January 19, 2016
Several thoughts while waiting for Rolex to hire Andy Reid as a spokesman, Dave Hakstol to crack a smile behind the Flyers bench, Villanova to develop a Div.1 hockey program and the Phillies to actually make a headline:
• Must have been a bittersweet day for the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday when the team announced Doug Pederson as its next head coach. The discomfort was based in knowing that its fan base was less than impressed and still nervous at the involvement of front office guru Howie Roseman.
The Eagles might have thought that the fans would be calmed by the fact that they asked former Eagle quarterback and well-respected analyst Ron Jaworski to get involved in the search that landed Pederson.
Jaworski’s is a football mind that any fan can appreciate. However, when a team needs to reach out to such a source, it is an acknowledgment that such a mind is missing from its front office on a day-to-day, week-to-week, season-to-season basis.
The obvious question is -- why not hire Jaworski on a full-time basis?
• Still waiting for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to get his hands back on the football for a deserved crack to bring his team back against the Arizona Cardinals. Rodgers brought his team back with another miracle Hail Mary toss to get the game tied as time expired, and then the coin toss gave Arizona the ball to start the overtime.
Boom, the Cardinals made a quick strike and it was game over.
The NFL has already tweaked the overtime rules, and now it needs to make sure each team gets the same number of possessions. We were all left wanting to see what would happen if Rodgers got another shot.
• It was truly difficult to work up any outrage at what was happening in the whole John Scott mess with the NHL All-Star game, a situation that was resolved Tuesday when the NHL announced a policy revision that will allow Scott to participate.
For those who missed the truly silly story – Scott, a marginal player became the latest social media cartoon when a few web sites led the charge to have the 6-8 tough guy playing with Phoenix voted captain of the Pacific Division team.
There were reported attempts by the NHL and Coyotes to persuade Scott to give up the spot, but he decided to run with the situation and have a chance at his portion of a possible $1 million per team payday to the winning team in the three-on-three competition.
Then, voila! Scott gets traded to Montreal and sent to the minor leagues, making it probable he would not even be eligible to play in the game. The NHL must have felt the heat, because by midday Tuesday it was announced that the situation was reviewed and Scott would indeed captain the Pacific team.
The whole situation was a debacle, but it is difficult to get incensed when the NHL -- and all sports for that matter -- has gone out of its way to toy with the formats of All-Star games. And once you toy with the process and invite fans to the party, you should expect people with toys in their attic to take over that party.
Just don’t expect me to get all outraged at the injustice of it all..
The irony in this case is that many people -- this typist included -- are very intrigued by this version of the newest version of the All-Star game, because it is likely that all the three-on-three units will play with some sort of conviction because of the bragging rights and winner-take-all-million-dollar-winning-team payday.
No doubt he doesn’t belong at such an event, but if you use that as a yardstick, how many others do not belong, but are invited just because somebody has to fill that particular color jersey? The NHL and other leagues have opened up the process to the fans, and you get what you get. If Donald Trump can get support to be president of the United States of America, then John Scott can get support to be an All-Star.
How about a blue ribbon panel of fans to do some voting next year? With all the fantasy leagues around it shouldn’t be hard to find a few people from each city to participate in some sort of vote – and the highway to hell that is fan voting on the internet would be put to an end.
• It is likely the NFL’s last version of Star Wars will take place on Saturday in Denver where Peyton Manning will face Tom Brady for the 17th time in their respective careers, and fifth time in the playoffs where they have split the previous decisions.
Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has tried to portray Brady as the Dark Side, the fact is the NFL has benefitted big time from its two biggest stars who have been relatively squeaky clean over their respective careers and are, in general, two guys who are easy to cheer.
The guess on this side of the page is that although Manning is literally on his last legs and arm, Denver’s defense is so good that Manning just has to be okay to get a win. As for Brady, he is only 2-6 in his career at Mile High Stadium, but most of his weapons are back and ready to go.
But ... figure on Brady and Bill Belichick leaving again as winners, with an earnest hug from Brady to Manning when it’s over, and another check mark on Brady’s master plan to force Goodell to grit his teeth and hand him another Super Bowl trophy next month.