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The Seahawks Debate Black Lives Matter

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Michael-Bennett-bike-virgin-01-21-15

I’m not particularly optimistic about the Seahawks beating the Packers today. Part of that is the holdout of Kam Chancellor (which the Seahawks simply cannot budge on, not if they don’t want all their stars holding out in the future) but part of it is that I think the Packers are a better team all around right now. But in an era of Tom Brady endorsing Donald Trump (and really, Brady may be the world’s biggest douche), it is refreshing that the Seahawks’ internal culture allows its players to debate the nation’s issues of the day with great honesty and it’s no big deal. In this case, Richard Sherman mouths some cliches about bootstraps while Michael Bennett publicly corrects him about the very real discrimination black people face against police forces. It’s just nice to have athletes willing to talk about these things, something that the Pete Carroll atmosphere encourages.

Let this all serve as the open thread for this weekend’s football. LOL to USC, Texas, Alabama, and Auburn fans. And really, Ohio St. as well.

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  • rhino

    He’s lucky he didn’t get shot after stealing that bike…

    • Damn……..

      • rhino

        I think that might be the snarkiest comment I have ever written, but with a setup like that…

  • Jordan

    I was sad there wasn’t a third consecutive Hail Joseph in the BYU-UCLA game.

  • manual

    Interesting…so your dismissive of Richard Sherman for not giving the party line. But his response was pretty standards for the Black community. Take a look at Jill Leovy’s book, and I’d say Sherman is talking about the points she makes.

    I also feel like Richard Sherman, born and raised and compton and someone whose dealt with both police brutality and friends being murdered, has earned not only an opinion but an informed onw. Id say his feelings are pretty standard in the African American community – to the extent you can say such a thing exists.

    • And clearly Michael Bennett is speaking from a white perspective?????

      • manual

        No. Now your being fatuous.

        You said dismissively “Richard Sherman mouths some cliches about bootstraps.” And my response is that he is mouthing what is a pretty standard view of African Americans; many of whom dont think blacklivesmatter is the most important thing in black political life (to the extent such a thing exists) and that there are other, more salient issues, even in relation to crime and law and order to people.

        I do think your response is symptomatic of liberals who dont want to confront complexity in black politics or differences within the black community that are very real. Blacklivesmatter has captured the zeitgest of liberals; it is not however something which speaks to or for all black people, especially a lot of people who live in the neighborhoods (like Shermans) that are most effected. I think this small difference in emphasis in Sheman and Bennett puts this on display. But rather than understand that both could be right or worthy of greater understanding, thats too hard.

        Not everyone thinks the biggest problem black people face is overzelous cops, and I think Sherman’s mentioning the loss of his friend illustrates that point. You can consider it a conservative viewpoint but I think it just a more nuanced viewpoint – one that I found doing gang intervention work.

        • You are able to read a lot into a one sentence statement. That’s an impressive skill.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Well, to be fair, there’s a case for claiming that ending what you wrote with a gang of five question marks made it at least five sentences.

          • manual

            So what did you mean by “In this case, Richard Sherman mouths some cliches about bootstraps while Michael Bennett publicly corrects him about the very real discrimination black people face against police forces.”

            The words “mouths” and “cliches” suggest he was saying something banal, unimportant and possibly worthy of derision. And the words “corrects” and the “very real discrimination black people face against police forces” suggests Bennet is right and Sherman is wrong. Its fine to come to that conclusion, but I dont think you give Sherman much credit, which you clearly dont because hes “mouthing cliches.”

            To whit, Sherman:

            “there are bad cops, and I think that also needs to be addressed. I think the police officers we have right now — you know, some of it is being brought to light, because of video cameras, everybody has a camera phone. But these are things a lot of us have dealt with our whole lives. And I think right now is a perfect time to deal with it.”

            This doesnt strike me as someone who doesnt understand the real problems black people face with the police. But it does seem like someone who sees something beyond just the problems black people face with the police.

            • joe from Lowell

              The thing is, manual, that talking about those other things, particularly black-on-black crime, as a response to BLM and racist police violence, as Sherman was doing at that press conference, brings another element to the issue than raising those points in another context.

              Let me use an comparison: If I were to say, “A lot of people died in World War II. Twenty million Russians died. Millions of Poles, Chinese, Germans, and also Jews died during World War II,” no one would have a problem with it. However, when they asked Mel Gibson about his father’s Holocaust denial and whether the Holocaust really happened, and he responded with a statement about how Russians and Germans and Poles died in the war, too, that didn’t go over very well. It didn’t go over very well, because in that context, it looks like a rebuttal to the attention given to the Holocaust.

              And in this particular context, we all know that “What about black-on-black crime?” and “All lives matter!” are being used deliberately as deflections and rebuttals to the recent activism against police racism. So I can see why Erik Loomis would react negatively to it.

              I’ve never read this Jill Leovy you mention, but I’ll bet it’s not titled “What I Think About the Black Lives Matter Movement.”

              • ThrottleJockey

                You suggested something similar in a response to me on Friday, Joe, and the argument that you raise is problematic in a wide range of respects. This is saying that black people have to tip toe around issues at odds with white political sensibilities. But that’s no different than what conservatives argue. If there’s anyone in a position to comment on how to prioritize black political issues, its someone whose black.

                Not only do we not have to apologize for it, we can’t be criticized because it doesn’t fit other people’s conception of what our priorities should be. Moreover, do white liberals have to tiptoe around issues that black people have sensitivities about? Or is it a one way street?

                There’s a lot Multiculturalism 101 to be discussed here.

                • joe from Lowell

                  If you think white sensibilities are the major ones at play here, it’s because you’re trying very hard to. Deflecting from the problem of white violence against black people by talking about black-on-black crime is only a problem to white sensibilities? What the fuck are you babbling about?

                  If there’s anyone in a position to comment on how to prioritize black political issues, its someone whose black.

                  You mean like the black team mate who thought it important to refute what Sherman said?

                  Once again, you manage to apply the instruction to listen to black people only to that minority of black people who agree with you, and it makes it incredibly easy to dismiss your appeal as cynical and self-serving.

                  You use the language of multiculturalism like tricolor crepe bunting to dress up a shabby Legion hall.

                • Brien Jackson

                  ” If there’s anyone in a position to comment on how to prioritize black political issues, its someone whose black.”

                  Well thankfully there’s no need to “prioritize” between these matters, but even if there were let’s consider this: How much can you trust a law enforcement system that allows officers to kill and abuse black people with impunity to combat crime in which black people are victimized?

                • joe from Lowell

                  So, anyway, think we’re ever going to see a reply to the observation that Sherman’s observations take on a different meaning in the context of talking about BLM and police violence?

                  I don’t. If it was a point that could be rebutted, we wouldn’t see the ad hominem argument trying to disqualify the speaker.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  No one has made an ad hominem argument here. What I’ve said is that Sherman makes a very legitimate point which he’s fully entitled to make and which outsiders can’t justifiably criticize.

                  You mean like the black team mate who thought it important to refute what Sherman said?

                  Once again, you manage to apply the instruction to listen to black people only to that minority of black people who agree with you, and it makes it incredibly easy to dismiss your appeal as cynical and self-serving.

                  Don’t conflate support for Sherman with an attack on Bennett. You’re smarter than that. I agree wholeheartedly with the both of them. On an actual quantitative basis Sherman is undoubtedly right that black-on-black violence has caused more destruction in the black community (by far) than cop-on-black violence. But its the cop-on-black violence which is more insulting–and enraging.

                  And don’t think for a moment that my views represent a minority of black sentiment. Black people are liberal, but in general certainly to the right of the median commenter here. We have ‘Stop the Violence’ rallies just about every weekend and for the life of me I don’t see how that can be flim-flammed into a conservative position. As the noted black ‘conservative’ Jamelle Bouie notes:

                  Likewise, according to a 2013 survey for NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health, 26 percent of black Americans rank crime as the most important issue facing the area they live. That’s higher than the ranking for the economy (16 percent), housing (4 percent), the environment (7 percent), social issues (4 percent), and infrastructure (7 percent).

                • Drexciya

                  ThrottleJockey: Incidentally, Bouie talked a little bit about Sherman’s remarks yesterday (the whole comment thread is solid, though) and said he’d make a longer article about the topic those remarks touch on. I highly, highly doubt I’ll agree with it, but if it just empathetically addresses and correctly states where concerns like Sherman’s are coming from (which I think Coates and Cottom do), I’ll take it as a useful addition to several ongoing public debates.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  Hey, Drex, thanks for the link. We started a discussion about mass incarceration the other day and I’d be interested in hearing you elaborate.

                  So is it that you think prison is inhumane or that sending people to prison results in their kids growing up to be criminals too? Or am I misreading you entirely?

                • Drexciya

                  Hey, Drex, thanks for the link. We started a discussion about mass incarceration the other day and I’d be interested in hearing you elaborate.

                  So is it that you think prison is inhumane or that sending people to prison results in their kids growing up to be criminals too? Or am I misreading you entirely?

                  If I get too deep into this, this thread is going to get messier, but I promise I’ll elaborate more if the topic comes up elsewhere. I was hoping we’d get a thread about Coates’ article by now, and we may still, so I’d rather save it for that.

                  I’ll only say that yes, I think it’s inhumane and that attachment to racially disparate and punishing imprisonment/executions in an “ex” slave state is not capable of being a neutral phenomenon. And that, in brutally aggravating the conditions that make crime inevitable, America is not so much using imprisonment as a solution to historically entrenched root problems, but rather, as a reproduction of them and as a reproduction of its central rationales. I hope this clarifies a little, but if it doesn’t, like I said, I’d rather wait.

                • joe from Lowell

                  No one has made an ad hominem argument here. What I’ve said is that Sherman makes a very legitimate point which he’s fully entitled to make and which outsiders can’t justifiably criticize.

                  Dude. Facepalm. That bit about it depending on whether or not someone is an “outsider?” That’s called ad hominem argument. “Ad hominem” doesn’t mean “personal insult.” It means “arguing against a point based on who makes it.” The entirety of this stunt in which you try to dismiss a point based on whether or not it comes from an “outsider” is the very definition of an ad hominem argument.

                  Don’t conflate support for Sherman with an attack on Bennett.

                  Nobody is doing that. I’m citing Bennet to rebut the claim that objecting to Sherman’s argument is strictly, or even mainly, a white phenomenon.

                  And don’t think for a moment that my views represent a minority of black sentiment. Black people are liberal, but in general certainly to the right of the median commenter here. We have ‘Stop the Violence’ rallies just about every weekend and for the life of me I don’t see how that can be flim-flammed into a conservative position.

                  OK, I’ll repeat the point you’re so dramatically ignoring: it isn’t concern about black-on-black violence per se that is conservative and anti-black. It’s raising that concern as a rebuttal to the point “Black lives matter” that is conservative and anti-black. That’s what the point about context I made is all about, what the problem with Mel Gibson’s comments is all about. “Lots of Germans and Poles and Russians died in World War II” isn’t, by itself, a Holocaust denial argument. Like “All Lives Matter” or “What about black-on-black crime?” it only takes on that negative meaning when used as a rebuttal. Stop the Violence rallies are not being held as counter-protests to BLM rallies.

                • Ronan

                  Tj , is it that you think white liberals misunderstand opinion (in general) among black Americans ? And that they put their own preconceptions and hobby horses above understanding the concerns in black communities ?

          • Joshua

            Come on Eric, own what you said. You think Bennett is right and Sherman is wrong. That’s obvious by what you wrote.

            What Sherman said is not wrong. The vast majority of black people killed are killed by other black people. If your goal is for less black people to get murdered, then that actually is a good place to focus on. There’s no doubt Eric Garner got a raw deal, but so did Carey Gabay, who was killed by crossfire at the West Indian Day Parade (and somebody is hurt/murdered at every West Indian Day Parade, and not by rampaging white cops).

            What Michael Bennett said was not wrong either. That’s the point. It’s a complicated issue. But writing off what Sherman said as “cliches about bootstraps” really is disrespectful to the man.

            • Brien Jackson

              I think it’s entirely fair to characterize Sherman’s statements as cliche.

            • King Goat

              I don’t see Eric as saying anything other than that he disagrees with Sherman and agrees with Bennett. He’s allowed to do that right? And maybe he’s allowed to base it in that he finds what Sherman said to involve a bunch of cliches about bootstraps? Why can’t he come to that conclusion? Do you really think that the response to the issue of police violence against blacks is ‘well, lots of violence against blacks is done by non-police blacks!!!!’? I think joe is correct that that comes off like someone being asked about their opinion about the Holocaust and saying ‘well, you know, more Russians than Jews were killed by the Germans.’

              • trollhattan

                No,if Eric wants to opine in that fashion he should start a blog. Oh, wait….

              • ThrottleJockey

                To put this in the proper context, Sherman was really just distancing himself from the asshole King Noble’s comments about killing black cops. That’s the broader story he was trying to kill and that’s the story I think he killed. I sincerely doubt there’s a dime’s worth of difference between how he and Bennett see things in practice. Sherman himself knows what its like to be seen as a thug and he’s hardly ignorant of the travails imposed by police on blacks daily.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  Typo, sorry, should be:

                  To put this in the proper context, Sherman was really just distancing himself from the asshole King Noble’s comments about killing black cops.

                • Brien Jackson

                  This is fair.

                • Drexciya

                  It is.

            • trollhattan

              “Vast majority.” Nice. Have any metrics we can use to establish a reasonable ratio of cop versus non-cop murders? Is 100:1 okay by you? Great, we’ll create a new rule that cops have to radio in to check the data before they’re allowed to shoot an unarmed citizen.

              105:1, pull that trigger; 98:1, holster that Glock.

              • ThrottleJockey

                Why should blacks be more angry at one type of violence than another type of violence?

                • King Goat

                  When the violence is being done by the state that supposedly represents them? I can see why there might be a little more anger at a policeman shooting you for no reason (or a bad reason) and a criminal doing the same. Do you really have no higher expectation of the police you pay with your taxes and who are given a monopoly on legitimate force in your name than you do a street criminal?

                  And even if the anger should be the same, why would you respond to anger about one by mentioning the other?

                • joe from Lowell

                  The distinction isn’t been the types of violence, but the responses to each type.

                  I imagine I would be equally angry if each of my sisters was shot and killed.

                  But if one of the killers was arrested, indicted, and imprisoned, while the other was given a parade, I’d be more angry about the latter.

                • trollhattan

                  It takes a special kind of sociopathy to not intuit a difference between murder by a criminal and murder by a person whose job is to protect you from criminals. Very special.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  Sociopath is a tad strong, no? I’ve been the victim of violence a couple of times, I’ve lost a close friend to violence, and from natural causes lost my mother just a year ago. I’m more in Sherman’s camp.

                  I don’t know if you’ve lost anyone extremely close to you, or lost someone to crime, but I don’t think whether the shooter wore blue or not substantially changes the pain. In my case cause of death had nothing to do with it. In both cases I was bitter and angry for a very long time.

                  In my mother’s case the cops actually wrongly arrested her 3 months before, and the stress of that intertwined with some neurological issues to ultimately cause her passing. Do you know what its like to see your mother curled up in the fetal position in the back of a police car, a shellshocked look on her face? Her last 3 months were tortuous. Hyper anxiety is a real bitch. A series of grand mal and petit mal seizures hit her regularly until she passed. I took her to the hospital 3 days before we lost her and begged them to admit her. But because her vitals were fine they declined. 72 hours later she suffered a final petit mal seizure in bed and died…But to be honest I’m no more angry at the cops for arresting her than I am at the guy who killed my friend.

                  At the time of her wrongful arrest I made sure I got the names of the officers, and of their sergeant, and of their CO…385 days later and I still haven’t filed a complaint, much less any sort of lawsuit…So, far as my experience goes at least, its pretty effin hard to see a difference. Death is pretty fucking shitty no matter how it comes. Who serves it up is kind of irrelevant. At least for me.

            • tsam

              Tell us what you think the reason for so much black on black murder occurs.

          • “Mouthing” strongly suggests insincerity. After reading that, I was surprised to read the Deadspin article and see how thoughtful and clearly personal Sherman’s remarks were, regardless of whether I agree with them.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Well we all know that BlackLivesMatter only when they agree 100% with Loomis’ political preferences. When they don’t, then they’re agents of Da Man chanting nonsense.

          • sibusisodan

            Just because JOtto isn’t commenting very much right now doesn’t mean you have to audition for his role, you know.

            • TJ kind of wants to not comment here anymore.

              • sibusisodan

                Which to me indicates against any kind of sanction. Why give him what he’s angling for?

              • ThrottleJockey

                No, TJ knows the double-standard. Here are some of the things that have been said to me without those people facing sanction:

                1. DrDick said, “Go fuck yourself with a rusty chainsaw.”
                2. John not McCain wished that my gf would be raped.
                3. You called me a “fucking idiot”.

                If as you say you can get irritated by the muted, deeply diplomatic tone of Drexicya, then I question how willing you are to confront white privilege. People make bold, provocative, ad hominem comments here everyday–how many times does the F Bomb get dropped here–but its the black guy you want to target.

                Truth be told, this really didn’t reach its zenith until a few weeks back when I questioned LGM for the lack of diversity on the masthead and got a slew of pushback I’d expect more from the US Chamber of Commerce than a liberal group. If your position is that the only black man who can comment here is Ta Nehisi Coates, then how is that distinguishable from the Tea Partiers who only want to hear Ben Carson? Seriously. We either commit to multiculturalism or we don’t.

                • brad

                  1. DrDick said much the same to a clearly white variant anarchist in a post at the top of page 2, have a look.

                  2. That comment was wrong, and was responded to with universal and resounding disgust and criticism. To add, because it’s worth doing so, brett’s claim that you just defend black celebrities is also wrong both factually and in its desired implications.

                  3. When you call someone an active, supporting white supremacy, racist because of OJ, you are being a fucking idiot. You find it fun to be an asshole to Loomis, deal with the consequences.

                  Everyone agrees LGM would be improved by adding black voices to the masthead. The pushback you’re claiming is to the idea that the problem is intentional.
                  Neither I nor you are qualified to say precisely what role race plays in the response you get here, Drex has good points to make on the topic but misses, imo, the degree to which it’s a response to you having very divergent views from the general populace here about… everything and the ways in which you “provoke” by being deliberately prickish and obtuse. It’s childish and pointless to argue over who’s being more peevish, but you lack standing to accuse others of it.

                • sibusisodan

                  Here are some of the things that have been said to me without those people facing sanction:

                  If you are sincerely failing to recognise the difference between how you can treat a front-pager and how you can treat a fellow-commentor I’m not sure there’s much hope for you. That’s not fair on several levels, but it is at least consistent across my years of commenting here.

                  In the bowels of Christ, I commend to you Brad’s comment below.

                • sparks

                  I treat front pagers and commenters no different. I don’t see the point of deference. Being a front pager shouldn’t insulate one from criticism.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Being a front pager shouldn’t insulate one from criticism.

                  Certainly it shouldn’t (and I don’t think sibusisodan meant to say that, though of course I may be mistaken, in which case I assume sibusisodan will correct me). On the other hand, justly or unjustly, criticizing a front pager may well be likelier to have negative consequences (for the critic) than criticizing a non-front pager.

                • oneslyfox

                  Oh, that thread was painful to read.

                • sibusisodan

                  I treat front pagers and commenters no different. I don’t see the point of deference. Being a front pager shouldn’t insulate one from criticism.

                  sparks – to elaborate on things which to me are reasonably obvious and uncontroversial:

                  – there’s a difference between one’s opinion of a commentor/front-pager and what you can say to them in comments without repercussion. Commentors can’t ban me. Front-pagers can. That doesn’t necessarily cause me to show any more deference to the front-pagers’ arguments. It does change how I express my response to their arguments.

                  – Front-pagers here are not immune from criticism. If I put my mind to it I can think of a post for pretty much every front-pager which got substantial pushback in comments, even to the point of being entirely disproved. Number of commentors who were banned for doing this: zero.

                  – However, pretty much every commentor who has developed some kind of monomania towards a front-pager in comments has received a warning if not a ban.

                  (also, TJ, if you’re reading this far down: thank you for being willing to share the longer comments on your experiences in the last few days across the thread. If you’d be willing to do so again in future I would consider it part of my necessary education to read and reflect on them)

                  (also, too: Lee Rudolph – I’m male, so feel free to use the pronoun. I know my nym is a horror to type!)

          • brad

            It’d help those of us who want to consider you someone we disagree with about many, many things and not a troll if you’d not be a troll.

  • Joseph Slater

    The exchange between Sherman and Bennett was at a higher level than most debates on most political blogs most of the time. Which either says something good about them, or. . . .

    • It was at a higher level than the Republican debates for that matter.

      • Joseph Slater

        Oh hell yeah. The Republican debate was like the comment sections of mediocre political blogs.

        • joe from Lowell

          The next one should be sponsored by Yahoo! News.

      • efgoldman

        It was at a higher level than the Republican debates for that matter.

        An exchange between my two-year-old granddaughter and her teddy bear is at a higher level than the Republican debates. More truth, too.

    • tsam

      It says both–no doubt about it.

  • politicalfootball

    Sherman:

    we need to deal with our own internal issues before we move forward and start pointing fingers and start attacking other people.

    That’s really an unfortunate thing to say – that we can’t address structural racism until black people behave better.

    • King Goat

      Agreed. Why would action on the latter be best suspended until the former issue is ‘solved?’ We’re talking two different set of perpetrators motivated (at least immediately) by different motivations. And think about the idea of having a set of expectations for behavior for our police, supposed professional public servants, that is equal/lower than and seemingly dependent on the behavior of street criminals…Wow.

    • Brien Jackson

      It also doesn’t make any real sense when applied to the real world. You don’t “stop black on black crime” by calling all of the black people to a national conference where everyone agrees to stop it or something. You do it with public policy…that includes policing.

      • joe from Lowell

        It reminded me of people who say, “We need to get control of the border first, and then we’ll be able to work on a rational immigration system.”

        No, we shouldn’t, because you are never, ever going to “get control of the border” without first having a rational immigration system in place.

      • tsam

        I think it STARTS with policing–namely changing policing from this stop and frisk bullshit and the constant pants shitting about drugs and focus on protecting families and homes and people.

    • DocAmazing

      If Mr. Sherman had left it there, that would be true, but his entire comment was more nuanced than that. This was not a “pound cake” moment, and we have seen an abundance of “pound cake” moments over the years.

  • Gaudius the Clod

    “Let this all serve as the open thread for this weekend’s football.” – Erik Loomis

    The All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Kerry just finished, with one of them winning the title. (Loomis didn’t say we couldn’t talk about the 15-a-side version that uses a round ball.) I’m omitting spoilers for those who haven’t had a chance to see the game.

    Lemieux has said some things about the NCAA and amateurism, and it occurs to me that the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is the other remaining bastion of amateurism in sports. I’m conflicted about whether the GAA, which organizes hurling and men’s Gaelic football, should play payers on the county level (women’s Gaelic football falls under a different organization).

    Here are several distinctions between the GAA and the NCAA:

    1) The Gaelic Players Association is, at least on paper, committed to the amateur ideal. Some members of the GPA have concerns whether the sport can provide enough revenue for paying its players.

    2) GAA managers are not permitted to receive pay (although some of them get under-the-table handouts).

    3) Most of the administrators don’t get paid, either. The GAA president is a notable exception. However, during his three-year term, he is technically an employee of his previous (and future) company, and the GAA simply pays the company the salary he would be getting anyway. For example, if the GAA president were getting 50,000 euros per year as an engineer, he would be getting the same 50,000 euros per year as president.

    4) A significant portion of GAA revenue goes to club sides, including youth development programs, which could not exist otherwise. In other words, the GAA has supported the top players before they started producing revenue.

    5) GAA players are not prohibited from having endorsement deals.

    Any thoughts?

    • Brien Jackson

      1. That’s really nothing like the NCAA.

      2. Based on this characterization, the set up doesn’t sound like an inherently raw deal. The clubs are, I guess, mostly operating as non-profits, players aren’t the only people expected to work without compensation, and the people involved are able to trade on their image to make money from third party interests. That’s a fairly defensible system of amateurism, with the caveat that I don’t really know anything about the organization beyond what you’ve said here.

      • Gaudius the Clod

        One clarification:

        There are two levels of GAA play: club and county; the county sides take the top players from clubs within their counties. The county competitions appear to make the largest section of GAA revenue. (There are 33 GAA counties overall: 31 on the island itself, plus London and New York.)

        • Ronan

          What are your mixed feelings on amateurism in the GAA out of curiosity ? I’m more a summer supporter, all Ireland time and hurling not football, so don’t really follow the debates on amateurism with any depth. My friends who follow it more closely generally wouldn’t like to see it professionalised afaict. Not sure there would be the money in it too make it professional in any meaningful sense though ?

  • King Goat

    Was hoping Kentucky would finally crack Florida. Oh well.

  • joe from Lowell

    Let this all serve as the open thread for this weekend’s football.

    Those tough little Buffalo cornerbacks scare me. Julian Edelman especially could in be in for a bad day.

    • efgoldman

      Those tough little Buffalo cornerbacks scare me. Julian Edelman especially could in be in for a bad day.

      Vewy scawy!! Scawy Wex Wyan’s defense has only given up 37 points in three quarters.
      And Wex has the same pwobwem he had with the Jets! Jets!! Jets!!!: Sometimes you need to play offense. Seven sacks today for that wonderful new QB, Tyrod Taylor.

      Same old, sad Bills.

  • Brien Jackson

    I know everyone is wide eyed at Ohio State now, but I’m not really worried and think much of it is overblown at this point.

    1. Northern Illinois is a better team than they’re getting credit for.

    2. The offensive line is having issues right now, but they’re ahead of where they were at this point last season.

    3. Most of their problems are just coaching at this point. Most obviously: the offensive coaches don’t seem to be able to determine what they want to do schematically and stick with it, and instead seem too interested in trying to show off how many talented players they have in equal parts. Let Miller play H-Back! Give Elliot 25 carries! Make sure Marshall gets chances to handle the ball in space. But all of this can be done pretty straight forwardly without making Miller take snaps at QB or trying to prove you can win without bothering to feed Zeke.

    4. The quarterback situtation might be what does them in. Meyer seems to feel some sort of obligation to Cardale, and while I really like the guy and want him to succeed, it’s still a fact that he wasn’t recruited by Meyer and isn’t suited to playing Meyer’s offense. Urban should just give his guy (Barrett) the job and let him run his offense as the regular QB, then Jones can leave for the NFL, be a first round pick, and everyone will be better off.

    • It’s probably a one-time failure, but who would have thought after Jones absolutely ripped Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon in consecutive weeks at the end of last year that he would turn back into a 3rd string quality QB this year.

      Cardale Jones probably should have gone to the NFL. He would have been a huge bust but some team would have taken a chance on him in the 1st round and he would make a lot of money. Now, seems awfully unlikely.

      • Brien Jackson

        Well, I thought he’d be a worse option than Barrett for exactly the reason he looked so good against Alabama (the other two games don’t really tell you much because Ohio State just thoroughly dominated them). He’s a dropback passer who can be called on for draws and power runs in short yardage situations. He’s not an option quarterback who’s good at running the offense Meyer is going to call over the course of a full season, and that’s why he can’t get a rhythm going right now.

        Which is basically to say that I think he’ll be a successful NFL quarterback because he has a skill set strongly suited to the pro game.

  • Gaudius the Clod

    In other football news:

    *The top two teams in the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan met earlier today, with Kairat Almaty defeating UEFA Champions League debutante Astana to go 4 points clear at the top of the table.

    *In Australia, there are four sports which go by the name of football: Aussie rules, soccer, rugby league, and rugby union. So I’ll just mention here that the Rugby World Cup (for rugby union) started this Friday.

    Yesterday, what some commentators are calling the greatest game of rugby ever played took place at the RWC. Someone already posted it to youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILCer4ZinOg

    [Caution – don’t scroll down to the video description, since it contains the final result.]

  • Denverite

    LET’S GO BUFFALO

    • Everyone outside of New England agrees.

      • Denverite

        Even in New England, you’d think there are people in, I dunno, Maine that are like “sorry, Joshua Chamberlain would be shaking his head in shame, I just can’t root for the Pats.”

        • jeer9

          Says the guy who believes his team’s defense this season will be historically great but can’t find it in him to pick them getting 3.5 at KC, even with no real money on the line. Yeah, where’s the integrity?

          Belichick’s over-confidence with the lead made it much closer than it should have been: going for a 4th and 1 at midfield ahead by three touchdowns; Brady passing every down when they should have been running out the clock – which brings a sack and a fumble.

          While he may be the best option, Buffalo is not going to win anything on Taylor’s arm.

          • Denverite

            Picking against Denver is a reverse jinx thing.

            And it’s really really super early, but I’ve been right so far on the historically good bit. That defense has been the best in the league by a long shot. No guarantees it will continue.

    • efgoldman
      • joe from Lowell

        Buffalo’s corners weren’t the problem.

        • Lord Jesus Perm

          Not sure if there’s any LB capable of covering Gronk over the middle or along the seams.

          • joe from Lowell

            No, there isn’t. It takes a village.

  • Joseph Slater

    University of Toledo, after knocking off #18 Arkansas last week, beat Iowa State this week. Go Rockets!

    • Toledo might just be a real good team.

      • Denverite

        Warning: If you’re driving on the Ohio turnpike from Chicago to Cleveland, don’t get the fried chicken from the Carl’s Junior outside of Toledo. It will make you sick every time. A lesson I learned thrice.

        • Gaudius the Clod

          Speaking of Toledo – is the food at Tony Packo’s really as good as its reputation?

          • djw

            No.

          • Joseph Slater

            Tony Packo’s is fine, but it’s more of a touristy thing (if you can believe that about a place in Toledo). Decent hot dogs and other Hungarian basics, but the thing to see is the signed hot dog buns (yes, really). While I don’t have anything against TP’s, and have had some entirely satisfactory meals there, Toledo and environs has better restaurants.

        • ColBatGuano

          Wait, I can see going back for the second time, but a third?!?!?! That’s just asking for it.

          • Denverite

            Indeed.

      • Joseph Slater

        Or Arkansas may be way worse than anyone thought. Either way, it’s been a fun couple of weeks.

  • Warren Terra

    Let this all serve as the open thread for this weekend’s football.

    Well, it’s more about the NCAA (specifically, NCAA football) than football, but the Only A Game interview with Corby Pressler about his twitting of the NCAA’s exploitation of athletes’ image rights is entertaining and makes a valid point.

    Frankly I think the T-shirts are ugly, but the Mark Emmert one was worth doing.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Why the Patriots are a much better organization than the Colts and why Bill Belichick is a much better coach than Rex Ryan and it has nothing to do with deflated footballs or videotapes: exhibits A-Z.

  • Thlayli

    Fire Al Golden. Yes, I know what the final score was. Fire him anyway.

    Odell Beckham is putting on a clinic.

  • jamesjhare

    So solidarity with workers only extends so far, eh? Surprised to find you siding with management in a situation where management artificially depresses worker wages. Kam Chancellor is trying to use the only leverage he can — denying his employer his irreplaceable skills. Loomis’ principles go out the window when they challenge his rooting interests.

    • Brien Jackson

      This isn’t contradictory, you realize?

      • jamesjhare

        Yes it is. He’s arguing that management shouldn’t pay Kam Chancellor the money he’s worth because it would hurt management’s desire to underpay the rest of the roster.

        • djw

          This is silly. It’s a simple argument about how management can proceed given their goals (keep as many good players on the team as long as possible). That doesn’t imply KC is doing anything wrong; it doesn’t make any justice-based claim at all. You’re making a straightforward category error.

    • Before you say something like that, you should try to understand how the NFL works. It has a hard salary cap. That means each team gets a certain amount of money to spend on players. It cannot spend more than that. So if Chancellor gets a raise, a player who may make $1 million has to get cut and that player is then on the street.

      You can argue that hard cap should go and I would agree. But before calling me a hypocrite, please try to understand the specifics of the situation.

      • jamesjhare

        The hard cap did go for a year and Seahawks management colluded with other owners to force down player salaries and agreed with other owners to penalize the two teams who didn’t engage in that illegal collusion. The salary cap is just a symptom of management’s desire to artificially limit player salaries. You are backing management against workers, full stop. It’s OK — rooting interests often override principles. Just recognize that’s what you’re doing.

        • brad

          You have entirely failed to address his point. He agrees the cap is a means to limit the players’ share of revenue which should be abolished and is talking about how to run a team given that unfair reality. You’re basically arguing A, therefore Root Beer.

          • Brien Jackson

            Right: He’s ignoring the regulatory framework of the market to apply a point to an individual negotiation within that framework*. Get back to me when Erik sides with the owners over the union during CBA negotiations and you might have a point.

            *And even on its best terms this is immaterial. There’s no requirement to support every individual player’s salary demands to be pro-labor here, and that’s without evren considering, as Erik points out, that you’re completely wrong about the impact it would have on other players.

        • Do you even understand the basics of the situation? How can one say this is management against workers? What the hard cap presents is worker against worker. You can support the highest end players at the cost of the mid-level players’ jobs. Or you can support the mid-level players at the price of limiting the high-end players. Either way, that’s not management against workers. Management against workers is the issue of the salary cap period, which we agree on. But all this is recognizing that the Seahawks have to make a choice, but given that the amount of money they will be paying for salaries will be essentially the same either way, your construction of this as me being a fan and thus supporting management over workers makes absolutely no sense at all.

          • Bill Murray

            to say that, though you have to know where the Seahawks are with respect to the salary cap, as no team actually hits the salary cap. The Seahawks appear to be one of the higher spending teams this year (estimates I have seen are $250,000 to $1.4 million), but are right now expected to have $22+ million in cap space for next year.

            Also, without a floor it is not clear the amount paid relative to the salary cap is necessarily particularly constant. The Browns, Titans and Jaguars are all $22 million below the cap

  • TopsyJane

    Indeed. God forbid other Seahawks veterans should get notions in their heads about getting more money out of management.

    But, as Pro Football Talk noted, Bennett’s words perhaps provide some new insight to the logic of Chancellor’s holdout. Had Bennett held out alongside Chancellor, as it sounds like he had strongly considered, the Seahawks would have been in a much tighter spot and likely paid both players. For one thing, they couldn’t pay one and not the other, and missing both Chancellor and Bennett would be catastrophic for the Seahawks. If, say, a third key member of the Seahawks had joined them (Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas, for example), the Seahawks would have been in even more trouble.

    • Yes, but it’s worth noting that with a hard salary cap, every raise a player gets means a player who makes a lower salary gets cut and gets no paycheck at all. It really is a zero sum game in the NFL.

  • Drexciya

    For white people, intraracial crime is a generic deflection, intended to specifically avoid any kind of systemic analysis while cementing the narrative of black pathology. By default, Sherman’s considerations – mistaken and tangential as they are – are coming from a place of entirely valid concern and care for black people’s well being, which makes his rather nuanced commentary non-cliche in comparison to almost any of the professional (and largely white) “black-on-black” crime types by default.

    There’s a significant and recurring refrain that comes from the perspective that since we’ll never have and exercise power over white people, we should focus on what we can exert the most agency over: ourselves. That’s…not a stupid position, and it’s certainly not a “conservative” position, at least from the vantage point of conventional politics. Intraracial crime is not a separable symptom that’s magically divorced from the consequences of segregation, violent policing, criminalization, forced poverty, and exclusion/alienation from Respectable Society, and I think there should be a little more empathy and nuance reserved for the black people who decide to place emphasis on one of its most immediate effects – especially since they’re rarely in a position to decide which one they’re affected by. I think exposure to black commentary that’d be conservative Republican from white mouths needs a little more understanding when it’s framed like that from black ones. There’s a sincerity there and a meat to their concern that deserves a level of respect that the Deadspin article did a poor job providing. Sherman is nothing like Whitlock, and Coates himself didn’t address his disagreement with certain narratives of black violence nearly as sloppily.

    • Brien Jackson

      There’s nothing that says cliches can’t be offered in sincerity and good intention. I say Sherman offered a cliche because there’s no real attempt to grapple with how you do that, and you don’t have to go very far down that road to see why the “get our house in order” argument doesn’t work. Black-on-black crime doesn’t happen because black people just don’t know how to act: It’s a fairly predictable symptom of a set of public policies that make African Americans, especially urban African Americans, a systematically disadvantaged class and to address it you have to use the same public policy levers that creates it. Obviously one can’t seriously expect this to happen until the white supremacist leanings of said institutions is addressed.

      • Drexciya

        I entirely share your sense of the perspective’s wrongheadedness, for some of the same reasons. But I think a sensitive, honest, non-hateful framing of Sherman’s sentiment is only common – in my experience – in predominately/exclusively black environments and that the Public Debate form of it is noxious and separable from Sherman’s invocation. I also think it’s valuable to make that separation and to be mindful of how blackness skews simplistic left/right determinations.

        I’m not at all agreeing with Sherman so much as I’m saying that disagreement is more usefully cast in full consideration of both his vantage point, its influences and its intraracial commonality (which I don’t think the Deadspin article did). He’s incorrect, but I don’t think he’s incorrect because he wants to kneecap BlackLivesMatter or because he’s against black political efforts or because he’s anti-black. And I don’t think it’s analytically helpful or substantively correct to tie him with those who are (not saying you are, but the article comes awful close).

        • Ronan

          Do you have any reading reccomendations of African American writers who write from this perspective ?

        • UncleEbeneezer

          But I think a sensitive, honest, non-hateful framing of Sherman’s sentiment is only common – in my experience – in predominately/exclusively black environments and that the Public Debate form of it is noxious and separable from Sherman’s invocation. I also think it’s valuable to make that separation and to be mindful of how blackness skews simplistic left/right determinations.

          Thanks for this. I initially interpreted Sherman’s statement as just another Bootstrappy attempt to criticize the tactics or silence BLM, which was extremely odd given what I know of Sherman’s politics. Reading back I think I see the nuance you referred to though I think he still chose poor wording that was very easy to interpret in a negative light because it is so similar to what we see so often from BLM critics who really do want to derail/silence BLM and victim-blame Black people. But you are right that context and a person’s history matters on how we interpret their words as does our own station and history. That the same sentiment with the same wording should be interpreted differently if spoken by Ann Coulter at CPAC vs., a Black intellectual at a town hall meeting seems fairly obvious.

          As a White person, it’s easy to miss this kind of nuance you mentioned, from a debate happening in a culture we can never experience directly, and default to the less-generous interpretation of Sherman’s words by focussing on them in a vacuum ignoring who he is, where he’s from etc. It’s also a good reminder for us to be mindful to stay in our lane with regards to jumping into a debate within someone else’s community.

  • King Goat

    I just don’t see how helpful it is to go the old saw ‘we should do what we can to get out own house in order’ when the issue at hand involves people outside your house killing house members for nothing. This isn’t to say it’s not a common thing to hear, but of course that’s what a cliche is, an overused opinion that, at least in some uses, betrays a lack of original thought.

  • Gaudius the Clod

    In more football news —

    The first ever football game to have been broadcast in virtual reality was played earlier today as Porto hosted Benfica in O Clássico.

    https://www.dreamteamfc.com/c/portos-next-match-will-take-place-in-virtual-reality/

    Unfortunately, the source was wrong in predicting a clanger by Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The lousy play was by Benfica goalkeeper Julio Cesar, a has-been who showed his general level of play with Queens Park Rangers (they were relegated) and in the 2014 World Cup (he gave up five goals to Germany in 30 minutes). He is not to be confused with Julio Cesar, a never-was who played 4 matches at goalkeeper with Benfica during a couple of seasons there before moving to Brazil. Nor is he to be confused with Julio Cesar, who had two good seasons as Corinthians’ goalkeeper before being moved to backup status, and later to Brazilian Serie B club Nautico.

    All of those Julio Cesars at goal make me wish Brazilian soccer players used their last names.

    Incidentally, Porto won, 1-0, although they miskicked several shots wide that Julio Cesar wouldn’t have saved otherwise.

    • Gaudius the Clod

      P.S. Could someone please change the bold to only be for “first ever,” and also replace the Julio Cesars to Júlio Césars? I tried to do it, but when I tried to save the changes, the computer said I couldn’t.

  • Crusty

    1) Effin’ Giants. Sheesh.

    2) I think that black men dying at the hands of other private citizen black men and black men dying at the hands of the state are two distinct problems, each of which can be addressed separately and simultaneously, but which are very different and mean different things for people. In a representative democracy, if black men are dying at the hands of the state, whether its because of racism, poor training of public servants, some combination of the two, all of us bare some responsibility. The police work for us. It cannot be that we’ve empowered an armed gang to go out there and kill one segment of the population. On the other hand, while we might indirectly or directly be responsible for policies that lead to terrible living conditions that breed crime, at the most basic level, if one black gang member kills another, the killer doesn’t do so under color of law, wearing a uniform that indicates that he works for the people and empowered by the people. It is his own bad act. The bad acts of the police belong to us all.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    1. I’m not sure if the Seahawks are going to have a choice if they keep losing games by giving up yards through the air. STL forced overtime because Chancellor’s replacement gave up a TD in the closing seconds of the game. Guys like him–and he’s easily a top 3 player at his position–don’t grow on trees, and with Quinn gone, I’m not sure if his absence is something that can be overcome with time and scheme.

    2. I’m somewhat sympathetic to Sherman, given that he’s a thoughtful speaker in general and because I understand where he’s coming from. Comparing his concern with someone like Whitlock’s indicates a misunderstanding of the motives and environments that shape their POVS. However, I’m struggling with how important that difference is; Sherman’s viewpoint is understandable given his background, but when most of the people who shout about black on black crime don’t actually give a damn about black on black crime, how useful is it? When he says that he doesn’t see black people protesting black on black crime, I find it problematic because he’s erasing the hard work that thousands of black people put into Stop the Violence rallies and intracommunity protests on violence. I don’t find his viewpoint as malevolent as someone like Giuliani’s, but I do think that it’s coming from a place of ignorance. It isn’t particularly hard to find and talk to black people who fight against crime in their own communities.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      I should have clarified “most of the people who shout about black on black crime… ” to say, “most of the people who shout about black on black crime in public spaces/to national audiences… ” because many blacks shout about it without getting much attention.

    • Drexciya

      I’m somewhat sympathetic to Sherman, given that he’s a thoughtful speaker in general and because I understand where he’s coming from. Comparing his concern with someone like Whitlock’s indicates a misunderstanding of the motives and environments that shape their POVS. However, I’m struggling with how important that difference is; Sherman’s viewpoint is understandable given his background, but when most of the people who shout about black on black crime don’t actually give a damn about black on black crime, how useful is it? When he says that he doesn’t see black people protesting black on black crime, I find it problematic because he’s erasing the hard work that thousands of black people put into Stop the Violence rallies and intracommunity protests on violence. I don’t find his viewpoint as malevolent as someone like Giuliani’s, but I do think that it’s coming from a place of ignorance. It isn’t particularly hard to find and talk to black people who fight against crime in their own communities.

      I pretty much entirely agree with this and would only suggest approaching Sherman’s perspective differently because the absence of malevolence in his viewpoint means it wouldn’t and doesn’t take very much to either find him (and his ilk) on your side, or compel him to shift where he places his rhetorical emphasis. All other black-on-black crime types are oppositional to black empowerment and indifferent to the conditions that motivate either black outrage or black criticism, but this type is simply applying an unrelated set of facts without a solid systemic analysis and projecting it against a popular protest movement.

      Is it useful? Nah. But given how proudly he owns his blackness and speaks against racism, few white-centric types are going to confuse him for an ally and fewer stragglers will take his comments as a game-changing, substantive counterpoint. While it’s both problematic and dismissive of powerful activism, it’s also harmless in the aggregate and reflective of a common strain inside of black politics that, while…mistaken in its priorities (but not its emotional motivations), rarely gets a sensitive or representative airing.

      As an aside, when it comes to intra-black BlackLivesMatter criticism, I generally think this is much more dangerous and frustrates me considerably more.

      • King Goat

        Yes, a political movement that is trying to change hearts and minds through media events shouldn’t have to hear about the negative optics of their events and tactics…

        • Drexciya

          A political movement defending and asserting their right to live doesn’t have the pursuit of that right invalidated by sagging. “You’re not x exceptional Civil Rights Saint” is neither a requirement or a necessity for legitimacy or political action.

          • King Goat

            It’s naive to think politics is all about who is correct in some cosmic sense, it’s about changing people’s minds. People involved in it that lose all idea of how they might be coming of to those they need to reach because they’re so right doncha know are more righteous than effective, and often end up boosting the activists sense of self-righteousness at the expense of their cause.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    On another note, is it possible that Sam Bradford goes through this entire year without cracking 7 YPA?

    • This game is an abomination.

    • tonycpsu

      It’s at least as possible as DeMarco Murray going through the entire year below two yards per carry.

      I can’t wait for this week’s installment of “Chip Kelly: SUPERGENIUS” in which we learn that letting both of your guards walk turns out to have a negative effect on your running game and pass protection.

      • Of everything I don’t get about Chip Kelly’s offseason moves, gutting his own offensive line is the least comprehensible.

        • tonycpsu

          Even as an Eagles fan, I can’t help but laugh at the sequence where Maxwell forces a Dallas fumble and then Bradford/Kelce derp the snap and give it right back.

          With Dallas’s mounting injuries (Sean Lee sure to follow), the 2015 NFC Least may be the worst division of the last 20 years.

          • Lord Jesus Perm

            Can’t be worse than last year’s NFC South where a 7-8-1 Carolina team won the division.

            • LosGatosCA

              Racial slurs could ruin the party with 8 wins. Next week against the Giants is a key struggle for mediocrity.

              Otherwise, Iggles might have a 7 win ceiling. Giants will eventually not have a 10 point 4th quarter lead to blow, Dallas could be lost in the Weedens after the injuries.

              Not seeing a conference finalist from this group. Not even close.

              • joe from Lowell

                I thought I remembered seeing months of hype leading up to the season about the Eagles being a Super Bowl contender. Did I imagine all of that?

        • Lord Jesus Perm

          Particularly since so many of the run plays that Philly ran during his first two years are dependent on good guard play. Now that they don’t have the talent along the line, they’re (A) simplifying their run schemes and protections and (B) become predictable on offense as a result.

      • Denverite

        If Philly wants a call option on Mathis, I’m good with it.

        Seriously, so far, if we could get a gentleman’s agreement that run attempts yield 2.0 yards and the ball’s blown dead wherever Manning is 2.5 seconds after the snap if he hasn’t gotten rid of it, I’m happy with all of that.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      First Dez, then Romo. Ouch.

      • Lord Jesus Perm

        On the upside, at least Brandon Weeden is still the best QB on the field.

      • Scott Lemieux

        And since they’re playing the man who hacked the NFL with his innovative new strategery of paying tons of money to running backs, I assume they lost by 30 points, right?

        • LosGatosCA

          Moderation of dollars in pursuit of replacement level rushing yards is no virtue.

          Extremism of dollars in pursuit of abysmal rushing yards is no vice.

        • LosGatosCA

          After getting this key stat from ESPN I think I see Kelly’s strategy starting to take shape:

          “DeMarco Murray on pace to gain 88 yards this regular season. He gained more yards in 14 of 15 games last season.”

          Overlooking how fresh he’ll be in the post-season. Super – fucking – genius, I’d say.

    • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

      He appears to be a poor man’s Chris Chandler.

      • LosGatosCA

        Poverty stricken, homeless man’s Chris Chandler.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Area man sees three plays of Darell Bevell playcalling, hightails it back to the Subway Series.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Somewhat OT, but I can’t help it: I’ve been seeing commercials all day for Draft KIngs and the like. How is this not considered gambling? If it’s illegal to bet on games outside of Nevada, how is pay fantasy football legal?

    • elm

      The feds consider fantasy sports to be a game of skill and not a game of chance. Thus, it’s not gambling. This annoys poker players to no end since they correctly point out how much skill is involved in that as well.

      • Bitter Scribe

        For that matter, how is betting on actual games, with a point spread, not a skill?

        • Scott Lemieux

          Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

        • elm

          The best I can come up with is that there was no pre-existing fantasy sports beting in LV or AC to lobby against internet fantasy betting. But, yeah, it’s arbitrary as hell..

  • Denverite

    If I’m a DC, I teach my players that if you see someone jump, go fuck up the QB. There’s not a big difference between 5 and 15 yards. There is between 5 and 50.

  • Scott Lemieux

    For the record, the guy in the recent thread who argued that Russel Wilson couldn’t be good playing from behind or without an effective running game is still entirely wrong.

    • NewHavenGuy

      Agreed. But the Seahawks dreadful OL will keep this team out of meaningful contention. Disguised in large part by Lynch, perhaps the only elite RB in the NFL but it’s a real problem.

      Not to reignite that whole thing, but it’s a positive good just to see pro athletes like Sherman and Bennett talking about stuff like this. Both smart guys, and while I generally agree with Richard Sherman’s commentary I think he’s wrong here, if understandably so. (Different in so many ways, but memories of a couple of friends murdered over street/drug trade bullshit when I was a teenager still cast a shadow on my life. Not so long a shadow now, but it’s just… there.)

  • Gaudius the Clod

    Among all the forms of football this weekend (soccer, Aussie rules, rugby union, rugby league, Gaelic, and the boring gridiron type), the award for worst team performance goes to:

    The United States rugby union team, for their 25-16 loss to Samoa.

    Samoa’s population is less than 200,000. You could give a ticket for the Indianapolis 500 to everybody in Samoa and still have empty seats left. There are at least 1,500 people in the United States for every Samoan resident.

    Consider that Georgia was able to beat Tonga, 17-10, on Saturday, and the U.S. team’s performance looks even worse.

    [India’s men’s soccer team was even worse earlier this year, when it lost a match to Guam, 2-1. Guam has even fewer people than Samoa.]

    • sibusisodan

      I think that’s harsh. After all, Samoa won the previous encounter against the US, and are ranked higher in the world than the US. Plus they have a decent record of engagement with rugby to build on which the US doesn’t (yet) share.

      I know little of US rugby outside of World Cups, but it seems to me they’re improving with each cycle, and the player base is growing all the time. That can only bode well for the future.

  • Joseph Slater

    As a guy who has been rooting for the Detroit Lions for literally over 40 years, let me just say how much I truly hate the Detroit Lions.

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