What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
You don’t really need the supercomputer at NASA to figure out the reasoning behind the title of this installment of “Ask J-Dub.” The mailbag brought us four solid questions which all started with the words “I know…” We simply couldn’t resist the “Alanis Morrisette”-level irony in questions – statements designed to inquire about and illicit knowledge of a particular point of interest – which all are prefaced with the ultimate declaration of affirmed knowledge.
Don’t bother being the guy pointing out that’s the kind of cutesy, bullshit wordplay which usually only impresses graduate teaching assistants in English 102 courses; we already know that. The fact is we needed a premise and this is what presented itself. So, without further fanfare…
I know you’re an Eagles fan. What do you think they should do with Nick Foles?
This question makes the assumption the Philadelphia Eagles need to do something. They don’t. The assumption comes from the belief that a team can’t have two “big-time” quarterbacks on its roster.
If I’m Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, I can’t help but love the idea that I have two quarterbacks under contract through the end of next season for under $10 million worth of salary cap space. One of those quarterbacks is coming off knee surgery and the other just proved he can get the job done. If I’m going to entertain trading away my insurance policy on Carson Wentz’ knee, the bidding starts at two first-round draft picks.
I know you just offered suggestions for improving the Winter Olympics. What’s your favorite Winter Olympic event and why?
~Kim Jong Kardashian
To be honest, I’m a sucker for the whole spectacle that is the Winter Olympics. There’s really something spiritual for lovers of pure, athletic competition to behold here. All this past week, this is what has been on my television; I just can’t get enough of it.
But to be even more honest, part of what makes the Winter Olympics so special is you don’t get them every day. That means unlike the “every day” American sports, I don’t feel a need to know all there is to know about these events. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about driving a bobsled, but I don’t need to. The sled that goes down the mountain the fastest wins; the simplicity lends itself to simply enjoying the spectacle. There’s none of the “catch-not a catch” non-sense of the National Football League, and there’s no “blow-outs.” Things are decided in fractions of points or tenths of seconds.
Having said all that, it would be to top curling’s appeal for me. It’s full of of good-looking women wearing those “yoga-style” pants, and they are always bending over.
I know you’re a Lakers fan. What’s the Dubsism take on the Isaiah Thomas trade?
~Silver Screen Pass
There’s two ways to look at this deal; short-term and long-term. For the immediate future, there’s really no denying the Lakers are “offensively-challenged”…to put it mildly. I liked Larry Nance, Jr., but there’s never going to be a time where Lakers fans are going to say “Man, we would have won that game if we still had Nance.” What it boils down to is the Lakers gave up Nance and got out from under Jordan Clarkson’s contract to get a guy who can drop 25 points a night, a serviceable if not long-in-the-tooth big in Channing Frye, and a 2018 first-round pick.
But it’s the long-term part of this which is the sweetest plum. Thomas and Frye both hit free agency following this season, which means their expiring contracts give the Lakers possibly as much as $70 million in salary cap space which will allow them to sign two “max deal” players either this summer or next.
The bottom line: This is great deal any way you slice it. It may not be “Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant,” but this easily could be the deal which leads to the next great era of Laker basketball.
I know you live in Indiana. What was the reaction there to the situation between Josh McDaniels and the Indianapolis Colts?
I get the feeling this question is being asked secure in the knowledge that we are on the record at Dubsism stating that Indianapolis Colts fans are the dumbest in the NFL. To that end, the reaction amongst them was entirely predictable…and probably entirely wrong.
Naturally, they thought this was all about the Patriots finding yet another way to screw over the Colts. The problem is I’m on record on this blog stating my belief that Robert Kraft probably isn’t the brightest nickel in the well. That means this was less likely about some dastardly scheme and more like a reaction to a newly-discovered problem.
There’s two things to consider here. One is the situation itself and the other is about McDaniels himself.
On either point, the theme here is “things change.” In the case of Josh McDaniels, we know what changed. In his head-coaching stint in Denver, it quickly became clear he was like that over-promoted person at your office who quickly proves they couldn’t lead flies to fresh dog-shit let alone get results out of people. Much like the best workers don’t always make the best managers, the best coordinators don’t always make the best head coaches.
But there comes a time in any manager/coaches’ career where somebody tells them that if they want to succeed at the next level, they need to change some stuff about themselves, and that they should consider a mentor to help them with making those changes. Invariably, that mentor is somebody who has succeeded at that “next level,” and is also highly regarded at that level. Given that, it isn’t hard to see that after failing in Denver, McDaniels has benefited from some more time at the feet of who might just be the uber-mentor for NFL coaches. Emperor Belichick.
That begs the question…what would make McDaniels bail on a deal which gets him to the goal of returning to the ranks of a head coach? And that’s exactly what he did…he already had assistants hired; the deal was all but signed. It was crystal clear for week that McDaniels was going to be a highly-sought head coaching candidate, and the Patriots were clearly ready to let him move on. But then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, something changed.
Naturally, since the New England Patriots organization treats information like the North Korean secret police, we’re never going to know what that was, but if you think about it, there’s really only one thing which makes sense.
Before I get into it, understand I already know this is 100% pure, uncut, USDA prime speculation. But since Kraft and Belichick have their “securitaté” routine down pat, it’s all I’ve got. The key to this for me was when it was mentioned by ESPN that one of the things which got McDaniels to do such an abrupt “about face” was something about Bill Belichick had agreed to “take a larger role in mentoring McDaniels.”
I also understand that trusting anything coming from ESPN to be factual is like trusting a dentist with wooden teeth, but the fact that statement even exists is what peaks my interest. The reason is rather simple. When you’ve got the big wall of secrecy going, there’s always an option to say nothing. The problem is the “Take the Fifth/No Comment” guy always seems like he’s hiding something. But the other problem is when the “cover story” doesn’t make sense.
Here’s the million-dollar question: In this case, what does “mentoring” actually mean? I’ve already established the whole point behind mentoring is about preparing to move to the next level. Well, McDaniels had already done that. He may not have yet signed the deal with the Colts, but the fact he was hiring his staff said he had every intention of taking the job.
In other words, he’d already made it to the “next level;” by all rights, he would no longer have a need for “mentoring.”
What it comes down to is this; would you rather be a head coach for a crap-fest like the Indianapolis Geldings, or would you rather be on the staff of a Super Bowl contender? Before you point out that new Colts head coach Frank Reich also had to make such a decision, remember Reich has never been a head coach before and was never deemed to need “mentoring.” because he hasn’t had a head coaching “failure” yet.
That’s an important distinction, because it sets the table for another million-dollar question. It isn’t about the theme; it isn’t about what changed to make the Patriots decide at the last minute they needed to keep McDaniels; again you’ll die waiting for that “transparent” press release. Rather, it’s about another thing we’ll likely never know; what the Patriots promised McDaniels to get him to stay. We can safely assume it wasn’t money; he was well on his way to “head coach” cash.
What if it was all about being the “heir apparent” to Bill Belichick? What if at some point in the days leading up to McDaniels pulling his “Lucy pulling the football” routine on the Colts, Belichick went to Robert Kraft and said something about it being time to think about who his successor might be. It makes perfect sense as Belichick is in his 60’s and really doesn’t have anything left to accomplish. It also makes sense that Kraft didn’t want to be in a position where he was losing his head coach and both his coordinators.
Now for the really fun part. McDaniels had better have gotten a tacit, if unproveable deal from Kraft because a) pulling the rug out from under the Colts makes him toxically unhireable to any other general manager at least for a while, and b) even Robert Kraft couldn’t be dumb enough to leave evidence of such a promise to be the “future” head coach, The reason is such a deal would be impermissible under the NFL’s by-laws, and if proven could result in more league witch-huntery.
Which means…wait for it…RETIREMENT-GATE!
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