Posts tagged nfl

Sirius-XM Merger Finally Approved

The FCC finally approved the merger of the only two satellite radio services in the country.  It is kind of funny that it has taken this long, but we are starting to see the future for this new company.  The funny thing is that I am betting it will only have to do with satellites in the very very short term.

The reason?  This product.

This, looks like an ordinary wireless router, but it isn’t. This is a mobile wifi router from a company called WAAV. It has been announced already that mobile wifi technology will be available in some of next year’s Chrysler cars. This device grabs the mobile data signals from cellular carriers like AT&T or Sprint and broadcasts it inside your car (and about a 50-100 foot radius outside your car) so you can access the internet on the go. This means laptops, video games, and soon enough wifi radios.

This is an important point because if the internet starts being an accessible network on the road in every car, it will certainly marginalize the need for a lot of satellite technology. All that money that Sirius and XM have spent over the years will seem completely wasted as more and more people stop bothering with satellite antennae.

Then, the new merged Sirius/XM company is no longer anything more than a content company. Instead of selling a technology, they are just selling Oprah, Martha Stewart, Opie and Anthony, Howard Stern, NFL Football and Major League Baseball.

Except those last two will probably stop renewing their contracts with Sirius/XM because they won’t need a middleman to broadcast the radio descriptions of their games straight to consumers. So there is one lost selling point for Sirius/XM.

Also, the Sirius/XM music channels will have stiff competition from Slacker and Pandora that use user data to customize radio stations just for you, not to mention iPods which will easily be connected in any car on the road in the next couple of years. As it stands now, I would guess that at least 50% of cars being produced today have MP3 player functionality, at least by way of headphone jack.

It is through this filter that I find all the debate over Sirius/XM so hilarious. These two companies have done an amazing job developing a technology that will be completely unnecessary in a matter of years. As that happens, the content producers will be able to go directly to the consumers more and more, thus marginalizing the need for a company to consolidate talent into a service platform once and for all.

Does this sound like a monopoly to you? It doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me either.

Hat tip to MisterCrunchy, who actually commented on this site well over a year ago that satellite technology was going to be marginalized and obsolete.

LZ Granderson Uses Brady Quinn Unfairly for Gay Agenda

LZ Granderson is a sports writer for ESPN’s Page 2. He wrote a long article filled with misdirection, emotional manipulation and speculation about Brady Quinn and how he wants a longer investigation into an alleged incident involving the word “faggot” outside of a bar in Columbus on New Year’s eve.

To start the article, Granderson talks about a scary situation from the NBA’s All-Star weekend where he was gay bashed and physically assaulted.

As I walked by the group of men — on my way to the Playboy party, no less — one of them called me a faggot. Then another joined in. They followed me for a while, continuing to hurl names at me. I tried to ignore it but eventually the “Detroit” came out of me and I turned around and said some things I probably shouldn’t have. Next thing I know I’m surrounded and wondering if I’m going to see the dawn and if not for a pair of New Orleans policemen who saw trouble brewing and yelled at the group to break it up, I might not have.

Now, I know that situation sounds scary. I would be terrified in that situation too. There is no reason why anyone should have to put up with the kind of bigotry described in that paragraph. But look at how it reads. Granderson blatantly calls out the word he was called and yet refers to the things he said as “things I probably shouldn’t have.” Now, I have no reason not to believe Granderson’s story, but the fact is that it is a one-sided account which leaves out any details of the things that might have been hateful that spewed out of Granderson’s mouth. What were those “things” he probably shouldn’t have said?

Now, I wouldn’t have a problem with this story normally because columnists write their one-sided opinions all the time. It is their job as a columnist to do so. They are looking to make you think about the stuff that they are saying and usually they want you to agree with them. The problem I have is that Granderson goes on to use this story to talk about why he thinks the Brady Quinn situation should be investigated further.

I will remind you that the Brady Quinn situation involved some people in a shared parking lot between a restaurant and a gay bar. According to the reports from that, a man called 9-1-1 saying that Brady Quinn was part of a group that was yelling gay slurs at him and other people.

The story of Quinn and his alleged night of gay bashing is filled with sketchy details at best.

  • The incident happened on New Years and the story didn’t come out until February 13th.
  • Some guy named Harris calls 9-1-1 to report the incident, but Quinn was fighting with a dude named Thompson.
  • When the cops showed Quinn was cooperative.
  • Thompson was arrested for refusing police orders.
  • Harris was contacted later and said that Quinn “wasn’t as involved as” others.
  • Harris also told the press later of Quinn, “He was standing back and letting his friends do most of it.”

And those are all the details on the case. That is what was uncovered by the press, and the police. Don’t you think if there was something more substantial there that it might have come out?

But apparently this amount of information isn’t good enough for LZ Granderson on ESPN’s Page 2. He goes on to talk about Brady Quinn and Mathew Shepard in the same paragraph. Let’s take this down a notch, please. We have a guy who might or might not have said anything at all in a verbal altercation (Quinn) in a parking lot and that is being contrasted with the most brutal hate-fueled gay bashing murder in the history of the United States. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think that is a tad bit unfair.

And don’t think for a second that I am some knuckle-dragging, anti-gay, blogger with the opposite agenda of Granderson. I do support gay rights and think that bigotry should be handled appropriately. Speaking of which, Granderson also talks about Tim Hardaway’s incident from last year where Hardaway ranted about not liking gay people on the radio. Does Granderson forget that Tim Hardaway was excused from all NBA activities that he had been invited to take part in? Does Granderson forget that Tim Hardaway was also fired from his job with the CBA’s Indiana Alley Cats.

This isn’t to say that this nation is where it needs to be in terms of acceptance of gay people, but I think Tim Hardaway is a good example of the kinds of reactions that we should expect to see when someone proves themselves to be a bigot.

And maybe Brady Quinn has a problem with bigotry too. I don’t know. I wasn’t at the scene of this alleged incident. I can’t see inside Brady Quinn’s heart to know how he feels. What I do know is that he issued a flat denial of the incident. I know that there is a sketchy account on 9-1-1. I know that the other party involved in the alleged fight was the one who got arrested. I know that Quinn cooperated and was not arrested. I know that it took a long time for this article to come out, which usually means someone was digging for something bigger and didn’t find anything.

What we are left with is a legitimate agenda being pushed forward in a dishonest manner at the expense of an athlete with no prior record of wrong-doing. That seems almost as unfair as being attacked in the street for no apparent reason. I don’t even have a problem with Granderson wanting further investigation into Quinn’s activities, but does he have to use evidence like the attack he received over the weekend and Mathew Shepard as evidence to do it? It seems highly overstated to me when we are talking about a he-said he-said incident on one of the drunkest nights of the year and little, to no substantial evidence to prove one way or another what happened that night.

Greg Aiello Wins the “Shut Up” Award

Apparently Hank Steinbrenner thinks baseball is being singled out and he doesn’t like it. As a result he had this to say.

“Everybody that knows sports knows football is tailor-made for performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t know how they managed to skate by. It irritates me. Don’t tell me it’s not more prevalent. The number in football is at least twice as many. Look at the speed and size of those players.”

BAM! That is a serious jab at the NFL. I wonder how they will respond. Will they be ok? How could they possibly answer these allegations? Greg Aiello has the answer. A calm, collected, well-reasoned bitch slap to the face with facts.

Answered NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: “We’ve had year-round random testing with immediate suspensions since 1990 and we conduct approximately 12,000 steroids tests a year.”

How perfect is that? Don’t claim to be perfect. Don’t claim to be superior. Just lay out some facts that make the other party look absolutely silly. Greg Aiello deserves a raise.

Brady Quinn Part of Rowdy Group Insulting Gays?

According to an article on Cleveland.com, Brady Quinn was a part of a crowd outside of a bar in Columbus during New Years festivities.

On the 9-1-1 call, Harris said that “Brady Quinn from the Browns” was “trying to cause a fight.” Harris told the operator, “I just walked outside and he exchanged many profanities with me and called me a faggot, of course.”

Anyway, so what is the deal with this whole thing? The answer is that nobody except those who were there on the night that it happened have any idea.

The bottom line is this. Brady Quinn used good judgment in stopping any kind of fight when the cops got there. No matter what he did wrong prior to that point will probably never ever be an issue because he was smart enough to not get arrested. Or, maybe he was just famous enough to not get arrested. Either way, this was a potentially ugly situation and since it is mid-February and we are just hearing about it now, means that it probably isn’t that big of a story.

Also, when it comes to slurs, I will say this. You shouldn’t use them as we all know. Still, when you get into a fight that is escalating and you are looking to throw a punch at someone, most situations I have ever seen have had slurs thrown around. Drunk guys who want to fight each other will always say offensive things about each other. These two guys want to bash each other’s brains out, so why wouldn’t they want to go and insult the very foundations of the people they are?

And I won’t get into it in depth here, but isn’t this why the “hate crime” laws are a bit scary? When I think of a hate crime, I think of a lynching or something pre-meditated where there is a 3 on 1 ratio of attackers to victims with clear racial implications. A bunch of drunk people in the parking lot of a couple of bars and restaurants resulting in a one-on-one fight, even with a slur thrown out of some sort, doesn’t sound like a hate crime to me.

Anyway, I don’t have to worry about it because I have talked my way out of every fight I ever could have potentially been in.

When someone says, “Yo, I will kick your ass.” I usually say, “OK. So what? You probably would.”

So, the bottom line is this. We don’t know what Brady Quinn said, any more than we know what this dude who called 9-1-1 actually said. It is hearsay at best. Quinn and his boys didn’t get arrested. That is the end of it and Quinn should probably do his best to avoid situations like this one ever again.

The real surprising quote from the article is this.

La Fogata Grill owner Jeff Rinehart said Quinn’s group, which he said included about a dozen people — half men, half women — did not cause any problems while drinking inside his restaurant on New Year’s Eve.

“The only issue was trying to get everyone’s checks figured out,” he said.

Quinn has NFL money and he isn’t picking up the tab? What could it have possibly been? $500? $1000? $5000?

Even at $5000 I would expect mister first round draft pick to pick up that tab. Dude has NFL money! Come on Brady. Use better judgement and treat your peeps to some drinks.

Emmitt Smith Says ‘Debacled’

Last night in “analysizing” the Superbowl that had just taken place Emmitt Smith decided that it would be a good idea to say that the Patriots strengths had been “Debacled.”

Finished laughing?  I’ll wait.

Done? I’ll wait.

How about now?  I’ll wait a bit longer.

Whew.  That was serious.  Anyway, here’s hoping that the Emmitt Smith experiment is over.  Emmitt Smith might have compiled some of the most impressive running stats in the history of the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he should get to talk into a microphone weekly.  Does anyone remember Eric Dickerson as a sideline reporter?  Emmitt is worse.  That is saying a lot.

NFL Playoff Notes

Just a couple notes from the football I watched this weekend.

  • There is going to be criticism for Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway after the seemingly dismal performance they put together against the Giants yesterday, but Garcia and Galloway weren’t the problem.  They were just the problem indicator. The real problem was the line of scrimmage, where the Giants only had to rush their four d-linemen for most of the game.  When they don’t have to use extra personnel to blitz and they are still rushing the QB, the QB and his receivers will have bad games.
  • Eli Manning will still never be his brother.  He did a nice job of managing the game and not making mistakes, but that means he is just like every other QB in the NFL.  He won’t win you a game except by not losing it for you.
  • The Steelers are not a good team offensively without Willie Parker.  Davenport is an effective runner and the Steelers offensive line is good enough that they can get anyone some yards, but without that speed and elusiveness that Parker brings to the game, the Steelers lose a SERIOUS home run threat.  The Steelers should consider adding some depth, even in the late rounds of the draft, with someone who has similar athletic ability to Willie Parker.
  • The 6 sacks that Pittsburgh gave up are a reflection of Willie Parker’s absence more than Pittsburgh’s offensive line.  The Jags didn’t have to respect the run and they blitzed like crazy.  No offensive line can withstand a blitzing defense that feels it doesn’t have to respect the run.

On to this weekend’s upcoming games

  • San Diego is going to have a tough time against Indy in the dome without Antonio Gates if he can’t play.  The Chargers beat the Colts earlier in the season on a fluke when Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal from not much further than an extra point.
  • If Marvin Harrison can be even remotely effective, the Colts will be tough to stop on offense.  Due to Harrison’s injury, Anthony Gonzalez has gotten a lot of playing time and will prove to be an even better option on offense when he drops to a less talented defender.  Now Peyton Manning’s reads will go from Harrison to Wayne to Clark to Gonzalez / Addai out of the backfield in passing situations.
  • I am not making guarantees, but I can’t think of a situation where I thought two teams had less of a chance than the Giants and the Seahawks.  Anything can happen, but it just feels relatively inevitable that the Cowboys and Packers will play in the NFC Championship.

My worthless prediction right now is a Jags Packers Superbowl.  I honestly think that the Jags can be dangerous against the Pats.  They are a team built for New England because of their strong running attack.  Between MoJo Drew, Fred Taylor and Garrard running the emergency QB draw, I feel like they can actually beat New England.  That isn’t to say that they are a favorite, because they aren’t.

Anyway, I called it the worthless prediction because I have no confidence behind it.

Chudzinski on Ravens’ Radar

Word has it that the Baltimore Ravens are going to interview breakout offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for their recently vacated head coaching position.  Let me get this straight.  The Browns might have to pay the price of success in having a coordinator poached, while technically as an outsider looking in with a 10-6 record they didn’t get to feel any of that supposed success?  Sounds like just another day in the life of Cleveland Browns fans.

While everyone else has been crowning Romeo Crennel for his newfound genius in coaching, there are a lot of us who see that the only real differences between this season and last are the offensive linemen and new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.  One of Romeo’s biggest mistakes as a head coach was sticking by the woeful Maurice Carthon who reportedly had his offensive line schemes pass-blocking on EVERY SINGLE DOWN INCLUDING RUNNING PLAYS.  I have beaten all this stuff into the ground before.

The point is that it is my suspicion that Chudzinski had more to do with the Browns much improved record this year than probably anything else that happened in the organization.  This includes any kind of supposed coaching epiphany that Romeo Crennel could have had that took him from being the world’s biggest goat in 2006 to everyone thinking he is the coach of the year the following season.  I think it had to be Chud.  He did a great job of highlighting the talented players on the squad.  Evidence of this can be seen with three players – Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and Jamal Lewis – who all went over 1000 yards in production this season.

To think that the Browns could lose Chud after a single season to a division rival AFTER missing the playoffs by mere inches is disgusting.  At least when the Pats lost their coordinators they had some success in the bank first.  In the Browns’ case, they might lose their new superstar coordinator without even a trip to the playoffs to show for it.

Needless to say, I and many other Browns fans are hoping that Chud comes back to Cleveland for at least one more year.  I would like to see him earn his first head coaching job with a little bit of success in Cleveland first, and I think he is a guy who is capable of helping the Browns be successful.  If he left now, it would be way too soon.

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