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Jerry catches up with the sports world after a couple of busy weeks.

Over the past five weeks, while I’ve been distracted by full time work, a great many things have been going on in and around the world of sports that I would have liked to have dropped an observation or random thought upon. As it was, I considered myself fortunate to have kept up with the Red Sox post season play, as well as getting somewhat caught up with the Patriots. It’s not that I was working that hard, but as I said before, it was seriously cutting into my nap time as well as my TV viewing. (I’m only up to episode four of this season’s The Walking Dead, plus I have to watch the corresponding The Talking Dead as well and that’s all very time consuming.) At any rate, I know you’ve been wondering what I thinking about what was going on, so here goes.

GOOD PAPI, BAD PAPI, BIG PAPI;

Do even Yankees fans root against this guy? (The Sports Post)
Do Yankees fans even root against this guy? (The Sports Post)

I was mildly, although pleasantly, surprised that there wasn’t more talk linking the now 38 year old David Ortiz with PED’s, as that seems to be the trend when an older hitter continues to perform well past their perceived prime. I have to assume that in this case he got a bye for a couple of reasons, namely 1) he is much loved 2) he is much tested. I feel Ortiz has reached that Derek Jeter status where even non-fans of his team root for him. I also have to believe, on a more practical level, as a previous offender he is scrutinized enough that he couldn’t get away with it. It also helps that, like Andy Pettitte and Jeremy Giambi, by owning up to it, fans have allowed him to move on from it. Perhaps the bottom line is that his regular season numbers of .309, 30, 103, in a 137 games are good, but not steroid good. That’s just my observation…

GENERATIONAL FORGETTING:

The Incognito situation is shedding light on a greater issue. (Getty Images)
The Incognito situation is shedding light on a greater issue. (Getty Images)

The term “generational forgetting” was first coined to reflect how dangerous drugs, such as heroin, could disappear from the scene for years only to return in its full horror by a younger, more foolish generation. I am beginning to think that is what has happened with the “N- word”. Recent events with the Miami Dolphins, last Summer with the Eagles’ Riley Cooper, and just my own observations with the mostly white teenagers I work with, has led me to believe that to a large degree, the evil, historical origins of the word have been lost, and that is something to be concerned about. I realize that it may be a mistake on my part to briefly bring up something that could be a topic for a doctoral dissertation, but it’s my observation that the casual use of the word, by young people of any color, is going to lead to even more serious upheaval. Recently, groups have come out to ask the NFL to curtail its use in the locker room. I don’t know how you actually monitor and enforce  such a thing, but I find it hopeful that it’s being addressed.

SUPER NOVA:

The NFL needs to get with the times. (PBS)
The NFL needs to get with the times. (PBS)

If you haven’t already seen it, you should watch on PBS the  show NOVA: MAKING THINGS SAFER. They did a segment on improving football helmets that I found fascinating. It seems that the helmet was designed to prevent skull fractures and (obviously) not concussions. There is research going on now, independent of the NFL I believe, to develop a “helmet within a helmet” that would more effectively dissipate energy, thus lowering the risk of concussions. You have to believe that if the NFL hadn’t fought the connection between head injuries and permanent brain damage for so long, that the helmet would probably already be in service and saving lives as we speak.

YO-YO MAN:

Can Rex and the Jets emulate the Pats? (Getty Images)
Can Rex and the Jets emulate the Pats? (Getty Images)

The Jets beat the Pats “yo-yo” record of 2005, when they lost to the Bills, alternating W’s and L’s through the first 10 games of the season. In case you were curious, New England went 10-6 that year, winning their division and making to the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to Colts. Despite the inconsistency of the Jets, I wouldn’t rule them out of the playoff picture, as they still have 2 games remaining with the Dolphins, as well as one each with the Raiders and the Browns. Those are all very winnable games. Easy enough to save Rex Ryan’s job? Probably not. It’s just a thought, but maybe he should stay a defensive coordinator. He’s good at that.

THE “NON-CALL” CALL:

NFL Refs need to get it together. (USA TODAY Sports Images)
NFL Refs need to get it together. (USA TODAY Sports Images)

You know that the NFL is less than convinced when they say things like the officials were, “mechanically correct,” or they “weren’t wrong”, when referring to the final play of the MNF game between the Pats and Panthers. You also have to take it as an admission of guilt on their part when they allowed Tom Brady to absolutely blast the referee on the way off the field without so much as a hint of a fine. I think it’s reasonable to believe that the very athletic 6′-6″, 260 pound Rob Gronkowski  was capable of making a play on the ball if not being seriously held up, and the ref calling it “uncatchable”, is just plain wrong. But having said all that, I worry about the general health, specifically the hand and shoulder, of Tom Brady. A more accurately thrown ball, one thrown where only Gronkowski could go up and get, probably wins the game. It’s obviously a widely held observation that the success of the Pats rests on the shoulders of TB12, I’m just a little concerned that the right one is less than 100%. Stay tuned…

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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