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NFL17 Cherry Picks W4: ‘Comes The Revolution?’ Not Without a Message of Hope

27 Sep

Last season ex-QB Colin Kaepernick took a knee. Last week President Donald Trump reflected on the protest at a political rally by putting a foot (in his mouth). His words then incited NFL’ers from all walks on Sunday to stand arm & arm prior to W3 action as a show of unity in response to the Chief Executive’s unflattering though not exactly shocking remarks.

All of it constituting a snoozer of a class in NFL Anatomy 101.

And for once it wasn’t Roger Goodell at the center in the storm of player and junior-media discontent. Though, I haven’t yet seen a picture of the Raja hand-in-hand with any players or fellow Cufflinks in defiance of the President’s remarks. If I do I may get a print and have it framed. Oy vey.

The hubbub created a distraction not unlike that in the days just after sleazoids at TMZ released the Ray Rice – Jinay Palmer punch video, another topic tornado that tore through the entertainment media terrain only to weaken in strength when the slate of W3 games turned out to be quite watchable.

*Kaepernick wasn’t directly responsible for this knee-jerk show of League unity and apparent reinvigeration of his vague, racism-laced protest (See; white-only pig socks). The Commander-in-Chief can take full responsibility for the current melodramatic State of the Players’ Union.

The President, in lambasting (“fire”) NFL nappers (national anthem protesters), owners, fans (“leave the stadium”) and even League efforts to reduce post-career concussion-related maladies (“ruining the game“)* was kind of like that kid on the playground who unexpectedly grabs the football only to run around wildly while the regulars stand motionless in amazement, a bit befuddled, except THIS time, instead of letting the energetic ball-hog run himself out in seclusion, the populars decided to lock arms, feign anger and spotlight the little devil.

I like a bold President who speaks plain when occasion calls (“buck stops here (Truman)”), but a little bit o’ judgment (“son of a b#tch” was bad), even when stumping for votes (Sen.Strange (AL)) goes a long way in making the Term a success, especially when you’ve got your index primed to press (v. N.Korea).

Presidential PC Push Back

The one truly disturbing aspect about the President’s comments on the NFL was his disregard for the League’s effort to reduce the post-career onset of what has become a national health tragedy in neuro-degenerative disorder, mainly in trying to make helmets more effective and ban certain tackling techniques that always cheapened the spirit of sport. Football players and real fans understand.

If Trump’s family have been spared the scourge of Alzheimers and like dementia, referred to today by some in the medical community as diabetes of the brain (sugar), they can consider themselves very lucky because most Americans are becoming very familiar with the sorrow and stress, mental + financial, that accompanies the disease, including afflicted patient and tireless caregivers.

Better that both sides protest the harm that the nation’s sugar-diet wrecks upon its collective body and soul. But what would sponsor PepsiCo say?

There’s hypocrisy on both sides of this protest aisle.

The Trenders (NFLPA), more than a few who take childish pride in on-field & social-media trash-talk, have lined up behind a person (CK) they may not like, whose specific message is unclear and who they probably wish to just fade, are taking on a politican who rags about a monopoly (See; USFL 83-86) yet whose economic game-plan aims to, just as did former-President Obama, secure those very cartels that leave consumers powerless.

While many cite Donald’s USFL venture for comparison, I happened upon a curious quote by actor Aldo Ray whose birthday was on Monday (1926-91). Here is what the 50-60s tough-guy and co-star in one of the great sport comedies, Pat and Mike (52), had to say about…saying things: “I regret I don’t have more control of my tongue because I speak too frankly and honestly, and this world is not meant for frank, honest people. They don’t mix. Reality is pretty phony.”*

Yes, honesty is not always the best policy. It’s subject to common sense or, again, that mental ability we call judgment capability. Tell a Yank they can’t reasonably protest and you’re in for a fight. That one goes WAY back (See; 1776).

But the NFL platform today presents a unique stage for protest. It’s a symbolic power-grab where progress sits the bench for political profiteering by displays of anger, much less justified than in 1968 (Olympics), with little risk of ramification as entire teams lock arms and cocoon themselves cozily in the spirit of club.

Try pulling this kneel thing at your Walmart company picnic during a pledge or anthem and you may not last too long with the Arkansas-headquartered operation, whether in Little Rock or Kalamazoo.

“Comes the revolution?”* Not bloody likely.

For a successful movement you start with seriousness, then add hope to the message, not just self-serving anger and nervous conformity. But hope needs truth, a good share, anyway and honesty-patriots in 2017 are in shorter supply than were clean meat and woolen socks at Valley Forge (1777-78).

Marriage Rocks

What then is the end game here?

The mass player protests seem intended to spite the President while owners and coaches most assuredly joined up to keep it all cool. Not the most sincere protest, so don’t expect it to continue indefinitely, not in the same form, anyway. And with Kaep short on truth and his goals lacking clarity, like, were he seeking due process or specific facts in cases of investigated police misconduct from City, State or Justice Department watchdogs, player passion for protest will likely give way to career concerns, sooner than later, for most of the hand holders.

Will NFL owners put the ‘welcome mat’ out for Mr. Pig Socks and recruit an owner to roster the flashman to further spite the Oval Officer? Probably not, as the majority of fans, even minorities, are not too cool with Kaep and his agenda. But expect the NFL Cufflinks, even as President Trump serves their economic interests, to have a good chuckle or two postulating the possibility.

The marriage between sport and patriotism has been a long one. Like all recognized unions in bliss, it has had its ups and it has had its downs but for the most part it’s been one of purpose and contentment.

If the NFL and it players continue to use that consecrated coupling as a means to vet-out every feeling and foible facilitated by any trend that on-ramps the virtual highway, the divorce proceedings will begin in earnest, not between the partners sport and patriotism, but that joining of loyal football fans and the discretionary relationship they’ve long had with the game and its well-paid profiteers.

Perhaps wiser heads can impress upon the faux protesters the realities of life: ‘Your conference call to Misters Goodell and Smith is ready now, Ms. Nooyi.’

Cherry Picks Week 4: Back to Business

Bears @ Packers: 9.28 CBS 8:25: GreenBay
Titans @ Texans: 10.1 CBS 1:00: Houston
Steelers @ Baltimore: CBS 1:00: Ravens
Detroit @ Minnesota: Fox 1:00: Vikings
LosAngeles @ Cowboys: Fox 1:00: Rams
Buffalo @ Atlanta: CBS 1:00: Falcons
Philadelphia @ LosAngeles: Fox 4:05: Eagles
Raiders @ Denver: CBS 4:25: Oakland
Indianapolis @ Seattle: NBC 8:30: Seahawks
Washington @ KC: 10.2 Disney 8:30: Chiefs

Record: 2-5

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: NFL-symbol, wikiproject, 2011; President-D.Trump, Transition-2017, wc.cca, 11.9.16, 450k; IndraNooyi, PepsiCo, 1.23.08, wc.cca, Davos, 3m, WEF; British-General Cornwallis-Surrender-At-Yorktown, 115k, JohnTrumbull, oil, 1797; JimOtto, NFL, Topps, 1970
Posted: 9.27.17 @ 12:16aE, edit 9.28; Copyright © 2017
References: *, “Trump: NFL Owners Should Fire Players Who Protest,” S.Tatum, 9.23.17; “The Battle Cry of Aldo Ray”. Movieline, 1.1.91 (Wikipedia); Glenda Farrell, Here Comes Carter (36), WarnerBrothers


NFL15 Minute Waltz: Diminishing Returns

8 Dec

You make an investment, you expect it to pay-off. You hope, anyway.

NFL owners invest in their football franchise. They pay for talent in players, coaches, management and ancillaries things like public relations, stadium issues and so-on & so-forth.

But toggling the talent, that can be a tricky proposition.

......Spanos.D.wc.5.11.12.Deejay.thmThe players work in a trade where physicality and aggression will test not only the constitution and character of even the most mindful of men, but will also solicit injuries that can happen anytime, making an expected return vanish in a flash.

Coaches, they’re strategists, motivators and teachers all rolled into one where results must come quickly and regular. Usually hired on past performance but sometimes solely on the interview. Whether they can translate their technique to a new setting and assemble the right cohesive crew is always the big question.

And then there’s management, like the coaching set, they too sell themselves on cognitive skills and a gift for gab. Their profession is free of the unpredictability or finality of play-induced injury and they get a longer lease in the office of expectation but skills or lack thereof in contracting and drafting will show themselves in short order.

Plunking down the investment capital is easy enough but the pay-off, that seems to be one collective crap-shoot for owners. That the other 31 clubs are rolling the same dice on the same table helps to make the game even-Steven.

As NFL15 enters the final turn (W14 – 17), some owners and their confidants-in-cufflink are perusing their portfolios and wondering what’s wrong with their losing ball-club, what continues to go wrong and what’s to be done about it.

Rosters are always in flux but some enterprises are certain to work wholesale changes from top to bottom at season’s conclusion, GMs & coaches included.

Miami: Philbin firing begins rework that’ll tag Tanny but exceed Campbell

Cleveland: As hope (7-9 (14)) dimmed, Manziel draft-call seems bad omen

Jaguars: Building blocks grow (Bortles-Smith-Yeldon), Bradley’s 11-33

Titans: Whisenhunt got quick hook as Mariota’s mixed bag for Mularkey

San Diego: McCoy’s progress fades in ’15, Rivers 35 and franchise fidgets

.....DelRio.wc.J.Sippel.11.16.10.USNavy.thmOakland: GM McKenzie seeks stability in a 10-coach turnstile (’98) as Los Angeles beckons, again

Washington: Snyder’s history hug (Redskins) hails hostility as team & stadium work a rebuild

New York Giants: The spirited Tom Coughlin – Eli Manning era seems to be settling into mediocrity

Philadelphia: Kelly’s crew nabs big win (NE) but consistency & QB elusive

Dallas: In 20 years America’s Team got a stadium but no closer to a Super

....Cutler.wc.cca.11.1.09.M.Schadle.thumbChicago: Bears haven’t had chutzpah since Ditka but Halas Hall options limited as Fox and Cutler likely get another go-round

Detroit: Ford family seems committed to winning but Caldwell’s plan may not suffice to get Lions to promised land

Atlanta: Proven pretenders, 1st-year HC Mike Quinn has had progress as 6 losses are by a total of 31 points

New Orleans: Either Payton is past time or need’s more post-Bountygate

St. Louis: Relocation issue hangs heavy as Fisher turnaround has stalled

San Francisco: Harbaugh high seems now a mirage but exit had to be

......macroecono.lamcasinoroyal.wc.2011Steven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credits:, wc.cca, 9.25.12, Guest2625; D.Spanos, wc, 5.11.12, Deejay; J.Del.Rio, wc, FL, J.Sippel, 11.16.10, USNavy; J.Cutler, 11.1.09, M.Schadle, wc; macroecono, lamcasinoroyal, 2011, wc.
Posted: 12.7.15 @ 11:59pm EST; Copyright © 2015