Monday December 16, 2013
Why did Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant walk off the field before their close game with the Packers was over?
Because he is "emotional." This is what he said on, appropriately enough, Twitter. This was his explanation.
Let me translate that. Bryant may be emotional, but he's also an immature, pampered, self-centered whack-job.
You don't DO that in the NFL. You don't do that in college or high school either.
Even NFL analyst Deion Sanders, never exactly a model of etiquette himself, blasted Bryant.
This is the sort of situation that calls for an NFL elder to sit down with Bryant - who has a history of bizarre behavior, including belting his own mother - and school him on the do's and don'ts of the NFL.
Who's going to do that in Dallas? Jerry Jones, the pompous owner/meddler? Coach Jason Garrett, Jones' puppet? Tony Romo, who always seems to shrink when the game is on the line?
No. There is no one in Dallas who has earned enough respect, so it looks like we can expect more adolescent behavior from Bryant in the years to come, unless he gets traded to someplace like New England.
In the meantime, this was a great NFL weekend, with upsets galore that rocked the postseason scenarios. If the playoff picture is confusing to you, don't worry about it. Here is my rock-solid list of who will be there and who won't when the season ends.
Feel free to disagree, just don't throw a tantrum.
- Getty Images
Monday December 9, 2013
Is it my imagination or are the Miami Dolphins a better football team without Richie Incognito?
Well, I just happen to have a few numbers handy. Miami suspended Incognito indefinitely on Nov. 3 after his bullying of fellow lineman Jonathan Martin came out publicly.
Since then, they are 3-2, but they have also won three of their last four in impressive fashion. That includes Sunday's rousing 34-28 win in Pittsburgh.
It turns out that Martin isn't the only one Incognito harassed in the Dolphins' lockerroom. Sources are now saying Incognito mocked a team staff member as well, making fun of his ethnic background and crude jokes about his wife.
In other words, Incognito was a distraction. There are also reports Miami Coach Joe Philbin wanted to fire him way before the harassment became public.
Incognito is known as a dirty player, but there have been dirty players throughout the NFL's history - check out my Dirty Dozen, the 12 dirtiest players in NFL history - and some of them have been celebrated.
Incognito may be one of the few players who turned his meanness on his own team.
In the meantime, this past weekend saw some of the best action of the season, with some impressive wins by teams surely to make the playoffs and by others, including Miami, clawing for postseason berths. Here's my pick of the most impressive wins.
- Getty Images
Friday December 6, 2013
I swear I think the NFL would broadcast a game every night of the week if it could, to heck with the health of the players.
The league mouths concern about player health, but that's usually after it's either threatened with a lawsuit or is actively involved in one.
For years, league officials swore those weren't concussions, just normal headaches. Take some aspirin.
Detroit Lions scatback Reggie Bush is the latest to publicly criticize Thursday night games. He told CBS Sports playing football in the NFL is like being in a car wreck.
NFL football is probably the most violent sport on the planet - even boxers don't go through the meat grinder as much as these guys.
They need time to recover. Three days of rest is a joke.
Will the NFL do away with it? Not unless they get sued. They're making millions off it.
In the meantime, here are my picks for best games of the week. It's getting down to go-time!
- Getty Images
Wednesday December 4, 2013
This year's Super Bowl will surpass all others when it comes to ticket prices, according to Fox, which is televising the NFL's penultimate game.
The costliest tickets are expected to be around $2,600. That's for the 9,000 seats reserved for the rich swells, who can go inside and keep warm at the game, expected to be played in icy conditions outside at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Joe Fan? He'll have to freeze, assuming he can even afford general admission.
Those prices are about two times what they were at last year's Super Bowl held in New Orleans.
NFL mouthpieces came up with the usual babble in explaining away the league's continuing trend of pricing out the average fan.
"We are looking to close the gap between the face value of the ticket and its true value as reflected on the secondary market," Brian McCarthy told Fox. "The uniqueness of the Super Bowl in the New York/New Jersey market is also driving unprecedented demand and buzz."
I guess buzz is getting more and more expensive.
In the meantime, let's get back to real football. I've been thinking about Andrew Luck, the Colts quarterback. I thought the guy might be heading for a season worthy of challenging Peyton Manning for MVP, but his offensive line has apparently fallen apart and it's hard to complete passes when you're flat on your back.
What are your thoughts? Is the NFL becoming too elite? Can Luck bounce back and stay upright?
- Getty Images