OK, let’s play “Let’s Say.”
Let’s say you’re a reasonably well-adjusted adult living in the Jacksonville, Fla., area who previously spent some big dough on Jaguars tickets, parking, food and drink.
That attraction has receded, as the Jags have had one winning season in the past 11, with 22 of their players arrested over that same period.
The Jags’ most recent tough-to-root-for/pay-for star has been cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a self-promoting trash-talker who has instigated at least two on-field fights and has been media-conditioned and awarded to believe we await his cheap-news putdowns of opponents.
Still, he’s convinced Jags devotees adore him.
Wednesday, Ramsey showed up at team practice in an armored truck, carrying a bullhorn to declare he’s vastly underpaid. He deserves more, enough cash to fill that truck!
“Imma ask for so much money they have to put me on layaway,” declared the former full-scholarship Florida State student-athlete, never considering for a second that he’s an immodest jerk.
Ramsey’s unhappy with his current contract — which next season pays him $13.7 million, enough to fill that armored truck.
So let’s say that this season a few hundred more of previous Jags patrons decide Ramsey has pushed them over the precipice. They’re no longer going to provide another dime to a team whose players have proven unworthy of their support.
Hey, Roger! Such choices are now made in nearly all NFL cities — as nearly every team has several players who challenge the personal credibility and finances of once-eager, then willing, then reluctant, then unwilling patrons.
The most relieved NFL fans around here — at least among those who contact me — turned down the forced opportunity to renew their annual renewal of Jets or Giants season tickets, in addition to spending tens of thousands more to abide by Roger Goodell’s claim that PSLs “are good investments,” a bogus sell.
Anyway, Odell Beckham Jr. again made cheap news, claiming he was “disrespected” by the Giants, who signed him for $95 million after — among other telltale classless, starved-for-attention acts — he mimed a dog urination in the end zone.
But Goodell’s job is to make team owners money or wash their buy-in debts — especially with TV money, but by whatever means possible. He isn’t there to tend to the good and welfare of the game as a real (now fantasy world) commissioner would.
Thus last week — despite evidence star Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill physically abused his 3-year-old son, and audio evidence that he threatened his fiancée with, “You need to be terrified of me, too, bitch!” — Hill was cleared by the NFL to play on.
The NFL’s green light was issued after Hill’s injured son was placed in protective custody. A Kansas prosecutor then said he believed a crime occurred and that the state attorney general’s office was “deeply troubled by the situation,” though prosecutors declined to bring charges.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, the Chiefs have become the epicenter for hideously conflicting team and NFL messages/realities.
In November, the Chiefs quickly dumped star running back Kareem Hunt when video surfaced of him attacking a woman. But then the Chiefs signed defensive end Frank Clark, who’d been thrown out of Michigan after an arrest for domestic assault. He’d previously been arrested for home invasion.
Then the Chiefs awaited last week’s decision on Hill — declaring their delight by the NFL’s decision to pretend, or hope, that nothing, or nothing much, had happened. So what that Hill had been tossed out of Oklahoma State after he was arrested for domestic battery.
But here’s the part that challenges us to weigh how far we’ll go, how much we’ll be compromised. It appeared in the WSJ as spoken by Jodi Balsam, a former NFL lawyer and current law professor:
“It means that the team that stands up for some moral code is the team that loses on the field. Not only do the other teams get this amazing talent, they also get it at a bargain basement price.”
But that’s none of Roger Goodell’s business.
With a little coaching, Cone could be great in YES booth
It stands to reason that David Cone did not become an accomplished, 15-year big league pitcher without good coaching. Thus, it makes sense that in his 15th year with YES, he isn’t yet an accomplished analyst because he lacks good coaching.
Cone, by now, has the personality, humor and insights to be among those you’d chose to sit beside at a ballgame — the kind of companion who will tell you what he’s thinking rather than, “Tanaka has been a great addition to the Yankees’ pitching staff, a real stopper. Where would they be without him?”
Tuesday — between adding needless, pointless filler — Cone was superb. He recognized early that starter Domingo German’s best pitch — his curve — was flat, thus he was unsuccessfully relying on fastballs and changeups as the Twins pounded him for nine hits until he was pulled in the fourth.
And Cone’s brief tutorial — not a lecture or seminar — on what ailed German could be practically applied until he was pulled.
That’s the stuff that can go missing or lost when Cone & Co. feel the YES-wide, TV-wide urge to say something — anything — and as often as possible.
Seems most TV analysts — even the ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” crew — would be so much more palatable if they allowed TV to be TV. But that’s unlikely to happen without good coaching.
Those ESPN stat chimps are still hammering away! Thursday:
“Mets 4, Padres 0. Third time Padres shut out this year. Padres 1-6 when Manny Machado gets three or more hits.”
Reader Tim Crowe knows how to fix that: “After Machado’s second hit, pull him out of the game!”
SNY promo stinks
Now SNY has a crude toilet/poo-poo promo, as if that’s going to inspire more people to watch SNY than inspire them to wonder if SNY is that desperate.
Will Fox Sports and its pay-per-view confederates be there in a few years to visit Manny Pacquiao, now 40 and looking like a half-eaten skirt steak, in the nursing home?
Reader Mel Gross asks why MLB, especially with extended TV commercial time, would allow its umpires to suffer 98 degree heat, as they did here last weekend, rather than take short, seated and hydrating sessions in the shade?
Climb upon my knee, Sonny Boy: I’m so old I recall when The Game was played to be won rather than accumulate style points. That’s back when first base coaches never congratulated a home run hitter. He couldn’t — the batter was already on his way to second.