Professional All-Star Games: A joke or what?

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Fans have been asked to PAY and sit through “All-Stars” games for the NFL, MLB and the NBA for far too long and get nothing in return. The attendance at the NFL Pro Bowl saw decreases through the years when it was held in Honolulu but attendance increased when it was held in Glendale, Arizona and Orlando, Florida in 2015 and 2017, respectively. I am not a fan of the NFL Pro Bowl because there is too high of a propensity for players to be injured playing in a game that doesn’t mean anything.  With respect to the NFL Pro Bowl, it is my recommendation that the players be given a lettermen jacket and a check.  Stop requiring the players to play in a game that could result in them having a career ending injury.

The MLB All-Star game was a joke initially because there was no incentive to win and if there was a tie, the game could end in a tie, which resulted in fans crying foul. In an effort to prevent tie games and provide additional incentive to win, MLB reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.  After several extensions it was agreed that awarding home field advantage to the winning league would remain in place until 2016.  Starting in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series will go to the league championship team with the highest regular season win-loss record.  I wonder if this change will cause the game to go back to having tie games and the players not having an to incentive win.  Only time will tell.

The NBA All-Star game is a total joke and something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Fans spend a lot of money during All-Star weekend and are not getting a return on their investment.  The skills contest, 3-point shooting and dunk contests are absolutely horrible.  Why don’t more players participate in the contests? Why are only four players participating in the dunk contest?  Yet, during the “joke” all-star game several players are dunking like crazy?  Why didn’t Steph Curry and James Harden participate in the 3-point shooting contest?  The all-star game is supposed to be the elite of the elite in the league and they should give the fans something to cheer about.  Instead, they are boring people to tears and charging fans a fee to see them be the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some fans of the game are saying the players are afraid to lose because it could impact their brand. Really, I thought being a competitive basketball player was their brand and more importantly their job. If that’s truly the case, these players are selfish and don’t need to play in the All-Star game.

Fans pay to see a competition, not men patting each other on the back and feeding each other’s egos. If this continues, my recommendation is to give the NBA All-Star players a lettermen jacket, a check and let them be on their way as well.  There is no need for fans to pay to see weak performances.



Douglas Lee “Doug” Williams Nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Dear Hall of Fame Committee:

As an avid football fan, and graduate of Grambling State University, I am hereby nominating Doug Williams for consideration to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  My decision to nominate Doug Williams was based on a number of factors.  I am aware that each nomination is carefully reviewed by the committee to ensure that the person being nominated has “strong” credentials representative of the time the person spent in the League.  That being said, it is my belief that in some instances, consideration should go beyond the numbers on a page and that’s why I’m nominating Doug Williams.  Doug Williams should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame because he changed the game and he provided a point of reference for other young African-American men dreaming of becoming an NFL quarterback.

When Doug was drafted in 1978 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who didn’t become a football team until 1976, he was only the second African-American quarterback to be drafted by an NFL team, which was nine (9) years after James “Shack” Harris, another Grambling football player, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1969 to be an understudy.  Doug’s contribution to the game of football goes beyond “the numbers on a page,” which is based on what the player accomplished on the field.  Doug showed strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.  When he was drafted in 1978 to be the “starting” quarterback, not an understudy, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he was only paid $120,000, which was well below what other white starting quarterbacks and twelve (12) backups were being paid.  In that season he took a hit that resulted in a broken jaw that caused him to be out the remainder of the season.  As with most quarterbacks he focused on his health and was ready to return the following season.  Coming off of a broken jaw in 1979 he lead a very young Buccaneers team to its first NFC Division Championship but lost the Conference Championship to the Los Angeles Rams, ironically, the team James “Shack” Harris was the starter for nine (9) years earlier.

Doug was the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers for five (5) seasons and of those five (5) seasons the Buccaneers made the playoffs three (3) times and that speaks volumes in my mind. After the 1982 season Doug asked for a raise that would give him a salary of $600,000 which Coach John McKay championed for but management refused to budge from their meager offer of $400,000, which resulted in Doug leaving the NFL and going to the newly formed United States Football League.  As a result of Doug’s departure the Buccaneers didn’t see another playoff season for fourteen (14) years.  Clearly, Doug as the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers made a difference and without him the team took a nose dive.

Coach Joe Gibbs recruited Doug to the Washington Redskins in 1986.  Coach Gibbs was familiar with Doug’s talent because he was the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers when Doug was drafted.  As a result of Coach Gibbs belief in Doug’s abilities, Doug became the first African-American quarterback to start in an NFL Super Bowl.  As you may recall, the Washington Redskins were not considered to be the favorite, the Broncos were highly favored to win the Super Bowl under a very capable John Elway.  I recall this moment like it was yesterday, Doug went down and his leg was bent backwards and as a result he was taken out of the game for one play.  When he returned to the game, the lights went out on the Broncos.  He became the “first” quarterback in Super Bowl history to pass for four (4) touchdowns in a single quarter and four (4) touchdowns in a half.  He was the “first” quarterback to throw an 80-yard touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.  He set a Super Bowl record of 340 passing yards and he rallied the team back from a 10-point deficit, the largest at that time and scored 42 unanswered points, which may still be a Super Bowl record.  In addition to his record setting Super Bowl, it was capped off with him being named MVP.  Doug was the “first” African-American quarterback to be named MVP and he retains that title today.

Doug Williams epitomizes what the Hall of Fame is about and that is determination, the pursuit of excellence and a willingness to win.  Its Doug Williams shoulders that every African-American quarterback coming into the League after him has been standing on because he set the standard for them to follow and improve upon.  He showed them that through adversity and challenges, you can still come out a winner if you’re willing to work hard and give 100% no matter what the circumstances are.

As the committee goes through the selection process of approving the players for the 2018 Hall of Fame, keep in mind that the Buccaneers were a newly formed team when Doug was drafted and they were still trying to build a program.  Doug’s numbers represent a quarterback playing for a new team that had no idea about the importance of surrounding the quarterback with a strong offensive line, so that he wouldn’t be pounded more often than not.  His numbers do represent his willingness to win and his ability to win in spite of the situation.

Doug was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2001. Therefore, it is only fitting that he be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Doug Williams Stats: The Numbers on a Page

Year Team G Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
1989 Washington Redskins 4 93 51 54.8 23.2 585 6.3 146.2 1 1.1 3 3.2 46 0 0 2 10 64.1
1988 Washington Redskins 11 380 213 56.1 34.5 2,609 6.9 237.2 15 3.9 12 3.2 58 0 0 10 88 77.4
1987 Washington Redskins 5 143 81 56.6 28.6 1,156 8.1 231.2 11 7.7 5 3.5 62 0 0 7 53 94.0
1986 Washington Redskins 1 1 0 0.0 1.0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 39.6
1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 307 164 53.4 34.1 2,071 6.7 230.1 9 2.9 11 3.6 62T 0 0 11 128 69.6
1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 471 238 50.5 29.4 3,563 7.6 222.7 19 4.0 14 3.0 84T 0 0 18 135 76.8
1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 521 254 48.8 32.6 3,396 6.5 212.2 20 3.8 16 3.1 61 0 0 23 194 69.9
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 397 166 41.8 24.8 2,448 6.2 153.0 18 4.5 24 6.0 66T 0 0 7 57 52.5
1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 194 73 37.6 19.4 1,170 6.0 117.0 7 3.6 8 4.1 56T 0 0 6 69 53.4
TOTAL 88 2,507 1,240 49.5 28.5 16,998 6.8 193.2 100 4.0 93 3.7 84 0 0 84 734 69.4


Year Team G Att Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD Lng 1st 1st% 20+ 40+ FUM
1989 Washington Redskins 4 1 0.2 -4 -4.0 -1.0 0 -4
1988 Washington Redskins 11 9 0.8 0 0.0 0.0 1 4
1987 Washington Redskins 5 7 1.4 9 1.3 1.8 1 7
1986 Washington Redskins 1 0.0
1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 35 3.9 158 4.5 17.6 2 14
1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 48 3.0 209 4.4 13.1 4 29
1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 58 3.6 370 6.4 23.1 4 27
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 35 2.2 119 3.4 7.4 2 16
1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 27 2.7 23 0.9 2.3 1 7
TOTAL 88 220 2.5 884 4.0 10.0 15 29 0 0.0 0 0 0



New York Knicks: The Saga Continues….. There is a Storm Brewing

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The two pots represent Dolan and Jackson

The saga of the New York Knicks continues. Let me start by saying although the Knicks are the beloved basketball team of the Big Apple, the team has only garnered marginal success through the years.  The team has only won two NBA Championships and that was back in the early 70’s.  The Knicks won the NBA Championship in 1970 and 1973.  To be the largest market for NBA basketball it has been difficult to sustain good coaches and good talent.

The problems confronting the Knicks today are the same problems they’ve had in the past. Clearly, the Knicks biggest problem is management and that’s even more evident given the Phil Jackson public lashings of Carmelo Anthony and James Dolan’s dislike for Charles Oakley that spilled over into a full blown debacle a couple of days ago that resulted in Oakley being removed from the arena and arrested.  The fallout from this mess is coming fast and furious.  First, James Dolan fired Frank Benedetto, the Senior Vice President for security of Madison Square Garden today saying “the termination is related to the Oakley incident.”  Second, Dolan has banned Charles Oakley from coming to Madison Square Garden and stated “hopefully not forever.”  If I’m Charles Oakley, it’s forever because I would NEVER set foot in Madison Square Garden again.

On to Phil Jackson and his recent antics where Carmelo Anthony is concerned. It is never appropriate or professional to chastise an employee in public which is exactly what Jackson has been doing to Carmelo lately.  Jackson making statements that Carmelo holds the ball too long, which results in timing issues for the team when running the triangle offense.  At what point is Phil Jackson going to realize that he’s the GM, not the coach, and that the team rarely runs his 100 year old triangle offense?  Tweeting references about Carmelo shows his lack of leadership in the role of a GM.  Clearly, he lacks the skills necessary to be the GM and should probably consider moving on and trying to get a coaching job somewhere.

Next on the list of Knicks debacles was the treatment of Charles Oakley at the Knicks game a couple of days ago. Charles Oakley purchased a ticket to the game and for reasons unknown to anyone, security went up to him and asked him to leave the arena.  Seriously, who does that?  Charles Oakley is saying that he didn’t do anything to deserve being removed from the arena.  Several sources have reported that management is saying Oakley was making derogatory remarks and appeared to be impaired.  When several members of the security team went up to Oakley and asked him to leave, it caused him to become angry and get into a shoving match with security personnel which resulted in him being arrested and booked for assault.  Question: Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have one person speak to Charles Oakley, instead of a group?  I would not have been comfortable with a group of security people telling me to leave the arena and I had purchased a ticket.  Come on people, what has happened to just respect for others?

Rumor has it that because Charles Oakley has been critical of the Knicks management, it has resulted in him having a tempestuous relationship with James Dolan, the owner.  As a result of this simmering distain Dolan and Oakley have for each other, Dolan would prefer that Oakley not attend games and has subsequently banned him.  Okay, if Dolan is that small minded, he’s just stupid and an idiot. Why would you stop someone from purchasing a ticket to a basketball game? Also, why would he remove/ban a player that played ten (10) years for the team because he made some unflattering remarks about the organization’s management?  Were the statements true, so you couldn’t handle the truth?  News Flash, it’s a basketball game and people make all sorts of remarks all the time, including booing the referees.  Are you going to start removing fans from games now?

Given the current climate, I don’t see any A-List free agents being interested in going to the Knicks.  Dolan should ask Mark Cubin what happens when you do and say stupid things about players in the NBA.

This is not the NFL folks the NBA players run the League!!!



John Lynch hired as the new GM for San Francisco: Was this a good hire or is it Failing Upward?

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From the moment the York family wrangled the 49ers from Ed DeBartolo, Jr., they have made one bad decision after another and the most recent hire of John Lynch as the General Manager will be yet another bad decision. John Lynch, a Fox analyst, who has zero NFL front office or NFL administrative experience retired from the NFL as a player over next six (6) years ago and I’ve seen nothing in his current job to indicate he has the capacity to rebuild the team back to its winning ways.  What is he bringing to the table exactly?  In light of the fact that Trent Baalke was a complete disaster and wasn’t fired until the team was driven completely into the ground, one would think that the Yorks would hire someone that will command respect, NOT!  The 49ers need a complete overall in terms of the coaching staff.  The team needs a head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators and the list keeps growing.  How is this guy with no previous work experience going to create a winning environment for the team?

Apparently, Lynch has a relationship with Kyle Shanahan, who is expected to be the next 49er head coach, so I suppose Jed York is thinking that this will help bridge the gap between the two positions since the Harbaugh and Baalke relationship tanked. Please, whatever the relationship is between the two it will sour and Jed York will be back looking for a GM and a coach.  Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator for the Falcons but at the end of the day, I don’t believe he has what it takes to be a head coach in the NFL at this time in his coaching career.  At what point with will these NFL owners not hire people to “fail upward”?  Seriously, John Lynch has about as much of a chance of making this team successful as Kyle Shanahan has at being the head coach.

Somebody hand me a bottle of “Pinot Noir” because I am going to take several seats and watch this disaster unfold.