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- I keep meaning to get into my Red Sox pre-season preview mode (I got my Alfredo Aceves Fan Club Membership Card #1A--First one on the bandwagon!), but the NFL has me glued to their network watching the non-stop free agency/Peyton Manning/Tim Tebow/Saints "Bounty-gate"/etc drama. It's more than gripping than Mexican tele-novellas for God's sake! In addtion, the NFL draft is right around the corner; only a month away. I have to start trying to craft my hair into the Mel Kiper Jr style in time for the extravaganza (Sidenote: who the heck was Mel Kiper Sr?)
- Let's get Peyton Manning outta the way first. I keep hearing Cyndi Lauper in my head (yuck!) singing about "True Colors shining through". Super Bowl? Must be low on the list or else San Francisco would finally have their final triple-jewel quarterback to join Steve Young and Joe Montana in the 49ers legacy. With that young defense, coach of the year, and group of talented skill players on offense (Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, dare I say even Randy "Cash Money Homey" Moss!), playoff berth in the dreadful NFC West seemed like a lock with Alex Smith at QB. Too bad the Money Man(ning) had to drop all pretense of caring about winning in order to cash his giant check in the Rocky Mountains. 10-6 seems like it would be fine with him as long as he gets his stats, and especially, gets paid more than Tom Brady. It's (as Aretha would say) all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Money, not wins. Legacy and ego as highest-paid, not as having the most Super Bowl rings. Denver is not that great of a defense or offense, and now that Manning held them hostage the entire first week of free-agency, where are his weapons gong to come from for the Denver offense? Remember that in the Rocky Mountains come playoff time when Peyton Manning is home counting his money and pointing to TB12 on TV saying "I make more than him!".
- Everyone in New York has their "Tebow-ner" with excitement about their new third-string quarterback. The fragile ego of Mark "Dirty" Sanchez will finally have it's first real test after the awful off-season of chasing Peyton Manning broke his poor little heart and the team had to laughingly extend his deal to boost his broken trust. Now, with Jesus Tebow holding the clipboard on the sideline and running the antiquated, "everyone defends it with ease" Wishbone/Slash/Wildcat for a couple of no-gains a game, at the first incompletion in the first practice, it will have the New York "faithful" fans chanting for ol' Jesus Tebow to come replace Sanchez and ply his magic. Teammates will pick sides. the already divided locker-room will be torn to shreds. Antonio "Father of our Country" Cromartie will be asked 7,000 times about his anti-Tebow tweets. The circus just added another ring in Jersey. More good news for the Patriots if you ask me.
- Bounty-gate (seriously, someone needs to stop adding "gate" to every scandal. For example, last night at "Pork-Chop-gate", I ate the last pork chop before my son could get it. Grrrrr, no more "gates" in conversation allowed unless someone wants to chat with me about Stargate: Sci-Fi, I am all in; Leftover lazy headline writers referencing a scandal from 38 years ago, not interested.) and the suspensions have hit the Saints hard. The real interest is the battle that will ensue when players are in line for fines and suspensions and the Players Union is after Commissioner Roger Goodell and it blows up into a legal battle. Parents should be using this as a wonderful learning opportunity. Corrective action was applied by the league in 2010 (questioning, verbal warnings, memos, etc). The team did not heed the action, and then lied about it. Therefore, minor punishment becomes major punishment. Kids, take heed, lying and cover-ups lead to bigger problems than just telling the truth.
- Beyond that, the tweeting of Saints QB Drew Brees (still having not signed the franchise tender) of someone owing him an explanation for his coach Sean Peyton being suspended has me seeing red. Who does Drew Brees think he is to deserve an explanation? Last I checked, he was not even under contract as a member of the New Orleans Saints franchise. Get off your prancing pony, sign your contract, and shut-up already, Drew. No one, I repeat, no one owes you, or any player, an explanation regarding discipline toward these coaches and the organization. Go ask your coach why he lied to investigators and covered-up the intentional attempt to injure his co-quarterbacks in the league, instead of crying on twitter like a big baby. Nancy Drew Brees would be first in line to cry tothe commish if there was a bounty on him, I have no doubt. He should be lining up support for Kurt Warner and Brett Favre. Don't kill your popularity with whining, Nancy. Stop now before you sound like an entitled, whiney, crying NFL quarterback (I usually call those types of individuals a "Manning")
- The Patriots lost two free-agents: Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis and Mark Anderson:
- BJGE (aka "the Law Firm") cashed in and I am always happy for an undrafted free-agent who makes some bucks. That said, he is entirely replaceable. He averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry and the future of running back in New England is Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen. I am excited to see the two kids get a full training camp and off-season work-out program under them (last year was so abbreviated due to the idiotic lockout) and show what they can do. BJGE was a decent back with no breakaway speed and useless catching passes. He never fumbled. Wow. That doesn't make him worth the extended years and money on the claim. He was a decent, replaceable running back who filled a need at a short-cost. Thanks for your work. Appreciate the effort. Good luck and enjoy the money: BJGE earned it. It's a feel-good story.
- Defensive End Mark Anderson really cashed in as well. Ditto to BJGE, Anderson was a scrap heap pick-up who cashed in after picking up ten sacks and rehabbing his image. $8 million guaranteed and 4 years was never ever coming from New England. Trevor Scott was brought in for one year, $1.15 million to replace Anderson. Again, good for Anderson, I am personally very happy that his hard work resulted in cash. Feel Good Incorporated, Warm-Fuzzies, etc.
- Baseball is coming. I promise.