Friday, May 25, 2018

News and views

News: National Football League owners unanimously approve a new national anthem policy that gives players the option to remain in the locker room, but requires them to stand if they choose to go onto the field. If players who come out choose to take a knee, they and/or their teams will be fined.

Views: For gentlemen – and I used the term loosely – who are successful and presumably smart enough in life to be in a position to own an NFL team, the gang of 32 who comprise that fraternity is awfully dimwitted.

They had a terrific chance to once and for all get it right when it came to solving the annoyance of not standing for the anthem by adopting the only policy that would end the mini crisis.

They came close with what they believe is the best solution, but fell well short and have drawn widespread and well-deserved criticism for their latest action.

I’m old enough to remember when the national anthem was played at NFL games before the players came onto the field, before the starting lineups were announced. And then the league screwed it up.

I don’t remember when the current order was instituted, but it seemed to be OK until Colin Kaepernick a couple of seasons ago decided to kneel to protest police brutality across the nation.

Now I’m not going to venture into the political morass that seems to be strangling this country, but the poor NFL owners, who never figured this would be something they would have to deal with, seem to be stuck in the mud with regard to the solution.

There surely have to be some current owners who have been around long enough to remember the days when the anthem was played when the players were still in the locker room.

Why not return to it? I’m not certain the players would object. Maybe it’s because I can’t think of a good reason why they would.

And while we’re at it, why not revive the tradition of holding the opening coin toss before the teams head to their respective locker rooms after warming up. Eliminate the necessary worthless and time-consuming toss (for television cameras) after the anthem and starter introductions.

That way, coaches know well ahead of time who kicks off and who receives so they can strategize before heading back out onto the field.

It’s so simple, so easy and makes so much sense. Maybe way too much sense. In other words, these so-called smart men have outsmarted themselves and complicated the situation.

They should seriously think about reviving the old method. Sort of what’s old is new again. That way, they could get rid of this nagging headache and move on with making their billions.

News: Mike Silver of the NFL network reported the other day that the Browns tried to trade the second of their three second-round picks (No. 35 overall) in last month’s college draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for backup quarterback Nick Foles and were rebuffed.

Views: Browns General Manager John Dorsey was asked if this was true. Here was his answer.

“We are very excited to have Tyrod Taylor as our starting quarterback. He’s our starting quarterback. I’m not going to talk about another team’s player. You know my policy on that. He’s with the Philadelphia Eagles and I don’t talk about him.”

In other words, yes.

Dorsey obviously believed talking about Foles at this time would be considered tampering, but it wouldn’t be because he was talking about a situation that reportedly took place almost a month ago and was well within the rules of what is considered tampering.

In order to answer the question directly, the GM did so in a manner that actually had nothing to do with the original question. Almost like a skilled politician.

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