The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.
If you are a sports fan (and you know I am), this should be the absolute best time of the year.
Major League baseball is winding down with the battles for berths in the playoffs at stake. Each baseball game, if your team is still alive, takes on added importance. Who isn’t watching the standings every day?
Add to that the start of the high school football season. We are only three weeks in and already there have been some great match-ups. It looks like the regular season is only going to portend what should be some great playoff games for the District titles. And then it is on to the state playoffs.
Let’s not forget the start of the college football season. Of course, the really good teams schedule some “patsies” at the beginning, but there are always some interesting results, none better than this past weekend when Army–Michigan went to double overtime before Michigan eked out a 24-21 win. Army was in position to win the game in regulation. There will be plenty of great games the rest of this season.
And then, there’s the NFL. It started Thursday night with the upset win by the Packers over the Vikings and continued when the Eagles came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Redskins. The march to the Super Bowl has begun.
So, can it get any better than this time of the year? Only if something spoils it. And that happened for me and, I’m sure, plenty of other fans. You see, I hate to see bad behavior rewarded. It seems to rear its ugly head all the time anymore in the sports world. And that happened again when the New England Patriots signed Antonio Brown to a $15 million contract ($9 million guaranteed) after he was released from the Oakland Raiders. It is also reported Brown could get another $20 million if he signs for next season.
He was a horrible teammate at Pittsburgh and an even worse one at Oakland with excuse after excuse not to practice in the preseason. He couldn’t play for the Steelers. He couldn’t wear the helmet prescribed by the NFL to promote player safety. Without his preferred helmet, he just could not practice. He couldn’t keep his mouth shut around the Raider GM. He, literally, would not “play ball.” The Raiders finally let him go for violating his contract. And who did not want to applaud the Raiders for standing up to Antonio Brown?
And then he gets rewarded by the New England Patriots, a team that is easy to dislike anyway. There are some who feel the Patriots talked to Brown while he was under contract to the Raiders. That would be a violation of the rules, but haven’t they done that before? Owner Bob Kraft even offered to let Brown live at his house if he desired. If you already hated the Patriots, add this to your list of reasons.
Remember how we always talk about football being a team sports. It is a “me” sport for Antonio Brown and wouldn’t you like to see just one time that arrogance and selfishness would be punished? And it never seems to happen anymore. Instead, it gets rewarded.
The best time of the year for a sports’ fan became tarnished this weekend. I can only hope that the Patriots find a way to lose this season and I really hope Antonio Brown is the reason! That could be the right message after the Patriots, once again, sent the wrong one.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Even though the Giants looked awful against the Cowboys on Sunday, Saquon Barkley rushed for 120 yards and caught four passes for 19 yards. He sprinted for 59 yards on the second play of the game. And he was not used all that much – only 15 touches.
- Nazareth’s Jahan Dotson had a two touchdowns, 109 yard receiving game for Penn State this past weekend. It is really fun to watch our local high school players excel at the highest levels.
- Maybe the Cleveland Browns just have to get out of Cleveland so they can change their name. This was supposed to be their year with Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham, Jr. starring for their offense. Well, on Sunday the Tennessee Titans beat them 43-13. They looked like… well, the Browns.
- The Phillies just won’t let us quit on them. They are only two games behind the Cubs in the wild-card chase. They are tied with the Brewers and only the Diamondbacks are a bit closer to the Cubs. The wild-card chase certainly keeps up the interest.
- RCN-TV has a terrific football lineup this weekend. On Friday night, the undefeated Nazareth Blue Eagles take on the undefeated Freedom Patriots. Saturday night, watch Parkland visit Bethlehem Catholic. We kick off our Lafayette College schedule Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm when Sacred Heart comes to town. All the games are LIVE.
GARY’GUESSES (LAST WEEK –11-4-1) (YEAR-TO-DATE – 73%)