The Post in Which I go off the reservation…

Folks, I would like to preamble this post by saying I don’t usually go off the topic of Sports, no matter what sport I discuss.  Tonight, I have decided to forgo my usual topic and step into the arena of politics.  this is scary to me because I have a lot of friends that are on both sides of the political spectrum.  More importantly, my political views are the total opposite of most of my family, and those members of my family read my Facebook page and what I am about to say is going to cause waves with them, but it is more important I say what I have to say than any friendship, familial harmony or work tension that it brings.  I love my family, no matter what political leanings they may have and I know that they feel the same way about me.  For my friends an co-workers, I believe you have the right to support whomever you want, whether I disagree or not, it does not change my respect or feelings about you.  I know that my opinion in no way is how everyone feels, but I know in my heart that I am right, and nothing anyone tries to say or do will change that. 

Here we are in 2020 and we are about to go through one of the most important elections in the history of this country.  I am a huge critic of the current administration, and I will never  vote to re-elect the current occupant of the White House.  I have seen hundreds of social media posts agreeing with him, as I have seen the same amount against him.  I am a true believer that the occupant of the White House has no direct bearing on how my day-to-day life is affected.  The President is not responsible for how successful I am nor is he responsible if I am going through a tough time in my life.  I have struggled under both Democratic and Republican Presidents, but I do not blame them, I blame myself for the struggles I have faced  I truly believe I am responsible for my own success or failure, it does not matter who is in the White House.  I am more of a believer that the elected officials at the local level, state level and our representatives in Congress have more impact on our day-to-day lives than any President ever could.  I will vote for those representatives that mirror how I feel government should represent us, and that is the most important thing I can do as a voter that will impact me directly.

Despite all of that, I still have concerns when it comes to the office of the President.  At no time in my lifetime have we had a man sitting in that office that morally is the total opposite of what that office represents.  To allow a man that before becoming President was a failed business man, with several bankruptcies in his past, has a history of being a womanizer, an adulterer, A man who has stolen from children’s charities, a man that demeans women, has no political experience, has no moral compass and never saw a bribe he didn’t like, nor turned down a bribe that was offered to him.  It has been proven that he has taken Russian assistance in order to win an election.  He has lied to the American people thousands of times, and has no knowledge or experience in running a government, let alone his attacks on the media, the disabled, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Muslim Americans, and pretty much endorsed the racist faction of the Republican Party.  He has pandered to the top 1% of earners in this country while not helping the bottom 99%.  He has promoted the booming Economy, based solely on the performance of Wall Street, not taking into consideration that a majority of the country is not invested in Wall Street, doesn’t own stocks and are counting on Social Security to support them in retirement.

In recent revelations he has promised to cut “entitlements”, which means he will cut Social Security and Medicare.  He has attempted to use FOREIGN influence to dig up dirt on his political opponents and he continues to show on a daily basis that he has no clue what he is doing.  The most recent example is the administrations reaction to the “Coronavirus” – one of which was posted by politics USA (<—- click).  He has managed this crisis wrong from the beginning, he has underestimated and dismissed the seriousness of this outbreak.  As of today, total cases of the virus – 164, total deaths – 19, total states reporting cases – 19.  Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have been infected, yet despite all of this, he is in Mar-a-Lago for his 179th visit during his Presidency, and proof that he is not taking this pandemic seriously.  While in West Palm, he will also attend a fundraiser, another example of not taking this seriously. 

It has been my personal experience that every time I bring up the immorality of this President, the fact that he is not fit, he is not worthy of the office, he has shown that he is selfish, willing to use the office of the President to enrich his wealth at the expense of ignoring the Constitution and the rules against such action, I have had friends and family tell me that it doesn’t matter so long as he succeeds as a leader and his policies are working.  Nonetheless I disagree, and I will not change this view.  He is morally corrupt, he is not qualified for the office, he is only out to enrich his own bank account and ego.  He has made every single issue about HIM and his popularity, and that detractors of his popularity among his supporters are simply jealous of his success.  I say to all of my friends, family, and co-workers…  He doesn’t care about you, he doesn’t care about the country, and he most certainly doesn’t care about legislation that can make this country better.  He only cares about himself, how he can better his bank account, how he can promote himself, and how many people he can persuade to like him.  For those that feel that he represents everything you stand for, please know that he doesn’t give a damn what you stand for or care about, he only cares about himself. 

I am prepared to accept and receive all of the criticism that I will get from this post, but understand this…  I will not waiver, I will not fade, and I will not stop rallying against this abomination of the office.  Come at me all you want, I refuse to allow your rhetoric to change my opinion.  I would much prefer a president that brings honor to the office as opposed to one that uses the office to enrich his wallet and demean and disrespect a majority of the population in this country.  He has embraced dictators, he has embraced white supremacists, he has called the media the enemy of the people, and he has mocked the disabled.  If this is the man you want to support, well then I have no respect for you and I refuse to understand why you continue to support a man that brings shame to the office.  A persons morality is a huge condition of holding this office.  A man’s personal history and actions should be a barometer of how he will govern, and if you feel the actions and history of this guy should not be taken into consideration, then I ask you, did you support Nixon and what he did in regard to Watergate?  Did you support Clinton and his moral improprieties as President when he was impeached?  Where do we draw the line when it comes to the litmus test as to whom is qualified to be President of the United States? 

I wonder if Republicans are so against a Democrat being President they will sacrifice their morality and elect a man that has shown that he has no morality or decency at all.  I hope their conscience is at ease and their soul is at peace foe electing a man that cares not for you, but only cares about how he can financially benefit from being President.  Until you realize that is the ONLY reason he wants to be President, we will continue to spiral out of control, the economy will fall, the poor and middle class will continue to be marginalized, and we will not move forward as a country.  I will vote for whomever is the nominee for the Democratic Party for president, as well as looking at all of the congressional, senate, and local candidates that will reflect my political hopes for the future…  The country deserves to have a resident that is respectful of the office, honors the country, and will honor the burden that comes with being President of the United States. 

Morality and Humanity matters…  look in the mirror and decide how you want to set us up for the future.  For those that say I am a Republican… I will never vote Democrat…  Look at what you have placed in office…  A man that is morally corrupt… ego-driven… and only cares how the media and the pollsters place him on a pedestal…  in order to feed his own ego…  he is a false prophet, and he is playing you so that you will vote for him…  I’m sorry if this doesn’t change your mind…  but I have not said anything here that can be disputed, proven wrong, or shown to be “fake news”

In closing I will only say this…  vote your conscious…

Thanks for reading…

Women in Sports… A message to all the “Bro’s” out there

I am a guy, I am what most people would look at and say, there is a typical white middle-aged, bordering on old, white male who loves sports and has since he was 5 years old.  He loves all sports, Football (American), Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, NASCAR, and any and all sports that he can watch no matter the time of day or year.  He grew up in the 70’s and 80’s where men were the face of sports, and women weren’t respected for their views or knowledge regarding sports.  In the 70’s and 80’s where within that 20 years, I went from 4 to 24 years of age and the stereotype that was most prevalent in the sports world was that it was a MANS world and women knew nothing about sports and any comment or opinion on sports was laughable and disregarded. 

The stigma attached to a woman during that time was brutal… comments like “Oh Honey, go make me a sandwich, the men are talking” among others, but the fact remains that times have changed.  FACTS: nearly 47% of all NFL fans are women45% of all MLB fans are women32% of all NHL fans are Womenand 45% of all NBA fans are women…  So let me say this to the “He-Man Women Haters club” – you don’t have exclusive rights to the term, “Sports Fan”.   In the last 30 years, the rise of women sports fans, be it NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL have increased to the point of nearly equal with men sports fans.  The kicker to this stat is that not only are they fans, but they know as much, if not MORE than there male counterparts.  It’s the new reality, it’s fact and the “Bro’s” need to admit it is true, it is real and they are living in the past.

Now this may not be new information for most sports fans out there, but for the minority of those men out there that feel that women have no clue, let me put before you the litany of women sportscasters out there as well as personal experience in my world of the women that not only love to watch sports, they also love to talk about sports, no matter what major sports league may be the topic of conversation.  I give you Erin Andrews, Leslie Visser, Hannah Storm, Charissa Thompson, Beth Mowins,  Doris Burke, Pam Oliver, Linda Cohn, Michelle Tafoya, Suzy Kolber, Sam Ponder, Melissa Stark, Jessica Mendoza, Nicole Brisco, Tracy Wolfson, Mina Kimes, Sarah Spain, Mary Kay Cabot, the list goes on and on, and those men that have been in denial, as well as condescending towards women that DARE to intrude on “their sports” need to step aside.  All of the women that I have mentioned in this paragraph are smart, college educated, and know the difference between a zone defense and man to man, know what an infield shift is supposed to accomplish, know the difference between offside vs icing, and know how important a big man is in basketball.

Now the women I mention above actually have built a career in sports, but I have also been lucky to know and interact with several women that know as much as I do (sometimes more) about sports, whether it be NFL or MLB… NFL or NHL… NASCAR or Curling… they know their shit.  To deny it or dismiss it is tantamount to thinking that Donald Trump is a great president.  It may be good for you in your small and insignificant circle of friends, but it isn’t even close to factual, common sense intelligent fact or true knowledge.  Women sports fans are to be reckoned with, they are to be respected, and most of all they need to be honored for what they know, what they bring to the table, and most of all, how much their point of view brings to the overall discussion of whatever sport may be the point of discussion at the time. 

I am a Die-Hard Browns fan… for nearly 50 years, I have lived and breathed with the Browns.  From “Red-Right 88”, to “The Drive”, to “The Fumble” to “The Betrayal” by Art Model, I have lived, breathed, and bled Cleveland Orange and Brown, and continue to this day…  In following this team, I have personally come across well-versed female Browns fans that love the Browns as much as I do, maybe even more…  I could list the dozens of women in my lifetime that I have known that were as passionate about sports as I am, but their on-line fingerprint are not as strong as the women I am about to mention.  Recently I expanded m search for as many Browns fans who are in tune with the Pulse of what is happening in Cleveland sports.  Not just the Browns, but the Indians and Cavs… The Ohio State Buckeyes… The Columbus Blue Jackets (GoBolts) and bring their unique knowledge and passion to the table and lay their fandom out for all to see.  They have been ridiculed, they have been objectified, but through all of that they still maintain their love and passion of Cleveland Sports.  I would love nothing more than to highlight them to the world, but because I don’t want to make it just about them, and I don’t have their permission to advertise their online profiles, I will respect their privacy, but they know who they are, and they have my respect…

I am pretty sure these women are a just a small percentage of what is becoming a trend across all professional and college sports…  Women are just as knowledgeable, or in a lot of instances. MORE knowledgeable than their male counterpoints.  Seek them out, listen to what they have to say, respect them for who they are, honor them for what they have to experience on a daily basis…  A stigma of a once male dominated arena, which is now so very close to becoming an equal percentage of male to female sports writers, fans, pundits, broadcasters, and columnists.  I urge you to put away the prejudices of old… This is not 1980, this is 2020, and a world of understanding, a world of communication, and a world of acceptance awaits us all when we treat female sports writers, female pundits, female sports anchors, and most of all. female sports fans, are looked upon with the same relevance as their male counterparts…

 

Tom Brady

You all know I am pretty much all NFL all the time…  With that being said I would like to address the elephant in the room…  Tom Brady and his pending free agency.  All the major networks, websites, publications, and sidewalk sports experts are all trying to predict what Tom is going to do regarding his next team.  I am of the opinion that in the big picture of the NFL, in the reality of the situation, the facts boil down to this…  Tom Brady is currently 42 years old, and when the season starts he will be 43, so the fact that all of these armchair quarterbacks are drooling over where this over the hill, shade of what he used to be, NFL “goat” will land for 2020 is the #1 story in sports is laughable, to say the least.  Guys, he’s gonna be 43… Joe Montana, considered the greatest of all time by MY generation, retired when he was 39, so don’t tell me that this guy has another Super Bowl run in that old body of his, and will be able to take the grind and physical abuse that today’s NFL will bring to the table.  Brady may well be the best QB that ever played the game, but it has always been my belief that he is actually a system QB and if he had been in any other situation other than what he has had in New England, he would not have been as good.  For him to leave Foxboro and move on to another team, with an entirely new system and concept will not only be a complete failure it will totally tarnish his previous 20 years in the NFL.  Brady should stay in New England, take a one or two year max contract and retire the golden boy of the NFL for the last 20+ years.  To place him in a situation where Belichick is not looking after his best interest will be tantamount to Johnny Unitas going to the Chargers and Joe Namath going to the Rams.  It will be sad, it will be ugly, and it will be detrimental to his HOF legacy.  Tom… stay in NE… be safe… be conservative… be smart…  If NE doesn’t want to offer you a new contract, then just walk away, this is the best decision you can make.  We don’t want to see you in a different Uniform, we don’t want to see you get killed in a different system, and we most assuredly do not want to see you fail. 

I have been a Tom Brady hater for most of his career, and for me to sit here and support him staying in NE is totally opposite of what I feel emotionally, because I honestly just want him and Belichick to go away, and to never even see the playoffs again.  But part of me wants to see him walk away with dignity, and to even consider the thought of going to a different team, whether it be San Francisco, LA Chargers, or whatever is just wrong.  Do the right thing, stay in NE, it worked for Roger Staubach, Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, and Troy Aikman…  Retire or stay with the team that got you where you are, it will only be bad if you decide to go play for another team and try and repeat the success you had in New England.  Very few players have had success moving on to another team in their later years.  The fact that all the major networks are going ga-ga over where he is going to land this offseason is disgusting.  ESPN has dedicated 2/3rds of their programming over where he is going, NFL network is on the edge of their seat waiting for any news on what he is going to do.  C’mon guys, give me a break, this is worse than the current Presidential Race trying to determine who the better candidate is to beat Trump in the fall, Bernie or Biden…  The bottom line to me is if he decides to go anywhere else BUT New England, he will not be as successful, he will fail, he wil look terrible and he may even get beat up so much it will expose just how old he is to be playing this brutal game.  My advice… Stay in NE or retire… those are the only choices for this guy…

GTFOH Tony Grossi….

Tonight I want to address a few things.  First of all, as I so frequently like to bring up ad nauseum, I am an occasional blogger, not quite got the hang of how I want to express myself, and my grasp of the proper grammar of the English language could be considered High school level at best.  As a 53-year old overweight, twice divorced, no college education, nerd, lover of 80’s music, lover of the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NHL and sometime viewer of the NBA, I consider my self pretty up to speed of whatever is going on in the world of sports.  I am not a technical fan, meaning I really couldn’t tell you the best scenario to bring a corner off the right or left side, when to shift the infield, or when to pull your goalie, whether it be at 1:30 left or 2:00 in the 3rd period.  I cant read a defense or understand the analytics side of the NFL or MLB.  but I do know this…  I love sports, I love talking about sports and the more I talk with people the more I can share what knowledge I have and more importantly, learn from those I talk to about whatever sport happens to be the subject of conversation.  I am not an expert, I don’t pretend to be an expert, and as you can probably tell, no network is going to invite me onto their show and share my perspective on the prevent defense the Colts ran against Tom Brady on the last drive of the AFC Championship in 2000-whatever…  but what I will do is say how I feel about an owner, a player, a commissioner, a rule that I feel is stupid, not to mention a member of the media being a total Jack-weed, and my favorite, be wrong about any subject at any time…  I am not a guru, I am not an expert, and I am not waiting for a contract offer from ESPN.  With all that being said, I am a Sports Nerd…  I have that brand that I try and live up to on a daily basis, but I sometimes find myself slacking, deciding on a movie or a TV show I like as opposed to sharing what is on my mind in the world of sports.  I like to compare myself to that armchair QB people always complain about , except I usually DO know what I am talking about, and although I may be a bit rough around the edges, I am not afraid to provide my opinion.

Soooo…  after all of that rambling, I actually do have a topic I want to discuss tonight, and it is HEAVY on the Cleveland Browns.  Today in Indianapolis, ESPN-Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi was caught in an open mic situation where he called Baker Mayfield a “Fucking Midget”.  Now those of you that do not understand the history, Grossi has been a thorn in Bakers side since before he was drafted first overall by the Browns in 2018.  to say he has never been a fan is an understatement.  Grossi has made it his mission in life to prove Baker is not worth of a starting QB in the NFL, and for the most part he has always ended up with pie in his face whenever he tries to prove his point.  Baker, on the other hand has always treated any confrontation with Grossi with class and tries not to allow himself to be baited in a conversation where he will embarrass himself.  Now I admit, I do not live in NE Ohio, and haven’t lived there for over 40 years.  But I have always had an eye on the Cleveland pro sports teams and have heard Grossi’s name come up more than a few times as to his confrontational method of trying to get under the skin of whatever sports figure happens to be in the room.  ESPN has indefinitely suspended Grossi for his comments, and to be honest, they need to consider sending him on his way.  Grossi has no class, always wants to the the most important person in the room, and honestly has nothing nice to say about anything Cleveland Sports related and if LeBron James himself decided to leave LA the end of the season and come back to Cleveland, Grossi would be first in line to say how bad of an idea it was.  So Tony, from this Browns/Indians/Cavs(somewhat)/Buckeye fan…  why not go to NY and report on the NY teams for the remainder of your career, at least there you can be brash, condescending, and obnoxious and get away with it.

The NFL combine is this weekend, or as I like to call it, the NFL dog and pony show, where the NFL puts potential draft picks through drills and exercises that for the most part, have absolutely nothing to do with how they will perform on the field.  I wont be watching, because it is not relevant to how these players will be come September.  To me the Combine is the most worthless judge of a players talent that is out there.  It is simply yet another reason for the NFL to be on TV and I get it, they want the exposure, but there have been quite a few instances in the past where players have getting injured and missed their rookie season because they decided to attend and participate in the combine. I am not a fan of the combine, and I feel any scout worth his weight in knowledge knows how to judge players based on how they look on tape, they don’t need to see what they run in the 40 or how high they can jump in a controlled environment, because none of that shit really translates to how they will perform at game speed.

Meantime, MLB Spring training is in full force and I can’t wait for the season to begin.  I live in Lakeland, FL, spring training home of the Detroit Tigers, and it just feels like the traffic in this town has escalated and feels more like Tampa each day…lol  I am really going to try and make the effort to make it to a game this year, just so I can take in the atmosphere and enjoy a day in the sun.  Once the season starts I will not make the trip to St Pete and go to a Rays game, first of all, its a PITA to get to the stadium and once there, it is the worst venue in MLB to watch a baseball game.  nope… wont do it.

On a final note, I would like to selflessly plug The Sports Nerds…  Each and every Sunday night four or five of us get together on FB live via Restream and talk about the week in sports.  no topic is out of bounds (except soccer..not gonna happen).  we are heavy on the NFL, but will also talk MLB, NHL, NBA, and even branch out into non-sports topics like movies and pop-culture.  I invite you to come see us and join in on the fun as a few dirty old men sit together and rant and rave about how much our teams are better than yours!   As of tonight I am already gathering topics on what we can discuss…  so if you have 90 mins to sit and listen to some old dudes whine and talk about how good they COULD have been back in the day…lol  join us!!

Have a great night!!!!

Monday Musings…

Reading a story on ESPN.com about the competition committee and their opinion of how the PI rule last year was effective.  To say the least there was mixed reaction, and as far as this long-time fan is concerned the experiment was a failure.  The parameters for overturning PI (Pass Interference) were vague at best, it wasn’t consistent, and most of the time they still got it wrong.  PI has always been pretty much a judgement call for as long as the league has been in existence.  It has evolved over the decades, more and more leaning towards the benefit of the offense.  The powers that be in the NFL feel that the fans love to see high scoring games, it makes the product more exciting, more watchable and of course, brings in revenue in the form of more advertising, more merchandise being bought, and of course the most important stat of all, higher TV ratings.  The NFL really screwed this up, and they do not have an answer to fix it, or at least no answer that will satisfy the most important demographic of all, the fans.  This all came about because of what happened in the 2018 NFC Championship game, and because of that blatant failure by part-time referees that were as blind and incompetent as I have ever seen during that game, we are now in a quagmire of watching the NFL try and fix  what is wrong with this rule.  It isn’t an easy fix, but something has to be done so that plays such as what happened in New Orleans never happen again.

The other issue I am watching is the drama surrounding the new CBA that ownership has signed off on over the weekend.  The NFLPA will have a meeting tomorrow to decide and vote on the new offer, and rumor has it they may not get a majority “yes” on the new CBA.  I am neutral, and actually do not have much of an opinion.  The 17-game schedule to me is both a positive and a negative.  The positive is more football that matters, but the negative is saturation and quality of play.  I am not a fam of the new playoff format, because as most have pointed out, had that format been in place, the 7th team from each conference last year would have been Pittsburgh (with a third string QB) and the LA Rams (a shadow of what they were in 2018).  A playoff spot is designed to reward a team for having a good season, not as a consolation prize for the first WORST team in the league.  Either way, I await the result of the conference call tomorrow, and the fallout it causes.  One thing about the new proposal is that all stakeholders, to include owners and players, are set to make a lot more money in the long run, as well as retired players are due a much needed increase in benefits, so there are pros and cons to this whole thing.  I’ll try and have an updated opinion after the results of the call tomorrow are revealed to the public.

The sporting world said goodbye today in a tribute to Kobe Bryant and his Daughter at Staples Center.  Luminary speakers included Shaq and Michael Jordan.  To me it is still really hard to come to terms with the fact that he is gone.  I have always been upfront with my feelings on the NBA post-Jordan, but fact remains and is not debatable, that Kobe was definitely one of the greats, and his off-court work with kids and his charities is legendary.  He will be missed and there is a hole in the soul of the sports-world because of his passing.  I watched the replay of his wife speaking today and I could not hold back the tears.  If you have not seen it I strongly urge you to seek it out whether on Google or YouTube and watch, listen and understand how much this  woman loved him, respected him and most of all, misses him.  It was a powerful eulogy to say the least and as I mentioned…  I was sobbing after watching it.

That’s all I have for today… have a great night everyone…

Scott– The Sports Nerd