EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – So, I actually got ahead of this assignment and started writing at a decent hour, rather than at 3 AM. It still sucks because it is the dog days of summer and there is not much to talk about. Football season is around the corner, though, and I could talk about the Mets still sucking or maybe LeBron’s school, but no… let me find some stuff worth talking about. Here is the topic list for toady: Urban Meyer, RG3’s Return, Hall of Famer T.O., FIFA Solidarity Payments.
Buckeyes Blackeye: I mentioned Urban Meyer last week re how absurd his pay and being the highest paid state official in Ohio. And then it turns out that as expected, because he is a college football coach, he put winning over ethics. I know – shocking right?! Apparently one of his assistant coaches, Zac Smith, the receiver’s coach, was/is a wife beater. Meyer says he never knew but others says he did. So for now he is on administrative leave as the University looks into things. The Buckeyes have the right to fire him based on his new contract. Things will get interesting.
RG3’s Return: Last we heard from RG3 (Robert Griffin III), he was with the Cleveland Browns. However, that was in was in 2016. Apparently, he spent the 2017/2018 season out of the league. I didn’t even know that and assumed he was buried on the Browns bench. Well, RG3 spent the season working on himself and has now landed with the Baltimore Ravens. It is not definite that he will make the Raven’s roster, as Joe Flacco is very durable, so the Ravens have only kept two QBs on their roster the past few seasons. The second QB on the roster will be 1st round pick Lamar Jackson. This should mean that RG3 doesn’t make the roster – but I think he will. Jackson is very talented but not there yet – in terms of mechanics – and seems a bit of a run first QB. To be frank, he seems like RG3; The Rookie Edition. Knowing GM Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh, RG3 was brought in to provide a veteran option to Flacco that won’t require reconfiguring the offense. Jackson would, if he started at this moment. My instinct says that Jackson will sit out this season or be out there on trick plays and such, just to get use to the speed of the game.
Hall Of Famer T.O.: Terrell Owens was always a spotlight-loving bit of a jackass, but he did occasionally make some good points. Apparently, he is not happy that it took him until his third attempt to make the Hall of Fame. He also believes that the whole process denies lots of quality players of the chance to be called a Hall of Famer. So, as part of his protest on this, he will be accepting the award on the campus of his alma-mater in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Owens has been himself in being cryptic as to what the actual issues are and since he was such an NFL rebel and rule-breaker, him not being in Canton but in Tennessee, seems appropriate.
FIFA Solidarity Payments: This is an issue no one except soccer nuts know about but it has popped up in the news the past few weeks. One of the best young players in the MLS is named Alphonso Davies. Fonsie plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 17 year-old is so impressive that the Whitecaps just sold him for a league record to the best club in Germany – and one of the top 5 clubs in the world – Bayern Munich. Yes, in soccer players just get sold with the agent taking a cut. But also getting a cut are the player’s youth teams. In soccer there is something called solidarity payments and team compensation. Essentially Vancouver will make extra money for being one of the academies that developed Davies between the ages of 7-17, and so to will Davies’ youth club in Edmonton. These are serious payments – 5 percent of the sale price. The reason this is an issue is that if Davies was playing for a USA MLS team, there would be no solidarity payments because MLS has a problem… or the idea conflicts with USA child labor laws and some other regulations. The players union is against it as well, since they think that money going back to the player is better. I find this incredibly dumb, considering that US soccer is dominated by the rich kids who can afford to pay to be at an elite academy that is not MLS-affiliated. This is why you don’t see poor kids come up in the system – because you often have to have money. The MLS commissioner says they are working on a way to fix it but the youth clubs are losing patience. I think one even filed a lawsuit. It is only fair to compensate these programs for developing players and if done so properly we can end all this pay to play nonsense.
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P.s… Watch or listen to this new show with Short Matt and Danny B. They are looking for honest feedback at @SportsGotcha and this may be away us MTM pundits make some change…