Under Center: The NFL In The New Millennium

Chapter Seventeen, Part Seven: Pivot, Saban Says 'See Ya!', & Shield Snaps Back
March 10, 2017: The McMahon legal team re-interpret their case, claiming that Roczik’s actions are still enough to hold the NFL liable. They claim that, even without the direct intent of the NFL to leak and harm the FFL, the shield still severely limited business opportunities for the federal league and acted in a monopolistic, illegal fashion.

March 11, 2017: In a shocking move, New York Giants Head Coach Nick Saban retires after twelve seasons with the team. The four-time Super Bowl-winning coach hangs up the clipboard after a “heart episode”, at the age of 65. The Giants immediately move to replace him, naming offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interim head coach, while hoping to strike gold with a hire late in the hunt for coaches. Rumored candidates include former Raiders and Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden, former Giants OC and current Texas head coach Sean Payton, and Packers DC Ron Rivera, with some even speculating that, for the season, Giants and Patriots legend and Hall of Famer Bill Parcells could come out of retirement and coach the team.

March 13, 2017: The NFL paints the narrative that they not only should not be held responsible for Roczik’s actions, but they did not cause the decline of the FFL. Using the precedent set by the USFL case, they say that the FFL was it’s own worst enemy, making decisions that could be expected to fair poorly. These include the rapid expansion, accruing of debts exceeding “startup costs”, and signing young players to multi-million dollar contracts with little proof of their ability. The NFL team further presses that the FFL’s chorus of billionaire owners, each of whom invested without a vetting process, only succeeded in dividing the young league up, making it uncontrollable.

As always, please comment your thoughts on the latest events, and feel free to DM me about your thoughts, ideas, or random musings. Be sure to like this, and thanks for reading.
Chapter Seventeen, Part Eight: Trust Tantrum, Trump Taunts, & Ray Rice Ruined
March 15, 2017: The NFL calls to the stand FFL owner Vince McMahon. He is questioned on his decision-making, and the financials of the operation, being noted as “too hostile” while still “stuttering”. At one point, McMahon makes the comment that “the FFL is made of a few teams and owners who want and expect success. The NFL is the same, although it’s a monopoly that the government protects at every turn, it’s a trust. This is a trust between sponsors, networks, and the league preventing any meaningful competition!”, drawing a call from the judge to settle down. The outburst spawns parody, becoming well known as the “trust bust testimony”.

March 17, 2017: Donald Trump is officially bought out from the Five Boroughs Group. After the transaction, he calls the group “a bunch of losers” on social media and says to the New York Post that he will “run all of them out of the sports business”. It is unknown how Trump plans to do such a thing, but he has hinted towards an intention to possibly buy an MLB team or another NBA team.

March 20, 2017: Ray Rice, the four-time Pro Bowler Dallas Cowboys running back, is arrested for domestic violence and battery, after a video of him beating his wife, Janay, is released. The video, from a hotel elevator in Philadelphia, shows Rice kicking the back of his wife’s left leg, and then giving her a sharp punch to the back of the head. The NFL, upon the arrest, immediately suspends Rice indefinitely, while forcing the Cowboys to pull all Rice-related memorabilia from their website and shops.

As always, please comment your thoughts on the latest events, and feel free to DM me about your thoughts, ideas, or random musings. Be sure to like this, and thanks for reading.
Chapter Seventeen, Part Nine: Rice Cut, Lamar Disses The Shield, Payton Goes Blue, & The Comparison
March 21, 2017: Ray Rice is cut by the Dallas Cowboys, due to his domestic abuse-related arrest. Rice does not comment publicly on either his arrest or release.

March 23, 2017: Lamar Jackson, the quarterback for the Houston Roughnecks, calls the NFL’s legal defense a “joke”, and “totally outrageous” in a press conference.

March 25, 2017: Texas Head Coach Sean Payton is announced as the next head coach of the New York Giants. Payton retains Eric Bieniemy as his offensive coordinator, although he replaces incumbent DC Jeremy Pruitt with noted defensive expert Rex Ryan. Payton, the former Giants offensive coordinator who won two Super Bowls with the team and helped develop superstar quarterback Drew Brees, says that his hiring reaffirms the team’s commitment to excellence on both sides of the ball, as well as their partnership with the aging Brees. In addition to developing Brees, Payton made waves for his coaching of presumptive first overall pick Patrick Mahomes while at Texas, taking his raw skills and talents and turning him into a premier quarterback on the college stage.

March 27, 2017: A video put together by the sports website The Game shows clips of Brett Favre in the late 90s throwing in-game, interspersed with similar clips of Texas prospect Patrick Mahomes. The clip, which further includes a breakdown of the footage, goes viral and sends the hype around Mahomes into over-drive.

As always, please comment your thoughts on the latest events, and feel free to DM me about your thoughts, ideas, or random musings. Be sure to like this, and thanks for reading.
Chapter Seventeen, Part Ten: Last Resort, Chief Cousins, Amsterdam Giants, & MLB Opening Day 2017
March 29, 2017: A major advancement is made in the NFL v. McMahon case, as the McMahon lawyers begin to lay down their “last resort”, a final attack on the personal reputations of Commissioner Steve Young and Walter Roczik. They allege a vast conspiracy against the FFL, perpetrated by the NFL, and directed by Commissioner Young.

March 30, 2017: Kirk Cousins signs with the Kansas City Chiefs for a fully guaranteed contract worth $56 million over two years. Cousins, replacing Johnny Manziel as the team’s starting quarterback, comes fresh off of a stint with the Dallas Cowboys, where he earned the nickname “America’s Quarterback” from Jerry Jones. His reputation, while not one of consistency, shines due to its circumstantial brilliance, and it’s believed that, when surrounded by a good o-line and receiving talent, Cousins is an upper-tier quarterback. His contract is one of the richest in league history and is the first fully guaranteed contract ever signed.

April 1, 2017: The New York Giants make headlines for their announcement, over social media, that they would relocate over to Amsterdam and become the Amsterdam Giants. Done as an April Fools’ Joke, it made front pages on several local papers and was discussed by many sports talk hosts, both on television and radio, across the nation.

April 2, 2017: On MLB Opening Day 2017, the Chicago White Sox, fresh off a World Series appearance, defeat the Cleveland Indians, 5-0, as Johnny “Caveman” Cueto pitches a no-hitter, including an immaculate first inning.

The World Champion New York Mets defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-1, as Nolan Arenado, the Mets’ star player, mashes three home runs, and afterward, talks of the team’s intention to win another world title. The game marks the first time since 2004 that they’ve opened the season without long-time captain David Wright, who is still rehabbing from a neck injury suffered in spring training.

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Colorado Rockies, 4-2, as Clayton Kershaw pitches seven innings for the bums, giving up no runs and only two hits while striking out ten batters. Mike Trout of the Dodgers busted the game open in the fifth inning with a three-run blast going 456 feet, one of the longest home runs measured in the decade.

The Texas Rangers, starting Max Scherzer, managed to overcome the Boston Red Sox 8-6 in thirteen innings. Scherzer pitched well until the sixth when he gave up two runs and was pulled with the bases loaded. Scherzer was succeeded by Jeurys Familia, who proceeded to walk a batter before striking out the side. The Sox, meanwhile, had given up four runs between the third and fourth innings, behind a collapse from Masahiro Tanaka. The game ended up tied 5-5 in the ninth, with the score holding until the top of the eleventh, when the Rangers scored on a sacrifice fly, only for Boston slugger Yoenis Cespedes to hit a bomb on the first pitch of the bottom eleventh. Finally, after thirteen innings, Rangers’ outfielder Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer, before the Red Sox side was retired to finish off the game.

As always, please comment your thoughts on the latest events, and feel free to DM me about your thoughts, ideas, or random musings. Be sure to like this, and thanks for reading.