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I was born and raised in the Smokey Blue Ridge Mountains of Staten Island, where my pappy years ago taught me that you don’t keep your best huntin’ dog chained to the bumper of the Chevy El Camino.
You gotta let that dog hunt!
To that end, the indefatigable and reliable creator, curator, content supplier and chief sniffer for the Twitter site Funhouse — also known as @BackAftaThis — is back, whatever his name and wherever he lives.
And the fellow who daily tracked Mike Francesa’s self-serving deceits and baseless boasts using only facts as recoded off TV and radio, now seems unable to ignore the self-revisionism regularly spoken by FS1’s Colin Cowherd. Francesa and Cowherd both seem to disregard the truth as far beneath them.
Don’t know why he does it, or how he does it but Mr. Funhouse is good at it. He simply can’t suffer the dishonest treatment of the public by broadcast media. We’re kindred souls.
The Packers aren’t playing this weekend by virtue of their 13-3 record — a genuine bye as opposed to those the NFL and compliant media reference during the regular season. But next week, presuming the Packers play on Fox, we have an intro in mind — inexpensive but appealing, as it’s already in the can via the work of Funhouse.
Two clips, the first from January 2019 when Cowherd authoritatively responded to the hiring of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur as the work of imbeciles:
“So the Packers have hired a coach, Matt LaFleur.” He then threw an exaggerated French accent on LaFleur, as if the name Cowherd is a trip to Paris. “LaFleur called plays for one year. What did I miss? Tennessee got worse offensively. Points, pass offense, all down.
“So congratulations on hiring someone who people question whether he has the stature and gravitas, the alpha, the it to even run a coordinators’ meeting! Good luck to Matt LaFleur.” And again with the mocking French accent.
Yes, the Packers had hired a rank incompetent.
Last week, sans mocking accent, the second clip: Cowherd complimented LaFleur as the prefect hire, the one who could and would “tweak” the Packers to make them better.
Yes, just a few tweaks, enough for them to grow from 6-9-1 before LaFleur to 26-6 under him.
Funhouse, post-Francesa, is drawn to Cowherd — for example, chronicling Cowherd’s assertion that he didn’t like QB Vince Young when he was drafted out of Texas because his throwing motion reminded him of Tim Tebow’s.
“One problem” wrote Funhouse, “Tebow was in high school when Young was drafted.”
And even if Cowherd, same as scores of radio and TV know-it-all tough-talkers, is never held accountable for his words spoken on a national stage, it’s sure good to have that good ole hunting dog, Funhouse, off his leash and back in the hunt.
Lasorda’s routine graciousness was no act
There are those in and around baseball who regarded Tommy Lasorda as a bogus act, a self-promoting, glad-handing, attention-craving blowhard.
Those are people who didn’t know him, never saw that his “act” was all him, all day and night, no admittance fee. Lasorda was, Canada to the Equator, Uncle Baseball.
In 1996, I watched the city of La Romana in the Dominican Republic fill the local stadium when word spread that Lasorda would be at the game. Los Toros — the Bulls — a Dodgers-heavy winter league team.
On his way in, I watched him get handed scores of kids to hold and kiss — and he did so with inexhaustible pleasure. Lasorda managed teams in the D.R.; there’s a statue of him in the plaza in La Romana.
And I watched every big shot in town, including the vice president of the D.R. and Dominican former big leaguers, seek him out to embrace him. I was blessed to have had an all-day, close-up of an extraordinary man.
The best thing about not being rich is that you’ll never have to write million dollar checks to pay undeserving players on the team you own.
Imagine, for over $20 million per year, Kyrie Irving can’t see his way clear to call in just before an NBA game to let his coach know that he won’t be there. And this is a gent given to lecturing about human dignity and being treated like a man rather than just another basketball star.
Though it’s becoming apparent — perhaps predictably so — that Irving feels entitled to play only when in the mood, how would Irving, if he were the team owner, respond to Irving, the big ticket, no-show superstar?
Meanwhile the YES Network will become the game-time, last-stop depot to learn which Nets have decided to take off from work. And the craziest part is that in new coach Steve Nash, the Nets hired a former star who always played hard, never took a minute off from work.
Jockeys’ 2-horse power
Last month, thoroughbred jockeys Trevor McCarthy and Katie Davis were married — to each other, it turns out.
Soon after, they learned of a New York rule that compels married jockeys to ride in the same race only as a coupled entry, apparently to avoid any hanky-panky between husband and wife. Imagine that.
They have appealed to the New York State Racing Commission to have that rule waived so, in the same race, the married couple can proceed as single entities. Mandatory coupling would hurt their chances to procure mounts.
Or perhaps they could just divorce then remarry between races.
Though 10 years later no one yet knows when a red zone “possession” begins — only that it’s very, very important — “targets” have entered as a significant stat even if they’re too vague to hold any meaning.
A QB throws over the head of a receiver or out of bounds to avoid a sack, especially in the end zone. Is that a target? Whose target is it?
I don’t know, you don’t know. And neither do the folks who now list “targets” for our advanced enlightenment. I suspect many are just randomly assigned to the closest receiver to a ball, a ball meant to be caught by no one.
Not that CBS paid any attention to it — as if there might have been something better to show! — but at the end of Sunday’s Steelers-Browns game, QB Mason Rudolph and DE Myles Garrett, of that end zone helmet-attack infamy, shared a cordial conversation and kind words.
TV’s sideline reporters — Fox’s Pam Oliver! — are still stuck on reporting that head coaches “told me” at halftime, as if they weekly land on-the-scene exclusives. The coaches are contractually bound to speak to them, so if they’d simply report, “He said …” good faith and modesty would be served.
The FBI now has tapes of Vladimir Putin demanding to know, “Vhat ees diss promo code: Evan? Vhat code? I vhant answer!”
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