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This Is Reassuring



Say what you will about Woody Johnson, the man has an eye for talent: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Mitt Romney, Jeb! Bush. He’s backing another winner:

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is the latest major Republican donor and fundraiser to get behind Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Johnson, who was finance chairman for Jeb Bush’s failed presidential campaign, plans to raise money for the Republican National Committee and Trump through a joint fundraising committee, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Johnson met with Trump Monday and is prepared to lean on potential donors to get on board, the person said.

For years, Johnson has been a major player in fundraising circles. He was a bundler for the Republican candidate in each of the past four elections, and has written some big checks himself, including the $500,000 he contributed to Right to Rise, the super-PAC that supported Bush. Johnson is likely to donate some of his own money this year, too, the source said.

Johnson, who has known Trump for years, has had an even bigger impact as a bundler. In May 2008, he arranged a fundraiser for John McCain’s cash-starved presidential campaign that brought in $7 million in a single evening. Johnson was also a top bundler for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns and for Mitt Romney’s 2012 effort.

His tastes in political candidates and quarterbacks are similarly unerring:

20 (51). New York Jets: Christian Hackenberg | Grade: D-

The Jets have been looking for a quarterback and they’re taking the chance on Hackenberg. The tape has been horrible, and that includes his freshman year that everyone touts as his saving grace. He’s been one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in college football for three straight years and his -12.1 overall grade ranked 41st in this draft class alone in 2015. The Jets are hoping that he can be a reclamation project, but he has to take monumental strides to become a viable NFL quarterback.

Hackenberg had a 53.5 COMP% as a junior. Woof! I think I understand why Fitzpatrick’s agent isn’t blinking.

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  • Denverite

    the man has an eye for talent: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Mitt Romney, Jeb! Bush.

    Could I get a trigger warning next time?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Hey, at least the Broncos have the better one now!

      • I saw a graphic recently of teams that had traded up to pick a QB in the first round. Two teams, the Browns and Broncos, had done so twice, and busted twice.

        Which makes the performance of the current Broncos management pretty impressive, to have a championship team after putting themselves in such a hole.

        • Denverite

          I’m not sure Cutler really counts as a bust. He had some decent seasons in Denver, and he got the Broncos a haul when they traded him. If they had a competent GM at the time instead of Hurricane Josh, those picks could have made them even better than they’ve been.

          That said, Matt Russell (the scouting director, who I think is really running the show on a day-to-day basis at Dove Valley) is an excellent talent evaluator. And not just the draft — Harris and Anderson are UDFA Pro Bowlers, Marshall is a Pro Bowler they poached from a practice squad, Barrett (another UDFA) will probably be a Pro Bowler once Ware retires, etc. There’s a reason they kept Russell on even while he was serving a jail sentence for a DUI. (Literally. The sheriff would take him from the jail to the practice facility every morning, and then pick him up and take him back every night.)

          Also, you can’t overstate how much easier it made the FO’s life when they signed Manning and figured that he’d cover over most of the holes. They were basically able to devote 75% of their draft picks and FA money to building the terrifying defense. It almost backfired on them in 2015 when he was a rotting shell of his former self, but hey, sometimes the coin does come up heads a bunch of times in a row.

          • “Bust” may be a bit strong, but they didn’t just pick him with a first-rounder, but traded up for it. So that “haul” amounted to maybe breaking even compared to what they gave up for that first-round pick.

            • Denverite

              The Broncos gave up the 15th and 68th picks in the 2006 draft to trade up for Cutler (at 11).

              For that value (plus the 149th pick in the 2009 draft) they got: 37 starts (2.5 seasons) with a mid-to-high 80s QBR, the 12th pick in the 2009 draft, the 11th pick in the 2010 draft, the 84th pick in the 2009 draft, plus a replacement level backup.

              So they basically turned a first, a third and a fifth into two firsts and a third plus 2.5 seasons of above-average QB play plus a competent-ish backup.

              That ain’t breaking even.

              • You’re counting a current-year draft pick and one two years in the future as even money?

                • Denverite

                  That’s an ironic question coming from a Pats fan.

                  I think there should be some discount when trading future picks on an ex ante basis, though I agree with Belichick that teams currently discount future picks was too much (likely because GM’s are concerned they won’t be there in the future).

                  But it’s not clear to me at all when looking back at a trade that later-in-time picks should be discounted when evaluating that trade.

                  And in any event, even setting aside the fact that Cutler gave them 2.5 seasons of decent play, if you’re asking me next April whether I’d trade an April 2017 third rounder and an April 2020 fifth rounder for an April 2020 first rounder, an April 2020 third rounder, and an April 2021 first rounder, I’m taking that deal in a second and wondering when the Knicks’ management got into football.

                • Why is it ironic? Belichick doesn’t make even-up trades for future draft picks. He uses them to improve his position, either with more or better picks.

                • Denverite

                  Why is it ironic?

                  Because Belichick is notorious for hoarding future year picks (and he’s usually right to do it!).

                • But, again, not based on the idea that later picks and current ones are an even-money proposition.

                • Denverite

                  Fair enough. But I’ll still stand by my view that trading a third round pick in Year X to take a player who you’ll be able to trade (along with a fifth round pick in Year X+3) for a first and third round pick in Year X+3 and a first round pick in Year X+4 is a great deal that anyone would take. It’s not “breaking even” under any realistic view. This is all ignoring what the player actually does.

    • Manju

      There should also be a trigger warning for “Woody Johnson”. Just ask Dick Butkus.

  • Thrax

    Well, in fairness, Penn State quarterbacks have a long history of great success in the NFL. Todd Blackledge, Kerry Collins, uh, Matt McGloin…

    • Phil Perspective

      Kerry Collins did get a team to the Super Bowl. To put him in the same category as Todd Blackledge and Matt McGloin is disrespectful.

      • Chuchundra

        If KC had had someone like Plaxico Burress to throw to he’d probably have at least one ring, maybe two.

      • Thrax

        Mmmm…Collins was better than Blackledge, but not a lot better. Collins career completion percentage 55%, Y/A 6.5, interception percentage 3.1%, TD/INT 208/196. Blackledge: 48%, 6.0, 4.3, 29/38, in a less pass-friendly era. McGloin has barely played.

        • Casey

          McGloin isn’t even the best football player in his family. That would be his cousin Gimli, a 4 year starter at Moria State.

          • Breadbaker

            His problem is he kept throwing interceptions to some safety named Balrog.

            • tsam

              HAHA. I got that one!

          • Denverite

            Gondor Tech would SMOKE Moria State.

          • Ahuitzotl

            Too short for a quarterback

        • Downpuppy

          Collins passed for 40,992 yards in 17 years. Blackledge, 5286 in 7.

          How a mediocre quarterback stuck around long enough and started enough games to be 15th on the career yardage list is a mystery.

          Blackledge is no mystery – he just stank. At his best, he was a not very good backup to the immortal Bill Kenney.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Yup. He basically had three slightly above-average years and the rest of his career was below-average. I guess what allowed him to have a long career is that he was rarely a trainwreck; he generally wasn’t championship quality but he was always solidly above replacement level. That can make you a lot of money.

          • advocatethis

            How a mediocre quarterback stuck around long enough and started enough games to be 15th on the career yardage list is a mystery.

            A mystery, perhaps, but not an anomaly. Let me introduce you to #9 on the list, one Vinnie Testaverde.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Another good example, although Testaverde was a notch better than Collins.

              • Denverite

                Michigan’s head coach would like a word.

              • LosGatosCA

                Career practice players at QB, not even 2nd stringers really:

                Sam Wyche – 10 years – 222 attempts – 9 starts- none in last 5 years
                Charlie Whitehurst – 10 years – 372 attempts – 9 starts – 3 years with no appearance in SD
                Bob Gagliano – 15 years hanging around – 13 starts / 11 in 2 years with Detroit

                Make the league minimum or more like Whitehurst, possibly become an assistant/head coach later? Not a bad living. You’re not even taking the hits.

                • LosGatosCA

                  Compared to Steve Deberg

                  15 + years in the league, starts 140 games, takes all the hits in SF before Montana, TB, Denver before Elway,

                  2 decent years in KC.

                  140 starts but he’s getting hit day in and day out on shitty teams.

                  Whitehurst could have a higher net worth with 130 fewer career starts.

  • Phil Perspective

    Hackenberg had a 53.5 COMP% as a junior. Woof! I think I understand why Fitzpatrick’s agent isn’t blinking.

    LOL!! And Fitzpatrick is Joe Montana, Jr.? Come on, man!

    • Breadbaker

      Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. He understands if the opposition is Columbia, you don’t have to be someone who could start at Notre Dame.

      • Bill Murray

        you don’t have to be someone who could start at Notre Dame.

        which Joe Montana had trouble doing before his senior year. Also, the 53.5% completion percentage is better than Montana did in college. Montana did hit 54.2% during his senior year good for 7th among independents nationwide.

        • Scott Lemieux

          1)Comparing raw passing stats from 1979 and 2015 is going to be useless.

          2)Citing black swan development stories like Brady and to a lesser extent Montana to justify overdrafting obvious non-prospects is also a really terrible idea. Particularly when your offense is being run by Chan Gailey as opposed to Joe Walsh or Bill Belichick.

          • Bill Murray

            1) sure, but Joe wasn’t as accurate as Chuck Fusina or Roch Hontas in college. Now maybe that was because of the type of offense run or in Hontas’ case the level of competition, but, comparing accuracy at any time without knowing much about the offenses run by the teams is pretty stupid. But I’m sure you know what types of routes Hackenberg was throwing so you can correctly use the data you took from others analysis.

            2) where did I say anything about that? others brought up Joe Montana and starting at Notre Dame and completion percentage, neither if which were to Joe’s particular advantage, although Joe was much better than Rusty Lisch in college as anyone but Dan Devine could see.

        • LosGatosCA

          Devine hated Joe and bad mouthed him every chance he had.

          That’s why he was drafted low and came into the league as an underdog.

          Folks in SF still don’t realize he was recruited to play basketball at NC State by Norm Sloan.

          He graduated HS the year NC State ended the UCLA dynasty run – 1974. David Thompson was player of the tournament, but graduating.

          2x Coach of the year Norm wasn’t suffering from lack of recruits at the point.

          • LosGatosCA

            To be absolutely clear –

            ND beat Alabama in 1973 for the national football championship.

            NC State beat UCLA to end their championship run in 1974 and won the national basketball championship

            Both teams offered Joe a scholarship.

            The black swan event was that Devine was the worst coach Montana could have run into.

            • Breadbaker

              Notre Dame has worked hard to make sure that this test has no bottom. Gerry Faust. Ty Willingham. Charlie Weis. It’s an exclusive club.

          • Bill Murray

            2x Coach of the year Norm wasn’t suffering from lack of recruits at the point.

            well they never reached those heights under Sloan again, but then David Thompson in college and until the knee injury and drug problems, was one of the all time greats.

            Sloan let Monte Towe (great 5’7″ point guard) play baseball at NC State, so Montana likely would have trusted the promise to be allowed to play both

            • LosGatosCA

              He left enough of a legacy and good will for the program that Jimmy V won the title 3 years after he left for Florida.

      • Ryan Fitzpatrick always struck me as an interesting case study in identity. I doubt he blended in very well at Harvard – he was that huge Irish football player. I bet he stuck out like a sore thumb.

        But now, in the NFL, and to the NFL fans, he’s Mr. Harvard.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Fiztpatrick is not very good, although he did have a good year in 2015. But compared to the alternatives (Geno Smith, a second-year Grade D prospect and a rookie Grade F- prospect) he’s vastly preferable, which is what’s relevant here.

      • tsam

        So he’s Hillary Clinton then.

        • Denverite

          Slightly more facial hair.

          • tsam

            An arguably better throwing arm too, I’d imagine.

            • Denverite

              Sure, but she’s in her late 60s. If this was 30 years ago it’s a total toss-up.

              • tsam

                I know she would crush him on the read option.

              • tsam

                And yeah, I could out throw him when he was 3 years old, I’m sure.

      • shah8

        You’re overrating Fitzgerald. Also, Geno’s issues mostly has to do with terrible decisions. If he ever cuts down on them, he’d be vastly better than Fitzgerald. As it is, the result from both quarterbacks are largely the same–which is one of the main drivers behind the Jet’s hardline pose. Fitzgerald really wasn’t acceptable last year, and his receiver corps helped him out quite a bit.

  • Ah the abilities of Christian Hackenberg, another subject about which Penn State fans are utterly irrational homers.


    • Colin Day

      But did he ever cover up pedophilia?

    • Scott Lemieux

      To be Scrupulously Fair, apparently he wasn’t literally undraftable! He will, however, almost certainly prove to be unplayable.

  • Crusty

    A fundraiser? I thought Trump was self-funding and not beholden to the donor class. Are you telling me that might have been a load of crap?

    • Scott Lemieux

      He has the realest authenticity ever.

      • Hogan

        No no, he IS authentic, but he doesn’t HAVE authenticity.

  • Lev

    It does make me smile to think of the media career that evangelicals had lined up for Tebow. This guy was going to be their Tom Cruise. I remember he “wrote” a book after his first season that I got for free and gave it to my dad for Christmas. Since he’s turned out to be awful it’s now lying in ruins.

    • efc

      He’s going to be on a network tv show with (asshole) Mike Rowe soon.

  • keta

    Meanwhile, irony meters overheat and crack everywhere as Ken Starr ousted as Baylor University president/chancellor.

    • advocatethis

      Maybe there is a God. An inept, slow moving one, but…

    • tsam


      This is THAT Ken Starr, right?

      • Colin Day

        The former solicitor general Ken Starr (more famous as independent counsel), yes.

        I guess the residents of Waco disabled their irony-meters before the announcement.

        • tsam

          Holy shit. This is fucking rich.

          I can just hear Bill Clinton doing the same laugh he did after watching Yeltsin’s hammered ass face try to speak at the lectern and giving the media a nice reality check.

    • LosGatosCA

      He wants to spend more time with the Trump campaign?

    • Colin Day

      I just saw an article on Alternet saying that the AP denying the firing. He’s still in trouble.

      • keta

        My guess is the board of regents voted to fire him and this information was leaked before the university was prepared to make the announcement.

        My other guess is they want to gas Starr, keep the successful football coach, and not look like the pathetic assholes they are while taking the most pathetic, assholish course of action.

    • shah8

      Hmph, just going to rub this in a bit…

      There was Baylor out there, bringing on rapey football player after violent football player, leaving a trail of cases the local sheriff has to cover up…While the NYT, in order to paint FSU as this outlaw university that lets its players do anything they want, contrary to all actual evidence, reported breathlessly about a football player’s traffic violation…

      Remember…Art Briles was bringing in transfer players with a history of sexual assault, and knowingly so. That said players raped someone on Baylor’s campus was just part of the price of fielding a competitive football team. And this really should be far more of a scandal than it is…

  • Fighting Words

    Well, it’s only a matter of time before Trump picks up the crucial Mark Davis endorsement.

  • kped

    I can’t fathom how Hackenberg was even drafted with those numbers. He has 0 success. All he has is the “look” of a pro QB. Jesus, doesn’t football use analytics at all?

    • John F

      Allegedly his team had no supporting players, but yes it really looks like he was drafted because he “looks” like a quarterback, but his college numbers are not even in the same zip code as Geno Smith’s were- or Mark Sanchez’s were…

      • witlesschum

        His freshman year, they had Allen Robinson, who was a really, really good college WR. He’s most of the reason people think Hackenberg was good at all in 2013, based on the couple Penn State games I watched.

    • elm

      If you watch him play, he clearly has talent, thou he has yet to put it together (not helped by his atrocious offensive line.). With good coaching, maybe he does. I’d probably use a 6th or 7th round draft pick on him because he does have upside. The Jets, though, are idiots.

  • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial


    Johnson was also a top bundler for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns

    • Rob in CT

      I was just wondering about that.

      A lot of these guys are gonna look like losers because they are Republicans and Republicans lost the last 2 Presidential elections.

      It’s pretty disgusting to see them all fall in line like we figured they would, though. Way to live down to liberal expectations, fellas.

      • Hogan

        A lot of these guys are gonna look like losers because they are Republicans and Republicans lost the last 2 Presidential elections.

        And then there’s Jeb*.

      • tsam

        Way to live down to liberal expectations, fellas.

        Way to rise in the East, sun.
        Way to be wet, water

        …it’s not like they have ever done anything make us doubt they’d all try to make Trump look like a human person if it meant making sure a democrat didn’t get elected.

      • Brad Nailer

        “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.”

        • LosGatosCA

          He’s a YOOOGE bastard!

          That’s why we like him

  • patrick II

    As heartened as I am for Woody Johnson picking Trump as a winner, I am remain bereft that “never right” William Kristol still thinks Trump has no chance.

  • Webstir

    Hey, ease up on Sanchez! One butt fumble does not predict a career. He did a damn good job his first two seasons in the league, and stepped in admirably for the Eagles. He’s matured, and with a team having some esprit d’ corp such as the Broncos I think he’s probably set to hit his stride. He’ll be the starter for Denver and lead them deep into the playoffs, if not to another championship. But, in the interest of disclosure, I am a Bronco fan and may be biased. Go Donkeys!!

    • Colin Day

      Sanchez beat the Patriots in Foxborough in a playoff game, which is one more win than Peyton Manning had in Foxborough during the entire Brady era.

      • LosGatosCA

        Sanchez was standing on the field when the Jets beat the Patriots in Foxborough in a playoff game

        • Breadbaker

          Analogize to Super Bowl 50. Show your work.

          • Denverite

            Pshaw. Just because the Broncos win the Super Bowl 13-10 if the offense takes a knee three times and kicks on every possession doesn’t mean that it didn’t play a role in the glorious win.

            (To be specific: CJ Anderson had a pretty good game and was responsible for roughly six or eight points — long run setting up a FG, and a short run turning a short field into a TD plus two-point conversion.)

            • Breadbaker

              Our topic is not “the Bronco offense” but “the Bronco quarterback.” Please respond to the topic.

              • Denverite

                I have no response. He was miserable. *sigh*

        • Bill Murray

          well, he did throw 3 TDs that day, one even to Brick Hands Braylon Edwards

    • Ahuitzotl

      Uh, no. Sanchez has quite a bit of talent, but is far too inclined to lose his head under pressure, from what I saw of him with the Jets.

  • On Ken Starr leaving Pepperdine:

    Meanwhile, a Pepperdine law student lamented the loss:

    I expect everyone to be extremely upset. In five years under Starr, the school went from outside the top 100 according to U.S. News to 55. Literally almost every category the school can be measured by has improved since he took over. For five straight years, every incoming class has been the most qualified (gpa/lsat) in the law school’s history.

    The expectation was that this improving trend would continue with next years class; but is this like college football with new recruits? He just signed a new contract to stay for another five years last fall and is breaking it in order to leave Mailbu, California for WACO F***ing Texas. I’m just worried that our accepted applicants will jump ship while we have to find a new dean.

    Pete Carroll’s gone and now we need a Lane Kiffen I guess.

  • CHD

    80 replies. To a football post. In May. Folks, IT’S BASEBALL SEASON!

    • Colin Day

      Jackie Bradley, Jr extends his hitting streak to 28 games. He’s also batting 100 points than he did last year. His defense is worse, though.

      Is that better?

    • Webstir

      What is this “baseball” thing to which you refer? Is it what Ted Cruz was talking about when you try to get a ball in a ring?

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