Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Has Davante Adams Died and Gone to Heaven?

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Anyone who watched yesterday’s wild card game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants saw how vital a part Davante Adams is to the Pack’s offense. Adams accounted for nearly 1000 receiving yards during the regular season (997) and had a huge effort in yesterday’s playoff game – 8 receptions for 125 yards (15.6 average) and a touchdown, his longest reception going for 31 yards. Since he was drafted by Green Bay three years ago, Adams has gained the trust of Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s masterful quarterback who, along with New England’s Tom Brady, is a favorite for this season’s MVP award.

Adams played his college football at Fresno State. His last season was 2013. The Bulldogs’ quarterback was Derek Carr who was in the middle of exhibiting all the skills that would translate into him being exactly the type of NFL signal caller he’s become with the Oakland Raiders. During a prospect’s recruitment, in nearly all cases, what resonates best is something that strikes a personal chord with him. The assistant coach responsible for Adams’ area made one of those outrageous statements that recruits often hear. Hyperbole works in recruiting, especially if the prospect believes the message.

The line Adams heard while being recruited by Fresno State was not only hyperbole; some people considered it blasphemous. He was told, “If you come to Fresno State, you’ll have Jesus throwing you the ball.”

“Wonder how Davante feels now?”

Darrelle Revis Has Moved to Fantasy Island

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

At one time “one of the best cornerbacks to ever play this game” was Darrelle Revis. Although that quote was from Revis, many people, even football experts, would concur. In fact, there was a plot of land named after him. Before Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson were the most feared CBs, there was Revis Island. Receivers dreaded seeing him across from them but most of them needn’t have worried since wise QBs weren’t going to target them anyway.

Well, one opponent that no corner (or player of any sport) could beat in a one-on-one match up came along and exposed Darrelle. Father Time. The cocky Jets’ cover corner found he was getting torched by receivers who weren’t even in the same class as those he used to shut down. In addition video from this season went viral of him giving an embarrassing – no, make that no – effort on a tackle. For fans who have yet to see it and wonder exactly how bad it could actually have been, let me refer to a line used by an old football coaching colleague of mine. “If you strapped an egg to the front of his helmet, it wouldn’t break” when a ball carrier came his way.

So be it. No one can say Darrelle Revis wasn’t a superstar in his day. In professional sports, when “your day” is over, someone else takes your place or “picks up the flag” or, as the saying goes, it’s “next man up.” Revis doesn’t exactly agree. He admits he’s not the player he once was. However, he feels as though he still should be paid like it. As he told the New York Post, “Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here? That’s the biggest question. It’s black and white. It’s not very complicated.” On that last thought, he’s exactly right. It’s not very complicated.

Revis claims he understands that football is a business. The concept Revis doesn’t seem to understand is when a player’s skills deteriorate, so does his leverage. And that’s where the “business” part comes in. If the Jets release him in the offseason, they save a lot of money – to the tune of freeing up $9 million in cap space. According to the Post, “as it stands now, he is set to count $15.33 million against the cap in 2017.” Yet, when speaking of how his contract should be handled, Revis becomes nostalgic, professing contract negotiations should be about loyalty.

There’s talk of him being moved to safety but at a reduced salary. The negotiations will probably come down to one difference. The contract he’ll be offered will be agreeable to both him and the Jets – in the eight figure range. The one difference?

“The Jets will want two of the figures to come after the decimal point.”

It’s the Fans’ Favorite Time of the Year

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

College football is down to its championship game, the NFL’s playoff season is beginning and college basketball and the NBA are deep enough into their respective seasons that drama is front and center (Grayson Allen, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins). Fans are beside themselves. The activity they all agree on is in full swing: criticizing, and ultimately, firing coaches. One invention that has made talking about firing coaches so much more enjoyable – as well as make the fan sound like an expert – is analytics.

Black Monday has come and gone and with it, several NFL coaches. Others are treading on thin ice. Or on they on the hot seat? Coaches get it from both ends of the thermometer. This year, as with every other, many, many college coaches received pink slips (although not nearly enough to satisfy the fans). Close games that were lost were proof that the coach choked, while close victories were either due to luck or should have been blowouts.

This NBA season might set the record as far as disappointing its followers, as there are some pundits currently claiming that this year will see no – as in zero – NBA head coaches dismissed. Seems as though the new coaches will be given at least another year to try to turn around the mess they inherited. Chip Kelly must be wishing he’d gone into hoops.

Wait, won’t there still be 14 teams not make the playoffs? So shouldn’t at least two-thirds of those teams change head men? Plus at least a quarter of those who made the playoffs? Every true fan can name 3-4 teams that would have done better with different guys leading those teams (even if those 3-4 teams change depending upon which fans you ask).

College is a little different. People aren’t nearly as close to pro coaches, so it’s easier to criticize someone who’s making a ton of money and not winning (or getting his team to cover for those of you who watch games for more than just the purity of the sport). College coaches are different. Fans may actually know the coach, or at least have met him at a function (alumni, service organization) where the school forced requested him to speak. Having shaken a person’s hand, looked him in the eye and either told him you thought he was doing a good job or wished him luck, makes the coach human – and (nearly) everybody has some empathy. I mean, one-and-dones have drastically changed coaching strategies – and expectations. This makes speaking about firing him all the more difficult – until you get to a place where the majority of the people are calling for his head. Then, joining in becomes much easier – and, even, fun.

Jim Murray, the greatest sportswriter of all-time, once wrote, Nothing is ever so bad it can’t be made worse by firing the coach.”

How about we update Jim’s quote (since some might dismiss by saying it’s become outdated)? Here’s one I heard while listening to a podcast with Doc Rivers. Doc is a guy with a ton of security because he has so much credibility – a coach with an NBA championship on his resume and one of the most highly respected guys in the business (plus he’s got such a gimormous contract). When the question was posed to him about winning a championship. His answer was simplistic, but telling:

“People don’t appreciate how hard it is to win.”

Well, Back Then It Was Funny

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

In the late 1970s, NCAA basketball rules were different. Coaches were allowed to scout opponents in person. As coaches, we liked it because, being at the game, we could see actions and behaviors we couldn’t see on video, giving us valuable insight (“intel” as it’s referred to today) into players. Plus, we could actually hear calls from the bench which, naturally, helped once we played. In a cost cutting move, though, the NCAA did away with “live” scouting. Truthfully, with all the money that’s wasted in college basketball (and, even more, in football), it seems absurd. Then again, as many televised games as there are and as easy as it is to obtain video, scouting in person really is excessive, especially when the non-revenue sports (both men and women) have to cut so many corners. Don’t believe how much money these schools reportedly make; there are maybe a dozen athletics departments in the country that actually turn a profit.

But I digress. In 1979, as an assistant coach at Western Carolina University, I took a trip to Columbia to scout a game between the University of South Carolina (at that time an independent), and their in-state rivals, Furman University, (a perennial power in our league – the Southern Conference). Furman had a 6’8″ forward named Jonathan Moore, better known to everyone as “Stitch.” There was a reason he was the player of the year in the SoCon. He could score inside and out (although this was prior to the three-point line), run like a deer, block shots, played with passion and was an absolute rebounding demon.

Which team won escapes me now (although I’m fairly certain the Gamecocks prevailed on their home court) but I clearly do remember two things about that night. One was that it was a close game throughout and the other was Stitch absolutely went off. He had a fabulous game and it was clear to everyone in the building that he was the best player on the floor.

As I was waiting for a post game stat sheet, one of the sportswriters recognized me. He came over, we chatted about the game and then, he asked me a question. I’m unaware of the exact number of newspapers that carried my response (they got it off the AP wire – this was waaaaay before the Internet) but, had it happened today, suffice to say, it would have gone viral. I had coaching colleagues from all parts of the country send copies from their local papers with blurbs about it. Oh yeah, one other item. I’m fairly sure, had it happened today, I would have been, at the very least, reprimanded. Maybe arrested.

Here was our exchange (as closely as I can recall):

Sportswriter: “Wow, that was some game!”

Me: “Sure was.”

Sportswriter: “How are you guys going to stop Stitch?”

Me: “Easy. We’re going to double team him.”

Sportswriter (with a stunned look on his face because he knew our roster): “What two guys you gonna put on him?”

Me: “Smith & Wesson”

The NBA’s Solution to Problems Between Players and Referees

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Ever since the first ball was tossed up at center court, players and referees have been antagonists. While the NBA has, by far, the best officials in the basketball, its players complain more than any other. The reactions by the pros are on the upswing. We’re currently at the point in professional basketball that when a player takes the ball to the basket and a foul is called, the player who got committed the transgression looks at the referee in disbelief, arms straight up in the air, signaling he was in completely legal position – while the opposing team’s trainer is on the floor putting the guy who’s about to shoot free throws through concussion protocol. If the situation is reversed and an offensive foul is the call, the player who fouled stares at the referee as if he insulted the player’s mother, even if roots came out of the floor where the defender’s feet were planted.

What about when the player scores and there’s no whistle, you ask? It’s a sure bet the offensive player will be complaining to the ref, hitting his hand, wrist, elbow or head, that it should have been an “and 1″ situation. The job of officiating is a thankless one – and it doesn’t pay nearly as much as you think – considering the amount of abuse they have to take from players, coaches, fans and, even, the announcers. And I’m not just talking about the homers but the network guys who don’t have a stake in the outcome.

Players have always had the ability to bitch about the officials but only one time a year and no names were allowed. How can the NBA correct such a grievous circumstance? Well, with the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), as of next season, there’s a clause in it that says, “… players for the first time will have a hotline to call in to critique the work of refs in their games. They’ll be able to report not just on where they think the official botched a call, but also if they found a ref to be out of line, verbally, with how they handled blow-ups. Basically, they can complain like never before. The hotline is a response to the league allowing the new monthly reviews so that players can report something they thought was handled incorrectly while it’s still fresh in their minds.”

Other than one instance (granted, that we know of), officials make every attempt to be impartial, i.e. they look at their job as enforcers of the rules. Of course they’re human (c’mon, give them the benefit of the doubt) and they’re prone to make mistakes but, they work their butts off. Contrary to what some fans say, there are no hidden agendas. At least, other Tim Donaghy’s gambling issues, none have been proven. Since there are always two sides to every story, maybe the league should allow officials to have their own hotline to call in – while it’s still fresh in their minds – and give their two cents (about the ratio to what they make to what they players pull down) regarding players who might have been out of line, along with those back stories.

The way technology is exponentially improving, soon players will have phones sewed into their uniforms or implanted in their bodies. When that time comes, players will be calling the NBA office before the official is done informing the scorer’s table of the infraction. And imagine what the cost of advertising among the phone companies would be then. Just think, the players could rewrite the CBA and get even more money.

“Is this a great country or what?”

 

Terry Bradshaw Suffering from Terminal Hard On

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

If you haven’t heard the latest gossip from the world of professional football, pull up a chair and get a load of this. Terry Bradshaw, an icon in Pittsburgh – a city in which they take their icons very seriously – criticized the Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin, calling him “a great cheerleader guy.” Why would Bradshaw go public on the leader of his “alma mater” so soon after they clinched a playoff spot? Keep in mind that Tomlin has a Super Bowl championship on his Steelers resume.

That doesn’t seem to matter to Bradshaw. Turn back the clock a decade or so ago and you’ll recall the same guy throwing less than kind words about another Steelers championship coach – the one and only Chuck Noll. The two of them were the greatest coach-quarterback combination of the Super Bowl era – the mere fact that they won four Super Bowls seems to both begin and end that argument. In fact, I spent one of those glory years (1976-77) living in Pittsburgh where people must be really confused because of the nine states I’ve lived inhabited, nowhere are folks more proud of “their own” than in the ‘Burgh.

Bradshaw’s complaint was Noll was too tough on his young quarterback from Louisiana, that young Terry was the type of guy who needed a hug every now and then. Recently, Bradshaw was a no-show at his former boss’ funeral. One would have thought Bradshaw would make have made an appearance if, for no other reason, than to have made sure.

Possibly, Bradshaw is “anti” Super Bowl-winners because he also has taken aim at Ben Roethlisberger who, like Terry, is a multiple Steelers Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Bradshaw most definitely is an equal opportunity critic as he made the statement below, taking to task another Pittsburgh Super Bowl-winning QB who has won several.

No one can say Bradshaw plays favorites. His tenure with the Steelers and his head coach, Noll, certainly had to have been a rocky one. When asked for a statement following the funeral of the revered coach, he took a swipe at still another championship signal caller - himself. Here’s what he had to say about the winningest coach-QB combination (certainly as far as winning the most brass rings is concerned):

“I’m proud to have played for (Noll). It was a great honor. My relationship wasn’t good, as you well know, but he made me understand my job responsibilities, because I had to grow up.”

Why Does the NBA Feel a Need to Undermine Its Officials?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

As if it’s not bad enough that referees make bad calls, the NBA, for some unknown reason (transparency, perhaps?), lets the viewing public – and even those who didn’t see them – in on the mistakes its officials made in games already played. Other than the league office patting itself on the back for being “transparent,” there is absolutely no reason for such a magnanimous gesture.

Doing so relives a bad time from a game that’s already been decided, so admitting to errors only compounds the problem. The team that “got screwed” – and who felt they were cheated out of a victory (even though the correct calls might not have assured them one) – is even more upset. The winning team feels as though their efforts are being diminished. And, worst of all, the refs – who have a thankless and, in the case of officiating in the NBA, an impossible job to perform – feel like the people who ought to be backing them are throwing them under the proverbial bus.

The prime example was the recent contest between Cleveland and Golden State. If ever there was a regular season game which had all the earmarks of an NBA Finals rematch, it was the Xmas Day match up between the past two years’ finalists. The Warriors were in control of the game, up 14 in the fourth quarter when some sloppy play by them, combined with some clutch buckets by the Cavs turned the contest into a tight ballgame.

LeBron James dunked with 1:43 left and the score tied at 103. He proceeded to hang on the rim, swinging back and forth in a move that would have made another King – Tarzan – proud. Possibly because the play was so eye-opening, and the crowd noise erupted to such a dangerous decibel level, the referees ignored Bron’s over-exuberant gesture. Then, on the Warriors’ final possession, Richard Jefferson switched onto Kevin Durant who had come off of a screen. KD slipped (according to his postgame remarks, “not on my own”), and fell to the floor as the game clock expired. No call by any of the three officials.

In the report from the NBA office the day after the game, the league admitted James actually should have been assessed a technical foul for deliberately hanging on the rim and that Jefferson should have, in fact, been called for a foul on Durant. If the NBA office’s intention was to create more “sports bar” arguments, they certainly have accomplished their goals. What, in reality, they did was to lessen a classic NBA regular season game – and, perhaps, set a precedent for future games – both of which could have been avoided. To admit mistakes is admirable but as long as nothing can be done to affect the outcome, it’s unnecessary.

This NBA admitting officiating errors reminded me of a humorous incident from several years ago. During the 1986 Sweet Sixteen game between #4 ranked Michigan State and top-seeded Kansas, a clock malfunction occurred with 2:20 to go in the game and the Spartans ahead by four. Following a made free throw by MSU, the Jayhawks inbounded the ball. For at least 15 seconds, the clock didn’t move. Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote argued, to no avail, as the game was going on. A couple weeks later, at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Convention (which coincides with the Final Four), the spokesman from the NCAA Rules Committee referenced that game. He told the hundreds of coaches in attendance that one of the changes being made was that such an error would be correctable in the future.

Heathcote was one of the best coaches in the nation. He was also one of the funniest. He raised his hand and, even before he was recognized by the speaker, bellowed:

“Is that rule retroactive?”

When Critics Cross the Line

Friday, December 16th, 2016

In the book about the history of ESPN (These Guys Have All the Fun), there’s a story how Tony Kornheiser and Monday Night Football. On one side were those who felt Kornheiser wasn’t enough of a “football guy” to be in the booth, that he didn’t particularly like to prepare (certainly as much as the “football guys” did), that he liked being more spontaneous. In the story his comment was something to the effect that all of those jobs didn’t automatically have to be given to “jocks.”

History has proven him to be correct. There have been good people who weren’t ex-players who did an admirable job as an announcer or commentator – just as there have been former athletes and coaches who’ve bombed. There is another issue here that goes beyond what incensed Tony K. What disturbs me is the person who never played (but would have given anything to actually be good enough) who decided to make his mark (as far as I can tell, only men fit into this category) in the world of athletics, either as a newspaper writer (especially the columnist) or as a TV or radio personality.

It’s definitely not mandatory to have “strapped it on” to be in any of these professions but there ought to be some restraints on these people. Of course it’s all well and good to have an opinion and voice it as strongly as the person desires. With a caveat. If someone has never played, most certainly if he’s never played at the level he’s covering, criticism should never be personal. When a guy like Bill Simmons attacks Doc Rivers over a period of years, (except, of course, for the year the Celtics won it all), he’s behaving in such a way because he’s petulant, devoted fan – and Doc wasn’t doing the job his favorite team deserved. The team he rooted for so passionately as a child (and, to this day, still does).

In one article I read, Simmons was described as “a pioneer in the type of Internet sports coverage that is now the norm.” It’s the norm because there are so many wannabes, guys like Bill Simmons. Jim Rome was probably the first such cult hero – the guy who never played but was a superstar with words and putdowns. Those who were like him rallied around him and his schtik. He was doing what they wished they could do, i.e. what they wished after their initial wish – that of being an actual athlete – was ruled out as something not even divine intervention could make happen.

Rome was clever (as is Simmons and others like them). The issue I mostly have is not that they never played nor coached. It’s with the personal attacks. In fact, these media members usually know just enough to make intelligent second guesses comments. However, if you’ve never been a player or a coach, you can’t completely understand how much time those people devote to their crafts. Still and all, their job is to analyze and, for the most part, that’s what they do. Just don’t cross the line – and get personal. To hear somebody say about someone else “he’s garbage” is beyond what’s necessary. Save that inflammatory rhetoric for the guys who planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon or the crazies who shoot up schoolchildren (and I fully realize there are folks who are offended if we refer to those deranged people as “garbage” but that’s another debate for someone else).

My recollection is that all of this began with Rome and his despicable statements leveled at athletes he, for whatever reason, disliked. Calling Pete Sampras, “Pete the chimp” and making horse sounds when he mentioned Steffi Graf’s name were Rome’s way of mocking what he thought of their looks. Mainly he was speaking to his loyal followers whose lives were so unappealing their motto was, “Strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.” Rome’s most famous “put down,” as we all remember, was calling Jim Everett, “Chris” – over and over. It almost got him “put down” – by Everett, who the discipline, not to mention if he hadn’t, he’d have been up on a murder charge (many of us would have voted for “justifiable homicide”).

These types of attacks are pure venom. And, unfortunately, there are many people who feel so poorly about how their lives have turned out, or what their future looks like, that hating someone else becomes their source of enjoyment.

Leave it to Elvis to have the last words:

“Animals don’t hate, and we’re supposed to be better than them.”

A Lighter Look at Sexual Harassment

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Early in my coaching stop at USC, a co-worker in the athletics department called me over. “Hey, congratulations. You came in third. And you even got a first place vote.” When my brow furrowed, she realized I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Every year,” she explained, “the females in the department conduct an anonymous secret ballot on which male coach they’d want to be stranded with on a desert island.” You came in third this year and even got a first place vote.” I was doubly surprised. First, because I’d been with the Trojans for three years and had never heard of such a poll  and second, because I came in third – with a first on somebody’s ballot. Nothing like a little boost to the ego – but I simply smiled, thanked her for the “good” news and went back to my office. There certainly was no feeling of being offended, although I did realize there might have been someone who would have taken offense. Please believe me when I say I would have felt the same way if I’d found out about the ladies’ poll – and she told me that I hadn’t received a single nomination.

A month or so later our athletics department held a mandatory sexual harassment seminar. All personnel members filed into the meeting room. I happened to be seated next to John Robinson, our legendary football coach. Being a wise guy (not to generalize, but something that comes easy – or at least easier – to somebody from New Jersey), I began the meeting by asking the female presenter, a retired military officer, “Is harass was one word or two?” Maybe because of the mischievous look in my eye, maybe because of the muffled laughter coming from many of my colleagues, maybe because she would have rather kept to her script, she only gave me a stern look. To let her know it was just a funny line, I apologized to the group – each of whom knew my comment was meant as a bit of levity. Truthfully, the little joke was regarding the word, not the topic – which is I realize is anything but. JR turned to me and, barely audible, said, “You are crazy.”

The woman was about 45 minutes into her presentation, which included video examples of what was and what was not considered sexual harassment, when I raised my hand. She shot me a glance – with somewhat of a jaundiced eye – and asked if I had a question. The people present wondered if I would be foolish enough to joke at this time.

I began, “Here’s a fictitious situation I’d like to ask you. If the men in the department conducted a secret survey, asking the male colleagues to rank first, second and third which female department employee they’d like to be stranded with on an desert island, would that be considered sexual harassment – even if the women never found out about it?”

The lady almost jumped with excitement (or relief) and exclaimed, “Yes! That is an perfect example of sexual harassment.” As she continued, I was glancing around the room. The females were sinking lower and lower in the seats, some absolutely glaring at me, a couple others shooting me a shocked look. Was I really going to expose their little scheme? The speaker finally ended her comments, praising me for giving such a vivid illustration.

“Uh, OK, thanks. I just wondered about that situation.” The women sat up straighter, yet some continued with the evil eye.

My point was not to belittle a serious issue we all know occurs in the workplace – and most everywhere else. It’s my belief that 99% of the people who sexually harass others are fully aware of their actions - and that there is no place for such behavior. However, I truly believe the PC police have become a tad overly sensitive on this subject.

The school district in which I worked after returning to public school education (following 30 years in the world of college basketball) was (and remains) such a place. Allow me to share a brief story.

During one of my freshman algebra classes, with an administrator in attendance to (allegedly) evaluate me, I asked the kids if anybody had an answer to a certain problem. No hands went up. I said, “Oh, c’mon, somebody has got to know this one.”

A shy, bright, little girl seated a couple rows from me, sheepishly raised her hand and said, “Is it x=15?”

I walked over to her and touched her on the elbow, saying, “One.” Then, touched her forearm a couple inches lower and said, “Two.” A couple inches lower, “Three” and, finally, touched her wrist, saying, “Four.” I looked her in the eye, smiled and said, “Thank you, Emily. I know can always count on you.” The class laughed and we moved on. In about 10 minutes, the bell rang and the students were off to their next class.

Shortly after the kids left, the administrator came up to me and made a remark that I’m absolutely certain was meant to be a vital learning experience for me. “Jack, I completely understand why you did it but, in the future, you might want to reconsider touching your students.”

I just looked at the administrator. My response was, “You just sat and observed me teaching and that is your first comment? Nothing about whether or not I was connecting with the kids, or if my explanation of the material was effective, or if they seemed interested?” I actually did consider the next line and said it anyway:

“Do they actually pay you to do this?”

Anyone Who Complains About Newton’s “Suspension” Should Not Be Allowed to Be a Parent

Monday, December 5th, 2016

A pretty safe assumption last night was that any fan watching the Seahawks-Panthers game was shocked when Cam Newton stayed on the sideline for Carolina’s first possession. After much scurrying around (whew, lucky the network has sideline reporters), it was reported Newton was benched for a disciplinary reason: that the Panthers have a team rule that players are required to wear a tie when entering the arena – and Cam wasn’t wearing one (verified by pregame photos). To make matters worse, backup QB Derek Anderson threw a pass that was picked off and, eventually, turned into a Seahawks’ field goal.

Speculation ran rampant. “It couldn’t have been just for a tie. No one would be foolish enough to make such a petty move.” It’s bad enough the Panthers came into the game at 4-8, played in last year’s Super Bowl and Cam Newton is the reigning NFL MVP. But fans are fickle (there’s a candidate for understatement of the year) and, if given a chance, will voice displeasure at the drop of a tie hat. “If they were fighting for a playoff spot, that never would have happened,” could be heard at sports bars throughout America (and especially in North Carolina).

Naturally, that would come from a somewhat sensible supporter. “Rivera should be fired for suspending Cam. That one play cost the Panthers the game – or at the very least, got them down and put them in an early, unnecessary hole” would be a comment from someone several rungs below the fanatic ladder.

Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at it. If Newton violated a team rule, what’s wrong with punishing him for one play! Next, the pass should have been caught. OK, the receiver deflected it, allowing for an easy interception. Seattle did capitalize but only for a field goal. It wasn’t like it was a horrendous throw, resulting in a pick-6. Newton was back on the field following the kickoff, so it must have been predetermined and not a surprise to the Carolina organization.

With all the criticism today regarding parents being fearful of disciplining their children, the action Rivera took should be applauded. When an NFL player is held accountable, whether it was truly for a dress code violation or something more serious, the action taken should be applauded.

Anybody who’s upset that Cam Newton was suspended for one play – in a game the Panthers lost by 33 points - should have their parenting license revoked. If they don’t have children, they should reconsider if they plan on it. Especially at 4-8, it would have been easy to look the other way (assuming it was due to not wearing a tie). Independent of what caused the move, this country won’t fold due to lack of discipline. More because of the opposite.

Or as Clara Barton said:

“The surest test of discipline is its absence.”