First of all, I’ve received some negative feedback regarding my stance from Wednesday’s mailbag about athletes not standing for the national anthem. I said that if an owner / coach was willing to condone the players’ decision not to stand, then I was fine with it.
Personally, I would not be one of those owners / coaches. I would absolutely FORCE the players on my team to stand and properly acknowledge the anthem in honor of those who have given up so much, including their lives for this country. I’m all for creative expression and freedom as long as it’s not purposefully disrespectful. In this case, it’s a slippery slope.
In light of the current political turmoil, I think we’ll see more and more players continue to kneel, sit, and not regard the importance of our anthem. I hope those players aren’t on any of my favorite teams. Please take a stand owners and coaches to prohibit these acts!
FIRST DOWN: Should the NFL reduce the six game suspension levied upon Cowboys second year RB Ezekiel Elliott?
To be honest, if the allegations are true, Elliott is getting off easy with only six games. The NFL did its due diligence by undertaking a year-long investigation into Elliott’s misdeads against his girlfriend (see the TMZ photos for more) and had to take action. Remember the Ray Rice controversy from several years back…where he knocked his girlfriend unconscious in an elevator? Rice got a four game suspension but has never played in the NFL since. Domestic violence should absolutely not be tolerated under ANY circumstances.
You know what I love about this time of year? That most every NFL and college football team’s fanbase has reasons to be optimistic. Even you, Bears fans (despite your new starting QB throwing a Pick-6 on his first possession of the preseason).
FOOTBALL IS BACK!! I’m as excited as anyone…but man, watching the 2nd halves of preseason football games is rough. A few thoughts on last night’s 20-18 Cowboys victory to kick off this column:
-Blaine Gabbert looked like a men among boys in the Hall of Fame game last night. 11 of 14 (two of the three incompletions were drops) for 185 yards.
-I’m completely overreacting to a game where first-stringers for both the Cowboys and Cardinals didn’t play…but I honestly believe Gabbert has a strong chance to eventually beat out Drew Stanton to be Carson Palmer’s backup QB. He was at least serviceable for a while last season in San Francisco…unlike his tenure in Jacksonville.
-I know it was a meaningless game…but I truly believe that Gabbert will start multiple games at QB for the Cardinals this season. No, he won’t beat out Carson Palmer but if and when Palmer gets hurt, I predict that the former Jaguars first round bust will be the next man up.
It’s August which means fantasy football season is just around the corner! Seriously – I can’t wait; my 6-8 drafts (yes, I’m in too many leagues) won’t come soon enough!
In the spirit of draft season, here are 30 players / situations I’m thinking about this season…to draft or stay far, far away from. Those I like will be in ALL CAPS and the ones I don’t will be in Italics.
(1) TY MONTGOMERY (RB, Green Bay): He’s added weight and is preparing to get even more touches as a full-time RB. Could be a potential league-winner in PPR (point-per-reception) leagues as a 4th or 5th round choice.
Which is worth more: the amount you’re paying for this column or Brandon Knight’s current trade value?
Answer: They’re both the same…ZERO!
-While that may have been a lousy joke, sadly the statement above is true. Knight is likely done for the 2017-18 season with a torn ACL suffered in a Miami Beach pick-up game last week. I would be very surprised if you ever see him in a Suns uniform again.
-But hey, at least the Suns have a shot at LeBron James next offseason (250-1 odds per BetOnline.ag)!
-An underrated signing to keep an eye on for Cardinals fans this season: Kicker Phil Dawson. Chandler Catanzaro was serviceable for Arizona the last three seasons but missed a staggering 10 field goals and 9 extra points combined in 2015-16. Dawson, despite being 42 years old and in his 19th NFL season, is about as reliable as they come. He’s only missed TEN extra points in his entire career and continues to make field goals at an 85%+ clip. Good move by Cardinals’ management here.