Sports Medley 26 Dec
by Tony Medley
Kudos to the Rams’
new coach, Sean McVay:
While Vince Lombardi took over a decrepit Green Bay Packers team in 1959
that had gone 1-10-1 in 1958 and built them into the powerhouse team of
the ‘60s, his first year’s record was only 7-5, although the next year
they did make it to the NFL Championship game with an 8-4 record, losing
to Norm van Brocklin’s Philadelphia Eagles, 17-13.
That can’t begin to
compare with what McVay has done. Last year the Rams were woeful, only
winning 4 of 16 games. McVay has turned them around faster than any
coach in history, beefing up the offensive line immeasurably to allow
quarterback Jerod Goff the time he needs and to open holes for running
back Todd Gurley, and hiring defensive genius Wade Phillips to beef up a
pretty good defense to one of the best.
As of this writing
they are 11-4 and it is not hyperbole to think that they can compete
with anyone as the best team in the NFL. My thinking is that McVay will
make the Rams the next dominant team, joining Green Bay of the ‘60s, the
Steelers of the ‘70s, the 49ers of the ‘80s, and New England of the 21st
How Important is a
One need only look at the San Francisco 49ers to answer this question. A
team with one of the worst records in the NFL for the past few years,
made one trade, to obtain quarterback Jimmy Garopollo. The 49ers
immediately won 4 games in a row.
In the early 2000s,
New York Giant coach Tom Coughlin benched Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt
Warner so he could play his budding superstar rookie Eli Manning. Warner
went to Phoenix and led them to the Super Bowl and eventualy admission
into the HOF. But Manning won two Super Bowls for Coughlin, so his tough
decision turned out right.
New England coach
Bill Belichick had a startlingly similar decision: stick with
40-year-old Tom Brady, who is still probably the best quarterback in
football, or keep 26 year old Garapollo who could be Brady’s equal for
the next 10-15 years? Belichick punted and dumped the kid to keep the
old man. He, and New England fans, might rue the day.
Maybe there has been an NFL game between two relatively competent teams
with worse quarterback play than Monday’s game between Oakland and
Philadelphia, but I can’t remember it. It’s hard to believe that people
thought that Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was a budding star off of
this miserable performance, which explains why the Raiders have had such
a dismal season.
But it wasn’t much
different on the other side. Nick Foles, who has played for innumerable
teams recently was just as bad. In fact, the quarterbacks together
completed only half their passes and many of those were short screens
and swing passes that even I could complete.
The result was one of
the worst games of the year, not a shining example for the NFL’s two
games on Christmas, considering that the other was a blowout by
Pittsburgh over an inept Houston team.
The Cincinnati Bengals are struggling through their worst season in
recent memory. Even though they beat Detroit on Sunday, they won’t make
the playoffs for the first time in six years, breaking a team record
streak of five in a row. This couldn’t happen to a more deserving team
considering that they were the only team interested in drafting the thug
Joe Mixon, who was shunned by most NFL teams after the 228 pound running
back slugged an approximately 110 lb. woman, breaking her jaw, for no
reason whatsoever. Mixon gained 12 yards in the game against the Lions.
Karma in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, states that the quality of
somebody's current and future lives are determined by that person's
behavior in this and in previous lives. I can’t speak for Mixon’s
previous life, but he definitely brought his bad karma in this life to
1. The NFL apparel commercial about the guy whose wife tells him he
can’t wear his Raiders’ jersey to her family’s holiday meal, but he does
anyway and everyone in her family is wearing Kansas City Chiefs’
jerseys. 2. The Bud Light “dilly dilly” commercials, especially the
first one where the guy who brings “a spice honey mead wine that I’ve
really been into lately,” instead of Bud Light and is directed to Brad
to be given a tour of the “pit of misery.”