Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

NFL16: In Deferring to Dak, Tony Romo Fails the Grit-Test

17 Nov

He didn’t take many questions in Tuesday’s press conference. Instead, Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback for the past decade, Tony Romo, read a statement. He got goods reviews from the press corps and blogisphere bunch.

But place me about 800 yards west of the cheering section.

Grade given by this football fan for Romo’s blood-less abdication: D.

In his oration, Romo deferred to rookie back-up QB Dak Prescott on the starter question: “He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say he’s earned that right. He’s guided our team to an 8-1 record and that’s hard to do.” Very nice. Maybe too nice.

“Right” schmight. There are no “right(s)” in football, just ethical duties and contract obligations that some players will always meet, some will sometimes, some won’t but on their best day and a few don’t seem to give a damn at all.

romo-10-13-10-bigcatsliar-wc-343kOkay…you say you believe in rights. That should make you a Thomas Jefferson fan (BoR). For the sake of argument, let’s say rights do exist in football. Then I’d say, Tony Romo’s earned a BIGGER right to re-claim his starters job than has Prescott in retaining it, and with ten years of All-Pro play, sound character and seniority, shouldn‘t have to convince his owner of it, not if the Cufflink appreciates loyalty, anyway.

‘Seniority is lame,’ say some, but just wait until you start having to look over your shoulder at the young Turks coming to take your job. It won’t seem so silly then.

And I don’t want to read any hearsay from captured scribes or Cowboys’ brass (Steve Jones) on how Tony supposedly asked politely for his job back. Straight from the horses mouth (TR) or save it. Even if, this you don’t ask, you demand. If you lose the argument you take your lumps and stay a team-player, giving advice / support as needed. But you don’t ask.

And therein lay the wild-card in this hand of high-stakes football.

What would Jerry Jones have done if Tony had pushed hard to get back his starters spot, made an issue of it, would Jones have conceded, admiring the veteran’s moxie and taking it as good sign that maybe now Tony finally has the wherewithal to lead Dallas back to the Super show? Test of tenacity, as it were.

Apparently Romo never pressed the point, never handed in his exam.

Leaders, champions, they don’t defer to hot-streaks, popularity contests or young Tom Brady analogies. The greats will advocate, argue, fight tooth n’ nail for that starters spot and slot-to-glory, with both fists-a- flyin’ if necessary, Ty Cobb style when you had to fight for the right to play. And they did.

prescott-9-18-16-k-allison-187kIf I were Jerry Jones or Jason Garrett I’d likely tab Dak Prescott the starter myself. Stick with the hot hand and healthier frame than the oft-injured Romo.

I wrote, ‘likely.’ I’d need convincing that three good wins (DC, @GB, PHI), one pretty good win (@ PIT (Ben still bunged)), four walkover wins (CHI, SF, CIN, CLE) and one loss (NYG) gives a first-year guy the nod over a 4-time Pro Bowler.

But Tony Romo’s not an owner, he’s not a coach, he’s not Cowboys PR person, he’s not a GM implementing a youth movement or authoring a masters thesis on ‘Diversity and the NFL.’ He’s a man who dresses in shoulder-pads, cleats and rides point for America’s Team, or used to, anyway, the top job on the planet, a man with great passing stats in line for Cowboys’ Ring of Honor but posts a pedestrian playoff mark that raises doubts about his clutch-capability.

A man with that Dallas record and deep well of gridiron knowledge should NOT willingly hand over the starters spot. NEVER. And that’s Tony Romo all over.

From his first year as a starter when he bobbled that FG snap late in a playoff loss v. Seattle in Parcells final season (’06), you wondered about Mr. Romo. The bobble was a blip. Things like that happen. But with Romo it’s always something, something to derail the run. In fairness, Dez did (catch it (See; GB 2015)).

It doesn’t matter that Romo may be the only man in these United States who thinks he should start over an 8-1 rookie. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.” Some players, those imbued with spirit of competition and personal achievement, would understand and give their backing. Great quarterbacks have great big egos. They’d better.

jones-12-7-15-k-allison-wc-339kAnd if Romo had been given his job back and his ‘mates had tanked in protest, tanked on the team, tanked on the fans, that’s their problem. You go out with your head held high knowing you’ve done what a leader does: Take charge, give it your best, give it your all until that final gun goes off.

‘But what about the team,’ you say, ‘Dak’s got ’em believing?’ Sure he has, but Romo’s a master-craftsman in the pocket who’s won a playoff game or two, had Dallas believing in prior campaigns and could likely do it again. It’s theory but as sound as the Dak strategy.

I wish Mr. Prescott well. Youth must be served, elections excepted.

As for Tony Romo, I hope you like your Ring-of-Honor ceremony. When you get back to the fairways say ‘hey’ to President Obama and remember this link lesson: Drive for show, put for dough, Canton covets moxie that few come to know.

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: T.Romo, wc.cca, 12.7.15, DC, K.Allison; Romo, wc, bigcatsliar, 10.13.10; D.Prescott, wc, 9.18.16, K.Allison; J.Jones, wc, 12.7.15, DC, K.Allison; cherries-cloth, wc, picdrome, 6-2011; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 11.17.16 @ 5:07pm EST; Copyright © 2016

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NFL16 Cherry Picks W4: Presidents, Field Generals & Super Chiefs

28 Sep

One down, two to go. Phew!

With the first presidential debate of Election 2016 now in the books* and media spin-cycle on full-tilt, this NFL fan got to thinking about the prestigious prize Dollar Don and Capital Hill are both eyeing, the Commander-in-Chief job (adjustable hat included), and then what it takes once you’ve been voted the reins of leadership to make it a memorable tenure.

This phase in the Oval Office Chase is a little like the playoffs in sport: The TV camera test for the candidates is a whole ‘nother season, with both contenders starting over at 0-0.

On a gaffe (Ford, “No Soviet domination of E.Europe,” Carter using Amy as a “nuclear arms” standard (76), Dukakis playing opossum in failing to dress-down question-poser Bernard Shaw (CNN) for needlessly making Mike’s wife Kitty part of a crass death penalty hypo (“raped and murdered“) (‘88) and Papa Bush checking his watch (‘92)), a lead in the polls can evaporate faster than a fat NFL lead at the half (Swing Time), just as the candidate who tosses a tight, talking spiral for TD can make-up a poll deficit quicker than Tom Brady finds pay-dirt.

ford-851k-wc-grfl-1933-umFootball forensics aside, an NFL quarterback won’t bear near, nor near beer, the burdens of our Chief Executive, to be sure. He is, however, often referred to as a field general, empowered to muster his offensive troops in a Ulysses S. Grant-like forward-thrusting campaign to gain territory and vanquish an opponent. That’s the plan, anyway.

On the other hand, it’s also fair to say that while Presidents can sadly suffer the greatest of physical harm (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, JFK (JV squad Harvard), Reagan wounded), rarely, if ever, must they bear the weight of a 200+ lbs, muscled-out, charging defender landing on his person as does Joe Quarterback.

In truth, QBs and CICs are pretty much worlds apart in the duties department. They do, however, have one thing in common: As Big Kahunas, both get the credit in victory, nearly all the blame in a loss.

So with that as backdrop, it’s a champion time to honor all those who bear lonely burden of leadership, in whatever endeavor, but here in particular, today’s top NFL field generals teamed with our nation’s finest Presidents over these past 240, both who’ve supped the champagne yet most certainly “suffer(ed) the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (Hamlet (de Vere)).”

Note: No QBRs have been referenced (I can read a stat-line) and no greenhorns considered (R -> 2y). As in politics, top candidates must be vetted and the highs & lows assessed with a dispassionate eye in order to gain a substantive read.

America’s Best Signal-Callers

brady-8-28-9-k-allison-wc-cca-2m-dc1) Tom Brady: New England Patriots, pocket-passer;

FDR: The only Commander-in-Chief besides the Cherry-chopper who could’ve been king (4x), his economic vision (New Deal) prescribed emergency medicine in seriously Depressed times, taking federal policy beyond simply feeding the greed, then he and his wife Eleanor undertook to save the world (WW2);

2) Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh Steelers, mobile-PP;

Lincoln: Made the union whole, more human and gave his life in the process;

3) Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers, mobile-PP

Washington: Iconic leader who led world’s first revolt against Imperium slavery since Spartacus (d.71 BC), gave the new office stature and nation a good start;

4) Drew Brees: New Orleans Saints, pocket-passer

Jackson: Old Hickory was the first non-elitist President who fought Indians, British invaders, banker thugs and brought the people and democracy to DC;

wilson-edithbolling-galt-wc-11m-6-1920-harrisewing-loc5) Eli Manning: New York Giants, pocket-passer

Wilson: Professor President (1856 – 24) with steely resolve to make America a world leader in war (WW1) and peace (LoN), whose 2nd wife Edith (Ellen) co-ruled after his stroke (1919) making her unofficially the first female U.S. President (1872 – 61);

6) Joe Flacco: Baltimore Ravens, pocket-passer

JFK: He saved planet Earth (CMC (’62)) and then lost his life in the risky battle against entrenched power;

7) Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks, mobile-manager

Cleveland: Should’ve been first 3-term Prez, designing the template for modern-era “government of the people, by the people, for the people;”

8) Phil Rivers: San Diego Chargers, pocket-passer

Jefferson: Crafty Purchase (Lou.) doubled nation’s size decades after he drafted America’s Declaration of Independence (‘76) and our first public college (UV);

lbj-fdr-allred-5-12-37-wc-259k-nara9) Alex Smith: Kansas City Chiefs, manager-PP

LBJ: Mis-policy in foreign war (Vietnam) did not derail efforts of this legislative juggernaut in making civil rights reality and honoring America’s seniors;

10) Matt Ryan: Atlanta Falcons, pocket-passer

Polk: Pragmatic, fiscally sound and productive, James was Mr. Manifest Destiny, adding thirteen (13) States in whole or part to America’s family of stars. Worn to the bone, he died 3 months post-term;

11) Andy Dalton: Cincinnati Bengals, pocket-passer

Truman: Plain-talking, former farmer, WWI major, haberdasher and pianist (Bacall) proved critics & premature press-men (Chicago Tribune, etc.) wrong with a strong, spirited & common sense administration;

12) Tony Romo: Dallas Cowboys, pocket-passer

Teddy: “Big Stick” policy boosts US clout, trust-bust sent checks monopoly-greed and initiates our national parks system. Celebrity turned progressive;

teddy-wc-loc-thmRounding Out Top 15

13) Cam Newton: Carolina, run-QB / James Madison;
14) Carson Palmer: Arizona, PP / Andrew Johnson;
15) Andrew Luck: Colts, mobile-PP / William McKinley

 

cherries-ripe-chirak-wc-605k-6-24-7Cherry Picks Week 4: “Nothing to fear but fear itself”

Miami (1-2) @ Cincy (1-2): 9.29 NFLN 8:25: Bengals win
Seattle (2-1) @ NY Jets (1-2): 10.2 Fox 1:00: ‘Hawks win
Bills (1-2) @ New England (3-0): CBS 1:00: Patriots win
Carolina Panthers (1-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-1) (GTW): Panthers win
Oakland Raiders (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-0) (GTW): Ravens win
Denver Broncos (3-0) @ Tampa Bay Bucs (1-2): CBS 4:05: Buccaneers win
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Arizona Cards (1-2) (GTW): Fox 4:25: AZ wins
New Orleans Saints (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2): Fox 4:25: Saints win
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) @ Pittsburgh (2-1) (GTW): NBC 8:30: Steelers win
NYG (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-0) (GTW): 10.3 ESPN 8:30: Giants win

Record: 14 – 17

* No clear winner from Monday night’s dialectic (WU in STL), though, there was little debate in the contest directly South in the Big Easy (ATL 45-32). But as Ms. Clinton, pre-debate poll leader, former White House decorator (1992-00) and of a much lengthier political résumé than her veritable newcomer opponent in Mr. Trump, her failure to deliver a haymaker of sorts might give the Don the win on points. But there are more rounds to go and whomever claims victory in this first foray had better not rest on their laurels and come out swinging-with-style in the next. Like NFL16, it’s still anyone’s fight to win or lose, i.e., wide open.

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL Hunch Line
Photo credits: G.Cleveland, wc.cca, 1903, Library-of-Congress, F.Gutekunst; G.Ford, wc, GRFL, 1933, UM; T.Brady, wc, 8.28.9, K.Allison, DC; W.Wilson, Edith-Bolling-Galt-Wilson, wc, Harris&Ewing, 6.1920; Edith-Bolling-Galt-Wilson, First-Lady, 1915-21, wc, LoC; FDR-Allred-LBJ, wc, 5.12.37, NARA; T. Roosevelt, wc, LoC; cherries-ripe, wc, Chirak, 6.24.7; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 9.27.16 @ 9:22pm, edit @ 11:38 EST; Copyright © 2016

Relax Brady, Anti-Hero’s a Better Look

3 Aug

He’s face of the NFL, reigning Super champ QB with the GQ smile and model wife. But lately, Tom’s been taking more punches on the chin than a Pacquiao – Mayweather fisticuff. Hagler v Hearns (85) it was not, but then, not many are.

Deflategate just won’t fade away.

And now it’s taken on a Rose-Mary Woods feel (d.2005), she of Watergate infamy, having been the personal secretary to President Richard Nixon before and during the scandal. She took responsibility for erasing 5 minutes of a suspicious 18 minute gap in a White House tape subject to the Senate inquiry.

......Brady.wc.cca.12.18.11.J.Beall.thmb

NFL Commissioner, veritable Vice-Principal and CBA-approved appellate judge Roger Goodell handed down his decision on Tuesday to maintain Tom Brady’s 4g susp’n for what he and investigator Ted Wells believe was a “more probable than not” likelihood (?) that the Patriots QB knowingly partook in a “scheme” to deflate game balls (AFCC15) and then “obstructed” the inquiry by having an assistant destroy his cellular phone just prior to an interview with Wells who’d sought it’s contents.

Tom, like Woods, tabbed “Stretch” by media for myriad of machine maneuvers required to pull-off her claims (Wikipedia), explains his own act was not malice but mere coincidence as he had a habit of destroying phones upon purchasing a new model which he claims was necessary due to a functionality issue.

Needing a new phone just as Wells needed to see the old phone is a timing that Ms. “Elaine Benes” might’ve called one “BIG coincidence (Seinfeld).” Yeeeeah.

Some believe Brady a liar on this matter and take it further in calling him (and his team (Spygate)), a cheater. Hater hyperbole? Beyond a reasonable doubt.

Others cut Tom some terrific slack.

There are any number of valid, benign reasons that one would destroy a cell phone apart from skullduggery, i.e., intentional destruction of potential evidence, even with such poor timing as was Tom‘s.

For one, a reasonable All-American need for privacy. Yanks taught the world.

But privacy too has taken it on the chin of late, especially and appreciably so since the 9-11 attacks (See; NSA, etc.). And it’s not just from Uncle Sam.

......Silver.11.21.14.K.Allison.wc.thmb

Private sector boasts a growing disregard for the privacy right which sports a pretty wicked swell from blows like the national lynch-mob that throttled racially-paranoid but dementia’d 81-yr old former Clippers owner & ‘escort’ imbiber, Don Sterling, and the recent invasion of Planned Parenthood’s zone of privacy by intruders-with-agenda.

Which makes “Privacy Notification” I receive in the mail on a monthly basis from my credit card companies all the more weirder and suspicious. Thanks, Congress.

And then it’s possible Brady held a principled belief that the requestor (Wells et al) is not entitled, under CBA and / or due process, to access his cell phone.

Best advice in such circumstance might’ve been to hold said phone in abeyance and let a magistrate rule before said destruction. But rulings can go haywire and then where would the privacy-seeker be, everything exposed to inquiring minds or, in those famous words of “Varmint Cong (Caddyshack),” “Uh-oh!”

In addition, there’s a skewed, somewhat sorted nature to the whole Deflategate thing, a witch-hunt feel that stems from the following:

1) Parties purportedly initiating the inquiry (IND / BAL) have axes to grind;

2) Rules are rules but in this case the NFL policy on ball-flation was in somewhat primitive in stage preceding the hubbub while the in-game referees oversight of said balls was clearly lacking, almost, one could argue, inviting in it’s nature.

3) An investigator who employs easiest of standards (“more probable than not (51%)),” yet uses “likely” in couching report in an air of clear & convincing;

4) League’s manner has appeared indifferent to DP in inquiry and review.

......Vincent.7.13.12.thmb.careerupdate.wc

NFLPA is championing Brady’s case and filed grievance in a Minneapolis federal court last Wednesday (transferred NYC) to challenge Executive VP of Football Operations Troy Vincent’s 4g susp’n he handed down earlier in the year and upheld by Roger.

But take heart, Tommy, there are silver-linings in that dark Deflategate cloud staying stationary overhead.

Firstly, most Americans are tired of having their heroes deconstructed, folded, spindled and media-mutilated in for profit, politics, prejudice or combo thereof.

Second: You can take solace in knowledge that you’ve been granted full (pending) membership in the All-American Anti-Hero Club. It’s a good thing.

The anti-hero has some great qualities, real triumphs, but has an Achilles’ heel, chink in the armor that sends some folks running for either the rosary or the critics’ club. They are uncommon figures who, upon closer inspection, prove human and fail that false standard of perfection to which we hold our heroes, i.e., JFK, MLK and Audie Murphy.

.....Lafayette.wc.Peale.wc.1780.thm

One might argue the United States (1783) and it’s Charter ((C)1791) were created by a whole lotta’ anti-heroes that would’ve swung high from “white oak tree(s)” if not for the un-paid, poorly fed but stout Continentals, Washington’s out-maneuver of Britain the Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown (’81) and Lafayette’s compatriots, le Français.

That group includes Tom Jefferson, the man who started public education (UV) and penned the Declaration of Independence, the newest public enemy #1A, along with Old Hickory Andy Jackson (#1B), of the politically correct bully bunch (PCB).

My question to them: How do you all get here, if not from there? Spontaneous civil rights? “How conveeeeenient (Carvey),” for the catty, callous & closed-off.

The anti-hero club is non-sectarian and shows no preference to age, gender, era, income-level and has membership that’s both factual and fictionally-inspired.

Spartacus

“Thracian dog (McGraw’s tag on Kirk Douglas in the 1960 film)” sent shock-waves throughout the Roman Republic, yet, to slaves who heard-tell, he gave hope.

Robin Hood

“Baron of Locksley” was a hood with flair for robbery, so you can’t classify hero. The legend says he shared his loot with the poor of Sherwood Forest and vicinity, making him an early proponent of wealth redistribution. Any friend of Olivia de Havilland (E. Flynn) has gotta’ be A-OK, i.e., a bit of alright.

Andrew Jackson

He’s taken more flak than a B-17 over 40s Berlin. Nothing’s free and when he brought democracy to DC the spoils system was part-in-parcel. It persists today (lobbyism / quotas). Trail of Tears was a stain on our soul but without this first commoner in the White House who bested hostile Indians, British invaders and greedy bankers, the aristocrats (shareholders) might have the last 20%.

....Garfield.Gentlemens.47.wc.thm

John Garfield and Anne Revere

Stalwarts of 30s & 40s stage and screen, both stood brave against tyranny that was House Un-American Activities Committee, refused to name names and were black-listed as most America quivered. The Red Scare destroyed 100s of creative lives in a political effort to win power and snuff diversity. Like spoils system it lives today in corporate appeasement and homogenization, forcing conformity that stifles freedom of thought, artistic expression and does a cut & paste job on history. Still scary stuff.

“Pvt. John Reese (Steve McQueen, Hell is For Heroes (‘62))

When movie fans talk today about great war cinema, recency rules with movies like Fury (’14), Saving Private Ryan (’98), Glory (’89), American Sniper (’14), maybe The Pianist (’02). But classics hold their own with the likes of The Longest Day (’62), Platoon (’86), Apocalypse Now (‘79), The Deer Hunter (’78), All Quiet on the Western Front (’30), The Bridge on the River Kwai (‘58), Cross of Iron (‘77) and “Hell.” You’d not want to bar-be-que with the wired-tight Mr. “Reese” in peacetime, but in a trench, he’s Silver Star.

“Sgt. Stryker (John Wayne, Sands of Iwo Jima (‘49))

You’d not think the “Duke” anything less than straight hero-type, and you’d be right 95% of the time. But there were roles (The Searchers (‘59)) where you wondered if John had both oars in the water. Marital discord on homefront and abrasive leadership imbue Stryker with anti-, the stand-up-guy scene with juke-girl / mother and baby is ‘Grade A’ hero and should move you tears.

....Grier.2.3.12.wc.CFC.thm

“Jackie Brown (Pam Grier, Jackie Brown (‘97))

“Jackie” won’t make Condy Rice’s list of female role models but the ‘smart as a whip’ stewardess would get my vote for NFL Commish. She made a bad call with Stranger-Danger man “Ordell (Jackson),” but when she confides in smitten bondsman “Max Cherry (Forster)” about “starting over,” she speaks to everyone who’s reached middle-age and starts to scramble.

Brett Favre

“Mississippi” was bigger than Vince Lombardi in the formerly progressive State of Wisconsin, then Thompson & Board showed him the door, handed him his hat and he went to the other side (Vikings). Big surprise. He almost took Norsemen back to the promised land but got over-undered by the Saints, then had phone trouble of his own (Sterger). But Brett’s an endorsement machine, living the good life and back in fold (Packers’ HOF).

Jose Canseco

If Jose could stop whining about his bold decision to blow whistle on PED cheats and playing to the camera, he’d have his anti-hero club card in his good hand.

....Newman.68.Peterson.MF.WI.wc

“Frank Galvin (Paul Newman, The Verdict (‘82))

Like John (The Breaking Point (‘50)), Paul specialized as the anti-hero (Cool Hand Luke (’67)). Alchie ambulance-chaser turns his steed around, takes on cowardice & corruption and becomes a crusader on white charger.

“The Bad News Bears (‘76)

For anyone who’s ever muffed a can o‘ corn, got eaten-up by a grounder, made an errant throw or whiffed with bases full, they can appreciate this original fairytale that is inspirational staple for kids and adults alike. Mötley Crüe’s got nada on this bunch of misfits turned teammates and players. Entire cast, including Tatum O’Neal, Joy Van Patten and Vic Morrow is superb with Matthau (“Buttermaker”) and Haley (“Kelly Leak”) as the anti-heroes.

Randy Moss

Couldn’t have a Brady anti-hero list without TB’s battery mate, Moss. Maybe only Rodman affected play and emotions as did this incomparable receiver. From the get-go in debut with Vikes (‘98), Randy was uncommon as a game-changer and persona, vacillating unpredictably from spirited & strong to lackadaisical & surly. His pantomime moon of GB royalty was a creative high (’05), his snooty heart-stab of Minnesotans in brief 2010 return was a low.

Well, there you have it, some of the heavy hitters in the anti-hero club.

It’s not a bad place to be: better endorsements, better parties and I’d not be surprised if they found better brokers, too (more money, more fun).

Besides, if anti-hero status keeps you from having to shill for pizza money, Tom, it‘s gotta‘ be good, eh (See; Papa & Peyton)? Sorry, Manning, I’m off the gluten.

......macroecono.lamcasinoroyal.wc.2011

Steven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credits: Brady, 10.11.9, wc.cca, J.Beall; Brady, 12.18.11, wc, J.Beall; Silver, 11.21.14, wc.cca, K.Allison; Vincent, 7.13.12, careerupdate, wc.cca; Lafayette, 1780, Peale, wc.cca; Garfield, 1947, Gentlemen’s, wc; Grier, 2.13.12, CFC, wc; Newman, MF-WI, 1968, wc, Peterson; macroeconomo, lamcasinoroyal, 2011,wc.
Posted: 8.3.15 @ 3:35pm; edit @ 7:08 EST
Copyright © 2015