Tuesday, May 27, 2014

News and views

News: Mike Holmgren thinks the Washington Redskins should change their nickname. “Absolutely because of what it signifies and what it means to so many people,” he told radio station KJR in Seattle recently.

“I’m not talking football fans. I’m talking about Native Americans and all that. Yeah. Just change the name. Big deal. Change the name.”

Views: I’m tempted to say who cares because, really, who cares what Holmgren says these days? But I can’t resist.

That sounds like the ramblings of a man not in full control of all his faculties. Not once in his 17 years head coach in Green Bay and Seattle did Holmgren suggest what he’s now suggesting. Where was he then?

He was responding to a question regarding a letter 50 United States senators sent to Redskins owner Dan Snyder recently, asking him to strongly consider changing the team’s nickname.

“You know, I’m an old history teacher,” the ex-Browns president said. “And I think if you read enough of that stuff and you see how people were treated, I think it’s the right thing to do. Now apparently 50 senators also agree with me.” Big of him to look at it that way.

Considering all the senators are members of the Democratic party – and three Democrats did not sign the letter – that says the other half of the Senate, at least theoretically, chooses to disagree. Does that make them wrong? Not necessarily.

I’m not taking sides here, although I do have an opinion. And unlike Holmgren, I choose to keep it to myself because I pontificate on football and some Cleveland sports-related topics, not politics. And this Redskins kerfuffle definitely falls under that category.

Holmgren now sounds like a man who hasn’t met a question he doesn’t like. Being out of the limelight since getting the boot in Cleveland seems to have sharpened his urge to answer any and all questions, no matter the topic.

Sure, he’s entitled to his opinion and should be taken seriously, but only when it comes to matters related to football. The man knows football, although he has stumbled in that area when not on the sidelines coaching.

When it comes to anything else outside that arena, however, his opinion should be not be taken seriously at best and ignored at worst.

News: Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel does Las Vegas over the Memorial Day weekend.

Views: So what is the problem? He’s 21, the legal drinking age last time I checked, is on the verge of making some good money, likes to have a good time and has the means to do so. So what is the problem?

There are those who say he should be elbow deep trying to learn the Browns’ playbook. He should be nowhere near Vegas. He should get his priorities straight.

This is still May. Manziel is about three weeks into his professional football career. He’ll have plenty of time to get serious about the next step in that career. What’s wrong with blowing off a little steam now?

When minicamp starts next week, his head will be where it’s supposed to be – buried in the playbook, which, by the way, he brought along with him to Vegas. It wasn’t as though it was non-stop fun in a city where there is no clock.

Right now, the kid probably doesn’t know why some fans are upset with his fun-loving sojourn. But he is smart enough to realize all the off-field nonsense stops now. There is no question he’ll have offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s undivided attention. 

He knows he wears a bull’s-eye on his back. He has worn one since winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M. He is used to it by now. There are those who believe he thrives because of it.

So unless Manziel chooses to visit Las Vegas after the season begins for real with training camp in late July, I have no problem with his wanderlust ways. 

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