Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 1:35 pm

The Daily Shoutout: No one Sucks for Luck

OPENING HIT: No one does it. Let's get that straight and end the stupid talk. No team wants to lose to get Andrew Luck. No player wants to miss a tackle or drop a pass so they can get him. That's not how athletes work. No general manager will fail to make a personnel move so the teams sucks more. Won't happen.

None of that has ever happened in modern football history. And it won't happen now. It's a ridiculous notion. Absurd, dumb, insulting and did I mention absurd?

The idea that any player on, say, the Miami Dolphins would purposely screw over the team to get Luck, I mean, if anyone thinks that, they don't know NFL players very well.

Think about the level of conspiracy that would have to happen for true Luck Suckage. A front office, head coaching staff and players would all have to be in unison to coordinate the suckage. That would be impossible. That would be beyond impossible.

Yet despite all of this logic there remains conversation in the media -- a lot of it -- about how teams may do this. Suck for Luck.

The only thing that sucks is the entire notion.

UFL: Executives and coaches in the league, knowing it's only a matter of time before it collapses, are looking to the NFL and hoping to land there. Good luck.

REX RYAN: Like him a great deal. Good coach. Good man. But he continues to become a caricature of himself.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 4:16 pm

NFL, union continue sparring on HGH

There were reports that the NFL would begin blood testing on its players for HGH on Monday. Um, wait, hold on. The union released a statement saying the following: "We informed the NFL yesterday that absent a collective agreement on several critical issues, blood collection is not ready to be implemented on Monday. We have advised the players."

Translation: no needles in our players' arms. Not yet.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello sent this response late Wednesday afternoon: "We are disappointed in the union’s response. It is contrary to the terms of the CBA and the agreements reached last Friday with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Committee. We are ready to begin educating players on the testing program and collecting samples. This approach was put forward by Congressmen Issa and Cummings. It is well-reasoned and balances the need to ensure immediate deterrence with the union’s desire for further review and education. We know of no reason why these initial steps should not begin next week, and none has been identified by the union."

This is getting intestesting. 

The two sides continue to fight over several issues including how exactly the test will be implemented. It's extremely complicated.

But bottom line for now: no test for HGH just yet.
Category: NFL
Tags: HGH
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:17 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 8:45 am

The Daily Shoutout: Remembering Kent Hull

OPENING HIT: Some of you know the name Kent Hull. For those of you who do not, let me tell you about him.

Hull played center for the Buffalo Bills and on a team that had incredible swagger and talent, he was always calm and understated. And friendly. Always friendly. Hull often welcomed me with a, well: "Welcome, Mike." He always remembered the name and he was always a go-to quote. He'd explain the complexities of line play with friendliness and the removal of arrogance. He was far more sophisticated than he let on. Bruce Smith once told me Hull was one of the smartest players he ever knew.

I don't know if Hull deserves the Hall of Fame. There will be a push for that now especially in light of his untimely death this week. That will sort itself out. For the moment, for those who don't know the name, know this: Hull was one of the great linemen of the 1990s and a key cog, a vital reason, why so many other Bills are in the Hall of Fame.

He's also a reason why that Bills four-time Super Bowl appearance group was mostly a classy bunch. Hall of Fame or not, remember Hull for that. Simply a great player and great guy who dies far too young.

Category: NFL
Tags: Bills
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Hue Jackson running the Raiders

There was little doubt that up until his death Al Davis was still running the Oakland Raiders. Every signing, every move, every thought process went through him. When he died, there were questions about who would run the team.

We now know for certain, according to sources inside the team and in the NFL, that Hue Jackson has complete control of all personnel decisons involving the Raiders.

Team executive Amy Trask is handling certain aspects of the team but, for now, Jackson is the guy making practically all of the football decisions for the Raiders on and off the field. I'm told that will continue for the imeediate future, probably through the season.

It's a stunning turn for the Raiders. A rookie head coach is now running the football operations of one of the most historic franchises in all of sports, replacing a legend.

Category: NFL
Tags: Raiders
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:56 am

NFL source: Palmer to Raiders done

The Raiders have traded for quarterback Carson Palmer sending the Bengals a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013 that will also likely be a first rounder. The deal is done.

Jay Glazer of was the first to report the trade discussion between the two teams.

One team official said the deal should be announced either today or tomorrow.

This is a remarkable deal. Mike Brown, the stubborn owner of the Bengals, had refused to trade Palmer. He was mocked as a stubborn fool and old goat. Yet here is the old goat getting two first rounders for a washed up thrower.

Simply incredible.
Category: NFL
Tags: Raiders
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:23 pm

Union, NFL will test for HGH...but when?

The first pronouncement the NFL and union had agreed to test for HGH and that a test could come as early as next week came from the NFL. The denouncement from the union came a short time after that. It was, for a few moments, quite confusing.

The truth is, the league's announcement regarding HGH testing was slightly premature. Yes, the two sides have agreed to test for HGH, but when they start is still uncertain.

"We have an agreement to test for HGH," union spokesman George Atallah told me, "what we don't have an agreement on is the process and the protocol to implement the test."

The union still wants answers on a number of issues related to what's tested for and how that's done. Those answers could come as soon as Monday or they could take weeks. Or the union, rightfully looking out for its players, could decide the testing system is unfair.

So basically, after all of that, after even Congressional intervention, we have premature testulation.

This is the good news. It seems we're headed for testing this season and it could come quite soon. But the union isn't going to sign off for the sake of signing off. Nor should they but it seems like they're poised for an agreement.

Category: NFL
Tags: HGH
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:22 pm

Landmark agreement on HGH testing reached

The NFL will begin testing its players for human growth hormone as early as next week, a landmark deal in the era of drug testing in American sports.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to me that the agreement and testing will begin as early as one week from today.

Officials were in Washington on Friday meeting with Congress. More on this story soon.
Category: NFL
Tags: HGH
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:56 am

The Daily Shoutout: The NBA is kidding itself

OPENING HIT: When the NFL was going through its ugly lockout, no one said this publicly, but plenty of people throughout the sport said it privately: they'll come back.

The "they" meaning you. The fans. If it were possible, people would take the NFL and inject it directly into the body. We're all addicted. We can't take out eyes off of it. And football knew this. They knew the fans would come back. Not only did fans return to football the sport is perhaps more popular than its ever been.

If the NBA thinks this will happen, the league couldn't be more wrong. Only one sport -- the NFL -- can get away with being that arrogant. A significant work stoppage in basketball will cripple the sport because fan allegiance isn't as strong.

I might be wrong but based on everything I'm reading and hearing it seems both sides aren't posturing and are ready to miss significant games. I never got that feeling while covering the NFL's labor mess. I also never got the feeling fans would abandon football despite the big talk from some of you. And I was right. You're back, needle in one hand, remote in the other.

The NBA? That will be different. If the league continues this course fans will leave and they may not come back.
Category: NFL
Tags: NBA, NFL
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