not just that game, though. All you Ess Eee See haters were dancing with glee last week about the demise of the Football Kings. But if you care to look at Saturday’s scoreboard, there were zero Ess Eee See losses that weren’t to another Ess Eee See team.
        .
        Leading those nonconference wins was a very exciting upset of the Horned Toads by the Hogs in double overtime. And the Hill Folks from Knoxville finally woke up partway through their second game and played well enough for them to have their hearts ripped out and stomped on again by the Gators in two weeks.

        • bmaz says:

          Listen here Ess Eee See guy, the Wildcats of Arizona will amount to something in football before the Wildcats of Kentucky ever will. And that ain’t ever gonna happen. Not in football. So, much like the Forkers last week over Northern Arizona, a win is a win, but let us not read too much into it in light of the of the opponent.

        • bmaz says:

          To put it a different way, are you talking about Oklahoma’s big “return to power” with their impressive win over University of Louisiana Monroe?

  5. bmaz says:

    So, it truly is a shootout between ASU and Texas Tech. It is like when the Sun Devils played in the WAC when I was a kid. Jeebus.
    .
    Kalen Ballage, who is a great kid and superb running back, just ran for a 75 yard TD. That would be his EIGHTH touchdown on the night, tying an NCAA record. He earlier broke Anthony Davis’ six TD mauling of Notre Dame in 1974, the previous PAC record.

  6. scribe says:

    Just keep in mind that if James Harrison had dealt only one of the hits that Denver launched into Cam Newton’s head, he would have been banned for life. King Roger the Clown and owners are so concerned about concussions and post-concussion sequelae that they are making every effort to ensure a continuing supply of them for future study.
    .
    Any word on that “Roger the “*ssaulter” thing that was circulating earlier this week?

  7. emptywheel says:

    Wow. That Raydahs game was pretty impressive. I’ve been HOPING they could win their division this year. Sure looked like they might (if they can stop doing stupid things like drawing celebration penalties w/45 seconds left).

    • bmaz says:

      Didn’t get it here, but did get to sweat through Green Bay barely eking out over the Jags. I know my sports lawyer friend in Nawlins was going nuts.

  8. emptywheel says:

    Guys? Guys!

    Anquan Boldin plays for the Kitties now.

    I just breathe a sigh of comfort every time he touches the ball.

  9. emptywheel says:

    In other news the Pats will be, at worst, tied in their Division after the first week of Roger Goodell’s Deflate Pats plan.

  10. scribe says:

    While in the car, heard the Patsies’ radio crew interview Jonathan Kraft. They wound up with a question about the super-giant Banners of Brady, topped with large numerals 12, on the twin lighthouse-like towers at the entrance to Foxboro. Kraft expatiated, to the effect that Biebs is the single longest-tenured member of the Patsies (17 years), having just passed Steve Grogan, in the 56 seasons of the team’s existence. Moreover, in the years his Biebs-ness has been a member of the Patsies, they’ve won 43 percent of all the games the franchise has ever won.
    .
    In other words, with Biebs they’ve been dominant.
    .
    But then he went on to talk about the Patsies’ family and such and how the entire family believed strongly that, when it came to the league, Brady “had not been treated fairly”. And that the banners were a manifestation of that belief.
    .
    He also said they had construction crews on-site at Foxboro who would be removing the banners and numbers the minute tonight’s game started so as to focus attention on the games.
    .
    So then NBC shows an instagram/tweet of Biebs playing catch with Giselle. I dunno how fast she is, but she certainly is tall enough and long-limbed enough to be a good WR.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      The Bob Ryan take:
      —-
      At most, the Patriots were guilty of aggressive jaywalking. For this, Goodell has sentenced them from 20 years to life.
      —-
      Feel bad for Brady…. sure hope the Four Agreements helps his mental anguish. “Don’t take
      things personally”?
      —–

  11. scribe says:

    In other news: so far so good. My rooting tree:
    1. Steelers – not until tomorrow. It would have to be a MNF game when I don’t have cable.
    2. Who’s Playing Dallas? – G-men get by them 20-19.
    3. Iggles – beat the Brownies behind Wentz.
    4. Who’s Playing the J-E-T-S? – Bungles won.

    Indeed, only one – Who’s playing Ballmer? – came out wrong.

    Will be interesting to see how this Patsies game comes out.

    • scribe says:

      Seems like, for all his assholery, Spidey couldn’t close the deal and Garop could.
      .
      How ’bout that.
      .
      In other news, Crazy Eddie, f/k/a Eddie Antar, RIP. Innnn-sane.

    • scribe says:

      This Steelers fan smiles even more: James Harrison intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass to shut down a sudden Redskins drive near the Pgh goal line, giving my Steelers the ball with far less than a minute and a large lead.
      .
      Vindicated. Again.

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