Allen playing cards close to the vest approaching season opener
Matt Flynn has given way to Terrelle Pryor, and helped further usher in the era of mobile quarterbacks. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Johnny Manziel's miming skills are quite as good as his quarterbacking skills. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
It can now be said that nobody in NFL history has done more to inspire the age of the mobile quarterback than Matt (Transitional Figure, or T.F. for short) Flynn, which I’m sure will be of great comfort to him as he considers the $16 million in guaranteed money he has accumulated for winning Miss Congeniality in successive years.
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Cal’s Chris McCain, who was ejected for roughing the passer and targeting Saturday night against Northwestern, has been made whole because, well, the review that is supposed to confirm targeting calls actually never happened. This did not change the outcome (Northwestern covered the 5 ½ by winning, 44-30), but it’s nice to know when the technology whores screw one up because they forgot to use the technology.
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I still think the real sanction against Team USA in the Americas Cup shouldn’t be losing sailors, or having to win two extra races, but having to fight off pirates in San Francisco Bay. After all, the attraction hasn’t really gotten anyone revved up here as it is, but you know how casual fans love a one-legged, one-armed man with parrot epaulets who looks like Johnny Depp . . .
. . . although I’ve always been personally more drawn to Bill Nighy, who played the squiddy-faced Davy Jones. He’s hunky, brilliant – and delicious when fried and liberally doused with lemon butter.
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Chris Kluwe, we hardly knew ye . . . mostly because we hardly knew ye. That said, speed on in joy. You’d have been a pleasant and thought-provoking diversion on those lonely Sundays when . . . well, you know.
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It has suddenly come to people’s attention that Gary Bettman made $8.3 million last year as commissioner of the National Hockey Except When The Owners Lock The Players Out League, and other than the fact that he makes barely 25 percent of Roger Goodell’s prize money, less than half of Bud Selig’s and David Stern’s, and more than twice as much as Don Garber’s.
The accompanying surprise/shock/annoyance is odd, though. What, just to use an example, would you want to have to spend day after day after day in (and later taking blame for the things that come out of) a room with folks like Jeremy Jacobs, Murray Edwards and Craig Leipold? Hell, given that level of exposure, Bettman is being underpaid.
But not by much.
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Johnny Manziel signed a bunch of memorabilia, almost certainly for cash, beat the bumblers at the NCAA, and then rubbed its nose in the whole story last Saturday. But he’s never set a dwarf on fire at a team function, as Australian Rules Football player Clinton Jones did at a team party (courtesy The Age).
The subsequent reaction by AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou is equally unsettling, as he laughed during questioning on the matter and later said he thought the incident was actually a joke being played on him by the interviewers.
In sum, the weirdest sporting behavior always happens overseas, and Johnny Manziel is just a piker by comparison, no matter how many times he uses mime to pretend like he’s a rebel with a cause.
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When you lose your mind about the first Raider blackout this year, remember the inspiring story of David Feeney, an Irishman living in Australia who was so frustrated that he couldn’t see his beloved national team in a World Cup qualifier against Sweden that he bought the Australian television rights.
But because nothing fails quite like success at something daft, he also secured the rights to the qualifier between England and Ukraine by using his home as security. In doing so, he told his wife (according to Reuters), we have an agreement that if it (the venture) makes any money, she gets to keep it!" he said.
And if not, she has the TV rights to the divorce.
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Rex Ryan went to Clemson over the weekend to watch his son’s game against Georgia (the lad is on the squad but did not play). This outraged many people in New York, including Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who concluded Ryan has lost power and influence, no longer cared about his job and was sending a message to his players along those lines.
In other words, he’s doing a poor job when he’s around, and should be at that job more often. This is merely the latest example of why New York and football are a bad combination.
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Speaking of damned when you do, damned when you do some more, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who dismissed the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry as something less than “one of those, historical Notre Dame rivalries,” caught some heat for it, including by two ESPNites (Mark May and Skip Bayless) who apparently fudged their own memories of the matchup. So he did what any self-respecting coach who talks just to fill time until he can say something else and called UM-ND “a great and historic rivalry.”
On the off chance that it’s both, Kelly still hasn’t responded to Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who said the Irish were “chickening out” when they discontinued the annual game between the two. Which of course is and is not a rivalry at the same time.
And finally, I try to stop, but the NCAA won’t let me. Maryland linebacker Marcus Whitfield was awarded a game ball for his performance in the Terps’ win over Florida International, but he can’t have the ball itself until after he leaves school, because the NCAA would consider it an “extra benefit.”
I do not believe any further clarification is needed.