When is a Blockbuster trade not a Blockbuster Trade?

Tweet The WNBA is nothing to write in the Chicago Tribune about.   During World War II England developed a six ton bomb that could wipe out a whole city block.  The bombs were described as “blockbusters,” which is where the word we attach to successful Hollywood movies and other big cultural events.  When it comes to describing new pieces of entertainment or breaking news, journalist tend to fall into…

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The 49ers’ Super Bowl Hopes Get Lynched

Tweet Hiring an inexperienced general manager out of the television booth will leave the 49ers with poor prospects.   Years ago I happened into a conversation with a young, Black coworker about the idea of the Chicago Bulls making Michael Jordan the general manager of the team.   It looked like a mistake to me and I said so, and the young man complained that Jordan wasn’t being given a chance. …

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Why Does O.J. Howard Suddenly Have so Much Juice?

Tweet Shouldn’t 32 NFL teams have 32 different players listed as the best draft pick coming out of college, or is Howard a lucky duck?   As a kid I liked the NFL draft, but it was really a one day deal, and that day wasn’t draft day itself.  The NFL used to conduct its college draft in isolation, the local television sports anchors would mention the first round pick’s…

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The Zeno’s Paradox Offense: Bill Walsh made it Easier to be Good, Harder to be Great

Tweet So many good quarterbacks, so few great ones.   Times change, rules change, and players change, but sometimes the song remains the same.  In professional football teams without a great quarterback still sing the blues.  The great Bill Walsh’s offense received the misnomer “West Coast Offense,” a title that actually belonged to the vertical passing game designed by Don Coryell, based on earlier work by Sid Gillman, among others. …

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The Rams Butt Out of St. Louis, and Ram Doubts into all NFL Fans

Tweet The fans pay the price when NFL franchises move.   I view the NFL from an odd little corner of it.  I send out my little tweets, post blog articles that almost nobody reads, and marvel at the passion some fans show for their teams, and the relative indifference of other fan bases.  The Steelers fans make the most noise, followed by the Cowboys fans, the Giants fans, with…

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Cooperstown Pitches a Shutout Against Sosa

Tweet The home run hitter gets singled out, and is still looking in. Pure capitalism and morality don’t mix, and that’s a reality Americans embraced long ago.  When a man, and traditionally it was men the vast majority of the time, became wealthy, people stopped concerning themselves with how he acquired his wealth and chose to admire his accomplishment.  The engineers at Xerox allowed Steve Jobs to take a look…

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Not Caring is the new Kindness, but Will Fall Out of Fashion Soon

Tweet The wealthy enjoy the cheap thrill of heaping scorn on the poor, but human nature abhors a kindness vacuum.   I boarded the train at the Harlem Avenue station this morning.  Although the temperature stood at a pleasant-for-January 38 degrees, the forecast suggested rain, and riding my bike in rainy, forty-degree weather is about as miserable as it gets, so I chose the CTA instead.  The train ride from…

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Marvin Lewis: A Durable Mediocrity Hangs On

Tweet For fourteen years Marvin Lewis has averaged one more win than loss.  Coaches have been fired for achieving more.   The guiding thought behind the After Drafter Clock is that you can generally judge the quality of draft picks by the number of games they play.  It’s not a perfect theory, but on the whole it works pretty well.  For example, in 1968 the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Joe Greene,…

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Can the Falcons take Giant steps?

Tweet Can the Falcons’ offense punch the Patriots in the face the way the Giants’ defense did?   Tom Brady and the Patriots have been here seven times before.  The first time they “upset” the St. Louis Rams, surprising people because the world still waited to learn that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback ever, and people still hadn’t caught on to the idea that Bill Belichick is an evil…

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Will Matt Ryan become the Fab Fourth?

Tweet Matt Ryan can’t become the Ringo of this group without a ring. Last year the Denver Broncos slowed down any thoughts about the declining importance of defense in the NFL.  In a league that continually dominated by offense, the Broncos won the Super Bowl over an obviously superior offensive team by shutting that offense down.  Nonetheless, as we approach the two conference championship games, we find only one top-ten…

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Mel Kiper Bang’s the Drum Wrongly for DeShaun Watson

Tweet If DeShaun Watson isn’t worth the 3rd pick, he’s not worth the 36th pick either.   I have absolutely no strong opinions about Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson, but I do have a strong opinion about Mel Kiper’s assessment of him.  In the Chicago Tribune recently, Rich Campbell reported that Kiper believes Watson fails to measure up as the potential third pick in the draft, but would be reasonable as…

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