We begin Odds & Ends this week with the news about Aldon Smith being suspended by the NFL last week after his most recent legal troubles. In September, Smith,25, plead not guilty to misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run, drunken driving and vandalism, charges that stem from an alleged Aug. 6 incident.
The 49ers then released Smith on Aug. 7 and I honestly thought he was done. But the Raiders decided to take a chance and signed him to a one-year deal. He has 3.5 sacks in nine games with Oakland. I understand why the Raiders took a chance on him, he’s a talented player who could help a team on the rise on the field as well as maybe provide a better support system for him.
Here’s my question: What the hell took the league so long to suspend him?
That was Smith’s third DUI charge. That’s three too many. I think once the charges against him were filed,his suspension should’ve happened immediately,but we are where we are now and that’s that. I’m sure that Smith will want to return to Oakland once his suspension is over and I know the Raiders will more than likely sign him once he’s able to be signed,but will the league be willing to reinstate him? Guys like Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon and Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington have served yearlong suspensions and have yet to be reinstated to their respective clubs. Only time will tell if Smith will suffer the same fate.
Call me crazy,but I’m starting to feel bad for Colin Kaepernick and the way he’s being treated by the 49ers. On Saturday,the team placed him on injured reserve,ending his season. Two weeks prior,he was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert,who has played well in his two starts with San Francisco. This very much signals the end in San Francisco for Kaepernick.
But how much is it really his fault and how much is it the organization’s fault?
I’ll give Kaepernick some of the blame, his mechanics haven’t been very good and he hasn’t had very many weapons on offense and he doesn’t read defenses well. But overall this organization has quit caring about winning and doing things in a professional way. It’s why Jim Harbaugh is no longer there,it’s why fans have quit coming to games and why ticket prices are dirt cheap. Who the hell wants to come to a game when the parking costs more than the fucking ticket?
Honestly, if you had to work under the conditions that Kaepernick has,you’d probably struggle,too. When you have as much incompetency in an organization like he has, chances are you won’t reach your potential and eventually your best isn’t going to be enough. I do hope the 49ers release him and I hope another team picks him up so he can get a decent shot at redemption. I think if he backed-up an elite level quarterback and learned from him he might have a fighting chance again in this league. Unfortunately the 49ers did him wrong and I think deep down,everyone knows that.
Continuing with football teams that don’t know shit about winning these days, the Detroit Lions have ended their partnership with WXYT-FM radio after 12 years and moved their broadcasts to WJR-AM radio following the team’s request to have afternoon host Mike Valenti fired and the station refusing.
Valenti has been known to be critical of the team and claims the team has been complaining about him for years.
“Here’s the problem,” Valenti said. “This is the problem I’ve always had with your football team here. They care more about what idiots like Terry (Foster) and I say than they do about the product on the field.”
Valenti also claims the team has denied the show requests for guests as retribution.
“This is a petty, juvenile, nasty organization,” Valenti said. “They don’t like me because I don’t fear them.”
I’m actually in agreement with Valenti. If your organization is more concerned with what is being said about you instead of committing to being a winning franchise,something’s way off there. At 3-7,the Lions have little to be boastful about this season,which was supposed to be one where they could build off of being 11-5 the year before and instead,it’s back to being the same old Lions they’ve always been for as long as I can remember. Until they decide to change the culture there for good, expect harsh criticism to come your way. It’s the nature of the beast.
The Lions’ partnership with WJR-AM will begin with the 2016 season.
Jason Hatcher of the Redskins gave us “the answer” as to why the team lost 44-16 to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday,it’s the team’s nickname.
In a postgame interview with Carol Maloney with WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., Hatcher said that it may be the team’s nickname as to why officials aren’t calling penalties in their favor or so many penalties on the team overall.
“I’m not saying this out of character to get fined, but it is what it is,” Hatcher said. “I don’t know if it’s about the name or what, but at the same time, we play football, too. We work our butt off, too. Don’t single us out. At the end of the day, it’s the name. Don’t worry about the name — we’re players and we work our butts off, too. I’m just frustrated with it. We shouldn’t have to be punished for that. It’s been every game, calls after calls that should’ve been made in our favor, but it goes to them. It’s just not right. We’re in the league, too. We’re [NFL] players. We got a team, too. We go out there, and we sweat and work hard, too. I don’t give a crap about the name. We are players. We’ve got feelings, too, and we want to win, too.”
The team has faced criticism in recent years as well as pressured to change the name of the team,one that people find an offensive term for Native Americans. Team owner Daniel Snyder and even commissioner Roger Goodell have come out against any name change for the team.
I don’t think the team is being punished for their nickname. Is it an unpopular one? Most likely, but the referees aren’t doing them in because of their name. I understand that you’re upset at the calls on the field,but going to an extreme as that statement is a copout. Just admit that the Panthers outplayed you and on this day,were the better team and it’s why they’re 10-0.
I feel like I write about the 76ers losing way too much these days and how they’re the 0-76ers instead. Philadelphia is 0-14 to start the year and it makes you wonder if they’re ever interested in turning the corner. Their latest loss was a close one, a 96-91 defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.
Their next chance to get their first win is tonight against an improved Minnesota team,but even that will be a challenge for this team as they rank last in points per game, point differential, turnovers per game, assist-to-turnover ratio, offensive efficiency, and field goal percentage.
Yes,the Sixers have ben drafting potential future stars in Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, but traded away guys like Jrue Holiday and Michael Carter-Williams in recent years. Not to mention that last year’s top pick Joel Embiid has yet to make his NBA debut (and one has to wonder if he ever will) and Dario Saric,the 12th overall pick from 2014 via the Magic whose rights belong to Philadelphia,has not yet come stateside.
It seems to me that the 76ers have a very,very long way to go before they even know how to win a game yet alone have a winning season. They need to get some competency in the front office and hire a real general manager and a better coach and hope to get some better players there. It’s really shameful to see a team that has has the likes of Julius Erving, Charles Barkley,and Allen Iverson go down the tubes,and fast.
The Oilers have an exciting young rookie on their roster and no,he doesn’t have a broken clavicle. It’s Leon Draisaitl. The 20-year-old German has been filling in since Connor McDavid got hurt and has made an impact for this young Oilers team since his Oct. 29 call-up. How much you ask? He leads the league in scoring right now.
I gotta say,I was a bit skeptical about Draisaitl filling McDavid’s shoes because of how much McDavid was making an impact on the team and the league,but he has done a more than admirable job. Also,the difference between the Draisaitl of last season who was a young kid who was far from ready to make an impact to this year where he looks like a different player is just unbelievable. I think this kid is going to be a great impact player for this Oilers team for years to come. He,along with McDavid and Darnell Nurse,are going to be part of a great nucleus. Something good is definitely brewing in Oil Country.
That’s all for this week’s Odds & Ends,until next time!