Flacco on the move
Joe Flacco was dealt Wednesday.
It will be official next month.
Lots of layers and big-picture questions.
1) How would you describe Joe Flacco's career;
2) He's a bottom five among QBs with a Super Bowl right? Differ, Johnson, Foles, Flacco and Hostetler, maybe;
3) Flacco contract dilemma for fans: Would you trade your team winning the championship for a guaranteed five years of forgettable mediocrity? (In the four years since he went into the playoffs betting on himself, the Ravens have paid Flacco $73 million and are 24-27 in his 51 starts.);
4) After the trade a lot was made that the odds for the Broncos winning the Super Bowl went from 60-to-1 to 60-to-1, but this Vegas listing from BetDSI was very interesting: Denver Broncos General Manager in Week 1 of 2020 regular season - John Elway +150; Field (Any other person) -180, which means Vegas has John Elway being fired in the next year as the betting favorite.
And finally, we can all agree that if you think Joe Flacco is the answer, you front office is not asking the right questions, right?
There are more details emerging from the strange story of Matt Kuchar and his fill-in caddie after Kuchar's win earlier this season in Mexico.
Golf.com adds some details and Kuchar went on Golf Channel to give his side. (Side note: Super media-savvy move going on the Golf Channel, which was throwing more softballs than the 8-year-old Signal Mountain girls' association on a Saturday in May. Side note on the side note: I am sure that Kuchar thinks this is now settled and he will offer the "I've already answered that" to future questions, but there will be future questions much more pressing than TGC's "So Matt, what's your side?")
Here's what we know:
Kuchar's regular caddie was out. Kuchar picked up David Ortiz (not Big Pappi, but rather El Tucan) to haul his bag.
Kuchar says they agreed to a set price on Tuesday before the tournament started. Kuchar said that price was $3,000 with a bonus that could be up to $4K. Kuchar gave El Tucan $5,000, which Kuchar defended vigorously on TGC saying, ""I ended up paying him $5,000, and I thought that was more than what we agreed upon. I kind of think, if he had the chance to do it over again, same exact deal, that he'd say yes again."
Side point here: So Kuchar felt that El Tucan deserved a little something, you know, for the effort, and he thought a fair extra bonus was $1,000? On a $1.3 million? From a guy that has won more than $46 million in his career? We'll come back to this.
After the tournament was over and El Tucan had his $5K, he wrote Kuchar's agent asking for more. Here was his email:
"I am a humble man, who takes care of his family, and works hard," Ortiz wrote. "I am reaching out to you to see if you can facilitate me receiving a fair amount for my help with Matt winning $1,296,000. I am not looking to disparage Matt or give him a bad name. Fair is fair, and I feel like I was taken advantage of by placing my trust in Matt."
According to Golf.com, a $3K up front offer would be generous, but that figure would note include a payout bonus, which the industry standard is 5 percent of winnings with as much as 10 percent of a win. That would be roughly $130,000. El Tucan reportedly asked for less than half that and asked for $50 grand.
Kuchar said that he thinks some folks around El Tucan "got into his head" and changed his mind about the entire deal.
"I kind of feel like unfortunately some other people have got it in his head that he's deserving something different than what we agreed upon," Kuchar told TGC. "And it's just too bad that it's turned into a story, because it doesn't need to be. We had a great week."
Hmmmm, Matt, it actually does need to be a story for a few reasons.
First, how we can be operating in a billion-dollar business with uncertain terms and handshake deals is ludicrous. These guys are not using persimmon woods and balata balls. There needs to be a uniform baseline of understanding that is worked out between parties.
Second, who is advising Kuchar? Seriously. There's the wrinkle that this $130,000 could cost Kuchar 10 times that in sponsorship dollars.
Then there's the complete and total tone-deafness of this statement on The Golf Channel:
"It's done. Listen, I feel like I was fair and good. You can't make everybody happy. You're not going to buy people's ability to be OK with you, and this seems to be a social media issue more than anything. I think it shouldn't be, knowing that there was a complete, agreed-upon deal that not only did I meet but exceeded.
"So I certainly don't lose sleep over this. This is something that I'm quite happy with, and I was really happy for him to have a great week and make a good sum of money. Making $5,000 is a great week."
No doubt Matt - $5K is a great week. So is $1.3 million, dude.
And, while I believe this to be way more than a social media story, whatever. But if Kuchar honestly believes he was "fair and good" well that is as telling as anything else in this entire story.
AAFab 4 picks
OK, Fat Vader crushed us last week, riding the wisdom of offenses being behind defenses at the beginning and hitting all four of the unders. Kudos, Husky Anakin. The Entertainment Force is strong in you.
We have maintained that week 2 is the best entertainment-hunting week for the informed hunter because there are huge overreactions and clear trends in important areas.
Before we get to this week's picks, I wanted to make sure we were aware of the third late winter/spring football league that will also be part of the mix by this time next year.
Don Yee, Tom Brady's agent, is the driving force behind the PPF (Pacific Pro Football) and he is looking to be a G-League or like Double-A baseball and give 18-to-24 year-olds a place to play that is not college football. Here's the the story.
That is a sweet spot that has potential value to the proprietors, the players and the folks at the NFL.
Yes, the NFL currently has a free minor league system in major college football. But the No. 1 goal of major college football is to win major college football games.
If the NFL can have some control and limited costs and insist that teams stay away from the spread and the mid-line option offenses to help develop QB and OL play and get behind the scenes access to players habits and character, well, that would have extreme value to NFL.
In addition to getting extra scratch for our football itch, the Darwinistic parts of the which of these three leagues will be left standing is quite intriguing.
To the picks. (And if you want to run the gambit and bet all the under again, you have our blessing.)
Birmingham minus-7 over Salt Lake City and under the 47. Arguably the best single group in any single Week 1 game of the AAF was the Birmingham back seven, which is filled with former Alabama and Auburn players and dropped a 26-0 shutout on Memphis. We'll but the half, and try not to flip-flop from the Legends to the Iron less than 10 days into the season.
Arizona at Memphis under 49. Memphis got blanked. Arizona soared in Week 1. Memphis coach Mike Singletary can not fix the offense in a week, but they can try to slow it down and be better on defense. The Hotshots minus-11.5 seems like a monster number for a league that offensively feels like that new-born horse trying to figure out how to stand. But Memphis was awful last week. We'll ride with the under here, using the Fat Vader Force "These are not the droids you're looking for"
San Diego Fleet minus-9.5 over Atlanta. The Legends were far from Legendary. And truth be told, the upheaval on the coaching staff is going to leave the Legends looking up at almost everyone all year. Sigh. On the bright side, a trip to San Diego - and of course leave it to Ron Burgundy for a history lesson on that lovely city - is always nice this time of year. Even when you get your tail whipped.
Last week's AAF picks: 2-2 against the spread (50 percent)
This season's AAF picks: 2-2 against the spread (50 percent)
All-time AAF picks: 2-2 against the spread (50 percent)
This and that
- OK, Minnesota plus-4 at Nebraska hit as the Gophers dug in for a number-covering 62-61 loss. When losing is winning. Hooray. That pushed our college hoops number to 17-9-1. Entertainment for everyone. Tonight we are riding Houston minus-7.5 at UConn. Yes, a road favorite on a long trip. The reasoning here: UConn senior guard Jalen Adams - the team's best player, best leader and leading scorer - is out for at least a month with an ankle injury. Houston is 6-1 on the road and 22-1 overall. Yes please.
- Side note: Looking at the college basketball games and lines, I noticed that MTSU has two games left in the regular season. Yes, two. Who knew?
- Solid home win for Tennessee. These Vols simply handle their BID-ness every night.
- Bad home loss for Auburn last night. Really bad. Auburn shot 32.7 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3 and scored a season-low 55 points while turning it over 14 times.
- The NFL has disinvited/uninvited/sans-invited Jaylon Ferguson to the NFL combine because a background check shows that he was convicted of battery after a fight at the McDonald's during his freshman year at Louisiana Tech. OK, we have been hard on the league about getting their hands around the domestic violence issues that pop up all to frequently. Yes, the wording - Under NFL policy, a player can be disinvited from the event "if a background check reveals a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving violence" - is somewhat hollow because we all know that after 45 career sacks in college, Ferguson is still going to be drafted. But it also points to the fact that the Players Association needs to take the domestic violence issues seriously too, and allow real punishment for these knuckleheads who put hands on women. The simple truth is that the entire league has a lot to lose on this issue - management and labor - and having quicker action and clear policies on non-players make it clear there is work to do for everyone on each side.
- Interesting social media back-and-forth. Dan Dakich, an ESPN commentator and radio show host, has been consistently critical of former Wisconsin star Frank "The Tank" Kaminsky. The Tank went scoreless in a recent Hornets game and Dakich posted the box score and a second Tweet that said, "Hard being right so often" Kaminsky responded with "Hey Dan. I'm just here to remind you that it's 2019 and cyber bullying is no longer cool. I'm such a good person that I feel like I needed to remind you. Again. Great person to do such a thing. #cyberbullyingisntcool" Thoughts?
- Did you see the story that Pilot/Flyin J is pulling their advertising money from ESPN (and SEC Network as well) because of the ESPN.com story last month on Browns owner Jimmy Haslam?
We have several to get to today. We'll start here.
Did you see that the ChattaVegas Zoo is getting an anteater. This may or may not surprise you but, we've been told anteaters actually eat, you know, ants. Out anteater is named Betsy, which is a fine name. But, big-brained 5-at-10ers, we have to be able to come up with a better name than Betsy right? (Again for all you Betsys out there, it's a fine name, we're just aiming for options.) Whatcha got?
OK, it's Valentine's Day. Ninety years ago the St. Valentine's Day Massacre happened. Nothing screams romance like seven gangsters getting whacked.
Let's not over think this.
Rushmore of best romantic movies. Go.
And remember the mailbag.