Focused on the right thing?
OK, the NFL Players Association filed a grievous against the recent decree handed down about pregame protests and anthem protocol by the owners.
This surprises all of no one.
The Players reps said they were not consulted and in a collectively bargained work environment, it's difficult to just hand down a decision this big.
So this matter is hardly over, and in fact, there were a lot of folks wondering why the owners decided to address this at this time considering it was a) a poorly thought out solution all things considered that did not please the players (who claim to have been skipped in the decision-making process) and the folks who are offended by the protests during the anthem because staying in the locker room is just about the same thing as kneeling, and b) the momentum of the protests seemed to have waned with the unintentionally intentional decisions not to sign lead protesters Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.
But, the NFL has become famous for the Rope-a-Dope, right?
When the off-the-field issues in years past popped up, the NFL tossed out franchise movement and changes to PATs.
Well, we're not saying the NFL is happy to discuss the protests time and again, but the headlines bouncing around right now are at best head-scratching and at worst, horrifying.
There's James Winston's habitual sexual predatory habits.
There are allegations that LeSean McCoy had his ex beaten, and if that's true, it gives a whole new definition of his nickname "Shady."
Now comes stories that former DB Brandon Browner is being charged with four felonies, including attempted murder. And that's in the last month, gang.
Sure, every profession has its folks who run afoul of the law.
But buckets, taking a knee seems like a day at the park compared to some of these others, no?
Story teller becoming the story?
We will head to SEC media days next week. Good times.
We will have the radio show from the college football hall of fame. Very good times.
We will try to bring details in the written word around these parts and in the spoken variety on Press Row from 3-6 on ESPN 105.1 the Zone. Thanks for your time.
Amid all the coaches and players and bigwigs and predictions, one of the sneaky big storylines next week will be from arguably the most recognized SEC media member around.
Paul Fienbaum's contract with the SEC Network and ESPN is up at the end of the month. Each side says publicly that they are confident a new deal will be struck.
But there are suitors. Namely the Big Ten Network and Fox.
There are few folks in the TV sports world that truly move the needle. Is there someone out there that makes you tune in? (Other than David and Wells on Press Row. Those cats are good.)
Tony Romo has tippy-toed into that place in a very short period of time. Maybe someone like Herbstreit is there.
And in the media world there is great value — and marketability — in that connection with listeners, readers and viewers.
And Finebaum has arguably the best connection of anyone in the entire sport of college football. Not sure if they have a nickname or a moniker — Fine-naics maybe; Paul's posse? — but the Finebaumers are aware of the situation and let's say they are making their views known.
The first call to Finebaum's show on SEC Network on Monday was this: "Most importantly, I want to tell you, and I've been trying to follow the controversy or the questions about your career," so dude named Phillip told the host. "I just wanted to tell you wherever you go, whatever you do, your friends are gonna follow. They're going to miss the connection with the SEC, but if you wind up as the docent of the Patriot League or wherever you go, we'll find you."
Call 2? A Missouri woman that was more to the point: "I hope you stay with the studio because if you don't, I'll never watch the SEC again!" she declared.
It's hard to see Finebaum wanting to start fresh in a new league trying to cultivate new sources at this stage of his career.
But in an age when the power of negotiations in the sports media world almost always falls to the company, Paul's Legions make this a very interesting back-and-forth to follow.