Indecision Does Not Compare to The Decision

Dwight Howard is not Lebron James. Not even close.

Has everyone already forgotten the magnitude of the decision? Dwight Howard’s cat and mouse game has baffled us all but it doesn’t come close to reaching the 9.0 on the Richter scale that Lebron’s decision did. Lebron James shook the entire world and changed the entire landscape of the NBA. Dwight Howard is mildly disrupting it.

What is almost as mind-boggling as Dwight Howard’s Mitt Romney-like flip-flopping, is the amount of analysts who are equating this indecision, and even putting it above, “The Decision.” Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated says D-12 will be “every bit the villain Lebron James was in Cleveland” if he stays with Orlando for remainder of the season and signs elsewhere as a free agent.

Absolute nonsense.

Lebron James gave a sexy tease to one of the hardest luck sports cities in North America, only to embarrass them on national TV to create a super team in Miami. Cleveland’s hopes and dreams for some sort of meaningful professional sports championship rested solely in the gigantic hands of Lebron James and he spurned them in the worst way imaginable. Cleveland may have taken it a bit hard but that was to be expected considering the manner in which Lebron handed down his remorseless verdict.

Lebron is still a villain. He can’t shake the label because he is not likeable. He never was. For some reason, it took “The Decision” for people to see it. Nevertheless, Lebron is now loved by fans about as much as a 1st grader loves Brussels sprouts. That won’t change anytime soon.

Dwight is a fan favourite. He is Superman. You can’t stay mad at Superman forever. Seriously though, Dwight is beloved. Lebron was a fan favourite but it was never the same as Dwight. Howard’s antics right now are rubbing people the wrong way but one of those patented Stan Van Gundy impressions will turn the fans back around. If not, his Hollywood smile will. The King sneers while Superman smiles.

Even though Dwight Howard seems to be getting damage control lessons from the Lebron James entourage school of public relations these days, he hasn’t done enough to soil his reputation the way LBJ did. Heck, Superman could hold his own TV special and he wouldn’t be half the villain Lebron is.

Orlando residents don’t long for a championship the way the Cleveland fans did and still do. The front office and fans might be doing just as much as Cleveland did (maybe more?) to keep Howard in a Magic uniform but the animosity towards him following their inevitable split could never be the same.

Dwight Howard will be booed when he comes back to Orlando in a *insert team name here*jersey but he won’t be booed around the league.

This doesn’t “rival Lebron James’ exodus from Cleveland” as Sam Amick tries to tell us. It would be foolish to think that Dwight Howard could ever be thought of in the same light as Lebron James. Dwight Howard has yet to give up on his team despite the trade demands. His quietness stopped playing in game 5 of the Eastern Finals when hopes for a championship and his return to the city of Cleveland were still sky-high.

“The Decision” was the O.J. trial for the sports world.

Dwight’s indecision hardly tops the ‘Melo drama we were witness to last year.

Superman should have known better than to anger the masses in a way more befitting Batman. I cannot tell you the reason why he was unable to learn from Lebron and Carmelo. Dwight Howard has screwed up big time. I get it.

Just don’t go around likening it to “The Decision.”

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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No Such Thing as Overpaying

It had to be done.

The Washington Redskins were in a bidding war that they happily won. Their prize is the most electrifying and talented quarterbacks to come out of college since Michael Vick. The Redskins may have given up a lot of draft picks but this sacrifice was one with the future in mind.

For a franchise quarterback, there is almost no such thing as overpaying.

There are no guarantees in life. Robert Griffin III could very well be the next Ryan Leaf. He could be the next Alex Smith. Heck, I don’t even think Nostradamus were alive today he could tell us what’s in store for RGIII. Nevertheless, the Washington Redskins are doing the right thing.

I could go on for days about the follies of risking the future for the now. I chastised Hue Jackson for acquiring Carson Palmer. I questioned Julio Jones prior to Thomas Dimitroff’s draft day gamble. I lamented over Randy Moss’ return to Minnesota in the Brett Favre era.

However, this is different. It’s apples and oranges, cats and dogs, Toyota’s and Lexus’. Well, you get the picture.

Unlike the Hue Jackson led Raiders, the Redskins have not forfeited their future for a small window of opportunity. The Redskins gave up bits of their future to create a garage door sized opportunity for their franchise. Mike Shannahan and Co. may already be better off right now because of Robert Griffin but they have also put themselves in an extraordinary position for the next decade.

The NFL is a quarterback driven league. There is no denying it. Make whatever you want of the new rules but the fact of the matter is that the quarterback is king. Without a quarterback, you have about as much as chance of winning the Super Bowl as you do the lottery. It’s not overpaying if you’re solidifying the future of your franchise.

The league was a bit different back in the day but Mike Ditka should have known that a running back doesn’t lead a franchise to championships when he sold the farm, his house and the shirt off his back for Ricky Williams. Wide Receivers, they aren’t much different. They’re a dime a dozen.

Great quarterbacks, on the other hand, aren’t easy to get like an over the counter drug.

I’m not here to dissect RGIII’s tools but the Redskins are getting a guy with all the physical weapons to go along with an outstanding pedigree. His mother and father, both lawyers, have no doubt passed their intellect and work ethic onto their son. You see it in the way Griffin speaks and carries himself. This isn’t Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell version 2.0, at least, no chance for the same kind of bust.

In a division as tough as the NFC East, the Redskins need a quarterback better than Rex Grossman and Jon Beck. They need a franchise quarterback to compete with Eli Manning, Michael Vick and Tony Romo. They couldn’t sit and wait for a player like Ryan Tannehill to develop for the next few years, hoping that one day he turns into a star when they had the opportunity to make the trade that they made yesterday. With quarterbacks, you have to go with as close as you can get to the sure thing.

Robert Griffin III just happens to be as close as it gets for the Washington Redskins.

I wouldn’t call giving up three 1st rounders and a 2nd round pick gutsy. I call it necessary.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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Saints Bounty Scandal Overblown

Let the vilification begin. The Saints are on their way from being seen as, well, saints to scoundrels. The team that boosted the morale of the city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina aren’t so angelic after all. The halo hovering over Sean Payton are now devil horns grotesquely protruding from his head.

The severe punishment the Saints will undoubtedly receive is justified. However, the accompanying public slander is not.

Don’t get me wrong, the bounty system is despicable and I’m not talking about those cute little characters from the animated movie. In a game where violence is already front and center, adding a monetary incentive to hurt opposing human beings is downright heartless.

I am all for Roger Goodell’s stance on eliminating head shots from the game of football. The NFL may be a little sissier in this era but for the long-term health and safety of the players who don’t understand enough about the issue to help themselves, the increased sissiness is well worth it.

The New Orleans Saints have to be penalized severely for this bounty scandal. The NFL has to do it to send a message around the league as it has done with head shot artists like James Harrison. If it takes a couple of draft picks a million bucks that is fine by me.

What I won’t stand for though is the defamation of the Saints. Similarly to the UCLA incident earlier this week, the Saints are going to be seen in a light that they don’t deserve. It isn’t right that UCLA basketball players were doing ecstasy at raves or that star players were receiving excessive preferential treatment. The problem with the Sports Illustrated story was that it made out UCLA to be the only team in the country to have those issues.

That shouldn’t happen for the New Orleans Saints either.

The sad fact of the matter is that the bounty program is an old practice in the NFL. Gregg Williams didn’t invent it in 2009. Heck, the Washington Post reported that the Washington Redskins had a bounty program under Gregg Williams as well. The famous bounty bowl games in 1989 where Buddy Ryan had bounties placed on quarterback Tory Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas are the most famous instances of this practice.

It’s an age-old system that certainly still takes place across the NFL. The Saints just happened to be the team that got caught.

Brett Favre’s comments on the subject speak volumes considering he was one of the biggest targets of the Saints bounty scandal. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered up $10,000 to knock him out of the NFC Championship game in 2009. Favre took some brutal shots that very much bordered on the illegal variety that game. Nevertheless, Favre was not upset, noting that that bounties are simply a part of the game. The ageless wonder stated that “said or unsaid, guys do it anyway.” “I’m not pissed. It’s football.”

Like steroids, because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right but vilifying the Saints alone isn’t warranted. I’m no NFL insider but this is surely a practice that is understood by players around the league as not being uncommon and possibly the norm. Listen to what Brett Favre is saying. He wasn’t the least bit surprised.

Everyone seems to be placing this scandal on a different level than Spygate. The title of John Clayton’s article on ESPN is “Saints bounty story worse than Spygate.” I don’t see it that way. To the best of my knowledge, the filming of opposing team’s walkthroughs is not one of those unsaid things that teams around the league do. I’m thinking Brett Favre would be more than a little bit pissed if he had been told that the Saints had been videotaping his team’s signals.

Who knows, Spygate might have been the reason behind a Super Bowl victory or two for the New England Patriots. Other Super Bowl champion teams aren’t doing that kind of thing. If we are strictly talking about integrity of the game, this bounty scandal can in no way be worse than Spygate.

A tarnished legacy for doing what other teams are doing and have been doing for years isn’t fair. Do we really know that the Minnesota Vikings didn’t have a bounty program as well in 2009? Sure, it’s naive to believe no one other than the New England Patriots have at least attempted to cheat the game using comparable methods but nothing has come out since 2008. The Washington Redskins have already been outed for their bounty program of the past. How much more is out there?

Hopefully Roger Goodell sends a message loud enough so that these bounty programs can finally be put to a halt. Player safety is the number one priority. Give the Saints the chair so to speak.

Just don’t let it ruin the their reputation.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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