Hump day hot takes: Peyton Manning screwed the NFLPA, USA Men’s Basketball can’t lose it now and more

The five-headed, future HOF quarterback really flipped the bird to the NFLPA with his compliance with this investigation.

Alright, alright, alright. It’s that time once again, where I set the hot-take oven to broil, and bitch about some topics in the wide world of sports. I try to cover all the bases (no pun intended) with everything that’s happening, but sometimes I miss out. Here’s what I dug up for my weekly bitching, and after last week’s showing, here’s what I got.

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1. Peyton Manning’s decision to talk to the NFL about the Al-Jazeera report really porked the rest of the players; Also, Roger Goodell remains an asshole. 

Ah yes, one of my most hated professional athletes, Peyton Manning, gets to feel my wrath here. The mouth-breathing, huge forehead whiner who loved a reason to bitch is finally done playing in the NFL – I would argue that his arm retired about two years ago – but not before screwing the rest of the league in a huge fucking way.

Remember that Al-Jazeera report a couple months ago? The one that suggested Peyton took performance enhancing drugs after his neck surgery? Well I do, and so did the NFL. (Side note: He absolutely took steroids, and I don’t fucking care since I think most guys in the NFL do. I’m surprised the good ole’ boys in the NFL did and even “investigated” him)

Manning vehemently denied the report (Once again, he absolutely took steroids) and met with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss it. After what seemed like 15 minutes Manning was cleared of any wrongdoing – little different than another historic QB, but let’s not have our heads explode – and on they went. And then the NFL dropped the bombshell the other day that other players mentioned in the report, including James Harrison and Clay Matthews, would be suspended if they didn’t have an interview with Goodell.

Uh, what in the fuck is going on?

I believe Manning met with Goodell because he knew his career was over, so there was no ramification he could face in the NFL. You can question the reliability of the report, but it was published, and Manning’s cooperation really fucked Matthews and Harrison, and anybody else moving forward who is accused of something. Can you imagine if Matthews and Harrison, two of the better defensive players in the game, get suspended for refusing to talk about a “bullshit” report? That sets quite a precedent, and every player in a NFL locker should be worried.

For one last time: Fuck you Peyton Manning. You just screwed the NFLPA for years to come.

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2. Anything less than a dominant Gold Medal for USA Men’s Basketball is a monumental disappointment

After a couple of really close decisions in pool play with Australia and France, the Americans moved into the elimination stage at the Rio Olympics. A tough draw with Argentina makes things pretty interesting, but my overarching take is this: If Team USA fails to win the gold medal in dominant fashion, it’s an underachievement.

Winning the gold is great. It should be fucking expected with the roster they have. I don’t want to hear any bitching from people saying that the Americans are without Steph Curry and LeBron James. Look at the rosters of each Olympic team and get back to me. Go for it, I’ll wait the 30 seconds it takes to find it on Wikipedia.

The US is LOADED. The other countries don’t even fucking sniff the talent of this team. They need to win the gold medal, and eviscerate teams on the way there. There should be no doubt left after the Olympics who the best team was at that tournament. After waltzing through an exhibition schedule and the earlier games in Rio, these close games are a tragedy. They should basically be considered a loss if you can’t beat these countries without NBA players by less than double digits. It would be a “Miracle on Hardwood” if the USA falls to any of these teams. That simply can’t happen.

Oh, and USA Women’s basketball? It’s legitimately not even fucking fair. They’re embarrassing teams and winning by 50. Yawn. A game within 20 points would be a disappointment for that squad.

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3. I hope Jimmy Vesey picks the Boston Bruins, but I think the Chicago Blackhawks are going to get richer

Like my counterpart on the Chin Music Podcast, I’ve talked myself into believing that Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey will sign with my favorite team. As a Mass. native – like young Mr. Vesey – I think Jimmy will choose the Boston Bruins. He could join fellow Bay Stater Frank Vatrano and lead a resurgence for the Bruins with a young core including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Knowing this management though, if Vesey shows any scoring touch he’ll be traded in the next three years, but that’s besides the point.

My heart tells me that Vesey will stick in Boston, just like how he did when he went to Harvard. My brain and gut tell me that he’ll choose the Chicago Blackhawks, and play with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and the rest of that incredibly talented team. Damn, that sucks to type.

The financial offer from each team will be the same, with only a little bit of wiggle room on the signing bonus really differentiating each franchise. The biggest talking point will be Vesey’s playing time, line spot and possible special teams use. He’s a talented scorer and does play an offense-first type style. Knowing Claude Julien, he would bench him for not backchecking one game and be relegated to the fourth line. But before we get there, I still think Chicago and the Rangers have the best odds of landing Vesey’s talents, with the Bruins missing out on the youngster. Fuck.

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4. Jonathan Papelbon sucked with Washington, but I don’t think he’s finished

The one-time Red Sox closer, and eventual Phillies castaway has seen his career go up in flames pretty quickly this season with the Washington Nationals. Pap started out the year pretty well, but over the past couple weeks he imploded, and Washington released him.

Along with his obvious physical decline – he’s throwing the slowest of his career – Pap’s off-field shenanigans didn’t really endear him to the Nationals’ faithful. He scuffled with Bryce Harper last season, and he’s apparently blasting political music in the locker room. Now here’s the thing, Papelbon was always an asshole. As a Red Sox fan I put up with him being a douchebag in his stint in Boston because he was really fucking good for the most part. But now that the fastball has slowed down and the results aren’t the same, his assholeishness becomes a bigger issue.

But despite the off-field stuff, I would still take a flyer on Papelbon. I would like the Red Sox to consider bringing Pap back. He’s got some big old balls on the mound, and that’s something Boston desperately needs. If not the Red Sox, another contending team – say the Cubs or Orioles – could use some extra bullpen help. It’s a flyer, but I still thank Pap has something left in the tank.

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5. If you don’t love watching the Little League World Series, you suck

So I know this is a little random, but I fucking love watching the Little League World Series. I can’t explain it. I didn’t even play Little League as a kid – it wasn’t very prominent in Western Mass. – but every summer I love tuning in and watching youngsters from around the world compete for the title.

I think my biggest appeal is watching the obscure teams compete, and hoping that Australia, or a European team, or some podunk town in a non-baseball state can make a run. And of course my New England rooting kicks into play, but that really only comes in when a Mass. teams reaches Williamsport.

Along with what I just wrote, I really love seeing the enjoyment of the game from the kids. It’s something that’s so often lost in Major League Baseball. It’s supposed to be fun. I’m a sucker for a big smile or a shrug of the shoulders after a how-did-I-do-that moment. Maybe I’m a weirdo, who knows. But hey, I’m all for watching the tournament starting soon.

That’ll do it for us. We’ll be back next week with some more hot takes for your Wednesday reading enjoyment. Follow Tim on Twitter@culvey13 and Brendan at @MurraySportTalk for more, or to tell me us we’re morons. Either way, have at it.

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