If there is a way that football isn’t bad for your health, you’re running out of options. On the same weekend that the Miami Dolphins are being investigated for housing an unhealthy work environment for rookies and young players, Denver coach John Fox is going in for heart surgery, and now Houston coach Gary Kubiak collapses on the Texans sideline during one of the league’s marquee shows, the NBC Sunday night game.
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Add that to the usual litany of blown knees, ankles, shoulders, sterma, femurs, et. al., the MRSA outbreak in Tampa and “League Of Denial,” the NFL looks like the coal mining of the 21st century. Only you can’t bet on coal mining. Yet.
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When we discover the full depth and breadth of the Jonathan Martin problem in Miami, we are most likely to find out that it isn’t a Jonathan Martin problem at all. As dribs and drabs of the story come out, it seems the Dolphins have a pecking order like every other team, only it is more strictly enforced, is more like a ‘60s fraternity than a team-building exercise, and Martin isn’t the only victim. Between bankrupting and abusing younger players, and turning out mediocre results on Sunday, the Dolphins have become a team that can only say one thing for itself – it isn’t the Jaguars or Bucs.
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Someone asked Oakland’s Charles Woodson if he had seen anything on film that would give him any indication that Nick Foles could throw seven touchdowns in an NFL game, and Woodson answered as only a veteran can: “I don’t think Nick Foles even seen anything on film that would give him any indication that he would throw for seven touchdowns in a game.”
Imagine what he could do if his team ever had the ball for more than 22:06, or punted fewer than six times. Or played the Raiders again.
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Then someone pointed out to Woodson that Foles praised the Raider defense, and he said, “For what?” Letting them go off.” Godspeed to you Charles. Live long and thrive.
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Mikhail Prokhorov has a unique take on motivation, on inspiration, and on the human resources department. The Brooklyn Nets owner was asked by the YES Network why he put a five-year plan on his new toy, and he said, “You know, it was based on the Five Year Plan of Vladimir Lenin. But, it didn’t work good in the Soviet economy, and I hope it will work much better here.”
In other words, championships are fine and all, but he’s hoping he won’t have to have any purges, Siberian exile trains, civil wars, counter-revolutions or famines. No pressure on Jason (Trotsky) Kidd, though.
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The Raiders’ latest undignified performance did not cause the fans to do either them or the A’s a favor and burn down the stadium, which puts them one behind the happy children who follow Partizan Belgrade. According to World Soccer Daily, They endured a goal Saturday by archrival Red Star and turned the early deficit into a flare-heaving, debris-fueled terrace burning, causing the town’s fire brigades to come out in force to save the Red Star stadium, and amazingly the game. That was played to completion, and the fans to the best of our knowledge left the rest of the town be.
Which is what Raider fans did. Again, to the best of our knowledge.
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Which reminds us – in the new stupid NFL, any team that looks like it’s doing well will immediately lay a spectacular egg. That is, unless said team is playing Tampa Bay, which this time coughed up a three touchdown lead in Seattle and invalidated a running back-tight end jump pass for a touchdown.
That makes the season record for teams giving double-digit point spreads 8-7 for the year. San Francisco is 2-0, Green Bay, New Orleans and St. Louis are 1-0, and at the other end, Seattle is 1-3 and New England is 0-2. Bet accordingly.
After all, if you’re going to enjoy the agonies of others, enjoy them with cash. And, never let it be forgotten, beer.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.