Here’s (The Real) Johnny

Quotes of the Week

I
“I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

—Michael Sam, to an overflow crowd of about 350 media people at the combine Saturday

II
“I think it’s widely known that every locker room has a number of gay individuals. Quite honestly, it speaks to the evolution of acceptance in our society. I really believe the NFL is quite evolved. It continues to be very progressive and out on the front end of the curve in many ways.”

—Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff

I did not know that.

III
“The report? Reeee-diculous! Ridiculous. No. Ridiculous.”

—San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area at the combine. Harbaugh was denying a Pro Football Talk report that the Browns and 49ers discussed a trade for Harbaugh last month before Cleveland hired Mike Pettine as coach.

IV
“And this, children, is why one should never count one’s dynasties before they have actually been crowned. People have a tendency to turn into people, and more often than not, people end up being the biggest impediment to the greater achievements of other people.”

—Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area, in a profoundly true statement from his column on the Harbaugh/Browns story

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I am on record as being opposed to the absurdity of having the NFL draft in May. Teams do not need 95 days after the Super Bowl to scout the players they’ve already been scouting through an entire college football season. But you can’t fight city hall. The NFL buys two more weeks of free hype by pushing back the combine, and the draft now fills some of the spring dead time that the NFL wants to control on the sporting calendar. As it is now, there’s the Super Bowl … and the combine three weeks later … and the start of free agency two weeks after that … and then three weeks of heavy free agency coverage at the same time as pro days at colleges coast to coast … and then six weeks of draft hype … and then the draft … and then offseason workout camps for much of May and early June. Good deal for the NFL. There’s only a month of down time on the calendar—approximately June 20 to July 20.

But I digress. Here’s the Factoid:

The Buffalo Bills are doing something very nice, and smart, for their scouts and officials who work the draft: They’re giving them Easter week (the week before April 20) off. “We want our guys to be fresh,” GM Doug Whaley told me. “There’s only so long you can study guys.”

Stats of the Week

I
Everywhere you turned in Indianapolis, you saw front-office men chatting with agents. Drew Rosenhaus tweeted he met with all 32 teams here. That’s because the start of free agency is 15 days away, and the crop could be very good … and the average NFL team is about $17.8 million under the projected $130 million cap number. That should mean that after three years of an essentially flatlined NFL salary cap (2011: $120.4 million; 2012: $120.6 million; 2013: $123 million), teams will be tempted to spend like they haven’t in the past couple springs.

It’s basically a time of implicit tampering, when agents are taking the temperature on their potential free-market players. No deals are supposed to be made before the March 11 opening of the market, but it’s naïve to think deals aren’t discussed. Not by every team, but certainly some.

The heightened activity this year is also because the meter is running on the salary cap in every NFL front office. There was a provision in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement that most in the public have forgotten but that’s soon going to come into significant play. In the four cap years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, each NFL team must spend a minimum of 89 percent of its cap money. And the league must spend a collective minimum of 95 percent of its cap money. That was put in to stop teams from hoarding money and not spending it. Oakland, for instance, has a substantial amount of cap money available—about $70 million—and the Raiders will be almost forced to spend a large amount of it or deal with onerous league sanctions at the end of the four-year period, in 2017.

There’s an estimated $470 million in cap money available to teams to spend this contract season, and GMs know they can’t hoard that money for long. 

II
In 2013, 62 percent of the collective money in all NFL player contracts was guaranteed.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Checking in at the downtown Marriott the other day for the combine, and a woman next to me was doing the same with another front-desk person. She asked the woman checking her in: “What is the scouting combine?” The Marriott attendant said it was the NFL bringing college players in for workouts and interviews with teams, and it comes to Indianapolis every February.

“I don’t get the name,” the Marriott guest said. “The combine … it’s a combination of something?”

Tweets of the Week

I
“Carlos Hype.”

@TonyGrossi of ESPNCleveland, after vaunted Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde ran a 4.66-second 40-yard dash and limped off Sunday, saying he strained a hamstring.

II
“Ha Ha Clinton Dix just said the worst thing about his nickname is ‘the whole Clinton/Lewinsky’ thing.’

@NFLCharean, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, reporting from the combine about the Alabama safety prospect.

III
“Michael Sam benched 225 pounds 17 times, second-worst among defensive lineman. Seven WRs did more.”

@MichaelDavSmith, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, after Sam lifted at the combine on Sunday.

IV
“Hey Marvin Lewis, don’t try turning in a St. Elmo’s receipt this week. Because Mike Brown is standing in line @SteaknShake”

@daringantt, reporting from the Steak n Shake in downtown Indianapolis Saturday afternoon.

Who wouldn’t like the vanilla shakes there?

V
“Things 16 year old me never thought I’d say: ‘Excuse me, could you turn on the NBA? My gay friend is playing tonight.’ ”

@BurkieYCP, Patrick Burke, NHL Player Safety Director and president of You Can Play Team, the organization that aims to end homophobia in sports, shortly before Jason Collins—the first openly gay player in the four major American pro team sports—took the court as a member of the Brooklyn Nets for a game against the Lakers.

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253 comments
Redfish
Redfish

At least the word Rape is not associated with any of his activities like another Heisman winner. Can't wait to see how that little character flaw will pop up when Winston goes in for his interviews when he goes pro.

Buck2185
Buck2185

Peter, you continue to show how little you actually know. Manziel will drink and carouse, gain 100 lbs, and change his name to Jamarcus. He will then take some Adderral, and shoot off his mouth, like a punk, in an interview with Erin Andrews.......

Rock305NY
Rock305NY

If you really want to clean things up, why stop at the N-word? How about f**k? mother**ker? A**hole? Sh*thead? etc. Plenty of people find these words offensive. How about banning the n-word plus the 7 words you can't say on TV? Then let's see the refs enforce it- while correctly identifying the offenders.  This sounds like an off the wall reaction to the Jonathan Martin situation. If such language it bothers the players so much, why aren't we seeing race-related brawls all the time? 

PaulPage
PaulPage

Under the 10 things, how are not #4 and #5 making diametrically opposed points?  Please don't tell me it's the difference between a first round and late round choice - that just doesn't apply.  The wording of his points is too similar.  Typical PK.

qwerty2002
qwerty2002

Not about the NFL, but I don't care. I thought so 20 years ago, and I was reminded Sunday Night -- Nancy Kerrigan was totally AWESOME! I cannot think of any other athlete who performed so incredibly well, and over two separate nights, and who was under such intense individual pressure. She was totally overwhelmed, and yet she skated her absolute best. And in ice skating, you are totally alone out on the ice, all attention the world over is focused on you, you get one and only one shot, and she knocked it out of the park. Came back two nights later and did it again. She deserved the gold, but she didn't get it, that's the way things go sometime. Really incredible.

salvaje50
salvaje50

Mike Brown is the cheapest SOB owner in the league.  Surprised he wasn't seen in Wal-mart buying bread, peanut butter and jelly that was on clearance. 

PaulCostello
PaulCostello

The first time a black player uses 'the n-word' and gets flagged on the field will be the last time the rule is enforced. What WHITE guy is using that language on the field, and NOT getting clobbered -- by the opposition OR his own teammates?? This is a solution in search of a problem. 

CoreyLivermore
CoreyLivermore

"The league’s Competition Committee meets in Florida beginning Friday, and one of the items on the agenda will be discussion on a rule to flag players for using the n-word on the field during games. I’m unequivocally in favor of it, and can see no reason why it wouldn’t be enacted …"

I wonder if the Competition Committee would be committed to penalizing black players for the use of cracker, honky, white bread, or any other racial slur they throw around at white players on the field, or if they will, like the rest of the politically correct moronic under-educated majority in this country, continue to allow the racist double-standard to continue.  I, a middle-aged middle-income white male can't say the N-word in the privacy of my own home, but black people are allowed to say whatever they want in public.

And they said Paula Dean was racist for admitting to using the N-word (and yes, it bothers me that I can't say it in the context of expressing the word she used and not the meaning behind it) 30 years ago.

Hussman
Hussman

Reading this description re: Harbaugh and the Browns, are you signaling the following pure speculation about the possible chain of events?


-Browns start losing streak, Lombardi/Banner start to lose confidence in Chud.  They have kept in touch with Harbaugh as friendly colleagues, and hear he is unhappy.

-Lombardi/Banner talk with Harbaugh and get some kind of feeling he would be receptive to Browns job.

-Lombardi/Banner tell Haslam they could get Harbaugh and request permission to boot Chud.

-Chud gets dumped, but the 49ers go far into playoffs and Harbaugh starts to think he can get the money he wants from York on a renegotiation.  He tells Lombardi/Banner that he has lost interest.

-Lombardi/Banner are now in trouble, they lost the coach that could have done more given more time, and they also lost their potential franchise changer.  They also lost every good candidate because they seem flighty and they took too long to make offers, and get Pettine (who may be good, who knows?)

-Haslam, frustrated at the events, talks with Farmer and sees he's the real deal, and tells Lombardi/Banner their services are no longer needed.


Possible or pure speculation?


DEJ1948
DEJ1948

Manziel should be black and blue from NFL teams touching him with ten-foot poles.  When multiple millions of dollars are in play, what sort of pre-draft behavior would you expect?  Anyone who's getting sucked in by the new personna Manziel and his handlers are hocking to the media and to anyone else who will listen would be well advised to proceed with extreme caution.   

ianlinross
ianlinross

"Costas said: “This is still a government which imprisons dissidents, is hostile to gay rights, sponsors and supports a vicious regime in Syria—and that’s just a partial list.”

I'm sure I can dig into some recent US history and current affairs and come with the same comment.

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

Kudos to Peter King for reporting on Sam's weak showing in the bench press.  I assumed he would ignore Mr. Sam's actual performance unless it was better than expected.

rckymtn4
rckymtn4

I really like the Russian coach's response to the writer. Not sure if he picked up on the double entendre, but really good.

number1mavsfan
number1mavsfan

If they're really going to police the 'n' word, can they at least penalize the idiots that dance around looking like a total idiot when they make a play? Last time I checked, it's their JOB! I understand 'emotions', but come on, most of us (too bad it's not all) could really care less how you DANCE, or make some stupid looking gesture, when all you did is make a play...

DamionMosher
DamionMosher

This is my problem with any gay intolerance, talk about gay players, or "benchmarks" for openly gay players: why the bleep does it matter? Will the play less hard, work less hard or be lesser players because they are gay? No! Is there some sort of connection to what happens in someone's bedroom and what happens on th field? Nope! Does having a gay player on your team make you feel uncomfortable? Who cares, how is it any different then having a guy with one blue eye and one green? How is it different from having a guy with really dark skin or one with pale white. None of these things have any baring on how the game is played, so get over it. What happens in any persons bedroom is between the and the other consenting adult in the room. As long as the other person isn't underage or somehow impaired, no one in John Q Public should give a fly Bleep, and if you do, you should take a long hard look at yourself and ask why!!!

apgoad21
apgoad21

Hey, where is the psychsports guy?


MarkPasquinelli
MarkPasquinelli

I remember a time long long ago when football talk was actually about football.  I'm fed up with liberal journalists hammering their social agenda down my throat (or else I'm a knuckle dragging, Neanderthal, hate mongering, bigot); the political correctness of the Redskins name; games in Europe  deny the true fans their rightful game; over-officiated games with no consistency of rules; the thug culture (it's not that hard to stay out of jail...really), and now legislating language.  I'm not leaving the NFL.  It's left me.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

again i'm getting sick and tired of the collins stuff last year 1.1 ppg 1.6 rpg, career 4.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg and his first stat line 11 minutes 0 points 1 rebound 5 fouls.


as for this n-word stuff it's bad enough the game is overofficated enough, now were trying to legislate language on the field.  i mean it's bad enough that you can't touch the qb's much anymore and we have seen qb's flop to get a penalty see andrew luck, see tom brady

PaulPage
PaulPage

And then to follow up with #6 - "Not sure how you can be one with the other."

UlisseP
UlisseP

@CoreyLivermore Yeah, poor you. White and male in America: the horror that your demographics has had to endure through the centuries. Every time someone calls you a "cracker", you must really feel the pressure of decades upon decades of oppression and derision.

Gfunk
Gfunk

You are beyond pathetic.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@ianlinross having people hostile to it vs a government that is against it are two different things

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@ianlinross  I am just happy he mentioned abuses other than the gay-rights issue, especially Putin's continued support of Syria (a regime that killed hundreds of children via chemical weapons).  

Mike26
Mike26

@DamionMosher  No kidding Damion!  Now if the media folks would trying to tell us otherwise, we could just get back to talking about how many plays Clowney took off last year while on the field....

UlisseP
UlisseP

@MarkPasquinelliHow exactly are "games in Europe" and "over-officiated games" journalism's fault? Are you just randomly angry and have decided that blaming the media is the quickest way to vent your frustration?

scarbarough
scarbarough

@MarkPasquinelli  Right, because for some reason it's critical to your enjoyment of football that players be able to use the N word...and are you saying that players going to jail is a new thing? That's always happened, to a small number of players each year.

BARRYWINDHAM
BARRYWINDHAM

@MarkPasquinelli You don't want language by players regulated because that's too liberal but yet you think the NFL has a thug culure that I assume you think should be regulated or some how controlled?! Strange! You want a "Man's man league" where guys can say anything and a name like the Reskins is not questioned but if a player get's arested now you turn into the moral police and think the league is recruiting the wrong players?! Again, strange.

drudown
drudown

@MarkPasquinelli  


"I'm not leaving the NFL. It's left me."


As the teacher in 'A Christmas Story' once said: "poetry, sheer poetry." Wait. That too, a dream.


Since you seem inclined to mix politics and sports, why don't you cite a SINGLE GOP policy that has BENEFITED the People since 2000? I'm serious. 


“Truth fears no trial.” - Thomas Fuller, M.D.



Contrary to GOP promises, the alleged economic upside of the Bush Tax Cuts proved to be false and did not lead to a stronger Economy.


Contrary to GOP promises, the Patriot Act was not used for apprehending terrorists at all, but engaging in the largest, warrantless "dragnet" against LAW ABIDING, innocent US citizens with no connection to terrorism whatsoever. 

Contrary to GOP promises, there was no strategic benefit to the US in invading Iraq and Wolfowitz LIED when he said the "oil revenues alone will pay for the Iraq war."


So please. How does "the conservative wing" have any more credibility than "the liberal wing" when NONE of the GOP has any semblance of credibility- not just on the Economy (e.g., if the GOP economic model "works", the US would've been "stronger" after the W era…not so)- but just in terms of this FABRICATED, wholly disingenuous GOP "guiding precept" that the People "don't really want" the State to AFFIRMATIVELY take measures to IMPROVE our lives, Military, Diplomacy and JOB PROSPECTS…but that the ACA does anything OTHER than what the EVIDENCE shows:  a SLOWER rise in Health Care costs in 40 years. Notably, for all your GOP "paid for" Media blustering, the GOP cannot cite a SINGLE, reputable source to support such claims the ACA has increased Health Care costs. 



Res ipsa loquitur.

joeg
joeg

@MarkPasquinelli I know how you feel. The republican party left me, Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr, and lots of others.

MoeLarryJesus
MoeLarryJesus

@MarkPasquinelli Poor widdle Marky's upset because Angry Old White Racists like him don't control the culture any more.

Go sit in the corner and cry while you drool, you pathetic old dinosaur.

Wombat
Wombat

@MarkPasquinelli  While I don't agree with all you said your last statement rings true for me as well... "I'm not leaving the NFL... it's left me", well said.

coolperspective
coolperspective

@CobyPreimesberger The field is the workplace for these (supposed) professionals.  Do you advocate for different rules to govern their workplaces than are applicable to your own?  Go to work tomorrow and call the first person you see a "nigger".  See how that goes over.  Why should these highly paid men be allowed to act any differently than you or I do or get a free pass on their behavior because they are athletes?  They may play a game for a living but that doesn't justify them acting like children.  Conducting their business in a mature and responsible manner does nothing to diminish the game.  In fact it can only serve to improve it.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@UlisseP @CoreyLivermoreall you are as a human is what your life is now - stop pretending like the black males of today are somehow tortured by the terrors that their ancestors has to endure.  All you are is what YOU are right now, and nothing more.  All hes saying is that if you're going to bad a racial slur, ban all racial slurs.  


Its not a complicated concept, and its fair.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@drudown @MarkPasquinelli nobody wants to hear this hear, otherwise we'd be on a full on political site.... get off your high-horse

I just skimmed it and it was bad enough

Mike26
Mike26

@drudown @MarkPasquinelli  Don't engage this idiot.  He attempts to drag down every single column that he can.  Never feed the troll that goes by drudown!

rckymtn4
rckymtn4

@drudown @MarkPasquinelli If he walked along the shore of mixing politics and sports, you dove into the lake swam to the bottom and rolled in the mud. Way out of line. Get back to the MSNBC web site.

Wombat
Wombat

@MoeLarryJesus @MarkPasquinelli  You cretin. I just miss the old days of the NFL without all the issues... You sir are a sad soul that stirs up issues just to be seen. Sad really...

Ilovemesomeme
Ilovemesomeme

@MoeLarryJesus @MarkPasquinelli Not sure what he said that you would deem to be "racist."  It was a baseless accusation.  Unfortunately that's become a tried and true tactic.  He wants to read football articles about football.  Not sure how that's racist. 

SemperFiDTM
SemperFiDTM

@Mike26 @drudown @MarkPasquinelli  Sure, Ill throw my hat in this ring....drudown, what your forgetting is that every single problem today can be traced back to President Rutherford B. Hayes' improper use of a bolo tie. And the lack of faith in both houses of congress started when members of the Whig party were caught without their toupee's. 


~ oureya nasay assinus.

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