Sports News I’m Reading (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sports News I’m Reading (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What Chris Borland’s Retirement Says About Football

Is the 49ers Chris Borland announcing his retirement after one year in the NFL because he fears the health risks involved with playing football a huge change for the NFL or nothing at all?

How about both?

Look, it’s a big deal because it is something we are going to see more and more. Guys choosing not to play any more as they learn more about head injuries and CTE, or going into a different sport growing up will, absolutely, become more prevalent over the coming years. Given what we’ve watched with Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Mike Webster and on and on, that is probably as it should be. At the same time, there will always be people willing to play the game, and it’s not losing popularity at all, despite this, spousal and child abuse, drug use, and all of the other junk that has gone on over the last few years.

This reminds me of something that I spent some time in High School researching as a project. The theory I espoused then, and had data to back up, was that kids who grew up poor were more likely to be professional athletes. I believed it was because kids with money had other options and didn’t commit to it as much as a kid who saw sports as his only way out of poverty. Look at Latin Americans and baseball for a perfect example of what I’m talking about, those kids dedicate their whole lives to getting a shot at being a professional in the US. Rich suburban kids, aren’t going to work that hard at it, in the aggregate.

It’s that same reality that will ensure there are always kids willing to play football, no matter how risky it appears to be. Professional football is a way to make big money, or it’s a way to get a scholarship to college when you normally wouldn’t have many opportunities to do either. How much would a kid in desperate poverty risk his health in order to get a shot at those things?

And, so long as there are kids willing to play, we’ll watch. The only reality that would change any of that is if the big money went away. I don’t see that happening any time soon, even if some kids who have other options, choose not to take the risks and play the game.

Demarco Murray Turns Into Darren McFadden

dallas cowboys star photo

Yeah, it’s not exactly been a banner week for Cowboy’s fans, has it?

Truthfully, I didn’t mind letting Demarco walk. Cold as this is going to sound, running backs have a short shelf life, especially ones that get over 390 touches in a season, and can be pretty interchangeable. Chances are that Demarco will never be as good as he was last year, and will never life up to the contract he signed with the Eagles.

That being said, running backs with an injury history like McFadden’s come cheap, but hoping he somehow stays healthy can’t be the answer here. Yes, as good as the Cowboys offensive line is, finding  a decent running back shouldn’t be too hard, but they have to stay on the field.

In the end, if McFadden is it in terms of replacing Murray, I don’t like the gamble at all. On the other hand, if a combination on the McFadden gamble and a high draft pick running back is the plan, I do really like that. Murray replaced by McFadden and one of Gordon/Abdullah/Coleman/Yeldon, etc.? That could be nice.

Of course, the Boys also have some needs on defense and a potential future starting QB to address at the draft, so it’s no slam dunk.

We’ll see what the rest of the offseason holds!

Photo by Haruko16

Sports News I’m Reading (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sports News I’m Reading (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Horton -Clarkson Trade Sort of Made Sense

stinger blue jackets photo

Photo by patentboy

From the Blue Jackets perspective the trade of Nathan Horton for David Clarkson made a weird kind of sense. Yes, Clarkson’s contract is ridiculous, but Horton’s was pretty comparable, and he might not ever play again. The Jackets didn’t insure that contract, so rather than pay a ridiculous amount of money for Horton to not play the next couple of years, they’d rather pay a ridiculous amount of money for Clarkson to play, even if it’s not worth what you are paying him.

Of course in true Blue Jacket 2014-15 fashion, Clarkson is already injured for the year and now they’ll pay him to not play for the rest of the season.

That’s just got to be the icing on the cake for Jacket fans this year.

Sports News I’m Reading (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

European Clubs To Get MLS Treatment for 2022 World Cup

world cup photoApparently, if the move to November/December is approved, the World Cup will happen in the middle of the European season, much like it normally does for clubs in the US, who’s season runs during those Summer months in which the World Cup usually occurs.

What will be interesting to watch, however, is how teams try and strategically maneuver to gain an advantage for those weeks of their season. Not that I think teams would necessarily divest themselves of players would they would lose during the World Cup, it’s not enough of the schedule to try and do without that level of talent, but I think there could be some interesting transfer discussions. Normally, the Summer window is the more active, with the January window being more talk than actual transfers. I think that could switch in 2022. Teams might be interested in holding off that big international transfer and hang on to a slighty less, but still very talented player who would be with them during the Cup instead of letting them walk, then make the actual transfer in January, when they will not be on the hook for playing without either player for a month.

Again, the time period of the World Cup is not significant enough that I think teams will make huge changes in how they operate because of this. However, I think some teams will be making a handful of choices with that in mind, and that will be interesting to see. A few extra points in that part of the season could be the difference between playing in Europe in 2023 or not. Those Champions and Europa League matches bring in some serious money for teams. Smart ones will do what they can to ensure they get them, including figuring out the best way to deal with an in-season World Cup, but it’ll be fun to see who loses points during that time, and how those lost points impact their place in the table.

Photo by warrenski

Gary Bettman Doesn’t Think Fans Care About the Salary Cap

gary bettman photo

Photo by briweldon

PuckDaddy has the details in a post, but I find it a bit troubling.

I know as a fan, I went to the CapGeek site pretty regularly to check out facts, to find out what impact signings and trades would have on a team’s cap numbers and from the discussions I’ve seen on Twitter, I know I’m not the only one.

But Gary Bettman doesn’t think fans care about the salary cap enough to make the information available, that it’s only members of the media who care about those things.

First off, as I mentioned earlier, the CapGeek site was a resource used by fans, often.

Secondly, Bettman seems to be using a very limited definition of the word media. If I look up a cap number just to make a post here, or even to drop into a Twitter update, am I not acting in a media-like capacity? Sure, I do it as a hobby as opposed to professionally, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t use that kind of resource to check a fact, or to support an opinion. Although I probably wouldn’t pay for it.

No, the truth is that the NHL doesn’t want that information out there and easily accessible. That’s ok, if the owners and general managers want to hide behind financial secrecy, that’s their prerogative. Just don’t tell us you’re not sharing that information because “no one cares”. That’s blatantly not true.