The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s ambassador to the world and it is a terrible idea. Every year for the past five seasons the NFL has sent the sorry excuse for a professional team, the Jags to London to spearhead a movement towards a global NFL. Yet, the Jaguars have constantly been near the bottom of the league during this stretch, so are they the right ambassador or the only choice?
The Jaguars will host a game at Wembley stadium for the next three seasons with more possibly on the way. So, why is the NFL sending the Jags, a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, over to London each year to act as tough leagues number one diplomat?
In my experience, a good product will sell itself, so why are we sending the Jags and Bengals to London instead of The Patriots and The Seahawks? The Jags are almost unwatchable half the season and this is who the NFL is using to sell its product…
It’s obvious that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL want to expand outside of the US and London is the first target market. The money is there to be made so you know the NFL will get their greedy hands on it somehow.
The Jaguars have an international owner in Pakistani-American Shahid Khan and he has expressed interest in possibly moving the team permanently to London. Jacksonville is a small market in an area already saturated with NFL teams, so a relocation is likely.
What about the players, who need all the prep and recovery time possible after games? They are the ones who suffer from playing games overseas. A day less of preparation and added travel time only wears on the players mental and physical health.
While players are asking for fewer games and more recovery time, owners and the league want more games and further travel. The sides see the future of the NFL very differently and with a looming strike when the collective bargaining agreement ends in 2019, the fans will end up losing the most.
A strike or lockout is almost guaranteed so prepare for a drawn-out battle as the two sides fight for their rights. It seems like a poor time to try and expand when there is so much internal strife between players, the owners and the league.
Like I said earlier, the NFL is only worried about the bottom line and it’s obvious that player health and quality of product are not their immediate concerns. Until they realize that the product and players should be their number one concern, the NFL will struggle with its own demons.
Expect to see more NFL games overseas, with bottom feeders Jacksonville Jaguars scarfing up all those scraps left over by the original football in London. It will be tough to steal market share form the world’s biggest game by sending over the Jags as your ambassador.
The Hall Of Fame Will Not Individually Honor Terell Owens
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Friday that they will not individually honor Terrell Owens at the enshrinement of the new class set to take place next month.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Friday that they will not individually honor Terrell Owens at the enshrinement of the new class set to take place next month. The announcement was made after Owens announced he will not be there.
Owens has instead chosen to give a speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His speech will take place on August 4th, while the enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for August 2nd. Owens name will still be announced when the whole class is announced, and his picture and videos of his playing days will be included in materials shown throughout the weekend.
The rest of the 2018 class joining Owens in the Hall includes Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, and Brian Urlacher. Certainly a star-studded class. So why did Owens choose to skip the ceremony?
Many believe it was because he was snubbed in the previous two years, the first two he was eligible. He had publicly complained about not being inducted in those two years and felt he was being unfairly treated due to how outspoken he was when he was a player. But make no mistake, he is one of the greatest receivers of all time and definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
“The focus is on the guys who are here,” Joe Horrigan, the executive director of the Hall of Fame said in an interview with the Talk of Fame Sports Network on Thursday. “There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual. He’s not here.” And he’s got a point. Why bring up former teammates and coaches to talk about their memories with Owens if he won’t then be brought up to talk himself? It makes perfect sense, really.
Owens played 15 seasons with the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. When it was all said and done, he had 1,078 receptions (8th all-time) for 15,934 yards (2nd all-time) and 153 touchdowns (3rd all-time). But, as well all remember, he was also famously a problem player. Even getting in intense arguments with coaches and teammates on the sidelines during games.
In a way, I understand the decision by Owens. He gave everything he had to the game, but many people involved with it do not like him. They didn’t like his attitude when he played and they still don’t like it now. So why would he celebrate with them? Can you really blame him for wanting to celebrate his Hall of Fame career with people that love and appreciate him? I know I can’t.
David Tepper Officially Buys The Carolina Panthers
The sale of the Carolina Panthers to billionaire David Tepper for $2.275 billion was made official on Monday.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, we already knew the Carolina Panthers were being sold to hedge fund billionaire David Tepper. But the sale became official on Monday. The price? An NFL record $2.275 billion.
“I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team,” Tepper said in a statement on Monday. “On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank Jerry Richardson for bringing the team to the Carolinas and for entrusting me with its future.”
Tepper bought the Cam Newton-led team from the man that found the franchise, Jerry Richardson. Richardson, as you may know, was recently fined a whopping $2.75 million by the NFL for sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. In fact, Richardson’s announcement that he was selling the team came in December of 2017, just two days after the Panthers announced they were taking over an investigation into Richardson’s workplace misconduct.
No official statement was ever made linking the two bombshells, but it’s safe to assume his decision to sell the team had something to do with the investigation. He issued a statement that said he and his wife “are grateful to the Carolina community for the love and support you have shown your Panthers. Your enthusiasm for football and devotion to the team has been a source of strength for us and for everyone who calls the Carolinas home.”
Tepper was unanimously approved by NFL owners to buy the team back in the Spring. And since then he’s already gone out of his way to meet with Panthers team leaders, veteran players, and even some staff at Bank of America Stadium. But, as part of the sale, Tepper was forced to sell his 5% ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And now it’s Tepper’s turn to see if he can finally take the Panthers to a Super Bowl victory. “Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together. I look forward to being part of the Panthers’ family and to supporting this flourishing region.”
Tepper has already said he has no significant plans on changing the current roster or coaching staff. The Panthers have seen great success under quarterback Cam Newton and head coach Ron Rivera, including making it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2015. But perhaps the more important question is, how much will he try to change the culture within the organization that led to the sexual and racial misconduct allegations that were levied against the Panthers former owner?
Buccaneers’ QB James Winston Officially Suspended For Three Games
It was announced on Thursday that the NFL would be suspending Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the 2018 season.
It was announced on Thursday that the NFL would be suspending Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the 2018 season. The suspension comes after an Uber driver accused Winston of inappropriately touching her during a late night ride in 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The suspension will not be a paid one and Winston has said he will not appeal.
“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize,” Winston said in his official statement. “I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season.
Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to take Winston very seriously at this point. This is far from his first bout of off-the-field misconduct, and far from the first accusation by a woman. Let’s take a quick look back at all the of the trouble Winston has found himself in over his short career.
December 2013: Winston was investigated as part of a sexual assault case at FSU (his alma mater) but was never charged.
May 2014: Winston was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket.
September 2014: Winston stood up on a table in a crowded campus cafeteria and yelled obscene phrases.
March 2016: Winston inappropriately touched a female Uber driver and was suspended three games by the NFL at the start of the 2018 season.
This is very disconcerting for the NFL and for the Buccaneer organization and their fans. Winston was already considered a risk before the draft due to all his problems at Florida State. But, for these first three seasons, it seemed like he had grown up and changed his behavior. Now that doesn’t seem to be the case. And I’m sure everyone in the organization is nervous this won’t be the last time Winston’s in the news for his actions unrelated to football.
Winston is required to take a clinical evaluation and he will also have to abide by any therapeutic recommendations made by the NFL. If Winston refuses or ignores any of the recommended treatment, the NFL could suspend or discipline him further. In a statement by the team, they said they are “disappointed that James put himself in a position that has been found to violate the policy.”
In the meantime, the Buccaneers will rely on NFL journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. Their first three games are against the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and Pittsburgh Steelers. All three very good teams with great quarterbacks. So they will likely need to score a lot of points to have a chance at winning any of them. Thankfully, the games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are at home.
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