Thursday, September 16, 2010

Polamalu’s Hair: Week Two Notes

Bad Behavior

If they’re not talking themselves up or stumbling out of the gate, the NY Jets apparently enjoy harassing female reporters…

The stars of “Hard Knocks” got into a bit of trouble this week for their treatment of a Mexican reporter, who was at practice to interview Mark Sanchez for TV Azteca.

Ines Sainz had balls thrown near her on purpose and had to put up with even more garbage in the locker room afterwards – and it wasn’t just the players getting involved. Reports say that even head coach Rex Ryan played a part in all of this.

Since then, the owner of the team has called Sainz to apologize and the NFL has looked into the matter – sending out a league-wide memo to remind teams that women must be granted the same rights to perform their jobs as men and should be treated like professionals.

Certain players, like Washington’s Clinton Portis, made themselves look bad this week with their comments on the matter – but he has since issued an apology through his team.

What do I think about this? I’ll agree that it may be a bit awkward to have female reporters in the men’s dressing room (as I doubt the reverse would be allowed/tolerated anywhere), but at the end of the day these guys have to be able to keep it to themselves.

As for the on-field stuff, in which the coaches were apparently involved, I think maybe a few fines would help remind guys like Rex Ryan that he’s not playing a game of pick-up behind his frat house.

If you think the Jets acted like a bunch of jackasses, you’ll be interested to hear that the team was almost called the “Borros,” a pun on the term boroughs…however, they worried it was too close to the Spanish word for donkey!

On that note CNN has a great piece on the origin of team names around the NFL, which you can read by clicking here.

Kolb or Vick?

There could be some tough choices ahead for Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid – though it looks like he may get a pass for this coming weekend.

Kevin Kolb started last Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but the Eagles didn’t really look that good until he left the game with a concussion. That’s when Michael Vick took over, and took over the game.

Vick led all players in rushing yards with 103, which included some plays that had people talking about his pre-jail days, and he completed 16-of-24 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. In short – he looked like a guy that should be playing every week, not coming in for short yardage plays and the like.

In one half, he almost equaled the passing stats of Aaron Rodgers and out-rushed everyone. That’s pretty impressive!

That said, Andy Reid has dubbed Kolb the starter and vowed to go back to him when he’s healthy. Thanks to a wallop from Green Bay’s Clay Matthews on Sunday, Kolb probably won’t be healthy by this weekend though, which means Vick may get another shot.

The NFL is now quite serious about concussions, so players have to pass tests before they’re allowed back, which includes tests from an independent physician. As of Wednesday, neither Kolb nor linebacker Stewart Bradley had gotten a pass and Reid say the players won’t be practicing until at least Friday. Knowing that, you’d have to think Vick is probably starting.

So here’s the question: If Vick comes out and destroys the Detroit Lions on Sunday, does he earn another start?

I realize that, as a coach, you want to show loyalty to a guy that you gave the starting job to, but maybe in this case you wait until Vick has a bad game before you make the switch. What if Vick plays well again, but Reid starts Kolb the following week and he stinks? I guess that’s the risk you take, but personally I am hoping for a Vick revival in Philly!

Labor Peace?

While talk of a lockout looms over the league this season, at least one player doesn’t think it’ll happen.

Ricky Williams, the player rep for the Miami Dolphins, says he expects the 2011/12 season will go as planned, despite the tough talk from both the league and the players union over the last several months.

In a nutshell, the owners say they’re losing money and the players say they won’t take any pay cuts.

There was a bit of controversy stirred up at the start of the opening game of the season when the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints players all raised their index fingers to show union solidarity – and that was repeated at a bunch of other season openers last weekend. Some people didn’t like it, others loved to see players coming together like that, if only for a brief moment, before knocking each other all over the field.

Williams told ESPN he thought it was a great gesture:

"It's a wonderful thing. It's not only the players. Ideally we'd have people in the stands doing it, people that work in the stadium. Because if there's a lockout initiated by the owners, it's not only going to be us that suffer, it's going to be the people that work for the stadium, it's going to be the fans, it's going to be the hotels, it's going to be the economies of these cities. So it's not just about us. It's about pushing to have some kind of an agreement reached."

I never thought of it like that, but it’s true – a pro sports lockout affects more than just the millionaires that play the game or the even richer guys who pay those millionaires.

I’ve been saying for a while now though, there’s a chance that a bunch of North America’s major pro sports leagues could be facing this same problem at around the same time. I hope they all get it sorted out though, because it could make for a very boring and depressing 2012!

Other Stuff…

With all of the JaMarcus Russell stuff earlier this summer, you probably heard the phrase “the biggest draft bust since Ryan Leaf” a few times. Well, here’s a pretty interesting read out of Seattle on what Leaf is up to these days.

Last week we talked about Randy Moss feeling unwanted in New England – and after Sunday’s win over the Bengals, he took to the podium for the first time to address the media en masse.

Don’t get me wrong though – Moss is no slouch, regardless of what Darrelle Revis might think!

Game to watch: Given the mild trash talk ahead of this one, I think Sunday’s tilt between the Patriots and the NY Jets will be a heck of a game. The best possible outcome would be a Pats thrashing of NY, so that everyone stops talking about how amazing the Jets are. If you’re not into that, the Manning brothers play each other later that night!

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