Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday 9/19 Quickie

Jane Coaston on the NFL: "Football has never been good." Fantastic bookend to a week that started with Louisa Thomas' excellent Grantland essay about the state of the NFL, Together We Make Football.

Procter & Gamble: Fundamentally, Roger Goodell is in sales. Typically, in sales, screwing up the P&G account usually means the end of your job -- if not your career entirely.

A passive-aggressive note from Anheuser-Busch is one thing; it's another thing to trigger the cancellation of a high-profile program from one of the biggest marketers in the world, one typically associated with moms.

(And now, per Buzzfeed's Mike Hayes, Marriott hotels is reviewing its relationship with the league.)

Roger Goodell's just-announced 3 pm press conference today will likely be larded with PR spin -- if he doesn't come across as straight-talking and earnest, I suspect this won't go the way the league wants it to. Then again, it's not like popular opinion of Goodell could get any lower, right? Is it too much to expect tough questions?

Auburn: Win at Kansas State -- arguably the single-best win of the season, by any team -- helps AU claim a spot in my next playoff foursome.

As I wrote a few days ago, here's the huge issue:

Because of the playoff selection committee's inevitable commitment to geographic parity -- and false equivalency -- in the playoff's first season, it's not like the quality of Auburn's wins will get it into the playoff if they are a 1-loss runner-up in the SEC.

Beating Kansas State was necessary to make the playoff, but not nearly sufficient -- sufficiency will be winning the SEC title, full-stop.

Actually, that's not even remotely accurate -- if Auburn had lost to Kansas State but finished 12-1 with an SEC title, they would absolutely be in the playoff.

If they finish 12-1 (including this win over Kansas State) but don't win the SEC title, they will almost surely NOT make the playoff -- presuming an unbeaten FSU, unbeaten Oregon and unbeaten or 1-loss Big 12 champ.

Devin Hester: If you're the greatest TD scorer in the history of NFL special teams, you're a Hall of Famer.

Tigers-Royals weekend series: The most significant September baseball Kansas City has played in -- what? 1985? 30 years? (KC is .5 GB Detroit for the division lead with 11 games to play - 10 for Detroit.)

Felix Hernandez: Last night, he threw 7 scoreless innings with 11 Ks. He didn't get the win, but that's par for the course for King Felix in his should-be Hall of Fame career. (He should be the AL Cy Young winner this season, too.) And he presents the ultimate opportunity if the Mariners make the one-game Wild Card (the M's are currently just 1 GB for the second WC spot behind the suddenly atrocious A's).

Bill Barnwell on the future of football: I loved this -- what a great combination of projecting the future while using relevant historical comps (Barnwell citing the creation of the Premier League was A+.)

I have a lot of thoughts/reactions to this, and I need to sift through them over the weekend to try to make sense of them.

I will preview it this way: I will present a not-complicated, not-unrealistic pitch for a business that could/would significantly disrupt the NFL.

Buzz Bissinger on the hazards of youth football: I'm not much of a fan of Bissinger, who over the years has morphed into a caricature of a journalist -- a professional troll when not a celebrity stenographer -- but I totally agree with his argument here that youth tackle football (including high school) should come with a far more serious warning of its physical consequences. I have said this before, and I'm hardly in a minority: I wouldn't let my kids play tackle football (and I think that's still entirely compatible with the idea that they are huge NFL and college football fans).

Weekend college football viewing: Florida-Alabama at 3:30 on Saturday (CBS), but I suspect it won't be pretty for Gator fans.

Weekend longreads:

*The best chess moment no one heard of (Seth Stevenson, Slate)

*Yoda of the Air Raid Offense, He Is (Kevin Van Valkenburg, ESPN)

*The Jacksonville Jaguars at 20 (Ryan Nanni, SB Nation)

*Ditching Twitter (Erin Kissane)

*You Will Weep and Know Why (William Browning, SB Nation)

*How Gary Hart's Downfall Forever Changed American Politics (Matt Bai, NYT Mag)

No comments: