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FMIA: Deadly Reality For America On Memorial Day; NFL News On Colin Kaepernick, Deshaun Watson, More

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Today is Memorial Day. We mourn those lost in service to our country. Nevertheless you remember those that have been lost—placing flowers at graves, silent observances at home, parades, a toast to honor a deceased love one—it’s a day to be pleased about those that have sacrificed a lot for our country.

I can even remember the 32 people murdered during the last 16 days in our country, in Buffalo at a supermarket, in a church in Laguna Woods, Calif., and in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

I’ll remember Miranda Mathis, Layla Salazar, Uziyah Garcia, Tess Mata, Makenna Elrod, Eliana Garcia, Xavier Lopez, Jayce Luevanos, Jackie Cazaras, Amerie Jo Garza, Alexandria Rubio, Eliahana Torres, Jailah Silguero, Nevaeh Bravo, Maite Rodriguez, Jose Flores Jr., Rojelio Torres, Annabelle Rodriguez, Alithia Ramirez, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, 19 students and two teachers, slain at a faculty in Texas.

I’ll remember security guard Aaron Salter and shoppers Ruth Whitfield, Katherine Massey, Roberta Drury, Margus Morrison, Andre Mackneil, Geraldine Talley, Celestine Chaney, Pearl Young and Heyward Patterson, senselessly dead in a food market in Buffalo.

I’ll remember John Cheng, who died rushing to stop a gunman at a church in southern California, stopping the deaths of more parishioners.

I’m wondering why the individuals who make and implement laws on this country can’t be open-minded a few solution to this cancerous problem. Why is it such a non-starter for a robust person like Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to say, “We now have had too many events like this one in Uvalde, too many events when 19 children and two teachers were murdered in what’s purported to be a secure space. The Second Amendment protects the proper of Americans to bear arms, but we’ve got to ask whether teenagers, just like the one in Uvalde who bought a semi-automatic assault-style rifle days after turning 18, should have the option to purchase deadly weapons. We now have to ask whether the proper to purchase assault-style rifles for 18-year-olds supersedes the rights of 10-year-old girls and boys to be educated in peace. Every part must be on the table now.”

Why can’t the governor of Texas govern all of his residents? Why is it more vital to guard gun-buyers than to guard Xavier Lopez and Tess Mata?

Our country is sick. We now have lawmakers in Washington who won’t consider changing a law with tentacles that our forefathers could never, ever have imagined. James Madison, our fourth president, was the driving force behind the Second Amendment, and don’t you dare tell me he’d have been okay with unstable—stable, even—18-year-olds having the ability to buy killing machines that haven’t any valid use for civilians apart from fast and mass murder. And if you happen to’re within the camp of guns don’t kill people, mental illness does, please stop. An 18-year-old with undiagnosed anger issues, as Salvador Ramos apparently had, experienced no trouble buying the killing machines as soon as he turned 18. The system is made for the Salvador Ramoses to fall through the cracks.

I’m glad, a minimum of, that coaches and players and teams are responding with the gravity this example demands. “When are we going to do something!!” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr yelled. San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he would stop standing for the Anthem before games, writing in an offended blog post: “Each time I place my hand over my heart and take away my hat, I’m participating in a self-congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings happen … I’m not OK with the state of this country.”

Steve Kerr on today’s tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022

Good for Kerr and Kapler, good for the Yankees and Rays. On the primary day of a giant series, they tweeted nothing about baseball and only in regards to the sickness of gun violence within the country. “When will we care in regards to the protection of our youngsters above every little thing else?” pitcher Zack Britton of the Yankees said.

That’s the crux of the difficulty right there. We’re the USA of Guns. We care more about protecting the rights of 18-year-olds to purchase semi-automatic weapons than we do about 10-year-old children being secure at school. It’s time to strengthen and mandate tougher universal background checks before people should buy firearms, to stop selling AR 15-type weapons to civilians, and to boost the age to 21 for an individual to purchase guns. Those mustn’t be controversial decisions based on the recent history in our country. We now have to demand our elected officials do the proper thing and enact higher laws.

A lot of you’re thinking that a football column shouldn’t be the place for diatribes about American life. However the more I watched and browse and heard in the previous few days, the more I feel it’s time all of us rise up and be counted. What sort of country do we wish to live in? One with schoolteachers wearing holsters teaching our youngsters? One with one mass slaughter per fortnight? Where will we stand on the corrosive issue of infinite gun violence in society?

I even have three grandchildren who can be attending public schools in the approaching years. I don’t wish to need to take into consideration their safety virtually every weekday for the remainder of my life, but I’ll—because that’s the best way of life we’ve created in the USA.

We’ve got too many individuals in despair in America straight away to disregard our deadly reality. Steve Kerr is correct: When are we going to do something?

The Raiders study Colin Kaepernick. It’s been five years and five months since Kaepernick played a football game—and that long since he’s even been in regular practice sessions. So the Raiders working him out shouldn’t be an indication that they plan to sign him and have him compete with current Raiders backup quarterbacks Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham to backstop Derek Carr. ESPN reported a signing wasn’t imminent.

Did you hear what Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday when asked in regards to the Kaepernick workout? He said GM Dave Ziegler and his staff “have worked out tons of men this spring.”

Let me inform you a story from my years covering the Giants within the eighties. Coach Bill Parcells, at games, used to hold in his back pocket what he called his “Ready List,” an inventory with two or three prime unsigned players at each position. That way, if the Giants had an injury during a game, Parcells could check the Ready List and direct pro scout Tim Rooney to get Player X to the Giants’ facility so he might be signed by the following day. Parcells was famous for figuring out players to see in the event that they’d be a slot in a time of need, and continually update the list because the yr went on.

Once I heard McDaniels say the Raiders had worked out a ton of men, I assumed of the Ready List, and considered the ton of men McDaniels and Ziegler saw Bill Belichick direct the Patriots to work out after they worked under Belichick. That’s the best way smart NFL people do business. In truth, I heard last week the Raiders have worked out two kickers this month, despite the fact that Las Vegas employs probably the greatest kickers in football, Daniel Carlson. Be ready for emergencies, all the time.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (Getty Images)

My guess is McDaniels and Ziegler have that Ready List, obviously, and the workout of Kaepernick was to see where he might fall on that list in case the Raiders get an injury at quarterback. Or in case one other team gets a quarterback hurt and trades for Mullens, leaving the Raiders with a roster spot to be filled by a quarterback.

Regarding Kaepernick, it’s encouraging that he’s in great shape and still can throw bullets, per several reports from the workout. On the time of his end in football, he was a 59-percent passer over his last two seasons, so accuracy is probably going still a difficulty—that plus the indisputable fact that he hasn’t played in five-and-a-half years. But I’d hope the indisputable fact that this once-electric player had a tryout in Las Vegas and the world didn’t melt in response to it’d mean other teams could be willing to bring him in for a glance.

As Kaepernick said this spring on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, much of his message that was so controversial six years ago is now written in end zones and on uniforms within the NFL: End Racism, amongst other slogans. The Black national anthem is played before some games. As for the kneeling throughout the anthem, some teams would likely take issue with that. But it surely’s interesting that there have been no protests about in Las Vegas, no offended letters to the editor (as of Sunday, a minimum of) of the Las Vegas Review Journal. Perhaps that may make teams more willing to herald Kaepernick for workouts this season.

His age? Well, he’s 13 months older than Russell Wilson, who has said he plans/hopes to play a minimum of 10 more years. The age, in today, mustn’t be much of an element, especially when the common age of the last two Super Bowl-winning QBs and the last two MVP winners is 38.

Kaepernick needs to be taking a look at the sands of hourglass on his profession and considering, If not now, when? That is a crucial yr for his football future, if he’s to have one. I even have doubts his landing spot can be Vegas, but time will tell.

The weirdest football story of the yr that’s mostly a baseball story. You almost certainly saw that Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson before Friday night’s game in a dispute that stemmed from a fantasy-football argument within the 2020 season.

Tommy Pham slapped Joc Pederson across the top and was suspended for 3 games because lingering resentment from a rule regarding IR designation of their fantasy football league spilled over into real life and led to Pham’s attack.

Baseball shouldn’t be real. It’s a Mad Lib. pic.twitter.com/0a41Yi0DGD

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 28, 2022

I’ve heard that revenge is best served cold, but Pham striking Pederson a yr and a half after the alleged dispute? That’s some grudge right there.

“We had an excessive amount of money on the road,” Pham said Saturday, per The Athletic. “I have a look at it like there’s a code. You’re f—ing with my money.”

Interesting. Pham was suspended for 3 games without pay for striking Pederson out of the blue. The advantageous will cost him $138,888. I hope it was a very lucrative fantasy league.

Pederson’s version is that in a single week of the ’20 season, he had a player listed as out in an ESPN league, after which put the player on injured-reserve, which he said was allowed per league rules.

I called the fantasy football guru of gurus, ESPN’s Matthew Berry, to get a ruling on this.

“I’m going by what I heard Joc Pederson say,” Berry said Saturday. “When a player is ‘out,’ he’s allowed to go on an IR spot. That may be a default setting within the ESPN leagues. What Joc did was good roster management.”

Pederson told writers who cover the Giants that a text message circulated within the fantasy league that accused Pederson of cheating by stashing players on IR who shouldn’t be there. But when the ESPN league settings allowed Pederson to place him on the injured list, why should Pederson be blamed for that? He said he screen-shotted the principles interpretation about “out” players being eligible for IR, but that apparently didn’t assuage Pham. Pederson also told Pham he saw that Pham had done the identical thing with an injured player in one other league. Pham accused Pederson of claiming another derogatory things in a text message.

Because it seems, on Saturday evening, there was more to the story, and it was very much a 2022 “more to the story.” Pederson said he sent a GIF to the fantasy league members—including several Padres—making fun of the Pads’ performance, apparently within the playoffs, after they lost a series to the Dodgers (then Pederson’s team), 3 games to none. He apologized if he offended anyone, but said he thought it was fair game since there have been other Padres who took it okay within the group.

Joc showed up with receipts of the fantasy football group chat with Tommy Pham, which included a GIF making fun of the Padres last season pic.twitter.com/rCYbFRdwA8

— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 29, 2022

Moral of the story: Tommy Pham’s got a really short fuse, and Tommy Pham apparently shouldn’t be excellent at taking a joke.

Said Berry: “In fantasy football, there’s absolute confidence passions run deep. But the concept that two major-league baseball players would have a physical altercation so long after something like this happened, well, that’s really bizarre to me.”

Well, what did you expect? “HBO Real Sports” aired interviews with two of the 22 women who’ve filed civil suits in Texas, accusing Watson of sexual impropriety. Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes detailed what they are saying Watson did in addition to their feelings on the Grand Jury’s decision to not charge Watson with a criminal offense. They each ripped the Browns’ signing of Watson for huge money with all of the civil suits hanging over his head.

There weren’t big headlines from the interviews, but several points advanced the story. As I’ve written, the drip-drip-drip of reporters covering this story and learning more from the accusers isn’t going to stop, the tarnishing of Watson isn’t going away, and the Browns’ decision to offer Watson a totally guaranteed five-year, $230-million contract is the most important contractual level-jump an NFL team made this yr.

• Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, admitted in a separate statement that Watson had sexual contact with three of his accusers, but, he said, “each of those occasions were consensual and initiated by the ladies.”

• Judging by the stories of massage therapists Solis and Hayes, Hardin’s version can be challenged severely if the cases are heard in court. Solis told HBO’s Soledad O’Brien throughout the massage, “He [Watson] deliberately grabs himself and puts his penis in my hand. And I pulled my hand away immediately, and I began crying. And I told him that I used to be done.” Hayes said Watson’s penis touched her repeatedly during one session. “In some unspecified time in the future, he did ejaculate. That was mortifying and embarrassing and disgusting,” Hayes said.

• Solis said, “I’m not a sex employee. I’m a massage therapist. For them to say that anything was consensual, either they don’t realize or they don’t care in regards to the danger that puts me in.”

• Solis called the Browns rewarding Watson with the most important guaranteed contract in NFL history “a giant screw you” to the accusers.

• As for the Texas grand juries failing to indict Watson on any charges, Solis said, “I even have absolutely no idea. I don’t see how any of those human beings could have sat there in front of me and think what he did was okay.”

For greater than a yr, a saga of alleged sexual misconduct has followed star quarterback Deshaun Watson, allegations which he flatly denies. On this month’s #RealSports, two of Watson’s accusers sit down with @soledadobrien. Stream the episode now on @HBOMax. pic.twitter.com/qR40bwYCxT

— Real Sports (@RealSportsHBO) May 27, 2022

As for what’s next: That is the 15th month of the league’s investigation into the Watson story. Roger Goodell said last week the investigation is “nearing the top,” and it’s hard to assume what else that’s possible to uncover continues to be on the market to be uncovered. When the investigation is complete, the NFL will hand the findings and possibly a suggested sanction to a former U.S. District Court judge, Sue Robinson. The ex-judge will rule if Watson should face discipline and what the punishment needs to be for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Robinson is considered one of the impartial referees the league and union agreed would impose discipline in cases of possible suspensions.

If there may be discipline imposed, Watson would have the proper to appeal. That’s when Goodell would are available in—he has the ultimate call on whether to cut back whatever sanction Robinson imposed.

As Mike Florio has postulated, it’s going to be interesting to see if the two-year ban MLB imposed on Trevor Bauer for violating the league’s domestic-violence and sexual-assault policy comes into play with Watson. And it’s going to be interesting to see if the league allows Watson to play until the outcomes of the civil cases are final. That seems increasingly unlikely, however the league holds a variety of power in determining when or if Watson could be banned, and if that’s the case, for a way long.

In a football sense, the timing of the suspension is essential, unless it’s for many or all the season. If it’s for, say, six games, the Browns would probably wish to get it served early. The Browns’ early schedule is hugely soft for the primary month (at Carolina, Jets and Steelers at home, at Atlanta … followed by Chargers and Patriots at home). Starting with game seven, Cleveland has Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

If I’m the Browns, I’d breathe a giant sigh of relief if the suspension is six weeks. We’ll see.

The Steelers have a recent GM. I like when teams reward talented people for dedicated, selfless, tireless work. That’s what the Steelers did in naming Omar Khan, 45, to the job of general manager.

Khan grew up a giant Saints fan in Louisiana, the son of an Indian father who learned to like football while a school student on the University of Oklahoma. Father and son watched college football together on Saturdays and the Saints on Sundays, and young Omar, starting at about age 8, knew what he desired to do: He desired to run an NFL franchise. He joked the opposite day that he didn’t wish to be a quarterback like Archie Manning; he desired to be a GM just like the Saints’ Jim Finks.

New York Jets v Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers general manager Omar Khan. (Getty Images)

And so when Steelers president Art Rooney II called him into his office to inform him he was getting the GM job, it was an emotional experience for a child who’s known he’s desired to be a GM for three-and-a-half many years. “I attempted very hard to regulate myself,” Khan said Saturday. “It was such an incredible feeling. It was so emotional for me that I gave Mr. Rooney a giant hug.”

When the emotion is over, Khan, a veteran of twenty-two years within the Steelers’ front office, knows what’s expected. “I understand the expectations of Steelers Nation,” he said. “I’ll be working with a coach in coach [Mike] Tomlin whose passion resonates with everyone within the constructing, and it’s going to drive me every single day. We’ve worked together for 16 years, confided in one another on many things. I’ve never met anyone who has the eagerness for his work that he does.”

Khan’s a giant believer in constructing through the draft, with a training staff that’s a teaching staff. After learning under a standard GM, Kevin Colbert, for therefore long, the Steelers are prone to be the identical sort of team they were under Colbert’s stewardship: Draft-based, with the occasional trade (Minkah Fitzpatrick) and long-term constructing process at vital positions (Kenny Pickett). Don’t search for much change in Pittsburgh, and that’s a superb thing.

The Pro Bowl. Once I began to listen to out of the league meetings last week vague threats that the Pro Bowl might be an endangered species, my first thought (after “GREAT!”) was this: Roger Goodell has had it with the sport. Things like this don’t leak out of the league meetings without pushback if the commissioner is on the opposite end of the spectrum. And from what I hear, he’s not. One one that knows Goodell’s thought process told me: “My bet is Roger goes to kill the sport sometime soon. The celebs don’t wish to play, nobody plays hard, and he sees that it isn’t real football—no tackling, half-effort.”

It could be probably the greatest decisions Goodell could make.

That point of yr. In two weeks, I’m going to have a giant chunk of graduation speeches within the column. I really like them—the stories, the life lessons.

One story before the June 13 column: Tomorrow in Fairfax, Va., the Fairfax High Class of 2022 will hear a commencement address from a member of the Fairfax Class of 2014: Rams safety Nick Scott, who began within the Super Bowl and who’s an incredible story of perseverance in his own right.

The title of his speech: “Embrace your role, but never accept it.”

Scott told me Friday: “It’s surreal. It’s crazy. How I went from Fairfax High to Super Bowl champ in eight years, to think eight years ago I sat where they’ll be sitting and I’ll be trying to offer them some hope and a few knowledge, it’s just wild.”

NFL, Rams, 49ers, NFC ChampionshipRams safety Nick Scott. (Getty Images)

Here’s why Scott’s story is so good for impressionable kids to listen to: He went from Fairfax to Penn State and played special teams almost exclusively till his last yr, 2018, when he played safety as well. The Rams drafted him deep within the seventh round as a special-teamer, and for 2 years he rarely played on defense.

But then, on account of late-season illness after which injury to starting safety Jordan Fuller, Scott began all 4 games within the playoffs for the Rams. He made two memorable plays within the playoffs. Within the divisional game at Tampa Bay, just before halftime, Scott intercepted Tom Brady—which might have been the last pick of Brady’s profession had he not come out of retirement. Within the NFC title game, he laid out Deebo Samuel across the center on a clean hit just before halftime. That was probably the most important hit by a Rams’ defender of their four-game Super Bowl run, and it got here against the important thing player for the Niners within the Rams’ conference title game.

Embrace your role, but never accept it. Meaning?

Scott: “While you exit into the world, you’re going to be a part of a team. Teams are great, teamwork is great. You embrace your role on that team, but never accept the role you may have. Once I got to the Rams, I do know they were considering of me as a special-teams player, but I used to be considering of myself as greater than that. Nobody saw the work I used to be putting in throughout the offseason when nobody was looking. So once I finally got called on to start out, I used to be ready. I knew I could do it.”

Good message. Fairfax High’s finest will hear it tomorrow.

The Accelerator Program is the NFL’s latest try to increase diversity in coaching and front-office ranks after a two-day meeting last week where club owners and operators met with 62 minority assistant coaches and front-office football execs. One in every of the leading Black coaches within the league, Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, said it was an incredible experience, drilling down on the way to prepare for a head-coaching interview and meeting and interacting with multiple owners he’d never met. He praised the NFL for doing it. But the important thing query is, does he think it got him closer to his dream of considered one of 32 head-coach jobs within the NFL?

“Me coming to the meeting didn’t change anything about me,” Glenn told me Thursday. “I feel like I’m an NFL head coach. How the owners feel, I can’t answer that. The change now needs to be: Do they feel I’m worthy?”

Perfectly said. Three questions for Glenn: 

FMIA: Your overall response to this system?

Glenn: “A very good experience. Most of those owners grinded to get where they’re at, similar to we did as players. There have been some excellent speakers. I assumed [Colts coach] Frank Reich really excited the participants. He was passionate, powerful. The perfect thing he said was, ‘I don’t have all of the answers, but I’m going to rent strong people where I’m weak. I do know my strong points, know my weak points.’ You don’t see many men who admit that. That was good to listen to personally.”

Chicago Bears v Detroit LionsLions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. (Getty Images)

FMIA: How much time did you may have with owners, the actual decision-makers?

Glenn: “First night, we had a cocktail hour, which was unbelievable. [Atlanta owner] Arthur Blank, [Cleveland’s] Jimmy Haslam, [the Jets’] Woody Johnson, Steven Jones [of the Cowboys], [Buffalo’s Terry] Mr. Pegula. I not only talked to them, but exchanged personal phone numbers. I told my wife, ‘My phone is price a trillion dollars now.’ Those conversations didn’t have rather a lot to do with football. Who am I as an individual. Who’re they as people. I had possibly 40 minutes with Steven Jones, and a variety of what we talked about was who was one of the best NBA player of all time—LeBron, Kobe or Michael Jordan. I discovered it amazing, the commonality between me and nearly all of these owners on so many things. The one difference is their bank accounts are larger than mine.”

FMIA: What do they find out about you now that they didn’t before the meeting?

Glenn: “I made some extent to myself, I’m just going to be myself. If who I’m is sweet enough, advantageous. I even have an incredible job. I would like to be a HC. I feel I need to be a HC. If I don’t, then I can have a rattling good job with a team and players I really like coaching. But now, after this, the query is with the owners.”

The speculation behind this effort is powerful: Most NFL franchises are owned by white men and run by white men, and coached by staffs of mostly white head coaches and assistant coaches. How do minority coaches and minority GM candidates get noticed greater than they’ve been? (Though, to be fair, Black GMs have been hired in Cleveland, Washington, Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit and Atlanta within the last two-and-a-half years; the Steelers just hired a minority GM. Omar Khan is of Indian/Honduran descent. Seven minority GMs is progress.) It’s a difficulty now mostly within the coaching ranks. This program can’t bear fruit today, but we’ll see if the owners who got out of comfort zones to interact with minority candidates like Glenn last week in Atlanta can be more open-minded in the following couple of hiring cycles. That’s the goal.   

I

“We are going to only talk in regards to the people on our team.”

—Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, refusing to debate the status of quarterback Colin Kaepernick after his Wednesday workout with the team.

II

“Truthfully, it makes me fearful to have children, and that’s not right.”

—Dallas QB Dak Prescott, after 19 elementary-school students and two teachers were murdered in a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas last Tuesday.

III

“I expect him, at a while, more than likely, to be traded. But who knows? That’s not a guarantee. It’s been exactly on hold when that [surgery] happened and when he’s healthy we’ll see what happens.”

—Niners coach Kyle Shanahan, on the status of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo following his post-season shoulder surgery. Looks just like the team is headed toward starting Trey Lance to open the season.

IV

“I take my kids to high school every single day that I can. And I expect to see them every single day when the bell rings and I pick them up to come back home. How within the hell has it turn into a situation where I’m not guaranteed that that can be the scenario every single day, and never this tragedy today?”

—ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, after the horrific school shooting in Texas last Tuesday.

V

“Oh, I’m going to go crazy. I’m going to go crazy.”

—Broncos defensive tackle D.J. Jones, who formerly played with the Niners, on how he’ll react before the Denver-San Francisco game this yr.

The one thing that may alarm me a bit about San Francisco handing the starting quarterback job to Trey Lance is his lack of experience. It also would keep me from making any grandiose judgments about Lance 13 months after he was drafted by the 49ers.

Within the 4 football seasons since enrolling at North Dakota State in 2018—three in college, one in San Francisco—Lance has thrown 389 passes in games. That’s a mean of 97 passes a yr.

You may look it up: 1, 287 and 30 attempts in his three college seasons, 71 in his his rookie NFL season.

Lance is 22 years old. To not get all philosophical here, but sometimes, covering football, we cannibalize young players. We wish quarterbacks drafted high to morph into Justin Herbert by mid-year-one. Well, Herbert threw 1,273 passes at the best level of school football. Lance threw 318 in FBS competition, a step down from Herbert’s level. Lance has thrown 101 passes, total, in his age 20 and 21 years as a quarterback. And now a team that was within the NFL Final 4 last yr is prone to hand him the ball to start out opening day. Likely, but not certain. Slightly perspective could be nice over the following three months, as Lance is put under the OTA/training-camp microscope. 

I could be a little bit more patient with Lance than the din I hear and browse on the market.

Colin Kaepernick’s last game was on Latest Yr’s Day 2017. That’s five years and five months ago, or 1,974 days ago, or 282 weeks ago.

Chip Kelly was Kaepernick’s coach that day—it was Kelly’s last game as an NFL coach. And no wonder the Niners lost that day to complete 2-14: Kaepernick’s skill players, the starters, were running back Shaun Draughn, wideouts Chris Harper and Rod Streater, and tight ends Jim Dray and Garrett Celek.

With 5:42 left in the sport, Kaepernick threw his last of 72 profession touchdown passes, a 9-yard rating to Celek.

At 34 years, 6 months, Kaepernick awaits a second NFL life.

I

Those that claim that nothing could be done just prove they don’t have the creativity or empathy to steer.

— Dan Moderately (@DanRather) May 25, 2022

The previous network news anchor, on the local and federal inaction (a minimum of to this point) within the wake of the Texas school shooting.

II

This was a very interesting piece written by a coach on the within. Principally: America is privatizing Little League, for profit, with some truly dubious results. https://t.co/g9e3ypWSTj

— Jason Gay (@jasongay) May 27, 2022

Gay, the Wall Street Journal sports columnist, with an interesting thread (read all 4 entries) on the decline of for-free youth sports in America. He is completely right.

III

Dear, @gmfb

We did it • 🏆

~ Love, Nate@PSchrags @KyleBrandt @heykayadams @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/qVX2MFweFE

— Nathaniel E Burleson (@nateburleson) May 26, 2022

The CBS/NFL Network NFL analyst, celebrating “Good Morning Football” winning the Sports Emmy for outstanding studio show.

Kudos to Burleson, Peter Schrager, Kyle Brandt and Kay Adams for making a fun and rollicking and informative morning show.

IV

And now it’s time for today’s fascinating moment in air travel. pic.twitter.com/tTDAjik9uY

— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) May 26, 2022

Mike Greenberg is an ESPN host.

V

Georgia Football has unveiled the brand new $80 million renovations to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall 🏫

➖ 136,300 sq ft of latest space
➖ Latest locker room
➖ Player’s lounge
➖ Plunge pool
➖ Nutrition bar
➖ Barbershop
➖ Sensory deprivation tank
➖ Weight room w/ double-sided video board pic.twitter.com/ANbC7dWWEe

— Front Office Sports (@FOS) May 24, 2022

Front Office Sports covers the business of sports and, presumably, the installation of a sensory-deprivation tank for the University of Georgia’s football team.

Your mail was dominated by response to my power rankings. As all the time, send notes to me at peterkingfmia@gmail.com, or on Twitter @peter_king.

Cowboys too low. From Mike Carrol, of Wake Forest, N.C.: “I‘m a homer, I’ll admit it. But a practical one too. The Cowboys will likely not win the Super Bowl, not for talent but quite some cultural or coaching deficiency as we all the time have every fall. Your rankings—the Eagles 9 and Cowboys 14. Everyone has opinions, but my questions are how, what, when, who went down within the offseason to leapfrog a foul team just like the Eagles over the Cowboys? We still have Dak, a superb defense and a superb offense.”

The bad Eagles won six of their last eight to make the playoffs and improved greater than NFC team within the offseason. The simple thing when making rankings in 2022 is to regurgitate the standings of 2021. It never works that way.

Jinxing the Bills. From Jeff Pritchard: “Get off the Bill’s bandwagon. I’m a 64-year-old retired Naval Officer, whose earliest memories are my Dad and his friends yelling on the  black and white TV to get Jack Kemp out of the sport and put Lamonica in. Obviously, it’s been difficult to be a Bills fan for 55-plus years. Possibly it’s the Bills yr … but an excessive amount of hype might get in the best way.”

Not much you’ll be able to do about that, Jeff. They’re one of the best team within the league as we speak today.

Browns too high at 18. From Rick Gagliardo, of Pinehurst, N.C.: “You’ve upset me. You’ve drunk from the annual Cleveland off-season Kool-aid, again. EVERY YEAR we hear this. Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had it right: ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ “

I ranked Cleveland 18. Which means they’d finish around 8-9, possibly 7-10. You make a wierd point, but possibly I’m just not getting it.

On the whole, your rankings stink, and I bet you won’t acknowledge that. From Clayton Short: “How accurate were you in 2021? Your 2022 rankings seem a stretch at best. Eagles and Chargers in top 10 for instancc. Curious if you happen to guys ever recap your projections and go, ‘Yeah I nailed it,’ or ‘I used to be completely delusional in my projections.’ You’ll be the latter indubitably. Curious to see if you happen to actually acknowledge this email.”

The third paragraph of my column last week was about how I stunk last yr. Clayton, I’m wondering if in your line of labor, do your colleagues say, “Did you really read my email before responding to it?”

Colts at 21? From Chad, of Orlando: “Come on, man. Colts at 21? With eight Pro Bowlers and all those recent acquisitions on D? And Matt Ryan? I gotta go lay down. DO BETTER OLD MAN.”

It’s possible you’ll be right. The Colts are higher than 21. They might prove that. I even have a weird taste in my mouth from last yr, and I’m undecided the swap of Carson Wentz for Ryan is sufficient to wash it away. We’ll see.

Seattle (25) too low. From Dan, in Seattle: “I’ll take the Seahawks to win greater than expected. This yr’s day one roster will roll out 12 recent starters over last yr’s day 1. And, aside from QB (yes, a quite vital position) the opposite 11 recent starters will all be an improvement over last yr.”

Sorry Dan. You lost me saying Cody Barton can be higher than Bobby Wagner at middle linebacker. Disqualifying.

1. I feel, legally, probably the most interesting thing to occur within the NFL previously week is a Las Vegas judge ruling that discovery can begin within the Jon Gruden suit against the NFL over his termination. Gruden thinks the NFL leaked his ruinous emails. The NFL obviously would have wanted the case to play out in arbitration, a closed process with nobody hearing the ugly charges and discovery in a potentially explosive case. But Gruden must figure now that even when he loses, he’s going to make it ugly on the NFL.

2. I feel my gut feeling is I’d be rather a lot more anxious in regards to the source of the emails that appeared within the Latest York Times and Wall Street Journal if I were connected with the Washington franchise than if I worked within the league office.

3. I feel the Pro Football Hall of Fame got it right by naming the “Forgotten 4” co-winners of the Hall’s 2022 Ralph Hay Pioneer Award. The yr before Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier, 4 players broke the colour barrier in pro football. Kenny Washington and Woody Strode (who signed with the NFL Rams) and Marion Motley and Bill Willis (who signed with the Browns, then of the All-America Football Conference) can be honored with the award named for Hay, the person who hosted the meeting in 1920 that led to the formation of the present National Football League. Speaking of Washington, Strode, Motley and Willis, Hall president Jim Porter said, “They made one of the crucial profound cultural shifts in pro football history after they broke pro football’s color barrier.”

4. I feel kudos are also to ensure that Bob Glauber and Keyshawn Johnson, who collaborated on a book called “The Forgotten First” last yr, detailing the impact of the 4 men on pro football history—and American history. Glauber and Johnson bringing this story to light had something to do with this award, and so they needs to be happy with the impact they made.

5. I feel Bills quarterback Josh Allen said something interesting the opposite day about leadership and about how he’s been prepping to be on the stage he’s on for a very long time. “Don’t laugh once I say this,” Allen told reporters after a Bills’ offseason practice, “but my dad used to interview me on the strategy to preschool, kindergarten, first grade every single day, he would drive us to high school. He would sit there and he’d ask questions like he was interviewing us on the side of a field, postgame interviews and stuff like that. So I had a variety of practice of that growing up and just had a variety of good people in my life which have sort of showed me the ropes and on the way to be yourself and be true to you.” Assist to Joel Allen right there.

6. I feel it was odd to listen to Saints coach Dennis Allen say of wide receiver Michael Thomas late within the week: “I feel he’s doing well in his rehab. He’s not ready yet.” It has been 21 months since Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain within the 2020 season-opener against Tampa Bay. Do not forget that Thomas set the record for receptions in a season with 149 in 2019. That ankle injury in September 2020 wrecked the last two seasons for Thomas. He began five regular-season games in ’20, then none in 2021 after undergoing ankle surgery prior to training camp last yr. How concerned would I be, some 11 months after surgery, if the top coach said the injury that ruined two straight seasons has not dissipated to the purpose that he’s able to play football two months prior to camp? Quite.

7. I feel I even have an opinion for the NFL regarding the Pro Bowl, which the league is talking about modifying: Put it out of its misery. End it. The 52-percent effort by players makes a mockery of the sport and has for years.

8. I feel I’ve met a variety of players who wish to make the Pro Bowl. I haven’t met many who wish to play within the Pro Bowl.

9. I feel I’ll be concerned about Lamar Jackson not being at practice together with his mates—he has not been practicing at Ravens’ OTAs—when the calendar says August, not May. The thing about offseason practices is that they don’t matter for veterans, except after they’re either learning a brand-new offense or getting used to a recent coaching staff. Otherwise, I’ll see you in training camp.

10. I feel these are my other thoughts of the week:

a. For the record, I is not going to vote for any political candidate who takes a dime from the National Rifle Association. And I can be checking. In the event that they all do, I’ll leave my ballot blank.

b. And no, I is not going to persist with sports, but thanks for asking.

c. Radio Story of the Week: Rachel Martin of NPR with, “How does a Texas teacher proceed working on the day after a faculty shooting?” So well done, with Carla Perez, a teacher from Kyle, Texas, emotionally ending out the college yr, and one other teacher from near Uvalde, Erin Sutton, doing the identical. 

d. Martin talked to Sutton when she on the bus on the best way from the Senior Class Trip to Six Flags amusement park. The scholars deserved it, she said, but after all it was hard to know what to do.

SUTTON: Yeah. It’s hard. Once I picked my [4-year-old] daughter up, she was at daycare. And she or he was very scared. And she or he said that, , that there was a foul guy with a gun, and he or she needed to lay on her belly in school. And my husband is in law enforcement. So she was really scared, wondering where Daddy was because she knows Daddy handles bad guys. It was a tough day. After which, she didn’t sleep thoroughly last night.

MARTIN: How did you sleep?

SUTTON: Probably in regards to the same as her. You retain hearing … there was increasingly numbers throughout the night. And you’ll be able to’t imagine. You already know, I used to be lucky I got to carry my daughter. A number of people didn’t have that.

MARTIN: Is there the rest you would like us to find out about this moment in your community?

SUTTON: Just that life isn’t going to be the identical. This community is eternally going to be touched. I mean, it was once often known as the honey capital of the world. You already know, we had a honey bee festival, celebrated honey. And now that is what we’re going to be known for. And it shouldn’t be that way.

e. Great last query. Give the person you’re interviewing a likelihood to say whatever is on his/her mind.

f. Column of the Week: Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, on the winless Marshall High School softball team in Pasadena. Wrote Plaschke after their final game, a 20-3 road loss:

They finished with a record of 0-18. They’d been outscored 294-32. The Marshall girls glumly gathered their equipment and ready to walk to the bus.

But first, there was something they’d to do. Since they’d not lost every little thing. They’d not lost their pride. They’d not lost their honor. Someway, a way, they’d still not lost their belief within the healing powers of sportsmanship.

So, even after a game that had been cut short, even after a season that had dragged eternally, with … their winless record cemented, the Marshall Eagles made the choice to line up single file at home plate.

They might not go home until they shook hands with the ladies from Mountain View.

… “Sports is all about winning? That’s as removed from the reality as I can imagine,” catcher Maddie Stukel said. “Sports is about having pride in your team, never giving up in your team, never quitting, regardless of how hard you need to quit.”

[Coach Mike] Lundy has already polled his winless, weary players who haven’t graduated about their interest in playing next season. You’ll never guess who’s coming back. Or possibly you’ll.

Everybody.

g. Thanks for writing that, Bill Plaschke. Great lesson there.

h. Obit of the Week: Richard Sandomir within the Latest York Times on baseball lifer and bullpen gardener Joe Pignatano, who died at 92.

i. The colourful Brooklyn-born Pignatano had a classic baseball life, but as Sandomir writes, he’s remembered for the quirky garden within the Mets bullpen that used to grow so big in late summer that it could be seen in old highlights and make people wonder, “What are those huge tomato plants and stakes doing next to the warmup pitchers on the market?” Wrote Sandomir:

In 1969, the yr the Mets unexpectedly won the World Series after seven seasons as a losing team, Pignatano began planting tomatoes within the bullpen beyond right field. Up got here cherry tomatoes, then beefsteak tomatoes. Eventually he grew pumpkins, cucumbers, eggplants, squash, zucchini, radishes and lettuce in a 30-foot long plot, with help from the pitchers who watered the plants.

“I transplant the crops within the spring and we’ve got it every yr,” he told The Associated Press in 1977.

… But few if any of the vegetables found their strategy to the Pignatano home, where he also had a garden. Most of them, [his brother] Frank Pignatano said, were filched by visiting players and umpires.

In 1974, during a two-year period when the Yankees played at Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, Pignatano noticed empty patches within the garden when the Mets returned from road trips.

“Bobby Murcer would pick all of the ripe vegetables,” he told The Associated Press, referring to the Yankee outfielder. “In truth, the entire Yankee team had a feast. When Murcer was traded to the Giants, he left me a note warning that he could be back.”

j. Also … In Joe Pignatano’s last at-bat in the main leagues, with the Mets on the ultimate day of the 1962 season, it was a duel between the 119-loss Mets and 103-loss Cubs before a crowd of three,960 at Wrigley Field. He got here up in the highest of the eighth, no outs, runners on first and second … and hit right into a triple play.

k. The triple play was began with a line drive to the Cubs’ sensible 20-year-old second baseman, Ken Hubbs, who won Rookie of the Yr and the Gold Glove that season. Just a child. Hubbs died piloting his own plane in a Utah snowstorm 16 months later.

l. Pignatano’s first yr as a backup catcher within the bigs got here in in his native Brooklyn. He caught the last inning of the last Brooklyn Dodgers game ever played at Ebbetts Field. His is one heck of a 28-year baseball life.

m. Podcast of the Week: “Father Wants Us Dead,” NJ.com’s have a look at a 51-year-old macabre crime in Westfield, N.J. Rebecca Everett and Jessica Remo investigate the well-plotted murder of 5 relations—mother, wife, daughter and two sons—by creepy accountant John List, and the way List got away with it for 18 years before being caught.

n. It’s an eight-part series—the primary five are out now.

o. The story is so perfectly Jersey at a time, 1971, that America is changing: Religious Dad, unemployed, in major financial trouble with a 19-room house to pay for. Sickly Mom an alcoholic. Rebellious daughter into witchcraft. To not play spoiler here, but there may be a mass murder in a mansion that takes 4 weeks to be discovered, and a really smart, calculating murderer understands the way to wander off in plain sight.   

p. Highly advisable. The reporting is sort of good. There’s a little bit an excessive amount of teasing the following good a part of the story—infinite teases. But if you happen to can address that (and also you’ll have the option to) this can be a heck of a listen.

q. So long, Ellen DeGeneres, with some appropriate last words: “I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself—your true authentic self.”

r. RIP Ray Liotta. What an actor.

s. I’m within the minority, but what really stands proud to me about his roles is Shoeless Joe Jackson. Remember what he told Kevin Costner about Ty Cobb, when he was in the sector (of dreams) and talking about all of the old guys who wanted to come back back for one last game?

t. Liotta as Shoeless Joe: “Ty Cobb desired to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch once we were alive, so we told him to stay it!”

Not optimistic
Raiders will sign Kaepernick.
Hope he gets more tries.

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