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1. And here I thought that Cedric Benson would be my topic of discussion after last night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. But everything’s pretty much been said about the controversial finish to Seattle’s 14-12 win. Big ups to the guys at Deadspin for being all over this. They’ve got every covered: the play, the rule, the Twitter reaction, the fact that the former Lingerie League referees calling this game were fired for incompetence, a Viking taking the Packers side, and the NFL’s official statement supporting the call.
I would say that the NFL and it’s credibility are in trouble, but that doesn’t matter. At no point has anyone shown me any research, chart, or metric that shows that this all translates into the NFL losing money. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has shown that all he really cares about is money. The moves involving player safety have almost been completely enforced and centered around fines. Equipment requirements, medical personnel, and scientific research have all been thrown out the window under Goodell. It’s not about the integrity of the NFL, it’s about him getting his way.
Yes, these NFL games are becoming a joke and the defining characteristic of this season is how no game has any credibility because of blown calls and huge mistakes by referees. But people are still attending and people are still watching.
The only way Goodell will have the motivation to change is if a large contingent of fans, in a very public way, detaches from the game in every way. Fans boycotting or walking out on a game isn’t enough. They’re just going to go watch it on TV somewhere. The NFL has to see a significant decrease in attendance AND ratings… and that’s just not going to happen.
If the Packers and their fans want to send a message, they’ll not only boycott Sunday’s game, but they won’t watch it on TV either. The message would be sent loud and clear. But asking NFL fans to not go or watch a game is like asking a fish to stop swimming. It’s built into our system and become part of our nature.
So while the outrage is loud and clear, don’t expect any changes to come any sooner because of it.
2. Meanwhile, it looks like Cedric Benson has solidified his spot as the #1 running back in Green Bay. The Packers struggled in trying to put together any sort of offensive play together. Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times and had a quarterback rating of 54.3. You have to give the Packers credit, though. They didn’t abandon the running game the way they did so often last season. They attempted 19 rushes, and Benson got 17 of those carries for 45 yards and a touchdown that saved his fantasy football value.
The Packers attempt at a balanced attack and strong defense should have worked for a win… but… well… you know by now.
Photo courtesy Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
3. According to Vince Young, the rumors of his financial ordeal have been exaggerated, but in all likelihood, he’s just saving face. Meanwhile, OutkickTheCoverage.com asked people around Nashville if they had seen Vince spend a lot of money around town and boy did they have some stories.
Some were outright silly, like how he’d buy over 100 seats on a Southwest Airlines flight. That one still boggles my mind. He wouldn’t buy them for other people. He’d just buy them so the plane would have less people. If you had that much money, wouldn’t you just take business class on a better airline rather than buying a bunch of seat on Southwest? I’ve been on semi-empty flights. They don’t even let you lie down over a row of three seats without uncomfortably wearing your seatbelt. So what’s the point?
And the places he was spending money don’t make any sense either. He’d drop $5,000 and $6,000 tabs at Cheesecake Factory and TGI Friday’s. Again, if you had that kind of money to spend, why on Earth would you go to those places to spend it?
Although, I guess if you can’t spend money well, and you know you don’t spend money well, you can see why he’d put it in the hands of other people he trusts to manage it.
4. In baseball action, the Texas Rangers got a big win yesterday as they came from behind to beat the Oakland A’s 5-4. Fittingly, it was Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre that carried the day offensively. The two reached base six times in eight plate appearances, combining for four RBI’s and three runs scored. They each also homered, but it was Beltre that was the hero of the day as his two-run homer (with Hamilton on base) tied the game in the 7th inning and then he hit a bases-loaded walk-off single in the 9th.
It’s kind of flying under the radar because of how awesome all the division and wild card races are, but Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers is really close to winning the triple crown. Although another reason it may be flying under the radar is that advanced metrics have changed the way we look at a player’s average, RBI’s, and home runs in that… we basically don’t look at that stuff anymore in judging how good a player is.
In any case, Cabrera lost his home run lead in the AL with Hamilton’s home run yesterday.
The underrated reason for the Rangers win yesterday was something we haven’t talked about in a long time, but we brought up constantly in the first half of the season. Texas has a really good bullpen. Derek Holland lasted just three innings and gave up three runs. The bullpen worked six innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. It was certainly nice to see Roy Oswalt come through, finally.
The only worry is Derek Holland, who threw more than 70 pitches in just three innings, his first non-quality start in over a month. Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and not a sign of things to come. We’re certainly going to learn a lot about this team in the final weeks of the season as they’ve got six more games left against the A’s.
5. As for the Houston Astros, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals last night 6-1, dropping their record to 50-104. The Cardinals are close to clinching a wild card spot, so they’ve got a lot to play for. I doubt they’ll slow down. Meanwhile, Houston is looking to “clinch” not losing 110 games this season. They need to win three games to prevent that from happening. If they can just avoid a sweep, it would go a long way in accomplishing that.
But it’s not looking up as Houston is loaded with injuries. JD Martinez is done for the season. Jose Altuve had to miss yesterday’s game with an injured groin. Marwin Gonzalez sprained his ankle, and starter Fernando Abad left in the 2nd inning with a strained oblique.
Good luck, Houston. You’re gonna need it.
6. Finally, the new trailer for Promised Land is out. It’s the new movie written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski and directed by Gus Van Zant. Take a look:
The trailer makes this movie look weak and sappy. An environmental movie featuring a big corporation vs. a small town and a love triangle. I feel like I’ve seen this movie before but can’t name it because I normally don’t like movies like this. However, given that it’s written by and starring Damon and Krasinski, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now. We’ll see what people say when the reviews start to come in.