EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday! I just put my mom on the train back to NYC, and after a last weekend with her, the wife and two kids, just now able to put pen to paper – or finger to keyboard. And relax, we are not one of those #COVID rule-breaking families. We actually planned to do this in October but couldn’t get Mama Blaber’s schedule right so she arrived two weeks ago for my birthday and stayed through Thanksgiving. Anyway, since there is no way to segue from that to to today’s topics, lets just get straight into it. Today’s topics will be: Covid Football, NY Jets, Diego Maradona.
Both the NCAA and the NFL have been playing with fire when it comes to #COVID. They thought they could somehow get through the season unscathed. That bill finally came due this weekend, however, with The Rona basically ruining at a huge chunk of the Big Ten and some ACC games and history in the SEC. History was made because #COVID-19 tracing and protocol kept Vanderbilt’s whole kicking team in quarantine, so a young woman made history as the team’s kicker. Cheesy Bruin weighed in on this yesterday. It looks like whomever wins the NCAA Championship this year will do so with an asterisk, as there might not be enough time for some conferences to get their title games out of the way, so that Fair Oaks Mall Bowl may not be possible. We will have to revert to a playoff-less system where National Championship is based purely on ranking and not on the field.
The NFL incredibly, saw the Denver Broncos lose all of their QBs to #COVID protocols because they weren’t wearing their masks in at a positional meeting. So they had to play a whole game with a taxi squad wide receiver. The league wouldn’t allow them to delay the game despite moving a Thursday night game all the way to Tuesday. Now you have facilities closed and we don’t know what’s going to happen with some of these teams going forward. They insisted on pushing, though, so this is where we are.
At this point in time it is safe to say that Adam Gase must have some compromising photos of Jets GM Joe Douglas or owners/brothers Chris and Woody Johnson. Everywhere else we’re seeing teams fire coach coaches and/or GMs. Even the Giants fired the Offensive Line Coach this weekend and Jacksonville cut the GM but kept the coaching staff. Some teams are shot, others are looking to stop the bleeding and start planning for next year. However, the Jets stand alone in maintaining the status quo… FUN FACT: I accidentally typed Jests.. and wasn’t paying homage to Short Matt doing that in the comment section yesterday. Anyway, Douglas can be forgiven/ allowed to stay only because he didn’t pick Gase. But why is Gase still there? The Jets were terrible in their 20-3 loss to the Dolphins and the offense continues to suck, even with the return of Sam Darnold. They look to be fine with tanking and us Jets fans are just going to go ahead and suffer through these final 5 games and call it a day. They likely don’t want a new coach, breathing life into the team and actually winning games to knock them out of the NFL Draft’s top spot.
An icon of the game of football/futbol/soccer passed away this week. Maradona is considered arguably the greatest player of the contemporary era. Some would say in the last 10-15 years he’s been surpassed by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I think all would agree that if you were to create an All-Time 11, right after Pele you’re writing Diego Maradona. The man was blessed with an incredible talent and an incredible drive. He wanted to win so bad he infamously punched the ball into the net in the Argentina versus England match. In that same match, though, we saw one of the most brilliant goals in World Cup history. He dribbled past 7 defenders and slotted it past the goalie, which simply showed his brilliance. It is something that you see once in a lifetime. He went on to play in Italy, winning lots of titles but was always plagued by issues of drug addiction and off-field drama. The last decade saw a stint as a coach for the Argentine national team not going well because he wasn’t prepared to coach. But he did have a good time coaching a second division Mexican side and a there is a great documentary on Netflix that I recommend for everybody called “Maradona in Mexico.” It seemed if he was ever to be successful as a coach it would come in a lower division. And yes, he was always trash-talking and struggling on and off with drug addiction. But his impact on the game and the millions of young men and women he inspired to play the game, is without dispute. Even some of today’s biggest stars credit Maradona as being the person that they emulate on the field. #AddiosDiego
Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Boom-Boom Ben Whitney, who was scheduled to fight the winner of Tyson v Jones, Jr.