Tag Archive: NFL


“They (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB …) want to get back. They’ve got to get back. We want to get back soon, very soon. We have to re-open our country again.” — President Donald Trump after a Saturday conference call with the major sport commissioners

The “easy” part was declaring a State of Emergency, and shutting down America.

The decision was difficult, but once made it was relatively easy to implement

At some point — not now — comes the hard part: Re-opening the stadiums, arenas, music halls, stock exchanges, restaurants, stores, businesses, corporations …

What? When? Where? Who? Why? and most of all, How?

How are we going to re-open America?

Will we simply lift the State of Emergency, and pick up where we left off? Don’t think so.

Will we wait until everyone is tested for COVID-19 antibodies?

Will we hang on until everyone has been vaccinated? 2021? 2022? …

How will we demand proof of vaccine or antibody testing without violating federal health privacy guidelines (e.g., HIPAA), and personal liberties?

Will we continue to quarantine the high-risk population, Baby Boomers and older?

Will the ‘All-Clear’ signal be given to X-Gens, Millennials and younger?

How does that square with equal protection guidelines of the 14th Amendment?

What criteria will we use? Can we accept that unanimity is impossible; there will always be those who disagree (particularly those with political agendas in an election year)?

Will there ever be an absolute “coast is clear” signal? You can be absolutely sure that opinions will vary, count on it.

And there will be attorneys too, in particular for this Almost DailyBrett author: Plaintiff attorneys … tan, rested and ready to sue anyone and everyone with deep pockets (e.g., NFL franchises).

The Complex PR Puzzle Facing Re-Opening Decisions

No matter how many public officials are consulted. No matter how many health experts provide advice. No matter, no matter, no matter ... somebody has to be first to re-open the doors, the turn-styles, the restaurant tables for overpriced seared sea bass with risotto.

Let’s say we don’t re-open until 2021 (e.g., Tokyo Olympics, UEFA Euro 2021 … ), there still will be a line in the sand. People will no longer maintain six-foot buffer zones. Most likely they will no longer wear face masks, except for football players and hockey goalies.

Can college and NFL football players block and tackle each other? Otherwise, what is the point?

Can fans, patrons return to packed-in-as-sardine stadiums? What if they are scared (Will their tickets be refunded)? What if they actually go to the game, concert, restaurant, store, shop … and get sick? Will they sue? How many? And for how much will they litigate?

An NFL team has the legal muscle and deep pockets to defend itself, but what about a mid-range college athletic department?

Your author is not an attorney, but is there an assumed liability that comes with handing over your ticket with the QR code face up?

Almost DailyBrett contends strongly that public relations practitioners should urge not only communication, but over-communicating.

There will be an acute need for earned media (e.g., digital and conventional media interviews) employing team owners, university presidents, chief executive officers and of course, health experts.

Ditto for paid media (e.g., advertising) with strong messages about getting back to work, and going to the game … safely.

And most of all every organization will be required to launch owned media campaigns (e.g., websites, blog posts, social media, signage, PowerPoint presentations, brochures and takeaways).

The more people are informed about the calculated risks they may take in waiting for the first guitar riff or standing up for the kickoff … the better for them and for the resumption of our economy and our way of life.

Bill Gates was amazingly prescient about the threat of microbial pandemics in his now famous 2015 TED Talk, which served as the forerunner for the crisis of the ten-thousandth of a millimeter in diameter Corona Virus.

Considering the wonderful work of Bill and Melinda Gates, donating a record $50 billion to their namesake foundation for health and education and to combat third world poverty, maybe he could serve as a major thought leader in negotiating the hard part, getting us back to work, into the stadiums, and back on campus.

Didn’t someone piously state that billionaires should not exist?

Ahh … the subject of another Almost DailyBrett post.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28995399/sources-trump-says-nfl-start

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/who-we-are/general-information/foundation-factsheet

For a dwindling number of aging Baby Boomers, the announcement of pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps next week is a harbinger of spring.

Everyone else knows better, particularly those with advanced interests: Football replaced baseball as the nation’s pastime decades ago.

Almost DailyBrett used to be a baseball fan, now he doesn’t care about the World Series, much less spring training and the interminable season that follows.

Many complain about income inequality. There is no part of US society that is more inequitable than … baseball.

Some celebrated Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball” about General Manager Billy Beane and his Oakland Athletics trying to compete in an unfair game.

Now the game is just unfair, and still boring and desultory. Where are the socialist justice warriors when you need them?

Everyone in Washington D.C. has been on pins and needles. Impeachment? No Stephen Strasburg’s salary.

The Nationals’ pitcher turned down the remainder of his $100 million over four years contract. The club ponied up $245 million for the next seven years.

Instead of $25 million per year to throw a baseball, Strasburg will receive $35 million per year to throw a baseball.

Best of all, he will stay in DC. Whew … that was close!

MLB Payrolls Bigger Than Entire Country Budgets?

Almost DailyBrett has never been a fan of socialism. Having said that, a reasonably controlled market (e.g., salary caps) has worked extremely well for NFL and NHL competition. In stunning contrast, the unfettered baseball free agent market has resulted in usually the same low-payroll teams being completely out of the running by June, virtually each-and-every year.

Let’s compare the budgets of sovereign countries in comparison to the baseball team payrolls for … 25 players.

Samoa in the South Pacific provides essential services for its 196,000 citizens with an annual budget of $233 billion. The New York Yankees put food on the table for its 25 studs with $217 million ($8.68 million per player).

Caribbean islands St. Kitts and Nevis serves its 55,345 residents with $233 billion. The sign-stealing cheating Houston Astros allocate $206 million for its 25 heroes ($8.24 million each).

Gambia in West Africa maintains a $230 million budget for its 2.10 million citizens. Conversely, the Boston Red Sox make do with $200 million for its family of 25 ($8.00 million per player).

The average salary for MLB’s 988 players, who mostly stand around for hours in the infield and outfield, is down two consecutive years. In 2019, the average was $4.051 million (1.1 percent less), 2018, $4.095 million, and 2017, $4.097 million.

Should we hold bake sales for these starving players?

Black and Gold Futility Beside the Monongahela

Considering that your author was born in Western Pennsylvania, he has a soft spot in his heart for the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB, five World Series titles), the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL, six Super Bowls) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL, five Stanley Cups).

Pittsburgh with its 301,000 residents and 2.36 million in the metropolitan area is considered a small-market sports city. The differentiator for the three teams is the Steelers and Penquins compete under the terms of respective NFL and NHL salary caps. The Pirates ($41 million, $1.64 per player average) fend for themselves in an unfair sport dominated by the most militant of unions (e.g., MLBPA) and greedy sports agents (e.g., Scott Boras for Stephen Strasburg).

Consider that the Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup in 2017. The Steelers hoisted their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2009.

The We Are Family Pirates last won the World Series 40 years ago in 1979 (Carter was president). Since that time. the Pirates have been a non-factor because they simply cannot compete against the big market teams. Will 2020 be any different? Don’t think so.

For a Pirates fan, the obvious question comes immediately to mind: ‘Why bother with baseball?’ Why bother, indeed.

Some have suggested that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in all of sports. What? Literally hundreds of humans past and present, alive and deceased have hit major league pitching.

How many can carry the ball from the five-yard line (red zone) in an NFL game? How many can hold LeBron to 40 points in an NBA game? How many can stop a Alexander Olevchkin slap shot in an NHL contest?

Let’s face it, baseball is an increasingly unfair and fraudulent (i.e., steroid kings, stolen signs) game, which at best represents America’s sporting past (i.e., Barry Bonds, “Shoeless Joe” Jackson). Traditionalists may still get their collective knickers in a twist in February, but the younger ask the more salient question:

When do college football training camps open?

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/payroll/

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28320193/stephen-strasburg-returns-nationals-hopes-never-leaves

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28341983/average-mlb-salary-drops-second-straight-year

2020 Spring Training Reporting Dates

Meteorology is above the pay grade of Almost DailyBrett.

The study of weather also seems to be beyond of the collective wits of the NFL and its partners in climatic crime, the national networks.

Let’s state the obvious: January is a cold winter month across the vast majority of the fruited plain.

Indoors are always heated and dry. Outdoors can be cold, wet, icy and even, snowy.

Southern climes tend to be warmer than northern climes.

The days start three hours later on the west coast than on the east coast. Generally, the west coast is warmer.

With the above preamble, one has to ask: Why did yesterday’s “Wild Card” game held in a climate controlled rectractable roof dome in Houston serve as the day game, and why was the outdoor “Wild Card” (40 degrees and foggy) played at night (kickoff at 8:15 pm local Foxborough, MA time?

Today’s early game … you guessed it is being played in a climate controlled dome in New Orleans, and the nightcap starts at 4:40 pm local time (e.g., dark) in Philadelphia.

Next week’s “Divisional” round is no better, in fact the times and venues may be worse.

The schedule was next Saturday calls for the early game … you guessed it … to be played at 1:35 pm PST in Santa Clara, CA.  The evening game is set for an 8:15 pm EST in Baltimore.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the NFL to reverse the order?

The Sunday, January 12 schedule makes no sense whatsoever. The early game is kicking off in Kansas City at 2:05 pm CST, and the night game (better have more than one for proper insulation) is set for the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin at 5:40 pm CST.

Isn’t Green Bay way north of Kansas City? Why not reverse the order of these games?

Does The NFL Care About The Health And Safety Of The Fans?

Similar to major universities with football programs, NFL teams have lost control of their franchises to the major networks (i.e., ABC/ESPN, CBS, Fox, NBC).

What is only important is eyeballs, lots of eyeballs. And what is better is to have all these eyeball pupils focused on never-ending ads during prime time.

And what prime time is the most equal of the equals, the time zone of the Eastern seaboard (e.g., New England playing at night)?

Almost DailyBrett must ask here and now: What about the fans enduring super cold temps? Drinking all day waiting for the game? Driving home at ridiculous hours through fog, rain, ice and/or snow?

And what about the players, who must attempt to play one-and-done playoff games in frigid conditions, such as the “Frozen Tundra” of Green Bay?

Ever wonder why the attendance of NFL games (derrieres in overpriced seats) is down?

Certainly, fans will show up for playoff games … at least for now … but HDTV is HDTV. Our national pastime, which baseball long ago lost to football, may become suitable for TV studios with all of us watching on television or our mobile devices from comfortable venues with beer in the fridge and bathrooms down the hall.

Do you think the collective brain trust of the NFL and the networks could take into account weather and geography (e.g., warm places vs. cold places or indoor vs. outdoor games).

Assigning early kickoffs to outdoor games in colder climes and later games to domed stadiums and warmer climates makes perfect sense to your humble author.

For the NFL to make this simple change, does not affect the seeding for playoff games. In addition, the league would be making a positive statement about how its views loyal fans (e.g., season ticket holders), and its players (e.g., relations with the NFL Players Association).

Even though Almost DailyBrett is not and never will be an attorney, wouldn’t removing the specter of drunken or not fans being seriously hurt on a foggy, wet, snowy or icy roads reduce potential liability for the NFL?

And most all, the NFL would proclaim to the world that it really does understand the true meaning of the word, January.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28390167/2019-nfl-playoff-schedule-bracket-super-bowl-liv-coverage

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2019/01/07/how-the-nfl-gained-back-viewers-but-lost-attendance/#2d3b9cfc5bb7

 

 

 

“This was not a hockey play. Instead, it’s a player retaliating against his opponent, using his stick as a weapon for forceful and direct head contact.” — NHL Department of Player Safety

One is a penalty. The other is a felony.

As is often said about hockey: They play with knives on their feet and clubs in their hands.

And Saturday night on national television that club was delivered with a vengeance to the head of an opponent.

The cross-check blow with a hockey stick by Toronto’s notorious Nazem Kadri to the skull of Boston’s tough Jake DeBrusk was evil and premeditated with the undisputed intent to seriously, if not permanently injure DeBrusk.

The play was not reflective of a tough collision sport. Instead it’s a felony in any other segment in our society … but not in the NHL.

As former New York Rangers forward Sean Avery said: “The only problem with Kadri’s hit was that he didn’t take the top f****** row of DeBrusk’s teeth.”

That quote, which cannot be quickly dismissed as merely anecdotal, reflects the vicious mind set of the NHL and its teams. And you wonder why hockey is the number four of America’s big four sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball … and Hockey.

The NHL’s oxymoronic Department of Player Safety held a hearing with Kadri Monday and suspended him for the remainder of Toronto’s first-round Stanley Cup series with Boston. NBC commentators Keith Jones and Eddie Olczyk went further in their post-game analysis, strongly recommending that Kadri be banned for at least 10 games.

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 13: Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after a fight with Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Almost DailyBrett is asking the obvious question: If one deliberately and systemically commits assault and battery in order injure and maim an enemy, wouldn’t that action constitute a felony worthy of significant prison time?

Why shouldn’t the same standard apply to the NHL? Kadri’s hit on DeBrusk was not hockey, it was criminal.

When Will Someone Be Murdered On The Ice?

What will it take to put an end to the ugliness?

Whether hockey is reflective of the increasing violent nature of our society, your author will leave that question to those with higher pay grades.

Some will conclude that Almost DailyBrett is being overly dramatic … or maybe a little soft.

Your author has been a hockey fan since 1967 when the NHL expanded beyond the original six (Boston, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit) to the second six, including two favorites the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hockey is a simply fantabulous game as vividly illustrated by Al Michaels’ famous, “Do you believe in miracles? …Yes!” The Disney movie “Miracle” beautifully brings back that magic 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics game between the young USA and the machine from the USSR.

And let’s not forget the US women prevailing in a gripping overtime shootout against Canada in last year’s Olympics in Korea … South Korea.

The NFL after congressional hearings and lawsuits has finally started taking helmet-to-helmet concussions seriously. College football has gone further with the institution of replay-reviewable targeting fouls with offenders being thrown out of the game.

The Kadri blow against DeBrusk last night deserves more than remainder of the first playoff series suspension (three-to-five games), it warrants the attention of one or all of the above: The Suffolk County District Attorney, The Massachusetts Department of Justice; The U.S. Department of Justice: The U.S. Congress (subpoena power).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman listens as he meets with reporters after a meeting with team owners, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 in New York. The current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players expires Saturday at midnight. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman needs to move away from the assumed liability mentality of the league. Yes, the players are playing an exciting fast-paced violent sport. There will be inevitable injuries as a result.

Having said that, no one should put his or her life on the line to play what should be a great sport. It’s been long past time for the NHL to clean up its gratuitous violence  on behalf of the players, fans and the image of the game.

If the NHL cannot or will not take serious enough action against the Nazem Kadris on the ice, maybe it will be time for county, state and/or federal authorities to put these thugs on ice … maybe even for years to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agDjIXQCBrc

https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-bruins/2019/04/14/sean-avery-shares-expletive-filled-rant-about-bruins-winger-jake-debrusk

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/nhl-playoffs-2019-maple-leafs-nazem-kadri-could-get-suspended-in-postseason-again-for-high-hit/1ug8vla0m5n0e1gywn4t1d8tl3

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2019/04/13/playoffs-nazem-kadri-hit-jake-debrusk-bruins-leafs/3463040002/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/this-is-your-time/

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” – Nike multi-million dollar NFL marketing campaign starring Colin Kaepernick.

Wonder if Nike marketers ever pondered those who literally sacrificed everything for the red, white and blue?

They made the ultimate sacrifice.

Where is their multi-million-dollar marketing campaign?

Guess they are not cool.

Nike knew it was going to stir the pot (not cannabis). Guess all publicity is good publicity, even coverage that brings into question the quaint notion of proudly standing for the national anthem and saluting Old Glory.

Seems Nike investors are making a stand this morning driving shares down 3 percent or $3.75 billion in lost market capitalization, while the company is taking a knee on America.

Based upon the early returns with shareholders of NYSE: NKE, there is no doubt the stock is under pressure.

The reason is Nike’s decision to base its NFL marketing campaign, its reputation, and its brand on a guy who disrespected the Star Spangled Banner and Old Glory.

By pouring millions into NFL non-player Colin Kaepernick, who by the way is suing the league for collusion, Nike is taking sides.

Nike claims it stands with the athlete, except Kaepernick is not a player. He’s a litigant.

Almost DailyBrett upon hearing the news of Nike’s controversial marketing campaign seriously considered selling all 451 shares of Nike stock

Investment discipline dictates that one does not sell dividend-paying shares producing a 77 percent gain in a down market. Remember: Buy Low, Sell High.

My hope is that Nike does not use my investor dollars to bestow millions upon a man, who defied our country, our national anthem and our flag.

Can Almost DailyBrett make this humble request to Just Do It management? Please.

Boston Massacre

Keep in mind, the Colin Kaepernick campaign is not the first time that Nike screwed up.

Remember the company’s “Boston Massacre” campaign?

Nike hopes you forgot the misguided Yankee colored t-shirts with bullet holes and blood.

The t-shirts were unveiled on 2013 Patriots Day … yep the same day as the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing.

Back to the point, who thought that a t-shirt with bullet holes, blood and the Nike Swoosh was a good idea? The answer is the same marketing department that is giving us the middle-finger Colin Kaepernick campaign.

There are some besides POTUS, who disagree with Kaepernick and his imitators taking a knee during the playing of Francis Scott Key’s poem, America’s national anthem.

How about campaign featuring NFL Hall of Famer and Civil Rights Champion, Jim Brown? He dares disagree with taking a knee before the red, white and blue.

Kaepernick is claiming the collusion against the NFL, Nike’s marketing partner. The only problem is another NFL Hall of Famer and Nike model, John Elway, stated ex-cathedra the Denver Broncos offered a contract to Kaepernick.

Details, details sometimes interrupt a pre-determined narrative. Right CNN?

Championing The Athlete, Not The Flag

As long as Nike is condoning the behavior of Kaepernick, maybe the company may want to add its iconic swoosh to the statue of black gloved John Carlos and Tommie Smith, displaying their defiance during the playing of the Star-Spangled banner during the 1968 Olympics.

What’s the difference tween Kaepernick and Messrs. Carlos and Smith?

Almost DailyBrett writes this blog post with a high degree of sadness.

Your author champions Uncle Phil Knight, his entrepreneurship (read his best-selling “Shoe Dog”) and his philanthropy. He deserves every dollar of his estimated $35.4 billion net worth.

He is happily retired. Too bad, he is not on the scene today on behalf of the millions of silent Americans, including thousands of military families, who don’t think Colin Kaepernick is cool.

And never will.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/09/04/serena-williams-lebron-james-back-nikes-just-do-it-campaign-with-colin-kaepernick/?noredirect=on

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/taxing-uncle-phil-to-death/

 

 

 

“There are three things that can happen on a forward pass – and two of them are bad.” – Texas Coach Darrell Royal

Wish it was that simple.

Did the ball “survive the ground?”

Did the ball “move?”

Did the receiver have “control?”

Did the receiver complete the “catch?”

Did the receiver have both feet in bounds?

Did he drag his back foot … but was the first one already on the chalk?

Does “one knee equal two feet?”

What is a “catch” anyway?

Better check with the video dudes/dudettes in New York. Is there “indisputable visual evidence” to overturn the call on the field?

And while we are waiting through 120 seconds worth of commercials, we come back and find out … the video review has not been completed.

Time for a “shot clock” for video reviews? If the review can’t be completed in one minute, then let the call stand.

Glad nothing else stops the flow of the game.

Orgy of Penalty Flags

Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs threw a penalty flag into the stands.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and removed from the game for his reaction to the yellow hanky.

Heck, Peters was just as frustrated and frosted by the number of penalties during a game as anyone else. The good thing is the fan, who caught the flag, was last seen taking selfies with his BROS.

The median number of penalty flags thrown during the regular season of the NFL was 13.2 per game, including on virtually every punt and kick return.

The Carolina Panthers drew the league low 5.2 penalties per game. The Seattle Seahawks were the highest, penalized 9.2 times each Sunday.

Thirteen-plus penalties per game come on top of a seemingly non-ending series of video reviews to ascertain the proper spot on the field, let alone determining what is and what is not a catch.

And even with all these penalties, there is no such thing as a “targeting” penalty in an era in which the number of concussions is exploding?

What is wrong with this league?

The NFL has created this monster, and now it needs to solve it in the face of flagging ratings (love the pun) and empty seats in overpriced stadiums. Who is going to pay for Jon Gruden’s $100 million salary?

The average fan has to devote upwards of four hours to watch a game. Life is too short.

If the author of Almost DailyBrett  had only 10 minutes to live, he would want it to be timed by the NFL …  That way he would have time for at least two microbrews before visiting St. Peter.

Guess what: 10 minutes in the NHL is very close to … 10 minutes. Ditto for World Cup soccer, even though “stoppage time” may be added. The NBA rivals the NFL in stoppages as a result of each team being given 10 time outs per quarter (slight exaggeration)

It would be helpful if one had an advanced degree in jurisprudence before watching an NFL game. It seems the league is searching for procedural perfection with its orgy of penalty flags and video reviews.

Is there sufficient “preponderance of evidence” present before we can move from first to second down? Time for an up-to-the-booth review brought to us by Microsoft Surface.

Does Microsoft really want to be associated with these maddening, endless video reviews?

Wasn’t the original purpose of instant replay to guard against game-changing “egregious” mistakes?

It used to be a passed football was complete, intercepted, overthrown, underthrown, dropped or trapped. And yes, there was the necessity for two feet down in-bounds in the NFL, and only one-foot down in college.

But that’s not good enough. Now we have to debate whether the ball survived the ground even though the receiver is five-yards, out-of-bounds before gravity kicks in.

It used to be the NFL’s overreliance on field goals was the reason the league was a boring counterpart to college football. That was before the explosion of penalties, reviews and “Dilly-Dilly” commercials.

Maybe with a little less emphasis on procedural perfection, the NFL can reverse the tide and its ratings can survive the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXSsNvpIyOM

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/penalties-per-game

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/nfl-record-for-most-penalties-game-season-2015-holding-nfl-game-length-average-taking-longer

 

“They weren’t good enough to play in the NBA … and they don’t have the opportunity to go back to college and get a degree. I think whoever’s responsible for taking these kids out of college is the dumbest operation I think we have in sports.” – Former College Coach Bobby Knight

Can anyone graduate from a legitimate university with a bachelor’s degree in one year, much less earn a master’s degree or Ph.D?

More to the point, what is the value of going to college and being part of a university campus, if you only attend for a semester-and-one-half or two quarters?

All the attention is devoted to keeping the athlete “eligible,” not to advance toward a life-enhancing degree.

That’s only one of the reasons why the basketball one-(part of an academic year)-and-done (off to the NBA … hopefully) rule should be scrapped.

Another pertains to a wretched witches’ boiling cauldron of shoe contracts, NCAA titles, NBA draft, greedy agents/publicity merchants and money, money and even more money.

Some go to college to earn an MBA. Others attend to secure the MRS along with a bachelor/bachelor’s degree.

There a few who complete three years of college for the NFL degree (and maybe attain an academic degree in that time as well).

And then there are those who stay eligible long enough (winter and March Madness) to pursue an seven-or-eight figure NBA contract. Forget about an academic degree with the one-and-dones.

The One-and-Done rule ostensibly is to provide one year of college experience for a future Magic, Michael, Kareem, Kobe, LeBron. The fear is too many come out of high school, thinking they will be one of the super talented 60 studs, who will be selected in the NBA’s two-round draft. Most don’t make it … and once they hire an agent they can’t play in college.

The agreed-upon solution was the future NBA star spend a portion of one year on campus in the hopes that a Final Four appearance/championship will follow … then off to the pros for NBA riches/shoe contracts with nice cuts for parasitic agents and assorted hangers-on.

The shameful side effects of the one-and-done-scheme were manifested this week with FBI indictments and more specifically the door being shown to pretty boy Coach Rick Pitino of Louisville University.

Surprise “Commitment” of Stud Brian Bowen

Louisville reportedly was NOT on the radar screen of five-star, small-forward recruit Brian Bowen … until he surprisedly committed to Coach Rick Pitino.

The U.S. Attorney this week, announced the results of an extensive FBI investigation, which included mass corruption, bribery and wire fraud.

As far as Almost DailyBrett can surmise the fraud scheme included contacting Louisville’s shoe sponsor, Adidas AG, to secure $100,000 to pay Bowen’s family. Bowen in-turn promised to sign with Adidas and certain agents upon entering the NBA, presumably after one year. Bowen then committed to Louisville. The school provided a basketball scholarship to Bowen. Adidas continues to sponsor Louisville.

Considering that one player can transform a team faster with more immediate impact in basketball than any other sport (e.g. within one year … and done), and make untold millions of dollars in the offing … Is it any wonder that NBA/NCAA basketball is ripe for corruption and fraud?

Pitino was fired this week by Louisville. The program was already on NCAA probation. Is the “death penalty” against Louisville next up on the docket? Let’s not forget that assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn and USC were also arrested based upon the FBI probe.

“Student Athlete”

The folks in Indy, including NCAA head Mark Emmert, are fond of talking about the welfare of “student athletes.” Does that include potential NBA Hall-of-Famers, who have virtually zero chance of earning a degree in less than one year on campus?  They are hoping against hope they are one of the only 60 players picked in the NBA draft?

But what happens, if they are left out in the cold? Most likely, no college degree.

We all know the universities – particularly the Big Five Conferences – are the farm systems for both the NFL and NBA. The key difference is that football players stay on campus at least until the completion of their junior year academically. Conceivably, a player is on the way to a degree or actually earns his bachelor’s degree after three years (e.g., Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Royce Freeman of Oregon).

Can a basketball god earn a degree in two quarters or within two semesters?  Forget it. These are athlete-“students,” not student-athletes.

Can the one-and-dones win a championship for the likes of John Calipari at Kentucky? That theory has already been proved.

Can any of these student-athletes make any discernible progress toward an academic degree? What do you think?

What did Robert Montgomery Knight say about the “dumbest operation” in sports?

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/28/rick-pitino-career-louisville-kentucky-fbi-scandal

http://nypost.com/2017/09/28/this-was-rick-pitinos-exact-role-in-college-hoops-scandal/

http://ferrall.radio.cbssports.com/2015/12/05/bob-knight-says-one-and-done-rule-is-the-dumbest-operation-in-sports/

 

 

 

 

“Marcus Mariota told NFL it is ‘important to him, personally and culturally,’ to be in Hawaii to celebrate the next step in life. No draft for him.” – ESECPN Draft Analyst Adam SchefterMarcus Mariota

There is no joy associated in being picked last for kick ball.

There are permanent scars for some not being asked to junior prom – if you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, just ask former Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

And then there is the spectacle of the celebrated college football stud, the ultimate BMOC, sitting in a nouveau riche suit bought by his sleaze-ball agent, waiting hours upon hours for his name to be called … and ESECPN cameras covering every nanosecond of the agony.

Does this scenario sound familiar Johnny “Rehab” Manziel? Surely, the home state Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t pass on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M with their 16th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

Oops! They did exactly that.

Finally, the Cleveland Browns rescued Johnny with its first-round selection in the 22nd position, ending the sordid spectacle of Manziel being passed up by almost two-dozen teams. In basketball, two teams forever regretted passing on Michael Jordan. Considering that Manziel just emerged from rehab, one can postulate that Cleveland is regretting awarding him with a four-year pact at $8.3 million; $7.55 million guaranteed and a $4.38 million signing bonus.manziel1

Remember storming out of Radio City Music Hall at the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith? Your agent confidently projected you would be picked in the first round. Hmmm? Turned out it was the next night, Round 2, pick #39 overall, before your name was mercifully called by the New York Jets.

The good news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets. The bad news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets.ginosmith

Why Be There?

Let’s ask the obvious football public relations/reputation management/personal branding question right here and now: Why even show up for the first round, let alone be present for any of the NFL draft?

Do you (e.g., football hero) really need a picture taken of yourself in another new ball cap, a jersey with #1, with the NFL commissioner? Isn’t what you really want, is a contract with as many guaranteed dollars as possible to play a violent game for four years or maybe longer?

Maybe 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is making a smart public relations move for once by so far deciding to not attend the NFL Draft festivities, even though he may be tempted by his agent to venture to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre this coming Thursday.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota from Oregon, will not be in Chicago. Instead, he will be home in Hawaii with dad, Toa Mariota, and mom, Alana Deppe-Mariota, and his family and friends. Mahalo!mariotaparents

Yes, the author of Almost DailyBrett is a tad biased when it comes to the joys of Oregon football. Having dispensed with that obligatory consumer warning, it is still a great personal and PR move for Marcus to stay away from the draft.

Besides where would you rather be: Hawaii or Chicago?

Character Matters

After the notorious antics of the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, Mariota is refreshingly boring with his refusal to take any glory upon himself and ALWAYS thinking of his teammates.

Who can forget Mariota breaking down in front of mom and dad, his coaches, and all the past Heisman winners as he accepted the most hallowed trophy in college football? Some wonder whether Mariota is too nice to play in the NFL. The question in some respects is an indictment of the league with its warm-and-cuddly owners, such as Jerry Jones.

When and where to will Marcus be drafted on Thursday? San Diego? Tennessee? Cleveland (bye, bye Johnny no good(e)?) New York Jets? Philadelphia? Some days it seems that Mariota’s draft stock is up and some days it seems that it is down.

Where is Marcus in the mock drafts? It changes from day-to-day. Seems remarkably similar to rolling tracking polling for political campaigns going down to the wire.

These questions all point back to the wisdom and the genuineness of Marcus watching the draft back home in Hawaii with mom, dad, siblings and friends.

If it turns out to take a little longer than expected (who really understands the vagaries of NFL scouting?) at least he will not look like Johnny Manziel or Geno Smith waiting for someone, anyone to draft him.

And that includes the New York Jets.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25130998/report-marcus-mariota-will-not-attend-nfl-draft

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25149193/26-players-to-attend-2015-nfl-draft-no-jameis-winston-marcus-mariota

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Manziel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geno_Smith

http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heisman_Trophy_winners

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350347/article/2014-nfl-draft-firstround-signing-tracker

 

 

 

 

 

The omnipotent NCAA is being dragged through the legal muck, kicking and screaming …

The mental image of former University of Washington president/now NCAA chief Mark Emmert wiping mud off his lapel brings a wide smile to the author of Almost DailyBrett.

emmert1

 

The time has finally come for the NCAA and/or the Big Five Conferences to wake up and smell the espresso.

Student-athletes are soon going to be paid, totally and completely ending the romantic, but unrealistic notion they are dedicated amateurs only playing football, basketball, baseball, track, Parcheesi etc. for the love of the game and the greater good and glory of their respective university.

Those days are over.

Questions remain: How are athletes going to be paid, and what about Title IX?

The NCAA is Appealing (e.g., buying time)

Earlier this month, federal Judge Claudia Wilken found the NCAA was colluding to restrain trade. Predictably, the NCAA billable-hour attorneys are appealing. Good luck.

The NCAA also recently granted special autonomy to 62 schools, who comprise the Big Five conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC), setting in motion conceivably a more powerful successor to the NCAA. It will be a sad day when judge, jury and executioner NCAA is finally laid to rest (okay, not really).

The real issue is the NFL and NBA exploits the colleges as their no-cost to them, minor leagues (e.g. no Durham Bulls, no Toledo Mud Hens). The NFL draws more than $8 billion in total revenue, and pays its players nearly $4 billion. The NBA attracts more than $4 billion and distributes half of that amount to its players. The universities of the NCAA generate $10 billion in revenue (donations, tickets, merchandise etc.) and provide tuition, room and board to its players.

That’s all folks.

The argument is the players (e.g., football in particular) are risking injury and schools are selling their likenesses in video games and jerseys, so why shouldn’t they have a cut of the action?emmert3

The purists, who are trying to stem the inevitable tide, claim that these athletes are receiving a free-college education and that means something when you factor in the cost of college, particularly private schools (e.g., Stanford, USC). Almost DailyBrett must ask the question: Why is it appropriate to provide scholarships and stipends for noted academic types and not athletic contributors?

Fully Paid Out-of-State Tuition/Stipend

Four years ago this week, a moving van arrived on my street in Eugene, Oregon.

Yours truly was being offered a fellowship by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Translated: UO was waiving out-of-state tuition, providing family health care and paying a monthly stipend for little ole me to pursue my master’s degree in Communication and Society. In return, I served as a teaching assistant for five quarters.

Now let’s ask the question: Why can’t student-athletes, who provide services to the university above-and-beyond regular students, be offered stipends?

The Economist suggested increasing financial aid to cover the full cost of attendance for student-athletes; guaranteeing scholarships for as long as players need to graduate (e.g., six years is reasonable); paying for all sports-related medical expenses; and letting athletes sign their own marketing deals.

emmert2

Serving as a student manager for the University of Oregon and University of Southern California, I know first-hand that football teams are paramilitary organizations. Allowing the best players to sign their own marketing deals (e.g., stud quarterbacks, running backs, wideouts) would end up creating cliques and would divide teams between the haves (skill positions) and have-nots (linemen).

The more equitable solution would be to follow the suggestions outlined by the stately Economist  (e.g., cover full costs, guaranteed scholarships, paying for medical expenses) and the equivalent of academic stipends for all student-athletes, hailing from the major genders (e.g., satisfying Title IX).

The University of Oregon announced last week that it was picking up the costs of insurance premiums for the families of four football players, who chose to stay in school and postponed NFL paydays. The risk of injury is the same in both the college and pro games.

The payment of insurance premiums is just a start to compensation of athletes.

If teaching assistants on fellowships are making extraordinary contributions to a given university, there are logical reasons to offer the same to student-athletes for their role in expanding the brand and encouraging the best and the brightest to attend great universities.

http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209610114&DB_OEM_ID=500

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21612156-americas-exploitative-college-sports-system-can-be-mended-not-ended-justice-jocks

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21612160-pressure-grows-let-student-athletes-share-fruits-their-own-labours-players-0

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/judge-jury-and-executioner/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/ncaa-board-of-directors-approves-autonomy-for-big-5-conference-schools/2014/08/07/807882b4-1e58-11e4-ab7b-696c295ddfd1_story.html

 

 

 

NFL Commish Roger Goodell is concerned that extra points (five misses out of 1,200 kicks this past season) are just too damn predictable. He is floating a trial balloon to eliminate the PAT.

PAT

He is also considering allowing players to have access to “medicinal” marijuana.

How about providing cannabis brownies to the snapper, holder and kicker before any and all PATs?

Wouldn’t that help solve the problem of point-after-touchdown 99-percent-plus predictability?

Just a thought.

Yep, I am mature enough to remember Zenon Andrusyshyn.

The name conjures up someone wanted in the former Yugoslavia? The reality is worse that that. He actually was the place kicker for UCLA.

He was a low-trajectory, soccer-style kicker, who missed the critical extra point in one of the most celebrated USC vs. UCLA games of all time, won by the Trojans 21-20 in 1967 (Troy made all three of its extra points. Alas, UCLA only two of three. Ball game).

zenon

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a successful conversion requires the teamwork of solid protection, an accurate snap, good hold with the laces pointed away and an accurate kick. These may be 99 percent automatic in the sterile world of professional football, but oftentimes they are an adventure in college football.

What’s the best thing about freshmen? When they become sophomores. This law applies to college kickers too.

Before we go into further analysis of the NFL’s proposed dropping of extra points, let’s remember The Law of Unintended Consequences. This rule very much may apply if the NFL follows through on its no PAT proposal (and player medicinal marijuana use as well).

When I first watched the professional game, the goal posts were at the front of the end zone. Seems goofy now, but that’s where they were placed. The colleges always positioned their goal posts in the back of the end zone.

There were no two-point conversions. That was left to the college game.

The NFL eventually moved the hash marks closer to the center of the field to encourage more … (yawn) … field goals.

Later the NFL came up with the notion of the coin flip to decide a tied game. If your team won the coin toss, your team elected to receive, moved the ball down the field and then kicked a field goal to win the game.  If the other team won the coin toss, it would elect to receive, move the ball and kick the field goal to win the game. That’s un-American. Both teams should have equal opportunity in overtime.

Almost DailyBrett is happy to report that goal posts are now in the back of the end zones in professional games. The NFL has, after much kicking and screaming, adopted the two-point conversion. The hash marks are still about six-inches apart from each other in the middle of the field.

Most of all, a field goal will not automatically decide a tied game without the other team having an opportunity to kick a field goal too…or maybe (gasp) even scoring a touchdown.

Where does The Law of Unintended Consequences come into play?

Goodell suggested that instead of PATs, a team scoring a touchdown would be awarded seven points. If a team wished to try for eight points, it could run what is now a two-point conversion play from the two-yard line…except it would now be a one-point conversion try. If it succeeded, the TD-scoring team would get eight points (same as now with the two-point try) and if it failed it would lose one point and end up with six points. Got it?

goodell

Why would teams risk two points (8-2=6) to score one point (7+1=8)? That only makes sense if a team is desperately behind.

Or is this just a Machiavellian plot by the No Fun League (NFL) to quietly abolish the two-point conversion?

Here are some suggestions to keep the extra point and to ensure that a two-point conversion (a very exciting play BTW) remains indeed a two-point conversion.

● Consider requiring teams to attempt extra points from the 25-yard line, making the PAT a 42-yard kick. In domes or sunny climes with little wind, this should be no problem for a pro kicker. In windy, cold Green Bay, Chicago, Pittsburgh in January, the PAT would be anything but automatic. In these cases, would it be better to go for two points from the two-yard line? This would bring more strategy into the PAT vs. two-point conversion decision.

● In college overtime games, teams can kick extra points only in the first two overtime sessions (when each team has an opportunity to play offense). After that, each team must attempt two-point conversions. The point is to break deadlocks relatively quickly, and add the excitement of whether a team will score or fail on the two-point conversion and thus win or lose the game all on one play.

Could professional football restrict the number of times that teams can kick extra points to the first two-or-three touchdowns, requiring two-point conversions attempts for the remainder of the game? That would solve the 99 percent PAT success-rate “problem.”

● The net result in restricting the number of extra points to the first two-or-three touchdowns, and then mandating two-point conversions most likely would be fewer NFL overtime games. And if that was the case, the league should allow the team that lost the coin flip one chance at the ball even if the other team scored a touchdown. We are talking equal opportunity and fairness here.

● Another possibility is simply requiring two-point conversion attempts after all touchdowns. These would turn out to be the toughest 72 inches in all of sport. Something tells me the NFLPA would not be real keen to this idea. Maybe the PAT is not all that bad.

Is the no PAT trial balloon a diabolical NFL attempt to do away with the two-point conversion? Almost DailyBrett certainly hopes not. Maybe medicinal marijuana brownies for the snapper, holder and kicker is not such a bad idea.

Heck, why not serve them to the entire offensive line?

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24415126/roger-goodell-nfl-considering-proposal-to-eliminate-extra-points

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/roger-goodell-nfl-extra-point/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/01/21/should-the-nfl-eliminate-the-extra-point-roger-goodell-says-its-possible/

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1933838-roger-goodell-says-nfl-would-consider-allowing-medical-marijuana-for-concussions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_consequences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenon_Andrusyshyn

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