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17 Aug 2012

The Week In Quotes: August 17, 2012

compiled by Rivers McCown


"It's a cliché for people to say you have to be on alert. But sometimes, that is the case. You may see a particular female who's attractive, but you already sense it." -- Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, on bachelorhood as a rich man (USA Today)


"Go ahead! Shoot me, mother (expletive). I can go wherever the (expletive) I want." -- Colorado reciever DaVaughn Thornton, to police officers after he was pulled over (BuffZone.com)


"No timeout will be charged to Arizona." -- NFL replacement official Craig Ochoa, live from the Atlanta-Baltimore game (Deadspin)

"I’m a little concerned because we want to make sure we’re getting the best referees we can. I actually overheard one of the refs saying he only refereed glorified high school games, which I don’t even know what that means." -- Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, on said replacement officials (Fifth Down Blog)


"When Smokey's been hunting the way you want him to hunt, you throw that dog a bone." -- Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, on cancelling a practice (Twitter)


"I think he could. I go to the pro basketball game every time and they always said I was queer for tight ends. I had more tight ends running out there with the Redskins, and I look out there and that's where the tight ends are, they're playing in the NBA." -- Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, on former NBA player Charles Oakley's chances at tight end (Deadspin)


"You want him suspended for having a beer and he’s underage? How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and they were underage?" -- South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, on backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy (The Post and Courier)


"I don't think I played well. I thought Matt (Leinart) played great. I thought Carson (Palmer) played great. I thought everyone else on the team played great. I just think I played like dog crap." -- Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, on his first game of the preseason (CSN Bay Area)


"It's much more difficult now, because it's not a novelty. There are eight teams in this conference that run spread offense. When we did it in 2001, there were zero. We went out to Utah, same thing. We put almost 700 yards on Carolina. The next week they beat Miami. It wasn't because we had much better players; it was the offense. They were saying, 'what is this?'" -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, on the spread of the ... well, spread (Eleven Warriors)


"So people not gon get the best chicken sammich and lemonade on the planet because of a personal belief? Word?" -- Lions linebacker Justin Durant, on the Chik-Fil-A saga (Shutdown Corner)


"We don’t have murders a block from our campus." -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr., discussing how safe UCLA is as compared to other Los Angeles schools (Los Angeles Times)


"You’re always concerned. You’re just hoping he’s OK. He cleared everything out of the hotel, and that usually means, at least from my past experience, is that the guy doesn’t want to play football anymore." -- Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, on the disappearance of Kentwan Balmer (Washington Post)


"(Mingo needs to) re-gear his eating apparatus,"-- LSU head coach Les Miles, on star defender Barkevious Mingo's weight loss (And The Valley Shook)


"The rules are simple. Do not touch 28. If you touch him, you're cut." -- Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford, on the now-practicing Adrian Peterson (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)


"They were maybe the fastest team that we played against, but I did not think they were tough, and I think there were some issues between some players and coaches on the offensive side of the ball." -- Anonymous SEC coach, on Florida's offense in 2011 (Athlon Sports)


"I try not to let my mind go there. It's like laying in bed with your wife, thinking about an old girlfriend. It's not fair." -- Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald, on how many Super Bowls he could have won with Kurt Warner (USA Today)


"Only two we couldn't get ... we were trying to get our quarterback coach, but he was in Mexico, because everybody was on vacation. And our receivers coach was on a cruise. So we tried to get a helicopter to go get him -- Tee Martin -- but they wouldn't let us do it." -- USC head coach Lane Kiffin, on his pursuit of Penn State transfer Silas Redd (SB Nation)


"Enter Joey Porter. Apparently he had this thing where he would claim the entire half of the field the Steelers were warming up on and harass anyone on the opposing team that came across the 50 (the NFL rules are that each team gets to the 45-yard line to warm up with the intervening 10 yards as a buffer zone, in reality the punters and kickers still use this space because we simply don't have enough room to warm up otherwise and no one cares). So I'm finishing up my warmups, hitting plus 50s from their 45, and he comes wandering over and starts barking 'I need my 50, I need my 50.' At this point their team is stretching on the 30-yard line, so I give him my best 'What the f**k kind of mouth breather are you?' look and continue warming up. He then posts up right behind me, pretends like he's stretching, and starts bumping me as I'm punting." -- Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, on the lone NFL player he hates (Deadspin) -- His Q&A there is also worth a read.


"Absolutely. We’re already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition. We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements. That’s been growing dramatically — I think it was 40 just five years ago," -- Commissioner Roger Goodell, on his desire to have football become an Olympic sport (Pro Football Talk)


"At the end of the day, I've achieved a lot of things, and I've done a lot of wonderful things in life that I'm so grateful for. But I tell you my greatest achievement in my life was helping my mother and nurturing my mother from the bitter, angry, beaten, hurt person that she was, nurturing her to be a healthy to have a healthy mindset, and to forgive my father for everything that he did to her. That's my greatest accomplishment." -- Jets running back Curtis Martin, at his Hall of Fame induction (Pro Football Hall of Fame)

If you see a quote that you think should be in the next TWIQ, send it via email to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com or via Twitter to @FO_RiversMcCown

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 17 Aug 2012

82 comments, Last at 23 Aug 2012, 7:07pm by Mr Shush


by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 1:08pm

Regarding Cam Newton's observation, when I am reicarnated as a 22 year old extremely wealthy bachelor, I suspect reversible vasectomies will have made even further advances, and I intend to make use of one.

Regarding Steve Spurrier's remark, if the drinking age was lowered to 16, and the driving age raised to 21, it would be a better state of affairs.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 1:24pm

Totally agree on the drinking age limit, it makes no sense and since the age was raised to 21, it has had none of the positive effects it was supposed and there's reasonable evidence the boom in binge drinking the past 20 years is related to the higher limit. I'd sorta be for getting rid of it altogether with certain child protective services laws to prevent really incompetent dipshit parents from letting their 11 year-old's get drunk. If a 14 year old has a glass of wine out at dinner with his parents, what the hell do I care? Every healthcare professional qualified to judge such things agrees wine in moderation has positive benefits.

On the other hand, haven't studies shown that raising the driving age doesn't have much of any positive effect because the majority of accidents involving new drivers are due to lack of experience, not immaturity - that is, it has been proven for a while now that teenage drivers and twenty-something drivers get in accidents at rate more closely correlated to the length of time they've had their license than to their age itself. If you're a panic-y inexperienced driver lacking in confidence, it doesn't matter if you're 24 or 16, it just matters that you've only been driving less than a year.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 1:45pm

What, you disagree with me on the wisdom of reversible vasectomies?

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 1:52pm

I think if you're Cam Newton, it's probably just better to pay groupies to leave than to worry about if you're meeting a lady who is not in any way impressed/aware of your money and stature. It's hard to imagine any woman (or non-traditional male) having any kind of relationship with him and not have money and power loom over it. Even if a pure-hearted young lady were to love Cam Netwon for who he is, he's a multi-millionaire superstar athlete with a smokin' hot body.

But yeah, you're right: reversible vasectomy as a back-up.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:06pm

Groupies, like politicians, have a nasty habit of not staying bought.

Or so I'm told.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:29pm

Steve McNair posthumously suggests it should be paired with good body armor.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:35pm

I really tried not to chuckle at that. I guess it's not too soon.

by tuluse :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:48pm

Drinking probably doesn't even have to be strictly illegal to protect 11 year olds. I bet that would fall under neglect.

However, I think most drinking laws are designed so that a parent doesn't have to worry about their children going and getting drunk out of supervision. I think you could work around this like they do with cigarette laws. It's illegal to sell alcohol to a minor, but not illegal for them to imbibe it.

by Kal :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 4:02pm

RE: reversible vasectomies. Look up the RISUG procedure.

by akn :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 8:11pm

I'm sure you'll be patting yourself on the back for your preemptive vasectomy while suffering from burning penile pain, itching, discharge, swollen joints, dementia, and seizures with multitude of STDs you collected during that same period.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 8:26pm


by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 9:54pm

Oh - I was thinking you go vasectomy and condoms. Condoms have somewhere between a 85% - 98% effectiveness rate. With a new young lady on a regular basis, I wouldn't be willing to risk those numbers. Herpes and syphilis, now those are going to be your downfall...

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:04am

Condoms have a 99% effectiveness preventing pregnancy... WHEN USED CORRECTLY.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:21am

If your plan was to go the whole Gene Simmons hog, even a 1% failure rate would be completely unacceptable . . .

by Marko :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:32pm

For Chad Johnson, condoms apparently have a 0% chance of preventing arrest, divorce, being cut from his team and having his upcoming reality TV show canceled when his wife discovers that he purchased them wthout her knowledge.

by chemical burn :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:04pm

It's actually only 98% when used PERFECTLY. Keep in mind, that number counts breakage and manufacturing defects as "imperfect" use. Realistically, the number is between 85% - 98% effectiveness. And when a condom breaks you have a better shot of quickly understanding you're in trouble than will say, birth control pill failure, but it still is far from perfect. And as pointed out below, even 1% failure rate when bedding a hundred different women a year ain't great odds.

by RC (not verified) :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:30pm

Its not 1% failure rate per encounter though... the statistics are 1% failure in couples using condoms correctly for a year.

If these couples are having sex once a week, thats a failure rate of 1 in 5200 encounters.

by what (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:03am

Wait, what? There are 5200 weeks in a year?

Maybe on uranus!

by BigCheese :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:27pm

No. Read that again. Although the number should be 5,200, not 52,000

An encounter a week for 52 weeks is 100%, so a 1% failure rate is one every 5,200 enconuters.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 1:55pm

If everyone has it, its not a disease. That's what I always tell them.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:02am

Will Allen: "if the drinking age was lowered to 16, and the driving age raised to 21, it would be a better state of affairs."

YES! I have been saying this for years! Add some mandatory driver's education in there, and we have a society!

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 1:51pm

That was a really beautiful quote from Curtis Martin at the end. Thanks for including that.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:39pm

Oh, and mocking a Vikings safety is really going for the cheap laugh, McCown.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 9:16pm

Honestly, I think they're just happy to be in the conversation. Of course, as a Bronco fan, it's a bit rich for me to make denigrating comments about another team's safeties.

by tuluse :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:44pm

I really enjoy watching national teams face each other in tournaments, and I really enjoy football. However, I'm not sure how one could structure an international football tournament. Are the teams going to be in the host nation for a month if they play 4 rounds? Could you imagine a group stage?

by Joseph :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 3:08pm

If it was flag football instead of tackle, it would easily work.
On the other hand, I can't imagine too many nations fielding a (tackle) team unless there were certain restrictions--for example, like soccer having U-23 teams.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 3:26pm

Based on the 2007 and 2011 IFAF summaries, games are played every 2 or 3 days.

A couple of those guys have had cups of coffee in the NFL since. The whole tournament lasts about a week.

by Marko :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 11:29pm

I think the idea of football in the Olympics is idiotic for a number of reasons, including scheduling and the fact that no American team (NFL or, if there were an age limit, NCAA) would expose their players to injury in a tournament such as this a few weeks before the season begins. But if they want to incorporate football into the Olympics somehow, why not have Punt, Pass and Kick competitions or drills from the NFL Combine?

Awarding medals for these activities would be no more ridiculous than awarding medals in some of the relatively newer events, some of which I consider to be "junk" sports (e.g., rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, BMX racing). The Pass competition could be like the javelin. They could even have a special Pass competition that involves throwing the ball while kneeling (Kyle Boller would be the gold medal favorite). The Punt competition, like the Pass competition, would be judged solely by distance. The Kick competition would involve accuracy and would be like the pole vault or high jump competitions in terms of how many tries you get.

As for the compbine drills, there would be medals for 40-yard dash (maybe the Titans would let Chris Johnson run, and perhaps he could get that matchup with Usain Bolt that he says he would win), vertical jump, standing broad jump, three cone drill, short shuttle, bench press, etc. The bench press would be especially cool. The guy from the combine who always shouts and encourages the players could do the same at the Olympics, and each country could have their own version of that guy. That would be awesome. Other countries would have a chance against the U.S. in all of these events, and they would be understandable even to people from other countries who don't follow football at all. These events also actually involve athleticism and skill. And having so many medals awarded for these various events would be no different than swimming (which has so many different events with 4 different strokes, races of different lengths, individual medleys, and relays) or gymnastics (which has compeititions for teams, individual all-around, and individual skills). There could even be something similar to the decathlon to crown the all around combine champion, with points awarded based on results in each of the different cobine events). Who wouldn't want to see who won the "Combine Decathlon"? Maybe Mike Mamula could come out of retirement to compete in this event. ESPN and the NFL Network could loan out some of their talent to NBC so that the likes of Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock and Todd McShay could serve as commentators.

by Jerry :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:32am

It looks like the NFL is trying to convince the IOC that American football belongs in the Olympics, not the other way around. (No doubt as part of the continuing battle to grow the international audience.) In the unlikely event that they could make football an Olympic sport, they'd have to make players available, even if individual teams weren't enthusiastic, and even if the resulting competition would look like a bunch of us running against Usain Bolt.

by Marko :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 4:22am

Oh, I know that it's the NFL pushing for this, not the IOC. More specifically, it's Roger Goodell pushing for it, for the obvious reason that you stated.

But I don't think that necessarily means that NFL players would be used. Several NBA owners such as Mark Cuban are adamantly opposed to their players being used in international competitions such as the Olympics and the World Championship because of the risk of injury. The risk of injury of course is substantially higher in football than in basketball, so how do you think NFL owners would react to being forced to make their players available, especially with the NFL season right around the corner? They would be completely opposed to it. In the past, how many players pulled out of the Pro Bowl due to minor or phantom injuries or other weak excuses? It would be the same thing here, with teams saying that Player X is unavailable because he is recovering from injury, players saying they don't want to play, etc. Not just that, but teams would be saying that their players shouldn't be on the team because players on other teams were more deserving.

So if football does end up in the Olympics, the players from the U.S. might end up being recently retired players, undrafted players looking to make an impression, street free agents, Arena League players, etc. That probably means we'll see Brett Favre at QB for the U.S. if football ever ends up in the Olympics.

by Jerry :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 8:19pm

Everything you say makes sense. It's just that if the NFL convinces the IOC to adopt football, they can't then say "But we're not going to provide players." Once it's established, they probably could back out the same way the NBA's now considering, but they'd have to get there first.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:27am

Hey, rhythmic gymnastics is freakin' awesome.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 2:53pm

The Olympics could do with fewer nonsense events, not more.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:24pm

Taekwondo needs to go, for starters. That's the lamest thing I've ever seen. I can definitely see the case for ditching soccer, basketball and possibly tennis, on the grounds that the Olympics is so much less important than other tournaments in those sports (though at least in tennis it's still quite a big deal - only the slams are bigger, and the best players make a serious effort to win it). Other than that, I'd pretty much say keep everything: the weird stuff is a big part of what makes the Olympics awesome, and in the modern age you can always just watch another event if it takes your fancy, no longer being stuck with whatever the TV producer's chosen.

by tuluse :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 5:05pm

I'm pretty sure the Olympics is still the biggest national team basketball tournament around.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 5:16pm

The Olympics is still the premier event for national basketball, basically because the US -- who has been the #1 for most of the last century -- has never considered the FIBA World Champs important. That's always been a tournament for Euro teams to pretend was important. Hell, for a long time, the Pan-American tournament had better talent.

by Marko :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:52pm

Completely agree. I was really joking about adding all of these events because they make about as much sense as many of the current "nonsense events," as you so eloquently dubbed them.

by BigCheese :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:42pm

Well, like the IFAF, it could be undrafted just-out-of-college players reprsenting the US, wich would also make it somewhat plausible for the games to be a bit competitive.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by not Verified (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:26pm

Summer or Winter Games?

by NRG :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:45pm

That "schwing!" noise you hear is Cam Newton, errr, sensing it.

by Theo :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 9:43pm

Now that's an interesting point you bring up there.
I highly doubt if any international team that would play the a football's version of the US dream team could even finish the game. They wouldn't be able to get a first down or cross midfield.

At the IFAF World Championships of 2011 the rules for US players were as followed:
- Professionals from any US or Canadian league were ineligible
- Player must have graduated from college—current college players were ineligible
- All levels of NCAA and NAIA athletics were required to be represented, not just DI-A
- Players must be no more than one year removed from college.

And these guys beat the Canadians 50-7 (Only CFL free agent players or worse since the tournaments overlapped).

by andrew :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 2:04am

Yeah but we only beat Mexico 17-7. And the previous tournament we only beat Japan 23-20 in overtime.

Granted with those rules.

by BigCheese :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:48pm

Well, Mexico DOES have college football at the equivalent of the NCAA level (and by that I mean organization, not skill, obviously). They've even divided it into two didivisons in the last decade.

There are televised games every saturday, and the UNAM-IPN rivalry is as heated as any US college football rivalry. We might not be on the level of the US by far, but we're definitely in the second tier.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:43am

To me, the interesting question is whether the best team Canada could put out - including CFL players and Canadians who play in the NFL - could score any points against a genuinely full strength US team (Rodgers throwing to Johnson, Johnson, Fitzgerald, Gronkowski and Graham and handing off to Foster, Jones-Drew and McCoy behind Thomas, Nicks, Mangold, Evans and Long; a hybrid defense with Allen and Ware lining up outside Ngata and Smith, Willis alongside one of Cushing, Bowman and Briggs, and then Revis and . . . Joseph, maybe, on the outside, with Woodson doing his thing inside and two from Weddle, Reed and Thomas behind them. You could have a special Cam Newton short yardage package too, I guess. Would an offense whose best players were Austin Collie and Nate Burleson score a point against that? I want to say probably not.

by t.d. :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 8:19pm

no offense to andre johnson, but he's never quite been one of the top 3 receivers in the game, and he certainly isn't now

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 10:40pm

Um, really? I mean, if you want to say his recent injury history means he isn't now, that's absolutely fair enough, but never? The guy had back-to-back 1500 yard, league-leading seasons. You know how many other receivers have led the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons since the merger? Jerry Rice, and that's it. Back-to-back 1500 yard seasons? Johnson, Marvin Harrison, and no one else (and only Rice, Irvin and Holt have done it twice full stop besides those two). Note that every one of those other players caught passes from a Hall of Fame QB. He got over 40 votes for AP 1st team all pro both those years, and was generally regarded as the best receiver in football, or at worst as 1/1a with Fitzgerald. Calvin Johnson might join the club this year, but it won't be easy for him, and Megatron's going to go down as a legitimate all-time great in his own right.

Andre Johnson doesn't have a Hall of Fame resume yet, and it's possible he never will, but he definitely has a Hall of Fame peak.

by t.d. :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 8:10am

I don't think you need to be top three to merit HoF consideration, particularly at wide receiver, particularly right now. Having said that, I delved into the numbers, and Johnson was clearly top three in 2008. His case for 2009 (his other 'elite' season) isn't as good, but whatever.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 2:06pm

I'm not sure who you'd take over Andre Johnson in a situation where you're picking three guys for an NFL Dream Team. Of course this is one of those who's-better-dones't-truly-have-an-answer type things... I guess the main takeaway here, if you have to include Johnson, is that overall the U.S. WR corps is the weakness of the team. (That was a joke).

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:25pm

I think the actual weaknesses are safety and running back, relative to how strong those positions would have been at various times in the recent past. Offensive line too, maybe. Quarterback depth is simply absurd, as are the tight ends.

by tuluse :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 2:39pm

I think the offensive line should be dominant. There aren't enough dominant lineman to fill out 32 teams, but there are enough for 8-10 guys on one team. Joe Thomas, Carl Nicks, Nick Mangold, Jhari Evans, Jake Long as the starters, with Jason Peters, Andy Levitre, and Alex Mack on the bench.

Corner back would be pretty weak. Revis is the only surefire HoF player in his prime that I'm aware of.

The big question is 3-4 or 4-3 defense? I think you'd want 3-4 given the talents of the players in the league, but there are a lot of really good 4-3 ends who couldn't be used then.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 7:07pm

See above - I think a hybrid defense with Ngata, Smith, Allen and Ware, two orthodox linebackers, Woodson and an orthodox back four is the way to go.

And that line is good, but think what it might have been like ten years ago, with two from Pace, Jones, Ogden and Roaf, Larry Allen and Will Shields . . .

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:15am

I absolutely LOATHE Goodell. The sick, sick man is ruining the great NFL. He is the George W. Bush of commissioners: he refuses to admit his own fallibility. He favors the owners who contribute NOTHING to the game at the expense of the workers (players and now officials). Really, there are more than 400 BILLIONAIRES in the US, and any random 32 of them could replace the 32 owners we have today, and it would not make the smallest difference. The owners are the most replaceable part of the league. He takes it upon himself to dole out discipline whether it's necessary or not, he enforces rules inconsistently, and gives the individuals or teams unlucky enough to draw his attention ridiculously harsh punishments that are totally uncalled for. Then he blabbers about this Olympic nonsense?


by Dean :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:37am

Isn't that cute. Are you going to hold your breath and stamp your feet, too?

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:03pm

Do you think it would help?

by dbostedo :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 10:37am

"He favors the owners..."

Do you realize that the commissioner is hired by the owners, and that the owners "own" the NFL collectively in addition to their teams? Asking Goodell to go against them, or for them to be replaced, is a little like asking a Tom Brady to ignore Bill Belichick or replace him with a different coach.

by chemical burn :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 3:11pm

Roger doesn't make any effort to respect or understand the players. Workers are as important as owners, in entertainment even more so. George Clooney doesn't need the clowns as Warner Bros. to make a ton of money. They do, however, desperate need George Clooneys. Sure, they pay the best so he works with them, but the owners need Tom Brady or they'll have no way of making money. As much as Jerry Jones would love be the starting QB fr the Cowboys, no one is going to pay a plug nickel to see it. Roger would be wise to cultivate these business relationships, but that's exactly the point: he's not wise.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 3:57am

I'm not so sure that's true with respect to Hollywood. Now, Clooney may have big star recognition, and he's quite wealthy. So he could probably put together some production starring himself and do well. But I bet for every big name star there are a hundred nameless actors just or nearly as talented who could step in and deliver if the studio puts some advertising dollars hyping them up. Take Brady away from the NFL and essentially nothing changes. The patriots just sell some jerseys with a different number on it.

Now if you're talking about taking away all of the actors or all of the players, then you're clearly right. You can't make a movie without actors (okay I guess Vertov could, but nobody wants to see that), and you can't produce a game without players.

by chemical burn :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:36am

If hype, good-looks and consistently being pushed by Hollywood were enough to make anyone a financially successful star, Colin Farrell's movies wouldn't all tank. And let me throw about this future prediction: when the Hemsworth bros. are called on to sell movies on the strength of their names, it won't work...

But yeah, the comparison isn't precisely accurate. Both concern well-paid stars who are more valuable than management in a very real way in terms of product quality and the product's profitability. The difference is Clooeny can walk away from Hollywood and still make a ton on money - which has at times. NFL players have no place else to go because of the nature of what they do (which shouldn't be mistaken for Zygi Wolf having provided something of value to the NFL.)

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:20am

For some reason you just made me think of Dean Cain.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 9:59am

Reading Roger Goodell's mind with respect to player's doen't have much utility. What he needs to do with regard to his job is A) Negotiate effectively with the television metworks, in an effort to maximize revenues B)Negotiate with the player union to produce a CBA which allows the owners to have a close to a risk free enterprise as possible, in terms of making money by selling broadcast rights C)work with the networks to keep ratings high enough to justify the rights fees D)work with the players well enough to keep them showing up and collecting their checks E)maximize other revenue streams to the greatest extent possible F)balance competing legal risks with regard to class action lawsuits from former players, mostly from the timer prior to Goodell becoming commissioner, so as to keep the business viable, and the risk posed by current players trying to sue. The former risk far exceeds the latter.

There really isn't any evidence that Goodell has done anything which should irritate his bosses. I'd bet that even Benson, Jones, and Snyder would fully endorse his being on the job.

by chemical burn :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:37am

He and his bosses should realize the players matter and antagonizing them needlessly is bad for their business...

by Will Allen :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:41am

It seems to me that hundred million dollar-plus payrolls is fairly strong implicit recognition that the recipients of the payrolls matter. That's what the moaney is for; to recognize in the most concrete way available that those receiving the money have done something of value. Mind you, I'd be fine if the players had been successful in negotiating a larger cut, but that's the way it was hammered out.

As to needlessly antagonizing the players, I doubt very much that Goodell, if he was hooked up to a truth serum delivery device, and asked why he has done the things he has done, would say, "I wanted to antagonize the players, for no particular reason." He may may be doing something wrong here, but until that gets reflected in the only metric that his bosses use to evaluate him; profits within the confines of law, it's hard to say that definitively.

by chemical burn :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 6:05pm

I don't know - the shit they pulled with Vilma seems to indicate Goodell doesn't exactly have equanimity on his mind. And if you don't think some upper-brass types don't get a huge kick out of throwing their weight around and "lawing down the law" then you haven't spent any time around upper-management. Goodell is a classic "my way or the highway" type and anyone who has worked for that type knows they do far more to undermine morale and interfere with production than they do to contribute anything meaningful. A bland Tagliabue type is actually perfectly suited to that type of job where there's nothing really to be gained by any approach other than a dispassionate purist of what's best for the league, not for the owners, nor for improving the game's image through punitive measures.

by Alternator :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:41pm

Personally, I have the feeling that Goodell went after the Saints players so hard to set an example to players on other teams:

"You want to have a bounty, eh? If I find out about it, I'm going to bring down the law like a Judge Dread and Punisher tag team."

Only time will tell if that works, of course, but it's a logical motive if you believe the potential harm of further bounty incidents outweighs the certain PR harm going after the players.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:20pm

People have been complaining about Goodell being too arbitrary and draconian, with regard to disciplining players, practically since he took the job. The reality is that player arrests are down about 80% since he started hanging slow learners. I suspect that with the prospect of major class action lawsuits relating to player saftey, Goodlell decided to hang some people in the Saints organization to help build a defense, and to discourage anybody tempted to go down that path, especially in regards to the lack of cooperation.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:19am

None of the criticism of Goodell is about how he handled off the field felons.

You're thinking of Mike Brown.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:45am

None? From the players, perhaps, but I've had several people in this forum tell me how overreaching Goodell has been in dealing with off the field stuff.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:25pm

I cant believe you're suggesting excessive punitive tactics to discourage a "lack of cooperation." That's the kind of draconian bullshit that has people confessing to crimes they didn't commit to avoid having the book thrown at them. It's the kind of anti-democratic bully behavior (I thought you hated bullies) that prevents people from seeking justice and fairness because the downside of speaking your peace is so steep. It's pretty repulsive, even if everyone involved is exactly as guilty as they appear to be. When the choices are submit or we'll put you to death, there's no chance for justice or fairness. It's work situation that is utterly unacceptable to anyone who supposedly hates bullying. (Although I have a feeling you just hate bullies who want to reduce the healthcare burden of a community or deal with large-scael community issues rather than people who throw their power around to literally discourage justice from being served. Justice can't be served, right or wrong, when you make people afraid to pursue it, as Goodell has made clear is his favorite tactic.)

by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 2:21pm

You've made a fundamental error in thinking that Roger Goodell is in the justice business. He isn't. He is in the maximizing profit business, which only occasionally overlaps with the justice business.

Losing a job is not remotely similar to being imprisoned or killed, which makes it exceedingly problematic to draw analogies between the actions of the state and the actions of a private employer, working within the confines of law.

The reality is that Jonathan Vilma not playing in NFL games is inconsequential to the financial performance of the NFL. If The NFL thinks some aspects of Jonathon Vilma's behavior is a detriment to the financial well being of the NFL, and the NFL's Commissoner has the power to get him out of the NFL, power arrived at by negotiated CBA, then Vilma is gone. Vilma ought to have enough brains to grasp this, and adjust his behavior accordingly.

It isn't much different than a more common type of employer having a run of the mill salesperson who is strongly suspected of doing something that potentially exposes the employer to significant legal liability. That salesperson is going to get called in, and is likely going to get one chance to make his case. If he fails, he's gone, because run of the mill salespeople aren't hard to find. Jonathon Vilma is an aging linebacker with declining skills. He's really not worth much trouble, economically speaking.

by tuluse :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:59am

You're on the right track, but I think you missed the target.

Remember Godell found out about the bounties way earlier, and told the Saints to stop. The harsh penalties were a way to say to the rest of the league you can't just ignore the commish when you feel like it.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:53am

Oh, I agree. The response to the initial league inquiries plays a big role in how harshly Goodell has responded, in all likelihood.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:20am

The problem was he got so angry at the Saints front office that he punished their players. You know -- the ones their employers (of non-guaranteed contracts) told them to continue. Goodell never warned the players.

by PatsFan :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:54am

After Cameragate (I refuse to call it Spygate because the cameraman was overt, not covert) I'm puzzled as to why anyone would be surprised at the harshness of the Bountygate penalties. Goodell (for good or ill) clearly buys into the theory of "you did something I didn't like. I don't care whether or not practice X has been happening for years -- I'm going to thrash you and make an example of you so no one will ever even attempt to do it again" and what happened with the Saints is perfectly in line with that.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:30pm

I've done business and, in some cases, have had friendships with, people who either have been on the Forbes list, or could have been on it, if they had desired the attention. There has been more variety, than one might expect, in terms of personality. One constant I've noted, however, was a cold blooded willingness to slit throats, when it came to anyone who they thought was effing with the business model.

The NFL is the most golden goose that the entertainment industry has ever seen. I'm not surprised in the least that the people who own it decided to hire someone who shoots the stragglers.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:26pm

I've of course seen the Forbes list. Very few of the people on there built anything themselves. And that's the problem: the ruthless ones have a tendency to think they hit a triple when they were escorted to third by armed body-guards. I also deal with the absolute top of the line in my business and they are uniformly generous and thoughtful while the tough guys and assholes no longer have careers (I am literally talking about Spielberg versus Friedkin here in addition to others.) I have less appreciation for the prowess of businessmen than you it seems, especially the ones lacking in equanimity and perspective in regards to plum jobs they were handed and didn't build themselves like Goodell. People who abuse their power are uniformly awful at their jobs.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 2:41pm

First, you assume something that you have not proven, that Goodell has abused his power. The fact that you feel something strongly does not constitute evidence.

Second, you make an error in implying that a person cannot be both ruthless and generous, as the situation demands. This is a very superficial view of human nature. The reality is that people are complex and a collection of contradictions, and, in fact, the ability to employ contradictory qualities, as one deems necessary, is a great asset in managing an organization.

Finally, you assume entirely too much with regard to how I view the prowess of businessmen, in that you seem to imply a uniformity in my view that does not exist. From the beginning of this discussion, I've said that there is a lack of data which would suggest that Goodell is doing anything which his employers would see as not serving their interests, and make no mistake, Roger Goodell's professional task and his only professional task, is to serve the interests of his employers, within the confines of law. If you have any such data, I'd be happy to see it. Lacking that, I am forced to conclude that your opinion on this matter is largely driven by your feelings about Roger Goodell. I'm sorry, but neither you or I know Roger Goodell remotely well enough to have our feelings about him be of much relevance.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:23am

Goodell could very well be needlessly antagonizing players without that being his intention. He may simply not be good at the part of the job that would prevent him from doing so.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:49am

Anything's possible, but we'll have to see how this stuff shakes out. Right now, the biggest threat to the league's profits are the concussion lawsuits.

by akn :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:38pm

That wasn't very ninja-like.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 2:50pm

That rant is worthy of making The Week In Quotes: August 24, 2012

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 08/18/2012 - 7:04pm

I just noticed the picture. Where are AP's feet? No wonder they say he's coming back too soon, his leg ends at the ankle!

by dbostedo :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:32am

Wow...that's some terrible photoshopping. And from a press agency, it may be a big deal - like someone getting in trouble over it. (Not because it's bad, but because a reportage photo was modified like that at all.)