Happy early Thanksgiving folks! I said last week that was going to talk about the positive teams in this column, but I didn't realize it was Thanksgiving week. I ended up with a huge amount of work in half the usual time and even less sleep.
Unfortunately that means no Hard Count this week. I know, I know. You're all crushed. I'll make it up to you next week.
Anyway, A few things occurred this week that I thought deserved attention so we'll push that back for next column and focus on them this week.
The Curious Case Of Kyle Orton
So uh, yeah. That only took about three months longer than it should have.
In case you have no idea what I am talking about, Kyle Orton was cut by the Broncos on Tuesday. So let me start by applauding the Broncos whose shrewd play of the Orton trade attempts have led to getting—say it with me folks—absolutely nothing. I mean, if you were this dead set on dumping him, you could have found someone to ship you a box of Five Guys Burgers for him at the trade deadline, right?
Of course, speculation is that Orton and his people asked for the release because of all the quarterback injuries around he league. I can buy that. Really, Orton can't be happy about being replaced by Tebow. What competitor would be? Nobody likes losing their gig.
Orton wants to start, to audition for a full time job in 2012. Can't do that from the bench and once Tebow was in there was no going back.
You've heard Nagler and I talk about Orton and how he's fine between the 20s but in the red zone he can't cut it. I can guess most teams will agree but someone will take a chance on him.
Is it ridiculous to think the Colts might give him the rest of the season? I keep getting told they want Luck but no team sets out to lose.
The Bears get a lot of play but Martz's offense is a foreign language to Orton and would take a long time to get up to speed. The Texans aren't interested. Kansas City is a wreck. It would be ironically delicious if Miami took him but Moore has been playing all right.
It will be interesting to see where Orton lands. Again, I can't help but think this all should have been dealt with before Week One. What a mess this has been and how badly has the front office handled it?
I do think both Tebow and Orton have handled this well at least publicly. It could have been much worse.
At least I am on pace to collect dinner from Nagler for a Broncos 8-8 season.
Jake Plummer Wants Tebow to Just Shut Up and Play
Speaking of Tebow, apparently ex-Bronco Jake Plummer is a little worn out by all the God talk from Tebow during post-game interviews. He'd like him to talk football and leave his religion out of it. Plummer thinks Tebow is a winner but just would like him more if he cut down on his proselytizing.
I can now retire having used proselytizing in a sentence on CHTV.
I thought Tebow's response was fair enough and nothing I didn't expect. He loves God. He loves Jesus. He's happy about both. He'll talk about it because he's happy. Pretty standard stuff for ANY fervent believer in anything.
It doesn't bother me. I mean, I've heard athletes praise God after wins my whole life. This is nothing new and it doesn't bother me. It probably helps that he comes off as incredibly likable.
Do I think it's silly when a player implies God or Allah or Buddha was behind him and supporting his win? Sure. Almost as silly as blaming God for losses.
The implication that God chooses sides in something as trivial as a football game when there is genocide in Rawanda seems...let's just say 'not well thought out' and leave it there.
However, it always seems to me that Tebow's approach is to thank God for giving him life. For giving him a physical form which allows him to do what he loves. For giving him a great team around him—because Tebow does that as well.
To me, that's much better than 'Thanks God for helping me win' or the bevy of inane and worthless blather about giving it 100% and constant chest bumping so many players do post-game.
I thing some of this is because of the actions of the religious right in this country who are mostly evangelicals and have spent a fair amount of time trying to wedge the rest of us into their morals and way of thinking.
From that vantage point, yeah I get Tebow annoying folks with it.
Again, it doesn't bother me. When it does, I'll tune it out. It remains to be seen how long he'll have this platform anyway.
Drunk Fans 2, Rex Ryan 0
First off, as much as I am a Rex fan and love what he does, he needs to behave better. Idiot fans say idiot things and in this case, it wasn't even that idiotic, rude or foul. As Rex himself admitted, he represents the league and the Jets. He needs to be above this stuff.
I get it. I'm a passionate fella and I have a slight temper. I feel ya Rex. You can't give in.
I want to touch on fans though. Is it me or are fans in many stadiums getting bolder and mouthier? Maybe it's just that the stands have stepped closer, so the fans are within reach of players and staff. Maybe the alcohol intake has increased, maybe it the money spent on a ticket which is fueling a sense of entitlement—I pay $150 for a ticket, I'll say what I damned well want.
Whatever the reason, it seems to me to have gotten worse. I take my older son to a game just about every year and we've been to multiple stadiums. The language, sentiment and general environment gets worse every time.
I hear new versions of filth which is stunning in both it's venom and it's originality.
Where is fan accountability? Where is acting like you're older than your shoe size?
Where is the class from the fans?
It's one thing to mock Ryan for being a worse coach than Hoodie (but honestly a better dresser).
It's another to shout some of the things we hear in the stands and that we know players hear at field level.
At some point, the NFL should look at fan behavior as well as NFL behavior.
ON 3, FALCONS, ON 6 FAMILY!
Ok, that's not likely to make much sense so let me explain. As I have alluded to in this column before, this was my older son's first year playing tackle football. He decided to do it last minute and we had to scramble hard to find a team in our area, finally coming across the Queens Falcons.
It was a great season, culminating in his JR Pee Wee team making the New York City Youth Football League Championships for the first time in their 53 year history. They played hard and came up a little bit short, losing 20-14.
We were all proud of the boys and what they accomplished as well as how hard they worked. They played with class and respect and never gave up.
What really struck home for me during the season was something I think we, as adults and NFL fans can forget and lose focus on.
This is a game. It's pretty damned fun.
All the rah-rah and all the excitement, the ups and downs, the wins and losses, all the money and it's still just a game kids play.
As much a part of the season was about building a team and a family—a group of people with one goal but many approaches. The goal was winning 'the 'ship' as we called it, but it was also building a family.
Since there's a Turkey Bowl touch football game tomorrow, I'm going to say we did it.
It's funny because it parallels my time here so far at CHTV. I'm not a Packers fan, but I do feel part of the CHTV family.
I'm very thankful to have found both groups this year.
TWO LAST THINGS
My guest 'Thanks-giving' on Dan Levy's annual 'What We Are Thankful For' episode of his new podcast. Lots of great folks on the list. Enjoy!
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