By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...The return of the column buffet

 

September 2, 2017

COURTESY/ MGN

Roger Goodell

The column buffet is back! For those of you who are new to my column, or those who forgot, the column buffet is self-explanatory and there's no need to waste time explaining it.

Well that was a bit rude, so quickly, the column buffet is when I give my thoughts and opinions on a variety of spot topics that either cannot hold up an entire column, I have an opinion but it doesn't merit 600-plus words, or I'm tapped and it's easy to shotgun my views this week. (The case this week.)

There it is, now on to the first course.

AGAIN ROGER?

You're not going to believe this, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his office screwed up yet another investigation/suspension. Can you believe it?

Oh wait yes we can, because that's all Goodell has ever done.

Instead of being transparent and showing the NFLPA how they arrived at Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension, Goodell made the call to hide that information then cover up that up when arbitration came around.

Most of us know our strengths and weaknesses at our jobs and most of us constructively work to improve our weaknesses. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Goodell lacks any self-awareness or self-reflection. How else do you explain each of his investigative follies?


Goodell makes everything worse and it's all self-inflicted. It would be terrifying/amusing to know how he viewed himself. I'm going to guess that he thinks he's some sort of Matlock/Teddy Roosevelt type, but the reality is he's, Roger Goodell. (I couldn't think of any fictional characters as instinctively wrong, incompetent and robotic as he is. He's basically created an entire new genre of character-type.)

The worst part about this recent fiasco is that Goodell has taken unlikable people like Jerry Jones and Elliott and turned them into martyrs.

It has been very clear for some time that Goodell should have player punishment removed from his list of responsibilities. I think the owners are going to pull the trigger on this before the NFLPA can dictate during CBA negotiations. Because here we are again and the leading headline for the NFL isn't the start of the 2017-2018 season but Goodell's handling of player punishment. I doubt it will be made public because that will make "The Shield" look weak. I'm sure when he accepts a new extension there will be a shadow agreement that he turns over that part of his job to one of his lieutenants.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

Why is there this need to turn Sharapova's US Open run into a comeback/redemption story? It's not like she's returning to the court after battling stage four cancer, she was caught doping. There is nothing heroic about her return to tennis.

I get that she's a beautiful leggy blonde and there is this desire to go easy on her. She doped, got caught, gave the typical apology where she "accepts blame" but then lists off a series of weak excuses, was suspended after narrowly missing a lifetime ban and now she's back.


There's nothing special about this story. She's a good tennis player and easy on the eyes but there's no need to build a narrative around her. She may even win the US Open but it will come with double asterisks. One for coming off a doping suspension and the second for Serena Williams absence due to pregnancy.

For the record I think Serena would still be able to beat Sharapova even after giving birth to her first child.

I'm not saying Sharapova doesn't deserve a second chance, I'm all for second chances. I'm just against propping her up as a sympathetic figure.

I know some of you are calling me a hypocrite for calling out Sharapova for cheating but still defend Tom Brady after Deflategate. It's quite easy to do because Sharapova was caught cheating with indisputable proof, but with Brady there was not a single shred of legitimate evidence.

MAYWEATHER/MCGREGOR

I'm going to be honest, even though I was supremely confident that Mayweather was going to own McGregor. There was a small fraction of doubt that maybe, just maybe, McGregor might get a lucky shot in, but after I saw those highlights I can't believe it even crossed my mind.

When McGregor was fresh there was no power behind his punches and no reason for Mayweather to be afraid. That's why Mayweather was walking to McGregor, something he's never done in his career. Go back and look at his past fights and he's always slightly leaning back and dancing around. Against McGregor he was straight up and going at him.

This is why it's hilarious that people are grading McGregor on a huge curve, saying he did fine and it was a good moral victory. He got smoked by a retired boxer who wasn't anywhere near 100 percent form. McGregor landed 26 percent of his punches, threw a total of 430 and landing 111. Mayweather landed 53 percent of his punches, throwing 320 and landing 170.

The final two rounds, when Mayweather turned it on, showed just how uneven the skill level was. In the 9th round Mayweather landed 42 punches compared to McGregor landing 10. In the 10th Mayweather landed 20 to McGregor landing 4; 62-14, that's not really close.

The TKO was legit too because McGregor hadn't thrown a punch in over 90 seconds, his legs were shaky and he was barely defending himself.

What's worse is I had to defend Mayweather and now I feel a bit scummy.

I'm just glad this is over and we can push these two horrible people aside.

ART BRILES CAN'T GET A JOB

If you don't remember who Art Briles is he's the former Baylor University football coach who covered up crimes committed by his football players. He was recently in the news trying to get an assistant coaching job for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. While he was initially hired by the Tiger-Cats, there was enough of an uproar that the franchise reversed course and decided against bringing on Briles.

Like I said earlier, I'm all for second chances or multiple chances. I love those stories. When people admit that they messed up and set out to right the wrongs, it is some powerful stuff. The thing with second chances is that you have to be accountable for your actions and Art Briles has not done that. In fact he's been quite defiant and even tried to sue Baylor for wrongful termination.

Being accountable for your actions is one of the cornerstones of playing football. If you mess up an assignment, you admit to it and look to prevent that from happening again. You don't blame a teammate.

Briles is a lot like those Texas congressmen who voted no on Hurricane Sandy relief and were sanctimonious about it, but now are crying out that they need help in the wake of Harvey. In short they're all a bunch of hypocritical cowards.

So it doesn't bother me that Briles lost out on a job.

HOW GUILTY ARE THE LAKERS?

You know how it is hard to prove defamation and/or slander suits in a court of law. The same could be said of tampering suits in professional sports leagues. They're incredibly difficult because it relies on a lot of hearsay from competitive paranoid people.

So when the Lakers got hit with a $500,000 fine for tampering with then Indiana Pacer Paul George I was actually shocked. My first thought was, "damn, how guilty are these guys?" After reading the story it was hard not to laugh at the naivety of Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka. It was so blatantly wrong that just for a second you questioned their intelligence.

It goes to show that even smart guys can do incredibly dumb things from time to time.

 
 

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