The new NFL national anthem policy doesn’t change a thing.
Players who stay off the field will be criticized for staying off the field. Liberals will still think Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are being blackballed. Conservatives will still think the demonstrators hate America.
This does nothing but reignite a divisive issue that was slowly fading, just like Occupy Philadelphia, which started as a meaningful and peaceful protest and devolved into some blob of bitching and whining that literally had nothing do with anything specific by the time protesters were kicked out of Dilworth Plaza.
And it’s not like the different approaches to the anthem had any partitioning effect on the Eagles’ locker room. You had some black players raise a fist and lock arms with white teammates, while others observed the anthem in their own way. The team ended up winning the Super Bowl, so if there were internal fractures, I can’t imagine they were very large. Then you had more than a million people of different ages/genders/skin tones come down to Broad Street to celebrate their achievement.
Now the league is fanning the flames of conflict just 13 days before the Birds are supposed to travel to Washington to meet with President Trump.
Me, personally, I enjoy the anthem at games. Is it necessary? No, I don’t think so, but I see it as a moment to kind of stop and look around and be grateful for what we have in this country. I see Ron Brooks doing his thing at Sixers games and think, “Hey, I appreciate being an American, I appreciate the opportunities I was given.” Sometimes writers are fumbling around on their computers or some guy forgets to take his hat off, or some lady is at the concession stand buying a $7 hot dog, but I don’t get pissed off at those people and think they’re being disrespectful. You wanna know what’s un-American? It’s un-American to tell people how to behave or what to think. This country was founded by dissidents who certainly weren’t perfect, but valued differences of opinion.
That mugshot is IMPRESSIVE. The perfect combination of unkempt former athlete and psycho murderer.
Former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was arrested in front of the Linden police station on Wednesday morning on charges he threatened an Uber driver while in possession of drugs, authorities say.
The driver, a 47-year-old Roselle man, told police he picked up Dyksta in Linden, police said. When Dykstra’s request to change his destination was turned down, the ex-major league player allegedly pulled out a gun and threatened to kill the driver.
The driver got the attention of police by speeding into a parking garage next to the police station and repeatedly honking his horn before stopping at headquarters, police said. The Uber driver then ran from his car, according to police.
Cops didn’t find a weapon, but Dykstra had cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy on him when police took him into custody around 3:30 a.m., police said.
I’m now wondering what may have happened to the weapon, if indeed there was one. What are the chances Lenny went with the ol’ hand-in-pocket gun routine without actually having a gun? Look like that and it’s totally a plausible bluff that I certainly wouldn’t call at 3:30 a.m. in Linden, New Jersey.
Other questions I have:
Where was his original destination?
Where did he want to change it to?
Will his court appearance next month be general admission?
A fun twist would be if Rick Dempsey was the driver.
The NFL adopted a new policy today to address the issue of kneeling during the national anthem.
Players will now be given the option of staying off the field during the anthem, but will face fines if they are on the field and do not stand.
Here’s a portion of the statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:
“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.
This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.
We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it.”
Here is the full statement from the league, outlining the changes:
“What can I read now on the train,” my friend texted me about a year ago. “Deadspin sucks now.”
I hadn’t started writing here yet so this fine site wasn’t top of mind. But my friend and I agreed on one thing: Deadspin did suck then, and it still does now. Which is too bad, because it used to be a lot of fun. Launched in 2005, Deadspin was alt-ESPN.com, a self-described place to read “Sports News Without Favor, Access or Discretion.”
And Deadspin delivered on that tagline, primarily because the minds that launched the site were really talented. Will Leitch, A.J. Daulerio, Greg Howard and many other gifted voices (I omitted Drew Magary intentionally, more on him in a bit) carried Deadspin and made it must-read.
Leitch must look at Deadspin today like Buck Weaver ruefully watching Shoeless Joe Jackson amble around an independent league outfield at the end of Eight Men Out: “Those guys are all gone now.”
So it should not have come as a surprise that the biggest thing Deadspin actually accomplished in the last 24 hours wasn’t any of that useless noise, but instead a needless hit piece on Barstool Sports’ PFT Commenter. It will probably also not shock you that the author of said hit piece, Laura Wagner, is a 2015 graduate of Georgetown (“College Democrats,” natch) who used to work at NPR.
The motivation for Wagner’s decision to “out” PFT Commenter by naming him is pretty transparent. She tacitly admits as much in the opening paragraphs of “So Who Is Barstool’s PFT Commenter?” It’s not subtle:
Every so often, some publication or other—often a fancy one—will run a fawning profile of PFT Commenter, the sports satirist who works for Barstool Sports and co-created the wildly popular comedy podcast Pardon My Take…just yesterday, the Washington Post boldly stepped in the footprints of those who came before them with “PFT Commenter rose from an internet ‘cesspool’ to podcasting glory. And no one knows who he is”…despite the fact that anyone with an internet connection and 30 seconds can easily find out his name’s Eric Sollenberger.
Why is Wagner talking about Fight Club? Why is Wagner functionally violating the magician’s code by revealing how another magician’s trick is done? You won’t believe this, but she has an ax to grind: Continue Reading
This is part six of a season-ending series looking back at each player’s 2017-2018 campaign.
Part one – Jerryd Bayless
Part two – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
Part three – Justin Anderson
Part four – Richaun Holmes
Part five – Amir Johnson
Robert Covington had a bad Boston series.
The Sixers’ streaky swing man shot 27% over the course of five games, going 0-6 in game one, 0-8 in game three, and 1-7 in game four. A 22 point, 8-15 game two effort was the outlier in an otherwise disappointing offensive performance from a guy who showed similar inconsistency all season long. He was the odd man out when T.J. McConnell was inserted into the starting lineup, coming off the bench to play just 19 and 21 minutes in the final two games of the series.
Covington recently had surgery to repair the middle finger in his guide hand, but didn’t seem to be affected by the extensor tendon issue, at least not outwardly. He brought it up but didn’t make a big deal of it when asked about lingering issues during his exit interview, so it’s hard to know how much discomfort he really felt while shooting the ball. Covington had some recurring back tightness beginning in mid-December but only missed two games, starting 80 times and averaging 31.6 minutes.
A look at the raw season-to-season totals shows that his field goal and three-point percentages were up from last year. 41.3% from the field was his best mark as a Sixer and a 36.9 three-point number was his second best, much better than 2016-17 but down slightly from his first year in town:
All of that looks pretty good on paper.
It was the peaks and valleys on the offensive end of the floor and the low-IQ plays that popped up every so often that would drag down Covington’s game, whether it was a bad turnover or questionable shot choice. Cov wasn’t great in finishing at the rim this year and didn’t create many shots for himself, operating mostly as a stationary “3 and D” guy. To his credit, he spoke to those weaknesses specifically, telling reporters two weeks ago that he’s going to spend the summer focusing on “ball handling, quickness, explosion, and finishing at the rim.”
From Adam Zagoria at the New York Times:
Celtics President Danny Ainge took @NovaMBB 's Donte DiVincenzo to lunch after their workout this week, source says. Celts pick at No. 27 and are in the hunt for a 2nd-rounder also. pic.twitter.com/OedEkZnOLy
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 23, 2018
Hmmm, well DiVincenzo might not even be available at 27. The Villanova star, who was originally just testing the NBA waters, could instead hire an agent and enter the draft. He had an excellent combine and is now viewed as a late first round pick, mocked as high as 18 by CBS Sports (Spurs) and 20 by Sports Illustrated (Wolves). I’ve seen other mocks that have him going 30th (Hawks), 29th (Nets), and 21st (Utah).
He’ll have until May 30th to decide whether he’s in or out, but if he projects to go in the first round, I can’t imagine a Villanova return.
I imagine the kickoff might go away entirely in the near future, but in the meantime owners are giving temporary approval to new changes that are supposed to make the play safer. Concussions are five times more likely to happen on kickoffs than any other NFL play, according to data compiled by the league.
The following rules will be in place for the 2018 season and will be reevaluated at the end of the year when a new batch of injury data comes out:
- no more running starts for the kicking team
- eight return team players must line up within 15 yards of the ball (called the “setup zone”)
- no blocking inside the “setup zone” until the ball touches the ground or is caught
- two-man wedge blocks are no longer allowed
- kickoff team must have five men on each side of the ball and spread out at specific intervals (to prevent overloads and get free runners downfield)
If any of that sounds confusing, the league put together a graphic explaining everything:
Following today’s vote at the @NFL Spring League Meetings, here’s everything you need to know about the new kickoff rules for the upcoming 2018 season. The rule will be reevaluated next offseason. pic.twitter.com/YubLyMBR4g
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) May 22, 2018
Another chance to move into first place in the National League East, another failed opportunity.
The Braves, actually just Ozzie Albies, took care of the Phillies 3-1 in the second game of their three game series. Albies hit a solo home run in the third inning before scoring the remaining two runs for Atlanta.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, the Phillies couldn’t get anything going again against Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander won his fifth game of the season and fourth against the Phils. In this performance, he struck out five while allowing four hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. Cesar Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 26 games thanks to an RBI single that brought home Maikel Franco.
Odubel Herrera also extended his “games he’s made it to at least first base no matter what the MLB says” streak to 48 games.
Jake Arrieta takes the mound in the rubber match tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Elsewhere, the Phillies have their new left-handed batting practice pitcher. It’s a former minor leaguer from Cherry Hill.
Jorge Alfaro isn’t that good in the batters box. But who cares? He’s got a cannon of an arm.
While you read all that, make sure you listen to the latest edition of Crossed Up.