Missing Links

1. Pat McManamon, as often happens, has the most forceful take on the Hoyer-Football mess.  My only issue: #4 and #5 are probably wastes of breath since Johnny Football isn’t noted for taking criticism well.

2. Boomer Esiason channels the views of anyone who believes in devotion to craft and is sick of the self-promoting egomaniancs and sycophants that hacks like Stephen A Smith, Jay Mariotti, Skip Bayless and “Mean Little Bastard” find amusing.

3. Could NFL owners have noticed that the quality of play in exhibition games is hideous– and that the first 2-3 games of the season are pretty shoddy too? Probably not, but at least they aren’t talking about shortening exhibition season

If more coaches could do math, they’d realize that the probability of a starter getting injured in an exhibition game– assuming they are playing against the opponent’s other starters– is probably no greater than a regular-season game. And they’d use the damned games for the purpose they were intended– getting the players and teams ready for the season.

Note: None of the preceding should be taken as support for any of the NFL’s policies surrounding exhibition games– which are currently tools for extracting several hundred dollars out of season-ticket holders every year.

Appalling as those practices are, I do think it takes 4 games to get players ready– especially when a new coach has brought in a new system.

4. Apparently Peter “Drama” Queen, still has a man-crush on Johnny Football. It came as a surprise, because I don’t read those columns often. They always kick up my blood pressure another notch,

In this installment, the blase response to JT– about onscreen ads– did it. I noticed the ads, Ms. Queen. I’m sorry seeing ads displayed on the screen during plays doesn’t get you as hormonal as the thought that Jerome Bettis (13 seasons played, 9 seasons with a rushing average below 4.0) might not make the Hall of Fame. To people who sit at home and watch the games, it’s infuriating. 

The correct response, when you see one of them is to raise hell with the advertisers. Make a list of every logo that appears, then call the company the next day, ask for the marketing department and tell them how angry you are at the practice and how you will patronize their competitors if they keep it up.

5, I was never a Sandy Alomar Jr. fan, because he got hurt so often. In 20 seasons, he only managed to appear in 100 games four times. That fact meant you always had to have a ‘backup’ catcher capable of playing a full season (one year he missed 125 games) at an average-or-better level. So what was the value of having Alomar on your team?

In two seasons, Travis Benjamin has missed 10 of a possible 32 games. And he’s hurt again. Maybe it’s time the kicking teams had a return man it could rely on?

6. Just once, I wish Bill “Easy” Livingston could phone in a column about the events of 2014 and manage to keep his focus entirely within 2014. His latest epic has 14 paragraphs — four are about Romeo Crennel, Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson.

If you’re a glass half full type, the column shows admirable restraint in not mentioning the Mangenius surgically dividing the reps between Anderson and Brady Quinn– or taking a shot at defensive coaches in general– and Marty Schottemheimer or Mike Brown in particular– for their handling of offense.

7. I can’t think of a subject I would have less interest in learning Mike Ditka’s opinion than the Washington Boehners. Draft pick management, maybe.


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