So… I’m gonna get into this and it isn’t going to be pretty. First, let me be clear, I am not an expert in anything. I am a fan of both the NFL and MLB, I love my Browns and Indians, not to mention the Bucs and Rays, but the offseason goings-on that came out today as well as within the last few days have led to this post. I know I am not consistent in posting, and as @jongolson is so fond of reminding me, I don’t necessarily promote our show as vigorous as I should (Sundays 7pm eastern – on my FB page), I remain a passionate fan… a sometimes outspoken critic and always open to a debate regarding my worthiness of fandom, and my habitual acceptance of all criticism towards my allegiance to losing franchises.
As I type this, there is breaking news on the NFL CBA front. From ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there comes this: “Under the current CBA proposal that NFL owners are pushing for, the playoff field would be expanded to seven teams, while the regular season would be increased to 17 games per team, and the preseason shortened to three games per team, per sources.” He was the first to break this news, despite it being part of the rumor mill the last few days. As many of the pundits, reporters, and insiders have stated, if that policy had been in place in 2019-20 season, the LA Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have made the playoffs. This new format allows for just ONE team on a bye after the season ends, and if my understanding is correct, they would get to CHOOSE who they play after wildcard weekend. Ok first let me just say this is a STUPID proposal, as this past season proves that both the Rams and Squeelers were both terrible, and may I also add that the Squeelers were starting a 3rd string QB at the end of the season, so yeah, 7 teams per conference would have been an awful idea.
I don’t mind a 17 game season, as more meaningful football is always a good thing, but the other side of that coin is that the players would require less practice time during the week as well as during OTA’s and preseason. Mark my words and consider this a warning… not only would this lead to more injuries due to less training time to get in shape, and more prepared for real-game speed, but this will also lead to football that would more like the XFL or AAF as opposed to NFL Quality. Less preparation during offseason and preseason is going to be bad. More chance of season-ending injuries, more chance of the quality of the product being BAD, and most of all, leading to less fan interest because of all of it… In its neverending search for more income, the NFL is actually looking to make changes that will lessen the quality of the most popular sport in the US. Do us all a favor NFL, don’t screw with the product, it is just fine the way it is, with one or two exceptions… Active players need guaranteed contracts, and retired players need lifetime medical insurance. You are the largest non-profit entity in the US, and yet you refuse to fully take care of your employees… Change that…
As for MLB… well there are so many different avenues I could go with… however for this post I will go with Rob Manfred is the worst commissioner in professional sports. I mentioned this during the show Sunday night… The fact that he considers the most cherished trophy in baseball a “piece of metal” is insulting. I know he apologized today for choosing the “wrong words” but the fact he said it reveals exactly how Manfred feels about the very sport he oversees, he could care less about the integrity of Major League Baseball, and has insulted every team and player that has ever lifted that trophy each October. Manfred has refused to punish the players for the Astros cheating scandal and has even come out and said any retribution in the form of teams throwing at players will not be tolerated. He refuses to strip the Houston organization of their World Series victory in 2017 and ignores any and all arguments to the contrary. even LeBron James had an opinion about this whole fiasco on his Twitter Feed yesterday… THAT’S how bad this is when you have the best player in another professional sport calling out the commissioner of MLB in his inability to take the issue seriously.
The Astros need to be stripped of their title, they need to be banned from postseason play for at least two seasons, and the owner needs to put the team up for sale. This is worse than the Steroid Era, this is worse than the White Sox Scandal more than 100 years ago… this is a dark day for America’s pastime, and the Astros need to pay heavily for what has occurred, cheating is cheating, that’s the simple fact, and if the commissioner is not willing to understand the severity of the issue, he needs to step down and allow a successor that actually cares about MLB to take his place.
On a positive note… For the few out there that may follow NASCAR and have seen the scary wreck at the end of the Daytona 500 Monday night, Ryan Newman, after being involved in a scary wreck, reminiscent of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, WALKED OUT of the hospital today. This is a testament as to how far safety has come in the sport. I remember the day Dale Earnhardt died… 19 years and one day from that awful moment, and to see how brutal and violent that wreck was on Monday night, to see Ryan actually walk out of the hospital with his two daughters on each arm (although he could have used a pair of shoes), is a reflection of how serious NASCAR takes driver safety. Kudos to NASCAR, but I still want to say that stage racing is awful, and until major changes are made I will not watch outside of the Daytona 500. Oh and just to add fuel to the fire… the cause of that crash Monday Night wasn’t because of Blaney… it was the fault of NASCAR insisting on restrictor plates being in these cars on Superspeedwyas like Daytona and Talladega… this causes pack racing and the greater probability of huge wrecks lie we saw Monday Night. Dale Earnhardt was totally against restrictor plates, and it cost him his life… I don’t care how safe the cars are, restrictor plates create more danger for the drivers than anything else in NASCAR…
Rant over… Good night..