Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: NFL roster cut with a twist...reality TV

The NFL should liven up the roster cuts. Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

In the third quarter of Saturday afternoon’s preseason game against the Texans, the Rams had a 3rd and goal from the 15-yard line. Running back John Kelly took a handoff and ran behind the left guard, through the Texans’ defense and into the end zone. At least two to three defenders missed tackles. It wasn’t the missed tackles that got me; it was the perceived lack of effort.  

I posted a tweet that read: “#Texans should cut those two guys who missed those tackles right now. Hand them plane tickets and call an Uber.” Not long after posting that, I began to think: what if the annual roster cut-down from 90 to 53, plus the 10 man practice squad, was done reality show style? What if guys were cut on the spot in practices and/or games? HBO’s Hard Knocks gives us some insight as to how cuts are made every training camp. But what if we spiced it up a bit? Here are some ideas I came up with:

“The Player:” In a Bachelor or Bachelorette style program, potential roster cuts are made known when guys come back into the locker room after practices or preseason games and finds his locker cleared out. That, or nothing but a black rose is in place of his belongings. Imagine the interviews with the guys who are cut that thought they secured a roster spot. The “reunion show” could be a where are they now programmed on Pro Bowl weekend. Guarantee this would get better ratings than the Pro Bowl itself.

Pickup game style: Some of the worst feelings as a kid was either not getting picked to play, or being the last pick when no one else is left to even out the teams. It’d be interesting to see teams fill out their final roster by calling out the names of the guys who made the team and handing them a jersey. The guys who are cut will receive an envelope with a thank you letter and a blank one-way plane ticket.

“The Ultimate Roster Spot Challenge:” It seems as if roster spots often come down to a numbers game. Coaching staffs have different preferences. Some keep three quarterbacks, some opt for two. Most of the 53-man roster is set and only the last handful of spots are up for grabs. What if the final spots are determined through a series of drills and challenges? Sure, the potential ninth offensive lineman can’t compete in a 40-yard dash with the potential sixth cornerback. But we could develop a point system based on drills, practice performance, preseason game play, and have coaches vote be final determining factor. Players will get an envelope with either a pink slip, or contract that’ll get opened in front of everyone in final team meeting one by one.

Too long NFL has stood for “No Fun League.” Hard Knocks has pulled back the curtain some. Allowing more celebrations has made it more enjoyable as well. Although the rules changes and anthem protest unrest has made it unbearable at times, there’s potential for growth in the appeal of the game. Roger Goodell, if you’re reading this, send me a tweet so we can discuss this, and my payout.


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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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