From Bicycle Bob
Was wondering what you think of the notion that Trevor Lawrence ought to sit out the next two seasons to protect himself until he's eligible for the NFL draft? I know you've written about the subject of the increasing number of players sitting out games. If he did so, how would it differ, in principle, from what some players are currently doing?
It would not be overly different. It would just be longer.
There are a couple of downsides to it, in terms of the draft, too. There's the rust factor and the "do you want your franchise QB quitting on his team" conversation and those would be detriments, but if Lawrence sat for the next two seasons and the last image we had of him was the title game, he's still going to be the top QB drafted. (Unless Justin Fields does a lot of Justin Fields things at THE Ohio State.)
The conversation and focus on things like this need to land with the schools.
Lawrence should be insured for nothing short of $10 million. And Clemson should pick up the premiums.
If not, then whenever Clemson falls out of national title contention the next two years, Lawrence needs to pull an Al Czervik, and grab his elbow and say, "My arm it's broken."
Great Monday stuff. Some points to ponder.
> Jeffrey Lurie is giving you the keys to the Eagles' bus with the caveat that you must trade one QB. Keeping Foles and trading Wentz? Or vice-versa?
> Totally agree with your NoCA assessment. There are seven current NFL stadiums with fixed or retractable roofs – Atlanta, Arizona, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indy and New Orleans. The National Championship game has become far too valuable of a commodity to risk against Mother Nature, who is undefeated along with Father Time.
> And from your Pass Gas Rushmore, did you know the average person farts 14 times per day?
> What makes the Side Rushmore of best movie fart scenes?
Excellent points. And boy we have some big-brained listeners.
From the back end first, far left of the best fart scenes in movie history is Blazing Saddles, and it's not really that close. We'll go Step Brothers and Nutty Professor after that, and Rain Man in the phone booth narrowly over Al Czervik in Caddyshack, Lloyd and Harry in Dumb and Dumber, and Fat Bastard in Austin Powers.
As for the Eagles, such a great question.
If Foles goes back-to-back, well, game over. There's no way you can let him walk that way.
And if you are going to pay him $20 million next year, well, you are going to have to make some tweaks to your very deep and talented roster. A roster that has survived a slew of injuries this year and is starting to get healthy at the right time, especially across the lines.
In truth, even if Foles wins another Super Bowl and another Super Bowl MVP, I keep Wentz because of the extreme difference in contract value.
Great email my friend.
This week's Rushmores
Rushmore of TV and movie mobsters: Michael Corleone, Vito Corleone, Tony Soprano and Jimmy Conway from Goodfellas.
Rushmore of athletes after 40: Tom Brady, Nolan Ryan, Adam Vinatieri, who is 46 by the way, and Gordie Howe. (When Vinatieri started his NFL career in 1996, Steve Young led the NFL in passer rating, eight points clear of John Elway and 10 ahead of Dan Marino, and Bill Belichick returned to being a DC after getting fired following a 5-11 season in 1995 that ended a five-year run with the Browns in which Belichick was 36-44.)
Rushmore of football plays with a title: Immaculate Reception, Kick Six, The Catch and The Helmet Catch.
Rushmore of best alternative phrases for passing gas: Stepping on a duck, barking spiders (seems odd, but that's what Pop always called it, and yes, when you get sentimental over toots, well, there's that), cut the cheese, floating an air biscuit.
Big comeback win for the Rockets the other night against the Dubs. Harden is on fire right now. The Dubs should consider trading Draymond before the deadline. His production has dropped off and I think they'll need to make that move if they want KD to stay.
The Warriors are broken. They are fighting. They are mad.
And they still are without peer in the NBA. (Seriously, right now, are you taking Warriors or field to win it all? Exactly.)
Still, if they want to keep KD, it certainly appears that dealing Draymond is a no-brainer.
But if they deal Draymond for 50 cents or even 70 cents on the dollar and lose KD (and possibly Klay, too) after the season anyway, well, then you are Steph and his Rebounders.
Count me among the folks very interested to see how Boogie Cousins impacts this bunch when he makes his season debut in a week. Boogie can flat-out play, but he's a bit of a whack job too. Maybe it galvanizes this bunch or continues their full-speed descent to Crazy Town, who knows?
But we're down with dealing Draymond for a couple of reasons.
One, after next season Green will be eligible for the Super Max — something like $40 million per, which the Warriors are already doling out to Steph — and while he has a unique skill set and is a valuable piece in their championship puzzle, Draymond is closer to being worth $4 million per than $40 million.
Second, next year's draft is amazingly deep. Not sure how many lottery teams would part with a first-rounder, but it's worth asking.
Finally, KD is worth the effort, because even if the Warriors lose Cousins and Thompson in the next free agency cycle, Curry and KD is enough to contend and enough to attract another big name in free agency.
(That said, man if the Lakers put together a deal for the Brow and land Klay next summer, game on.)
From Fat Vader
Winners: The Jumbo Sithlord himself. I respect your entertaining picks, but I decided to take the Eagles moneyline at +200. Highly entertaining! 4-1 on the weekend. I had the Colts pregame and took the live line of Houston +12.5... mistake. I can't wait to lose all my entertainment on the AAF. Will the Fab 4 continue into the AAF season?
Fat Vader —
We're 100 percent open to having picks on the AAF, which will open its inaugural season next month. Here's the opening weekend's games. https://aaf.com/2019-season-schedule/
We all realize that the league faces an uphill battle to make it long term. That's fact, and it's one that has been proven every time a professional league tries to make it happen.
The league has partnered with CBS, so that's a good start. And a bad one. Almost all of their games will be on CBS Sports Network, and finding that puppy is like locating the Food Network, and before you know it, you get distracted by Godfather trilogy on AMC or a Law&Order marathon on USA.
To that end, the AAF or the XFL next year better have a strong gambling connection in place.
Want everyday Vaders or 5-at-10s to pay attention to your games? Make sure there is a point spread and attainable action on said games. Even if you have to pay some sports books to post a line, you need to get this in front of the gamblers, league and otherwise.
And offer free fantasy leagues from your website and see what it would take for DraftKings to buy into your league.. Figure out how to connect your league to the sports fans whop hunt entertainment.
And make it part of the broadcast with open discussion of it, and in terms of fantasy, show the points and stats accordingly. These leagues can not be afraid to innovate and find connections with any one that may be looking for one.
As for trying to pick these games, well, we'd put even more emphasis on quarterbacks than before and try to find angles.
Are all these coaching changes ruining college football? My answer is no. Even if the answer is no, why do we feel the need to fix everything all the time? Do you have a solution? (Sincere question) If not, have you heard a good one. But why wouldn't Lindsey leave the OC gig for a HC gig? Most coaches would.
Completely fair questions my man, and this was in reference to a Thursday conversation on Press Row in which DP and I were talking about all the coaches moving from job to job within the last month.
And yes, no one can blame Chip Lindsey for taking the Troy HC gig after recently taking the Kansas OC gig after, in fairness, he likely was encouraged to find a new gig after a tepid season as Auburn's OC.
But for all the hand-wringing and regulations about 18-to-22 kids transferring, we all just nod and mutter, "That's part of the business" when a coach walks, even after a Lindsey or a Manny Diaz move that comes a few weeks after accepting a different job.
And to be fair, Lindsey going from OC to HC should not come with any backlash. If you get the chance to run your own program, if that's your dream, you have to seize it.
I'd just like some perspective and fairness for the players, who we continually hold to higher standards in almost every manner — moving schools, eligibility requirements, pay, in-game reactions, sideline decorum, etc. — than the millionaires making their money on their efforts.
The better question may be the metaphysical query of why do we have to fix everything? And to that, I don't know but it certainly has me thinking.
Think how many times an oddity happens — be in actual game play or in the periphery of sports — and we are all falling all over ourselves to fix the rarity, and often it is at expense of everything else.
Yes, we all want the proper call to be made, but watching an NFL game nowadays is completely devoid of reactionary celebrations because we have to wait to see if there's a flag and then wait to make sure the replay is conclusive.
On Saturday, Bernice Sandler, the Godmother of Title IX, passed away. Without her, we wouldn't be tuning in to the game tonight to be wowed by Rhyne Howard. And millions of American girls wouldn't have had the sports opportunities they have had.
Before Title IX, one in 27 girls played sports. By 2016 that number was two in five.
Probably some in the 5@10 peanut gallery dislike Title IX, thinking it has detracted from male opportunities. For Friday's bag, what's your take?
Whatever became of Art Schlicter? I know, but some of the young pups may not know about the soap opera that is his story.
Interesting info about Title IX. I was never a great athlete but this Spring I am putting a golf club in my four-year-old daughter's hand and praying she will love it. Partially so we can all play together but I have also heard women's golf scholarships literally go unused.
I'm sure the Universities don't make any money off of those sports so to add on to your question, do the schools benefit in other ways (other than financially) from them?
I missed that tidbit about Ms. Sandler. She left the world a better place than she found it. Rest easy.
First, Jules I have heard frequently that there are schools with female golf schollies that remain unfulfilled. That was a few years ago, and maybe that has changed, but we have heard that too.
Title IX will be viewed as an all-time game-changer for the reasons Chas laid out, and as a father of an athletic daughter, we love the ideas and the intent of Title IX and the accomplishments it attained, especially early on.
I believe everyone should respect and honor what Title IX has done for female college sports. It's nothing short of amazing.
That said, in some cases, we understand the bitterness of wrestling or men's soccer or other sports toward Title IX considering that those restraints have pushed women's sports forward at the expense of those other activities.
I hope Title IX remains in place to ensure that women continue to get every opportunity, but I think there needs to be changes to the law and the wording.
Jules is right, there are next to no women's sports that generate a profit. UConn women's hoops maybe. And right now, Title IX's is arguably the biggest hurdle in college players getting paid because of the phrase, "Well, whatever you pay the quarterback you would have to pay the women's lacrosse forward too."
That's not what the law was designed for, just like I don't believe Ms. Sandler or any of the Title IX matriarchs had designs on their opportunities cutting out opportunities for others, if that makes sense.
Title IX will go down as an all-time success, but I believe it needs to be reviewed and updated in several ways.