A terrible week for the NFL comes to an end with one of the ugliest incidents anyone has ever seen in the league. They can only hope that Sunday’s games do something to take the spotlight off of the the Browns-Steelers debacle.
Browns-Steelers—This is obviously the headline story of the week. One of the most vicious incidents ever seen in an NFL game overshadowed an otherwise boring football game. Probably the only person happy about the ending was Browns DB Demarious Randall. Randall was ejected—something hard to accomplish in the NFL—for a helmet to helmet hit which was really not even close to being a reasonable football play. His hit would be the talk of the NFL world if not for Myles Garrett and his helmet swing. Roger Goodell and the NFL came out with a strong and prompt message. The prompt part might have been the most surprising given how slow the NFL usually moves, but the league could not let last night’s incident go unpunished into a full slate of games this weekend. The quick suspensions are just the easy ones and you can anticipate that there will be a lot more fallout as the NFL fully looks into the incident. Mason Rudolph is unlikely to go without punishment either.
Houston Astros—The Astros were also beneficiaries of Myles Garrett’s actions. Their electronic sign stealing will still be a huge story as it is unlikely that they are the only team using technology to steal signs. As the analytics craze hits everything else, it is almost funny that the teams do not want anyone stealing signs. The process of stealing signs has been going on for over 100 years, but the “spirit” of the game apparently draws the line here.
Project Play Western New York—I am excited to be presenting Saturday for a group of sports organizations funded by Project Play of Western New York. We are expecting over 75 leaders representing 50+ organizations to participate in the workshop and break out sessions aimed at building the capacity of their organizations. As with many organizations, the challenge is how to balance all of the requirements of running a youth sports organization. Typically the Founder takes on an enormous burden both financially and in time. As we sit with organizations we try to help them identify the best way to make their organization sustainable so that if they get hit by that bus, the organization will be able to carry on its important mission and all of the hard-work from the Founder will not go to waste. One of my favorite parts of this process is the smaller group sessions which allow the participants to ask the questions with which they need the most help.
Colin Kaepernick—In another of the NFL’s struggles, the workout set up for Colin Kaepernick on Saturday has received wide-spread criticism. The reason is that it does not fit in the NFL’s usual timeframe for working out players (Tuesday). The league did not give Kaepernick much advance notice and many sources have reported that they gave the teams no notice at all prior to the media announcement. The bottom line is many feel this is a CYA move by the league. Kaepernick feels he has been blackballed by the league and a victim of systematic discrimination. However, some former players close to the league have told me that Kaepernick was not even trying to get workouts, was not in shape, and was not training and practicing in any fashion which would make the NFL teams take him seriously. Remember, this is a small community and people know what is going on. If Kaepernick was training and preparing for workouts, word would easily have gotten back to the NFL teams. It will be interesting to follow what happens at Saturday’s workout. Maybe the NFL should give a compensatory to pick to the team who dares to sign him. It will be interesting to follow what happens on Saturday and it will probably merit its own article early next week so check back here. UPDATE: 11-18-19 Plenty of Blame To Go Around in Kaepernick and NFL Fiasco
Fiserv Forum/Giannis—I had my first chance to see Fiserv Forum and watch Giannis live. His athleticism is even more impressive in person than in HDTV. For my personal taste, there are still too many side shows at NBA games because I like the focus on the game and the competition but the crowd for the most part seemed much more engaged by the entertainment during the timeouts. Fiserv lived up to its billing with an impressive array of food selections and nicely redeveloped area though somewhat inexplicably, several of the bar/restaurants would not serve food or have anything other than bar service. Really? You didn’t see the game schedule? Or you didn’t expect people to come by after the game when you are 200 feet from the exit? Puzzling.
Georgia vs. Alabama—Does someone want to explain to me how Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama? As you can read in my post about “Why an 8-team Playoff Will Save College Football”, the criteria are so questionable that nobody knows the real requirements. Georgia lost at home to South Carolina. South Carolina is currently 4-5. Alabama lost at home to #1 LSU. LSU is undefeated. Granted Georgia has a couple good wins (Notre Dame and Florida). However, you can only play who is on your schedule. I hate the concept of punishing teams for schedules which are either set a decade in advance (for non-conference games) or are out of their control (set by the conference). Alabama is still likely to get into the playoff if LSU beat Georgia. So the Tide will now have to cheer for their rivals because there is almost no way Bama gets in if LSU loses to Georgia because you are hard pressed to see how Bama would be picked ahead of the team that beat them.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK
MOTIVATION FOR THE WEEK