Monday, July 06, 2009

NFL's Not-So-Secret Dirty Little Secret

Steve McNair was a retired player, and albieit the timing was coincidental, but his murder is a reminder that this is the time of the year NFL teams fear most.
It is between the end of the off season programs and the start of training camp. It usually about a six-week break when players tend to cut loose with what amounts to be about their only true free time of the off season.
Thought McNair was a great player, but obviously there were some other issues there. I strongly feel this: Too many players associated with the NFL are dying young. Sean Taylor and Durrent Williams were murdered. Others were victims of extreme violence. Javon Walker was beaten and apparently left for dead on the Las Vegas strip. Richard Collier was paralyzed for life after a shooting.
I thought it was laughable last year when the NFL started making budget cuts. How much profit is enough? So they only make billions instead of zillions. Greed knows no level like that of NFL owners.
How about investing in the players in two important ways?
One is to protect them from random violence. Find better ways - and spend the money. The other is to pay much more attention - and funds - to players as they get older and face debilitating injuries suffered from playing the most rugged of professional team sports.
There is too much of a "discarded cattle" feel to the NFL. I’d call it the league’s dirty little secret.
Except it is no secret.

Random Thoughts

- Absolutely Brandon Inge belongs in the All Star game. Absolutely, Tiger fans should stuff the ballot box to get him in. Isn’t that part of the fun of the All Star game?

- If they have the opportunity, the Pistons should trade Richard Hamilton to Utah in a heartbeat for Carlos Boozier. They couldn’t get a better deal. And make no mistake, they must trade Hamilton. His fate with the Pistons was sealed the moment they signed Ben Gordon.

- In today’s market, is Jiri Hudler worth more than $3 million per season? If I were Ken Holland, I’d pass on Hudler and save that money for a rainy day.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press about how improbable it is the Tigers are in first place at the halfway point of the season:



Blogger detroit24 said...

Hello Pat,
I'm not sure I understand where you are going with your current blog as far as financial responsibilities go. It has long been reported that the NFL takes the stance of "out of sight , out of mind." At the same time the current NFL player makes more in a year than I will make in a lifetime and I must not will not and can not feel anything but jealousy for their ability. The old vets are who I feel for. The men who bled for glory and virtually played for honor while working a second job in the off season. They, I will feel sorry for. They,I will speak out for and support in most ways. They are who I feel and agree with you about that need our attention. Not the current crop of bonus babies.
On the subject of Rip/Boozer...I feel somewhat torn. Boozer does not seem to show up for the season unless there is nothing on the line. I don't think I want a guy like that around my team. We had guys like that around the last few years before Ben/Chauncey/Rip/Sheed came along. Rip is Rip and when motivated he is very dangerous.
Are the Tigers going to right this ship soon or are they going to go down without a fight? They need a stabilizing pitcher at the end of their rotation. They need a power bat in the middle of their line up and it seems as if they are playing a game of wait and see. Guillen isn't coming back(and he is my favorite Tiger BTW)Bonderman/Robertson are not coming back either. Dave RESIGN! Or make a MOVE. Thanks for your time Pat.

2:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this deal of rip for boozer a serious rumor? i heard something about it, but i've been searching all over the internet and cant find a single article on this rumor. I agree that would be a great piece to add to this team. i know rip has been a big part of what we have accomplished but over the years i've noticed that the guy has a serious case of fumble-itous in the last 1-2 minutes of close games. i'm not bashing the guy, it just seems like boozer would add a piece to the puzzle of a young nucleus. everyone seems to be ranting and raving (negatively)about the moves the pistons have made, but when you look at what the other teams are doing, it seems like they (other franchises) are creating weekness in the coming years. orlando isnt the same without hedo, the cavs will be crushed if lebraun leaves, if new york signs lebraun they will have no money for anyone else and the celtics look like they have an aging team after next season. i think boozer would help strengthen a team that could be good in the coming years as they add a couple more complimentary pieces. seems like if the pistons play it right, it will be them and chicago as the strong teams 2 to 3 years from now. just my thoughts.

3:33 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I tell you I like this deal of Rip/Boozer.. It would be even sweeter if the Kwame Brown and Maxiel for Tyson Chandler Rumor is real as well. Cause isn't Chandler and Boozer both expired contracts. I feel this would give us a chance to at worse compete and be respectable this year at the same time allowing us to be major players in next years fun class. But its all rumor at this point.

On The Tigers.. Inge is in my mind more worthy of being an All Star then Curtis Granderson this year. Not saying he isn't deserving, but my mind Inge has exceeded expectations where I am still waiting for guys like Granderson and Crabera to take the next level and step up even more. It will be nice to get Guillen back, at the same time I still say we need to make a deal.. The Tigers shouldn't be shy there is a nice window of opportunity for us to make a run if we desire. However, we do need to make a move. I don't think the Don Kelly in cleanup spot will be the answer.

6:07 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Thouroughly enjoyed your column in the OP today. It boggles my mind how an ineffective offense and wobbly bullpen can still be in first place (ok - I knocked on wood twice - spun around and spit to nulify the jinx I just incited).

And for half the Tigers payroll to be wrapped up in the five players either not playing or playing very poorly - it's mind boggling.

I still don't know at the half way point if our Tigers are a good team or not?

What would Sparky say?

I do though have to echo the sentiment of detroit24 above - about the NFL investing in the "safety" of the players? Sounds like rotten Canadian socialism to me. Just only to add that these guys are some very tough characters who likely feel invinceable - only to find in the worst ways possibe - that they are very vincible.

I assume that someone who is not invincible is therefor vincible.

Vulnerable too.

And I'm stuffing the ballot box for Brandon Inge.

Loved the column Book, and still shaking my head in disbelief about the Tigers.

8:33 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

I commented in your "Pistons Better With Signings, But What About Rip?" article last week that I hoped Rip or Prince would be flipped to Utah for Boozer. (If a trade for a Bosh / Stoudamire type couldn't be done)

I hope it gets done. It makes us better this year (as we need another good big and have one too many SGs) and it helps our future by giving us a lot of cap room again next year.

If we didn't make a trade like this we'd have blown all of our 2010 cap room on a couple B or C class free agents, so I'm sure Joe had this in mind when he signed those guys.

8:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My point about the league isn't only a moral one, but a financial one. I think sometimes they don't do the necessary things because they are cheap. It oosts money for programs. The league should spend it. Although I have to say Roger Goddell is more proactive than than Tags was.

9:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I don't know. I do feel it would make sense from the standpoint the Pistons need Boozier's size and because Hamilton obviously does his best work when he is presented with a quality point guard. Seems like he and Williams would be a great tandem.

9:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Those are the type of matches Dumars has to make happen. And they are possible. Can't help but think Rip isn't a good bargining chip. He is still a very good player and a change of scenary might help him like it did for Billups.

9:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It is strange how nothing has seemingly gone right for the Tigers and they just keep rolling in first place.

9:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
Something else is going to happen of significance. I don't know exactly what, but they have to get some size for Hamilton. It's a must.

10:00 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

This is what I mean about the Tigers book. Granderson... yeah he has 18 home runs.. but look at the rest of his numbers. PRetty far down.. speaking of doubles and triples. Case in point tonight comes up in the 9th and a big whiff. I am not going off one game, but I think the tigers are in serious jeapordy. You can only live off lucky charms for so long.

Fernando while 17 for 17. He has been so bad that it was just a matter of time for him to blow his first safe. We'd have to hope this isn't a start. These are the 5 Keys I think need to turn it around in the second half if the Tigers are going to make a run.

1) Zumya, Brandon Lyon, and Fernando need to find a groove and rally off more consistant efforts.

2) Our top guys we actually count on need to produce. Granderson needs to start hitting lefties that or go back to taking some time off against them. As well as go back to hitting the gaps for triples. He hasn't really given anybody much to knock in these days. Crabera needs to live up to the hype more. There is a reason Texeria, Mourneau, and Youkliss are a head of him. They produced better then he has thus far. Polanco needs to go back to getting them seeing eye singles and stuff. Get on base.

3) Gallaraga needs to step up and show why we got excited about him at the beginning of the year. Cause I think Porcello will hit that wall some time after the break.. so we need a 3rd arm to be consistent.

4) Guillen needs to come back healthy.

5) Dave Dombrowski needs to step it up. Make a couple quality moves and put this team in a position to compete in the second half. Otherwise I would like to see him get some major heat not Leyland... We need to get a corner outfielder and a solid arm weather it be bullpen or rotation..

10:17 PM 

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