Damage control, roster needs and camp isn't really a camp
If it’s Friday, it’s time for little things that should be big things but I’m kind of lazy and it’s the end of the week and all I really want to do is go for a picnic and look at the water.
This smacks of desperation or damage control or something like that.
For some reason known only to the interwebs, I got a long, long e-mail from the NFL yesterday that was supposedly a “letter from Roger Goodell” but in fact was little more than a plaintive explanation – or an attempt at one – to defend the league’s player safety policy.
Why I got it, I’ll never know, it’s not like I care or am a big fan or anything like that and I don’t write about the league so it was quite unexpected.
And I figure it’s all damage control since I just read a remarkable adaptation in Sports Illustrated from the book League of Denial which is a tremendous indictment of the league’s policy – or lack of it – on the issue of head trauma and concussion that is central to any discussion of football these days.
I don’t have nearly the expertise necessary to talk about it fully but I will say this:
I think football leagues – in Canada and the United States and everywhere from kids leagues to the professional leagues – should have somehow been out in front of the issue far more than they were for the past couple of decades.
It’s a violent sport, that’s what makes it so alluring to so many people, but I think there was some abdication of responsibility from both the leagues and the players unions on the matter of safety; getting a “bell rung” was just part of the game but someone needed to think about the long-term ramifications long before now.
But to come out with some cockamamie statement in a blast e-mail to “fans” does nothing, really. It’s smacks of desperation, and preaching to the choir and was a self-serving note that I could have done without.
This is pretty good, isn’t it?
Okay, The Henry House is an outstanding pub (built in the mid-1800s and home of Father of Confederation William Alexander Henry) and Ringwood has to go on the list of top pours. And it was nice to sit and chat with people here and there; a good afternoon.
Nice job, Halifax. What’s up for today? Maybe some places down by my hotel? Thanks.
No, there is basically no mail over there in the inbox and that’s troubling, folks. Help me out at firstname.lastname@example.org but save some because – and I’d forgotten all about this – we’ll be here at noon your time for an hour long chat.
First of the year and we’re going to try to make it a regular thing, likely on Thursdays once I get my schedule all worked out.
Be there or be square.
Got to chat with Dwane the other night about his roster and whether or not he cares if Masai fills that final spot with one of Carlos Morais, Julyan Stone or Chris Wright.
And, of course, Dwane lauded them all (“Chris Wright has NBA energy, Julyan Stone’s an NBA defender and Carlos is an NBA scorer”) but then said it’s going to far more than simply talent that goes into the decision.
I think the last thing a coach wants, or needs, is a disruptive end-of-the-bench guy, someone who might not accept his role and whine about it.
So what are the characteristics a coach is looking for?
“If you’re No. 14 or 15 on a 15-man roster, you’ve got to bring that energy and you have to change the gym when you walk into it. That’s something all three of those men do, they have the personality to do that.
“Injuries are the only thing that would dictate whether they are in there or not but those three men do a heck of job each and every day and you wouldn’t mind having them on your team.”
Yeah, I am going to miss the Argos game tonight, I liked covering them (even if every game was a buzzer-beater on the road) and it’ll be odd not to.
But what I want to see is what kind of crowd they draw.
First home game in a month, wildly successful team riding a four-game winning streak, big rival opponent in the Ticats and, if my math is correct and that might not be the case, a chance to wrap up first in the East.
So do they get 30,000? I’d like to think they can get to 35,000 or 32.000 at least but I also fear they’ll be down around 22,000 and that’s too bad.
If anyone goes, let me know what it’s like, okay?
I could totally get used to working out here with this time zone thing; it’s the only time all year I get a bonus hour.
It’s like 8:20 a.m. here and I’ve had some sleep and it’s only 7:20 a.m. back home and I’ll still get this done by the self-imposed 8 a.m. deadline.
Can we come here every year, please?
Funny how they call this “training camp” and it evokes thoughts of a terrible grind when in fact, it’s so legislated and short that we probably need to find another way to describe it.
It’s less than a week long, you can only have two-a-day workouts on three days, only one of those practices can be full contact and with a trip here for a scrimmage thrown in, you can see why coaches get a bit antsy.
These guys will only have eight practices spread over six days in three cities before they play – they worked in Toronto, are in Halifax for two practices and will work in Boston on Sunday – and there is no way a coach will think that’s enough.
Toss in the fact it’s a four-game week coming and they need some time to recuperate, I’m sure Dwane and his staff are mightily ticked at a lack of gym time to get their work in.
But someone decided eight pre-season games was the right number, I bet coaches think they could cut that in half and give them four more practice days.
Be fine with me, too.