We begin Odds & Ends this week with the news that NFL ratings are down this season and some are wondering if it’s time to panic?
I don’t think it is.
Reports show that viewership is down 11-percent on television. What doesn’t get counted in the reports is that some people are watching games by streaming them on their phones,tablets,computers or other mobile devices. It’s kinda hard to reigster a Nielsen rating for that. Also,we’ve had two presidential debates (if you want to call them debates) on opposite games on Monday and Sunday respectively.
Part of it in my view is that the league is oversaturating us with games on days when we really don’t need games. Other than Thanksgiving Day, there is absolutely no reason for us to watch two bad teams play on a Thursday night and we also don’t want to watch these teams play in horrible monochrome colored uniforms. Case in point: Thursday’s game between Arizona and San Francisco saw ratings drop 17-percent,and by the way,the Cardinals were a preseason favorite among many to win the Super Bowl (myself included).
Some of it is also people boycotting the league because of all the players who are sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem, something that takes place before the game,by the way. Unfortunately for those people I don’t feel bad for them if they let something as trivial as that ruin their football watching experience. Get over yourselves!
While I believe there is a ratings dip,lack of interest is far from a reason why. Once this sorry excuse for an election is over,fans will come back and watch as their teams race towards playoff berths and to see if their team is in line to draft the kid out of Notre Dame as their next franchise quarterback. Nothing to worry about over here,everything will be fine.
Speaking of fines, many NFL players have been fined for questionable celebrations in many games this season. Antonio Brown of the Steelers has been fined twice this year and Terrelle Pryor of the Browns was also given one for his. The league even came out this past week letting players know how much exuberance is permitted after scoring a touchdown.
And it’s kinda ridiculous!
Cleveland wide receiver Andrew Hawkins demonstrated how ridiculous it is when,after scoring a touchdown early in Sunday’s game against New England ,he placed the ball on the ground and walked away robotically. This kinda showed me what kind of league Roger Goodell wants to have.
While I don’t think a celebration should be a long-choreographed performance, the players should be able to exude their excitement about scoring. Brown’s twerking in the end zone somehow doesn’t bother me, what Pryor did didn’t bother me. Hell,I even miss when players dunked over the field goal post (let’s bring that shit back). This league is turning into a no fun league when these guys should absolutely be having fun. I’ve long maintained that there should be a certain amount of joy in whatever professional you hold in life and it seems like the league is,little by little,taking that away from these players who absolutely have the right to have fun and should be able to celebrate in whatever way they see fit.
No wonder Odell Beckham Jr.’s not having fun playing anymore.
When Tony Romo comes back from injury for the Dallas Cowboys, he should be sitting on the sidelines as long as Dak Prescott is performing at a high level.
Prescott, a fourth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, was thrust into the starting job when Romo injured his back in the preseason. The rookie is performing well with 1,237 passing yards through five weeks and has yet to throw an interception. The Cowboys as a result are 4-1 and lead their division and have matched their win total from a year ago.
If I’m a player in that locker room,I want to keep what they have brewing in tact. I understand that Romo has been the longtime quarterback and that Jerry Jones has a loyalty to him, but Prescott,along with tailback Ezekiel Elliott, are pumping some youth and some new life into this football team and as a result the team is winning and playing some good football. Romo being inserted back in mght cause the chemistry to go south and even divide the locker room,which is something the Cowboys do not want to do.
Jerry,stay with the hot hand you have at quarterback, you’ve got something good there.
The Kings continued their ways as a bad front office by denying a pretty good trade.
The Milwaukee Bucks offered to trade former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to Sacramento for shooting guard Ben McLemore. The Bucks are trying to unload him as well as Greg Monroe. Sacramento has only two true point guards on the rsoter as of press time: Darren Collison and Ty Lawson. Collison will be suspended for the first eight games of this season.
McLemore has not lived up to expectations in his previous three seasons with the Kings,only averaging 9.7 points per game.
I want an explanation as to why this trade was passed on. I think it was a pretty good trade. Even I suggested they do it back in July. Hell,I would’ve gone further and packaged Rudy Gay along with McLemore to try and get Monroe included in the deal as well. I think Carter-Williams and Monroe would’ve made this team look a lot better just because they were on the roster. Instead the Kings are looking at doing things in a weird way and losing another 50 games this year. Call me when this front office gets real and accepts trades that make sense.
Nail Yakupov,the Edmonton Oilers top overall pick in 2012, was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a future third round draft pick and a prospect on Friday.
Yakupov’s time in Edmonton was far from good. While he did lead the team in goal in a lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he was,for some reason,in former head coach Dallas Eakins’ doghouse and didn’t get much ice time. He flourished to some extent under interim coach Todd Nelson. Last season under Todd McLellan he was limited due to injury to his shoulder.
“It’s something that needed to happen. It wasn’t working for him here. I think it came to a head last year when he made the comment about not wanting to be here anymore. That’s a hard thing to say and then to re-enter a locker room with your teammates. It (the trade) will be good for him. It will be good for us,” said McLellan in a post-scrum interview the Oilers broadcasted on YouTube, “By the time we had arrived here, the new coaching staff and stuff, it was infected already. He had a lot of the past baggage that he was carrying with him. We tried to get him going and it worked for awhile with Connor, and then both their injuries derailed that. People wonder, well, why didn’t you put him back there? Because we didn’t. And Ebs created a bond with Connor that we thought was going to be better. It’s as simple as that.”
I feel bad for Yakupov. He was not only improperly developed,but past coaches and front office members failed him. The front office did so by firing Ralph Krueger via Skype after the team had shown signs of improvement in that lockout-shortened 2013 year only to have his next coach barely use him. No wonder he didn’t want to be there anymore because by the time McLellan got there,he kinda saw the writing on the wall. I wish him the best,he’s only 23 and there’s still time for him to have a career rebirth in St. Louis.
That’s all this week for Odds & Ends, we’ll see you next time!
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