Sometimes there are terrible ideas, but you support them nonetheless. This is a safe place for you to defend those ideas.
This Is a Terrible Idea
Yesterday the Philadelphia Eagles announced they were re-signing Michael Vick to a one-year contract worth up to $10 million. Or maybe it's a three-year deal with a bunch of the money pushed into the second two years, structured so that the Eagles can pretty much shove the contract into a shredder after the first 12 months. A lot of the money is tied up in performance incentives — for instance it's been reported that Vick will make $900,000 if he participates in 70 percent of the snaps — which should make Vick and upstart second-year Napoleon Dynamite look-alike Nick Foles practically inseparable bowling buddies 4 life off the field.
The decision to bring Vick back seems to be all Chip Kelly's. The new head coach had a chance to part ways with the veteran quarterback/tackling dummy. And Vick's recent performances gave him all the reasons he needed: Vick has gone 10-13 in his last two seasons, with 30 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. The organization had a chance to start fresh — be it with Foles or someone else — by cutting Vick before February 6, and decided not to. Kelly must have come to the conclusion that they'd rather have Vick, with the flexibility of trading him or releasing him down the line, rather than no Vick at all. "You have to look at the landscape for other quarterbacks," Kelly said on Monday. Hi, Alex Smith. Bye, Alex Smith. For Eagles fans, it doesn't exactly make your heart sing with hope.
Chip Kelly is the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. This is more exciting than it probably should be; obviously, coaches change jobs all the time. But this feels different, somehow. Kelly is the best contemporary offensive mind in America (that’s an arguable designation, but it’s certainly the argument I would make if you put a gun to my head and started asking bizarre, subjective questions about football strategy). The Eagles are an elite NFL franchise in total disarray, habitually hounded by a fan base that despises everything (including themselves). There are landmines aplenty, all in the form of questions. Here are the main ones:
Last Thursday, in the waning moments of the Seattle Sounders' playoff victory over Real Salt Lake, left back Marc Burch was caught on camera calling an opposing Real player a "f----t." (Fair warning: Links to YouTube clips in this piece might not be suitable for your workplace.) The follow-up from Burch was immediate: a seemingly heartfelt letter of apology. The response from MLS commissioner Don Garber was just as swift: an undisclosed fine, an order that Burch attend sensitivity training, and a three-game suspension that effectively ended his season.
When a league fines or suspends a player for saying something it considers inappropriate, it's not just levying a penalty, it's also making a wager. A bet that a certain dollar amount or number of games will convince its fans and other interested parties that it takes the slur seriously.
By that logic, all four of America's largest leagues — the NFL, the NBA, MLB, and the NHL — have long gambled on the idea that their fans aren't overly concerned about players using homophobic language. The only professional league that seems to take seriously the risk that gay slurs will alienate its biggest supporters is also the country's youngest: Major League Soccer.
Clay Harbor, for whatever reason, does not have Wi-Fi. According to Robert Griffin III, Andy Reid met with him at the NFL Scouting Combine back in February and expressed interest in drafting him, which must be music to Michael Vick's ears, assuming he can hear the music over the ringing bells, since his concussion (suffered this past Sunday against the Cowboys) is now being described as "pretty significant." Cullen Jenkins feels like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, and Jeremy Maclin is defending himself against criticism that he's pulling out of routes, which, seeing as how Maclin has been treated like a crash-test dummy by opposing defenses this season, seems totally reasonable. At least he can take heart in the fact that he is apparently replacing Justin Bartha in The Hangover 3. Ah. That feels not at all better [opens 22-ounce Yuengling].
As the long, hot summer drags on, we here at The Triangle figured we’d provide a steady stream of NFL goodness as a reminder of the light at the end of the baseball-lined tunnel.
There is a specific play in football that I hold dear to my heart: the visiting team walk-off touchdown. The sound of of thousands of people simultaneously having their hearts broken is almost as exciting as the sound of thousands of people simultaneously getting hysterical over a victory. We're talking about the range of human emotions here, folks. It's the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
All those words you just read are an excuse for me to post about Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson.
When teams overpay to acquire marginal talent in free agency and the decision takes some criticism, that team's fans usually respond with a fair-but-flawed argument: "We sucked at that position last year and we desperately need to improve there, so if we overpaid, that's life." It's what plenty of Redskins fans said Tuesday afternoon about Pierre Garcon, and it's what plenty of Jaguars fans said Wednesday about Laurent Robinson. So let's explain why that mode of thinking is troublesome, and how teams can use that desperation to their advantage as opposed to forcing themselves into bad decisions.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama picked his official March Madness bracket, putting Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina, and Missouri in the Final Four, with the Tar Heels winning the championship. At least that's what ESPN is reporting; according to several Republican sources, Obama actually picked a Final Four of Harvard, Duke, Kim Jong-un, and the Nairobi Fake Birth Certificate Corporation, with Duke winning it all.
In the First Four in Dayton, South Florida took the fight to Cal early, running up a big lead and winning 65-54. That leaves just one team from the Pac-12 in the tournament, but conference officials are confident that Colorado will restore their honor by winning the national title.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Despite recent trade rumors, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he is confident that Rajon Rondo will remain with the team until the season's end. "He can't leave," said Rivers, with a disturbing grin. "I've got his whole family held captive in my basement." He then held a single finger to his lips, smiled broadly, and made a long "shhhh" sound.
I would absolutely love to write a semi-objective piece about Monday night's showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. I'd like nothing more than to celebrate the game as a nationally televised coming out party for Matt Forte and LeSean McCoy (LESEAN MCCOY), the two best running backs currently playing in the NFL. Unfortunately, I have to bury the dead bird in my back yard first.
Dunta Robinson's helmet-to-helmet hit on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin cost the Atlanta Falcons cornerback $40,000 and probably killed whatever personal appearance prospects he had in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area for the rest of the man's time on earth. It also might have woken up the Eagles, just in time for their inter-division clash with the New York Giants on Sunday.