Its been awhile since I've addressed more than one topic in a blog post, and today was as good as a day as ever. If you follow sports and politics (like me), you have to comment on a few of the following:
The NFL blows out the Saints: In the past few weeks, it was discovered that the Saints had a coach-run bounty program, whereby defensive players were paid extra money to take out and injure opposing offensive players. In response, the NFL suspended the defensive coach (who started the bounty program) indefinitely, the head coach of the Saints for a year, the GM for half a season, fined the Saints and the GM $500K each, and took away two 2nd round draft picks.
There are a lot of issues at play here. For one, the NFL is currently under the gun on player concussions. As it turns out, playing in the NFL is, most likely, really, really bad for a player's brain. Like Alzheimers bad. And former players (and their families) are suing the NFL for not doing enough to prevent concussions. So, having a coach-run bounty program where players are encouraged by their organizations to give other players concussions (and probably getting concussed themselves) is exactly what the NFL does not need.
Additionally, the amount of money on the line for the players who are hurt (and the franchises who employ them) is huge - multimillion dollar huge. And if the NFL can't police behavior, then an organization like the Cardinals, who lost millions of dollars when the Saints purposefully injured Kurt Warner (and ended his career, btw), may take other recourse, like suing the Saints. The only way to keep those sort of lawsuits at bay was for the NFL to come down so hard that the victims of this bounty program feel they got their pound of flesh. And it looks like they have done so.
The Continuing GOP Primary: You know, every time it looks like Romney has wrapped this thing up, either he, or someone from his campaign, does something to screw up. The latest gaffe, where one of Romney's campaign advisor states that Romney will take an "etch-a-sketch" to his policy positions once the nomination is won, confirmed the worst suspicions of conservatives. Now, it might be too late for Santorum and Gingrich to overtake Romney, but they could still get enough delegates to prevent Romney from getting the nomination outright. And if that happens, Romney has himself to blame.
Seriously, the number of unforced errors by the Romney camp is nothing short of ridiculous. Santorum and Gingrich are not A-listers by any stretch of the imagination - both are literally GOP castaways. In fact, the only A-list opponents that Romney faced - John Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry - were either too boring or too unprepared to make Romney sweat. With Romney's money advantage, he should have locked up this nomination a long, long time ago.
Even when he does lock up the nomination, Romney is going to have problems. For one, and as Santorum clearly notes, the voters who make up Romney's base are Republican voters who live in Democratic areas (in cities and in the Northeast). If Romney is going to beat Obama, he has to perform better in the Red/purple States than McCain did in 2008. If the South isn't sure of Romney (and they aren't), they'll stay home.
Tebow to the Jets, Manning to the Broncos: As a Chargers fan, I am not entirely pleased with Peyton Manning joining the Denver Broncos. Now, that's not necessarily because I fear Peyton Manning (though I respect his work), but because getting Manning was the right thing for Denver to do. That means that John Elway is a much, much more competent personnel guy than Josh McDaniels, and so the Broncos have a shot a being good again. Nuts.
As far as Tebow going to New York. . .I'm a bit confused. That's all I can say.