Tuesday, March 31, 2015

8 comments MMQB Review: Peter Talks about the NFL Teams that "Control" the Draft Again Edition

Peter King interviewed Roger Goodell in last week's MMQB. Goodell, who is ALWAYS available to be interviewed tried as hard as he could to say nothing of substance. Peter also detailed the rule changes that will be introduced as a response to the Ravens-Patriots playoff game where the Patriots confused Baltimore about who was and was not an eligible receiver. Peter also talked briefly about an underrated U2 song, which is an oxymoron like calling a Bruce Springsteen album underrated. This week Peter talks about how the extra point could change (and the NFL isn't even changing it based on something the Patriots did that pissed off an opposing team, which is a shock to me), provides interesting (to him) quotes from head coaches at the league meetings, and doesn't seem to understand athletes don't write what appears on The Players' Tribune. That changed my opinion of the site and perhaps Peter should stop referring to essays on this site "written" by a certain player, as he does several times in this MMQB.

We’re exactly one month out from round one of the NFL draft. There’s a lot to cover this week, including:

Suddenly, the Saints—who are not finished making over their team—own the 2015 draft

The Browns have plenty of draft ammo—that is, unless the NFL takes some of it to smite GM Ray Farmer

Just what parity needs: the Patriots with three prime selections in a six-pick span

Peter does this shit every year. Every year he writes about what team "owns" the draft or "controls" the draft because of all the picks they have. A few years ago it was the 49ers, it was the Patriots before that, and then the Browns controlled the draft one year. I understand it's fun to talk about, but just because a team has a bunch of selections doesn't mean that team "controls" the draft or is going to make smart picks/moves with those picks. The Saints OWN the draft, you know? Sure, they have no cap room, but they have a bunch of picks, which means they don't even have to worry about those being smart picks. The Patriots have "prime" selections in the draft, like they had in the past when they missed on players they drafted in prime spots, while hitting on 7th rounders like Julian Edelman or a 3rd round pick like Logan Ryan. It annoys me because these teams still have to smart in making decisions with these picks. But yet, every year Peter talks about which team "owns" the draft and then forgets about it a year later. At some point I want Peter to realize having a bunch of picks doesn't mean a team "owns" or "controls" the draft.

But first, the biggest change to NFL scoring in the 95-year history of the league is coming. If you don’t like it, get out of the way.

Peter King obviously likes the change to the PAT. He's been advocating for the PAT to be eliminated or changed for a while now.

Last year, in a general session at an NFL meeting, the league’s 32 teams agreed—almost unanimously—that the point after touchdown was passé. Had to go. Too automatic. And so eight days ago, when the competition committee gathered in Phoenix to go over potential rule changes for the 2015 season, the committee was stuck on the PAT fix.

These are NFL problems. How do they fix the PAT, which isn't really broken, but just isn't as exciting as the NFL wants it to be?

There was nothing the group thought it could sell that would get the required 24 votes from the teams. (A rule change needs a three-quarter vote to pass.)

Thirty of 32 teams said they wanted the PAT to change, as teams, one by one, had a chance to advance their own solutions. But the opinions on what the new rule should be “were all over the map,” one competition committee member told me in Phoenix. “That’s the problem now. No one can agree, and now we have to come up with a compromise that’ll get 24 votes in May.”

All 32 NFL teams can agree that they do like money, then they would decide it would be fun to have 10 preseason games and would increase the regular season to 20 games and ask the union if it was fine if the NFL players all played under one year contracts.

This is the most likely compromise to be advanced, and the most likely way the league will amend how teams can score after a touchdown:

Teams will have a choice whether to go for one or two points after a touchdown, from different distances.

If the offensive team chooses to kick for one point, the scrimmage line will move from the 2-yard-line to the 15-yard line, making it a 32- or 33-yard attempt.

If the offensive team chooses to go for two points, the scrimmage line will be either the 1-and-a half- or 2-yard line. There was much debate about making it the 1, the 1-and-a-half or the 2. The feeling about putting it on the 1 was that it could turn into too much of a scrum/push-the-pile play, or a fluky puncture-the-goal-line-with-the-ball-and-bring-it-back play by the quarterback. Putting it at the 1-and-a-half or leaving it at the 2 would increase the chances of a real football play with some drama.

What I wrote in MMQB last week when discussing this same issue:

c. Moving the extra point back to the 15-yard line. (At least.)
 
d. Narrowing the goal posts.
 
e. Making the line of scrimmage for the extra point or two-point conversion the one-yard line.

Obviously "c" and "e" can't both happen,

Well, apparently both "c" and "e" can happen. I can't believe I underestimated the NFL like this. Here is what else I said on this topic:

Also, moving the extra point back to the 15-yard line essentially takes the two-point conversion out of play, unless the NFL wants a rule which says if a team is going for two then they get the ball on the 2-yard line and if a team is trying an extra point then they have to try it from the 15-yard line. That seems dumb to me.

My feelings on the dumbness of this rule still stands. Perhaps it makes sense and I'm just not used to it. The 32 or 33 yard field goal is still fairly automatic, as NFL kickers still make this fairly regularly. Since NFL kickers do miss these then the intended effect the NFL wants will occur. The PAT isn't automatic, but it is kind of dumb to me that a 33 yard field is worth 3 points and a 33 yard extra point is worth 1 point.

Maybe I'll get used to it. I think it's funny that I said both "c" and "e" could not happen at the same time and that seems to be the option the NFL owners have chosen.

The defensive team would be able to score two points by either blocking the PAT and returning it downfield to the end zone, or by intercepting the two-point attempt and running it back, or recovering a fumble on the two-point play and returning it all the way.

Maybe these plays should be worth 1.557 points to the defense, just to drive Gregg Easterbrook crazy with the choice to use over-hyperspecificity. 

Again, that’s not certain. Anytime you ask 24 teams to agree on anything, there’s a chance it won’t happen.

Which means zero new rules would ever be passed. Congress thinks this is a great idea.

There always will be those who don’t want the scoring system to change, because of tradition, or the attitude that football’s not broken, so why fix it? But the PAT is broken. The current system of scoring was invented by the lords of college football in 1912—six points for a touchdown, one for an extra point, two for a safety, three for a field goal—with the two-point conversion added by the NFL in 1994. Now the PAT cries out to be fixed. It’s simply not a competitive play anymore.

This is as opposed to the kickoff, which is now a more competitive play as kick returners now more and more watch the ball sail over their head and trot off the field as another commercial break begins.

Fifteen teams have not missed a PAT this decade. Tennessee hasn’t missed one since 2005, Kansas City and San Francisco since 2006. The Patriots and Broncos, combined, are 436 for 436 since 2011. Doing nothing would be the mistake.

The extra point should probably be changed. Maybe this will fix the problem the NFL has with the extra point being a competitive play and encourage teams to go for a two-point conversion more often.

The Saints will be a headline act. I don’t believe it involves Drew Brees, because I think the Saints are committed to at least one more season of Brees at quarterback. But I hear New Orleans wants to be even more active before the draft, and that could mean dealing stalwart guard Jahri Evans for a third- or fourth-round pick. Or it could mean signing or dealing defensive end Cam Jordan. As of today, the Saints are the biggest power players in the draft. They’re the only team with five picks in the first three rounds. They have 13, 31, 44, 75 and 78. So actually they have five picks in the first two-and-a-half rounds. That gives aggressive GM Mickey Loomis the ammo to start to remake his team.

THE SAINTS ARE GOING TO "OWN" THE DRAFT THIS YEAR!

You want to pick in the top nine. Here’s what a few football people at the league meetings are thinking about the breakdown of this draft: Nine prime picks, then eight or 10 really good prospects, then maybe 30 or so of the same player.

And when has group-think about how many good players are in the draft and where the best place to draft the difference makers for a team ever been wrong? It's why Tavon Austin is the difference maker he is and how Dion Jordan is racking up sacks in Miami.

The top nine: quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, defensive tackle Leonard Williams, wideouts Kevin White and Amari Cooper, pass-rushers Dante Fowler and Vic Beasley, offensive tackle Brandon Scherff and cornerback Trae Waynes. After that, beauty starts to be in the eye of the beholder. I had one GM tell me: “The 17th pick on our board might be the 53rd pick on another team’s board—and that could be a team we really respect.”

So what's the point, Peter? Every single year NFL teams value players differently from other NFL teams. Some players aren't even on a team's draft board, while another team values that player as a first round pick. I don't think it's news that different teams have varying values for different players. It's how Mike Mitchell goes in the 2nd round of the draft.

Todd Gurley is the draft’s fascinating player. Every year, draft prospects injured the previous college football season go back to Indianapolis, site of the combine, to have their surgeries re-checked before the draft. This year, the re-checks will be April 17 and 18 in Indy, two weeks before the draft. Gurley tore his ACL on Nov. 15 and had knee reconstruction by Dr. James Andrews on Nov. 25. So he’ll be drafted five months after surgery. The book on Gurley is he’ll be good in 2015 and tremendous in 2016. It’ll be interesting, particularly with the devaluation of running backs in recent drafts, to see who picks Gurley, and how high. I think he’ll be gone by the 25th pick.

One (Me) would think if running backs are being devalued then some enterprising team might not mind selecting a player who can highly contribute in another year. After all, teams select wide receivers and other position players while expecting to put a year or two into that player's development and aren't bothered by doing this. So accordingly, what's the issue with waiting a year for a guy who shown potential to be a franchise running back? If a team can draft a wide receiver and hope he contributes in a year or two, what's wrong with doing that with a running back...even if the position is being devalued?

New England could be a big power player late on day two. The Patriots have their own picks in rounds one and two, 32nd and 64th overall. Then they have their own at the end of the third round, a third-round compensatory pick, and a pick at the top of the fourth round from the Logan Mankins trade last August. They have the 96th, 97th and 101st overall picks. Don’t be surprised to see Bill Belichick/Nick Caserio flip one of those for, say, a prime 2016 pick.

Okay, Peter. Thanks for the breaking news. The Patriots may trade some picks for a pick in the 2016 draft. Would that mean the Patriots will "own" the 2016 draft? If so, consider me to be really impressed.

The Browns and Falcons could lose mid-round picks this week. Cleveland GM Ray Farmer has admitted texting coaches during games, a violation of league rules, and the Falcons have admitted piping in extra crowd noise at the Georgia Dome. Doubt either rises to the level or a first- or second-round pick for a penalty, but I believe both teams will be docked a pick or picks for the violations. The league still has a while to go on the Jets-Patriots tampering case.

With how long it takes the NFL to investigate some things, I was surprised the punishment came down prior to the 2017 NFL Draft.

Ten Questions. Ten [Occasionally Insightful] Answers by Coaches.
Some of the most interesting stuff I heard from coaches at the league meetings in Phoenix:

SEATTLE’S PETE CARROLL

Q: Maybe a torturous one—If you have Jimmy Graham on second-and-goal at the end of the Super Bowl, is your call different?

What kind of question is this? The Seahawks have one of the best running backs in the NFL and that little fact didn't change the call, why would hypothetically having Jimmy Graham get Pete Carroll admit this would change the call?

Carroll: That’s not a torturous question. We didn’t have him! So it’s no big deal. Now, if we were in the situation again, he presents an extraordinary dimension to your offense, and we’ll see how it will unfold for us. We’re looking forward to his factor down there. It’s obvious. Forty-something touchdowns the last three years or whatever it is. [It’s 35.] There’s only a couple of guys who have scored more touchdowns than he has, and one of them is Marshawn Lynch.

So................yes, having Jimmy Graham would have changed the call?

Q: You’ve explained why you called what you called rationally several times. Is your fan base okay with it now?

Yes, the entire Seahawks fan base is okay with it now. Every single Seahawks fan has been polled and they are all perfectly fine with the play call.

Carroll: I might have mentioned it—I don’t know if it was captured or not—we knew we were going to throw the ball down there. If it was gonna take all four plays to score, we knew we were gonna throw the ball down there. That was because of the clock situation. We had prepared for that for years. So it was not a difficult situation. The fact that all the focus goes to it—yeah, that’s what it is. I gotta live with that and with our fans and all that. What I’m feeling from our fans? They’re ready to get going.

Every single one of them. Even Macklemore.

CINCINNATI’S MARVIN LEWIS

Q: Are you worried about Andy Dalton’s play in the playoffs?

It's not entirely certain who is asking these questions, as these are things that Peter King "heard" at the league meetings, but this sounds like a question that Peter would ask. The only way this could be a more obvious Peter King question is if there were a reference to Brett Favre in the question or if he managed to bash Josh Freeman in the question by comparing Dalton's play in the playoffs to Freeman's play with the Vikings.

Lewis: What worries me is our poor performance on defense in the playoffs.

The Bengals have given up 31, 19, 27, and 26 points in the playoffs with Andy Dalton as their quarterback. Obviously the defense hasn't been great, but this could have something to do with the six interceptions Dalton has thrown in these playoff games and the overall poor performance of the offense.

We do know, in order for us to be successful, which we can’t even talk about the playoffs because we haven’t gotten there, but the first thing we do, we have to take care of the ball and play better on defense. … We feel Andy’s our quarterback, and we signed him long-term, and we feel good about him … and we will continue to get better with the pieces around Andy. Andy has done a lot of things so far as a pro that not a lot of people have done. We need to keep playing better around Andy, and that will be helpful to Andy.

Can you say "Andy" a few more times? I'm not entirely sure who you are talking about.

CHICAGO’S JOHN FOX

Q: What do you do to fix Jay Cutler?

More draw plays, take the ball out of his hands with a chance to win the game because there is a 15% chance he will commit a turnover, and of course, more punting on fourth-and-short.

Fox: I think he got to the point that he lacked confidence a year ago. To build that back up is going to take time, daily. It takes trust like any relationship. I think he and [offensive coordinator] Adam Gase having a relationship from back in Denver [is helpful] so I think it starts there. Footballwise, there are things you can do in coaching to minimize some of the exposure.

See, I wasn't kidding. Run the ball, run the ball, draw plays on third down and don't take any chances because SOMETHING NEGATIVE MAY OCCUR and that would be terrible. 

TENNESSEE’S KEN WHISENHUNT

Q: What do you think of Marcus Mariota’s football IQ and his ability to transition to the NFL game?

Whisenhunt: Very high. I think he has very good spatial memory. You say, what’s spatial memory?

Hell fucking no, Peter King isn't asking what spatial memory is! Peter is the one who asks the questions around here! Peter is the one who will use big words and then condescend to his audience by telling them to look the word up. Of course Peter knows what spatial memory is and the next time you ask him a question it will be "Can I at least have the shards of my teeth back?" after Peter curb stomps you for condescending to him. Peter condescends, he is NOT the condescendee.

Like, Oh yeah, that was in this game at this time. Those are the kind of things, to me, that are important for that position. You have to have a memory that can see everything and remember it, because when it happens in a game, then you have to come over and communicate that on the sideline, then you have to have a plan of how you’re gonna adjust to it. That’s what the really successful ones do. So he exhibits that type of quality. We still have a little bit more classroom time with him, but he’s been impressive. He does a lot of things that, no matter what offense you run, transition well to the NFL game.

What's it matter that Whisenhunt thinks highly of Marcus Mariota? Chip Kelly is obviously trading up and selecting Mariota according to the sports media, so Whisenhunt shouldn't even waste his time trying to evaluate Mariota's skill set.

GREEN BAY’S MIKE McCARTHY 
Q: Anything you’d do differently at the end of the NFC championship game?
 
McCarthy: [Pause] That’s part of your scheme evaluation.

Not sure the "pause" notation is necessary since McCarthy had not started speaking yet. Everyone pauses before they start speaking so they can hear the entire question. Or at least, most people pause before speaking.

Personally I’ve gone back and watched the TV copies a few weeks back, just one more time. So as a coaching staff we’ve kind of moved past that. We’re actually starting to put in our installation for 2015.

I take that as a no.

Your spatial memory has not done you wrong, Peter.

“It’s NFL free agency … That’s not a big story.”
—New England coach Bill Belichick, on losing cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Jets in free agency.
Riiiight.

Let Peter tell you about the time he interviewed Bill Belichick and saw "The Art of War" on Belichick's bookshelf...

“I don’t trust the lady on GPS. They don’t send you the right way. I hit the button, I go like this, ‘Park Ridge, New Jersey.’ She comes back on, she’s giving me directions. Now I figure out where I am. I say, ‘Thank you very much, I know exactly where I am now.’ She comes back and says, ‘You don’t have to thank me.’ I swear to God, that’s what she said. Then I couldn’t get her to shut up.”
—Giants coach Tom Coughlin, doing battle with Siri recently as he tried to find the site of one of his grandson’s roller-hockey games in New Jersey.

If I were a Giants fan then these comments would concern me more than any personnel moves the Giants make in the offseason or whatever career trajectory Eli Manning's career seems to be taking. Tom Coughlin sounds like an old man when it comes to using technology and talking about "the lady on GPS." It's the little things like this that worry me the most, hearing a quote like this and thinking there's a 5% chance Tom Coughlin may be going senile in some way.

“In theory, freedom sounds great. We all want more freedom. But when I retired and I had all the freedom in the world, the only thing I craved was that structure. It was all I knew. Adjusting to the lack of structure and schedule is one of the biggest challenges of retirement because the real world moves much slower than the football world. Football is week-to-week, and everyone in the real world is working on the fiscal year. You have to slow yourself down because it’s not a sprint. You can’t attack every day like you do in football. You have to pace yourself and find balance. That’s a new concept for me.”
—Former Chargers center Nick Hardwick, who retired at 33 in February after an 11-year career, all in San Diego, in an essay for The Players’ Tribune.

This is the first of a few times that Peter will mention The Players' Tribune in this MMQB. It's disappointing, though I shouldn't be surprised, that many of the players don't actually write those essays found on the site for The Players' Tribune. The "essay" in many cases is really just a summation of an interview the player did with an editor of The Players' Tribune. Now that I know this, I won't say a player "wrote" something on The Players' Tribune, because I'll assume an editor actually wrote it and the essay is more of an interview.

According to cap site Spotrac, here are the most and least active teams in the first three weeks of free agency (the market essentially is dried up now):

The five biggest spenders in total contract value of signed players:

  1. Jacksonville: $172.5 million
  2. New York Jets: $172.0M
  3. Miami: $139.8M
  4. Philadelphia: $117.3M
  5. Tennessee: $110.2M
What else do the majority of these teams have in common? They haven't made the playoffs over the last three seasons. Philadelphia is the exception of course. These teams have 1 playoff appearance over the last 3 seasons to their credit. I'm guessing the reason these teams haven't made the playoffs isn't because they didn't spend enough money in free agency.

The thrifty five in total contract value of signed players:
  1. Minnesota: $9.3M
  2. Carolina: $8.8M
  3. Detroit: $8.6M
  4. Pittsburgh: $6.6M
  5. Green Bay: Zero
What else do all five of these teams have in common? They have all appeared in the playoffs over the last three seasons. They have 9 playoff appearances over the last three seasons. Weird how they do that without spending a lot of money in free agency.

Obviously only broad conclusions can be drawn from a list showing five teams spending money in free agency and five teams who didn't spend money in free agency, but I still can't help but notice that free agent spending doesn't seem efficient when viewed from the perspective of teams who have spent in free agency. Drafting players and developing them is still the best way to win games.

“We obviously have a philosophy,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s kind of like Groundhog Day. I feel like I answer this every year, so I’ll try to be creative and answer it differently this year. But it’s just the way we operate. We do the evaluations. We just stick to our plan. Our number one priority always has been to sign our own free agents. We go into every offseason—if we have 10 conversations, nine-and-a-half of them are about our own guys.”

Free agency is a market where the highest bidder almost always wins. It's not the best place for a team to go looking to plug holes in the roster caused by ineffective drafting or personnel choices. Free agency can absolutely work for a team, but I don't think it's a coincidence the best teams don't spend big in free agency.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote Sunday that the Tigers owe Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Anibel Sanchez $639 million in guaranteed money between now and the end of their contracts.
Costanza voice: “Is that wrong?”

Coming from a Red Sox fan, really? The Red Sox haven't spent huge lately, but they have certainly spent their share of money on contracts. Come on, it's not like Peter's favorite team doesn't spend a lot of money on contracts for their players. They aren't the Yankees, but the Red Sox also aren't a mid-market team either.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think I can now say with certainty that The Other Team in the chase for Sam Bradford—as many have inferred—was Cleveland. The Browns would have been willing to part with a first-round pick in either 2015 or 2016 (I do not know which year) for Bradford, but there were two problems: One, the Browns didn’t have a quarterback to give in return, and Philadelphia was willing to fork over Nick Foles.

The Rams didn't want Thad Lewis? No way. 

Two, Bradford would not have been willing to sign a new contract this off-season if he were traded to Cleveland, and he is willing to consider an extension in Philadelphia. So the Philly deal was really the only one that made sense for the Rams and for Bradford, in the end.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Browns having interest in Sam Bradford. It seems like giving up on Johnny Manziel after one season, while also feeling like not a bad move for the team. I don't see why the Browns would give up a first round pick for a quarterback like Bradford, but there are so many things I don't understand in life. Like, didn't the Browns just sign Josh McCown before they tried to acquire Bradford?

2. I think the Vikings can say a hundred times they’re not trading Adrian Peterson, and I believe they believe they will not. But the Vikings also have to understand Peterson and agent Ben Dogra could be serious about making it very hot for them this summer if they don’t trade him on draft weekend. How could Peterson make it hot? By not reporting to camp. By being a huge distraction that would drive Mike Zimmer crazy. If I were Minnesota GM Rick Spielman, I’d trade Peterson for a second-round pick if I could get it. He’s 30. He is owed $45 million over the next three years.

A second round pick for Adrian Peterson when he is owed $45 million over the next three years? I'm sure there is a team that would take this dive, but best of luck with that turning out well. And I love how Peterson threatens to hold out. How is he going to be a distraction that drives Mike Zimmer crazy? Is Peterson going to show up and photobomb Zimmer's press conferences or interrupt practice by running on the field naked? Sure, Peterson could be a distraction, but the Vikings can simply hold on to him and wait until he realizes he's 30 and the only leverage he has is that he can make life difficult for the Vikings. Plus, acting like an asshole and intentionally becoming a distraction doesn't seem like the best way for Peterson to drum up a trade market for himself.

3. I think the 2014 trades with 2015 draft implications that look the worst are, in order:
a. Buffalo sending a 2015 fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for running back Bryce Brown (2014: 36 carries, 126 yards), now buried behind LeSean McCoy on the Bills’ depth chart.

Except Bryce Brown somehow managed to fetch a fourth round pick for his services when he was buried behind LeSean McCoy on the Eagles' depth chart, so it's not necessarily a status that means Brown can't/won't contribute to the Bills team.

b. Seattle getting only a sixth-round pick, from the Jets, for Percy Harvin.

Seems like it was addition by subtraction to me.

6. I think, after his ignominious performance in 2014, it hasn’t surprised me that the market for Michael Vick is somewhere between grim and nonexistent.

Ouch. Peter King going hard at Mike Vick for being grim and nonexistent. I wonder if Peter has some harsh words for Matt Schaub or Matt Flynn for being grim and nonexistent? My guess is he does not. After all, he justified the Josh McCown signing by explaining what a great teacher McCown is.

7. I think the more I think of New Orleans signing C.J. Spiller—27 years old, making $9.5 million over the next two seasons, 5.3 yards per rush combined in 2012 and ’13 before his lost season in Buffalo last fall—the more I think the Saints made a great deal. I love Spiller.

Especially since the Saints have zero salary cap issues and certainly didn't just re-sign another running back named Mark Ingram this past offseason, so spending $9.5 million over two years on a running back in a draft where there seem to be a variety of quality running backs does seem like a great deal.

9. I think Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano coaching out the last season of his contract—regardless of whatever Pagano or any team official would say—means that something, either major or minor, is amiss. You do not let a coach with 36 wins in three years coach out his contract, particularly if you are intent on him staying and coaching your team beyond this season. 

This is some major inside information. So teams that want their head coach to continue coaching for them DO NOT fail to re-sign that head coach to a new contract prior to his contract running out? Are you sure about that, Peter? It seems counter intuitive to learn that an NFL team might offer a coach they wanted to keep a new contract prior to his old one running out, but this is just another example of the great information MMQB provides.

Ian Rapoport reported a new deal won’t get done, and longtime Colts beat man Mike Chappelle reported Pagano turned down a one-year extension. Something just doesn’t feel right about it.

It could be the Colts don't want to pay Pagano the money that he wants to coach the team. Maybe the Colts think Pep Hamilton is a better coach or perhaps Pagano is a bit frustrated he was saddled with Trent Richardson for most of the season.

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

b. College Basketball Fever Dept.: New Jersey Institute of Technology travels to Flagstaff, Ariz., to play Northern Arizona for the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
c. When NJIT and Northern Arizona meet, I mean, you can throw the records out the window.

Yes, let's mock college basketball tournaments because they aren't as relevant as the NCAA Tournament. That's the mature thing to do.

d. I also agree with Dan Shaughnessy: The more David Ortiz talks and writes about not being a PED user (which Ortiz did last week for The Players’ Tribune),

Except Ortiz didn't really write what appeared in The Players' Tribune, but I guess Peter is okay with a fellow journalist not getting credit for what he has written. I'm sure the editors of The Players' Tribune are just the CollegeInsider.com Tournament to THE MMQB's NCAA Tournament, so who cares if they get credit for what they have written?

e. Best piece on The Players’ Tribune, of all of them that I’ve read, was that Nick Hardwick adjusting-to-retirement essay. What a fantastic job of explaining so much about retirement that those of us who never played anything professionally would be able to feel.

Except, again, Nick Hardwick probably didn't even really write this essay. He spoke it and someone else edited and wrote the essay.

f. I like those pieces by the new Jeter site. But (he said, sticking his chest out with some pride) The Players’ Tribune didn’t invent the first-person athlete column. Nor did The MMQB. But our site did a score of them when Jeter was still a shortstop and not a publisher—by Richard Sherman, on multiple topics; by Russell Wilson, on race in the NFL; by journeyman defensive end Austen Lane, a gut-puncher of a piece on what it’s like be cut; by Lydon Murtha, a teammate of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, on life on the inside of the bullying in Miami. And others. Just to set the record straight.

Were these essays all ghost written by someone else too? If so, I can see why Peter has no issue with an athlete getting credit for something another person has actually edited and written.

g. I really like the Yanks’ top two, Tanaka and Pineda. But is C.C. Sabathia even going to be in the rotation by June?

(Bengoodfella uses his psychic skills) Yes, he will be in the rotation in June.

h. Big, big blow if the Red Sox have lost catcher Christian Vasquez, who I keep reading is a Molina-type defender and arm. 

Peter King thinks this was a huge blow to the Red Sox based on something that Peter King has read about this player, and while he has no firsthand knowledge of this player's abilities, based on what others say it was a huge blow, so Peter is just going to adopt that as the truth based on information he doesn't really know.

I can't believe the Braves traded Andy Marte a few years ago, a guy who I kept reading was just like Aramis Ramirez. 

Not that Boston’s going to have enough pitching to win this year, but catchers can make pitchers better.

#analysis

l. Is baseball serious? Opening night next Sunday at Wrigley … and game two, another night game two nights later in Chicago? Why torture fans—and, presumably, frozen-fingered pitchers? Luckily for MLB, the long-range forecast is for temperatures in the 40s both nights.

Nope Peter, it is all a joke that is being played on you. Opening night is actually in Bermuda at an undisclosed location between two teams who were last seen playing in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

p. Tom Brady cliff-diving one day, playing pickup basketball with Michael Jordan the next. How’s your off-season going?

I have a full-time job that doesn't have an offseason and I have to work year around. So my offseason is going terribly because it doesn't exist. #alwaysriseandgrind

r. Coffeenerdness: Why’d you take away the hazelnut macchiato, Starbucks? That was my occasional guilty pleasure. No more.

Starbucks should continue to make the hazelnut macchiato in every Starbucks in the United States, just for Peter King, because who knows when Peter is liable to wander into any Starbucks in the United States. In fact, baristas at Starbucks should only be trained on how to make coffee-flavored drinks that Peter King likes. Everyone else can just get used to it.

v. Just when you think you’ve seen every possible horrendous thing done by human beings, a pilot crashes a jetliner into a mountain on purpose, and 150 die.

He was actually the co-pilot, but point taken.

The Adieu Haiku

Yo! Trade Adrian.  
Forty-five mill’s too much for
a back who’s thirty.


These haikus are the sportswriting equivalent of a turd sundae as dessert after a four-course meal of expired lettuce, rancid meat, and squirrel testicles for an appetizer.

Monday, March 30, 2015

2 comments Jay Mariotti Writes Another Introductory Column for a Media Outlet Which Will Soon Get Tired of His Bullshit

As I detailed previously, Jay Mariotti has somehow managed to get another job writing. That means there is another introductory column that must be written. At this point, there is a template for what Jay will write in his introductory column (which, of course, won't stop me from covering this introductory column on this site):

1. He's not changed. He's still a rebel and will always do things his way.

2. He then proceeds to bash previous employers.

3. He tells the truth (from his own delusional point of view). That's all he's ever done.

4. He'll say there were too many corporate interests at his previous job and that's why he did the morally correct thing and beat a woman quit the job.

5. He's independent and proud of it. Mostly he's independent because nobody fucking likes him and therefore nobody wants to be around him.

6. He pled no contest to hitting a woman but he totally didn't do it. He only pled no contest because the criminal justice system is against rich, white men and his name would have been dragged through the mud. He didn't want his family to hear the bad things (all lies of course) that would be said about him, so he pled no contest for their sake. Apparently his family doesn't have the Internet, because there's very little positive said about Jay from former co-workers and anyone else who has ever met him.

7. He'll the tickle the taint of the local professional sports market in the hopes of gaining some converts before everyone hates him again.

Here is Jay's semi-annual introductory column for the "San Francisco Examiner." I can't wait to read his new introductory column after the "Examiner" tires of his constant antagonism and bullshit. And they will tire of him, because Jay Mariotti is the absolute fucking worst.

In the lobby of the Twitter building, which is near the Uber building and the Dolby building and a residential tower where $5,500 a month will get you 969 square feet and a parking spot, I visit a gourmet market that makes Saison look like Burger King. I examine a $75 bottle of 2007 Fiorita Brunello, check out a $67 jug of French lavender shampoo, consider a $130 slab of Jamon Iberico Pata Negra ("pure acorn fed Iberian pigs")

ALL OF WHICH JAY MARIOTTI CAN AFFORD! (Jay Mariotti continues swinging his dick around in the lobby of the Twitter building to the horror of bystanders)

and settle for a $6 ice cream cone. 

I'll just assume "$6 ice cream cone" is code for "a hand job from a hooker with herpes on her upper lip and two broken fingers."

Then I stroll outside, absorb the glory of a blue-skies-and-71 afternoon, head across Ninth Street ... and have to weave and shake like Steph Curry to avoid a fresh puddle of bubbly urine.

Jay mentioned a local hero. He's just like YOU! Love him, please. Adore him, he begs of you. He understands your local sports teams and his name-dropping of Steph Curry proves this.

And Jay Mariotti trying to avoid stepping in a puddle of urine is very metaphorical and would only be more metaphorical if Mariotti put the urine in a bottle, threw it on passing pedestrians and then found a way to make it seem like they were in the wrong for being angry at him as he cowered in one of the restrooms in the Uber building. 

That shower, truth be told, is among many reasons San Francisco is the best place to write in our thrive-or-die republic. It was left by a shouting homeless man whose pants are undone, one of thousands whose blighted survivalism is juxtaposed against the backdrop of the city's new rich. For a writer, this social clash is literary gold.

This is Jay's feeble attempt at "real" writing. As usual, it fails.

I said as much to my new editor-in-chief at the Examiner — "You should have someone just walking up and down Market Street every day" — and, for a moment, I thought I should be the man for that beat.

Jay just wants to roam the streets all day looking for another hand job from a hooker with herpes on her upper lip and two broken fingers. He can't fool me. 

But I am not here to cover gentrification and other ongoing dramas in the most complex and compelling of American cities.

Which is something that Jay has said similar about Chicago and Los Angeles. I'm not saying he beat that woman, but he does have a habit of journalistically saying "You know I love you baby, because you are such a special city" and then journalistically punching that city in the mouth on his way out of town.

After a career intermission that had more to do with catching my breath — roughly 7,000 columns and 1,700 ESPN TV appearances, hundreds of radio shows, 14 Olympic Games, 24 Super Bowls, travel to five continents —

Here comes the justifications again. Jay Mariotti wasn't really fired from ESPN for his legal troubles. His Sports Talk Florida site didn't fail miserably while other sports journalists that Jay compares himself to being on par with had their site succeed, it's just that he WANTED to take some time off. Jay is glad he got fired from ESPN, because he was completely looking to take some time off from his career anyway. If Jay has to beat the shit out of someone to get another career break, then it will be totally worth it to him. It's not that his promised multi-media platform at Sports Talk Florida failed, it's that they didn't support him the way he needed to be supported. Not to mention, Jay really wanted to take a break from his career. You know, even though he stated he had just taken a break from his career in his introductory column at Sports Talk Florida.

than a recklessly reported legal case,

Haha...okay, Jay. Keep blaming the media you work for. Keep blaming those who jump to conclusions just like you have jumped to conclusions during your entire career. You are always the victim. There isn't a cross big enough for you to martyr yourself upon, as you have been done so wrong by the legal system and the media.

Last time I had the potential for this much fun, Snoop Dogg was staring me down before an "Around The Horn" taping, saying, "Who do you think you is?"

Last time Jay had this much fun he was working for the company that he tried to work for again but they wouldn't take him back. But it's okay, because Jay is delusional and has convinced himself a break was good for him.

Who do I think I is?

I'm the Diddy by the Bay.

God, you are the fucking worst.

San Francisco has been the place for flower children, poets, gold-rushers, tech dreamers, drifters, politicos, and reinventists. Now, I dare say, this is the place for sportswriters. In Chicago, a previous stop of 17 years, I often bemoaned lousy owners and bad teams who were in bed with corrupt media, including two baseball franchises that have won one World Series over a collective 203 seasons.

The Chicago baseball franchises weren't successful enough to support a sportswriter of Jay's vast abilities. He can't have the failures of the Chicago baseball teams drag him down like the big mean American legal system dragged him down.

Here, the Warriors play the most exciting basketball on the planet, led by the incomparable Curry, whose swag and splash on the court are matched by his decorum and charity work off it (as His Barackness quickly figured out and glommed onto). Here, the formerly regal 49ers are in a chaotic and cursed freefall, thanks to a front office that (1) allowed internal politics and professional resentment to subvert Jim Harbaugh's ultra-successful reign; (2) chose a curious successor in tongue-tied, unproven Jim Tomsula; (3) absorbed a mass exodus of high-character leaders; and (4) watched helplessly as Chris Borland, my early leader for Sportsman of the Year, prioritized his long-term wellness over his prowess as a 24-year-old linebacker.

Oh, Jay has a vote for Sportsman of the Year? Wait, no he doesn't have a vote. So whoever the fuck is his "early leader" for this award doesn't matter one damn bit because he doesn't get a vote. It's like if I stated who my early leader for an Academy Award was. No one gives a shit because I don't get a vote.

Here, you have David Shaw, the coach the 49ers should have hired, mixing football prominence with Stanford's cooler-than-Harvard academic boom.

The 49ers should have hired David Shaw, regardless of whether he wanted to be hired by the 49ers or not. David Shaw is Jay's early leader for Time Man of the Year, so it would have been smart for the 49ers to hire him.

And what is coming next winter? Did you say the Super Bowl? Imagine life as the first city to win a World Series, win an NBA Finals and host a Super Bowl in a 15-month period.

Imagine the Raiders building a new stadium and Jay Mariotti being buried beneath it. In 15 months, that will be the real dream for citizens of the San Francisco area.

Amid those possibilities, I arrive as the sports director and lead columnist at the Examiner, which makes me a management guy for the first time and probably sparks visions of Bart Simpson being handed keys to the corporate bathroom.

A Bart Simpson reference from Jay Mariotti. It's always 1998 in the delusional, ego-driven world that Jay Mariotti lives in.

Someone suggested I print Zuckerberg-like business cards — "I'm Sports Director, Bitch" — but a wiser idea is putting together smart, gritty, daily sports coverage

It looks like auto-correct changed "shitty, daily sports coverage" to "gritty, daily sports coverage." I think the "Examiner" readers will understand what Jay really meant after they read his columns.

My mission statement as a columnist, and as an editor by extension, is fierce independence.

Jay's message as an editor, columnist and part of the "Examiner" team is "Fuck you, he isn't a part of a team, because he's better than you (starts listing how many Super Bowls he's covered while leaving out how many bridges he's burned)."

We will be big on topicality, immediacy, and perspective. On my watch, we will not drive traffic with trash,

The only conclusion I can draw from Mariotti insisting the "Examiner" won't drive traffic with trash is that Jay Mariotti plans on firing himself. What's really funny is the "Examiner" hired Mariotti AS the trash that drives traffic. As usual, Mariotti isn't self-aware enough to realize traffic won't be driven with trash columns because he is the trash that drives traffic.

I'll repeat what I've placed on my personal site — jaymariotti.com — for some time:

The legal system is really mean and biased against white men, so you would rather plead guilty and be known as the guy who admitted to hitting a woman rather than spend all the money you most certainly have to fight the charges that you so strongly insist were false?

Translation: No one is telling me what to write or say.

Except for the voices in Jay's head that have convinced him he is a good person and his writing isn't the crap that drives traffic to sites. These voices are most certainly telling Jay what to write or say. It's either listen to them or face the reality that nobody fucking likes him and he only gets hired when a media outlet is so desperate for pageviews they have to dig to (ahem) the bottom of the sportswriting barrel.

It wasn't that way at ESPN — where the North Carolina academic-fraud scandal hasn't been attacked with nearly the energy of other sports investigations, perhaps because the company president is a Tar Heel. We were told to reserve comments on our TV show when the network was cutting a massive college football deal or doing urgent soccer business. In Chicago radio, I was ordered to sign a form promising I wouldn't criticize the White Sox and Bulls — the station was trying to do a rights-fee deal with the teams' insufferable owner, Jerry Reinsdorf — and when I refused, I was fired the day after Christmas.

Notice how Jay always paints himself as the guy standing up for the morally correct thing. Jay didn't plead no contest to hitting a woman, he plead no contest only because the court system is so corrupt and pleading this way was the only way to save his reputation by ruining it. Jay wasn't fired from this ESPN job due to bad performance or the fact nobody fucking likes him, but he was fired because he refused to have his strict moral compass pointing away from the journalistic integrity that he believes he stands for. There's always a reason why Jay has failed and it's always because he was doing the right thing when the world is inevitably conspiring against him.

At the Chicago Sun-Times, I was told to avoid certain Reinsdorf-related topics and rip the Cubs at will (they were owned then by the rival Tribune) when I wasn't being threatened in press boxes by wacko colleagues, forearm-shivered against a wall by an editor-in-chief, navigating through a cesspool where the paper's top two executives wound up in jail or dealing with a national firestorm after the White Sox manager, twice-since-fired Ozzie Guillen, called me a "(bleeping) fag."

Interesting that Mariotti won't write "fucking" but has no issue with writing "fag." I don't know, it seems like both are words that probably wouldn't need to be printed.

He did so while criticizing me for not going to his clubhouse, conveniently disregarding that too many visits had become setups in which someone would try to start an incident with me, creating news I did not wish to make.

The news that Jay wished to make at the time was threaten Ozzie Guillen in print and then stay tucked away safely in his office. But of course Jay was the one being threatened and his cowardice to back up his words with actions was only him taking the high road. Jay doesn't want to get in a fight with a man, he only fights women, and so he was just taking the high road by cowering behind the words written in his column.

No intimidation tactic stopped me from writing what the hell I wanted, until I realized in 2008 that a dysfunctional paper had no real future,

Actually, you indicated at the time that all newspapers don't have a future. Let's not revise history to cover up for the fact that you are, again, working at a newspaper in an industry that you once so confidently stated had no future. Upon leaving the "Sun-Times" you indicated newspapers were dying and that's why you were leaving. Yet, here you are seven years later suckling back at the newspaper teat until they get rid of your ass and you decide newspapers are dying again.

prompting me to hand back a million bucks in guaranteed money and resign peacefully. 

A million dollars? I've never seen a million dollars before. Boy, that sure is a lot of money for Jay to give back and must mean he was in the right! No one would give up that amount of money unless he/she had a really good reason!

Not dealing with it well, the paper had Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic, call me "a rat" in an open letter.

Let's revisit that letter, which puts in writing what many of Jay's co-workers and former co-workers think about him.

And notice in the introduction it's made perfectly clear that Jay said newspapers were dead, not that the "Sun-Times" specifically was dead. It's amazing to me how Jay can just ignore things that don't conveniently match his assertions. He's really a horrible person. It's why I don't believe he didn't hit that woman and I pretty much believe nothing he writes. He's a liar and bad person. Too many people have testified to this fact over the years.

And yes, I will always side with Roger Ebert on matters that involve Jay Mariotti.

I weighed offers and signed a deal as national columnist at America Online, one of those web initiatives that talked big, threw money at dozens of writers, then cut bait — as it struck a content deal with Arianna Huffington.

And again, as is the trend, Jay didn't do anything wrong and he was done wrong in some fashion. It's not that he failed at AOL or the job he was doing wasn't enough to financially satisfy AOL, it's that they cut a content deal with Arianna Huffington. Because most companies will ruin a successful business venture just for the sake of cutting a deal. Jay did nothing wrong and his performance was exemplary as always. Most writers of Jay's self-believed stature would be highly sought after, but Jay wasn't. One would think that the writing industry would know he got a raw deal at the "Sun-Times" and AOL, then sign him up to write for them. After all, it wasn't Jay's fault things didn't work out at those two media outlets, so the offers should come rolling in, right? Well, no...

I wrote a book, then tried a national writing-and-radio content site only to realize such "boutique" destinations need constant investment infusions from entrepreneurs.

They need constant investment infusions from entrepreneurs because Jay's radio show and columns weren't bringing in enough money. That's why Sports Talk Florida failed, because Jay has quickly become relevant only when it comes to hating him. Otherwise, he's not taken seriously and no one fucking likes him.

So Jay really didn't think that Sports Talk Florida would take constant infusions of money to become as big as Grantland? Really? He is that stupid as to think Grantland would succeed if ESPN money and the writing staff assembled for Grantland wasn't part of the project? Jay's ego is so big he thought he could build a Grantland-type site all by himself? It turns out that Jay is as smart of a businessman as he is a liar when it comes to explaining his past failures and actions.

The internet has enabled too much irresponsibility and ignorance. A business that is wilder and younger still must have professional standards, or it becomes an Alfred E. Neuman self-parody that no one takes seriously and has the believability of a seventh-grade bathroom wall.

I'm choking on irony here. It's like hearing Westboro Baptist preach about love and acceptance of others, no matter the differences we all have. Jay Mariotti's writing is a self-parody that nobody takes seriously and displays so much ignorance. Check the archives on this site for proof. He's good to hate and for pageviews, but even after a while those pageviews decrease because Jay has nothing to offer in terms of sportswriting abilities.

To recap, I was accused of domestic violence offenses I did not commit by a plaintiff who tried, without success, to win a financial reward in a civil suit. Not only did that suit fail quickly, the original case was dismissed and expunged ("Not guilty," read the court documents), which means there was no conviction. Expungements, as The New York Times recently noted, are issued rarely and with considerable diligence.

And yet, Jay pled no contest. The original case was dismissed and expunged, but he still pled no contest.

I've maintained my innocence from the start, never acknowledged guilt, and only pleaded no contest four years ago because coverage of the case was absurdly one-sided against me and littered with false allegations published as facts.

Who will stand up for the rich, white males of society?

Pleading no contest allowed me to save the half-million dollars (or more) in additional legal fees required in a Los Angeles court proceeding so I could keep my youngest daughter in college, important when ESPN played judge and jury from 3,000 miles away and removed me from its TV show without contacting me or my attorney.

Boy, the million dollars in guarantees Jay gave up from the "Sun-Times" really would have come in handy right about this point wouldn't it? I guess this is the price Jay pays for having such a strict moral compass.

Know this: Just because someone is accused doesn't mean he is guilty, and just because one pleads no contest doesn't mean he is acknowledging guilt. I did not hit anyone. I did not stalk anyone. I do not hit or stalk people.

Right, pleading no contest isn't acknowledging guilt, it's just acknowledging that you probably can't win the case. And of course, it's not because the evidence was against Jay that he couldn't win the case, but because the judicial system is conspiring against him that he couldn't win the case. He's ever the martyr.

No one abhors domestic violence more than I, as the father of two amazing grown daughters who never were exposed to it, and no one was more disgusted by the Ray Rice video last year — not only the sheer hideousness but the chilling reality that every public figure accused of this crime, whether that person is guilty or not, is bound to be associated with Rice.

Typical Jay Mariotti. Jay doesn't give a shit about Janay Rice, instead he's disgusted by the fact the video of Ray Rice striking his fiance (now wife) will make people recall he pled no contest to domestic violence and ponder hypothetically what happened in that situation which resulted in a no contest plea. Jay Mariotti only gives a shit about Jay Mariotti. The Ray Rice case was about him and Janay Rice getting hit was only relevant in how it reflected on Jay Mariotti.

Since the announcement of my appointment at the Examiner, how many news outlets have written about the expungement even after the Chronicle grudgingly reported it? None that I've seen.

Jay, you are reaping what you have sown. If you treat people like shit, then people are going to treat you like shit. No one in the media gives a shit about your expungement because nobody fucking likes you. This is all the bad shit you have done in your life coming right back at you. You can keep taking a piss on others while are at a job and after you have left that job, but at some point it's someone else's turn to take a piss on you. Hope you enjoyed it. You reap what you sow, you get treated as you treat others. If you want others to treat you fairly, try treating others fairly.

But the good news is this gives Jay another chance to play the martyr. It's not his fault he's treated his colleagues like shit through the years. Why won't the big, bad media do their job and correct the misconception? Why? Because nobody fucking likes him.

I'd suggest media outlets require all writers and editors to take law classes.

Since Jay is an editor now, he can force the "Examiner" staff to take law classes. Then he can not attend those classes himself because he's fiercely independent.

We will cover media, including ESPN, when necessary for our readers. We will be fair, but we won't tolerate amateurs and arrogance — such as, ESPN's sneaky habit of taking credit for stories first broken by other outlets. I cast a critical eye at the media behemoth long before I worked there,

Oh yes, Jay was working and collecting a paycheck for ESPN, but he ALWAYS HAD HIS EYE ON THEM! Thank God that Jay Mariotti is around to collect a huge paycheck from ESPN and make sure the company stays on their toes. He's the undercover ombudsman ESPN didn't even know it had.

wasn't allowed to when I did work there for eight years, and will continue to do so now, understanding the network's powerful, all-encompassing place in sports and how it impacts fans.

But let's be factual and out of fantasy land for a second. This "behemoth" that Jay talks about, he was in talks to work there again and doesn't mind doing freelance writing for ESPN. If ESPN called tomorrow and offered him a job then he would leave the "Examiner" in a heartbeat to work for ESPN. As I have shown previously, Jay will always bash previous employers or companies that won't hire him. Then he forgets he bashed these companies once they choose to hire him. Jay was casting a critical eye as the undercover ombudsman and was only trying to write freelance for ESPN (I guess that's what it was, he only wrote one column) just to get closer to the behemoth he didn't trust.

It has been fun getting away from this psycho media swirl and discovering new peeps in California

You should be dragged behind a team of wild horses for writing "discovering new peeps."

The Chronicle reporter asked me if I understood the "political atmosphere in San Francisco." All I know about the atmosphere is that the Warriors have an easier path to the NBA Finals by avoiding Kevin Durant in the first round, the Giants already are down Hunter Pence in a dreaded odd-numbered year, and the 49ers are looking dumb and doomed.

Oh man, Jay is REALLY going to bash the 49ers. Pretty soon Jay will be hiding behind his desk as Jim Tomsula threatens his physical well-being.

Recently, I spoke to a media class at Northwestern University. Most questions were about how to find a job in today's tight market.

Be sure everyone hates you, ensure your writing serves as a temporary fix for what ails the paper, then take a huge shit on all your co-workers as you walk out the door for what you will insist is a better job.

I told the students to practice their writing, video, and audio crafts every day, on their own websites and blogs, and that if they can withstand rejection and pain, the business remains very satisfying and worthwhile. I said I've had good reasons to try other life options, but that I'd decided to accept a terrific job in a spectacular city after a few challenging moments.

Oh, a terrific newspaper job! A job with the newspaper industry that Jay described as dying a short seven years ago. Weird how that works.

Sometimes, you just have to step around some pee to appreciate the $6 ice cream cone.

And sometimes you have to hire a guy who will pee on you and your paper's reputation in order to get short-term pageviews. Welcome back Jay! Now go away.

Friday, March 27, 2015

4 comments Despite His Having Four Super Bowl Rings, Dan Shaughnessy Still Thinks He's Smarter Than Bill Belichick

Dan Shaughnessy uses the phrase "The Patriot Way" in this column. I am betting he does this just to annoy people like me. Dan doesn't like that the Patriots refused to pick up the option for Darrelle Revis and then weren't able to sign him in free agency. He makes this clear through snark and discussing how the "system" is more important than the players, as if this strategy hasn't worked for the Patriots in the past. So despite the Patriots having just won a Super Bowl, Dan spends some time being snarky and suggesting he knows what is better for the Patriots then the incompetent Bill Belichick does. After all, it's been a whole couple of months and the Patriots still haven't won another Super Bowl. Dan thinks the Patriots may never win another Super Bowl now that they have allowed Revis to go to the Jets in free agency. Someone should do something about how Bill Belichick is wrecking the Patriots team.

The Patriots just lost their best defensive player. 

No, they re-signed Devin McCourty and Chandler Jones is still on the roster. Jerod Mayo is also coming back from injury, so it seems the Patriots still have quite a few guys who can be considered their best defensive player.

Greedy Darrelle is going to New York for a five-year, $70 million contract. He’s going to make $48 million over the first three years of his Jet contract. He’s now got $39 million in guaranteed money coming his way.

Yes, of course Darrelle Revis is greedy for maximizing his market value. We all know Dan Shaughnessy would NEVER take an opportunity to earn more income and maximize his value. Never. Ever. So fuck Darrelle Revis for trying to make as much money as possible during his career. This makes him greedy and not a good businessman.

The clever Patriots would not go for that. They reportedly stopped short at a guarantee of $35 million.

So, if the reports are true, this New England team, flush with cash, lost its best defensive player for $4 million.

The Patriots had around $14 million in cap space around the time that Revis was signed by the Jets. I'm not sure that would count as being flush with cap space. They couldn't afford to sign Revis to the contract that the Jets signed him to. Revis is earning $16 million during the 2015 season. It seemed pretty well-known, at least to me, that the Patriots couldn't keep both McCourty and Revis. Of course, when has Dan allowed reality to seep into his criticisms?

Naturally, you are all OK with this. You are Patriots fans. Your team just won a Super Bowl. You subscribe to a long-standing policy that your team will not pay stupid money for talent. Sure, the Patriots have the money, but that’s not the point.

No, it is the point. The point is that just because the Patriots have the money it doesn't mean they should spend that money.

The point is that players don’t matter. It is the system that matters. The system wins Super Bowls. The coach wins Super Bowls. The owner wins Super Bowls.

The quarterback wins Super Bowls too. At some point when this has been proven incorrect, then I would love for Dan Shaughnessy to point out when. The Patriots have shown they don't have to keep players who have hit free agency as long as they are able to find other players to serve as replacements. Dan is snarky about the system, but it works, so his snark is simply a sarcastic statement of fact.

Your team doesn’t do the foolish things that other teams do. And your team just won the Super Bowl. So who is going to question the Patriot way? Only a fool.

Or someone (namely, a sportswriter named "Dan Shaughnessy") who questions every move Boston-area teams make that don't match the conventional wisdom of what a team should do. Then when he is proven to be incorrect about his questioning of these moves, he simply moves on to the next issue he can gripe about sarcastically.

Clearly, the Jets are idiots. Again.

Maybe. Was the Jets' issue last year at the cornerback position? Partly, but that's a lot of money for a cornerback who the Jets already refused to pay just a few years ago. They may not be idiots, but it's a big investment in one player.

The Patriots rented Revis for one year and they got what they wanted. They won a Super Bowl. So line up and guzzle the Patriots Kool-Aid.

This is Dan's defense mechanism. He gets snarky and says something like, "Well, it worked for the Red Sox didn't it? So every move they make from now on will work, won't it?" in a desperate effort to lower the bar and move the goal posts, while distracting the reader from the fact Dan's upcoming criticism has no validity. No one is guzzling the Patriots Kool-Aid. They won a Super Bowl with Revis. Their plan worked.

Never mind that the Patriots could keep on winning Super Bowls and keep their best defensive player.

Could they though? Really think about that, Dan. Think hard. I'm not sure the Patriots could have kept Revis and McCourty.

It’s more important that they win at the negotiating table. It’s all about the value.

While being sarcastic in an effort to make the Patriots seem as though they are cheap, Dan is missing the point. It is important to win at the negotiating table. Good teams keep an eye on their salary cap situation for this year and 2-3 years down the road. It IS all about value. Losing at the negotiating table is how teams end up with millions in dead money which restricts their ability to make offseason moves that improve the team.

Dan just doesn't understand. Maybe the Patriots are cheap, but it works. Maybe Dan would have a point if it weren't for two small issues:

1. The Patriots' strategy of being cheap has paid off for almost 15 years now. They have been the most successful NFL franchise since 2001 using this strategy.

2. It is all about value at the bargaining table in order to sustain the long-term success of a team.

It’s about the value because the Patriots are not only the best team on the field. They are the smartest. They are the most clever. They are playing chess while the other dimwits are playing checkers.

And now Dan is trying to overstate the case in order to enter the Theater of the Absurd since his opinion in the real world has been proven to sound stupid.

Pity those foolish Steelers and Giants and Ravens and Broncos. And Jets. They do not know how to do business. The Patriots know how to win and they know how to do business.

But it's true. The Patriots do know how to do business. The results on the field support this point of view. The Steelers, Giants, Ravens and Broncos aren't foolish. It's not a zero-sum game like Dan is desperately trying to prove is true. The Patriots aren't smarter than every other team in the same way McDonald's isn't smarter than Wal-Mart, Target or Burger King. They are all successful, it's just they each have a different way of doing business. Target isn't stupid because Wal-Mart is smart. The same theory applies here. The Patriots have a good way of doing business that is proven to be successful. It doesn't mean other NFL teams don't have a good way of doing business themselves.

Everybody in this NFL-crazed nation knew the Patriots were never going to pay Revis $20 million for 2015, with a salary-cap hit of $25 million. But not everybody knew the Jets were going to lose their minds. That’s why they are the Jets.

So the Patriots should have given Revis the money the Jets gave Revis and this would have made the Patriots smart, but because the Jets gave Revis this money then they are losing their minds? I don't even understand the logic behind this comment.

They just added a great cornerback to their woeful, non-contending team. And the smarter-than-everybody Patriots no doubt believe they have a valid tampering claim against New York. It’s all there on tape. We heard Jets owner Woody Johnson gushing about Revis in December. Not cool.

Dan's basic point seem to be that he is going to talk sarcastically about how smart the Patriots are compared to the Jets, while seeming to truly believe the Patriots are smarter than the Jets...or something like that. Maybe not. Maybe the Patriots would have been smart to re-sign Revis, all while the Jets were dumb for re-signing Revis.

So now it’s time to fire up the Patriots media cartel. Time to demonize Revis.

You mean by calling him "greedy"? Or was that Dan making fun of Patriots fans for calling Revis greedy while not actually calling Revis greedy, unless Dan suddenly decides he does think Revis is greedy, in which case Dan was completely serious in calling him "Greedy Revis"?

Has anybody noticed that Revis only had two interceptions last year? Clearly, this guy is overrated. Right? And now we know for sure that he cares only about money. If he really cared about winning football, he would have stayed here for less. But no. Ultimately, Revis showed his true colors. He chose money over legacy. What a loser.

Dan is changing tone here almost as much as I change tone. It's difficult to keep up with. Clearly, he is being sarcastic right now about Revis being a loser. Most NFL players care only about money, it's just Revis is in a position to actually make more money.

If I may stray from the party line for a moment, there might be some legitimate questions here. If the Patriots were willing to make Devin McCourty the highest-paid safety (five years, $47.5 million), in football, why did they draw the line on Revis, who is better at corner than McCourty is at safety?

Perhaps, and this is a point that Dan seems to consistently miss, the Patriots could really not afford to keep both of them. McCourty was cheaper, and while not as talented as Revis, he allowed the Patriots to do something defensively that couldn't be replaced with another safety that was on the market or in the draft. Revis may be a better corner than McCourty is a safety, but it may be easier for the Patriots to replace the production of Revis than it is to replace McCourty's production. There are outside forces which are present and can move a player's value to his current team up or down.

And how are they going to take the hit of also losing Brandon Browner in the defensive backfield?

They may commit fewer defensive holding or pass interference penalties.

Revis changed everything in 2014. In the six seasons after the undefeated season of 2007, the Patriots were good, but never great; not even when they got back to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis against the Giants. They were always good enough to win the AFC East (like signing up for AOL), but they were not good enough to keep good offenses off the field when it mattered.

Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing up that the Patriots were good, but never great, when they went 72-24 over a six year span. The Patriots were 4-5 in the playoffs during that time and what happened again in the 7th year after the Patriots went undefeated? Oh yeah, they won the Super Bowl. I was always confused by whether the Patriots were good or great and always thought a 75% win rate in the regular season over six years was a pretty great record. It turns out that record is only good. I'm glad Dan Shaughnessy is here to point out the truths as his delusional mind sees them as it relates to a point he is looking to prove.

In 2014, Revis enabled the Patriots to play any kind of defense Belichick wanted. Revis routinely erased the best receiver on the other team. Calvin Johnson. A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton. Revis got more Pro Bowl votes than any corner in the NFL. More votes than flavor-of-the-year Richard Sherman.

Richard Sherman is still a pretty good cornerback. I will not allow myself to be distracted by Dan Shaughnessy's shot at Richard Sherman based on such an idiotic metric as Pro Bowl votes.

We know the Patriots don’t like to work with a gun at their heads. They like value. They don’t spend to the cap and they don’t like to overpay. Just because somebody else is willing to pay stupid money, why should New England?

It really is a good strategy if an NFL team can continue winning games while using this strategy. Why should the Patriots overpay for a player simply because another team chooses to use this strategy in order to acquire or keep a player? Because acquiring big name players and spending money is exciting and keeps the local beat writers with fresh stories they can write during free agency?

Ordinarily, this thinking works with the Patriots and their fans. It’s “In Bill We Trust.’’ Fans support the team when Wes Welker leaves and when Logan Mankins is traded. Usually, this blind loyalty is rewarded.

Most always this blind loyalty has been rewarded. As long as fans don't hold the Patriots to the absurd standard of "Have they won the Super Bowl every single season?" then the blind loyalty has been rewarded with nearly a decade-and-a-half of sustained success. I can't see in what world there should be criticism of how the Patriots deal with personnel. Regardless of how strong the AFC East has been, the Patriots have won four Super Bowls since 2001 and their strategy on how they value players has proven to work. It's not easy to be as good as the Patriots have been for as long of time as they have been good. Of course, Dan has no perspective and just assumes because the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl 10 more times in the last 14 years, then a different strategy in valuing their personnel would have changed that. He sees the Patriots' way of thinking as the problem surrounding why the Patriots aren't MORE successful, as opposed to viewing this thinking as the reason the Patriots have been this successful. Dan sucks.

It seemed that Revis was different. He was the best player at a crucial position. He delivered a Super Bowl.

You would have thought he was a guy the Patriots could not afford to lose.

When an NFL team says, "We afford to lose this guy" because of that player's perceived value, then that is how teams often end up overpaying for players it turns out they could have afforded to lose, even if they didn't want to lose that player.

But there is no such player. It’s not about any one player. It’s about the system.

Which is a system, that like it or not, has been proven to work for the Patriots.

The Patriots usually win, and sometimes lose, but at the bargaining table the Patriot Way is the only way.

There is no real "Patriot Way," but the Patriots do have a philosophy that seems to work. Dan Shaughnessy, of course, thinks that HIS way is better than the Patriots' way of doing business. After all, the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl 10 times in the past 14 years. That's quite the record of failure. Just imagine how successful the Patriots could have been if they had utilized the Shaughnessy Way of dealing with personnel. They may have created a dynasty over the last decade-and-a-half. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 comments Dan Shaughnessy is Livid That UMass is Honoring John Calipari Because of Reasons He Copied and Pasted from Every Other Column Written about John Calipari

We still have one open spot in the fantasy baseball league and if anyone wants to join then send me an email to bengoodfella@yahoo.com and I will send you an invite. That will put the league at 10 people and we need one more person before the draft on Sunday.

Dan Shaughnessy claims to be upset that UMass will be honoring John Calipari on the 20th anniversary of Calipari taking the UMass men's basketball team to the Final Four. That's not what this column is about though. It's about John Calipari being slightly shady at UMass and Dan Shaughnessy feeling snubbed by Calipari. This means Dan will go hard at Calipari for his actions at UMass, despite the fact the NCAA cleared Calipari of any wrongdoing by the NCAA. I don't love Calipari, but I think Dan Shaughnessy is more butt hurt by a snub the "Globe" received from Calipari 20 years ago then he is really concerned about UMass honoring Calipari.

Here we are. Kentucky, the No. 1-ranked team in the country — coached by John Calipari — is on the cusp of NCAA history, 31-0 after Saturday’s win over Florida.

Well, all he has to do is roll the ball out to center court and his team wins. Having talented freshmen on the team is just a matter of doing that. Just ask Rick Barnes who couldn't get past the second round of the NCAA tournament with Kevin Durant, and Coach K, who has lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament twice over the last three years with a talented lottery pick freshman on his roster.

Meanwhile, the folks at UMass have decided to retire Coach Cal’s “number,” and this weekend marks the 20th anniversary of him refusing to allow a Globe reporter to visit his home for Selection Sunday.

And that is really what this little temper tantrum/column is about. Dan Shaughnessy and his paper feel jilted by John Calipari. Dan's ego is hurt so he's going to take it out on the big meanies who hurt him.

Sometimes there is not enough space in our newspaper to articulate all the thoughts, and state all the points, that need to be made.

If only Dan had enough pull at the paper to get more room to write all that he really wants to write. Unfortunately, the big meanies at the "Boston Globe" won't allow him more space.

Let’s start with this: John Calipari is a magnetic figure, undoubtedly the greatest college basketball recruiter of the 21st century. He works the NCAA’s cesspool system better than any man alive. He is charismatic. He came to Amherst more than a quarter of a century ago as a Rick Pitino wannabe, but now he has vaulted over Pitino, and created the Brand of Cal.

Notice how Dan at no point mentions that Calipari is a good coach. Since I'm guessing that Shaughnessy watches college basketball starting in March of every year then I will also guess that Dan's knowledge about college basketball is probably gained from everything he sees in March. Even so, he should know that Calipari is a really good coach. It's not easy to get freshmen to play defense and he gets his freshmen to play defense AND give up minutes to other talented players.

He is probably going to win a second national championship with Kentucky this year and is no doubt a swell dancer and would make for a fine dinner companion.

Though Dan wouldn't know if Calipari was a fine dinner companion because Cal snubbed Dan's employer for dinner one time 20 years ago.

But as a Massachusetts taxpayer, I have a problem with UMass “retiring” Coach Cal’s number.

Dan isn't butt hurt by John Calipari snubbing the "Globe," he's just a concerned taxpayer. That's all. Dan's ego isn't the issues, it's that Dan wants to make sure his taxes don't go to a retired jersey for John Calipari.

Really? Bill Cosby’s jersey is not available?

Bill Cosby went to Temple and has no affiliation to UMass, so that's why they aren't retiring his jersey. Wait, this was supposed to be a joke? I guess should acknowledge such a hot take combined with a super burn.  

I enjoy how Dan Shaughnessy is equating (allegedly) raping multiple women over a multiple decade-long span of time to Calipari's players accepting cash from an agent or having someone else take the SAT in place of the player. Rape, taking money from an agent or cheating on the SAT, they are all the same thing according to Dan Shaughnessy's moral code of conduct.

Calipari is a man who stretches the rules, and wins. He won at UMass. He won at Memphis. He took both schools to the Final Four, but both appearances were “vacated.’’ 

While it's not as much fun to be fair to Calipari, if I were being fair, then I would point out the wins at UMass weren't vacated for actions that Calipari took part in. It was Marcus Camby and contact with an agent that got the UMass Final Four vacated. And again, Derrick Rose's SAT score was the issue at Memphis and Calipari was not considered to have committed any wrongdoing. I don't ever deny the smoke that surrounds Calipari, but Dan is giving the appearance that Calipari was accused of wrongdoing in both situations, which isn't the official truth of the situation. Sure, Dan WANTS Calipari to have been found of wrongdoing, but that doesn't mean it's the truth.

They were erased. You know the drill. Ineligible players. Phony SAT tests. The usual. So, while Coach Cal and Pitino are the only coaches to take three schools to the Final Four, Cal’s also got more vacancies than a Days Inn in downtown Detroit.

ZING!

And our state university is going to honor him? Again?

He led the UMass men's basketball team to a level of success they have not experienced since he left the university. The Final Four was vacated, but UMass basketball fans still remember and enjoy Calipari's time coaching the team. 

He has a chance to produce the first undefeated college team since Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers 39 years ago. But it’s impossible to escape the notion that Coach Cal is a glorified AAU bag man. 

A lot of NCAA basketball coaches are this way. Coach Calipari has a tight relationship with AAU coaches and guys like Worldwide Wes, but it's not like a respected coach like Bill Self is above shady dealings related to AAU coaches. Recruiting isn't an easy world to stay clean in.

I see Calipari on the bench and I see bundles of cash. I see classroom vacancies. I must be imagining things.

John Calipari does get paid a lot of money, so maybe that's why Dan sees bundles of cash. For all the things that Calipari has been accused of, I'm not sure paying players is one of those things. I don't know if his players go to class, but this sounds like the boring, assumptive criticism that a hack like Shaughnessy would make. It's criticism-by-numbers.

Cal promotes the dribble-drive and gets his one-and-done kids to the NBA.

I hate to ruin Dan's image of Calipari, but his team this year started two juniors, two sophomores, and a freshman prior to Alex Poythress getting injured. Coaches who are thought to uphold the grand tradition of the student-athlete had similar starting lineups this year. Coach K started three freshmen, a senior and junior, while Bill Self started two juniors, two freshmen, and two sophomores at various times through year. Other teams like Wisconsin have seniors starting, but Calipari shouldn't be faulted for helping his players accomplish the goal of making it to the NBA.

He walks hand-in-hand with the fraudulent, sanctimonious governing body that insists we refer to his players as “student-athletes.’’ What a joke.

And of course it is John Calipari's fault that the NCAA is a fraudulent governing body. He could change how the NCAA handles business, but he chooses not to. This is a very typical observation of a sportswriter who watches college basketball for three weeks in a year.

But the joke is on us when UMass chooses to honor Cal during the 2015-16 season, a year that will mark the 20th anniversary of the Minutemen’s one and only trip the Final Four, an appearance that officially never happened.

I really don't care. John Calipari has never snubbed me for dinner.

UMass looks pathetic. It’s bad enough that the school bosses have signed off on a ridiculous, costly, and futile plan to play Bowl Subdivision football.

Watch out for the quick change-of-subject criticism!

In case you missed it, Cal took UMass to the Final Four at the Meadowlands in the spring of 1996 (ironically, the Minutemen were eliminated by Pitino’s eventual national champs from Kentucky), but it turned out that star center Marcus Camby already had turned professional while he was still in school, and UMass’s appearance was officially erased by the NCAA.

It's hard to miss it when this entire article hinges on the reader understanding that Camby took money from an agent and Dan Shaughnessy is desperately trying to do something the NCAA couldn't (or wouldn't...I have no idea which one it is) do, which is tie Calipari to Camby who was tied to the agent.

Coach Cal got out of town before the posse arrived, lying to everyone on his way out the door as he took millions from the New Jersey Nets.

But as was learned from the Bruce Pearl and Jim Tressel situations the NCAA could have imposed a "show-cause" penalty on any team looking to hire John Calipari, meaning he could have gotten punished even after he left town to coach the New Jersey Nets. The NCAA did not impose a "show-cause" penalty. It's a common misconception that Calipari could have left for the NBA and the NCAA would have completely had their hands tied. It was a decision by the NCAA to not impose sanctions on Calipari for any role he played in the UMass-Marcus Camby situation.

Now, Nefarious John is at Kentucky, producing a conga line of lottery picks, some of whom perhaps actually spend several hours on campus.

This is such a lazy criticism, because as we learned from the UNC-CH scandal, there is no way of telling if college basketball players from other high-profile universities attend class either. This whole column is lazy and reeks of by-the-numbers criticism of Calipari without any real in-depth knowledge of each individual situation that is being criticized.

Hardly any of them graduate, of course.

"Hardly" any of Calipari's players graduate. Well, according to Dan's own newspaper the University of Kentucky graduates players at an 82% rate. That's not really considered "hardly" in my world, but I'm looking for the column from Dan that will never happen where he criticizes Bo Ryan, Jim Boeheim, and Thad Matt for their graduation rate below 50%. I'm sure the system is stacked against them though, since we learned early in this column that the NCAA is inextricably tied to John Calipari and he controls every move the NCAA makes.

What good are facts when an opinion can better serve to prove the point that needs to be proven?

And the needy, deprived fans of Kentucky basketball somehow manage to devote their lives to this product. They are OK when a raft of Kentucky players get drafted and Cal announces that it’s the greatest night in the history of Kentucky basketball.

Every college basketball program brags about the players from that school that have reached the NBA. It's a recruiting tool that all schools use. I'm not sure why Dan insists on acting like Kentucky or John Calipari are the only ones who do this. It's probably because Dan pays attention to college basketball for three weeks per year and so all of his non-insights are based on assumptions and opinions that lack a factual basis.

Kentucky fans are defiantly proud of their one-and-done semi-pro players who visit campus briefly on their way to the NBA.

Much in the same way Dan is defiantly proud of being disliked by so many of his readers who view him as a troll who they wish would go away.

But it’s all OK because, you know, Cal is just working within the system. And he is really good at it. The Wildcats are fun to watch (did you see the spectacular comeback against Georgia Tuesday night?). And if you have an 18-year-old son who is one year away from NBA millions, send him to Kentucky.

Or Duke. Or Kansas. Or one of the other top schools in the recruiting rankings. But yeah, blame Kentucky for all of the one-and-done players while pretending Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, and Texas haven't had their share of one-and-done players as well. I've written this 1000 times, but Calipari has stated he isn't a fan of the one-and-done rule, so blaming him for an NBA rule that forces college basketball players to attend college or play overseas for one year is misguided. Dan being misguided shouldn't come as a shock. He comes to the party late and then pretends to have been there the entire time. He writes with 50% of the knowledge he needs and just assumes that knowledge which he doesn't have.

Just don’t insult everybody’s intelligence by calling him a “student-athlete.’’

That's the NCAA calling them student-athletes, not John Calipari's doing.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Coach Cal barring the Globe from his Shutesbury home on Selection Sunday. The Globe’s UMass beat reporter was the estimable Joe Burris, who had covered the Minutemen for six seasons and wrote stories on 29 regular-season games in 1995.

Now for the real reason that Dan Shaughnessy doesn't like John Calipari. It has less to do with UMass honoring Calipari and more to do with Calipari snubbing the "Globe" from entering his home. Not that Dan would ever write a column based on any biases he has. Of course not.

Calipari was upset because the Globe had reported on the poor grades and academic probation of UMass’s student-athletes — a report that should have served as fair warning that our State U. was sacrificing standards in the name of Final Four glory.

Much like how the "Globe" sacrifices journalistic talent and integrity for the sake of pageviews and name recognition by continuing to employ Dan Shaughnessy.

“The Globe’s not invited,’’ UMass publicist Bill Strickland said 20 years ago. “He did not want the Boston Globe in his home . . . I think he should be entitled to invite anyone he wants to his house. And to keep anyone out.’’

Fair enough.

Oh good, I'm glad Dan finds it acceptable to think that John Calipari can invite anyone into his house that he wants into his home and can keep anyone out of his home that he doesn't want there.

But I found it amazing that Burris — a man worthy of marrying the daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu — was not allowed in the home of a man who prevailed over a program that disgraced Massachusetts.

Except this is a stupid argument because Calipari had not disgraced Massachusetts at that point, so 20 years ago Burris was simply not allowed in the home of a college basketball coach. At the time, Calipari wasn't presiding over a program that had a Final Four vacated. Hey Dan, remember the whole "Calipari got out of town and took the New Jersey Nets' money before the posse got him" criticism of Calipari you had earlier? Well, Calipari was in town still, so you can't have it both ways. You can't have Calipari run from his disgrace and tell stories about how Calipari was already a disgraced coach while still at UMass.

It was like getting scolded for cheating by Alex Rodriguez.

(Bengoodfella makes wanking motion with his hand)

And now we are honoring Coach Cal.

March Madness, indeed.

And of course, Dan's bitterness towards Calipari has nothing to do with the "Globe" not being invited to Calipari's house and it's certainly not based on a limited amount of knowledge that Dan has based on watching college basketball for three weeks of the season. This is a paint-by-numbers screed against Calipari. It's embarrassing for Dan because he compares John Calipari to Bill Crosby, since rape is on the same moral plane as taking money from an agent, and he clearly didn't put any thought into what he wrote. Of course, much like he criticizes Kentucky for taking pride in their one-and-done players, Dan takes great pride in writing while using as few facts and as many strong opinions as possible. Dan thinks Calipari will do anything to win, all while Dan will write anything to get attention.