Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rolando McClain's house fire ruled arson --- just like that Cowboys slide back to mediocrity?

It is very hard to build a team around unstable people.

This article sounds awful.  It sounds like the guy bought a million+ dollar home he couldn't sell, so he torched the thing, likely to commit insurance fraud.

Ugh.  One hopes he didn't do this.  Or that if he did, he has a posse member willing to take the fall...

Last year, McClain proved what I have been saying for years --- that Dallas needed a tough nosed physical plugger to fill the MLB spot, allowing the Porcelain Ninja, Sean Lee, to move elsewhere.

We may need one again next year.

DT Henry Melton a cap casualty in Dallas?

Dallas coaches and players love to fawn over developing DT Tyrone Crawford.  It appears that Dallas has reached the conclusion that they have two plus 3 techniques and that makes Melton and his contract very expendable.

I don't love this, as I think sacks are important, not just pressures, but I am OK with the decision value-wise ---as long as this defensive sacrifice it isn't about trying to resign injury prone RB DeMarco Murray. 

Crawford's "position flex" is overrated.  The three spot is a good one for him.  Additionally, while I can appreciate what Melton is,  I have never been as sold on him as other reviewers. 

I would not be surprised to see Clemson's DT Grady Jarrett in Dallas on draft day

Grady Jarrett was a three year starter in Clemson.  He was a team captain so he passes the "right kind of guy" test. And he brings attributes Dallas could use.

Jarrett is an undersized guy---a 1 technique, but plays hard and has quickness and power that show up on his pass rush.  I personally prefer guys who have the burst to finish when they gat close.  Jarrett doesn't have that, but he is consistently difficult to handle on passing downs.

I am suspicious that he may be a lesser Jay Ratliff. Ratliff only had 3 years where he put up good sack numbers but about 5 years where he was just very disruptive.  I think this guy projects to be similarly attention getting without the sacks the elite DTs get.

I think he can definitely pair with Henry Melton and Tyrone Crawford to help consistently collapse the pocket and push the QB into Dallas's DEs.

This just hits me as the kind of guy I could see Dallas falling for.  I don't see other top DLs in this draft so far that scream Dallas.  That may be a big part of why Dallas reached for Lawrence (a guy who was developmentally a year away) last year.  (One hopes Dallas won't reach early on a guy like Alvin Dupree due to their brainstrust's overestimation of the worth of any edge pass rusher who checks their boxes.  Dallas has several guys on the roster who have had 6 plus sack seasons as DEs. The middle is the big issue.)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Dallas shouldn't keep Demarco Murray

I want to start by briefly mentioning that the arguments to keep him are actually bordering on reasonable.  Murray was the heart of this offense last year and played tough, disciplined ball all year.   He is a good receiver and pass blocker.  He is a strong and somewhat dynamic runner. He played though injury and showed a ton of leadership.

I am thrilled that he took the record for the most yards in a single season from Emmitt and that he has earned a huge payday.

It just shouldn't come from Dallas.

Even if you assume that improvements on our OL ensure Murray will take a lot fewer hits at or behind the line of scrimmage and therefore he will stay a little healthier, his body of work suggests he is good for about 7-9 games a year.   The OL's play may push that to 10-12 games, but that still isn't great.

More to the point, he clearly wore down last year.   He is good for about 17 -20 carries a game for a little over half the season.   He took on a much larger role last year, and he was not the same guy by the time the playoffs rolled around.  And that is it in a nutshell.  You don't need a feature back who will either be injured or exhausted come the playoffs if you want to win a superbowl.

And that doesn't begin to look at the way RBs have historically collapsed after this kind of heavy workload season.

It makes a lot more sense to replace him by committee.   Dallas has already signed Ryan Williams.  If he has finally made it back from his rookie season injury he may be good enough to make the roster and contribute.

Dallas was probably hoping that Joseph Randle had grown up and was ready to take the job, but to me, his game is lacking.  You cannot have that guy protecting Tony Romo's injured back.  Plus he is a knucklehead who can't stay out of trouble.  It seems about time to move on.  For Dallas, it makes sense to hold on to him only until you find a capable replacement.

Lance Dunbar is a guy I followed at UNT.  To me, he is a keeper. He lacks the power to break tackles in the NFL but would be quite useful with  more touches via delayed shovel passes and as a receiver out of the backfield.  He's a guy who will break one out of every 15 touches for a really big gain if not a TD.  He just doesn't get those touches. He's underutilized with the bigger Murray around.

I know a lot of fans are talking about burning and early pick on a RB.  This draft has two legit feature RBs in Gurley and Gordon and maybe a 3rd guy in Minnesotas's Cobb who I would think could take over as the starter in Dallas, but the rest look like part time players and guys who will get Romo killed.   To get any one of that trio looks like a lot to give on a team with a lot of holes.

I think a combination of a late round draft addition and free agent maneuvering paired with Dunbar is the solution.

I would say sign Mark Ingram and draft Zack Zenner of South Dakota State.

Why these two?  Well a number of reasons the chief among which may be the fact they are both flawed ---meaning a cheap acquisition price.

Walter Football has Ingram rated as a 2.5 star prospect on their free agent list.  Last year 3 star running backs were getting $2.5 to $4 Million per year on 1-3 year deals.  Ingram by anyone's judgement is a decent NFL starter.  He has been pretty much a disappointment in New Orleans.  Most would say he is a little below average as a runner, but does everything you need a feature back to do.

No one is going to break the bank on Ingram.  Dallas could offer him a 5 year at $18 million or so and that would likely blow away all other bidders.  Other teams would look at him and think there is no way he deserves a 5 year deal.

I look at it quite another way.  He is 25.  In 5 years he will be 30.  25 isn't too old at all for a 5 year deal, especially if you consider he is a back who didn't eat a ton of usage and played behind an elite line in college and has had a light load in the pros.

To get someone who even a pessimist would admit is a legit 900-1100 yard starter who can also protect Romo on passing downs for $3.6 Million a year is not a bad deal at all. 

Plus think about it like this.  You give him a $3 Million signing bonus.  His annual salary runs $2M, $2.5M, $3M, $3.5M, $4M.  If he is lousy at any point you drop him and draft someone.   If he sucks and you cut him at 29, the deal will have been a 4 year deal at $14 M.  That's not bad.

If he is solid, he knows the team will be motivated to keep him.  He gets more money than anyone else is going to pay him before he turns 30 and he starts behind one of the better run blocking lines in the league.

The line is the key with both of these backs.  A lot of Ingram's skills are wasted in New Orleans and a lot of his weaknesses are exposed.

That is not a good run blocking line.   Ingram is often hit at or behind the line.  His holes often collapse on him.  He gets tangled up at the line. He has lost confidence hitting the holes.

All of that goes away in Dallas.  No backs are getting hit behind the LOS consistently in Dallas.  It might happen vs. the Seahawks and Detroit, but that's about it.

Ingram is very skilled at setting up his blockers and following them.  If he hits the LOS with a good head of steam, he finishes his runs strongly.  He will put his body through a hole in short yardage. That is a fantastic skillset behind a great run blocking team.  He would compliment this line and them him.

Ingram with this line will bring back a lot of memories of Emmitt behind the early 90's line --- at a fraction of the cost.  Plus Ingram is a much, much better leader.  You won't ever hear him say he is  "A diamond surrounded by trash" as a washed up Emmitt once famously said.

Ingram is a value pickup and definitely is the "right kind of guy".

Which brings me to Zenner.  Zenner has had some big games against fairly decent competition.  He lit up Nebraska for 200 yards for example.  He broke a 99 yard run vs. Kansas

Now not the best defenses admittedly, but S. Dakota State is merely a good FCS school and those are power 5 schools that he lit up.

You can see him have a nice game vs. a pretty decent defense vs. FCS NAU.  NAU had a fast defense and took away the SDSU passing game early. That defense took it to him early.  He earned it and eventually took them apart.   The video is a nice sample that shows you all of his flaws and strengths.

Zenner is not a highly regarded prospect.  If you look at him play, he isn't especially elusive.  He isn't a big cutback runner.  He doesn't have nifty feet--- in fact his cutbacks involve about a 4 step breaking process.  He doesn't have plus vision as a runner at the line.  If the hole is a little over from where it should be, he may not be able to hit it.

He benefitted from a lot of good holes in college.

He's a kind of a straight line guy, albeit one with an extra gear. 

This isn't a guy most NFL teams look at as a possible starter or even an optimal backup. 

But most teams do not have Dallas's offensive line.  In Dallas, Zenner would know where the hole would be.  And when he hits that hole Zenner's positive attributes would be maximized.

He doesn't look fancy doing it, but Zenner is one of those runners who has a knack for bending most runs the right way once he hits the second level.  He gains 8 yards where most would get 5. 

Then he has a very, very underrated gear in the open field.  He is a lot like Dunbar in that --- you just see him running away from people on video.  I think that unlike Dunbar, Zenner will have a good time in the 40.   I suspect he will time in the upper 4.5s but he runs faster when he sees the endzone.

Someone probably see's a kick returner in him.  A team might fall in love with him in the 4th round, but I think 5th or 6th round is more likely.  That would be great value for Dallas.

Both guys are in the 217 to 220 range that you need to be in at minimum to not get taken down regularly by one arm tackles in the NFL, complimenting Dunbar nicely.

That would free up a lot of money for a free agent or two and would reduce the pressure on Dallas to burn a top 100 pick on a RB.  In other words, this would allow Dallas to add two or three more contributors (potentially starters)  this off-season.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mark Cuban needs to get serious and go all in on winning this year.

Disclaimer: I am not a Mark Cuban fan/apologist.  I think he is a very nice guy who is very cool in giving out financial advice, but hugely overrated as an owner.  He didn't part the waters and Dallas suddenly started winning.  IMO, He has actually been at the forefront for most of the team's poor decisions over the Cuban era  (a rant for another day).  Don Nelson and his son built this foundation and get little credit from Dallas fans.  Donnie Nelson?  Top 3-4 in the league at his job.

Anyway... I do have to give Cuban credit for correcting HIS foolish mistake and re-acquiring Tyson Chandler.  That gave the Mavs a shot to compete in the West in the post-season.  Acquiring Rajon Rondo was a great move by Little Nel and Cuban, but it leaves Dallas with a craptastic bench.

These two smart trades have cost Dallas two second round picks in 2015 (to New York) and a 2015 first rounder and 2016 second rounder (to Boston).  Dallas doesn't have a lot of exciting picks to trade at this point.

But something needs to be done.  You cannot count on Richard Jefferson and the like coming off the bench.

Come on now. 

A couple notable recent exceptions where Dallas was right (Vince Carter and Sean Marion) aside, Dallas has a history of overrating the value of washed up veterans in the Cuban era.

Dirk doesn't have a couple of years. This needs to be a title run year if you give a shit about Dirk.

So how do you manufacture depth?  You can scour the minor leagues  (Given his effort, attributes, and the fact the Mavs do not have a credible backup center, why exactly is Bernard James not on this roster?  Who exactly plays defense in the middle when Chandler goes out?), but I am sure the Mavs have done that. 

How else?  Mark Cuban spending money.

NBA trades allow slightly more money going out than what comes back.  125% plus $100K of the salary sent.

That means --- for example --- if Dallas wants to trade dustmop Raymond Felton,  a middling player at best with a year and a half left at 4.4 million a year, they could bring back a guy who makes $5.6M.

Run through the NBA rosters.  What player doesn't fit their current team's needs and makes $5.6 Million this year on a 3-5 to year deal and would provide Dallas good depth.  That's a deal that should be made.

Or maybe they have a guy making $4 Million a year over 3-5 years and a guy making a million for this season, but they both would fit here. That's a deal.

Or maybe Felton and a million guy for a guy who makes 7 Million+ a year.  That's a deal.

With Boston, New York, LA, and Philly all in the toilet and selling hard, I don't see why we can't improve 6 through 12 on the cheap.

Is it some odd cap space issue?  Or is Cuban just not willing to spend anymore money?  Is this the Michael Redd situation all over again, with Cuban taking half measures?  Is Cuban an owner who cares more about the bottom line than winning?

Dirk can sacrifice, but Cuban won't?  I am reminded again of the infamous "read my lips, 'money is no object' " proclamation by a young Mark Cuban.  Old Mark Cuban should sell the team to that guy if he doesn't have the stomach for it any more.

I don't get it.  I can only hope they are closing in on some deals.

Dallas has proven to be one of the least attractive cities for NBA free agents anyway.  Everyone but Mark Cuban seems to get this.  The only guys of note Dallas has signed were Monta Ellis, who was too toxic for most teams and has really turned his game around under Rick Carlisle, and Chandler Parsons, who was overpaid by a fortune in relation to his game in order to get him to Dallas.

Plus with Parsons, Ellis, Dirk, Chandler, and (hopefully) Rajon Rondo this team is not going to have space in the near future.

This is a win-now situation.

Dirk is greatness and has given up his own money to compete.  You cannot be more loyal than that.

You have spent the dirk money on your franchise value in the future.  That's nice but it is taking what he gave you for your interests.  You need to spend more money to help Dirk win now.

You have to do right by him. Fix this team.

How to ramp up the cowboy's talent base

I think that one huge mistake the Cowboys make under Jerry Jones is not scrubbing free agency every year for failed top 100 players.

Let me explain what I mean.  The NFL is generally very much given to group think.

There is a wide assumption that if a team drafts a guy and he fails it is because the player didn't work hard enough.

That is ridiculous.

And yet players fail at their first spot and fall out of the league all the time.

NFL GMs arrogantly assume that if these guys could play they would be on an NFL team.  That is again, quite stupid.  Right off the bat, that is assuming every NFL coach is a good coach and wants to give said player a fair shot to succeed and continue working with that coach.

From a Cowboys perspective, Mr. Jones should see the stupidity of that argument.

Martellus Bennett

Anthony Fasano

Kevin Burnett

These are top 100s who fell out in Dallas and had good productive careers elsewhere.

It happens all the time and NFL GMs largely ignore that.

Look at leagues that have competed against the NFL.  (I won't go back that far as few are as into that as me.)


Tommy Maddox ---former 1st round pick who fell out of the NFL, got a shot in the XFL and became an NFL starter.

Every time a coaching staff is fired, probably half of their top 100 players from the previous 4 drafts are run out.  It is beyond dumb that NFL GMs haven't picked up on this.

Dallas with it's commitment to stocking the roster with the right kind of player, is well suited to incorporate these guys.

If Dallas were really smart about it, they would treat it as a supplemental draft, pulling their draft day boards and signing anyone they liked on draft day.  It would be a great way to counteract the Cowboys tendencies to turn 3 top 100 picks into 2.

I am optimistic by the recent signing of RB Ryan Williams to a multi-year deal.  Williams is a feature back type who was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2011 draft.  He was an early entry RB (young for a RB) who blew out his knee early in the 2011 pro season.

While I am not given to adding players with injury history to a team given to injuries, the point is to add young quality to the team's top 100 player nucleus.

One undiscussed way Jason Garrett makes Jerry Jones a far better GM.

One thing that is never discussed in the media is how Jason Garrett improves Jerry Jones as a GM.

One of Jerry Jones's biggest flaws as a GM is that falls in love with players and/or making the big kill leading up to the draft.

This translates into the fact that if you look back all the way to the Parcells era, Dallas has had 20 picks --- among the fewest cumulative total of picks in the top 100 spots of those drafts. (And while I am not going to add them all up, I think others have tracked it and the total is actually the absolute fewest in the league).

2007 1 26 Anthony Spencer DE
2007 3 67 James Marten T 

2008 1 22 Felix Jones RB
2008 1 25 Mike Jenkins DB
2008 2 61 Martellus Bennett TE

2009 3 69 Jason Williams LB
2009 3 75 Robert Brewster T

2010 1 24 Dez Bryant WR
2010 2 55 Sean Lee LB
Start of Garett-influence draft era
2011 1 9 Tyron Smith OL
2011 2 40 Bruce Carter LB
2011 3 71 DeMarco Murray RB

2012 1 6 Morris Claiborne DB
2012 3 81 Tyrone Crawford DE

2013 1 31 Travis Frederick OL
2013 2 47 Gavin Escobar TE
2013 3 74 Terrance Williams WR
2013 3 80 J.J. Wilcox DB

2014 1 16 Zack Martin OL
2014 2 34 Demarcus Lawrence DE

In theory, you should pull in 3 top 100 collegiate prospects every year.   These guys should be the core of your team.  They should be the stars, starters, and heavy usage backups.

They should not be on other rosters and in general they should be playing in the league.

Every one of those picks is a contributor in the Garrett era.  Why?  Because unlike most NFL coaches Garrett's family comes out of the scouting ranks.  Where Wade Phillips took whoever he was given, Garrett has subtly pushed for better communication between the coaches (what they want) and the scouts.  There is generally consensus now.  Everyone is working to execute the same plan.

(Now this was far from seamless and it is inaccurate to present this as some master plan come together.   There was a catalyst.  In 2013, the scouting department famously desperately wanted DT Sharif Floyd as he tumbled down the draft board and the coaching department didn't.)

As a result there is now a guy in place who coordinates that an makes a strong recommendation to Jerry on draft day.  That helps the Cowboys throughout the draft.  You will never convince me that Jason Garrett --- The Jerry Whisperer --- didn't play a big role in this procedural change.

But it is still unlikely that Jerry Jones' tendencies to turn 3 top 100 picks into two will ever be curbed.  With that in mind, unless the Cowboys change the way they approach free agency (story for another post), they will always have less quality depth than their opposition.  At their weakest starting spots and when depth comes in, Dallas will put free agents and 5th through 7th round picks up against opponents 2nd through 5th rounders.

It is why Dallas has generally had poor depth since Parcells left.

"The Right Kind of Guy"

Jason Garrett is a big advocate of "the right kind of guy" and I think this is where the brilliance of Garrett really improves Jerry the GM.

Jerry traditionally has taken flyers on guys with talent but 10 cent brains from the 4th round on.  I think Garrett has sold him on drafting team captains with lesser talent with those slots.  I think this last draft is a blueprint of what we will see from here on out from the Cowboys in the Garrett era.

That philosophy is a good way to build depth.  If you know Mr. Jones is given to turning 3 into 2 at the top of the draft, it makes a world of sense to bring in 5-7 guys who will pick up the coaching, work hard, and at least tackle well.

If you know you are going to have a talent mismatch in the bottom 2/3 of your roster, it makes a world of sense to stock it with the hardest playing "scrubs" you can get.

What drives me nuts about Jerry Jones....

This post is a little dated.  I have a backlog. Sue me.

Disclaimer: I am a Jerry Jones fan.  Not that I think he does everything right.  Because he does everything his way and he tries so hard to be nice to the fans.  I respect those two things a  lot.

I hated his press conference after retaining his coordinators.  What did I hate about that, you ask?  Mr. Jones made a comment that about coaches that got to what I really don't like about Jerry Jones. I don't have a recording of it, but the line was very close to this, "We retained the coaches we wanted to retain."

He made this comment with "offensive coordinator in name only" and OL coach Bill Callahan still floating out there.

Let me just vent my bile here. Bill Callahan turned 3 young 1st rounders into pro bowl linemen.  That may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but what other Dallas 1st rounders have turned into pro bowlers lately?  Dez....

It is a short list.

I get that Callahan has probably been a pill to work with since Mr. Jones demoted him, but there is no questioning the job that he did in Dallas.

That was a low class move.  Because I have seen better from Mr. Jones and I like Mr. Jones I expect more from him.

This whole situation with Callahan emerged because Mr. Jones initially had a very stupid idea that a head coach should be his own coordinator.  Then when that failed miserably for the 4th or 5th time, Mr. Jones punished his head coach by inflicting him with two coordinators Garrett didn't trust --- a defensive coordinator who's scheme didn't fit the secondary and Callahan, an offensive coordinator who came out of the Walsh school and had never called plays in an offense out of the Coryell school.

When it failed miserably and Garrett had to rescue the offense, Jones demoted Callahan.  When Callahan tried to leave, Jones blocked him. Callahan had a right to be bitter.

But he still did an exceptional coaching job last year.  That he made Mr. Jones "uncomfortable" to quote Mr. Jones after all that, is no reason to take that shot at him on his way out the door.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The year of the football gods, or why the Pats should be glad there is no "overall football championship game".

It occurred to me yesterday that this post-season was like a virus affecting the NFL.

The Football Gods virus

The Dallas Cowboys had it first.  "The greatest offensive line in pro football"  was dominated by the Detroit defensive line for most of the game. Dallas was the beneficiary of some great/ fluke plays and some blown calls to come back and win the game.  The football gods smiled on Dallas.

Green Bay caught it from Dallas.  Dallas was controlling the game, Green Bay charged back.  The refs disallowed a Dez Bryant catch and the Cowboys fell.  (America weeped.)  The football gods blessed cheese nation.

Seattle then caught it from the Pack.  Green Bay dominated Seattle then out of nowhere Seatlle roars back and steals the game. The football gods give the Seahawks a gift return trip to the Super Bowl.

Then the Pats caught it from the Seahawks.  With the ball at the one with almost a minute to go and a strong running game vs. a weak run defense, Seattle opts to throw a risky pass into the scrum of NE's defense.  Pats win based possibly entirely on the whims of the football gods.  (well... it sure wasn't merit, lol.)

The Patriots should be glad the NFL and college champions don't play.  In general you would be crazy to put money on a college team, but based on the football gods virus, I would totally put my money on Ohio State.

Hugely disturbing thought: Did the Patriots steal the call on the game winning play in the Super Bowl?

I watched the Super Bowl the other day like the rest of America.

I had no horse in that race --- America's Team had been eliminated and I am nothing if not a good American --- but had decided after "deflategate" that I wanted Seattle to win.

And they had the game.  Then they made a horrible choice to throw the ball against a good back seven in a compressed area instead of running it in vs. a weak run defense.  They compounded the poor decision by throwing the ball into the heart of the defense. They went after an average to poor defensive back they had abused for much of the game.

This player appeared to sense what was coming and with no hesitation, made the play of his career, beating the wide receiver to the spot and intercepting the pass.

As someone who was cheering for Seattle and thought that they proved themselves the better team that day, it was a Scott Norwood-esque moment in Super Bowl history.  I felt sick to my stomach as the better team again lost, but I chalked it up to just a fantastic read and the football gods.  It happens sometimes in the Super Bowl.

And Pete Carroll has blown his share of championship games.

But over the last few days the loss hasn't sat right with me.

It finally clicked last night.

What did the Patroits get punished for a few years back?  Stealing play calling signals. 

Did Malcolm Butler diagnose the play or was he told the play was coming?  While one wants to give a player the benefit of the doubt, given the caliber of this player and the history of the Patriots, what seems more likely?

Did the Belichick Patriots steal the call on the biggest game of the season? 

Did they ACTUALLY steal a Super Bowl win?

I don't know.

I do think the NFL has to do their due diligence and look at the lead up to that play.


So what if they did cheat?  Man that is a mess.

If it happened on the NFL's main stage it could cripple both future Super Bowls and NFL ratings.

I know it is an absolute clusterfuck for the league if they did.   What if Vegas finds out the Pats cheated?  One casino owner in Vegas admitted he had to pay out $140 million over that play.  Multiply that by every casino in Vegas. 

Do they try and get their money back from betters?  Do the casinos sue the NFL?  How long would the NFL want that story in the press????

And collectively Vegas can make it difficult on the NFL.  What if a collection of casinos stop taking action on Pat games?  What would that say about the NFL?  What would it do to NFL fandom?

If the Pats did cheat, I have an idea how I would handle it.

I do know the NFL had cameras everywhere.   If I were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, I would have people take a very close look at that video.  If I found something I would sit down with Butler for a very intense conversation.

I would see if I could get a video confession out of him to be shown to the fewest people possible --- maybe the competition committee and Robert Kraft.  They will all be sworn to secrecy.  All of them have a lot to lose if it gets out.

I would strongly consider a cover-up.

Now anyone who read my last post might have their head explode because I am advocating a cover-up. 

I am.

You have to remember, Goddell is the head of a private industry group.  Unlike the leadership at Penn State, his responsibility is strictly to private individuals--- the NFL owners ---not the public.  (I am discounting the Green Bay ownership situation as that is effectively still individuals buying in on a private entity.)  He doesn't have to do a damned thing for the public.

And this isn't going to lead to kids being sexually abused like Penn State University's decision absolutely did.

I am about justice, or the closest thing to it.  I am all about involved parties getting punished. And that may be best met in that way.

You cannot reverse a Super Bowl without horrifically damaging the NFL brand.

Remember deflategate is still being investigated.

If the Pats stole a Super Bowl and you have video evidence to show Kraft, you have the leverage to make Kraft eat whatever penalty you decide for deflategate vs. possibly being "Donald Sterling-ed" by the NFL. 

The option to protect the NFL brands, if this gets out, is to dump Kraft.  Given that basic truth, Kraft would likely take the punishment.

Brady and Bellichek banned for two years at the twilights of their careers?  (Maybe the Brady one being negotiable.) Pats losing 3 consecutive first round picks?  They are multiple offenders and Goddell has a rep for being heavy handed.  Fans outside of New England would accept that as business as usual.

If this happened it, it would be an appropriate punishment.  Happening right after the Super Bowl would create an appropriate scar on both of their careers.

Once more synonomous with Penn State University: Coach Look-the-other-way

(I wrote this while I was angry and sat on it for a few weeks anticipating I would cool down.  I haven't.  I am a father of a 5 year old boy and I love football. I can't get over this.  So here it is.)

We are back, baby!

I never thought I would see the day.

Two Penn State trustees took on the NCAA and used the legal system to revoke everything that mattered about the Jerry Sandusky case.

The long and short of it is this.  Penn State's football coach Joe Paterno and Florida State's football coach were locked in a race to be the winningest college football coach of all time.  It was hugely important to each of them.  Both of them held on for far too long until they became shadows of the coaches they were, running their programs as ghost dinosaur CEOs with assistant coaches doing the heavy lifting.

During the last decade plus of Paterno's headless ghost run, one of Paterno's assistant coaches, Mike McQueary, caught a former Paterno assistant,  Jerry Sandusky, sexually abusing a young boy in a shower at Penn State.  It turned out that Sandusky was feeding his deviant lust off kids in a program at Penn State.

This kind of scandal could have destroyed any collegiate program.

McQueary went to the man in charge.  He told Paterno.  Paterno didn't call the police.  Paterno didn't use his awesome clout to ensure this was addressed.

He looked the other way as his bosses 'allegedly' swept the whole thing under the rug

Will we see a return of the Coach Look-the-other-way statue? 
(More importantly, will it become a thing for opposing fans
to take their Joe Pa tribute pictures in front of it,
conspicuously straining their neck muscles to look away?)

With no scandal to potentially end the Paterno era, the ghost dinosaur Paterno was able to hold off the ghost dinosaur Bowden and become the winningest football coach in NCAA history.

It was a big financial and prestige win for Penn State University.

But scandals this large do not stay buried.

When the scandal finally broke, the 'alleged' cover-up was revealed as well.  Paterno died with most American college football fans knowing there 'appeared' to be a cover up at Penn State that allowed more boys to be molested for over a decade and Paterno knew about it and looked the other way in order to be the winningest coach in college football history.

The NCAA IMO rightly stripped Penn State of 111 wins, robbing Paterno of his tainted crown along with issuing a variety of other punishments against Penn State University.  These penalties may have been unpleasant for Penn State alumni and fans, but they were viewed as " 'fairly harsh' ...almost harsh enough" by most football fans following the story.

The penalties were positive in every way.  Stripping the wins and saying to Penn State, "No, you fucking morons, kids ARE 1000 times important!  We aren't going to let you get away with it." was the cherry on top.  It seemed like the NCAA got it mostly right for once. 

Shy of taking their time and doing a proper, lengthy investigation that would have undoubtedly revealed more shocking and sickening details in the press daily for possibly a year or more (that would have been even more brutal to the reputation of Penn State University and it's ability to attract students and retain professors ...and likely would have ended with giving the football program the death penalty....which everyone knew would never happen...),  the NCAA's punishment was pretty good. 

And stripping those wins felt like Justice fucking defined!

It was cathartic. America was ready to let the story die and to begin forgiving Penn State University. America's desire to see that shithole disassembled in the most painful way possible dissipated immediately.

Now the NCAA has been forced to rescind almost all of it due to legal challenges from two Penn State University trustees.

The most egregious issue of all, to me, was seeing the NCAA broken and forced to reinstate those wins because it effectively rubberstamped the decision that lead Paterno to not show basic human levels of compassion to defenseless kids and take action to get the child predator Sandusky locked up. 

The Penn State loyalists have forced the NCAA to appear (to the casual fan) to say that Paterno was RIGHT not to turn Sandusky in.  It was a gamble by people at Penn State and old Joe Pa and it has paid off in 2015.

Coach Look-the-other-way is now the winningest coach in college football history. 

By reinstating those wins,  the NCAA is effectively seen by casual fans as having agreeing that that particular punishment was too harsh.  That in turn suggests that to the NCAA as well those Penn State football wins really were more important than a number of Pennsylvanian kids growing up without being sexually molested.

Perhaps some of those fans will read about what happened and they might see that the NCAA was effectively forced to back down.  Those folks will get that there was no redemption of Joe Paterno in the eyes of the rest of the University officials in the US. 

This was strictly a lost legal battle to a pair of shitheads.

Given that, I think it is OK for me and many of America's collegiate sports fans to once more hate Penn State. 

And not the football program. The University that got away with trading kids' innocence for a few more wins for Paterno.

I hope Mike McQueary sues Penn State University for  $2.95 Billion (a.k.a. their entire freaking endowment).

All those shitheads in power at Penn State had to do was follow up with the law.  They chose to let greed overrule sense and effectively McQueary has taken the fall.

How is he supposed to make a living?  Now McQueary has death threats made against him by freaks in the Penn State fanbase.  He is beyond toxic as a football coaching hire  ...for what reason?  ...For ONLY reporting it to his boss?  For not aggressively going to the law!?!?!

I guess his mistake was not taking that action before winning 409 games as a head coach.

(McQueary claims to have actually gone to the police, by the way.  That guy probably wishes he had just grabbed a helmet and beaten Sandusky to death in the shower and left Paterno and company to try to keep that out of the police reports.)

Today Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno are once again synonomous with Penn State University. 

Come on...What did you want me to do?

You two radicals in the Penn State fandom wanted this?  Fine, let your university own it forever.