Around the NFL: 05/20/11

Around the NFL is a weekly feature on Foxboro Blog offering an irreverent (and sometimes humorous) look at some of the top news stories from the NFL. Read at your own risk.

  • Lockout lunacy abounds! I am baffled why players and owners keep making apocalyptic predictions and wildly inaccurate statements about the other side. It’s obvious that the public does not sympathize with either side. This week’s Idiot of the Week is Giants co-owner John Mara, who wrote a lengthy article on the Giants team website warning about life in the NFL if the players get their way — small-market teams being unable to compete, stars making all the money while role-players beg for quarters in the street, the end of the NFL draft and other “chaos.” I suppose we can just ignore the fact that the players would accept a deal, today, that gives them the exact same provisions of the old CBA. You know, the one that included a salary cap, revenue sharing, a draft and all the other things Mara thinks will disappear if the players prevail. This little essay did nothing short of make Mara look like a jackass. It’s like he fired his publicist and replaced him with Baghdad Bob.
  • At least one owner is confident that there will be football in 2011. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remarked that he didn’t spend $1.2 billion to let his new stadium be empty this fall. Obviously, he just built a $1.2 billion stadium so he could dictate exactly how much he would pay the professionals to play in it. To his credit, that idea makes much more financial sense than an empty stadium.
  • Republican Congressman Paul Ryan earned a few eye rolls and groans for his attempt at football humor this week in Chicago. “I’m here to talk about the economy today — about the need to get four quarters of strong, consistent performance. That wasn’t another Jay Cutler joke, I swear. It could be, but it’s not.” In the realm of general smack talk, I’d give that one a 4. In the realm of smack talk by a politician, I’d award it a solid 8. I’m sure what he really wanted to say is “Even Nancy Pelosi has more balls than Jay Cutler. Trust me, I’ve seen ’em.” That would have been a 10 on both counts in my book.
  • Rather than cutting salaries for team employees during the lockout, the Raiders have hatched a plan to allow all employees to keep their full salary if they are able to sell at least 10 percent of their annual salary in ticket sales each month. The employees who cannot carry their weight in ticket sales will be forced to participate in Gladiator-style duels for the amusement of Al Davis in order to save their jobs. You’d think they would have addressed that issue in their collective bargaining agreement. NFL players, take note.
  • Chad Ochocinco lasted 1.5 seconds on the bull. Not much of an effort, but he at least eclipsed the time anybody has spent watching his reality show.
  • Hines Ward danced his way into the DWTS Finals after nearly killing his dancing partner in practice the week before. It’s rarely newsworthy when a Steelers player inflicts serious harm on a defenseless woman, but in this case, it is newsworthy because he didn’t do it intentionally.