Happy Tuesday, friends, even though it really isn’t. I was in a hating-some-people mood all day Monday, and it continues today. Last night’s game against the Raiders tells us some important things about the Broncos, and all we can really do is take the lessons and try to understand what happened, and what it means on a go-forward basis. Feel the excitement? Ready… Begin (or whatever…)
1. Last night’s game was a great example of complementary football, and how the Broncos aren’t close to playing it yet. The primary damage was done in the second quarter behind bad field position, penalties, a blocked punt, and a couple of terrible turnovers.
The offense did little in this game to help the defense, which actually played at a league-average level. (I think that’s the best we can hope for in 2011.) When Matt Prater missed his 56-yard field goal, it gave the Raiders good field position. When Knowshon Moreno fumbled, it gave the Raiders excellent field position. When Britton Colquitt’s punt was blocked, it gave the Raiders excellent field position. When Kevin Vickerson took that awful personal foul penalty at the end of the first half, he practically asked Sebastian Janikowski to kick his record-tying field goal, which ended up being the difference in the game.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I had a nice Labor Day weekend, and I hope you did too. It was busy, though, and I’m coming back to a busy workweek, so I’m kind of squeezed for time from both ends. That said, I’m going to get moving and play for maximum value over minimum time. I may even offend some people, with or without really meaning to. Ready… BEGIN!!!
1. Our friends at the DP rubed out again this weekend, breathlessly reporting that the Broncos would definitely be hitting the waiver wire hard before seeing them claim nobody at all. As a staff, we were laughing at what seems to be the front office’s new practice of building up the expectations of the local media, only to make them look bad when things don’t happen the way they were speculated. Woody is already bitching about John Fox’s skill in saying nothing at all while saying many words, as Doug pointed out in Monday’s Lard.
Personally, I’m not very surprised at all that the Broncos didn’t claim anybody. I did a fairly basic exercise on Saturday where I picked through a lot of chaff looking for wheat, and I didn’t find much quality among young players who were waived. The only guy I really liked was Tavares Gooden, and I can’t make a great case that Gooden is better than Mario Haggan or Nate Irving. Of course, when you claim a guy on waivers, he goes to the active roster and you have to immediately cut a player to make room for him.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served. I’m excited, aren’t you? We have some football to discuss, as well as some deep exploration of my use of the word “nutjob” on Friday, which got some people upset. Along with that, I’ll have some expanded thoughts about the Tebow media environment, and why I believe that my comment is justified. Beyond that, it’s a surprise. Buckle your chinstraps, because this is going to be a full-contact Tuesday. Ready…. BEGIN!!!
1. There was a lot of excellent analysis by TJ, Doug, and Doc on Saturday’s game, and I don’t really have a lot to add to it that hasn’t already been said. I decided to take a run at putting together a 53-man roster, since we’re now heading into the fourth preseason game, and a lot of the bottom 45 guys on the roster are going to be trying to get off the cut list with a big play here or there, ala Shannon Sharpe’s story.
The list that I’ve compiled represents the 53 best players that I’ve seen this preseason, plus Demaryius Thomas, who’s going to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. It includes certain assumptions about the numbers of players that the Broncos will keep at each position, which follow immediately here.
Happy Tuesday, friends. This is the week where we start preseason football, and I’m very excited to get my first look at what’s going on. As a Broncos expatriate in Cleveland, I’ll be listening to the game on 850KOA.com on Thursday night, and then I just realized that I won’t get to see the game until probably Sunday, which is pretty lame. I’ll have to listen super-intently, I guess.
This is the incredible (hopefully once-in-a-lifetime) “2 Weddings in 2 States in 2 Days” weekend, which I may or may not have mentioned in this space. If I did, picture me smirking for my critics who don’t like me talking about anything but football. If I didn’t, it’s pretty much the same picture. Funny how that works. The moral of the story, as always, is that I do what I want, and bitching about it only makes me more defiant.
Anyway, on Friday morning, I leave at the crack of dawn to fly to Providence, RI. I’ll drive across from there to my hometown of Norwich, CT for the wedding of one of my oldest friends, Tony Orsini, to his lovely fiancée Anastasia Barber. Saturday morning, I’m flying back to Cleveland to attend the wedding of my fraternity brother Drew Saum (you know him as the guy who rigged the Madden 12 election) to the equally lovely Molly Watson. It should be lots of fun, and I congratulate both couples.
So, yeah, Sunday for the visual game experience. I think it will be the first time in about 4 years that I’ve had to miss seeing Broncos football game for a significant amount of time after the game has played, and I’m not going to make a habit of it. I hope that everybody who can see the game before me is paying attention, and is applying the stuff that we talk about here, and I’ll catch up with y’all when I can. For now, let’s get to current football events. Ready…. BEGIN!!
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served. I launched this recurring Tuesdayish feature when I joined IAOFM in January, and I explained what it was all about at that time. Since we’re finding a lot of new readers lately, (our traffic has just been exploding), and just to do a quick reset for the existing reader base, I decided to do a quick couple paragraphs explaining the concept.
YGS is meant to be somewhat structureless, in the sense that I feel free to write about whatever football thoughts I have in a week. While this is primarily a Broncos site, I’ve always been an around-the-league guy, and I’ll always talk about teams other than the Broncos, to keep everybody abreast of the NFL-wide scene, since no national NFL reporters really know what they’re talking about, beyond repeating what people tell them.
We’ll get into some technical football here, and I’ll always be aiming to point out non-obvious things that are happening on the football field and in the business environment around the game. I’m going to talk about what I’m thinking about, in the style that works for me. It’s what I’ve always done, going back to Shallow Thoughts and Nearsighted Observations. Sometimes you’ll disagree with me, and sometimes I’ll offend your sensibilities, but I hope that at the end of the read, you'll feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth.
I can’t believe these greedy, ungrateful players! They’re just willfully holding this thing up. The owners have given them a great proposal, and these guys say they need more time. Why can’t they read 500 pages in an hour? Is it because most of them can’t read? I’m not saying, I’m just saying… Have you ever read their twits on that Twitter thing? Umm… hello? English class… you should try it sometime. And some of them even use profanity. Don’t they know that their most important purpose in life is being role models to children? They should be talking about Jesus and tax breaks and preventing Muslims from opening mosques or gays from getting married. You know, positive stuff that promotes a stronger America, where everybody who deserves it can enjoy apple pie, and watch football, and those who don’t should just work harder, and maybe it happens for them next year.
Look, the owners have worked hard to create a product that people want to see, and these players should be happy just to get to attach themselves to the genius of these 32 American heroes and benefit from it. I don’t have a pension, and neither does anybody I know. Why should these guys get one? This is America, and we’ve all unanimously decided to accept a lower quality of life than our parents had. That’s democracy, and the majority rules. It’s the greatest country in the world, and these players don’t understand that. They should call me when they get serious about capitalism, democracy, and the Constitution. Let’s practice – We hold these truths to be self-evident, that employees should be happy to have jobs, and should thank the benevolent job creators for their generosity. Four score and seven years ago, the young NFL almost folded, but thanks to the white protestant tenacity of men like George Halas, Curly Lambeau, and Ronald Reagan, it grew and thrived, and now these guys that couldn’t get a job in my family’s snack bar want to make millions of dollars off of the sweat of those visionary entrepreneurs and their heirs. John Quincy Adams and our other Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves, because those people clearly don't know the Constitution.
Happy Friday, friends. As we seem to be nearing a CBA settlement, I’ve decided to re-engage on some of the substance of the issues, as reported in the last day. As usual, I have thoughts. Ready… BEGIN!!! (It feels good to say that, and to give y’all a healthy serving.)
1. The news about the agreement on the rookie wage scale is major, but not unexpected. The reporting in recent days has been that that was the dominant topic, and as engaged as the two sides have been, and now that they’re both negotiating fully in good faith, it’s no surprise that an accord was eventually reached. (Too bad that doesn’t hold true on the federal government’s debt ceiling negotiations.)
Assuming the reporting is correct, the NFL has essentially copied the only smart thing that the NBA has been doing with their salary structure. They’ve introduced an honest-to-goodness risk management plan, and fundamentally re-valued draft picks. This is great for the quality of the NFL, and its ability to promote parity across the entire league landscape.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I hope everybody had a nice holiday weekend and got to spend it with friends and family. I had an excellent weekend, and today finds me in a good mood. I’ve been trying to think of something to write about, since we’re at that lull period of the offseason - even if this were a regular year - where nothing is going on, and everything has been analyzed to death.
After careful deliberation, I decided to
mock honor our old friend Peter King by listing 6 Things I’ve Decided Are True, because once I think about something, I decide on an answer. Peter King is somebody who thinks that he thinks things. I know what I think – maybe that makes me weird. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and get that same warm fuzzy feeling that Peter gives you each week when he isn’t having randoms write his column while he vacations in Montclair, New Jersey, or whatever.
I have absolutely no sympathy for Ralph Wilson or Mike Brown as the rumors fly that they don’t appreciate the direction that the Brady vs. NFL settlement talks have been taking in putting together a new CBA. Neither man is a quality NFL owner or shows the slightest desire or ability to make his team a consistent winner.
Wilson, who is 92 years old, seems to be playing out the string of his life. He pays lip service to wanting to keep the Bills in Buffalo, but he clearly recognizes that the viability of western New York as an NFL home continues to diminish as its historically blue collar labor environment is marginalized, and the population resultingly diminishes. Buffalo is the worst market in the NFL, and when the team is sold upon Wilson’s death, I’m pretty sure the new owner will be looking to Toronto or Los Angeles.
As for Brown, he’s the son of Paul Brown, who founded the Bengals back when you didn’t have to really be all that wealthy to start an NFL team. Paul was a successful coach of the Browns for many years, and it sure helped to have Hall of Famers like Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Lou Groza, and Jim Brown. Upon founding the Bengals, the Brown magic never returned. Mike Brown is not the football man his father was, and he's also the cheapest owner in the NFL. He hires the assistant coaches - with the Head Coach having little to no say in the matter - and pays them the lowest salaries in the NFL for their peer groups. He also has always maintained the smallest scouting staff in the NFL, and the senior front office people are a bunch of Browns and Blackburns. They’re the only mom and pop team in the NFL, and that’s the biggest reason that they can never establish a consistent winning program.
I was asked Thursday night what I believe in, spiritually speaking, and the answer I gave is that I believe in the power of people, specifically myself. What I really believe in is self-interest, and that all people will strive to achieve theirs, to the extent that they’re fully able to understand what that self-interest is. The world is an enormous collection of self-interests, and that’s true of people, companies, nations, and any other type of entity.
This is a key determinant of my thought process about everything that happens in the world. For example, it’s why I consider myself to be a foreign policy realist. (In terms of the American political spectrum, realism is centrist-to-center/right; it has been a key tenet of the foreign policy activities of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Obama administrations, and it was openly disdained by the Bush II administration.) Nations act in their own best interests, and therefore the best way to approach diplomacy is to try to understand what those interests are, and what those nations think their interests are, in the event that there is a difference.
I decided to share this, because it’s just so fundamental to my thought process, and by reading my work, each of you knowingly partakes of the resulting thoughts. Today, as always, I’ve got some thoughts to share.