Cronyism , alive , kicking and damn well-doing, well in the NFL and in being part of our daily lives …
After yesterday’s rather embarrassing display in the NFL , I am beginning to wonder how the league hierarchy and in particular NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will try to suggest that the game itself was a rousing success , as a branding and marketing of the NFL for a global audience . An expectant worldwide audience of over 1.3 billion people were in fact subjected to one of the most lopsided Superbowl games in NFL history , from what were we informed were two of the best teams in the league all season long . Perhaps , we ought to have really read more in the week two preseason meeting between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , as Russell Wilson and his teammates subjected the Denver Broncos to a 40-10 mauling . Rightly or wrongly, we are told that we should never read much into the preseason and whatever takes place there, as the games are meaningless . If that appears to be the case, then can someone explain to me , how in the most important game of the season , the Superbowl , an experienced quarterback such as Peyton Manning and his accompanying teammates can once again manage to lay a goose egg with another inept performance of such gigantic proportions ?
Sunday’s thirty-five point margin of victory in Seattle’s staggering pounding of the Denver Broncos , where the Seahawks’ defense simply steamrolled and outplayed the Broncos’ offense , was not the largest winning margin in Superbowl history ,but by all means it may well have been the most embarrassing , when one considers that we were led to believe that the two combatants were the best that the NFL had to offer all season long in 2013. Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, in their 43-8 victory , gained the NFC West based franchise their first Superbowl victory of their existence. For owner , Paul Allen this was indeed vindication in hiring the former USC Trojans’ head coach .
Pete Carroll can now go off into the off-season , knowing that his previous experiences within the NFL can now be cast aside as he joins growing throng of head coaches to have won a Superbowl. For opposing head coach , John Fox , this was once again a season of missed opportunities and questions will certainly abound as to what went wrong, and why things went wrong and so abysmally for the Denver Broncos and their presumed to be, high-octane offense. Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen and the team’s President & Head Football Operations John Elway , have now seen the team falter two years in succession , after a great deal of anticipation in both 2012 and then again this past postseason . It is pretty much safe to say, that the two lead executives will go about reassessing the roster and the team’s needs overall , as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.
What seems eerily strange throughout this contest between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , was the very fact that John Fox and his coaching staff appeared be at a loss in how counter Seahawks’ every move . Perhaps , it was me , in expecting far more out of Fox as a head coach , given his pedigree in that role !
For a team that might not have been seen as an odds on favorite over the Seattle Seahawks in this Superbowl title match-up , the Denver Broncos were certainly expected to make this game a competitive one. Instead, it became a lopsided affair, with only one team , seemingly eager to display their all-round talents. Something that was effectively done and continually on display thought the game by the Seattle Seahawks , in particular from a defense that was hell-bent on showing why they were the best defensive unit in the entire NFL over the course of the regular season . Russell Wilson, in only his fifth postseason start , can now be called a Superbowl champion. His teammates, Richard Sherman and Superbowl MVP winner Malcolm Smith , are not likely to rest on their laurels , as they seek to make a successful defense of their title at the start of next season. . Seahawks’ GM John Schneider having succeeded John Idzik , has assembled a roster of veterans , as well as a group of young and versatile players at several positions amongst the team’s depth chart . It bodes well for the Seahawks, if they are able to keep the greater part of the team’s roster, as they seek to embark on the defense of Superbowl 48. Granted, they are likely to lose a number of players through free agency and attrition , but with . the salary cap possibly kept in line with the 2013 figure of $124.8 million. It could well lead to the front office being a significant player during the off-season , in seeking retain players , as well as signing a couple free agents to meet the team’s needs.
With the postseason having come to a close within the NFL and stories having been written , with differing plot-lines having been envisaged at the start of the preseason as well as the regular season. It must be said, that the arrogance shown by Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy has simply been nothing short of astounding. Several teams as we know, failed to live up to expectations and with a postseason finale that bordered on being so abysmal, by way of the lack of competitiveness. Any type of postscript to be made by the commissioner that concerns the Superbowl and his selling the game as being a tremendous success cannot be seen in any type of positive light .
The economic impact of a Superbowl can lead to anywhere between $2 and $3 billion being infused into a local economy , and it is understandable that the state of New Jersey harbored the ambition to host this event at the NFL’s newest venue , at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey, which just happens to be home to the New York Giants and New York Jets . John K Mara , President & CEO of the Giants went so far as to suggest that no matter what the outcome of the event , it was his belief that MetLife Stadium should now be placed on the list of venues that should be hosting future Superbowl games. Mara, off course, is quite within his right, to make such a suggestion, as is his wish. Yet, were it not for what we know to be the fact that the league and specifically owners such as himself, making outlandish demands of the governmental agencies repeatedly , while a great deal of the time offering them little in return, other than the so-called privilege of stating that they have an NFL franchise within their locale.
Roger Goodell professes his wish to see the NFL grow on a global basis and for the past several years , the fans have seen preseason and regular season games being staged in Mexico City , Toronto and London , England. Yet, for all of that un-abashed gimmickry by the league, in selling the game in spite of annual revenues exceeding $8 billion , the NFL still faces an uphill battle to compete against the likes of the NBA and soccer on the global stage. One factor that hinders the league’s process, comes down to the fact that the NFL’s most highly visible players are not known on a worldwide basis as of yet, in spite of the league’s slow but growing profile in Europe , the Far East and on the African continent.
It will be interesting to see the direction taken by the Cleveland Browns after another inauspicious season , with the firing of Rob Chudzinski and his being succeeded by the newly appointed Mike Pettine , a first time head coach in the NFL. Team owner , Jimmy Haslam , having narrowly escaped being imprisoned , for what he now tries to suggest were actions by subordinates within his company , that were completely unknown to him , now has to convince the fans and players that he is indeed an owner , who will take a great deal of interest in the franchise and its future ambitions . The singular biggest issue for the franchise, may well be, whether or not they can keep faith with Brandon Weeden as the team’s starting quarterback . The player, since his elevation to the role, has been wildly erratic , in not being able put together consistently efficient performances , leading many to now believe that the front office will likely draft a quarterback , while also possibly acquiring a free agent during the off-season.
Having finished with a 4-12 record , afoot of the AFC North and barely being competitive throughout this past season . It is easy to understand why the Browns are now said to be seeking a new direction. If nothing else , it may well give the fans hope, but in reality , it just about creating the perception that the organization is seen to be trying in earnest , in seeking some semblance of success. If Weeden is not the answer for the Browns at the quarterback position, then I expect Mike Pettine to seek out an alternative , for that specific role !
Well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the decision to cut short Greg Schiano’s reign as the head coach of the team. A lackluster season and the idiocy of claimants that with the players putting together a three-game winning streak , it meant that Schiano’s position was safe, because of that streak . What, they seemingly failed to realize, the very fact the head coach was ill-disciplined in terms of his coaching style and defensively the team was simply bust . Finishing just ahead of the bottom of the table Atlanta Falcons within the NFC South was a further sign of a lack of progress made under Greg Schiano , after all of the pageantry at his being made the head coach.
Schiano and ousted former GM Mark Dominik simply failed to acquire the players needed, to foster some semblance competitiveness over the course of the season. Add in the fact, that amongst the playing staff, there were few memorable moments for the fans to feed off , as well as their being a complete lack of leadership from anyone on the roster over the course of the year. The apathy of the fans of the franchise, remains , with some trying to point to the fact that this is still a very young team. I guess, having seasoned veterans such as Vincent Jackson and Darrell Revis , simply counts for nothing in their eyes ? And it remains a constant , amongst the fan-base of this franchise.
The hiring of Lovie Smith , a disciple of the Tony Dungy coaching philosophy, it will be very interesting to see the type of dialogue that takes place between Smith and Mark Dominik’s successor , Jason Licht , a former front office executive within the Arizona Cardinals’ organization. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to have any semblance of success , then both Licht and Lovie Smith will have to be on the same page and off the same mindset as to what is needed to improve the team and make them competitive and a perennial contender within the division and NFC. No use crying over spilt milk, as the Josh Freeman era with the Buccaneers has now ceased to exist. As serviceable as Freeman was said to be , he simply did not appear to be a player who had honed his craft or learned from his numerous and repeated mistakes over the course of his reign with the franchise. The drafting of Mike Glennon and the ability of the young rookie to make plays while being efficient with the “rock” impressed Schiano during last season. Alas, where Glennon succeeded , his offense at times, simply let him down and was repeatedly the source of many of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ woes this past season.
During the off-season, as Jason Licht and Lovie Smith prepare for the NFL Draft , the team’s will be predominantly on offense, where at least one or two productive wide receivers are needed along with a tail-back and a tight-end. Seeking out that type offensive weaponry via free agency could prove to be expensive dependent upon how Licht views the market in terms of the aforementioned positions ( wide receivers, running back , tight-end).
In the aftermath of what has been a tumultuous season for the Glazer family as owners of two professional sports’ franchises in Manchester United of the English Premiership League and their floundering fortunes … within the Premiership (EPL) , to be concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ infamous soiree in 2013. I must now ask the question, are the sons of Malcolm Glazer, completely clued in as to what is needed to either create or simply continue the success of a professional sports’ team? As the patriarch of the family , the now rarely seen Glazer must be shuddering to think that both of these franchises are likely to sink or swim , with the decisions made by his offspring .
As if to emphasize and further reiterate, why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now appears to be a franchise. without a clue . It is being widely reported that the franchise , are keenly interested in acquiring seasoned veteran quarterback, Michael Vick. With the exclusion of an twenty-two month incarceration at a federal penitentiary, for his involvement in an illegal gambling and dog-fighting ring that he presided over through a company that he was directly involved (Bad Newz Kennels) with . While, the player has served his sentence, for the crimes committed and his league mandated suspension for his conduct. It has been the gradual decline of the Michael game since his return to the NFL in 2010 , that have many wondering, if he is still capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL . Andy Reid’s implicit and undying loyalty to the then Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback proved to be fateful for the head coach in 2012 , leading to his dismissal at the end of the season, with fans also calling for the release of the player. Last season, while it proved to be a success for the Eagles, Vick played no major role in the franchise’s resurgence under Chip Kelly . Nick Foles proved to be effective throughout much of the season , leading the team to the NFC East divisional title and playoff berth in the postseason.
If the Buccaneers are interested in signing Michael Vick , who becomes an unrestricted free agent this off-season , it simply makes no sense to have a player , who over the last two seasons has not been productive or provided any type of leadership skills , where necessary. Even if merely acquired, as a backup to Mike Glennon, there are far better options than Vick , amongst the quarterbacks who will become free agents during this protracted break before the 2014 NFL season comes into being. This has me wondering, what are the apparent motives behind a possible move like this ! Desperate times, may well call for desperate measures , but this is not one of them, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If anything, it can be seen, as an act of utter idiocy, from a franchise still seeking some semblance of consistency! .
This past Superbowl may well go down as the most watched and the highest rated in NFL history, as well as being the most watched program in US history, by way of the official figures revealed by the league hierarchy and Fox Television. Yet, the question that has to be asked , how many of those viewers nationally , switched channels , once it became inevitable that this contest was simply going to be a “blowout”, rather than a compelling and gripping game , between what was said to be the two best teams in the NFL?
With the NFL season having reached a conclusion with the determining of a Superbowl champion for the year . Which event during the regular or postseason, in your opinion do you believe to be the most memorable? Also, with John Mara deeming the staging of Superbowl SBLVIII a monumental success, do you think it right, that another postseason finale contest should be staged MetLife Stadium within five years, at the omission of another venue ahead of the scheduled return that proposed stadium ? The NFL hierarchy we know , tends to pander to the more powerful of the owners within the league at the cost of less vocal of the franchise owners. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard New York Giants owner’s suggestion? Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.
Picture and slideshow details below .
Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos is caught off-guard, as the ball sails over his head during the first quarter of the game of the Superbowl contest between the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks . That play was a sign of things to come as the Seahawks won this lopsided contest in a rout 43-8. The game would prove to be one of Manning’s worst in his postseason career. AP Photo/ Mark Cameron …
(2) An aerial view of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey as clouds hang over the venue that was the scene for Superbowl 48. In the stadium filled 80,000 fans , this was the first Superbowl to be played in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather city. Getty Images / John Moore ….
(3) Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos during the Superbowl played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The televised event broadcasted by Fox ,was the most watched sports’ program and non-sports’ televised event in US broadcast history , from the figures released by the NFL . AP Photo/ Matt York ….
(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seahawks looks to evade the Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan (59) while making a playing during the first half of the Superbowl contest played between the two teams on the 2nd February , 2014, at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford , New Jersey. In only his fifth postseason start , Wilson can now be called a Superbowl winning quarterback. The player was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as part of the rich crop of quarterbacks that were part of the 2012 NFL Draft class. AP Photo Paul Sancya ….
(5) To the victor belongs the spoils. Russell Wilson is seen here with the Lombardi Trophy after the Seattle Seahawks’ triumph over the Denver Broncos . It was the franchise’s first victory in only their second appearance in the NFL’s most prestigious game. AP Photo/ Julio Cortez …..
(6) Superbowl MVP Malcolm Smith celebrates the Seattle Seahawks’ victory by laying on the ground amongst the confetti while creating a snow angel . REUTERS/ Shannon Stapleton …..
(7) New York Giants’ owner John K Mara having seen MetLife Stadium host the Superbowl would like to see the event return to the venue within the next five years. Whether or not this will be amenable to the league hierarchy and many of the other NFL owners remains to be seen. AP Photo / Paul Harris …..
(8)New Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, right, smiles as he poses for a photo with new head coach Lovie Smith during an NFL football news conference Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Licht becomes the fifth general manager in team history. He takes over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007 . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .