Judgements Three: In defeat, score one for Steelers’ Tomlin


Mike Tomlin photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When does an upset victim become one of Sunday’s biggest winners? When it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, that’s when.

As most people know by now, the Steelers stayed in their locker room for the National Anthem prior to Sunday’s overtime loss to Chicago … not in protest, but in compliance with their head coach’s wishes … and I know what you’re thinking: Yeah, well, big deal.

Actually, it was. And is.

By keeping his team off the field Tomlin protected his players — making sure they didn’t have to decide to stand or kneel…  or whatever … during the Anthem but, instead, try to focus on what they’re paid to do. Which is play football.

Now, draw your own conclusions. Yes, they lost. And, yes, they lost to a Bears team that hadn’t won a game. But Tomlin made a statement, and it was aimed at keeping politics off the football field — thus defusing a potential stick of dynamite before it blew.

And that wasn’t just smart. It was brilliant.

In fact, it was so dead-solid perfect that Tennessee and Seattle followed, with the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll calling the move “classy.” Rather than having an emotional issue create a distraction and cause division within a team (“Are you with us or against us?”), you get proactive and take steps to make sure it doesn’t.

And Tomlin did.

Other than offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, an Army vet who stood alone in the tunnel with his hand held over his heart, I don’t know who would’ve stood and who would’ve kneeled. And neither do you. And that’s OK by me. In fact, I was never ever sure why we had to have players on the field for the playing of the Anthem in the first place. What I do know is that Mike Tomlin did the right thing by defusing a volatile and divisive issue before it divided his football team.

“We’re not going to play politics,” he said. “Some (players) have opinions. Some don’t. We wanted to protect those who don’t. We wanted to protect those that do. We came here to play a football game today, and that was our intention.”

By the way, Tomlin appeared on the field prior to the start of the game. And he stood for the Anthem. Mike Tomlin, go to the head of the class.

FIRST-AND-20

  1. And that, people, is why there is no one like Tom Brady.

2. Watch that Deshaun Watson scramble-and-throw with five minutes left, and you know why it’s New England, not Houston, that has a problem. It’s called a pass rush. The Patriots don’t have one. Watson escaped four potential tackles on that play, and that’s trouble ahead. Tom Brady can’t continue to bail out an underperforming defense.

3. There’s only one team that hasn’t led in any game the first three weeks, and a show of hands for those surprised that it’s Cleveland. Someone? Anyone?

4. No, that is no misprint. Those are the Rams alone in first place in the NFC West.

5. Hurricane Irma may be gone, but it’s still having an impact. The two teams it forced to the sidelines in Week One — Miami and Tampa Bay — not only lost Sunday; each got drilled, one by a winless opponent and the other by a backup QB.

6. I’m sorry, but referee Carl Cheffers will have to explain that fourth-quarter penalty vs. Von Miller. The Broncos’ linebacker faked giving a hand to help fallen quarterback Tyrod Taylor, eliciting a smile from both parties. Both thought it was funny. Cheffers did not, flagging Miller for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the penalty became a dagger. It cost the Broncos time and three points.

7. Love San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Nick Canepa’s idea: Have officials stay in the locker room during the National Anthem and keep them there until the end of the game.

8. So much for that revitalized Baltimore defense.

9. It only gets worse for Carolina. Cam Newton is hurt. Tight end Greg Olsen is out with a broken ankle. Now this: Kelvin Benjamin hurts his knee, a defense that hadn’t allowed more than three points in the first two games craters and New England is next on the schedule … in New England.

10. Atlanta, consider yourself lucky. The Falcons literally are within two feet of being 1-2, surviving last-second goal-line passes by Chicago and Detroit.

11. No, I don’t know how good Washington is, either. But I do know when we find out: Next Monday. The Redskins play at Kansas City, and, in case you’ve lost count, the unbeaten Chiefs won 25 of their last 29 regular-season games.

12. Bortles: Rhymes with Unitas.

13. Best kept secret: The Buffalo defense. In three games, the Bills’ defense has allowed two touchdowns. Period.

14. Leon Lett, meet Marcus Cooper.

15. Every time I see a Taylor Gabriel score I wonder how in the world did Cleveland let this guy go? Then I remember: It’s Cleveland.

16. OK, so officials overruled that apparent Sterling Shepard touchdown catch. Now here’s what I want to know: If the ground can’t cause a fumble, how can it cause an incomplete pass?

17. To paraphrase the late Denny Green: Tennessee is who we thought they were … the best team in the AFC South.

18. I don’t care that Detroit fell inches short of upsetting the defending NFC champions. The Lions proved they can play with the best. Green Bay, consider yourself warned.

19. Someone get the Giants off the decaf. In their first three games — all losses — they’ve been outscored 47-13 in the first three periods, including 14-0 Sunday. Either that changes, or Jerry Reese dials 911.

20. Hard to believe that was Aaron Rodgers’ first OT win. But it was … and despite six sacks. So make that 1-7 for Rodgers in five-quarter games.

WINNERS

EAGLES’ RUNNING BACKS. No running back had more than 48 yards (Darren Sproles) in each of the first two games. Then Wendell Smallwood drops 71 on the Giants, and LeGarrette Blount goes for another 67 in his best game as an Eagle.

SAINTS’ DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DENNIS ALLEN. Once upon a time, the Saints’ defense had more leaks than the Nixon White House — allowing an average of 500 yards in its first two games, both losses. Then along comes Carolina, and, suddenly, the Saints turn into the ’85 Bears.

KANSAS CITY RB KAREEM HUNT. A week ago I said he’s this year’s Ezekiel Elliott. I was wrong. He’s better. Through three games the rookie has 401 yards rushing, 538 yards in offense, averages 8.5 yards a carry and has six TDs. But that’s not all: He’s the first player to have at least one 50-yard score in each of his first three starts. Through Elliott’s first three games, he had 271 yards rushing, a 3.9 yards per-carry averages and two scores.

CINCINNATI QB ANDY DALTON. He silenced the A.J. McCarron Fan Club for at least a week.

WASHINGTON DEFENSE. We know the Redskins have playmakers on offense, but their defense wasn’t supposed to shut down Oakland. Well, it did, with the Raiders 0-for-11 on third-down conversion, just over 100 yards in total offense and 10 points — thanks to assists from two Washington turnovers. “We had the energy going from start to finish,” said Washington cornerback Josh Norman.

CHICAGO QB MIKE GLENNON. So he throws for 101 yards. A win is a win is a win. And that will keep Glennon in the huddle another week.

NEW ENGLAND WR BRANDIN COOKS. Five catches, 131 yards and a game-winning catch with 23 ticks left. Now you know why the Patriots couldn’t wait to pair him with Tom Brady.

TACO LOVERS IN SAN DIEGO. Another Chargers’ loss means more free tacos for customers Monday at El Pollo Grill in Bonita, just south of San Diego, courtesy of owner Victor Lopez. Pssst, remember the password: Spanos Taco.

HOME TEAMS. Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home. Home teams were 11-4 this week (including the 49ers’ loss Thursday), with eight of them underdogs — including previously winless Indianapolis, which held off winless Cleveland. It was the first time the Browns were favored since Week 14 of 2015 and the first time they were favored on the road since Week 7 of 2014.

LOSERS

N.Y. GIANTS DEFENSE. Twice it failed to protect a fourth-quarter lead; then it caved on the game-winning drive, allowing Philadelphia to get in position for a 61-yard field goal. The Giants got big returns on their defense a year ago. Not Sunday, and good luck going forward. No 0-3 team has made the playoffs since the NFL went to eight divisions in 2002.

CAROLINA QB CAM NEWTON. He’s hurt, and he stinks. Two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 43.8 rating in his latest performance equal trouble for Carolina.

BALTIMORE OFFENSIVE COORDINTOR MARTY MORNHINWEG. His offense produced a franchise-worst 15 yards in the first half and seven points for the entire game … against Jacksonville. Awful. Trust me, he and Joe Flacco will be in the same foxhole this week.

LEGION OF BOOM. Bad enough that Richard Sherman needed a time out. The Seahawks couldn’t control DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry or Marcus Mariota — with the Titans running over, around and through Seattle’s overwhelmed defense for 195 yards — the most surrendered by Seattle since 2013.

OAKLAND RB MARSHAWN LYNCH. He was in Least Mode, with six carries, 18 yards and no sideline dance moves.

SUNDAY’S REPORT CARD

A

DETROIT DB DARIUS SLAY. Don’t blame him for the Lions’ loss. He had two of the Lions’ three interceptions of Matt Ryan.

PHILADELPHIA PK JAKE ELLIOTT. He not only won a game with a last-second field goal; he did it with the longest field goal made by any rookie — a 61-yarder that dropped the Giants to another defeat.

WASHINGTON RB CHRIS THOMPSON. All he did was haul in 150 yards in receptions, produce 188 yards in offense and score once. And he’s not even first on the depth chart. Rob Kelley is, but he was hurt.

MINNESOTA WR STEFON DIGGS. Sam Bradford? Case Kennum? It doesn’t seem to make a difference who quarterbacks the Vikes when this guy is out there making eight catches for 173 yards and two scores. Diggs wasn’t just the best Viking Sunday. He was the best player on the field, period.

B

HOUSTON QB DESHAUN WATSON. Maybe, just maybe, the Texans have themselves a quarterback. Watson came this close to becoming the first rookie QB to win at Gillette Stadium, and don’t blame him for that last-minute defeat. Blame a defense that couldn’t solve Tom Brady when it mattered most.

C

ATLANTA QB MATT RYAN. Yes, he won, and he’s 3-0. But he also had three interceptions Sunday and survived another close call. He didn’t have one three-interception game last season. In fact, he didn’t even have a multi-interception game. But he had one Sunday.

N.Y. GIANTS WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. Yes, he’s a marvelous talent, but the guy needs to grow up … and rewind the end-zone celebration of his first touchdown if you don’t know what I’m talking about. The Giants need him on the field, but they need him to stop putting himself ahead of the team.

D

DENVER QB TREVOR SIEMIAN. Two bad throws cost the Broncos points … and a ballgame. So what? So he’d never lost a game in September … until Sunday. Siemian is a mystery. Just when you want to believe in the guy, he puts up a stinker like this.

GIANTS’ P BRAD WING. He picked the wrong time to flub a 28-yard kick. Bad teams find ways to lose, and the Giants are a bad team.

E

MIAMI QB JAY CUTLER.  The Jets? Are you serious? The Jets? Miami didn’t cross the 50 until the third quarter, and that can happen when you have Cutler over here and no running game over there. Give the Dolphins this: They did the improbable. They made the Jets look good.

THE GIANTS’ RUNNING GAME. What running game? They have 146 yards for the season, or 26 fewer than Kareem Hunt had Sunday.

CLEVELAND RECEIVERS. Count ’em: Eight drops.

F

BALTIMORE QB JOE FLACCO. He didn’t complete his first pass until over four minutes were gone in the second quarter and quarterbacked an offense that produced a franchise-low 15 yards in the first half. He had eight completions, threw for 28 yards and his passer rating was a career-low 12.0. Say it ain’t so, Joe.

SUNDAY’S HALL OF FAMER

NEW ENGLAND QB TOM BRADY. This is the second straight week he’s here, and for good reason. Nobody Sunday was better. The Texans hadn’t allowed a 300-yard passing game the previous 31 games,. Then the 40-year-old Brady shreds them for 378 yards, five touchdowns and a last-minute, 92-yard game-winning drive. In the past two weeks Brady completed 74.3 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns, no interceptions and two victories.

SUNDAY’S HALL OF SHAMER

CHICAGO DB MARCUS COOPER: Lucky for him the Bears won in overtime. That spared this guy a painful explanation of the inexplicable — a showboat move that cost his team a touchdown at the end of the first half. I can only imagine what Ditka would’ve done had he been coaching. As that famed philosopher Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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31 Comments

  1. Rasputin
    September 24, 2017
    Reply

    I disagree completely, Clark. First, Alejandro Villanueva was standing outside the tunnel in the open, not “in it”. Videos of it are available online. That the former Army Ranger had to stand alone while the rest of his team cowered in the locker room was disgusting. Refusing to even come out for the anthem is a statement in and of itself.

    If you really want politics off the field then it’s simple. Require everyone to stand respectfully for the national anthem. If players can’t unify around the nation itself then there will be no unity. Now you’ve got the racial salutes during the game which is even worse. Black power salutes are just as evil as white power salutes in my book, but only one will get you punished and kicked out of the league.

    Trump is speaking for millions of patriotic Americans who have no voice in the sports media. People are fed up with the double standard.

    I predicted all this after Kaepernick received backslapping from the media rather than push back last year, the opposite of how most fans reacted. If the NFL had been on the ball and quickly instituted a rule requiring players stand then this crap would have been nipped in the bud and the NFL would be a lot healthier right now.

    The “free expression” argument doesn’t work given that the NFL micromanages its players’ behavior, imposing punishments for more trivial offenses that run afoul of far left PC interests. Miami LB Don Jones was fined, suspended, and sent to mandatory Orwellian reeducation “counseling” simply for posting something politically incorrect about homosexuality on his own social media page during the off season.

    The Dallas Cowboys were prohibited from wearing decals honoring police after a Black Lives Matter activist murdered 5 cops in Dallas last year. Goodell thought stuff like that might be “divisive”. Seriously? Like insulting the flag and giving racial power salutes isn’t?!?

    One question I had got answered today when the Ravens and Jaguars in London both knelt for the US anthem and then stood for the British anthem. That’s clarifies things more than ever. We might be better off if they stayed in Britain.

    The NFL has firmly branded itself as an anti-American league and, if plummeting ratings and attendance is any indication, is in a gradual death spiral.

    The NFL should have pandered to its fans instead of its players. Surveys have consistently shown that most NFL fans skew conservative/Republican, even more than the general population, but the sports media, especially ESPN, and the league itself have chosen to go in the opposite direction. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Even a lot of Democrats are still patriotic and are disgusted by the anthem protests and racially inflammatory gestures.

    Fortunately there’s college and high school football to follow. The only reason I still pay attention to the NFL at all is because I’m a Cowboys fan and they’ve all been standing for the anthem. Otherwise I would have moved on from the NFL by now.

    • Gp
      September 25, 2017
      Reply

      Rasputin, you really don’t understand the issue, do you?
      This is not about what “You” believe, it’s about the injustice people are enduring around the country. Open your eyes man…

      • Rasputin
        October 4, 2017
        Reply

        I understand the issue better than you do, GP. If there’s a specific case of injustice then prove it. False accusations are unjust. Either way there are lots of real injustices out there. Abortion is unjust, for example. The massacre of 60 million innocent babies since 1973 is an even worse stain on our country’s history than slavery was. Yet you don’t see Pro Lifers attacking the flag or the country itself. The nation’s founding principles provide the moral basis for ultimately abolishing abortion, as the Declaration of Independence recognizes the right to “Life” (capitalization theirs). They also provided the basis for abolishing slavery and racial oppression (“all Men are created equal”), and the US flag was an honored symbol in the fight against both.

        The national anthem honors the nation as a whole and shouldn’t be hijacked to push a niche political agenda.

      • Joseph Wright
        October 4, 2017
        Reply

        GP, this “Rasputin” troll is obviously a racist, redneck bigot. He says abortion is worst than slavery. The moron doesn’t understand that they are BOTH horrible. He STILL maintains that the South won the Civil War. And he has had racist responses of his deleted from this very site. Be careful, GP: Go to bed with rednecks, you wake up with missing brain cells.

        • Rasputin
          October 5, 2017
          Reply

          Still following me around, Joseph Wright? Everything you said is a lie, except for me saying abortion is even worse than slavery (I never said they weren’t both horrible, you idiot; my premise is obviously that they are). You still haven’t been able to quote a single racially bigoted thing I’ve ever written. Meanwhile I documented several examples of your racial bigotry lower on this page. Who’s the real troll?

  2. Rasputin
    September 24, 2017
    Reply

    Oh and Pete Carroll, the used car salesmen-esque coach who left USC a burning wreckage behind him, is hardly the arbiter of what’s classy.

    Did you hear the Redksins fans chanting “USA-USA” in defiance of the Raiders kneeling? Lots of disgusted patriotic fans haven’t tuned out of the NFL yet but potentially will if this continues. The league still has a long way to fall if it doesn’t drastically change course.

    • September 25, 2017
      Reply

      But Tomlin removed the issue from the playing field. He did the right thing. He kept guys from having to choose and had them concentrate on football instead. Rest of league should follow. No reason players have to be on field. It’s not a protest or statement of flag or patriotism or whatever. It’s simply a way of keeping them from having to engage in politics. Period.

      • Rasputin
        September 25, 2017
        Reply

        Clark, do you think the players made a political statement by standing for the British national anthem? Were they endorsing Theresa May’s government, or perhaps the proposed Brexit transitional deal?

        Or were they simply being polite? It would be bad to accept the premise that simply showing respect to the US flag, which one can do even if one is a communist or otherwise unpatriotic, is somehow now a “political issue”.

        • September 25, 2017
          Reply

          Clearly, this has become a political issue. Now we define players as to who stood and who knelt for an Anthem that is played thousands of times across the country every day. What Mike Tomlin did was to try to remove that decision from his locker room, and I think it was the right solution. Frankly, I don’t know why we have the National Anthem played before games. I like it at Olympics, and think it’s appropriate. But do you have the National Anthem played every day before you start work, and do we start counting who stands and who doesn’t? And the answer is: No. These guys are simply going to work every Sunday, like baseball players do 162 games a year. They’re working. We don’t need them out on the field for the National Anthem, and, I was told, there was a time when they weren’t on the field for it … and nobody seemed concerned. So let’s go back to that and remove this dialogue about what it means for who stood and who didn’t. I stand for it. I had a father who served in three wars and who led the 5th Marines in Viet Nam. I respect the flag and what it stand for. And I’m sick and tired of people making standing or sitting for it at some pro sports event a measurement of somebody’s worth or point of view or whatever. But that’s what it’s become, and all it’s doing now is further dividing an already divided country. So Tomlin said he’s sick and tired of it, too. He doesn’t want the political dialogue to replace what is most important to his players — and that’s not standing or not standing for the Anthem but beating the next opponent. Because THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE PAID TO DO.

          • Joseph Wright
            September 25, 2017

            I’m with you and Tomlin, Clark.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            As horrific ratings plunges, Alejandro Villanueva jersey sales, and other evidence of American sentiment underscore, you, the media, Goodell, and the anti-American players are on the wrong side of history.

          • Joseph Wright
            September 26, 2017

            Well, apparently, so is FOX Sports Nick Wright, Shannon Sharpe, and your man in Dallas, Dale Hansen. Among others. Enjoy, “Rasputin”:

            https://www.facebook.com/Mediamatters/videos/10154963891151167/

          • Rasputin
            September 26, 2017

            Yeah, what part of “media” did you not understand? “Shannon Sharpe”, lol?!?! The only intelligent thing I’ve ever heard Shannon Sharpe say on any topic was when he conceded that his brother was a better football player than he was. All those guys and the league are radically out of touch with Americans and reality.

            “Q7: Last week, Donald Trump said NFL players should stand and be respectful during the national anthem. Do you think NFL players should stand and be respectful during the national anthem?
            Yes: 64%
            No: 25%
            Unsure: 11%

            Q8: On Sunday, a number of NFL players knelt during the national anthem in protest of Donald Trump’s statements, including players from your favorite team. Does this make you more likely or less likely to watch your favorite team’s games in the future?
            More likely: 30%
            Less likely: 50%
            No difference: 20%

            Q4: Now, just thinking about this year, have you watched more football or less football compared to previous years?
            More football: 19% [GO TO Q6]
            Less football: 51% [GO TO Q5]
            About the same: 30% [GO TO Q6]

            Q5: Why would you say you are watching less football this year?
            Players using the NFL as a stage for their political views: 69%
            New rules that reduce physical contact: 5%
            There are too many games during the week: 6%
            Games last too long: 2%
            Pace of play is too slow: 2%
            Something else: 12%
            Unsure: 4%

            Q9: Do you support protesting during the national anthem at the beginning of NFL games, or is there a more appropriate place for players to protest?
            Support: 31%
            There is a more appropriate place to protest: 60%
            Unsure: 9%

            Q10: In the future, would you prefer to see more politics, less politics, or the same amount of politics during sporting events?
            More politics: 7%
            Less politics: 80%
            Same amount: 13%”

            See? The poll also shows Roger Goodell has a 12% favorability rating.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            That was a reply to Joseph Wright. At least Clark’s heart is in the right place.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            But, Clark, getting rid of the anthem at this point would be a political statement in and of itself, and a horrific one. People didn’t care if players were out there before because they weren’t going out of their way to make some statement against the country. The anthem is played before games because most people like it and view it as a unifying experience…America coming together as a shared community and culture. Most people regardless of partisan stripe are patriotic and don’t view disrespecting the flag, whether burning it or kneeling during the national anthem, as a worthy form of protest.

            If they continue playing the anthem, which they probably will because ending it now would cause even more fan outrage, having teams hide from it inside would be glaring and wouldn’t make the problem go away, especially if players like Villanueva insist on coming out alone if necessary to honor the nation. It would still be noticed and talked about, by fans and maybe the media. The solution that would do the least damage to the NFL and would end this issue would be to require that players stand respectfully. US soccer (international) and various other sporting entities already do it. There’s no rational reason to oppose that given the countless behavioral regulations the NFL already imposes on players. It won’t heal all the damage right away, because at least a large minority of players have exposed their views, but at least it would show the NFL cares about its fans after all and would be eliminating a gross double standard. It would let the league begin the process of moving away from the anti-American branding it’s blundered into.

            If the Dallas Cowboys can’t wear decals honoring cops, why should players in uniform be allowed to disrespect the country or make racially offensive gestures during games?

          • September 25, 2017

            First of all, I’m not suggesting we get rid of the Anthem. Just don’t understand why it has to be played before an NFL or MLB game. But don’t believe that having a team on or off the field constitutes patriotism or dissent. Just don’t. Second, players cannot and should not be allowed to make obscene gestures. What OBJ did yesterday was juvenile, vulgar and inexcusable. And he should’ve been flagged … and he was. The guy is a talented football player who has the maturity of a mayfly. I am posting something tomorrow that Gary Plummer told us, and you will be interested in it: It’s how he would have defused the Colin Kaepernick situation. And he said he and the 49ers he played with never would’ve allowed him to be on the field for the Anthem. Why? Because he becomes a distraction. And that’s why I like what Tomlin did. All these guys become distractions to their teams. So make sure they’re not. Let them protest to their heart’s content after their job is over. But their behavior on or immediately before a game could have an impact on others in what is a TEAM sport.

  3. Duane
    September 25, 2017
    Reply

    Well stated Rasputin. I don’t really care about the clerk at Walmart’s views on the flag, politics etc. If they flaunt those in my face while shopping, I am confident they will be removed. Employees can be fired, suspended, etc for their actions, behavior and words in the workplace. Freedom of speech does NOT prevent that. Freedom of speech protects you from being thrown in jail for your views. Tomlin called out the lineman who came out so you have the irony and absurdity of a coach respecting the right of dissent and NOT the right of a War veteran who was left to stand alone. Hardly brilliant as the author claims….much more dissent will be seen in the Pittsburgh locker room

    • September 25, 2017
      Reply

      Disagree. Very, very smart move. Removed politics from the narrative with his team. You want your team to choose? You create a divide and chasm you may not be able to bridge. Tomlin move should be repeated by rest of league. Otherwise, each week we count up who kneeled, who didn’t, and why they did what they did. Who cares? If they want to be social or political activists they can do it on their own time. They are on the field to do their jobs, which is to play football. And by keeping players in the LR he demonstrates that he understands that. Brilliant.

      • Rasputin
        September 25, 2017
        Reply

        It failed miserably Clark. Alejandro Villanueva reportedly broke coach orders to go stand alone and honor the country. His jersey sales have now surged to #1 in the NFL overnight and Tomlin is receiving blowback for appearing to take swipes at the patriotic veteran (in some journalists’ interpretations). Avoiding the national anthem is a statement that your team isn’t respectful enough, let alone patriotic enough, to go show basic decorum in front of fans. If other teams joining in hiding from the anthem the NFL will look even more farcical than it already does. It’s cartoonish and immature.

        That said, I do respect you and appreciate that you’re trying to depoliticize the NFL. I agree with you on that point. But the proper way to do that is to do what the NFL has already done on other issues: institute rules forbidding divisive displays while in uniform at work (or even out of uniform on your own time in Don Jones’ case). Anthem protests and certainly racial power salutes during games should be banned just as racial epithets or other “insensitive” or “offensive” actions are. Easy. Simple. THAT would have been smart. If the NFL won’t do it then individual teams should start doing it.

        • Rasputin
          September 25, 2017
          Reply

          Ben Roethlisberger has also come out today saying he regretted the Steeler’s boycott of the anthem, adding that he even had trouble sleeping last night. Like the vast majority of football fans, he doesn’t think the anthem is an appropriate time to protest.

        • Joseph Wright
          September 25, 2017
          Reply

          “His jersey sales have now surged to #1 in the NFL overnight…” According to who, FOX News Channel?

          Oh, BTW, have you ever found any documented proof that “Dr. Z” said Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach, john Elway, and Steve Young should be made running backs? After all, Randall Cunningham showed mobility and Zimmerman immediately, and bigotedly, said he should be made a running back. When I said Z never made a suggestion like that about Tarkenton, Staubach, Elway, or Young after their first two years you said I have no proof of that. It’s not my job to prove that, it’s yours. Prove me wrong, redneck.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            CNN, Sporting News, ESPN, Fox, and others. Links would likely hold up my post for days but google….

            “Steelers player who stood for national anthem has top-selling jersey” ( CNN)

            “Alejandro Villanueva’s jersey becomes best seller in NFL after anthem stance” (Sporting News)

            “Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva has highest-selling gear in past 24 hours” (ESPN)

            “Alejandro Villanueva is NFL’s top-selling jersey since standing for anthem” (Fox News Business)

            I’m not interested in engaging on your insane, off topic rant against Dr. Z. You’ve already been demolished on that too elsewhere.

          • Joseph Wright
            September 25, 2017

            “I’m not interested in engaging on your insane, off topic rant against Dr. Z. You’ve already been demolished on that too elsewhere.” Yeah, because you can’t find anything to refute the fact that Z NEVER suggested a position change about Tarkenton, Staubach, Elway, or Young. Only Cunningham–a mobiole QB…who was Black. Later, redneck bigot racist.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            I just schooled you on your moronic comment about “Fox News” and Alejandro Villanueva jersey sales, and that’s your pathetic response? You can’t even back up your lies against me, so why would I invest more time than I already have elsewhere deconstructing a fallacious argument in which you’re stupidly accusing some other person of “racism”?

            As the quotes I’ve posted below show, Joseph Wright, you’re the racial bigot here.

  4. Joseph Wright
    September 25, 2017
    Reply

    The redneck racist Rasputin shows his ignorance again. Don’t be surprised. He had hateful statements deleted on another page from this site. He called Blacks murdered by police, “drops in a bucket.” Keep waving that Confederate flag, Razzie.

    • Rasputin
      September 25, 2017
      Reply

      Still following me around lying because you got embarrassed in multiple debates, Joseph Wright? You’re the racial bigot who said you don’t feel safeties like Larry Wilson, Paul Krause, and Cliff Harris belong in the Hall of Fame because they’re white. By contrast I judge people as individuals, not based on skin color. I certainly don’t want anyone of any stripe murdered or unfairly discriminated against, and I’ve made no “hateful” statements.

      PS – Calling me a “redneck” reveals your own prejudices. If you are going to follow me around lying you should probably at least make your lies more believable, and not faceplant right out of the gate, lol.

      • Joseph Wright
        September 25, 2017
        Reply

        Who’s really lying here? I never said any player should not be in the Hall of Fame because of their race. Additionally, I always campaigned for Paul Krause, the all-time NFL INT leader, to be in the Hall of Fame when he was not. I am not following you around at all. I saw Ken Easley HOF speech featured and, sure enough, you made racist statements concerning innocent Blacks who were murdered by police. You justified these murders because of frivolous reasons.

        Redneck is not a racial epithet. It is no different than “feminist,” “militant,” “conservative,” “liberal,” “draft-dodger,” or “hippie.” It is a critical characterization based on choices that you make. It has nothing to due with your racial background.

        I’VE never been deleted for ignorant, racist statements like YOU have on this site. LMFAO!!! See ya, bigot.

        • Rasputin
          September 25, 2017
          Reply

          You’re lying. Here’s just a small sample of your quotes from the Lee Roy Jordan article that anyone who cares to can verify by clicking on below.

          “Harris was a White man and, when it came time to defend Lynn Swann, he couldn’t jump. No racism, just stating the truth.” – Joseph Wright

          “players like Harris, Larry Wilson, Dick Anderson, Blackwood Brothers were relics from the 60s who couldn’t hold up against modern athletes” – Joseph Wright

          “It’s players like Cliff Harris, Larry Wilson, Dick Anderson and Bill Bates that USC’s Sam Cunningham exploited that gave Paul “Bear” Bryant the vision and validation (to closed-minded, in-denial Confederates) to update his talent pool. The Larry Wilsons and Cliff Harrises were out and the Tatums and Ken Houstons were in.” – Joseph Wright

          “Cliff Harris was on the track team (lol)? What’d he do? Throw the javelin? Run the mile? Poll vault? I KNOW it wasn’t the sprints or the high-jump. LMFAO!!!” – Joseph Wright (I then informed Wright that actually Harris was a sprinter in college, lol)

          “damn! Harris couldn’t run OR jump” – Joseph Wright

          That was despite me debunking your prejudiced assumptions by posting facts about Harris’ high scouting vertical and video footage of him torching most of the field in an NFL superstars race near the end of his career. Plus you apparently don’t follow the current NFL enough to have heard of guys like Eric Weddle or Harrison Smith.

          By contrast you can’t quote a single racially bigoted sentence I’ve ever written. All my posts on the Easley article still stand except for that one paired response early on that was likely deleted because I posted loads of legal details of cases someone brought up. The details were all public information reported in the news but their legal aspect may have made a mod nervous. There was nothing offensive or “hateful” about them. The “drop in the bucket” comment is still there, where I posted stats debunking BLM premises and said that both the cases of white and blacks killed by police under questionable circumstances are a drop in the bucket in total police interactions and overall killings of each group, and don’t establish racial malice toward either color or “systemic carnage” by police.

          And “redneck”, as you used it, is an epithet with both racial and cultural overtones. Regardless, it shows you’re making assumptions about me that don’t fit the facts. There’s a word for that….

          • Joseph Wright
            September 25, 2017

            Some context about the first quote: Razzie was (probably still is) in denial about Harris’ total inability to defend against Lynn Swann’s high-flying style (Jack Tatum had no such problems, but I digress) and I made a mild joke referring to the movie White Men Can’t Jump. Of course, Rasputin overreacted and called me a racist and then kept persisting. In those situations, the fierce accuser is usually the one guilty. I stand by all those quotes, not one of which is racist.

            Rasputin on the other hand…
            1) Continues to defend the murders of Blacks by police
            2) Trivializes the significance of the 1970 USC-Alabama game
            3) Stereotype Black players who were better than Larry Wilson and Cliff Harris (Kenny Easley is a gas bag; Jack Tatum was lazy, and illiterate–“Who really wrote those books?”)
            4) Maintains the South won the Civil War
            5) Refuses to give any Black quarterbacks or Black head coaches any credit
            6) Cites Larry Wilson’s tenure as a front office executive (Overseeing decades of futility–St. Louis/AZ Cardinals–and stealing money in the process) over Gale Sayers and Jim Brown, when Blacks were not allowed to be a part of the “Good Ol’ Boys Network.”

            This redneck troll, “Rasputin,” is a joke.

          • Rasputin
            September 25, 2017

            “In those situations, the fierce accuser is usually the one guilty.”

            LOL! We’ve just seen that play out haven’t we? I just showed your racial bigotry and football ignorance with several quotes and you conceded their accuracy by saying you stand by them. You brought race up out of the blue on that article and it colored much of your commentary there.

            By contrast you failed to support your insipid lies about me with a single quoted sentence. That’s more telling to an honest reader than paragraphs of bleating from you.

  5. Rasputin
    September 25, 2017
    Reply

    In fast affiliate ratings last night’s NFL game was down 21% in the ratings from the previous week, and it had been down 14% that week from the opener.

    The NFL picked a fight with America. The NFL is losing.

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