A few things on my mind this week:
After 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired this week at the age of 24, citing the risks of the game, many in the media used this as an opportunity to laud Borland and use their platform to lecture the public on the dangers of the game. Some tried to tie in other offseason retirements of young players with the dangers of head trauma as well, even though those situations were all different.
I’m not going to debate the dangers of brain injury in football. They exist. Players are aware of the risks. Chris Borland felt the risks outweighed the rewards and made the decision to walk away. It took guts to do that. Anyone can (and should) admire that.
Some in the football media are very aggressive in pointing out the dangers of football, and applauded Borland for his stand on the issue and his integrity for walking away from the game. They’ve made football into a morality play.
For instance, everytime I turn on the WEEI morning show lately, I’m hearing how Kirk Minihane will not allow his son to play football, and I’m hearing the hosts reel off concussion data and make all sorts of connections to head trauma. When I look on Twitter, I see people covering football making sweeping statements about the dangers of the game.
My question is, if these media people feel so strongly about the dangers and morality of the game and risks to brain health, do any of them consider quitting their jobs covering the game? They’re not in any physical danger, obviously, but if they really are concerned and disgusted by the dangers of the game, can’t they take a stand, too?
Or do they value the “prestige” that comes with covering the NFL more than their integrity on the matter?
You should read former Patriot Matt Chatham’s take on this issue: Borland’s Retirement Brings Out Worst in NFL Media
I’ll give the Globe this, they’ve done a good job of bringing in writers on the Celtics beat as of late. I thought Baxter Holmes was excellent in the short time he was here, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Adam Himmelsbach thus far.
The Celtics are fun. They’re not a true contender in any sense of the word – I don’t quite get the point of the segments out there asking “If Celtics make playoffs, are they one and done?” Now they’re supposed to beat a top seed? Of course they probably lose in the first round. If they even get there. Baby steps.
I’ve never been a proponent of tanking, my feeling is that any playoff experience, even a playoff race that falls short is good experience for young players. This summer should see a bigger influx of talent onto the roster than we’ve seen in some time, and the future is looking up for this team.
Should the Patriots even bother to take the field this fall? Based on what I hear on sports radio, probably not. Apparently the AFC East has morphed into the 1980’s NFL East overnight and the Patriots have no cornerbacks after cheaping out on Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.
I’ll admit, the outraged guy on Twitter who asked Tom E Curran if the recent recall of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was the reason why Bob Kraft wouldn’t pony up a couple million dollars more for Revis made me laugh a bit. As did they guy who said “What do you mean, wrong Kraft?” when Curran corrected the first guy.
What is amusing is that the people leading the charge in wailing over Revis and Browner, are the ones who early last season were first saying that Revis had lost a step, and then were saying that he wasn’t giving full effort on all plays. These same people complained all season long about the penalties that Browner was flagged for. Eventually he’s going to cost them a game, caller!
With Revis apparently headed back to the Jets all along, the Patriots knew that they would not be able to get another cornerback of Revis’ man-to-man coverage ability. Thus they would probably be playing more zone defense, which made Browner’s price tag way too high for someone who would then be more of a situational guy. If Revis was still here, Browner probably would be too.
It’s always fun to hear the screaming pulling-out-their-hair types in March. There’s a long time to go before they actually start playing games.