There's no getting around it, a broader problem still exists for the NFL
It’s our first weekend since August devoid of football games of any meaning whatsoever. The Pro Bowl is as big a waste of three hours as exists on the sports calendar hence certainly does not count. Let’s hope our calendar isn’t devoid of Major League Baseball games into a good portion of the spring. Owner-player negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement have made incremental progress at most. Major League Baseball seeking to add a federal mediator to the talks can’t hurt I guess, but the players have to agree to it. If no deal is done by the end of this month, uh oh. There’s already no way that spring training starts on time.
The NFL still commanded the top sports news slot of the week. The top two really, and boy it took a doozy to relegate Tom Brady's retirement to the runner-up slot. Fired Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores lit a powder keg in filing a class action lawsuit against the Dolphins, Giants, Broncos and whole NFL over alleged racist hiring practices. The NFL clearly has systemic racism in its history. It doesn’t take white sheet and hood wearing pure evil to be racist, or at least racially insensitive or improper. As society continues dealing/not dealing with what is probably an eternal problem of race issues, sometimes it’s hard to fairly redress an individual problem (that may or may not exist) even though a broader problem obviously exists.
If the Texans hire the utterly unqualified Josh McCown to be their head coach, is that racist? No. Laughable, but not racist, unless someone has specific evidence to the contrary. It would however speak to the overall problem of an ol’ boys network of opportunities that grossly disfavors minorities. That said, the notion that because roughly 70 percent of NFL players are black a similar percentage should be NFL head coaches, is silly. But one out of 32? In the 1960s Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously addressed pornography by noting that while he couldn’t specifically define it, “I know it when I see it.” In this case “it” is systemic racism. Painted end zone slogans and helmet decals notwithstanding.
It would seem illogical for Flores to just make up allegations that Miami owner Steve Ross offered him 100-thousand dollars per loss in 2019. There is a difference between “tanking” for draft positioning and ostensibly asking for games to be thrown. Ross of course denies everything. So the one thing we know is that Flores or Ross is a liar. If Flores is proven to be the untruth teller, his career would be rightfully destroyed. If Ross is proven to be the untruth teller, he could face criminal charges.
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher sure poured it on thick this week when getting all worked up over suggestions that NIL deals had anything to do with the Aggies’ historically fantastic recruiting class. He all but challenged fellow SEC head coaches to a fistfight. Of course the NIL situation helped the Ags. It’s the new landscape of recruiting. It’s a good thing for the program that A&M’s massive and wealthy alumni base has rabidly embraced the system. Come on Jimbo, it’s the same backbone that has you with a 90 million dollar contract.
Eric Gordon on the move?
The NBA trade deadline arrives Thursday. Rockets’ general manager Rafael Stone should not overvalue Eric Gordon as a trade asset. Gordon is a solid pro shooting the ball very well this season. He’s also 33 years old with 19 and a half million dollars guaranteed for next season. The Rockets definitely don’t owe it to Gordon to deal him to a contender, but holding out for a good young starter or multiple first round picks in return would be an over-ask. How aggressively to shop Christian Wood is a more interesting question.
While the Rockets enter the weekend with 15 wins in 51 games this season, the Houston Cougars have 19 wins in their 21 games played. Wednesday night while the Rockets were snapping their franchise worst tying 11 game home court losing streak, the Coogs were winning their 37th straight at the Fertitta Center. Over the last four seasons (counting this one as the fourth), Kelvin Sampson’s squads are a spectacular 103-18. This Sunday UH plays at Cincinnati, the Bearcats do pose a mild upset risk.
1. It worked I guess, but to try and boost its chances it was pretty sad that U.S. soccer chose to schedule a February 2 World Cup qualifying game against Honduras outdoors in St. Paul Minnesota.
2. The Winter Olympics are underway in China. Were you aware?
3. Winter Olympic sports I’d love to try: Bronze-curling Silver-bobsleigh (wait, it’s not the bobsled?) Gold-luge