So what did we learn from Week 1 of this NFL season?
For starters, it remains difficult for QBs to complete downfield passes while throwing off their back feet as unimpeded defenders attack inches from their rib cages. Doesn’t matter if you’re Joe Flacco, Joe Namath or Mighty Joe Young, it’s not easily done.
And it’s not easily practiced. After all, it would be both inhumane and counterproductive to have your QBs rehearse being crushed.
Next, there’s Robert Saleh. The second-season Jets coach this week seemed frustrated Jets fans in PSL Stadium, Sunday, booed his team when they have been booing their feckless team for most of the last, oh, 50 seasons.
“Next, there’s Robert Saleh. The second-season Jets coach this week seemed frustrated Jets fans in PSL Stadium, Sunday, booed his team when they have been booing their feckless team for most of the last, oh, 50 seasons.”
Furthermore, he placed the media, which thus far has been gentle and even sympathetic toward him, on notice that he’ll exact a terrible vengeance. But what would Saleh have reported about the Jets’ Week 1 home opener?
Moving on, TV’s NFL pregame shows continue as pro-forma wastes of time, unless one enjoys overstuffed panel discussions of matters that likely won’t matter and forced belly laughs that aren’t worth a grin.
This year’s NFL season opened to what pregame shows ignored: The preseason caused more injuries than rookie revelations. Teams opened extra thin, with proven players out, replaced by spare parts who don’t necessarily fit.
During Ravens-Jets, CBS sustained — as in 12 years — of providing its ritual mindless shots of mindless fans at Jets and Giants home games: beer in one hand, pounding the field-side padding with the other.
This idiot-magnet shot only precedes big plays — third-and-goals, fourth-and-shorts — thus when it makes the most sense to stay on the field, TV bolts. It’s a thoughtless habit, like littering or inviting your sister-in-law for Thanksgiving.
As for ESPN’s Monday night Broncos-Raiders, lifelong pal Lloyd Stone asked, “Is there any way to watch this in black and white? Seattle’s garish green uniforms should be restricted to prisoners on trash patrol along the Jersey Turnpike.”
ESPN, as a matter of dim-witted habit, afflicted the telecast. Clearly, its first priority clearly was to show Seattle coach Pete Carroll as often as possible. At one point in the first half he appeared four times over four consecutive plays.
What wasn’t expected was that ESPN went light on show-and-speak shots of the “new,” 20-years-on-Fox duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, perhaps realizing we were familiar with both. And both were downright palatable.
But when it most counted — the game about to be decided, 20 seconds left and Denver with a fourth-and-5 from midfield — ESPN couldn’t simply allow Buck and Aikman to be heard discussing it; ESPN had to cut to the booth so we could watch them discuss it.
And as we watched and heard them reasonably presume that rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett would go for a first down behind “Last Minute” Russell Wilson, we missed both the sideline discussion — if there was any to see — then the surprising sight of Denver’s field goal team taking the field, preface to a missed, game-ending 64-yarder.
Just before that Buck candidly admitted, “So we were on camera and they switched in the huddle when they brought [kicker Brandon] McManus out.” But he and we couldn’t see what ESPN needlessly chose to hide.
So, Mr. Big Shot Lounge Chair TV Critic, you think you could do better? Yes, yes, I do. Most everyone could!
Rutgers-Wagner mismatch an embarrassment for both schools
Rutgers, Saturday, may have established a new standard for winning ugly, a 66-7 stomping of NCAA second-division Wagner, a pay-to-slay number.
For openers, the afflicted-by-hysterics radio voice of RU football, Chris Carlin, incoherently screamed after every RU score throughout the planned mismatch. He sounded as if RU was winning the national championship, an insult to listeners well aware that his was a bogus treatment of a predetermined massacre.
Next, the DoorDash Scarlet Ink Knights, after last year running up a $73 million athletic department deficit to be shared by taxpayers and non-athlete students, paid Wagner about $500,000 to make the short trip from Staten Island to make this “game” happen.
RU, recently revealed to have spent $450,000 on DoorDash deliveries to football players during the pandemic, agreed to pay for transportation, food and 50 overnight hotel rooms for Wagner.
This “game” forced RU season subscribers to pay for tickets and parking even if they chose to pass on such a “competition.” As for Wagner, it took the dough to have its student-athletes stomped. This game was a two-college disgrace that the NCAA and compliant media both allow and ignore.
But the humiliation served a purpose. It artificially allowed RU to crawl closer toward six-win bowl eligibility.
RU last season became “bowl eligible” despite a 5-7 season after Texas A&M pulled out of the TaxSlayer — satire-proof! — Gator Bowl against Wake Forest due to COVID. Eager to be the substitute, RU lost 38-10, but coach Greg Schiano, already with a base salary of $4 million per plus tens of thousands in annual perks, earned a $75,000 bonus from RU for a bowl game invite.
LeBron’s Suns double-standard
Those who grab the big money to join the Saudi government-funded golf tour should be made to attend a Saudi government beheading of an accused political dissident or religious infidel.
Those who eagerly grab Nike dough, college coaches especially, should be made to work a full week in a Third World Nike factory.
That’s called, “Keepin’ it real.”
And not that there’s anyone in LeBron James’ retinue to talk him off his self-assigned throne and Nike hypocrisies, but someone should at least try to tell him: the fair-minded no longer take him seriously.
James’ latest selectively blind, race-based messages, attacking the NBA for a mere one-year suspension (and $10 million fine!) as going soft on Suns’ owner Robert Sarver for using the same language as does James’ N-wording, women-degrading rapper buddies, have turned him into a Rev. Al Sharpton.
James’ one-way vision and lose-lose allegiance to double-standards — his silent indulgence of the continuing epidemic of dead-on-arrival black-on-black murder in our cities — has destroyed his credibility among the logical.
Despite its outdoor set weekly surrounded, essentially by invite, by obligatorily rowdy and often crude sign-brandishing, beer-for-breakfast students — security was increased after a full can was thrown at panelists — ESPN saw fit to hire ex-NFL punter Pat McAfee full-time for its “College GameDay” show.
McAfee’s recently ended SiriusXM gig emphasized his three strengths: Access to Aaron Rodgers, his acts in the regular employ of Vince McMahon’s sleazy pro wrestling shows, and his eagerness to spit vulgarities into his satellite radio microphone.
Yep, he met all the ESPN requirements!
Reader Len Geller on the full frontal stats attack on the good senses during Yanks and Mets telecasts: “In my last email I used vowels 34.7% of the time. That’s up from 31.4% in my previous email. In August I was down to 29.8 % vowel usage. In July, I was at 32.2%.
“Please — PLEASE — make them stop!”