Friday, July 31, 2015

1 comments Jay Mariotti Reacts to Tom Brady's Reaction to His Upheld Four Game Suspension in Typical Jay Mariotti Fashion, With Terrible Sportswriting

I've probably mentioned on various social media platforms (fine, only Twitter) that I'm tired of the story about the Patriots deflating footballs. I won't call it DeflateGate, even though that's much easier to type than typing "the Patriots deflating footballs." I believe Brady probably knew something about it and I believe the NFL has really screwed the whole investigation up. Even though I'm an A-Rod apologist, I don't condone cheating, but from everything I've read I'm not entirely sure how much cheating deflating the football really ends up being. I'm not sure the NFL knows either. So in a judgment-free zone on whether Brady is guilty, innocent, or framed, I prefer to focus on the terrible sportswriting that comes from reactions to the four game suspension Brady received for deflating the footballs. Jay Mariotti wrote back-to-back columns eviscerating Brady and Jay is at his red-faced, terrible writing best (worst) in them.

I'll start with his July 28 column where he compares Tom Brady to Richard Nixon.

Well, so much for the 2024 presidential bid. Unless you are Nixonian in your political bent,

Unless you love corruption, you should hate Tom Brady. Why? He's no G.I. Joe, because he's not an American hero.

you’ll understand why Tom Brady has lost all credibility not only as an American hero but as someone who deserves not even a saliva spit of support in the Deflategate scandal.

I literally have never thought of Tom Brady as an American hero.

It’s one thing to argue that Brady, in the AFC championship game, performed better with footballs that were properly inflated in the second half than with purposely underdeflated balls in the first half.

By "one thing" Jay means, "This could go to the effect the underinflated balls had on the game and therefore could potentially go to the merit and severity of a punishment." It's still cheating if a team doesn't gain an advantage, but it doesn't seem the Patriots gained an advantage in this specific situation.

it means “The Man Every Other Male Aspires To Be” and “The Greatest Quarterback Of All Time” has committed these sins:

1. He knowingly participated in a scam with team equipment managers to deflate footballs, which gave him a competitive advantage while violating league rules. That makes him a cheater.

2. He denied participating in the scam. That makes him a liar.

3. He had an associate destroy the smoking phone and, by extension, the probable incriminating evidence on that phone, meaning he refused to cooperate. That makes him a cover-up artist.

4. On the way to his associate's house in order to make sure his associate was there, he texted this person. This means he was texting and driving.

5. Brady was clocked by at least one police radar as going 5 miles over the speed limit while on his way to the associate's house. This makes him a speeder and law breaker.

6. He tried to steer out of the way of a squirrel on his way to the associate's house, but ran over the squirrel instead. This means Brady was guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

7. After walking back in his house, he threw his recyclable water bottle into a regular trash can. This is just him flagrantly showing the city's recycling rules do not apply to him. What other rules does Tom Brady think don't apply to him? No need to answer that question, because it's obvious now.

Is it possible four games aren’t enough, then, that Brady should have been banned for the entire season?

At the very least, he should be decapitated. At the most, one of his children should be sold into slavery. So any punishment in between seems appropriate, though a real American hero would just go ahead and sell his child into slavery now instead of waiting for this punishment to be handed down.

Given New England’s status as a dynasty, with four Super Bowl titles in the 21st century, Brady’s continuing defiance is raising the same doubts about the Patriots that the Steroids Era did about Major League Baseball.

Yes Jay, these two events are completely similar. Tom Brady deflated footballs in one playoff game by a certain amount of PSI and this is similar to what happened over a 6-8 year span where multiple baseball players used PED's to gain an edge over a multiple game span and destroy current records in the MLB record book. One is the same as the other.

I'm surprised Jay didn't hit us with a "In the Steroid Era, the players got pumped up to gain an edge, while Brady deflated in order to gain his edge."

How much of their success is real,

79.6541%.

how much is deceitful?

20.3459%. 

“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone,” Goodell said in his appeals decision. “During the four months that the cellphone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device.”

The world may never know what pet names he and Gisele have for each other. For this, someone must pay, and that person is Tom Brady.

But for once, in a tenure tarnished by his irresponsible handling of the Ray Rice case and an erratic record of off-field punishments in general, Goodell seems to be spot-on.

If anyone was ever wondering who that person is that feels Goodell was "spot-on" with his handling of the situation where Brady allegedly deflated footballs, then you can rest easy knowing that person is Jay Mariotti. No one should be shocked by this. Jay would side with Westboro Baptist Church if it helped him write a column that bashes an athlete or coach.

He could have waffled and given weight to his all-but-dead friendship with Kraft, who defended Goodell publicly and in ownership circles as he was attacked amid the Rice fallout. But this time, he stood firm in front of the league’s so-called shield and avoided all wishy-washiness. 

There is a clear difference in standing firm for solid factual and evidentiary reasons and standing firm because the decision has been made and that's the decision. I don't think Goodell should have necessarily waffled, but not changing his mind doesn't mean his decision was correct in the very first place.

Harmful as the Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson abuse cases have been to the league’s image and reputation, maintaining the game’s competitive integrity is vitally important, too, particularly when it involves the league’s most visible and acclaimed player.

The game's integrity is very important, but I would argue that making sure the athletes involved with the sport don't abuse children or women is more important to ensuring fans aren't alienated than ensuring a football is at the proper PSI level would be.

What we have now is Brady, in frantic image-restoration mode, legally challenging the ruling and seeking an injunction allowing him to play.

Remember back when Jay Mariotti started at Sports Talk Florida and the "Examiner," back when he talked about how the legal system is corrupt (against rich white men!) and he understands this because of all he had gone through? Welp, now he's describing Brady exercising his legal rights as his being in "frantic image-restoration mode." As expected, when Jay talked about how he understood the American legal system and how it swallowed people up, he only meant he understood this from his perspective. Everyone else deserves whatever they get. The legal system is against Jay Mariotti, while everyone else is getting treated fairly.

If Brady was smart, he’d accept his four games and go away. It’s hard to believe even the most venomous Goodell critic would side with Brady now. He will argue the Wells report is flawed and the ball-deflation rules were unfairly applied. Um, why would an innocent man destroy a phone that could help him if wronged?

What a bad counterargument to the idea the ball-deflation rules were unfairly applied. Brady destroying his phone is circumstantial evidence that can go to support the belief he was attempting to destroy evidence, but the destruction of the phone isn't a counterargument to the Wells report being flawed or whether the ball-deflation rules were fairly applied or not. Again, for someone who claims to understand the legal system, Jay is very clueless about how the veracity of legal challenges can be determined. If the ball-deflation rules weren't unfairly applied, then this could mean Brady will win his legal case. Just like if evidence is mishandled in a criminal case, it doesn't matter if the suspect acted very suspiciously to where it seemed like he was covering up a crime. I can't let Jay take me down this rabbit hole. He's ignorant, we know that.

“Especially in light of the new evidence introduced at the hearing — evidence demonstrating that he arranged for the destruction of potentially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested by the investigators — my findings and conclusions have not changed in a matter that would benefit Mr. Brady,” Goodell said.

Team Brady’s response? “Neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong,” agent Don Yee said. “And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred. The appeal process was a sham.”

For the record, there was no denial that the smoking phone was destroyed.

For the record, Brady admits the phone was destroyed. Why did he do this? Who the fuck knows? I can take a guess, but it's just a guess. Regardless, I just enjoy reading Jay's terrible writing about this topic. Considering I find ball deflation to be boring, I need to get my enjoyment on this topic where it can be found.

Now for the July 29 article that Jay compares Brady to Lance Armstrong, Pete Rose, and Tiger Woods. Yeah, Tiger Woods. Tiger cheated on his spouse, which apparently is now the same thing as using PED's and betting on baseball.

Tom Brady is 37 years old. He looks 27 years old. And now, he’s acting 17 years old,

Real strong hot take to start the column off. If only Brady's son were 7 years old then Jay could have thrown that in there too.

using his Facebook account — gee, what’s his relationship status? —

This isn't really funny or clever. Brady is married, Jay. He's married to a supermodel. That's his status.

If he was a mature, reasonable person, he’d call a news conference, invite the world, look every reporter in the eye, stare every camera in the lens and say, for posterity, “I’ll take your questions for the next two hours.”

I always love the sportswriter challenge to determine true honesty which can only be determined by that athlete calling a press conference and answering the media's questions. Because answering questions from sportswriters is always the best way to determine honesty. Sportswriters like Jay have such a high opinion of themselves that they believe they should be the final arbiter on whether an athlete is lying or not. Sure, if Tom Brady called a press conference then it would give Jay something more interesting to write about, but mostly it's Jay's ego which causes him to believe he's not merely a member of the press, but the person who should stand in final judgment regarding Brady's honesty.

You know, if Jay Mariotti were a reasonable, mature person then he would call a press conference and talk about exactly what happened on that day when he was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Jay would NEVER do that, because he considers it a private affair. I mean, Jay Mariotti had a chance to clear his name and totally chose not to do that. He pled no-contest, but he wants Tom Brady to stand up and defend himself in a press conference where he can take questions for two hours. Few things anger me more than the hypocrisy of the media. Jay doesn't believe he has an obligation to explain himself, but of course when it's not Jay in the firing line then only a mature, reasonable person would call a press conference to explain himself.

Instead, Brady logged onto Facebook, where he doesn’t have to answer questions but can continue to twist his obvious wrongdoing into an increasingly absurd drama that is becoming a national headache.

I will agree with the "national headache" part. 

“To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong,” he wrote. “There is no ‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.”

Zero evidence? The NFL has 11 underinflated footballs from the first half of January’s AFC championship game.

I think the issue is that Brady and the Patriots are not convinced these footballs were underinflated. That's the source of their disagreement, that the Patriots and Brady dispute the notion these balls weren't inflated properly. 

The NFL knows that both equipment managers were fired by the New England Patriots. And when the NFL asked Brady to provide a cellphone that might help prove his innocence, he chose to get rid of the phone just before his meeting with investigator Ted Wells.

I'm not defending Brady, but his statement is that he was under the impression that the investigators didn't need his phone. Also, Brady wasn't going to just let them search his phone. By the way, this is a stance I guess the majority of Americans would take if their employer (or another entity that isn't a law enforcement entity) requested their cell phone. I don't give my cell phone number out to but a select few at my work, so I certainly am not going to allow my employer or anyone else search my cell phone. Destroying the phone does seem a bit extreme without having some more context. 

Now, we’ve lost respect for him as a human being.

This statement coming from Jay Mariotti is hilarious. I haven't lost respect for Tom Brady as a human being, even if is totally guilty. It's sports, guys. Let's keep a little perspective. Brady didn't kill anyone or commit a violent crime against humanity. 

Would he please accept his four-game suspension like a man rather than pouting like Bart Simpson?

Even a decade ago this reference wouldn't be relevant. Bill Simmons is embarrassed for Jay Mariotti that he used such a dated pop culture reference. 

“I also disagree with yesterdays [sic] narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells’ investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.”

That's Brady's story. It could all be lies. Plus, it's a smart move as a member of the union to not a set a precedent for your phone to be searched. 

Hey, while he’s sitting in September, at least Tom can bank his check from Apple for the iPhone 6 plug. 

Yes, because Apple needs Tom Brady to name drop the iPhone in order to sell the product. 

As for the broken Samsung phone, we’ll just assume the dog ate it.

Again, there is no need to assume anything because Brady admits he destroyed the phone. This is the second time that Jay has indicated Brady is hiding the phone or not admitting what he did with his cell phone. One very clear thing that has occurred through this entire mad legal battle between the NFL and Brady, and that clear thing is that Brady destroyed his cell phone. 

There may be no smoking gun, but there is a smoking cellphone, wherever it went.

Maybe Jay should go check landfills or check at the bottom of rivers, as if Brady's phone is a murder weapon and not a cell phone that got destroyed in order to cover up evidence of DEFLATED FUCKING FOOTBALLS. 

And I can’t wait for a judge, assuming Brady’s legal challenge actually advanced that far, to subpoena Samsung for his cellphone records. Does Brady really want to go there? Doesn’t he realize how the lies are piling up and digging him a deeper grave?

Why does this matter so much to Jay? If the records are subpoenaed and Brady is seen as a liar, then it only strengthens Jay's assertion that Brady is a deceitful little shit and the commissioner should throw the book at him. Why worry about Brady lying if you think he'll be caught? 

The operative word is entitlement. Every time a cheating athlete is caught red-handed — for performance-enhancing drugs, for gambling, for bimbo sex, for corked bats, for lubed baseballs and, now, for doctored footballs — he feels enabled to deny the charge rather then fess up. 

I don't mean to dismiss the importance of footballs that are inflated slightly below the limit allowed, but to compare it to using PED's, gambling, and cheating on your wife is a little bit of an overreaction from Jay. 

While Brady’s sin doesn’t rise to the same level, he joins Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Pete Rose and all the baseball juicers on Rebuttal Row. Ultimately, all were proven wrong and forced to acknowledge guilt. Brady will have to do the same, but not anytime soon.

I don't even know what to write in response to this. I think the absurdity of comparing these players to Tom Brady is fairly apparent. There really aren't levels of cheating, and I have no idea how Tiger cheating on his wife relates to cheating in sports, but it seems extreme to compare Brady deflating footballs in one playoff game to Lance Armstrong cheating through multiple Tour de France victories, Rose gambling on baseball, and every MLB player who has ever used PED's. It seems like a rather broad comparison as well. 

By that, Kraft was acknowledging that he’d agreed to accept the NFL’s penalty for the Patriots — a $1 million fine and forfeiture of two draft picks — during the May league meetings in San Francisco. In other words, he thought he was playing a wink-wink game with Goodell: The Patriots would take the hit if Brady’s ban eventually was reduced or eliminated. Shame on Kraft for thinking a commissioner should work in such a wishy-washy manner.

The terms of punishment for a cheating scandal should not be negotiable.

Despite the fact the NFL reportedly did try to negotiate with Brady to decrease his punishment if he just admitted to wrongdoing.

Again, I find it interesting that Jay doesn't think terms of punishment for cheating in sports shouldn't be negotiable, but he was glad to plead no-contest to stalking and assaulting his girlfriend in order to avoid jail time and/or a trial. Apparently Jay feels that deflating footballs is a much more serious offense than allegedly abusing your girlfriend, to where deflating footballs should have no negotiable punishment, but allegedly abusing your girlfriend can be pled out to no-contest because it's not quite a serious enough accusation for the punishment to be non-negotiable.

The New England sleaze is a reminder of how fortunate we are, in the Bay Area, to enjoy two championship teams that aren’t scandalized.

I'm sure Jay wrote this with a straight face while ignoring the column he wrote about Barry Bonds, who played in the Bay Area, and was part of a scandal Jay discussed a few paragraphs ago. He wrote here about Bonds. I'm sure Jay doesn't remember this though. He would NEVER knowingly contradict himself or be a hypocrite.

He is firing a missile at the commissioner in a declaration of war, and that the owner who helped Goodell get his job — one that pays him as much as $44 million annually — now can be considered a mortal enemy. In the end, the powerful owners run this league, and while Kraft and Brady won’t win in court, Kraft can exact his revenge by trying to rub Goodell out of office.

And that's the right Kraft has as one of Goodell's 32 bosses. Goodell serves at the pleasure of the owners. 

Kraft sounds silly in claiming ESPN is in cahoots with the NFL to get the Patriots, ignoring that the media behemoth has been one of Goodell’s biggest critics in his mishandling of the Ray Rice case and other issues. “The decision by commissioner Goodell was released … under an erroneous headline that read, ‘Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.’ This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs,” 

Not exactly, Kraft was merely claiming that ESPN uses headlines designed to get readers/viewers and that's not a false statement. ESPN does do this, as does many other sports sites or networks.

And yes, the idea ESPN would be in bed with the NFL sounds crazy as long as you ignore the specific instances where ESPN has protected NFL interests by suspending Bill Simmons after he criticized Roger Goodell, canceled "Playmakers" because the NFL didn't like it, and got their contribution to the PBS documentary on concussions removed. Oh, and ESPN has the rights to certain NFL games. You know, other than their financial interest in supporting the NFL and the previous attempts to protect the league, ESPN has no history of being in cahoots with the league.

Training camps have started, gentlemen. The football season is here. Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone. Innocent men don’t destroy their cellphones.

I have destroyed a cell phone before. My cell phone display cracked when I stepped on it one time and rather than have a cracked cell phone hanging around I smashed it with a hammer (for fun) and threw it out. I had no special numbers on there, I just didn't want anyone to get my personal information when I threw it out. Maybe innocent men don't destroy their cellphones, but most innocent/guilty men aren't Tom Brady and have the phone number of many celebrities, athletes, models, and family members on their phone. I think someone would want to steal Brady's phone when/if it got thrown away in order to have these numbers. 

I need two aspirin.

So Jay's terrible writing gives him a headache too. At least we have that in common. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

0 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He Isn't Increasing Ratings and He Didn't Make the All-Star Team

It's time for the New York media to relay what A-Rod has done wrong lately. The New York media previously gnashed their teeth that A-Rod wanted the full bonus the Yankees had promised him in his contract, and he wanted the full amount even if the Yankees gave the bonus to charity rather than A-Rod. Also, A-Rod wouldn't create controversy on demand, which frustrated Bill Madden. Now A-Rod isn't doing anything to increase the ratings at YES (because A-Rod is singlehandedly responsible for these ratings) and he didn't get voted on to the All-Star team. What a bunch of serious missteps by A-Rod.

I'll start off first with Bob Raissman, who says that A-Rod has played well on the field, but he still isn't helping the Yankees with television ratings. Because A-Rod's job is to make sure ratings increase, not perform well on the field, and it is A-Rod's job and only A-Rod's job to increase Yankees' television ratings.

Is there a Yankeeography on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network in Alex Rodriguez’s future?
 
Judging by pinstriped suits’ (Hal, Hankenstein, etc.) positive reaction to A-Rod’s “Summer of Love Tour,” we would have to say (Only On) YES. Rodriguez has done all the right things upon his return from a year-long sentence for his role in the Biogenesis caper.

The New York media is still a little bitter they can not bash A-Rod for underachieving this year, so resorting to being cutesy and sarcastic about A-Rod coming back from his year-long suspension and contributing to the team is the attitude of choice.

Since he embarked on this comeback, during which he’s posted the kind of numbers even know-it-all Analytics Aliens could not have predicted,

The media continuously has no idea what Sabermetrics are or how these statistics are supposed to be used. Using Sabermetrics isn't like being a psychic where they are trying to predict the future as if they know it all. It's the use of statistics to make predictions based on past information and A-Rod's age. It's less know-it-all and more let's-use-data-to-try-and-predict-but-this-isn't-guaranteed-to-be-right. Sabermetricians don't claim to be psychics.

much of the media has gifted him the kind of supernatural powers performance-enhancing drugs cannot produce.

Yes, the media is making A-Rod into a better player than he truly is. Why is the media always on A-Rod's side? Sure, it's really impressive he's putting up such numbers at the age of 40 (while apparently clean) after taking an entire year off from baseball, after suffering injuries prior to his year off from baseball, but stop talking about him like he's good at the sport. The media is always overrating A-Rod's abilities. 

This is a much higher power — like the ability to jack up television ratings, which influence the rates networks can charge advertisers to buy time.

Sure A-Rod's doing a good job of hitting the baseball, but the real test of his baseball skill is his ability to increase television ratings. This is A-Rod's job and only A-Rod's job. If YES ratings are low, it's because A-Rod can't draw a viewing crowd. These ratings are a direct reflection on A-Rod and it's not at all possible ratings would be even lower if A-Rod wasn't drawing more viewers to YES Yankees broadcasts. 

Part of the debate over whether Rodriguez deserves to be a member of the American League All-Star team Tuesday night in Cincinnati includes a perception he can draw eyeballs to the Foxies’ party.

But this perception is wrong because the Yankees don't have great ratings. This is just like the perception Paul Goldschmidt could help a contending team who trades for him is wrong because the Diamondbacks aren't very good. The D-Backs suck and that means so does Goldschmidt. 

Kay admits Rodriguez does not belong on the AL All-Stars. “Just tell me who he replaces?” Kay asked. But on his ESPN-98.7 gabfest, Kay added: “I think it would be great for Fox (if A-Rod was on the team). I think it (the game) will get higher ratings with Alex there.”

Kay, and the many others who share his opinion, never quantify it. If they did, they couldn’t back up their words. 

It concerns me that Bob Raissman gets paid to write about television broadcasts and ratings when he uses the logic he is about to use in order to justify his point. The big issue here is that there is no telling what the ratings would be this year if A-Rod wasn't playing, so it's almost impossible to say the effect he has on ratings. The Yankees are also not expected to be competing for the World Series, which also affects the ratings.

Through July 7, Yankees TV ratings on YES were averaging a 2.55 rating, down a hefty 15% from the same point in the 2014 season, according to The Nielsen Co. And average total viewership on YES’ Yankees cablecasts is 237,000, down 17% from the same point in 2014.

This is concerning for me. Bob Raissman uses ratings from the 2014 season, which could easily be skewed based on it being Derek Jeter's last season as a Yankee. Ratings could have been higher for 2014 than 2013, which would mean the ratings for the Yankees this season are normal. It's concerning to me that Raissman uses a potentially outlier year to prove his point without using any other data from previous seasons to compare 2014 to. Maybe he could learn something from the Analytics Aliens. 

So, if A-Rod can’t put the Yankees ahead in the ratings department on YES, where the majority of peepers have forgot about his PED past and mostly have forgiven him (as long as he continues being productive) for past “sins,” there is no shot — absolutely none — that extraneous eyeballs from sea to shining sea are going to go out of their way to tune into Fox’s All-Star telecast to see A-Rod.

Who says A-Rod isn't helping YES ratings? Aren't there are other reasonable explanations for the decline in YES ratings? It's possible A-Rod is helping ratings, but the other factors that go into how many Yankees fans watch the games are hurting the ratings more. 

Why waste time watching a guy they still despise?

This is the only obvious conclusion. Fans who will watch the All-Star game hate A-Rod because the ratings for Yankees games are down from the 2014 season. 

Understand? 

Yes, I understand you are making assumptions and using rating data from one year, a year that very well could be an outlier, in order to make the point you want to make. I understand you are assuming A-Rod is personally responsible for the ratings decline on YES and you are willfully ignoring all other factors that could affect ratings. I understand you get paid to do this job and I understand that makes me sad and embarrassed for you. 

Rodriguez would have zero impact on All-Star TV ratings. And even if A-Rod were on the team, viewers would see him only during the opening introductions and likely in a pinch-hitting role.

How Bob Raissman knows that Rodriguez would have zero impact on All-Star TV ratings is beyond me. He seems to really lack the ability to think three dimensionally about this topic. 

Maybe, MAYBE, ESPN would enjoy a ratings boost from A-Rod if he were added to the Home Run Derby. In that freak show, an oddity of A-Rod’s proportion could be a ratings difference maker.

Maybe, MAYBE, Bob Raissman has very little evidence anything he is writing is fact-based. 

That said, it’s surprising that A-Rod is not driving ratings higher on Yankees telecasts. Think about it: The numbers were better at this point last season WITHOUT him.

True, but the ratings could have been higher last season due to one of the greatest Yankees ever playing his last season. I'm sure the 2014 ratings had less to do with The Jeter retiring and more to do with Yankees fans watching games again now that they were rid of A-Rod. 

Rodriguez brings controversy, legitimate star power and a possible comeback of the year storyline to a team with little marquee value to sell, unless you believe Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira or Didi Gregorius are all major attractions.

Bob Raissman a few paragraphs ago: "The Yankees had better ratings WITHOUT A-Rod. How come the ratings for Yankees games on YES are so low and A-Rod can't pull them up? What else could explain the decreased ratings?"

Bob Raissman now: "The Yankees have no star power and the team is a tough sell. Here is a list of players who don't provide marquee value."

Think perhaps the lack of other players on the roster with marquee value affects the ratings of Yankees games? Perhaps the ratings would be even worse without A-Rod on the team, which means he would have an impact on the All-Star games' ratings.

Maybe this can be attributed to boring baseball (played by both teams in this city) and a lack of offense. Has this caused viewers to tune out?

Absolutely not. Do not entertain this wild idea. I'm sure A-Rod has more to do with the decreased ratings from 2014 than the fact it was The Jeter's last season, as well as the perception the 2015 Yankees lack marquee value and don't seem like they would be competitive. It's A-Rod, not the boring (supposedly) team that causes viewers to tune out. 

Anyway, even though he has proven not to be a ratings magnet, A-Rod sure ain’t boring.

This has provided plenty of material for use inside the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts. The Gasbags wonder why. Or they ask who really is keeping A-Rod out? Is it players who can’t stand him?

Yes, it is the players who can't stand A-Rod. His not being selected is not a result of other players being more deserving, but instead is the result of the players not liking A-Rod and getting their revenge by choosing to put more deserving players on the team.

“I’m not going to make it (A-Rod not being an All-Star) like it’s the crime of the century because it isn’t,” Mike Greenberg said on ESPN Radio.

Just enough of a “crime” to float across many media platforms where opinions can be delivered between commercial messages. Consider it a gift delivered by A-Rod.

Yes, it is definitely A-Rod's fault that many media platforms are discussing his not being in the All-Star game. A-Rod specifically tells ESPN what to talk about and when to talk about it. The network will immediately do as they are told. 

Just don’t ask him to deliver any ratings. He doesn’t have that kind of juice.

Maybe he doesn't, maybe he does. The ratings on YES aren't simply a by-product of A-Rod's presence on the Yankee roster. Bob Raissman admits the Yankees lack marquee stars, yet he isn't capable of connecting the dots and seeing that could be part of the reason in the ratings dip. He also doesn't compare the 2015 ratings to any other year for further perspective, outside of 2014 when The Jeter was making his farewell tour. It's Raissman's job to talk about ratings and the media, yet he fails at this job. 

Now John Harper thinks the fact A-Rod didn't make the All-Star team shows that the people really hate A-Rod. Because, you know, it's so embarrassing to hate A-Rod that people who don't like him have to do it in private and through passive-aggressiveness acts rather than just admit how they feel about him. No one has the guts to hate A-Rod publicly, so the fact he didn't make the All-Star team proves what John Harper chooses to believe. Weird how that works. Harper has a belief and tries hard to fit reality into that belief.

Nope, for all of the stature A-Rod has regained in baseball this season with his bat and his contrite demeanor, his peers wouldn't let him slip past the velvet rope to mingle with the best of the best, as he once did every summer.

It's the result of a vendetta against A-Rod, not a snub based on A-Rod's merit compared to the merit of other AL hitters. 

Does that have anything to do with the many bridges A-Rod torched when he was at war with every facet of Major League Baseball — including the Players Association — in 2013 while trying in vain to avoid a PED suspension?

It’s a fair question, though one to which there is no obvious answer.

This is a fair question. It is also a question that makes more assumptions than is required when the easy and more obvious answer is that A-Rod's exclusion on the AL All-Star roster was based on his merit versus the merit of other AL hitters. But why would John Harper go with the easy answer when he can come up with an answer more elaborate that helps him to write a column about how this All-Star exclusion means everyone hates A-Rod? 

A-Rod had the numbers to warrant a DH spot on the AL All-Star team, but after the fans voted Nelson Cruz as the starter, the Yankee star was not named among the reserves that are chosen by player vote and manager Ned Yost’s preference.

Perhaps, and I know this doesn't fit the story that John Harper wants to push, the players just thought there were more deserving candidates to represent the AL in the All-Star game and A-Rod's exclusion wasn't because they don't personally like him. I know, that would be a logical conclusion, but what's the fun in logic when Harper can shoehorn his beliefs into this (lack of a) story? 

Prince Fielder earned the back-up DH nod, and it’s tough to argue with his selection, considering that he’s hitting .347 with 13 home runs, 50 RBI and a .943 OPS.

John Harper a few paragraphs ago: "Was A-Rod left off the All-Star roster because the MLB players hate him for suing the union? It's possible!"

John Harper now: "Here is a player who took A-Rod's roster spot that was more deserving than A-Rod."

I think we have our answer on why A-Rod didn't make the All-Star team.

Had Yost somehow finagled Kendrys Morales, his Royals DH, onto the team, then you could have made the case that A-Rod got snubbed.

But you are the one making the case A-Rod was left off for reasons other than merit. You are the one suggesting it was a conspiracy among the players that ended with A-Rod not being on the All-Star roster. Now you are refuting your own theory, but only refuting it after trying to make the case that everyone hates A-Rod. It's important to put that line of thought out in the universe before refuting it. 

But Fielder certainly was deserving.

So, there we go. It wasn't about whether A-Rod was hated or not by his fellow players, but about Prince Fielder being more deserving than A-Rod.

In truth, Brett Gardner is the Yankee who had a right to feel he got jobbed.

Gardner is clearly having an All-Star season, and in many ways he has become the heart and soul of these Yankees, his hustle and aggressiveness setting a tone at the top of the lineup for a team that has exceeded expectations so far.

So does this exclusion mean that John Harper thinks the AL players hate Gardner like he believes A-Rod's exclusion was the result of the players passive-aggressively telling A-Rod how they feel? Of course not! That's silly. The "he got snubbed because everyone hates him" logic is only used for A-Rod.

As for A-Rod, Yost made the case on the ESPN All-Star selection show that much discussion went into his candidacy, but ultimately the need for position players outweighed whatever desire there was to include him.

“We wanted to try to find a way to get Alex Rodriguez on there,” Yost said. “We couldn’t.”

How hard they tried is anybody’s guess.

PROBABLY NOT HARD AT ALL!

In fact, I bet AL pitchers threw Prince Fielder fastballs straight down the plate in order to ensure he made the All-Star team over A-Rod. How could this not be true? It's a fair assessment with no obvious answer.

A-Rod would have added some sizzle to an event that remains mostly a spectacle, no matter how determined MLB is to cling to this silly idea that the game should decide home-field advantage in the World Series.

It’s not likely that a pitcher would have thrown A-Rod the “pipe-shot” that Adam Wainwright served up for Derek Jeter last year.

It's not likely. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if A-Rod had made the team, and the second he stepped in the batter's box, the NL catcher would have pulled out a switchblade and knifed him to death. It could happen. Would the NL catcher murder A-Rod in the All-Star game? It's a fair question with no obvious answer.  

Nor would you think someone might pull a Ryan Dempster and drill him on such a big stage as some sort of statement on behalf of the union members who were included in the suit Rodriguez temporarily brought against the Players Association — at least until he seemed to come to his senses.

It could happen since the only assumption that is being worked under right now is that everyone hates A-Rod. Sure, there's no evidence this is true, but who needs evidence when John Harper has a fancy computer and inclination to believe this conclusion? 

On the surface, at least, all seems to have been forgiven this year as A-Rod has made his return from his 2014 suspension. He has long since won over Yankee fans with his rather stunning offensive production, to the point that he was practically given the Jeter treatment, curtain call and all, when he hit a home run for his 3,000th hit.

He almost got "the Jeter treatment," which apparently is what a curtain call will now be referred to as being. 

And while he was never the outcast in the Yankee clubhouse he was sometimes portrayed as,

Gee, I wonder who sometimes portrayed A-Rod as the outcast in the clubhouse? I'm sure it wasn't John Harper and his fellow media members.

all indications are that he is admired now more than ever by teammates for his work ethic, his superstar status and his singular talk of winning as a team.

But fuck indications, let's make some shit up. Sure, A-Rod isn't an outcast like the media portrays him as being, and sure, he probably didn't make the All-Star team based on merit and not based on some long-held grudge, but where's the fun in coming to this conclusion? 

Everybody loves A-Rod? Well, not enough to give him a Jeter-like All-Star sendoff, even with a deserving resume. Perhaps forgiveness only goes so far.

Wait, "a Jeter-like All-Star sendoff"? Is Alex Rodriguez retiring after this season? I think all indications are that A-Rod will be back next year, so why would his presence in the All-Star game this season have been a "sendoff"? It's likely that John Harper is doing what every boring, predictable New York sportswriter does, which is compare A-Rod to Derek Jeter, and therefore lazily assumes this is A-Rod's last season or chance to the make the All-Star team. Everything always comes back to Derek Jeter for sportswriters. Always. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

7 comments MMQB Review: Peter King Struggles With the Idea Not Everyone Thinks Russell Wilson is Comparable to Aaron Rodgers

Peter King wrote about how Bill Arnsbarger was the father of the Zone Blitz in last week's MMQB, even though he had previously said Dick LeBeau was the father of the Zone Blitz. You know, either way. He also extolled the virtues of running in Central Park (again) and previewed the storylines for the upcoming NFL season, as well did a Bleacher Report-ish list of one player on every NFL team that was "feeling the heat" in training camp. Most of them were rookies or quarterbacks, naturally. That's what made it Bleacher Report-ish. This week, Peter talks about Adrian Peterson's return, talks about Russell Wilson's contract (again), and gets a few last shots in at Josh Freeman. Boy, Peter is really mad that Freeman hurt Peter's friend, Greg Schiano, isn't he? Not that Peter would ever play favorites of course. He's offended I would even believe this could be true.

It was a broiler Sunday in the upper Midwest, 85 with a scorching sun and St. Louis-like humidity that made fans and media at the Vikings’ first day of training camp look for any sliver of shade they could find. 

Oh, 85 degrees with a scorching sun and humidity. How ever will they survive such treacherous conditions? Try it being 94 degrees with a scorching sun and humidity for a couple straight weeks and then get back to me.

On one such occasion, during a break in practice, Adrian Peterson, back after a season in self-imposed purgatory, took a water bottle from a camp aide. Before taking a drink himself, he held up the bottle to undrafted Boise State rookie fullback Blake Renaud. Renaud nodded, and Peterson squirted water in Renaud’s mouth for two or three seconds. Then Peterson took some water himself. Just a bit of common football courtesy his teammates have gotten used to.

(Adrian Peterson) "I need some help to rebuild my image, guys."

(Ben Dogra) "I know, we are working on it. I have an idea. When Peter King comes to the Vikings training camp this year, I will just ask him to pay special attention to you and perhaps write a story about what a great guy you are."

(Adrian Peterson) "That's ridiculous. No sportswriter would come up and spend time during training camp like this in order to help me rehab my image when he has plenty of other things to do."

(Ben Dogra is on the phone) "Yeah, just drive right up...Adrian, check it out! (points towards the entrance to the Vikings facility and the MMQB bus is pulling in)"

(Peter King hops out carrying two coffee drinks in his hands with his notebook tucked in the fanny pack he is wearing): "ADRIAN! MY MAN! Ben here says you are a good person now and no one else will listen to what a good teammate you are? That's amazing how I have found my fellow sportswriters won't report on information like this. It happens to me all the time, so I get called to report on how you are a great teammate now, just like I got called to point out Marvin Demoff knows exactly how to structure a contract so an NFL team could hand Alex Mack an offer sheet which the Browns wouldn't match. Good luck for me again that this story just falls in my lap! Can I just follow you around and note your good deeds?"

(Ben Dogra winks at Adrian Peterson as he and Peter King walk away)

“A great teammate,” quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said of Peterson. “I can tell you, the whole locker room’s glad to have him back.”

Which Bridgewater knows from his vast experience of one year in the Vikings locker room and never having played with Adrian Peterson before.

Pretty good player too. It is silly to judge anything of a veteran football player in an unpadded July practice … except athleticism. And in the first training-camp practice of his thirties (he turned 30 on March 21), Peterson made one move that showed the Vikings the athleticism they were missing at the position for the final 15 games of last season.

If you remember, Peter also encouraged Mike Zimmer and the Vikings to give Peterson incentive to show up to training camp and make peace a few months ago. 

Backup quarterback Mike Kafka tossed an in-stride 30-yard touchdown to Peterson. Easy as pie. Followed by a smile. We’ve seen both—the juking move leaving a defender behind, and the smile—before.

Imagine what Peter would write on Peterson's behalf if the Vikings had not reworked his deal. Peter would be writing about all the other NFL teams that would be interested in a running back of Peterson's caliber and exactly how another NFL team could acquire Peterson, but only if they give Peterson a contract extension of course.

“I don’t see the end,” a relaxed Peterson said Sunday. “Straight up and honest with you, I feel like, and I don’t know if I’ll do this, because I feel like once my mind tells me, You know what—I’m not loving this game anymore, I’ll walk away whenever that time is. But I honestly feel I can play this game until I am 36 or 37 years old. And at a high level.”

BREAKING: A professional athlete feels like he can continue to perform at a higher level and has confidence in his abilities.

“I’m just glad we got to this day,” GM Rick Spielman said Sunday morning, as the Vikings came out for their first walk-through practice of the summer. “It puts an end to the saga, and we’re all so glad he’s here.”

Yes, it's wonderful to have one of the best running backs in the NFL returning, even though the running game doesn't matter anymore in the NFL. Right?

Only one thing Peterson said in an interview after the morning walk-through here surprised me. That was this: He was sure he’d never be traded all along.

Oh, I guess that's probably the best way to play this situation from Peterson's point of view. He was holding out and the rumors were just rumors. I'm not going to believe it, but I see why Peterson would say it.

“The reality, and just to be straightforward with you … I knew I really wasn’t going anywhere,” Peterson said. “I am the type of person that likes to look at things from different views, so I put myself in the Vikings situation—the owners, the head coach. We’re not gonna let you go.

Of course, Peter never says he WANTED to stay in Minnesota, just that he knew he wouldn't leave.

I revert back to the Percy Harvin situation. Me, if I was the owner of the Vikings, there’s no way I would have let him go. But unfortunately for us, he ended up leaving—

I think Peterson means "fortunately" for the Vikings, Harvin ended up leaving. I'm sure Peter transcribed this quote incorrectly, because knowing what the Seahawks and Jets know about Harvin I can't imagine that Peterson really thinks at this point that it hurt the team to not still have Harvin around.

So no bitter aftertaste about staying?

“No,” he said. “I like being here. “ … I’m in a good place. I have a beautiful wife and a beautiful family … I am really happy to be back with the Minnesota Vikings and to really get this season going.”

Of course Peterson wanted out. That's clear, but he's just happy to be back in the NFL at this point.

One of the reasons he’s here is the approach GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer took with the situation. They never opened the door an inch for Peterson to ever give him the thought that he might not play in Minnesota.

Because the Vikings weren't going to get the value they wanted back when trading a premier running back, especially a premier running back with such a large contract. It just wasn't happening, so the Vikings knew that even if they found a team to take Peterson, there would never be a team who would give them the value they wanted back for Peterson.

I made this point to Zimmer—even if the Vikings were able to get a low first-round pick for Peterson (dubious, given what he was owed on the last three years of his contract), how could they have gotten close to equal value for him?

Which is why the idea Peterson would be going anywhere, an idea that Peter didn't believe because he admits he thought Peterson had played his last game for the Vikings, was so ridiculous. The Vikings would never find a team willing to take Peterson's contract and give them a high draft pick for him.

Say the Vikings wanted a running back.

The Vikings wanted a running back.

“He’s a top 10 player in this league,” said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. “He will win games for us. He’ll be huge for us.”

Sort of like how Peterson was huge for the Vikings when he carried a Christian Ponder-led Vikings team to the playoffs. Except now, the Vikings have a real quarterback.

It struck me talking to people around the Vikings Sunday that Turner is a big reason why Peterson seems happy he’s here. Going back to his Emmitt Smith days as offensive coordinator in Dallas, Turner has always fed his running backs aggressively. “He’s proven in what he does,” Peterson said. “I was super excited about getting into his offense last year and now I finally get that opportunity. 

Not excited enough to not hold out of camp, of course. Peterson was excited to where if he HAD to play for the Vikings then he'd be okay with Turner as his offensive coordinator.

Peterson did not want to discuss the events that forced him to sit a season. So no talk from him about the charges of child endangerment stemming from whipping his son.

And really, why should Peter push the issue and find out information that most people would want to know, as opposed to simply providing boring camp quotes like, "I feel great, I'm happy to be here, and I'm more excited for this year than I have been"? Asking questions his readers may want an answer to is not worth losing friends over.

I would have liked to hear his version of events, and how it changed him, or if it did. I did ask if he learned any lesson from the last year of his life.

Back off, Peter, Peterson may ask to shake your hand and cause it hurt if you keep hitting him with these type of questions.

“The most important thing I’ve learned—I knew this but this was a clear indication to realize it and stick by it—was to put your trust in God and not in man,” Peterson said. “Man will turn his back on you quick and God won’t, no matter what the situation is.”

This is also a lesson that Peterson's son learned as well. Don't trust a man, because he will beat the everliving shit out of you, so better put your faith in God...or what God you know as a child who isn't in grade school yet.

“The saying that age is just a number is so true,” he said. “It's all about how you take care of your body and how you view your age.

That's a good point. What I think Peterson means is that he viewed his son as a grown adult who also plays in the NFL, so the fact his son was only four years old should have no bearing. You step up and don't listen, you gonna get beaten like you are an old man. Better go find that God of yours, because he won't turn his back on you like daddy will.

Even if Peterson has two great years left and only two, that takes the Vikings through what should be a contending season this year and then a Super Bowl-hosting season with a new stadium next year. The franchise needs a billboard, and he’s it. The crowd was supportive of Peterson Sunday. He was cheered and asked for his autograph and made to feel welcome.

Fans tend to be quite forgiving. We are a kind bunch.

As one fan said while I walked in Mankato after lunch: “We all want him to have a great year, but there’s a lot of people uncomfortable with the whole story. I think they’ll come around. It might take a while. But he’s always been so good to the fans I think he’ll be loved again.”

(Ben Dogra smiles as the interview ends. Peterson didn't have to answer any tough questions he didn't want to answer, was able to throw a few "God" mentions in there, and reinforced how beloved he is among fans and teammates)

A few points to be made on the Russell Wilson non-deal, as Wilson has imposed a deadline of later this week to get a contract extension done or he says he’ll play
out the final year of his rookie contract at $1.5 million:


(And no, I don't know why Peter had the sudden font change, so I will use the same font just for fun)

YES! I WANT TO TALK ABOUT RUSSELL WILSON'S CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS! HOW COME NO ONE, ABSENT EVERYONE IN THE NFL COMMUNITY AND WILSON EVERY SINGLE TIME A MICROPHONE IS THRUST IN HIS FACE, HAS TALKED ABOUT THESE CONTRACT NEGOTATIONS? 
    
It’s all well and good to ask a player to take less for the good of the team, but only one big star in recent years has done that. Tom Brady has, a couple of times. Every other player deserving of huge compensation—J.J. Watt, Peyton Manning (until being forced to take less this year), Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, you name ’em—has maximized his contract and taken the most he could get. Just because Wilson is an unabashed and grateful Seahawk and says, “Go Hawks” at the end of interviews doesn’t mean he should take less than the market will bear.

Two things:

1. Wilson should absolutely get as much money as he can get. I think the issue isn't that Wilson should take less money than he is worth, but there is a perception that Wilson isn't Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Suh, Watt or Tom Brady. He's not an elite player at his position, that's the perception.

2. Russell Wilson and his agent have been very, very loud about these negotiations, as well as have played a ridiculously stupid game of "I may go play baseball instead, so try to stop me by throwing money at me." So Wilson hasn't quite sat around waiting for a contract extension. He and his agent have taken this quest to the public, which isn't something any of these other players that Peter listed did, so there will naturally be more scrutiny since it's being drawn-out publicly over a long period of time. Other NFL quarterbacks get contract extensions outside of the press, while Wilson and his agent have essentially lobbied for one and not shied away from talking about how they want an extension done.

If Peter can't understand these two points I made and how that makes Wilson different from these other players he listed, then he won't ever understand.

What is the market for Wilson? People still seem to have trouble crediting Wilson for becoming one of the best quarterbacks in football. It’s either, “The defense wins games in Seattle,” or “He’d be nothing without Marshawn Lynch,” or “He’s still too short to be a great player.” Or all of those. (We never seem to hear, “His best receiver is Doug Baldwin.”)

Probably because "we" seem to keep getting told the Seahawks receivers are better than they are given credit for, which "we" seem to believe is probably true. So there is no need to pretend Doug Baldwin sucks when it fits the point Peter wants to prove.

Judging the market for any player is always problematic. Complicating this process is the fact that Mark Rodgers, who represents Wilson, works mostly with baseball players and is an unabashed fan of unrestricted free agency.

It's not the same thing. I hope Rodgers doesn't learn this the hard way, though I honestly have no idea what "the hard way" would be at this point.

In other words, Wilson will risk injury in the next two years—the Seahawks will likely apply the franchise tag to Wilson for 2016, at approximately $25 million—if there’s not a contract the two men deem market-worthy. And on the injury risk: When’s the last time a good or better-than-good quarterback in his prime suffered an injury so severe he couldn’t return from it?

Dante Culpepper? Troy Aikman retired at age 34 due to back issues. Plus, Russell Wilson plays a different style than the traditional quarterback used to play, so he could end up being more susceptible to hits in and out and out of the pocket. I just don't think, "Hey, quarterbacks never get hurt by an injury so badly it ruins his career. What could go wrong?" is the best attitude to have, especially now that the NFL is tracking concussions more stringently than ever and defensive players are faster and stronger than ever.

Surgeons are good these days. They repair players. I wouldn’t let the threat of injury drive me to sign a contract I didn’t think was fair.

This is, of course, ignoring the impact Wilson's ability to scramble has on his success by putting pressure on the defense and the increased threat of injury to any NFL player running with the football as large men are chasing him.

Is five years at $22 million per so drastically out of whack? That’s the current champeen of NFL contracts. Aaron Rodgers signed it two-and-a-quarter years ago with the Packers. The salary cap when he signed, in 2013, was $123 million. Now it’s $143.8 million. Rodgers’ Packer contract in 2013 was, on average, taking up 17.9 percent of the Green Bay salary cap. An equivalent contract today, when the cap has risen to $143.3 million, would be $25.6 million annually. So paying Wilson $22 million a year would seem to me a pretty fair deal. 

But Peter, you ol' son of a bitch, you are assuming that Wilson is comparable to Aaron Rodgers. This is not a belief that everyone holds, so comparing Wilson to Rodgers isn't going to prove your point. No, for a franchise quarterback on-par with Aaron Rodgers, $22 million isn't out of whack. For a quarterback who some believe is simply a product of a great defense and running back, then $22 million per year would be drastically out of whack.

Peter consistently is making the assumption that Russell Wilson is on the same level as other elite quarterbacks. That's part of the issue though, isn't it?

Even $23 million per would arguably be right—and if the Seahawks choose to wait till 2016, there’s no way the price is going down by then. What if the Giants pay Eli Manning $23 million per?

I don't know. What if? Why is Peter using this hypothetical, as if Eli Manning being paid $23 million per year wouldn't draw criticism too? 

Let’s say the two sides agree on Rodgers money: five years, $110 million, with guaranteed money being paid this year but the 2015 salary staying on the books for cap reasons. (Not likely, but possible.)

Check out how Wilson’s total compensation in his first nine seasons would compare to a player who hasn’t won as much but who was rewarded this offseason, with no hue and cry about the deal not being worth it.

Apparently Peter has resorted to outright lying in order to prove his point? "No hue and cry"? None? Perhaps Peter should do an Internet search for Newton and his new contract. Perhaps see some of the reaction on Twitter to that contract and then decide. Oh, and Newton made no cry or hue about the contract possibly not getting done over and over in interviews either, but I guess that doesn't matter much in this discussion.

Cam Newton, through end of current deal: Nine years, $125.8 million total, $13.98 million average.

Wilson, through end of projected deal: Nine years, $113.0 million total, $12.55 million average.

What this comparison sort of neglects is that Newton was already starting with a higher contract amount, so Wilson would be getting more money than Newton if he got "Rodgers money." Newton started his NFL career getting paid like the #1 overall pick while Wilson is getting paid like a 3rd round pick. That factors into the final totals that Peter has projected in this comparison, while not noting they were starting from two different places based solely on draft position. But hey, Peter isn't supposed to be good with numbers and just don't question it please.

It doesn’t seem a stretch to me to pay Rodgers money to Wilson, no matter what you think of the two men as players.

Son of a motherfucking son of a bitch's son of a bitch. YES, YES, YES, it totally matters what you think of the two men as players. Rodgers and Wilson are compensated based on (SAY IT WITH ME), what their two teams think of them as players. That is their value and they are paid based on this perceived value to their current team. So yes, if the Seahawks don't think Wilson is as good as Rodgers then they are going to be less inclined to pay Wilson like the Packers paid Rodgers.

Writing in the New York Times, Ken Belson quoted the daughter of the late linebacker, Sydney Seau, as saying she was disappointed she wouldn’t be able to give the speech he would have wanted to give at his Hall of Fame induction Aug. 9. Immediately protests came up on social media and the larger media (not sure the “larger media” is actually larger than social anymore, really), calling for Sydney to be able to give the acceptance speech. One problem: In 2010, the Pro Football Hall of Fame changed its policy for inductees who have died. They would have a five-to-six-minute introduction featuring the person designated by the family to introduce the honoree. Then no acceptance speech. Then the unveiling of the Hall of Fame bust by family members. Then on to the next inductee. (Fairness in reporting: I am one of the 46 selectors for the Hall of Fame.)

Fairness in fairness: This policy is silly and I don't see the issue with a family member giving a short acceptance speech on behalf of the deceased. I do know one of the big complaints about the Hall of Fame induction ceremony is it becomes too long, as if an athlete's lifetime hard work and talent being recognized should be under a time limit. So yes, I expect Peter to take the Hall of Fame's side on this. He's a company man through and through, no matter which company he is representing at that present time.

So, why the change? The induction ceremonies had become quite long and tedious.

First off, this is a huge honor that very few athletes ever achieve. It's hard for me to feel bad about the "long and tedious" part of the ceremony knowing that. Second, put a time limit on the speeches. Why is that hard to do? Rather than eliminate a speech entirely, just put a time limit on the speech and enforce it.

In 2009, when the late Derrick Thomas’ designated speaker, Carl Peterson, rolled on for 26 minutes in his pinch-hitting acceptance speech (and Chris Berman went long in introducing Ralph Wilson that year too) both the Hall and network officials thought the speeches had to be reined in.

Further proving that Chris Berman can ruin every fucking thing in this world when he puts his mind to it.

But the reason for this decision is brevity, not a problem with what would be said by Sydney Seau.

I understand the brevity issue, but I think a time limit would be a better idea. Of course, I'm talking about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which keeps the balloting a secret and only allows a small amount of players to be inducted no matter how worthy the incoming class might be. Let's blame Chris Berman for Junior Seau's family not being allowed to give a short speech.

Tweetups. We will have one in Wisconsin, probably on Aug. 7. Leaning toward Milwaukee late on that Friday afternoon, but we’ll let you know as soon as we firm up details. I hope to have another one sometime on this tour. Stay tuned, and follow my Twitter feed (@SI_PeterKing) for details. Tweetups, for those unfamiliar, are pretty simple affairs. I show up somewhere—a bar, coffee shop, ballgame, training camp—and you come by and we talk for 60 or 80 minutes. (And, of course, you buy me a beer or a latte.)

This is clearly one of those "jokes" that isn't really a joke. Peter's kidding, unless you're going to do it of course. In which case, let him pick out which beer he hasn't had lately. It would probably be cheaper to buy Peter an entire case of beer rather than a latte, given how many shots of he puts in his coffee-flavored water.

I have loved the look of The MMQB since we were born two years and one week ago. A giant photo or photo illustration on the home page, and a giant photo again on the story pages. I can’t speak ill of the concept, because I’ve loved it. Still do.

But we decided to make a change. Mostly, I think, because I wanted us to be more diverse, particularly on our home page. Under the old system, we’d rotate four major stories on a timer. If you came to our site, you’d see one story; if you didn’t want to read, say, about Philip Rivers and the Chargers, you might hit another football site before the next story rotated in.

Basically, looking at the analytics for the site they found that people would land on the site and often leave quickly without clicking on an article or would click on one article and then not go back to the main THE MMQB home page. That's my best guess.

By the way, the time people spend on this site the last time I checked (2010, probably) is like 0.056 seconds. I'm pretty happy with that, because it means for a half-of a millisecond they think about not immediately leaving the page. It's those fancy and catchy titles I use for the blog posts which contributes to my great success, I know.

We’ll be nimbler, able to update pages more often. Soon, you’ll find better photo/gallery pages and slideshows, and more prominent places for our videos.

Bleacher Report, consider yourself being competed against.

“Who else do they have? Tell me, who else do they have?”

A slightly bitter Junior Galette, former Saints pass-rusher, to the New Orleans Times Picayune, after New Orleans released him on Friday, dumping an incredible $17.6 million in salary-cap dead money on the team’s already bloated cap in 2015 and 2016

The Saints just gave Cam Jordan five years and $55 million, so I think they will be hoping that they have him to help out with the pass rush.

Pretty strong talk for a guy with 30% of the Saints’ sacks over the past two years. That’s significant. And he’s the best pass-rusher the Saints had. But Cam Jordan, Anthony Spencer and a couple of rookies with pass-rush pedigree will soften—not negate—the blow.

But hey, with Rob Ryan calling the shots on defense, what could go wrong?

“If I could counsel Russell, if he’d listen to me … he likes the city, he likes the teammates, he loves the system he’s in, it’s just all working for him … to hold out or not sign something to make an extra million bucks a year—now to a normal person that’s a lot of money, a really lot of money. But to a professional athlete, you know, and this is not his last contract, he’s going to sign another one in four years. So I think it’s a huge mistake. I just don’t understand it. If he plays this season for a million and a half, then I think it’s a huge mistake. I really do.”

—Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, to radio host Mitch Levy on “Mitch in the Morning” on Sports Radio 950 KJR, on the contract impasse between Russell Wilson and Seattle team executives. If he does not agree to a new contract, Wilson is due to make $1.5 million in this, the final year of his four-year rookie deal.

And of course remember that Mike Holmgren is ex-management and is an ex-coach as well, so his feeling will always lie with what helps that side of the NFL business out the most. I don't think playing for $1.5 million is a mistake. It can really work out, just ask Joe Flacco. I think the bigger mistake is to have an agent who doesn't recognize the difference in negotiating an NFL and MLB contract. They are not the same thing. The price of an NFL quarterback like Wilson could go way up, but also remember that NFL quarterbacks get the most praise and the most criticism based on how a season has gone. Not to mention, the Seahawks are due for a season of very bad luck, bad timing and some injuries. It sounds odd to say that, but in the NFL a team can just bottom out during a season for no good reason. For example, say your star safety is currently injured and isn't himself all year, while the offensive line has a bad season. For better or worse, if the Seahawks go 8-8 then some of that is going to reflect on Wilson. The idea he isn't an elite quarterback is going to be reflected in the offers he will get as a free agent (if he gets that far) should the Seahawks have a bad season which results in Wilson not performing up to his previous standard. It's not like MLB where the Marlins can be crappy, but Giancarlo Stanton's performance shines through. In the NFL, when things are shitty at another place on the roster, sometimes it bleeds into the evaluation of that team's QB.

“During the off-season I took a medication which is on the banned substance list. The medication is not a substance which would enhance my on-field performance in any way, and I genuinely was unaware that it was prohibited, but players are responsible for what is in their bodies. I will certainly exercise far greater caution in the future and will seek advice relating to the permissibility of any and all medications.”

—Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe, suspended four games by the league on Friday

It's the old, "Take responsibility while reminding everyone you aren't going to take full responsibility by pleading ignorance" statement that every athlete who gets busted for PED use, yet doesn't want to admit to PED use, will end up making. I'm pretty sure it's just a template statement that gets sent out now. Wolfe probably didn't even know he made this statement.

The Steelers signed Mike Tomlin to a contract extension through the 2018 season on Friday. Assuming Tomlin coaches the team these next four seasons—nothing in the NFL is certain, but the odds have to be heavily in Tomlin’s favor—that would mean the Steelers would have had three coaches in 50 seasons. Through 2014:

Chuck Noll: 23 years, 366 games.
Bill Cowher: 15 years, 261 games.
Mike Tomlin: 8 years, 137 games.

Over those 46 seasons, the Steelers are 152 games above .500. Pretty good argument for continuity, I’d say.

This is a partial argument for continuity, but a bigger argument for smartly choosing a head coach. It's a chicken-or-the-egg situation, but is the success of the Steelers due to having continuity or due to choosing the best head coach and not knee-jerk firing him after he's proven he is the right coach? Continuity means absolutely nothing if the right head coach wasn't chosen. So I'd say this is an argument for continuity and choosing the right head coach in the first place.

Regardless of the results of the 2015 season, Seattle will play at New England in 2016. Barring a rematch in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara in February, it will be the first meeting between the two teams since one of the strangest and most compelling Super Bowls ever. Russell Wilson at Tom Brady, the rematch.

The strangest and most compelling Super Bowl ever! Until next year's Super Bowl or the next Super Bowl that ends in an exciting fashion. Peter is great with showing off his recency bias.


—Joe Banner, former Eagles and Browns executive. That’s what a rookie wage scale will do to the news, thank goodness.

This is the same rookie wage scale that Peter used to compare Russell Wilson and Cam Newton's salaries over the first nine years of their career if Wilson got "Rodgers money," while completing ignoring the obvious difference being that Newton had a head start on salary due to having been the #1 overall pick, while Russell Wilson was a third round pick. It's like saying two runners ran at the same speed in a marathon when one of those runners had a five mile head start.

Ten Things I Think I Think

For #1 on "things Peter thinks he thinks" he notes the NFL hired a new COO. Hey guys, the NFL hired a new COO. Don't pretend you don't care.

3. I think it’s always interesting to see the Green Bay Packers release their financials, which the team has to do because it is a publicly held company. This year, the mind-blower—to me—was the 20.6% increase in national revenue from $187.3 million in 2014 to $226 million in 2015. Think of that. National revenue is not only broadcast revenue, but all money brought in on national contracts. Also interesting: The Packers have spent $53.7 million to buy up 64 acres of land around Lambeau Field. That place is already a football fan’s paradise. Imagine if the club decides to build a football-themed amusement park or some such extension of Packerdom.

Or, and Peter King will try to control his emotions the best he can just thinking about this, an entire museum set up to honor Brett Favre. It could have a rollercoaster called "The Gunslinger," a gallery of games where you have to play games normally played by adults but have to play them like you are a kid, and a ride where it starts and stops several times along the track and everyone has to continuously get on and off the ride to commemorate Favre's inability to decide if he wants to retire or not. Visiting an entire theme park dedicated to Favre is probably one of Peter's life goals.

4. I think I really enjoyed Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette’s piece for The Players Tribune on how the last pass of the Super Bowl has haunted him this off-season. It was Lockette, running the quick post at the Patriots’ one-yard line, who thought he was going to catch the winning touchdown pass, only to see New England rookie Malcolm Butler jump in front of him to steal it...It has hurt Lockette the entire off-season—and he said in the piece he appreciated Wilson saying to him on the team’s off-season training trip to Hawaii that he’s coming back to Lockette in a similar situation this year.

At least try to run it once this year in a similar situation and then go back to Lockette. Of course, Darrell Bevell has to call a passing play in a similar situation this year for Wilson to come back to Lockette, and I'm not sure he would have the guts to do that...at least in a big game like the Super Bowl.

5. I think it’s amazing that Peyton Manning has never been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

These are the things that amaze Peter King.

He’ll go now, to see his former Colts GM, Bill Polian, inducted on Aug. 8. That’s a good thing. But I’ve not met a player with more reverence for pro football history than Manning, and this is his first visit? Surprising.

Yes, this is incredibly shocking and also very, very not that exciting. The Pro Football Hall of Fame isn't going anywhere and maybe Manning wants to stay away from it for as long as possible in order to make it more special once he is inducted.

6. I think if I’m Saints owner Tom Benson, I’m asking GM Mickey Loomis—if I haven’t asked him already—about the incredible Junior Galette contract that’s going to bite the franchise hard the next two years. Loomis has done a very good job overall over the past decade in resuscitating a moribund team and stocking it with Super Bowl talent.

He has done a good job stocking the team with talent, but he's also given out some bad contracts and had to trade his best offensive skill position player due to the salary cap difficulties the team is having. There is more to being a good GM than putting a good team together on the field, namely rewarding the players on this team and compensating them in order to put the team in a good financial position in the long and short-term. Loomis has put the talent together, but he's made a mess of the cap for the Saints over the past couple of years. I know they wanted to "go for it" while they still had Brees and there was always the hope Galette would start to mature in proportion to his talent.

I wonder if Peter believes the Saints should just keep Loomis around for the next decade, no matter how well he does in his job as GM, simply because continuity is so important? The Steelers wouldn't just fire Mickey Loomis, so obviously the continuity of keeping Loomis as the Saints' GM, no matter the results over the next few years, is what will lead the Saints to the most success.

I’m suggesting they should have been smarter in the first place before giving a risky (but very talented) player so much guaranteed money.

Hindsight is 20/20. I couldn't find any evidence Peter said this prior to Galette being released and getting in trouble. I guess Peter can't comment on every contract extension an NFL player signs, but it's easy to say after the fact the Saints should have been smarter.

7. I think for those who wonder why in the world the Rams—with a civic community willing to do far more right now to build a new stadium for the team in St. Louis than either San Diego or Oakland is willing to do for their teams—are the favorites to move to Los Angeles, the answer really is quite simple. The owner wants to relocate his team to L.A.

I feel bad for Rams fans. They are a group of fans who have supported their team and are going to lose that team to a city that seems to be rather lukewarm on actually having an NFL franchise.

9. I think Josh Freeman—cut by the Dolphins on Friday, probably ending any shot of a further NFL career—will look back on his career one day and say, “I should have worked harder.”

He were go again. Peter is still bitter that Freeman contributed to his (Peter's) friend, Greg Schiano, not succeeding in the NFL. So whenever Peter gets the opportunity, he inexplicably takes his frustration out on Josh Freeman, as if Freeman is the laziest, most over-paid player in the history of the NFL.

Especially in Tampa Bay.

Keep protecting your friend, Peter. Who cares if anyone sees through it?

But when you sign with the Vikings in 2013, and it lasts one game; and when you sign with the Giants in 2014, and it lasts five off-season weeks; and you sign with the Dolphins in 2015, and it lasts 10 off-season weeks, and you’re cut on the eve of training camp, at age 27, with Matt Moore the backup who has beaten you out … the message is pretty clear.

That message being that Matt Moore is a quality backup quarterback who has played in the Dolphins' offensive system for a few years? Josh Freeman isn't very good, there's no doubt about that, but I can't figure out why Peter treats him differently from other quarterbacks who have failed after having initial success. Where's the disgust for Matt Schaub, who was traded for a 6th round pick to the Raiders, then got beaten out by Derek Carr while being paid $8 million, then got released by the Raiders, and signed with the Ravens for $2 million? He took more money from the Raiders than Freeman took from any of these three teams that Peter lists, the Texans would rather have Fitzpatrick than Schaub, then he couldn't beat a rookie for the starting job and now he's a backup. Where is the disgust for Schaub? That's right, Schaub didn't help to get Greg Schiano fired.

Freeman was talented enough. But beginning with the Greg Schiano Bucs, he just didn’t dedicate himself to football the way a starting quarterback should.

It all comes back to the Buccaneers and Greg Schiano. It's embarrassing how Peter seemingly has this bizarre vendetta against Josh Freeman. Any chance he gets, he mentions what a pathetic loser Freeman is, while letting other quarterbacks off the hook when they change teams and underperform.

Better work this screed back though, Peter.




10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Story of the week: It’s on Chip Kelly, by Kent Babb of the Washington Post. I had no idea—and I don’t assume many people in the NFL did—that Kelly was married for seven years in the ’90s.

You also shouldn't assume that many people outside of Eagles fans give a flying fuck. 

c. My gosh. I saw Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs, two of them monster shots (one measured at 452 feet that I swear was a 500-footer), at Target Field Saturday night. I am no A-Rod fan, but come now. He’s got to be getting tested regularly now, so this isn’t cheating. Is it? Is there any way it possibly could be? You know me, and you know what I think of A-Rod, but for a guy a few days shy of 40 to hit three homers totaling 1,300-plus feet, and a guy certain to be getting tested out the wazoo … I mean, you’ve got to give the guy his due.

It's almost like he's a good baseball player or something.

d. It has to be very hard for baseball Hall of Fame voters. I have no idea how I would vote on the ’roid guys. But after watching that display Saturday night, I might be inclined to vote for Rodriguez. Might.

Apparently viewing three home runs in person is enough to push Peter King over the edge to vote for a player who used PED's. Normally, he wouldn't vote for A-Rod, but he saw those home runs IN PERSON! So that's the tipping point. Maybe A-Rod should invite all the baseball Hall of Fame voters to a game and then convert them over to voting for him by hitting a home run.

i. Beernerdness: Farm Girl Saison, Lift Bridge Brewery (Stillwater, Minn.). The Saison has become my second-favorite beer, next to the white beers (Allagash White, Avery White Rascal, i.e.),

I wouldn't doubt that Saison and white beers would be Peter King's two favorite types of beer. It makes so much sense.

l. Todd Frazier hit his 100th career homer Saturday night. Could have sworn it was 200, at least.

I'm not entirely sure what this means. Peter hasn't really mentioned Todd Frazier before. Okay, so he is wrong about how many homers Frazier has hit? It's a weird comment in my opinion.

m. How can it be July 27, and Yasiel Puig has six home runs?

I don't know, Peter. I just don't know.

o. One more bit of praise: ESPN.com’s Mike Sando did a terrific job for the second year in a row, polling 35 NFL coaches and front-office people anonymously and asking them to rank the starting quarterbacks in the league. I thought the rankings were fair and apt: Joe Flacco 10 and Matt Ryan 11 felt right; Alex Smith 16 is another one that seemed very good, because so many evaluators trash him; and the tremendous variation of opinion on Russell Wilson (who was eighth) captured sentiment around the league about him.

But it's not out of the realm of imagination that Wilson gets "Aaron Rodgers" money though, right? Because everyone should share the same evaluation of Wilson that Peter has of him. Again, these are the type of questions which are causing the Seahawks to not just hand Wilson "Rodgers money" and I'm not even sure Wilson doesn't want more than "Rodgers money" at this point.

The Adieu Haiku

We wait. Deflated.
Twenty-seven goshdarn weeks.
Tom Brady twisteth.


Yet last week, Peter was advocating for Roger Goodell to take away Brady's punishment, do more research and then decide on the Patriots'/Brady's punishment after the 2015 season. So Peter thinks the resolution to this controversy has taken too long, but he wants it to take even longer? How does that make sense?



Monday, July 27, 2015

2 comments Here's a Scorching Hot Take About the Redskins Naming Controversy

Careful, I don't want you to burn yourself. There is an old, old hot take coming from Mike Sielski who gives no-nonsense looks at Philadelphia sports for Philly.com. Well, maybe this isn't a no-nonsense look at Philadelphia sports (it's more for Washington D.C. sports), and it's more nonsense-filled than no-nonsense, but that's okay. See, his hot take says that reporters and sportswriters not only should use the term "Redskins" even if they find it offensive, but they have a journalistic obligation to use the word. They are being dishonest to their readers by simply referring to the Redskins team as "Washington." There is also something about being an unreliable narrator, which only proves the author may not know what a true unreliable narrator is.

The Eagles play the Washington Redskins on Saturday.

That sentence wouldn't appear on the editorial page of The Washington Post, or under the bylines of various sports columnists around the country, or in the student newspaper at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County. Those publications and people have decided that the word "Redskins" is so offensive, as a slur against Native Americans, that they will not use it.

No more offensive than the way Daniel Snyder runs the Redskins, but that's beside the point (puts up the tag about Daniel Snyder being a terrible owner). 

To these writers and media outlets, the NFL team in the nation's capital is always "Washington,"
And nobody is confused by them being called "Washington" because there is only one NFL team in Washington and that is the Redskins. I don't even notice when a columnist uses "Redskins" or "Washington" and not the word Redskins. Maybe I'm super-racist and am not aware of how racist I am. Otherwise, if a writer doesn't want to use the word then it is up to him or her. I only notice when a writer does something stupid like Gregg Easterbrook does and writes "R*dsk*ns" to where it calls attention to the fact he's using the word, but not really. 
never "the Redskins," and they are of course free to take such a principled stand.

Except they aren't free to take this principled stand. 

It's just that they really shouldn't.
See? They are free to take this stand, except not really. 
Here's why: This idea might come off as old-fashioned, especially in our diverse and ever-expanding media world,

Usually when a writer says he's going to come off "old-fashioned" he is about to complain about others censoring what he wants to say that some find offensive, clinging to old ideas against the use of new ideas or knows what he is about to write is a load of crap but wants to make it seem like the idea is tied to old values and not backwards thinking.

but if you're a reporter or a columnist or a newspaper or a magazine or a news website or maybe even an independent blogger or pretty much anyone who practices what can be called journalism, your primary responsibility ought to be the same: Report the facts as accurately and completely as possible, present them as accurately and completely as possible, and don't let any agenda - political, social, personal - get in the way of those goals.
 
Absolutely. I'm going to write two sentences as if I were a sportswriter or journalist and you as the reader tell me if by changing a single word if I have let any agenda get in the way of reporting the facts accurately and completely. 

"The Redskins announced today that they were going to be benching Robert Griffin and Jay Gruden would be the new starting quarterback, while Jim Haslett will take over head coaching duties. The Redskins have decided to put Robert Griffin on the trade block." 

"Washington announced today that they were going to be benching Robert Griffin and Jay Gruden would be the new starting quarterback, while Jim Haslett will take over head coaching duties. Washington has decided to put Robert Griffin on the trade block." 
So in substituting "Washington" for "Redskins" how in the hell have I let any agenda I have affect how the facts are presented? Are the facts more incomplete now that I didn't call them the "Redskins"? Does the reader become confused about the news I am presenting? Not at all. So while if I refused to use the word "Redskins" then I would obviously have some sort of social agenda, it has not and it will not, affect the news or reporting that is contained in these sentences. There is no commentary involved and the reader doesn't get different news simply because I don't use the word "Redskins." 
You start with that foundation, and you build your news story, your analysis, your commentary (however mealy-mouthed or strident) from there. That's the promise you make to your readers.
The problem with banning "Redskins" as a reference to Washington's football team, then, is that you're breaking that promise right off the bat.

But using "Redskins" or "Washington" isn't breaking the promise, it's simply referring to the NFL football team in Washington by one name rather than the other. That's all. I don't care if someone uses the word "Redskins" or not. It doesn't matter to me. As long as they are called the "Redskins" I will probably use the term. But the use of "Redskins" or "Washington" doesn't affect the overall reporting by a journalist like the author wants to believe happens. 

You're revealing immediately that, in what's supposed to be your role as a reliable narrator, you are actually unreliable.
The definition of an unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility has been seriously compromised.
It's a narrator who can't be trusted because the narrator makes mistakes, speaks with bias and lies. How in the process of reporting a story about the Redskins is the narrator lying, making a mistake in his report or having a bias when simply referring to the team as "Washington"? The information is the same and nothing is being withheld from the reader.
You're telling your readers: We have a principle or an agenda that goes beyond informing you. In fact, we'll withhold information from you if we believe it runs counter to that agenda.

What information is being withheld? If anything, a journalist is being reliable in allowing the reader to see off the bat he won't use the term "Redskins" because he/she finds the term offensive. A reader can catch on quickly to an unreliable narrator and the narrator is still considered unreliable, but in the case of journalists reporting on the Redskins, there are no lies or a bias that can come from not using the term "Redskins." The information is the same no matter which term the journalist uses. 

Once a news organization places such advocacy ahead of thorough, precise, honest reporting, it fails to stick to the fundamentals of journalism, and it puts its credibility at risk

How does Peter King fail to stick to the fundamentals of journalism by calling the Redskins "Washington" in his columns? He's reporting the same information he would otherwise if he did call them the "Redskins," but he's just not using the term. 
This author is taking a no-nonsense approach and filling the reader's eyes with nonsense. As long as a journalist isn't secretly creating fake stories that make the Redskins look bad because they won't change their team name (which there is no evidence any journalist who won't use the term "Redskins" is doing this), there is no advocacy being placed ahead of journalism. 

But there is at least a general consensus in our society and culture about which words rise to the level of vulgarity, and that consensus hasn't been reached yet with respect to "Redskins" - at least, not as this particular sports franchise still uses the word.

Fine, it's not a vulgar word as defined by the FCC. I would love to read how the author can explain simply referring to the Redskins as "Washington" is hurting a journalist's credibility. He won't do that. He prefers to simply state that it makes a journalist who won't use the R-word look like an unreliable narrator or as lacking credibility, but won't explain how the information given to the reader by an author who won't use the R-word is different to cause this imprecise, dishonest reporting. 

Remember: No one's suggesting that, for all his faults, owner Daniel Snyder wants to retain the franchise's name for the express purpose of demeaning or mocking Native Americans.

Unintended consequences. Snyder knows some people are offended by the word and regardless of whether he is retaining the name because he doesn't want to change it or because he wants to mock Native Americans is irrelevant. So regardless of his intentions, some Native Americans feel demeaned or mocked. 

I like how the author doesn't give a shit about the unintended consequences of Daniel Snyder keeping the Washington team name as the "Redskins," but he creates unintended consequences that don't actually exist when referring to journalists who report on the Redskins but call the team "Washington." Daniel Snyder doesn't mean to mock Native Americans, but journalists who don't use the term "Redskins" are lying to their readers and putting their credibility at risk. Got it. 

(Does Snyder want to continue making millions of dollars by keeping the name and its recognizable tradition? Sure. Does he want to avoid upsetting the team's fans and sacrificing ticket sales? Absolutely. That makes him rather greedy, which means he's pretty much just like any other NFL owner.)

This is pure speculation, but I would imagine Daniel Snyder would sell as many t-shirts and sell as many tickets to games if the Redskins were called the "Washington Bureaucrats." Okay, maybe not that EXACT name, but you get the point. There is tradition behind the team name, but fans tend to get over things and re-naming the team gives them a chance to buy all new Washington apparel. 

The objections to the name are grounded in the notion that the word itself is offensive, no matter how or why it's used or why the franchise won't change it, and therefore it should not appear in print or online.

And some journalists choose to not use the term "Redskins" which doesn't change the meaning of what they write at all. The information is still the same. 

But if we're to apply that logic to similar terms or words, there should have been media who referred to this former NFL quarterback as Chris Guy Who Went To Louisville. See if you can find anyone who did.

Okay, so it's really hard to take this guy seriously when he writes shit like this. For a guy who writes in a "no nonsense" fashion these are two sentences full of nonsense. Chris Redman's name was "Chris Redman," so that's why he was referred to in that fashion. He could change his name, but it's not considered to be offensive like "Redskins" is deemed offensive. One is the name of a professional sports team and the other is the last name of a human. I don't see the parallel being drawn. 

I'm not arguing that the franchise should change its name or that it shouldn't,

Of course not. A person would be silly to think deeming those who refuse to use the term "Redskins" as lacking credibility and being dishonest is even close to supporting the Washington Redskins not change their team name. There is a much stronger parallel to Chris Redman having to change his name because no one finds it offensive. 

and I'm not arguing that it's wrong for a media member to support a name change and say so publicly.

Support the name change and do it publicly, but just don't write it down, then go about doing your job. That's the key. Support the name change. That's fine. Just don't use the term "Washington" in place of "Redskins" because that throws all journalistic credibility out the window. 

But I am arguing that even if Snyder were refusing to change the name solely because he was an overt bigot and racist, the journalistic responsibility to provide information to news consumers supersedes the desire to avoid offending anyone.

The information shouldn't change if the author is using the term "Redskins" or "Washington." I'm not sure how this is so confusing. 

"Redskins" is the official name of a franchise in the National Football League. It is a fact. You report facts.

They also play in Washington D.C. and calling them "Washington" is also reporting a fact. It's a very weak argument to claim journalistic credibility is being ruined by using "Washington" in place of "Redskins." This stand against the use of the R-word is just a refusal to use the word, not the very basis upon which a journalist discusses the Washington Redskins. Using the word or not using the word should not affect the coverage. 

You call them the Washington Redskins because it's their name, and because that's supposed to be your job.

If a journalist can call them the "Redskins" then why not call them "Washington"? And it's not necessarily "your job" to refer to the Washington Redskins as the "Redskins." The job is to present information about the NFL team in an accurate fashion. Calling them "Washington" should have no effect on that end goal.