Friday, March 30, 2012

5 comments No, College Football Postseason Is Not Better Than College Basketball's Postseason

Leave it to a Bleacher Report columnist to believe the NCAA college football postseason is better than the NCAA college basketball postseason. I would bet even the most diehard college football fan would agree the NCAA Tournament is more exciting than the BCS bowl. I don't believe this to be true at all. Leave it to a Bleacher Report writer to get together 50 reasons why college football's bowls (there is no real postseason) are better than college basketball's NCAA Tournament. I don't even see how there is a debate on this issue.

The reasons given by the author are incomprehensibly bad and also noted by me in bold italics.

Let's start the slideshow!

I love both college basketball and football to death, but something about the BCS and all of the bowl games gets me more excited.

I love both college basketball and football to death, but NOTHING about the BCS and all of the bowl games gets me more excited.

There. It's fixed.

but here are my 50 reasons as to why March Madness does not hold a candle to college football's postseason.

I warn you, they are terrible. Maybe college football is better than college basketball during the regular season, but the college football bowl system is the biggest letdown and disappointment among all sports in terms of how the postseason is run. We wait almost a month and a half for two teams to battle for the BCS Championship and along the way there are bowl games, only half of which are even somewhat interesting to me. No offense to the 10 bowl games that featured teams who won 6 games or less prior to making a bowl game (meaning these teams were just above .500 or below .500 like UCLA before the bowl game), but I prefer the competition of the NCAA Tournament where one team at or under .500 in the field is the exception.

Cash Money

You can't argue with someone who considers cash money received by the schools and networks to be a reason one postseason is better than the other.

From 2009 through 2011, an average of 28.3 million people watched the BCS Championship. During that same span, an average of only 20.4 million watched the NCAA Tournament's title game.

I never knew people are considered monetary amounts. I'm going to go purchase a hamburger and pay Burger King with 1.5 people and see how that works. What he means to talk about is ad revenue. In reality, the ad revenue of the NCAA Tournament is third behind the Final Four and the World Series at $170 million. Where did I get this information? From the exact same article this idiot just selectively chose his information from.

For one, there's a lot more money at stake in college football than there is in basketball. The Final Four pulled in nearly $170 in ad revenue last year, behind only the Super Bowl ($228 million) and World Series ($269 million).

So while more people watch the BCS championship game and the networks have larger contracts for the BCS games, the Final Four pulls in more money for advertisers.


Officiating in college basketball does suck. I'll give everyone that.

If you paid any attention to the tournament, many of these games are being decided in the final minute with a questionable call (or so it seems).

I love the way your over-generalized statement proves your point.

We don’t see that in football and we never see a fluke game reversed in football unless it is for the better and correct call (it is called review).
Some of it actually is where the officials do not make the right call, but that is never the issue in college football (especially in bowl games).
Really? The 2002 BCS Championship Game argues differently. Also, in college basketball the officials are required to make more judgment calls without the benefit of instant replay. There are fewer judgment calls to be made in college football (other than where to spot the ball) during a game. I wouldn't say bad calls are NEVER an issue though.


There is nothing more annoying than having longer and extended timeouts in the NCAA Tournament. It allows the underdog to stay in the game longer and gives them more hope to believe.

This has absolutely no meaning in the real world. This author really, really, really likes to generalize. What's wrong with the underdog having more hope to believe? How do timeouts give the underdog more hope again?

There is nothing wrong with that, but college football keeps it at a level playing field.

I fail to see how timeouts cause an uneven playing field.

Maybe there is not an edge given in terms of how long the timeouts are,

"Maybe everything I've just said is all bullshit."

The bottom line is a college basketball game is two hours long and a college football is three hours long. Regardless of timeouts, it takes longer to play a college football game and the halftime of a BCS game is at least 30 minutes long. So there may be more timeouts in college basketball, but BCS games take longer overall.

Final Four in Football is Always Better

The top two bowl games (national title being one of them, obviously) every season are always memorable, period. I wish I could say the same for college basketball.

ANOTHER generalization. There have been memorable college basketball and college football games. We all remember Vince Young's drive that won the game for Texas in the 2005 National Championship Game, but we also remember Gordon Heyward's halfcourt shot that almost won the NCAA Tournament for Butler.

I'm not sure what anyone finds memorable about the BCS Championship Games over the last five years, other than who won of course. Even the "best" game in that time wasn't the most exciting championship game (2011 BCS Championship Game) and is mostly known for Oregon's inability to properly ensure Michael Dyer was down, allowing him to rush for more yardage on a running play. I feel like the BCS Championship Game is usually a letdown after a month and a half long wait. That's just my opinion though and I don't have any over-generalized statements to support my opinion.

College Basketball's Regular Season

I cannot say I have too many friends or family members who even bother watching any of the regular season games.

Perhaps you shouldn't use your friends and family as the sample size from which you chose to derive your conclusion.

Well, they are essentially meaningless due to the fact that you are not rewarded much by dominating in the regular season.

So what exactly was LSU rewarded for dominating the regular season this year in college football? A chance to play Alabama, a team they had already beaten during the regular season? That's some reward, the chance to beat Alabama, a they had already beaten at Alabama. At least college basketball has a tournament which allows the best teams to go head-to-head, which is something college football probably needs.

Outside of earning a one-seed, you might be matched up with a giant killing mid-major or perhaps one hell of a squad in the second (now called third round).

That's the breaks and what makes the college basketball postseason so much fun. You have to constantly prove you are one of the best teams in the country to advance. What makes college football's postseason so tedious is fans have to sit through 20+ irrelevant bowl games just to get to a bowl game that "matters" in that they don't really matter since the winner only gets pride, a trophy and a gift bag for participating.

College football's Regular Season

We are already stretching these reasons to get to 50.

It leads us to a tremendous postseason where we see the best of the best compete against one another.

No we don't. We see teams chosen for a bowl game based on predicted attendance for that game, ability for the bowl to turn the highest amount of profit, and conference affiliation.

And this news might shock you, but they reward teams for what they accomplished in the regular season!

Ask Boise State and Oklahoma State if they feel they were rewarded for what they accomplished during the regular season. The odds aren't they don't feel very rewarded. Houston lost their conference championship game and was rewarded by playing by going to the TicketCity Bowl, without a chance to play against other teams who only have one loss.

College football takes the two "best" teams and pits them against each other and all the other teams are shit out of luck.


In the first few rounds, some teams just get a feel for their competition. In bowl games, this is it.

Wasn't it just a few minutes ago the author said the college basketball postseason stunk because a team isn't rewarded for a strong regular season? Didn't the author say a team could run into "a giant-killing mid-major" or "one hell of a squad?" But now, teams are just feeling their way through games? You can't have it both ways. Either elite college basketball teams are challenged by a "giant-killing mid-major" or they can feel their way through games. You can't argue both ways and be persuasive.

Jump Balls

There is one jump ball per game. So jump balls are bad?

It is like a turnover, if your team does not have the possession arrow, then it just flat out stinks.

So the possession arrow stinks AND jump balls stink?

I do not agree with Dick Vitale on everything, but this rule must change (he has stated it many times). They need to jump it up like the NBA because this kills the tournament.

WHAT? So jump balls are bad, but college basketball should have more jump balls? I hate to ask this question, but if jump balls are so damn bad, then WHY DO YOU WANT MORE OF THEM?

This article reads like it was dictated to the author by a 5 year old.


Bowl season allows you time to actually get some sleep and be able to come back ready to go for every game.

Unfortunately for the first two weeks of the bowl games are you rested and ready to watch irrelevant bowl games and by the time good bowl games come around they start at 8:45pm It's hard to watch the whole thing if you live on the East Coast.


The momentum never dies in college football’s postseason, and we are almost never let down in the main events (BCS bowls).

The momentum never dies in college football's postseason because there is never any momentum. Once the bowl games matchups are decided it takes a month for some of the matchups to even take place. There is no momentum for BCS bowls. All momentum is destroyed by the long wait for the BCS bowl games and the fact the games are played at 8:30pm on a weeknight. While the NCAA Tournament is an event, the BCS bowls are a welcome sign that bowl season is finally ending.

Getting Jobbed

Outside of getting jobbed by officials in the final minutes (Butler-Pitt, among hundreds of games),

This is among hundreds of games, not wait, thousands of games, no wait, millions of games where one team has gotten "jobbed" by the officials. In fact, there are so many games where a team has gotten "jobbed" by the officials the author doesn't even bother to list them. In fact, there are so many numerous games the author doesn't even have time to list a game from this very college basketball season where the officials "jobbed" a team. So he lists a Butler-Pitt NCAA Tournament game where the officials didn't screw up, but called two legitimate fouls, one on each team. So neither team got "jobbed" since Butler and Pitt had a ticky-tack foul called on them at the end of the game. What a poor example to prove another over-generalized reason.

Basketball is about a game of runs, but one poor shooting night and it all evaporates in front of you.
It is tough for a running team to get bottled up in a bowl game when they have two All-Americans paving the way.
So because the NCAA Tournament is more unpredictable, it isn't as exciting as the bowl games? Crazy me, I always thought excitement was good during sporting events.

Forget the major upsets in college football because the two juggernauts competing with one another are more than likely close in talent to begin with.

Who can forget the juggernaut West Virginia team playing the juggernaut Clemson team in a bowl game this year? The same game where West Virginia ran up 70 points on the juggernaut Clemson team. How about that National Championship game this year where the juggernaut LSU team couldn't get past mid-field?

No Jamar Samuels

Never in my lifetime have I ever heard of or even pondered such an awful thought. Jamar Samuel was Kansas State's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder who suspended approximately 20 minutes before tip-off this past weekend against Syracuse.

The timing was the abysmal part of this whole thing, and for that reason I must put the NCAA Tournament and college basketball in the timeout circle.

We all know college football would never have problems like this. Players would never get suspended for selling a game-worn jersey or selling memorabilia for tattoos. That stuff never happens in college football.

Sloppy Play

We hardly see sloppy play in the bowl games—and that is with a month off.

I thought Clemson did a great job of not tackling after being given a month off. They only gave up 70 points in a BCS bowl game. Who can forget LSU's precision offense that couldn't get a first down in the BCS Championship Game? It was memorable to watch Jordan Jefferson and the LSU offense make your local high school team look like the 2007 New England Patriots offense.

The preparation put in is remarkable to witness,

You are an idiot and you clearly don't watch the bowl games. Sometimes teams play like they don't even want to be there, which in many cases the teams don't. This is especially true if that team believes they deserved a better bowl bid which they didn't receive because a bowl choose a lesser-talented team which would bring the bowl more attendance and therefore more income. One more reason bowls suck. Bowls are about money and attendance, not putting the best matchups on the field.

The teams get a minimum of three days off (most teams get full week), but it is amazing to watch teams throw bricks up at the rim.

I want to be a sportswriter! I write for Bleacher Report! I write over-generalized statements! All teams throw up bricks in the NCAA Tournament! Fuck facts, I have my opinion! Every white player tries hard, most fat people are lazy and if you see a group of minorities together they are probably committing a crime! I write for Bleacher Report and refuse to write like a mentally competent human being would!

Outside of a few bowl games every season, every game is hard fought heading into the fourth quarter.

"Most" bowl games are fought hard? There is no proof of this given by the author, instead he just makes blanket and over-generalized statements in an effort to prove his point. This is embarrassing even for Bleacher Report and please remember Bleacher Report will sometimes print nearly anything that is written in English and the author is able to throw more than two sentences together to form a paragraph.

No Frustration

How many of your friends—and yourself included—just hate shredding that bracket up on the first day?
Bowlmania does not do that to you, so that has to be a bit more enjoyable.
It isn't more enjoyable. Unpredictability is fun in sports.

No Need To Skip Work

However, the postseason in college football allows you to still be productive with your non-college football life.

This is simply an outright lie. Here are the bowl games that were played this year when people were at work (this doesn't include people who work on the weekend and remember the United States does have a West Coast, so games starting at 5pm take place when they are at work):

Gildan New Mexico
AdvoCare V100 Independence
Little Caesars Bowl
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman
Bridgepoint Education Holiday
Champs Sports
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
New Era Pinstripe
Franklin American Mortgage Music City
Capital One Gator Bowl

The NCAA Tournament can set you back if you get addicted by watching every single game (all 67 of them).

The Thursday and Friday of the first weekend of the tournament is the only time a person who gets off work at 5pm on either coast can't watch an entire game. Every other game is during the evening after 7pm or on a weekend. What a terrible point.

I'm going with one sentence pithy replies from here on out...

College Gameday

It feels like your team wins a dramatic game and then the next day the season is done with. That is the way it goes in college basketball, but that doesn’t mean it is cool or fair.

No, no, no, this is EXACTLY why bowl games suck, because after a bowl game the season is over the team that wins the bowl game never plays another team.

NIT is for the Weak

The NIT isn't considered the NCAA Tournament, but nice try.

Rivalries are Made

You could argue the NCAA Tournament gives us matchups we would never see in any other sport.
The real point is seeing Goliath’s battle it out on the gridiron, which gets me more excited than seeing a Cinderella eventually break their slipper.
I've never heard the argument that because the NCAA Tournament is more competitive and features never-before-seen matchups, this makes it inferior to college football...a simply amazing line of thought.

Five Fouls

In a game that matters the most, we often see All-American players perform like scrubs.

"Often" see All-American players perform like scrubs, yet All-American Kemba Walker led UConn to the NCAA Championship last year, just like All-American Jon Scheyer did the year before, just like All-American Tyler Hansbrough did the year before that.

In a fluky one-game playoff, anything can occur.

Like anything could happen in the one-game playoff that is a bowl game?


He's just looking in the dictionary and naming words he sees at this point. I would use the Will Ferrell "George W. Bush" voice to read what's written in bold if I were you. It makes it more exciting to read.

Many of the first-round games are extremely boring because we see these teams come out flat.

Completely untrue and we see the author's continuous use of "many," "most," "often," or "all" to compensate for a lack of research and a convincing argument.


I love the NCAA Tournament like nobody’s business, but the postseason for college football is more relaxing.

Exactly, the NCAA Tournament is more exciting and more unpredictable. It is better.


However, some argue that Lehigh never deserved that shot against Duke in the first place, right?

Wrong, I haven't heard anyone argue this point of view until I just read it in this slideshow.

The underdog hangs around and finds a way to pull off the shocking upset in a first-round game when a top notch shooting team cannot hit the backside of a barn. Many argue that is bad for the game, not good.

There is absolutely no way this is bad for college basketball.

Prove Yourself

A top-five team has to continue to win game after game despite doing so for the previous four months.

This is clearly less preferable to basing who plays in the BCS Championship game based on a poll.

I understand that is how the game works, but that is weak sauce

This is relevant modern terminology "the kids" use!

No Complaining

While you could throw the same at me for the BCS since there are haters (though I won’t complain), the NCAA Tournament often has way too much boring negativity.

(Bengoodfella is speechless) You realize the majority of people hate the entire bowl system, right? Like the entire format and everything about it?



In the BCS we would never get a chance to see two mediocre teams plays for it all because college football is just better in terms of rewarding their best.

It's just tough for college football to figure out which teams are the "best."


He's now used "entertainment" twice as a reason.

The Best of the Best

Every season college football rewards you with the best two teams on the planet. In my eyes, no other sport in America can come close to giving you the same.

Then you need to go to an eye doctor if that's what your eyes tell you.

The Super Bowl has legit teams normally, but in a one-game playoff, anything can happen. That is not the case in college football.

The argument that unpredictability is bad, and this is why the NCAA Tournament is bad, just absolutely astounds me.

The Best

Not to be confused with "The Best of the Best" of course.

I want to watch the best at all times possible. I am the biggest underdog guy out there,

You are also confused and lack the ability to understand your own self since you just wrote this:

The Final Four isn't always must watch if VCU is playing Butler. George Mason and those Cinderella stories are amazing to follow, but it is really getting old right now.

Yeah, you are a big underdog guy, as long as the underdog isn't the underdog and instead is an elite team from a major conference.

One-Game Playoff
I do not honestly know what I would do if a random non-AQ team such as Nevada had an opportunity to play Ohio State with a chance to compete for the BCS title.

If they earned it by defeating other teams in a tournament, then what the hell is the problem?

That is what we see in college basketball, and when it happens, it really does stink to witness.

He's a big underdog guy you know.


Maybe you get a spring vacation or break, but on New Year’s day college football is king.

There were zero games on New Year's Day this year...damn facts getting in the way of trying to prove a point!

No Wait

Really, "no wait" a reason for why the BCS is better than the NCAA Tournament coming from a guy who likes the system that waits over an entire month for two teams to play for the BCS title?

The weekends are great to watch the NCAA Tournament, but Monday-Wednesday is atrocious without anything going on.

You know, other than the four First Four games that take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Happy New Year!
Still, celebrating the New Year’s with the ones you love will always be better for me.
Waking up on New Year's Day is probably more exciting than Christmas was as a child nowadays.
Wait, does this have to do with the NCAA Tournament???????????

The Best of the Bunch

Again, not to be confused with "The Best" or "The Best of the Best."

BCS Matchups

In college football we always see dream matchups every January.

As long as you aren't a fan of Boise State or any other team that doesn't get a chance to play in the BCS games because they weren't chosen high enough in the polls.

Every Single Game Matters Leading Into Postseason

Except for the Alabama-LSU game played in November of this year, which apparently didn't count since the game was played again for the BCS Championship.

Every weekend during the regular season of college football, there are thrilling games filled with more pageantry than any other sport.

Then it ends with a huge thud when the bowl pairings are announced because the momentum slows down and the college football postseason competes directly against the end of the NFL season.

If you truly are the best team on the planet, then losing a game should never happen.

Which explains why since 1998 we have only had eight teams win the BCS Championship Game as an undefeated team. So nearly half the time, the BCS Champion has lost a game...but this should never happen of course. So explain how an undefeated team can still not get a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game? The system works! Maybe if we keep saying it then it will eventually come true for every single season!

The best two teams have played each other nearly every single season. In college basketball, that rarely happens.

This is true unless you think Oklahoma State (or Stanford) deserved a shot at the BCS Championship Game.

There is no way the BCS bowls are better than the NCAA Tournament. No over-generalized and poorly executed slideshow can convince me differently.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 comments Drew Sharp Finds Himself a Boogeyman for the One-and-Done Rule

I know many of you don't like John Calipari. I don't like John Calipari, though I dislike Rick Pitino and anything related to UConn basketball more, and I don't especially like Kentucky. I'm not here to defend Calipari or Kentucky (though maybe I will a bit), but I am getting a bit peeved at Calipari being blamed for the one-and-done rule. He recruits players who want to be one-and-done, that's his niche in the recruiting market, but he has come out and said he doesn't like the rule and prefers a different rule. That's not enough for some people and it leads to lazy journalism when writers blame Calipari for working within the rules. I don't like the rule, but I also am not who is naive enough to believe if John Calipari didn't recruit Marcus Teague, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to Kentucky they would all be four year players. The complaint is Calipari has too many one-and-done players on one team. I'm not sure how it is better for college basketball if these players were spread out among different teams. They would still be one-and-done, they just wouldn't be on the same team. Maybe that makes some people feel better about the one-and-done rule.

As I have said like a broken record, the one-done-rule is a rule created and enforced by NBA Dictator David Stern. If you want someone to blame for the one-and-done rule and players leaving college after one year, blame Stern. Dictator Stern and the NBA union created this rule, leaving high school seniors who want to play in the NBA the choice of playing overseas for a year or going to college for one year. Few college basketball fans and coaches seem to like this rule, but there is nothing to be done as long as the NBA doesn't care enough to change it.

I am a fan of the two-and-through rule, but it is clear the NBA has no intention of changing the one-and-done rule...because the NBA cares. The NBA cares about pretending to care about players entering their league and whether they went to college or not. Players coming to the NBA after high school created bad press for the NBA (Eddie Griffin, Eddy Curry...pretty much anyone whose name begins with "Edd-", Sebastian Telfair). Then there were players who exposed the shady underworld of NBA agents who promised them high draft positions only to let these kids down when they got drafted later than expected. Remember these names?

Korleone Young
Leon Smith
Ousmane Cisse
James Lang
Ndudi Ebi
Ricky Sanchez

So rather than continue allowing the world to see the shady agent dealings and improve their public image, the NBA told the NCAA "You keep these players for a year, market them endlessly and THEN they will be ready for the NBA." This had two advantages for the NBA. The first advantage was they got better public relations from pretending to care about their player's education, and the second advantage is it gave the public a chance to see these players on college rosters before they played in the NBA. So Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis became a household names with built-in fan bases before the NBA Draft. So not only did the NBA get a chance to enforce a rule on the college basketball establishment where idiot sportswriters would blame the NCAA for the rule, but the NBA got to use the NCAA as a marketing tool for potential NBA players AND the NCAA still gets to use the athlete's image and jersey number to make money for the college. It's a win-win-lose proposition!

This is where John Calipari comes in. He doesn't mind recruiting players who are one-and-done and this makes Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press dislike him. This is lazy journalism to look past the creators of the rule and blame those who work within the framework of the rule. That doesn't matter to Sharp, when he has the opportunity to do a hack job he takes advantage of that opportunity. I fail to see the point of rooting against John Calipari (other than for basketball reasons) simply because you don't like how he works within the rules the NBA has set out. I'm not cheering for Kentucky to win, but not because of the makeup of Calipari's roster. Calipari is not a great guy or a demigod, but making him the face of the one-and-done rule ignores those who created and enforce the one-and-done rule (the NBA) in favor of lazily creating an easy villain (John Calipari).

Rooting for John Calipari to finally win a national championship is like cheering for the head of the IRS to get a tax refund.

I would cheer for the head of the IRS (or the "Commissioner" as those who do research would say) to get a tax refund if someone owes him or her a tax refund. Great analogy anyway. It took what 5 seconds to think of this one?

Both institutions feign shock at the villainy attached to them, arguing they're merely following the rules as prescribed.

I don't know much about the IRS Commissioner, it appears he does prescribe rules for the tax code. I do know about John Calipari and he is really following the rules as they are prescribed to him. Calipari in no way has anything to do with the creation or enforcement of the one-and-done rule. It takes a special kind of an idiot to know the NBA created and enforces the one-and-done rule and then blame a Division-I coach for following the rules. This special kind of idiot acknowledges these players that Calipari recruits aren't in college to receive an education, but insists on judging Calipari based on the sham these recruits are attempting to receive an education.

Calipari has had two Final Fours vacated, I can't defend him on those. Overall, for Drew Sharp to pretend Calipari isn't just following the rules is pure idiocy. John Calipari isn't the one who created the one-and-done rule and he isn't the one who enforced the one-and-done rule. He is an easy mark for a lazy sportswriter to blame as a villain because he has no qualms recruiting high school kids who may not want to stay in college for more than one year. Don't hate on Calipari because it is easy to do, hate the system that doesn't allow a high school athlete to go directly to the NBA.

Wherever Calipari has walked during his coaching career, the NCAA has followed right behind, usually with a pooper-scooper.

Well, this is somewhat true. Marcus Camby accepted gifts and money from sports agents ($28,000), which later turned out to be partly money for his brother's groceries. And yes, that is a lot of groceries.

Derrick Rose had someone else complete his SAT and his brother (keep family members away from the basketball team!) traveled with the team for free, which was another violation.

Of course John Calipari wasn't involved with either of these violations, but it is suspected Calipari knew of the violations.

Both programs had their best seasons stripped from history because of serious transgressions under Calipari's watch.

This is true. It is also true Calipari took five UMass teams to the NCAA Tournament, while achieving an Elite Eight that wasn't vacated (what an accomplishment!). Calipari took Memphis to two Elite Eights that weren't vacated and has taken Kentucky to an Elite Eight and two Final Fours in the time he has been at Kentucky. So it is not like Calipari hasn't had other successes as a head coach.

You would think that Kentucky would worry considering the man's track record, but I doubt that Big Blue cares as long as the big victories keep coming.

Kentucky is like every other major NCAA basketball program.

Kentucky is no different than most big programs and fan bases.

I said it first!

Kentucky serves as both the Final Four's biggest star and villain.

Only because Duke isn't in the tournament anymore. Otherwise they would be the villain. Also, here is a dirty little secret about Duke and Coach K...he recruits one-and-done players as well. In fact, Coach K has had two players be one-and-done over the last two seasons and if Duke lands Tony Parker, Shabazz Muhammad or Amile Jefferson over the next coming weeks that could be three or four (depending on scholarships) players who are one-and-done over the past three years. So it isn't like Calipari is the only coach who recruits one-and-done players, it is just he recruits too many one-and-done players. Whatever that means.

How about Harrison Barnes? He only came back for his sophomore year at UNC-Chapel Hill to help extend his "brand" before he goes to the NBA. Is Roy Williams or UNC a villain because they recruited a kid who clearly cared more about his "brand" than getting an education? Of course not.

Why don't people go after Jim Calhoun like they do John Calipari? Is it because he doesn't recruit one-and-done players? Calhoun does recruit one-and-done players. Calhoun has run up a few NCAA violations himself and his players don't have a sufficient academic performance in the eyes of the NCAA. Why not go after Jim Calhoun, especially since he is the spawn of Satan (I have no proof, but I am working on it)? I think lazy sportswriters like Drew Sharp go after Calipari only because of the one-and-done issue, which as I have stated before isn't any of Calipari's doing. Calhoun recruits one-and-done players, but not too many of these players, so he isn't put in the same class as Calipari.

The Wildcats are the most talented, most explosive of the remaining teams. But they also embody what frustrates so many about the maligned future of college basketball.

Talk to the NBA about this issue. They have created and enforced the rules for when high school athletes can enter the NBA Draft. College basketball purists hate the one-and-done rule and create Calipari as the villain because it is much easier to do this than taking the time to understand Calipari plays within the rules set out by the NBA.

Calipari rents freshmen.

Any college basketball team rents their players. Would Drew Sharp rather the school own the players?

He wants a program with a constant revolving door,

You can tell from this quote that Calipari wants a constant revolving door:

“I can’t stand the rule,” Calipari said. “One year is not what this should be about”

Or when he said this:

“It needs to be changed,” Calipari said. “It’s not a good rule.”

Clearly, Calipari loves the one-and-done rule.

a steady parade of McDonald's All-Americas using Lexington as a one-year way station until the NBA Draft rolls around.

Which is how the one-and-done rule has set it up for high school basketball players who don't want to go to the NBA. Calipari has the option of not recruiting players who could be drafted in the NBA Draft, but he doesn't choose this option. Not choosing this option doesn't make him a bad person and it is fine if you don't like his method of recruiting. Just don't make him the villain and try to give him a bad name because you don't like how he recruits. It's his niche in the recruiting market, it doesn't mean we have to like it, but the NBA is the creator of the rule.

Calipari denies being the bad guy. His pat answer is: Don't blame him. Blame the NBA. He's only following the law as it's written.

This is absolutely true. In fact, Calipari has hit the nail on the head when it comes to why the NBA even made the rule.

Calipari said that the NBA will never allow players out of high school to come into the league, because they couldn’t evaluate the talent and blew a lot of money.

These are facts and it is lazy to blatantly ignore these facts in order to have a ready-made villain. I don't like the one-and-done rule, but I have a hard time blaming a head coach who lets the rule work for him.

But it's ridiculous believing one year of playing college ball has made these guys more mature than when they could qualify for the draft a year earlier.

Then complain to the NBA and to the Player's Union. That's the source of the rule.

It has turned the college game into even more of a sham. If you're only to stay for one year, you only have to attend -- or pretend to attend -- classes for one semester.

So if I am following this...Drew Sharp doesn't like the one-and-done rule, he has absolutely no reasoning for why John Calipari is to blame for this one-and-done rule, but he still blindly thinks Calipari is more than following the rules prescribed? Basically, it isn't Calipari's fault, but let's blame him anyway.

The smart policy would be something comparable to what Major League Baseball employs. You're eligible to sign a professional contract immediately following high school, but if you enroll at a college, you must wait until after your junior year before you're once again eligible for the draft.

I don't think that's the smart policy. I think two and through would be plenty. Forcing college basketball players to stay in school for three years would cause players who are 50-50 on whether they want to go to the NBA or college to go to the NBA after high school. That's my belief. Players grow from their freshman to sophomore year and I see no reason why if a player believes he is good enough for the NBA he can't leave after two years of college. I think three years is too many.

History tells us that it's only a question of time before NCAA investigators chase Calipari's scent at Kentucky...Both times Calipari walked away unscathed, leaving for a better opportunity and a fatter paycheck.

Again, this is true. If this is why you want to root against Calipari because of his past and how he recruits then more power to you. I won't be cheering for Calipari, but don't hate him because you don't like the one-and-done rule. Don't look down on him for the violations around his program if you cheer for a major college basketball program. Your naivety to college basketball recruiting is cute and I hope one day the realization that most big-time basketball programs cut corners in one way or another doesn't slap you directly in the face when your school gets suspected of a violation.

Being elusive enough to stay one step ahead of the NCAA posse doesn't make a coach deserving of a national championship -- even if he has corralled the biggest assortment of basketball talent.

Arguable. I still say UNC has the biggest assortment of basketball talent in the NCAA Tournament in terms of depth. Of course they aren't in the NCAA Tournament anymore.

We joke about Calipari staying one step ahead of the NCAA posse, but if he was found to have done any wrongdoing at Memphis or UMass the NCAA could impose sanctions on him if they chose to while he is at Kentucky. The NCAA is all-powerful...except when it comes to forcing the NBA to change the one-and-done rule. Dictator Stern won't allow that rule to change at this present time.

I see a Kentucky-Ohio State final a week from tonight.

Ohio State? The school which since 2007 Greg Oden, B.J. Mullens, Mike Conley, Kosta Koufos, and Daequan Cook enter the draft after their freshman seasons at Ohio State? Thad Matta is everything that is wrong with college basketball for taking on these one-and-done players.

If it means keeping the national championship door shut in Calipari's face, I'll certainly be rooting for that.

Anything to make sure a program that doesn't have a bunch of one-and-done players, so Sharp probably shouldn't cheer for Ohio State. I'm tired of coming off like I'm defending Calipari. I don't like the guy, but he isn't the villain of the one-and-done rule and it is intellectually dishonest to believe he is any way responsible for the implementation and continuing use of the one-and-done rule by the NBA. It's easy to pin the blame to point him out as the villain than it is to take the time to see Dictator Stern and the Player's Union are responsible for the rule. They own it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

7 comments T.J. Simers Decides to Attack His Colleagues Using the Written Word, Still Has Insatiable Need to be Punched in the Face

Many of you may remember T.J. Simers' bizarre, random attack on Marcus Thames in Spring Training last year. I can't describe exactly what Simers did, so read it for yourself if you care to. Basically, he was pissed Marcus Thames plays like Marcus Thames, confronted Thames in a hostile fashion and then couldn't understand why Thames wouldn't talk to him. This year Simers decides to attack the Dodgers and just for good measure his fellow LA Times employees. I sort of buried the lede with my title, I realize that. Simers decides to semi-question why his employer even covers the Dodgers and tells us all how bad the Dodgers indeed do suck. Of course, a better writer would explain WHY the Dodgers suck, but no one expects T.J. Simers to be a better writer at this point. He's closer to "bitter" than to "better."

What is really interesting is Simers wrote his article randomly attacking Marcus Thames on March 21, 2011 and he wrote this article attacking the Dodgers and his fellow LA Times writers on March 19, 2012. Something must happen every year around this time that really pisses Simers off. One could only speculate what that could be. Oh, and don't worry, Marcus Thames is mentioned (Why? Because Simers hates Thames, that's why). No T.J. Simers article is complete without a mention of Marcus Thames, who at this point has reached the status of "war criminal" in the mind of T.J. Simers.

We all know the Dodgers may not be a great team this year, but Simers has no interest in explaining why HE believes the Dodgers will be bad. Why do that when you can just indiscriminately bash them without giving a reason why? Where's the fun in logic? More importantly, what the hell is Marcus Thames doing now? Probably giving hand jobs to homeless men for $2. What a piece of shit that Marcus Thames guy is, huh? If T.J. Simers could find out where Thames disappeared to, then he would angrily confront Thames over his refusal to acknowledge he is a terrible baseball player.

Consider the excitement, arriving here and finding Vin Scully's car parked in the stenciled spot reserved for Dodgers "ownership."

If that were only true, but like Tommy Lasorda saying he never says something he doesn't believe, things are not always so.

Great way to start off a column. Vague, snarky and immediately bitter sounding when discussing the topic at hand.

So far The Times has sent six writers here in the quest for truth.

So a major city newspaper has dispatched writers to cover the professional baseball team that plays in that city? Has anything ever been done like this before? We are in uncharted waters now, folks.

Also, The Times hasn't dispatched the writers to discover the truth but to write a bunch of special interest and fluff pieces about this year's team. It happens every year. Fans want to be excited and the newspaper wants readers to read about the local team and get excited because they means the fans of the team may buy the newspaper. Fans will eat up any story on their favorite team in Spring Training and sportswriters know this. It's a win-win.

Most of them have left Phoenix singing the praises of the Dodgers as if this team suddenly got good.

"Suddenly got good." I didn't realize there had been regular season games played already and we know which teams were definitely bad.

And believe me, you don't want to hear Dwyre sing.

That would be Bill Dwyre being referred to and the last time he had written about the Dodgers was March 7th. Dwyer has written about the Dodgers three times this year so far. Mostly, he writes for The Times sports section concerning tennis and golf. I feel like this is important to know as Simers starts calling out his colleagues for suckling at the teat of the Dodgers organization. Dwyre writes about one Dodger player and T.J. Simers takes him to task for daring to cover the local professional sports team.

Little known fictional fact: T.J. Simers has standing to mock another man's singing voice because in college his nickname was "Songbird" due to his eerily accurate Eddie Cantor impression.

But digging deeper, beyond the fact the Dodgers were waiting on a rental agency to retrieve or repossess the car, the Dodgers are the same dogs they were a year ago.

It's not like the Dodgers have faced any monetary or ownership issues, so one would have no idea why they chose to essentially keep the same team as the 2011 team that went 82-79. That team missed the Wild Card by 7.5 games and would have missed the second Wild Card (now that there is one) by 6.5 games. My point is the Dodgers weren't great, but also weren't a terrible team. I don't want facts to get in the way of Simers' whining though.

They didn't try to bring back cuddly Jamey Carroll, the team's MVP two years ago while averaging .290 in his stay.

They did lose Jamey Carroll, who is at the ripe age of 38 years old, which is a tragedy of epic proportions (losing Carroll is the tragedy, not Carroll's age). I'm going to go on a limb and suggest even though Carroll played well in his stay with the Dodgers, keeping a 38 year old utility infielder isn't high on the team's priority list on how to build for the future. The Dodgers did keep Matt Kemp, who was runner up to the NL MVP just last year while being an incredibly good hitter and still in his prime. It's good this is on the team's priority list for the future.

Instead they chose to replace him with the Automatic Out.

I didn't know the Dodgers re-signed Juan Pierre.

"Mark Ellis, he's a better offensive player than Jamey," says Don Mattingly, and it's no surprise he knew who I was talking about.

I don't know if Mark Ellis is a better or worse offensive player than Jamey Carroll. They are different offensive players (Ellis has more power, while Carroll tends to get on-base more) and Ellis is four years younger than Carroll. I do know Don Mattingly is probably thrilled T.J. Simers is grilling him about the players the Dodgers front office chose to sign or not sign in the offseason. I am sure Simers sees the signing of Ellis as being Mattingly's fault.

It also isn't a surprise Simers knew who "Jamey" was because Simers covers the Dodgers for a living and Jamey Carroll was the only "Jamey" on the Dodgers team last year. The two players also play the same position (mostly), so I would be concerned if Simers didn't know who "Jamey" was since Mattingly is directly comparing the two players. Basically, it is a safe assumption for Mattingly to make that T.J. Simers knows to whom "Jamey" is referring.

Ellis, the Dodgers' power response to the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols, hit .248 over the last two years.

Yes, but Ellis hit .291/.358/.381 two years ago. That's very similar to what Dodgers MVP Jamey Carroll hit. Or are supposed to go two years back only in order to find evidence that proves T.J. Simers is correct in saying Ellis sucks?

Also, the Angels and Dodgers play in different leagues. The Dodgers play in the National League and the Angels play in the American League. There is really no need for one team to "respond" to the other team's signing on the free agent market since they are not directly competing against each other.

"Mark Ellis is solid," says Mattingly. Yet for some reason, the El Hombre Ellis billboards have yet to appear around town.

I must have missed the Jamey Carroll billboards around town. We are a 1/3 of the way through this column and the only reason the Dodgers suck is because they didn't re-sign a 38 year old utility infielder. This is the only proof we will receive of why the Dodgers will suck. Now T.J. Simers takes on his colleagues at the LA Times for daring to cover the Dodgers and rips his colleagues an asshole for not writing articles about the Dodgers saying they suck while providing very little or no supporting evidence. Also, it appears he asks Don Mattingly hostile and leading questions and seems shocked Mattingly doesn't give him the answer he wants.

Now maybe you have been reading our Dylan Hernandez's love letters from Dodgers camp, Dwyre's slobber about catcher A.J. Ellis or Plaschke throwing his support behind Mattingly.

Is this as opposed to T.J. Simers slobbering over Ben Howland, a true man of distinction when it comes to ruining a historic college basketball program? Or is this like Simers writing repeated love letters to Chris Paul here and here? Perhaps it is similar to Simers throwing his support behind Kenyon Martin?

Regardless, T.J. Simers is an upstanding journalist just doing his job, while all of his colleagues are useless hacks just working as mouthpieces for the Dodgers and daring to write positive Spring Training stories. I hate fluff pieces as much as anyone, but it makes no sense to write an article eviscerating an entire team while giving no supporting evidence as to why the team should be eviscerated.

James Loney hits a home run the other day, but Hernandez fails to tell us whether Loney will hit more home runs this year than he did cars back in November on an L.A. freeway.

Exactly like T.J. Simers says Mark Ellis is a .248 hitter over the last two years, but fails to tell us Ellis will hit better than that this year. I don't get Simers' feeble attempt at making a point.

Dwyre begins his ode to Ellis: "If we search for a silver lining in the aftermath of the Frank McCourt scorched-earth era, we might find A.J. Ellis.''

I'd rather find Ellis playing on scorched earth in Albuquerque.

Why? Why would you rather find Ellis playing on scorched earth in Albuquerque? The title of this article begins "The truth is out there..." so let's hear the truth from T.J. Simers. I want the truth. Simers seems to have such strong opinions on the Dodgers players, yet he resorts to whining and pounding his fist angrily on the table about the ineptness of the Dodgers rather than explain in detail to what few readers he has left exactly what the hell he is talking about.

Lasorda could close his eyes, or fall asleep, and finish better than third place and 111/2 games out in one of the league's weakest divisions.

Considering Tommy Lasorda is 84 years old there is a good chance he would close his eyes AND fall asleep during games if given the chance to manage the Dodgers again. I like Tommy Lasorda too, but he shouldn't be managing at this point.

I find it interesting T.J. Simers spends the first half of this shit-ridden column complaining the Dodgers players aren't very good, then complains that Tommy Lasorda could do better than Don Mattingly. So is the Dodgers perceived ineptness the fault of Mattingly or shitty players? It's hard to tell because Simers' ramblings never actually specify the problem, other than saying EVERYONE is the problem and the only solution is to re-sign Jamey Carroll and hire Tommy Lasorda as manager.

And that's with Mattingly having a Cy Young Award winner and MVP runner-up on his side.

I love how Simers makes this fictional comparison and wants his readers to believe it is based on fact. Simers states exactly what Tommy Lasorda could hypothetically do with this team as final proof Don Mattingly sucks as a manager. Thems are facts Simers is stating! Thems is facts coming straight from the brain of Simers, a vast empty area which only houses enough complete thoughts to hate Marcus Thames and feel complete anger in the direction of nearly everyone he encounters.

But then everyone agrees Mattingly is a nice guy, Plaschke writing the same about Mike Brown to start the season. Here's hoping they both don't finish last now.

I'm not a Plaschke fan, but criticizing your LA Times colleagues in print shows a certain lack of class. Of course, T.J. Simers has never had class. We all saw that last year when he waged a one-man war on Marcus Thames.

In reading about the Dodgers before arriving, I see that Todd Coffey is comfortable being fat.

Only a person who keeps himself in peak physical shape like T.J. Simers can call someone else fat. Here is another picture of this Olympic (sized) (non) athlete. In that picture Simers appears to be irritated because the gentleman beside him ate the last donut. Glass houses. Stones. There's a saying that goes along with these phrases. Maybe T.J. Simers should gain more familiarity with this saying.

That worked so well for Jonathan Broxton.

It did work so well for Jonathan Broxton until he got a non-fatness related injury elbow injury during 2011.

But apparently Coffey is different because he likes to run from the bullpen to the mound.

As opposed to T.J. Simers, who only runs when someone he has criticized in print shows up to kick his ass.

On a bright note, with Aaron Harang, Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano in the pitching rotation, Coffey might get the chance to run himself into shape.

Again, this sentence consists of cheap shots and cited support of why these three pitchers suck so badly.

There doesn't seem much to write about around here, which explains why Hernandez concentrates on Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. He wrote 25 inches on Kemp switching to Manny Ramirez's locker.

But don't you get the irony of writing an entire column about the inane and useless items other LA Times writers are producing about the Dodgers?

One writer searching for something of note confronted Mattingly with the disturbing news Monday morning that he had heard Coffey had pitched in a secret simulated game a day earlier.

Why anyone other than Coffey's immediate family would care when the guy pitches is beyond me.

Good point. Because everyone cares about T.J. Simers' article on Garry Marshall and how he helps youth baseball. Keeping up with what Garry Marshall is doing is riveting stuff.

A year ago, Mattingly was telling these same guys how much he just loved the weapons he had to platoon in left field. Everyone believed him.

Except for T.J. Simers. He always believed that Marcus Thames was a piece of shit.

Now Mattingly says, "I had to love it," essentially admitting he lied while talking about Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames, who disappeared.

Mattingly could also essentially be admitting he had to love it because the Dodgers financial constraints presented no other options. So Mattingly could have loved it out of necessity and wasn't lying. Thames didn't disappear, he was released, probably much to T.J. Simers joy.

But is there any reason for Dodgers fans to be excited about this year's team knowing it's essentially last year's team, which wasn't very good?

The team was over .500 last year, which is better than 17 other teams could say last year. So the Dodgers were an above average baseball team. Also, I am 100% sure T.J. Simers asked the question this way and will be pissed off when he doesn't get a sufficient answer.

"This team played the game right last year," Mattingly says. "This team was a good club."

I wonder whether he's saying the team played the game right last year, because that speaks well about the guy preparing them to play.

Yes. Don Mattingly is taking this opportunity to talk about what a great manager he is and he isn't at all trying to avoid your idiotic question by giving a canned, boring response.

I know this, the Dodgers were not a good team. They were terrible.

The Dodgers won 82 games last year. That isn't terrible. Simers' writing on the other hand? His writing is terrible.

The new owner might be stuck with these guys this season, but do you think he's going to make his mark in L.A. going with Ellis & Ellis?

Well no. I'm not sure anyone is arguing Mark and A.J. Ellis are building blocks for the future. LA Times beat writers are simply writing stories about these two players because they play for the Dodgers and the beat writers have been tasked to write about the Dodgers during Spring Training.

If the new guy doesn't do better than that, those Frank McCourt parking lots are just going to sit empty.

Not that I'm complaining.

Of course. Why complain about empty parking lots when you can complain about the Dodgers without giving any context, complain about the articles your colleagues write about the Dodgers despite the fact you write the same drivel they do, and be overly hostile to nearly every single person you encounter?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2 comments MMQB Review: Ex-QB Broncos Goes East Edition

Peter had no knowledge of the Saints' bounty punishments or Backup QB Jets (I finally remembered to use the Tecmo Super Bowl version of his name) being traded to the Jets last week, so he could not include either of these two events in MMQB. This week Peter fills us in with all of his not-so-deep thoughts on each issue. Peter claims to be sensitive to the issue of discussing Backup QB Jets. He isn't really sensitive to it. He clearly doesn't give a shit if his readers don't give a shit about Backup QB Jets anymore and feels free to discuss Backup QB Jets at length. I'm pretty sure readers of MMQB are tired of hearing about Backup QB Jets.

We all know discussing Backup QB Jets gives Peter pageviews and that's all that is good enough reason to saturate his MMQB with coverage of a backup running back turned quarterback. Peter will shock you with in-depth knowledge of the NFL like his revelation that Sean Payton thinks the bounty penalties are too harsh (who saw this revelation coming? No one), as well as the trade for Backup QB Jets and the circus that comes with him. Peter believes this trade makes sense for the Jets, who apparently have given up fielding an NFL team in favor of creating a soap opera revolving around an NFL team. It's like they saw themselves on "Hard Knocks" two years ago and thought it would be more interesting to have drama always surrounding the team.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton arrives at the NFL owners meetings this morning, with only seven days left in his 2012 season. Starting next Monday, Payton will begin his year-long suspension for looking the other way

If by "looking the other way" Peter means one of the employees Payton was responsible for managing was engaged in illegal or unethical practices, then I guess he did look the other way. Usually, a manager is responsible in some way for the activities of the employees he manages. Perhaps if Payton understood he isn't an offensive coordinator anymore then he would understand the length and severity of his suspension a little bit better. The commissioner handed down strict penalties and Payton is the head coach of the team that is being penalized. Lord knows Payton loves the accolades that come with being an NFL head coach, but this is the downside of the job. When one of his employees screws up, a head coach sometimes has to take some heat too.

I'm told Payton is thinking of speaking to owners and coaches here, and he's undecided about it.

Please keep us updated on what Payton does, because we don't really give a shit.

But if he does, it won't be to blast the ruling, which he feels is patently excessive.

So you mean a person received a punishment and believes it is excessive? Is this the first time in United States history a person has received a punishment he or she feels is unfair? Most likely.

I think the ruling was harsh, but since there isn't really any point of reference or precedent for an incident like this there isn't really any way to know if it is patently excessive. I think Goodell has sent a strong message that probably needed to be sent and if Sean Payton or Drew Brees don't understand this then that tells me something about their character. Come on, I've done things wrong in my life (not to this extent) and once you have done something wrong, to a certain extent you submit yourself to the punishment you may receive. He can fight it, but I'd love to hear what Payton's suggested punishment for himself would be.

I've also heard conflicting stories about whether he'll appeal the year sanction from Goodell and try to get it reduced. That may come in the form of GM Mickey Loomis trying to convince the league it is he -- Loomis -- who should be punished the most severely because he is ultimately responsible for what happens under his watch.

I can somewhat see this reasoning, but I don't get how this would reduce Payton's punishment. If anything, this should increase Loomis' punishment, but have no effect on Payton's punishment. Loomis trying to fall on the sword for the benefit of the football team doesn't take away that Payton either (a) knew about the bounties and did nothing or (b) lacked control of his team to where he wasn't in position to prevent the bounties. Either one does not reflect well on Payton and probably makes him culpable in some way.

Payton has until next Monday, the same as every person sanctioned in the bounty case, to decide whether to appeal the penalty.

Sean Payton probably believes only giving him two weeks to appeal is patently unfair.

People I talk to in the league are split on the discipline. Most like it.

If people are split on the discipline, then how can most people like the discipline? This makes not of sense.

They like Goodell drawing a line in the sand and point to decisive, iron-fisted action like that as the reason why the NFL will stay on top of the sports world. But some feel Goodell's year sanction of Payton was over the top.

It is a very harsh punishment. Goodell is setting a precedent for a team having 2-3 years of bounties on opposing players so next time if a team has a bounty for only one year Goodell can give the next team who takes out bounties a lesser sentence without the sentence being a slap on the wrist. It's called setting a precedent and Goodell has set one. 2-3 years of bounties on players costs a coach a full year in a suspension. If Goodell had gone softer on Payton, giving him eight games, what would a coach have to do to deserve a one year ban? 4-5 years of bounties on opposing players? That's half a decade of trying to intentionally injure opposing players, which seems like it should be punished by more than a year suspension. Goodell made a point with his harsh punishments.

I share that feeling, I thought eight games would have been fair

Based on what, Peter? The fact you personally like Sean Payton and have shown an inability to report on NFL news without bias or a lean towards people you personally like? Why is eight games fair and why the hell does the NFL have to be fair to Sean Payton? This isn't about fairness, this is about setting a precedent and trying to stop this from occurring again.

Peter King thinks Sean Payton is a good quote, offensive playing calling genius and he personally likes Payton. So he lets this come into his thinking about the "fairness" of the penalty. That's what I believe at least.

He wanted to lay down the law so that, unequivocally, no coach or player would ever be tempted to put a bounty out on a foe again, ever. My feeling is it could have happened with an eight-game ban for the head coach.

This deterrence from having bounties will definitely happen with a year-long ban then. It's all karma coming back on Sean Payton. That's my opinion. I think he is an ego-driven (more so than most NFL head coaches) jerk who the media seems to adore because he coaches in New Orleans and this allows them to ignore all of his faults.

"I would respond to that this way,'' Pash said. "The commissioner has been clear from day one that he wants to change the culture of the game. He wants to eliminate the gratuitous hits, and eliminate any excessive violence that has no place in the game.

The game of football is inherently violent. Good luck getting rid of the excessive violence and hard hits. See, I have enough scorn for everyone in this situation. The NFL needs to punish the Saints because what they did as a team was against the rules laid out and not base it mostly on a fictional basis of trying to clean the game up. The game of football is violent and it was wrong for the Saints to try to intentionally injure another player. Just leave it at that. If you want to change the violence of the game, you have to change the entire game of football.

Pash refused to compare this scandal to the Spygate affair in 2007. I believe that by any measure this bounty scandal is more serious and worse for football than Spygate, which involved surreptitious taping of opponents' defensive signals, and using those tapings to gain an unfair edge in figuring out what plays the opponents would call.

I've heard a few Saints fans use Spygate as an example for the Saints' punishment being unduly harsh. There isn't a comparison. It's the difference in cheating at a game and intentionally trying to injure another person. At the end of the day, the Patriots spying on competitors was wrong and should have been punished. Football is a game though. The Patriots spying on competitors didn't involve hurting the physical well-being of the opposing team, which is usually deemed more important in the overall scheme of things. An example...

What would you consider to deserve more severe punishment during a pick-up game of basketball? If the opposing team kept cheating by insisting their team had scored more points or if the opposing team tried to intentionally injure your teammates? Most people will be annoyed and get in a minor confrontation over the wrong score being calculated, while intentionally trying to injure another player in a pick-up game would deserve an ass-kicking. There's a difference in what happens in the realm of the game and what happens to individual people's physical well-being during a game.

The bounty business involves violations of the salary cap and tax code by paying players a cash bonus off the book, and, more seriously according to the NFL's case against the Saints, involves players being incentivized to knock foes out of the game. That can't be tolerated in any form. I think we'd all agree with that.

But here is the game-suspension scoreboard in the two cases this morning: Saints Bounty Scandal 46, Spygate 0.

Gregg Williams 16 (maybe more), Sean Payton 16, Mickey Loomis eight, Joe Vitt six.

Bill Belichick 0.

This is an interesting point. Clearly, the league considers what the Patriots did to be a much lesser offense than what the Saints did. Let's please remember these aren't comparable situations. Should the league have not gone as hard on the Saints because they went "easy" on the Patriots? Not necessarily.

There are more people involved in this case -- coaches, staff, players -- than in Spygate. So the penalty is going to seem more severe. But two high draft choices, and 46 games, with more to come, is one heck of a message to send.

Yes, it is. Let's remember this happened over 2-3 seasons. I think that is important to know. The Saints had bounties on opposing players even in 2011, so the penalty is being reflected as a consistent refusal to obey the NFL's rules on bounties, including bounties during the past NFL year, and is not based on a one-time offense.

Now Peter goes to 10 free agency moves he liked.

1. CB Tracy Porter from New Orleans to Denver. The other day in Denver, I spoke to John Fox about the supporting cast for Peyton Manning, and one of the things I gently reminded him was his defense allowed 40 points or more in five of 18 games last season. "I know,'' he said. "We plan to do something about that.''

"This calls for more soft coverage by the corners, not allowing Denver's best cornerback to cover the opposing team's best receiver and a refusal to put pressure on the opposing quarterback by blitzing!"

2. QB Alex Smith staying in San Francisco. This was not a phony, visit-Miami-for-leverage ploy by Smith. If the Dolphins had shown him some more first-year money, he very well could have left San Francisco. Good idea that the Niners stepped up, rather than make the quarterback position on a solid Super Bowl contender a Josh Johnson/Colin Kaepernick camp duel.

How a year has changed that Alex Smith is viewed as a solid, safe quarterback. We'll see how this opinion holds as the 2012 season progresses. Smith has only been solid and safe for one year. Naturally, because sportswriters have no long-term memory they don't recall last year was the 49ers first season in the playoffs in nearly a decade and last year was the first year Alex Smith was a solid quarterback. So in many sportswriter's minds I feel like the 49ers are on the brink of a Super Bowl and Alex Smith is bound for the Pro Bowl.


Four points on Tim Tebow's arrival in New York:

Not 30 points? How about 100 points?

I read somewhere that Backup QB Jetsmania has now died down, even if he is with the Jets. That's bullshit. Because Backup QB Jets is now in New York, the center of the universe, I think Backup QB Jetsmania will start up all over again.

1. In a strict football sense, Tebow as a Jet makes sense. He allows a risk-taking coach, Rex Ryan, and his Wildcat-loving offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano, to experiment with different ways to use Tebow. Wildcat quarterback. Spreading the field on the two-point conversion. Maybe even the personal protector on the punt team where imaginative special teams coach Mike Westhoff can throw some changeups at the defense.

I'd love to see Backup QB Jets play special teams.

I just don't know if the accompanying headaches will make it a plus overall for the Jets, never mind what it does to the psyche of the starter. I don't care what Mark Sanchez says publicly. This ticks him off.

Maybe rightfully so. This was a sort-of wakeup call for Sanchez that he needs to step his game up or move on out. Sanchez is a quarterback the Jets fans don't seem convinced about as it is, but throw in Backup QB Jets to the mix with his Wildcat and running abilities, and I see no way this season isn't going to be a disaster for the Jets in some ways. Backup QB Jets will come in the game and be successful in the small amount of plays he participates in, then Sanchez throws a few interceptions and the next thing you know there is a quarterback controversy.

4. I will be shocked if, one day before the end of his career, Tebow is not a member of the Jaguars -- assuming the Jags remain in Jacksonville long-term. When? I don't know. But unless he establishes a solid starting beachhead in New Jersey or elsewhere soon, he'll be a Jag one of these days. Just makes too much sense for a franchise that needs the juice of Tebow.

Feels bad to be Backup QB Jets. Your over-excited fans make NFL teams not want to trade for you to avoid the circus around your presence on the team, teams trade for you as if you are some sort of a mascot designed to increase attendance, and you are hated by a good portion of the population through (mostly) no fault of your own.

The former Patriots head coach and Giants and Steelers offensive coordinator died in Florida Wednesday at 80. I'll always remember him for the great coaching job he did in Super Bowl XXV as the Giants' offensive strategist, one of the great game-planning and play-calling days I've seen in the years I've covered the NFL.

The other day, after Erhardt died, I asked Parcells about "Shorten the game.'' How big of a reason was it in the outcome of the game?

"It wasn't a reason,'' Parcells said the other day. "It was the reason. Ron had a terrific plan that day.

I'm sure the Giants defensive coordinator during this Super Bowl, Bill Belichick, is happy to hear his defensive gameplan isn't really being credited by Bill Parcells as the reason the Giants won that Super Bowl. Actually, Belichick probably doesn't really care at this point. He has more Super Bowl appearances and victories than Parcells at this point.

"He liked my performance. I hope I like his performance.''

-- P.J. Benjamin, who plays Oz in the Broadway musical Wicked, to the New York Daily News Saturday night, after Tebow finished his first official day as a member of the Jets by attending his first Broadway show. Tebow went backstage after the show, according to the newspaper, and lauded all of the performers.

More Backup QB Jets! We can't get enough of it, Peter! What did he do AFTER the Broadway show? Did he accidentally hire a prostitute thinking she wanted to go eat ice cream with him? Did he get lost in the city and end up hanging out with a crazy bird lady in the attic of a symphony house only to finally be found by his parents after he held off two thieves trying to physically harm him as retribution for putting them in jail a few years earlier? MARV!!!!!!

Speaking of "shows," how many offers for reality television shows do you think Backup QB Jets has received? I'd guess at around 20 serious offers.

"There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last....''

-- @mattforte22, the Bears running back, after Chicago signed free-agent running back Michael Bush to a four-year, $14 million contract, with $7 million guaranteed. The Bears and Forte, the no-doubt No. 1 back on the team, are still trying to get a long-term deal done.

I do feel bad for Forte because he has been a good soldier through the contract (lack of) negotiations. Still, there is a difference in the Bears offering a running back $7 million guaranteed to sign with them and using $30 million guaranteed (or whatever Forte wants) to sign Forte. I think it was clear before the signing of Michael Bush that Matt Forte isn't getting the big payday he wants from the Bears. I'm not sure if this contract means Bush is any closer or further away from getting the big contract he wants and deserves.

I bet a lot of other NFL players are taking notes on this situation though and seeing DeSean Jackson's whining has paid off with a new contract from the Eagles shows them how a new contract is really negotiated. This is as opposed to Ray Rice and Matt Forte having acted like good team players about not having new contracts, yet they haven't gotten paid yet by their respective teams. NFL players see this and will adjust their attitude accordingly.

I think if I'm a Bengals fan, and I'm trying to analyze what they're doing in free agency, the conclusion I would come to is this: They are plumbing the depths of the lower-middle-class and seeing what, if anything, sticks. Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson are two of the most disappointing highly drafted pass-rushers in recent years. Check out their stat line on In the last two seasons, Anderson and Harvey have combined for eight sacks and 34 pressures in 1,307 combined defensive plays.

Imagine getting drafted in the first round, and barely producing, and there are the Bengals, with a nice soft landing spot. The only saving grace is the money, which is minor.

It's a calculated risk the Bengals are taking. If a different team had done this then Peter would believe they are smart for trying to get highly talented, yet disappointing set of defensive ends on the cheap. The Bengals hope these two players eventually find how to use their talent. I can't find the money for these two players, but it isn't like they are huge risks. Peter thought Backup QB Jets to the Jets makes sense and they gave up draft picks to get a quarterback who at best will only play a few snaps a game (in a perfect world) and at worst will cause a quarterback controversy on a team that needs less controversy. But these signings on the cheap of potential high reward players was a bad move for the Bengals. I'm not sure I get it. If these two guys fail, how does it really negatively affect the Bengals? It isn't like they were counting on them to produce at a high level this year.

I don't even think these signings deserve a mention really, but I can't understand why Peter seems down on these two players. They aren't good players, but they also aren't being paid like good players.

4. I think, regarding Jeremy Shockey being accused by Warren Sapp of being the snitch in the Saints bounty scandal: I didn't like it.

It's Warren Sapp. What did you expect from him?

I like how IF the informant was Jeremy Shockey it throws the excuse given by Drew Brees that he had no knowledge of a bounty program in doubt. Shockey played offense for the Saints and if he knew about the bounty program, wouldn't logic dictate that Brees knew about the bounty program? He is the starting quarterback for the Saints. I find it hard to believe Shockey would know about the program, but Brees didn't.

8. I think I'd love to see Sean Payton work the studio for FOX, or work games, as Judy Battista reported was possible Sunday in the New York Times.

Of course you would love to see this, Peter. Again, you have difficulty differentiating between the people and teams you cover and your personal feelings towards these people. You like Sean Payton and would like to see him get a gig involved with the NFL while he isn't able to coach in the NFL.

There's no head coach who can explain offensive football better than Payton right now, and he's at the fore of so many offensive innovations in the game.

I would bet the NFL isn't exactly going to love the idea Payton would be paid to work games or in the studio for FOX. I could be wrong, but this seems like something the NFL would politely tell FOX they don't want to see. Again, I could be wrong. It's not like he is a criminal, so the NFL may have no issue with him calling games on FOX.

My opinion: What Payton could add in football intelligence would outweigh what he'd subtract in image.

What a shocking opinion from Peter. He wants his friend and MMQB guest author, Sean Payton, to get an NFL-related job.

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

Peter thinks these are his thoughts. He isn't completely sure if these are his thoughts or ideas put into his head by someone else.

a. North Carolina 73, Ohio U. 65, overtime. Imagine your best player (D.J. Cooper) shoots 3 of 20, you get outrebounded by 30, you lose, and the best player on the other team, Tyler Zeller, says after the game, "Ohio played the better game.''

Peter doesn't have to imagine this because it actually happened. Now imagine your team's head coach, John Groce, takes the job with Illinois and your school has to find another head coach who hopefully is as good as Groce is.

I'll remember the missed foul that should have been called on a Cooper drive to the basket, when he got hatcheted in the face in front of the trail ref.

Absolutely untrue. The North Carolina Tar Heels have never committed a foul while on or off the basketball court.

The ref called nothing, Cooper fell to the floor and North Carolina got a 5-on-4 and a vital last-minute three-point basket.

This must have been a figment of Peter's imagination. Also, whining about the officiating would influence me more if this play had made the ultimate difference in the game, which it did not. Do you know what DID make a difference in the game?

I'll also remember Walter Offutt's missed free throw that likely would have been the winning point with 27 seconds left;

Right. If Ohio had hit this free throw, they could have won the game. That was the difference in the game. A free throw made would have won the game in regulation for Ohio.

b. I guess this means Groce is a prime candidate for some big job now. He certainly deserves one, but I hope he stays in Athens.


The Denver Post ran an eight-paragraph story on Baylor's win over Florida in the NCAA's women's tournament last week, and six of the paragraphs concerned star Brittany Griner's dunk in the game, which was neither the first of her career or the first in a big NCAA game. I can understand a mention. But six graphs?

What the media, and especially ESPN, doesn't understand is that by highlighting one dunk by a woman's player it only serves to highlight the differences in the men's and women's game that causes male viewers to not tune into women's basketball.

"Look, one player in women's basketball is able to dunk! Isn't that exciting and cause you to want to watch the sport?"

No, it doesn't. It only serves to show me why I don't watch women's basketball because it highlights the physical differences in the women's game that makes it less attractive to me.

g. Are you serious, Pirates? Erik Bedard the opening day starter? Whoa.

The only reason Peter knows the name Erik Bedard is because he played for the Red Sox last year. This certainly puts Peter's whining about the Red Sox pitching staff in perspective doesn't it? Well, not for him. Peter will continue whining, but it puts the Red Sox starting rotation in perspective for the rest of us.

i. My rotisserie team, after last Thursday's draft for our 12-team league in New Jersey, which none of you care about:

So because we don't care, Peter immediately lists his roster for us to see and judge.

Buster Posey catching, Adrian Gonzalez at first, Dustin Pedroia at second, Elvis Andrus at short, Chase Headley at third, Michael Bourne, Jayson Werth, Carlos Beltran, Corey Hart in the outfield, David Ortiz as DH/extra hitter, a rotation of James Shields, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Beachy, Shawn Marcum and Max Scherzer, and Jordan Walden, Grant Balfour and Brandon League as the main closers.

It is Michael Bourn (no "e") by the way. I'm sure Peter will get this right after Bourn signs with the Red Sox during the 2012 offseason.

n. RIP, Bert Randolph Sugar, one of the great raconteurs in sports history, and certainly the pre-eminent boxing historian. He died Sunday at 75 of cancer. Too many good people dying.

Yes, we need more bad people dying. Where's the justice in this world?

m. Don "Donnie Brasco'' Banks tells me I missed a great show Friday night in Tampa, when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finished a three-hour concert with Tenth Avenue Freezeout. I am very jealous, Brasco.

Seriously, does Peter understand how a nickname works? Call him Donnie Brasco or call him Donnie Banks, but it doesn't make sense to call him Don "Donnie Brasco" Banks. It just doesn't make sense because you are using two last names as a nickname.

It would be like calling Dr. Z, Paul "Paul Hogan" Zimmerman. It doesn't make sense to nickname Don Banks as Don "Donnie Brasco" Banks.