I wrote a letter to the NFLPA this spring, telling them that there was one thing they had to do during the lockout. It was pretty simple, I’d like to see football in September, but my biggest thing was, please get rid of the franchise tag.
Actually, it wasn’t quite that simple.
My take was, and is, I don’t like the position it puts me in as a fan and an observer when a guy gets franchised and wants to be a free agent, so he decides to sit out.
It’s really been the only effective recourse for players against the franchise tag, and while I understood why players did it, I was still bothered by this; they signed a contract, they voted for the CBA and they didn’t hold to it.
Well this spring they went to the mat. They held football hostage (so did the owners, but both parties equally did not compromise in March). So they had their negotiating sessions, at the cost of free agency, and mini camps, and OTA’s. They had a chance to get rid of it and they didn’t.
So when Adrian Peterson, or Patrick Willis, or whoever sits out because he doesn’t like the tag, I have a new take on it.
You guys voted. If you don’t like your new government, tough cookies. You screwed yourselves this time around boys. You have a brilliant new leader (hashtag d smith is a bad man), all the marquis names signed on to an antitrust suit (Brees, Brady, Manning), and everything that comes with it.
You had the owners’ collective balls in a vice, and you didn’t use it to get rid of that god awful slap in the face to the free market. Next time it bites one of you in the ass, I’m pro-team all the way.
The 1993 NFL draft’s top overall pick who infamously lost his quarterback job to Tom Brady is now playing a new waiting game as the owner of his own wine label and vineyard. Bledsoe hasn’t been deterred by an industry that can be glacially slow, instead viewing it as a challenge. Via Yardbarker.
I’m not a wine person. Both times that I’ve had wine, I’ve enjoyed it enough, but that’s about how much I know about it. But even I, the not-so-big-wino-who-drank-it-twice, have one thing figured out.
Wine’s supposed to sit around for a really long time, right?
Like, seriously, you open a bottle of wine and it’s supposed to sit for like an hour or something? The guy that pours it is supposed to have a very steady hand, I know that, that’s not like some made-up, TV wino thing right? He’s supposed to have a steady hand.
So able to sit still for an hour and good hands required, but stepping up in the pocket or evading the rush less than mandatory? Right?
Why wouldn’t this guy be good at wine? This is what he did for 13 seasons in the NFL. Stand still.
I’m not an NBA fan. I would classify myself as a sportsaholic, so I pay attention to what goes on in the NBA to some degree. I am a huge basketball fan, just not into the NBA. (Also, and this really doesn’t matter to this blog, I would consider myself a Celtics “well wisher,” fan would imply that there’s some small thing missing in my life when they lose, or suck, or don’t play because of a lockout. That’s not really the case.
But I love basketball. It was actually the first game I really learned, and learned to love. I still watch college basketball with wide eyes, and can’t wait for the conference championships to start each year.
I really would like to see this lockout work. I love that the NBA is locked out for selfish reasons, like hockey ratings doubling or tripling because sports junkies will always watch sports. But I also love it because it really could fix this league. I’ve prescribed five steps that I think could fix the game at the NBA level.
First is the three year delay. The NFL has benefitted from causing all draft prospects to wait until three years after their high school graduation to register for the draft. The result is long college careers, which gives you more mature people in the league in a lot of cases (I realize there are still a bunch of morons in the NFL, but there are probably just as many morons playing in the NBA, where the total number of players is less than 1/3 of the NFL).
But it also results in a more balanced style of play and players that are ready to play team basketball. Look at the guys that play 3-4 years of college versus the guys who came out of high school. Prior to a few years ago, you got a better player if he had played a few years in college, until teams started cherry picking raw talent from the freshmen class.