Rudy Giuliani has Gone off the Deep End

I know that I generally write about sports, but there has been something happening in politics over the past several days that I just can’t ignore.

Formerly relevant former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani has recently begun to say that President Obama does not love America.  As he’s gone around trying to justify his comments, he’s spoken in circles and pretty much presented absolutely no evidence to back up his claim.

Mr. Giuliani has said things like:

  • “Honestly, I don’t and you don’t know what he truly believes”
  • He’s a patriot, I’m sure,
  • “But I don’t hear from him what I heard from Harry Truman, what I heard from Bill Clinton, what I heard from Jimmy Carter, which is these wonderful words about what a great country we are, what an exceptional country we are.”
  • “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country,”  This one was said at a Republican fundraiser.
  • “Not the slaughtering of the Christians, not the slaughtering of the Jews, not the slaughtering of the Syrians, but Ferguson.”

So I want to get this straight:  You can be a patriot, but if you don’t love Rudy Giuliani, and you don’t love Republicans, and you don’t sound like Jimmy Carter and think that America is always great and exceptional, then you don’t love America.  If you speak out for the American citizens of Ferguson, but don’t speak out against Christians being killed abroad. then you don’t love America.

By the way, Obama has spoken out against the slaughtering of Christians:

Remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

That’s right:  President Obama compared the atrocities of ISIS to other atrocities.

How anyone could think that he meant anything other than “These things are really horrible, just like other horrible things that have happened in our past” is beyond me.

Oh, I know why: Those things we did weren’t real atrocities, because they didn’t happen to REAL Americans.  You know, the white Christian ones.

Of course Republicans and Christians were offended by it:

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called the president’s comments “an unfortunate attempt at a wrongheaded moral comparison.”

That’s right, Mr. Moore was somehow offended that President Obama compared the brutal killings of Christians by ISIS which were based on wrongheaded religious beliefs held by Muslim extremists to the brutal killings of African Americans which were also based on wrongheaded religious beliefs held by racist white Americans.  How dare he compare Muslim extremists to racist Christian extremists!  I’m glad the Mr. Moore was eager to jump up and defend our “heritage”.  (I hope you can sense my sarcasm there).

Maybe President Obama isn’t so eager to paint all Muslims with the same brush for the same reasons we shouldn’t paint all Christians with the same brush.  I guess the President’s mistake is to assume the right wing would be smart enough to know what he’s saying.

Anyways, back to Giuliani.  I think White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest got it right today:

I can tell you that it’s sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain level of public stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly, And the truth is I don’t take any joy or vindication or satisfaction from that. I think, really, the only thing that I feel is I feel sorry for Rudy Giuliani today.

I can’t believe the Republicans have now turned me in to an Obama apologist.  Look, there are plenty of reasons to dislike or not even support President Obama.  This is clearly not one of those reasons.

Perhaps Marco Rubio said it best:

I don’t feel like I’m in a position to have to answer for everyone in my party who makes a claim. Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing. So I don’t know why I should answer every time a republican does. So I will suffice it to say I believe the President loves America. His ideas are bad.

Pete Carroll Made the Right Call

I know there aren’t many people who will agree with me, but I believe Pete Carroll made the right call to throw on 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line.  Of course hindsight is 20/20, and we all know how it ended up working out for the Seahawks, but let’s take a real look at the situation.

Seattle was down by 4 points and had the ball, 2nd and Goal from the 1 yard line.  There were 20 seconds left in the game, and Seattle had 1 timeout remaining.  They have one of the most physical running games in the league, led by Marshawn Lynch.

If they elect to run on 2nd down and don’t convert, then they must use their final timeout, and are presented with 3rd and Goal and no timeouts, meaning they would be in a known passing down.  Also, if anything goes wrong on 3rd down, the clock would certainly run out without any chance of running a final play to score.

Instead, Seattle chose to pass in what New England thought was a running down.  Typically this gives an advantage to the quarterback.  Honestly, what are the odds that Russell Wilson throws an INT in that situation?  That is literally the ONLY way this becomes the wrong call.

Seattle had the opportunity to make 1 passing attempt to the end zone, then run Marshawn twice if the pass goes incomplete, and they took it.  Unfortunately for them, the almost impossible happened, and Wilson threw the INT.

If you’re gonna play the blame game here, I wouldn’t put the blame on Carroll.  It was on the players for not executing.

As a note, Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats disagrees with me:

What say you?


I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined

lynch28s-1-webI had some online discussions with folks yesterday about Marshawn Lynch, and how he repeatedly answered reporters at Super Bowl Media day with “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”  I was saying that the NFL needs more Marshawn Lynch.

I received responses such as:

this guy is such a tool. When you join the NFL, you represent the NFL, which means your represent the Seahawks. People and kids look up to the players, their idols. And this guys is just an asshole, has been from day one. Great role model.

Let me get this straight:  Marshawn Lynch sacrifices his body 16 Sundays a year to generate money for the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.  You know, the NFL, the organization that arbitrarily punishes players for off the field behavior, collectively bargains to make sure the players don’t get one more penny than they “deserve”, and repeatedly hid evidence of the long term effects of concussions.

Now somehow Lynch is the bad guy?

Personally, I think that Marshawn is a great role model.  I want my kids looking up to someone who sticks up for himself against an organization like the NFL in the middle of their circus that is the Super Bowl.  Honestly, how many ways does Marshawn have to make a statement that will mean something without losing his livelihood he’s worked so hard for?

Kudos to you, Marshawn.

Please just stop grabbing your crotch, ok?  That’s one thing I don’t want my kids to emulate.

How to Fix the National Football League

I used to LOVE watching NFL football.  I also enjoy college football, but the speed and precision of the pro game were leaps and bounds more entertaining for me.

The past year has exposed a lot of issues with the NFL.  I know that for at least myself, it’s gotten pretty frustrating to watch and follow the league, and I’ve started to giving up on them.

I’ve probably put more thought into this than I should, but I’d like to go through my list of suggestions on how I would fix the league.  Some of these will likely end up with blog posts of their own, but I wanted to summarize my overall thoughts.
If I were supreme leader of the National Football League, these are the initiatives I would institute immediately (in no particular order):
  • Full time officials
  • Permanent cameras trained on each end of the goal lines and all out of bounds lines
  • Lights on the line-of-scrimmage sticks that go off when the play clock or game clock goes to zero
  • A replay system where every play is watched by the replay official, just as in college.  The referee on the field would never go “under the hood”.
  • Replay review of penalties, particularly pass interference.
  • Stop the clock on first downs, at least in the final 2 minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters.
  • Better control of the clock by the officials on the field, similar to what is used in the NBA and major conferences in NCAA basketball.
  • Fire Roger Goodell
  • Create more consistent rules governing player discipline for off the field actions.
I’ll elaborate on these points later with follow up posts going into more detail.
What do you think the NFL can do to improve the game?  Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Lamar Odom is Done as a Maverick

Per Mark Stein of ESPN:

Lamar Odom’s brief and bumpy ride with the Dallas Mavericks has come to an abrupt end.

The Mavericks and Odom spent Easter Sunday working out a parting, according to sources close to the situation, that frees the struggling Odom to leave the team immediately without actually being released.

“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”

It’s been clear Odom is not a fit in Dallas, and the effort just hasn’t been there.  It’s disappointing, as I thought going into this season that things were going to hinge on the play of Odom.  Unfortunately, it has turned out to be true, and not in a good way.

Dallas Cowboys Losing Cap Space

The Dallas Cowboys are set to lose $10 million against the cap over the next two years, while the Redskins are set to lose $36 million.  According to ESPN:

During the pre-lockout 2010 season, the collective bargaining agreement expired and the league operated without a salary cap.

According to sources, the Cowboys and Redskins took immediate cap hits during the 2010 season that normally would have been spread out over the length of the contracts, giving them an advantage that other NFL owners found unfair.

Putting all biases aside, this is total B.S.  The Cowboys and Redskins both took advantage of the uncapped season and reworked contracts accordingly.  Now Goodell is punishing them retroactively for something they did that was not against the rules.

That being said, it makes me smile to see Dan Snyder get screwed out of $36 million in cap space right after he trades away draft picks that are more precious than ever after the latest CBA.