An Early Football Prediction

The Cowboys will go 0-4 in the preseason.

It will be announced, short before the 1st regular game, that Dak Prescott is going to be out for the entire season.

Andy Dalton will get injured during the first scrimmage of the season opener, will miss the entire season, and will be replaced by Cooper Rush.

People in Dallas will still say that this is the year the Cowboys are going to win another Super Bowl.

Thank You, Tom Brady!

Normally, I don’t gamble.  I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I think it leads to compulsive behavior.  I think anyone who says that they have a fool proof system is full of shit.  Making risky bets is a good way to lose not everyone you love but your life as well.  Gambling on a regular basis is not something that I endorse in any way.

However, I did make an exception when it came to the Super Bowl last night and now, thanks to Tom Brady, I’ve got some extra cash!  I’m not going to say how much because the internet is an evil place.  To make clear, I’m not going to be able to retire based on my Super Bowl winnings but, at the same time, it’s still enough that I feel like I owe Tom Brady and all of the Buccaneers a huge debt of gratitude.

(Gratitude, yes.  Money, no.)

It was a total of three bets, all of which paid off.  Two of the bets were on the Buccaneers while the third one was on the total amount of points that would be score during the game.  I bet that under 47.5 points would be scored.  As you can imagine, I spent the entire final 4 minutes of the game dreading the prospect of either a surprise touchdown or even a series of field goals.

Thank you, Tom Brady!  Usually, I would never gamble but Brady is just too much of a sure thing.  Once he retires, I’ll probably never place another bet.

Brady vs. Mahomes

It’s amazing to me how many people are not happy about the Tom Brady returning to the Super Bowl.  People are complaining that the refs never call penalties on Brady’s teams, that Brady is never held responsible for his actions (like deflategate), and that they’re just tired of Tom Brady in general.

To my ears, it all sounds like jealousy.  Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback playing the game right now.  He’s probably the greatest quarterback of all time.  He’s 43 years old and he’s still playing the game better than people who are 20 years younger.  Tom Brady’s the best and the best should play in the Super Bowl.

In fact, if there’s any young quarterback who seems like he could be Tom Brady’s equal, it’s Patrick Mahomes.  The main reason why I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl is because I can’t wait to see these two guys go up against each other.  Brady is the best quarterback of his generation.  Mahomes is the best of the next.  For once, the Super Bowl is going to be about the best vs the best.

Personally, I think the Buccaneers are going to win but the Chiefs aren’t going to make it easy for them.  I’m going to predict the Bucs by a touchdown.

Say Goodbye To The Redskins

The word has come down that the Washington Redskins will be changing their name.  Since I’ve always been a Ravens fan, I don’t really care one way or the other.

The rumor is that the former Redskins were planning on announcing today that their new name would either be the Warriors or the Red Tails but those plans fell apart when it was discovered that both of those names are already copyrighted.

I don’t care much for either name.  Warriors is too generic.  While I understand why some are in favor of Red Tails, it’ll lead to everyone calling the team “the Tails” and does anyone really want that?

My personal choice would be the Washington Swamp Things.

That may just be me, though.

Lockdown Journal: 4-9-20

The latest news out of the UK is that Boris Johnson is out of the ICU and that he’s recovering.  That’s good news, regardless of whether you voted Tory or Labour in the last general election.

Here in the States, there was briefly a flurry of excitement when it was reported that Colin Kaepernick, who has been a free agent since 2017, had been signed by the New York Jets.  It turned out that the story was based on a tweet that was put out by a parody twitter account.  What was interesting was witnessing the number of media figures — the same people who were told we should listen to in times of crisis — who fell for the tweet.  Those of us who have never particularly cared about whether or not Kaepernick was signed to an NFL team have often wondered who Kaepernick’s fans actually were.  Now, we have our answer.  They’re people who work for the cable news channels.

Myself, I never really cared whether or not Colin Kaepernick wanted to take a knee during the national anthem.  It was his right, as an American, to kneel.  At the same time, I also think the NFL had the right not to sign him.  Many people seemed to feel that an NFL team should have been forced to sign him but, even if that was constitutional, it just would have meant Kaepernick would have been spent the past three seasons sitting on the bench instead of appearing in Nike commercials.

Today has been a good day.  It’s been as close to a normal day as anyone could hope for during a pandemic lock-down.  Everything that has happened has really given me a new appreciation for normal days.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Last night, I watched Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.

The case of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots tight end who was accused of murdering multiple people when he was off the field and ultimately convicted of one murder, has always interested me.  If you believe what prosecutors charged (and, after watching the documentary, I do), Hernandez went from signing a 40 million dollar contract with the Patriots to killing people for the slightest of reasons.

After Hernandez committed suicide in 2017, his brain was examined and it was said that he was suffering from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which could have been a factor in his lack of self-control.  I was always skeptical of the argument that Hernandez’s crimes could be explained away by CTE.  I don’t doubt that Hernandez had it but I’ve always understood that CTE usually didn’t start to really effect people until they were middle-aged.  Hernandez was only 22 when he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd.  To me, especially after watching the documentary, it’s more probable that Hernandez was just a sociopathic punk who was desperate to prove his manhood.  In his mind, that meant going after anyone who had gotten under his skin or who he viewed as being a threat.  In the documentary, one of Odin Lloyd’s friends says that Aaron Hernandez was trying to be a gangster and I think that’s right.  The documentary also revealed that Hernandez was gay and deeply closeted and suggests that his own self-hatred was one of the main causes of Hernandez’s emotional instability.

The documentary features the audio of several phone calls between the jailed Hernandez and his mother and girlfriend.  What really got to me was how content Hernandez often sounded in those recordings.  It was as if being in prison and only having to deal with a small cell provided him with the structure that he had never had before.

The film reveals that Hernandez was not a smart criminal.  He murdered Lloyd just a few miles away from his house and he left behind hundreds of clues that revealed he was the murderer.  If Hernandez had been a smarter criminal, would be still be playing in the NFL today?  Would he be making millions off of endorsements and looking forward to a future as an ESPN commentator?  I doubt it.  Aaron Hernandez was so self-destructive that his downfall was going to come one way or the other.

Another good thing about the documentary is that it spent almost as much time exploring Odin Lloyd’s life as it did Aaron Hernandez’s.  With all the publicity surrounding Hernandez’s trial, it was often overlooked that Odin Lloyd left behind friends and family and loves ones.  Everyone in the documentary describes Odin Lloyd as being a good person and it’s obvious that, when interviewed, all of them were still feeling the pain of losing him.  The documentary remembers that this story is about more than just Aaron Hernandez’s fall from grace.  It’s also about the tragedy of Odin Lloyd’s death.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez is currently streaming on Netflix.



A New Day With A Double Endorsement

Last week was a busy one and I feel like I missed a lot.  When last I checked in with the news, Cory Booker was suspending his campaign and Elizabeth Warren was refusing to shake Bernie Sanders’s hand at the end of the Democratic debate.  That seems like a month ago.

Today, on the other hand, feels like an entirely new news cycle.  The 49ers and the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl and The New York Times turned their presidential endorsement process into a reality show.  Last night, people stayed up late to discover that the New York Times can’t even do an endorsement right.  That they endorsed Elizabeth Warren is not a surprise as Warren has always been the media’s favorite Democrat.  That they also endorsed Amy Klobuchar is a head scratcher.  I get the feeling that they secretly know Warren’s campaign is doomed so they tossed in a second endorsement to cover their bases.  Since Tulsi Gabbard is hated by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party and all of the other major candidates are white males, tossing a second endorsement to Amy Klobuchar was a safe way to be woke without tossing all in behind a campaign that is obviously self-destructing.

I think the real winner of the New York Times endorsement show was probably Donald Trump because the whole affair just made the NYT look like the collection of out of touch elitists that the majority of MAGA people already assume that it is.  (The New York Times seems to suffer any time that it tries to turn its top people into TV stars.)  As for the Democrats, the big winner was probably Michael Bloomberg because he wisely refused to degrade himself by begging the Times for their endorsement.  The Times‘s petulant response to Bloomberg’s refusal to kiss their ring probably did more to help Bloomberg than any endorsement ever would.

There’s been a lot of talk about what the media needs to do to regain the credibility that they’ve lost over the past few years.  It’s an important question because, as easy as it is to dismiss the media’s self-regard, they does have a very important role to play in America society.  It’s hard to know what the media has to do to repair the damage that’s been done to its reputation but turning their presidential endorsement process into a reality show was probably not the right direction to go.

Is It Time For Tom Brady To Retire?

Maybe but maybe not.

The man is 42 years old, playing a game that most professional retire from when they’re in their early 30s.

Last night, the Patriots lost their first wildcard game since 2009.  This morning, there’s a lot of talk about how “the dynasty is over.”  That’s the usual response from sports analysts whenever a top tier team has a bad night but it still seems like Brady’s age is finally catching up to him.

There are a lot of rumors that Brady is going to retire or that he’s going to go to the Chargers.  I think that last night’s game actually makes it more likely that Brady’s going to re-sign with the Patriots.  Tom Brady is a born competitor.  That’s one of the reasons why this 6th-round draft pack has become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.  Telling him that he’s too old or that he doesn’t have it anymore is probably going to just make him more determined to prove the doubters wrong.

I’m predicting Brady will be back with the Patriots next season.

Of course, I also predicted that the Patriots would beat the Titans last night.