Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8/19 Tuesday Manziel Middle Finger Quickie

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*Johnny Manziel gives the Redskins bench the finger: He has been in the league for, like, two weeks, and already Manziel is doing things that only add to his mythology. I'm not sure how worked up you can (or should) get over it -- it's so "Johnny being Johnny" as to be hilarious -- but it's the digit that is going to launch a million hours of #HotTakes today, that's for sure.

*From the absurd to the sublime: THIS is your winning moment of the day -- the New England (Rhode Island) Little League coach talking to his kids after they were knocked out of the LLWS last night. Wonderful.

*Phil Simms not saying the name "Redskins" on the air is the most seismic shift yet in the rhetorical battle over the name (from, frankly, an unlikely source).

I wonder if Simms will backtrack -- it's too prominent, and CBS is too invested in an NFL too invested in supporting Snyder. (That said: If there is no backtracking, by extension that means that both the CBS and NFL have tacitly approved of Simms' stand, which is its own thunderous statement.)

Peter King coming out against the name -- vowing not to use it -- a year ago was a big deal. So was Christine Brennan, who followed King by a few days. Slate not using it is consistent with Slate's values (if the opposite of a #slatepitch!).

I have argued from the start that the ultimate barrier isn't even ESPN, which is far more likely to give its personnel the choice over whether to conscientiously object or not, but the AP, as a style rule.

*Ohio State loses QB Braxton Miller: Depending on how long he is out, that's worth re-doing an AP or Coaches' Top 25 ballot before the season even starts; OSU goes from consensus favorite to go unbeaten and reach the playoff to hard-pressed to even win the Big Ten.

*Oklahoma is talented enough to get by without suspended 5-star freshman RB Joe Mixon, but securing a spot in the Playoff 4 will be decided at the margins. And at the margins, Mixon was a potential difference-maker.

*The clubhouse leader for best story of the NFL season has got to be that Jerry Jones' son had to physically yank a draft card saying "Johnny Manziel" out of his dad's hand before the elder Jones could turn it in to pick the QB. It's like the Yoink Heard 'Round the World.

*Annual tradition: Football Outsiders prepares one paragraph per NFL team for Deadspin. A great preview that you walk away from smarter.

-- D.S.

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