I was thinking about Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew and the issue he’s taking with his contract. MJD is far and away the best player on the Jags roster, and he should be paid as such. The contract itself has two years remaining which makes you think “well hey he should play out the rest of his deal right?” but consider this: in today’s NFL running backs only last 3-4 years MAYBE, and at the rate the Jags are using Maurice, he doesn’t have more than 2-3 more good years, maybe less barring some terrible injury. NFL ownership can and has cut players as soon as they feel their production isn’t worth the price tag the players contract stipulates, with little to no reimbursement to the player most times. On one hand, I feel like he should honor his contract, but on the other, I think he has a fair argument, and that the rules of releasing a player should change
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First things first, I would like to take a brief moment and apologize to my 2 readers world for the incredibly long delay between postings. I thought as summer approached I would have more time to post here, although I was only partially right. I really wish I could write here more and will as chance may permit..now onto the good stuff!
During an interview on Jim Rome’s radio show this afternoon, NBA commissioner David Stern was taking part in a media tour answering questions to all things NBA. The interview took an ominous turn when Jim Rome presented David Stern a question regarding the legitimacy of the NBA Draft Lotto, which is by the way a valid subject to inquire about seeing how much criticism the Lottery has taken in recent years. Stern launched back a volley containing an old philosophical device if you will regarding loaded questioning. This volley came in the form of the commissioner asking Rome: “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” Obviously not seriously alleging that Rome abuses his wife, this tactic was Stern’s way of saying that Rome was asking a loaded question, to which there would be no right answer. The rest of the interview was mainly a series of exchanges between the two regarding the fairness of Rome asking such a question. It wasn’t until Stern attacked Rome’s integrity that the interview became even more tense. A large percentage of America believes Rome did nothing wrong, and that Stern spoke rashly, which is what I believe; that Rome was completely in the right as the radio talkshow host that he is. I myself question the means by which the NBA assigns the lottery draft slots, and it is incredibly suspicious that the Hornets are theoretically still owned by the NBA and were recently awarded the number one pick. I would like to think that David Stern will face some sort of discipline for this, as if one of his players were to say something like that, they would certainly at least be fined, but I have the suspicion he won’t
A transcript of some of the better highlights of the verbal sparring match can be found here, courtesy of ESPN(http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=8048426&wjb)
As a Lions fan, I am extremely happy with the quality of play the Lions displayed on Sunday, however, not everything they did on the field was commendable. No doubt you have seen or heard about the newest Internet craze: “Tebowing”, which takes its name from something Denver quarterback Tim Tebow did after completing a miraculous comeback against the Dolphins. This celebration of his caused people to post pictures of themselves doing this pose in public places, emulating the quarterbacks praying posture. Some of the Lions took the opportunity to mock this gesture on Sunday after sacking Tim Tebow, a practice I found rather tasteless. I don’t generally have a problem with celebrations, I feel they liven up the game, and in today’s NFL, it’s becoming more and more a rarity for a player to celebrate without getting fined. But the reason I feel so strongly against the Lions doing this was because it just felt wrong. I felt that Detroit had played a very complete game against an ok team, but certainly it was a confidence booster after the 2 game losing streak. Then they had to go and mar this excellent performance by doing something that toed the line between mocking prayer. You may not feel as strongly about this as I do, and as a diehard Lions fan, I struggled greatly for a day or so how I felt till I saw the highlights and saw what everyone was talking about it. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you don’t have an issue with it, but it’s just a line I wish we didn’t cross. I’m fine with celebrating in some other way, just not like that. Tebow is an excellent role model to the league, something I wish some of our players had respected.
While I am not a proponent to violence and other unsportsmanlike behaviors on a field of play, I think Sundays incident between the head coaches of the San Francisco 49′ers and the Detroit Lions was just part of the game. Jim Harbaugh’s 49′ers had just achieved victory over one of the last two unbeaten teams in the NFL. Jim Schwartz had just lost a very close game to a very good NFC opponent. I don’t know what exactly Harbaugh said to Schwartz, but it obviously struck a chord with him and made him angry. I love both of these coaches style of leadership; Harbaugh was enthralled with the victory, whereas the emotions of Schwartz were still running pretty high after the loss. If I’m one of the players on these respective teams, who for years have been bullied around in the NFC, I LOVE the emotion showed by both these leaders of men.
If you payed any attention to the free agency bonanza yesterday, you realized one thing; the Eagles won this offseason’s Super Bowl and it wasn’t even close. From Asomugha to Young, the amount of talent the Eagles acquired through trades and free agency was almost criminal. When you throw in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie into their already potent pair of corners in Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha, it doesn’t appear that anyone will be throwing the ball effectively against the Eagles. Or does it? As a Tigers fan (stifle the laughter please) I remember a few years ago in 2008 when they billed us to be the most offensively potent team since the 1927 “Death Row” Yankees lineup. The only thing truly “offensive” about that team was the 0-7 start to the season, which expectedly ended in disaster. Going back to the Eagles situation, it is pretty easy to win a Super Bowl on paper before any games are played. Somewhere around Week 8 or 9 of the NFL regular season will we see the team start to meld together and play like a cohesive unit. Out of pure potential, both the offense and the defensive sides of the ball look pretty daunting. The tricky part to this whole thing is winning. In baseball, the Yankees buy a team nearly every year, because they have the means to do so, with baseball not having any kind of salary restrictions. If the Eagles don’t win within the next year or so, they are going to be in an extremely precarious financial situation. You can’t just throw money at players like that in the NFL and not have a few consequences.
The NFL and NBA drafts are two very different events. There are two rounds in the NBA draft, as opposed to the seven of the NFL draft. In addition to the differences with the way the picks are allotted to the teams, there is also a distinct dissimilarity in how much money is handed out on draft day in these two sports. In the NFL, players at the top of the draft are awarded ridiculous amounts of money, which is odd considering that they’ve never played a down in the NFL. Teams often mortgage their futures throwing tens of millions of dollars at 21 year olds. In the 2010 NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams selected Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford with the first pick, he was given a contract that was worth at least $78 million with a max value of $86 million over 6-years. Oh yeah and the day he signed his name to the paper he got $50 million right off the bat. Seems like a wise financial decision right? The year before that, the Detroit Lions had given their draft choice out of Georgia, QB Matt Stafford a 6 year contract worth $72 million, $41.7 million of which having been guaranteed. In the NBA, rookie salaries are not that out of control because they have a wage scale in place that dictates how much money you can give a player based on where you draft them. Personally I think this would be a much better way to go, it would save many teams money and stop teams from throwing all this money at young players. It’s not like the teams want to give NFL rookies this much money either, the agents of these players demand this money otherwise they say that their clients won’t sign. The NFL would be wise to discuss this in their next owners meeting…whenever that is…
As any NFL football fan will tell you, 101 days of no football is not fun in any aspect of the word. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the NBA set to expire this Thursday, June 30th at 11:59 EST, is the NBA in more peril than the NFL is now? As it stood before the NFL’s CBA expired back in March, the NFL was and is the most popular sport in America. Its immense popularity is going to take a healthy hit, but those wounds will heal because of how much the American public loves its football. The NBA on the other hand is in a different boat. From ridiculous salaries to the sometimes skewed public view that a lot of the players are thugs, what with basketball’s association with hip hop and tattoos. Fair or not, these things all contribute to the NBA not being as popular as the NFL. Also not helping is the fact that NBA owners owe the NBA players some $160+ million dollars that the owners do not want to pay back. While the NFL lockout was caused by one root issue; greed, the NBA has some deeper issues than that. There are three NBA teams, located in Vancouver, Charlotte, and Seattle, that have moved in recent past, with the New Orleans Hornets being run by the NBA itself. The Sacramento Kings are thinking of moving to Anaheim, a market that is already flooded with sports franchises, plus it’s a hockey town! There are two teams located in Los Angeles, both the Lakers and the Clippers, with the Lakers being the dominant franchise there. While there has been some optimism of late coming from the NFL lockout situation, Commissioner David Stern of the NBA has expressed his belief that there is little cause to think that a work stoppage isn’t going to happen in the NBA.
In a highly predictable top two of the 2011 NBA draft, wunderkinds Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams were snatched off the board by the first two teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Irving, after missing much of the NCAA season with a toe injury, had a considerably less impressive cache of highlights for scouts to pour over in the previous months. Derrick Williams, while he had the more impressive body of work due to his deep journey into the NCAA tournament, was not talked about as a serious No. 1 draft choice due to Kyrie’s more impressive athleticism. Cleveland also holds the No.4 pick in this years draft, who knows what other playmakers they may uncover?