What’s the Deal with Dak?

Dak After Loss

Dak Prescott after the 26-15 loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving Day

If there was ever a team destined for drama, it is the Dallas Cowboys.  They have a prima donna owner, a puppet of a coach, and players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot that just keep the story line going. And they play in the world’s most bodacious stadium.

And that’s how some people are; full of hype but no hope, full of fluff but no real stuff. They’re just good on paper. And right now, the Dallas Cowboys (and my Eagles too!) are just good on paper.

According to NFL custom, yesterday the Cowboys played their annual Thanksgiving Day game.  The fans in the Jerry Dome (a.k.a. AT&T Stadium) were joined by a national television audience that watched in horror as the ‘Boys proceeded to lose to the Buffalo Bills, 26 -15, and it wasn’t that close. The Buffalo Bills entered their Thanksgiving Day matchup with an impressive 8-3 record, but most analysts didn’t give Buffalo much of a chance to contend in the playoffs, and they were 6.5-point underdogs in Dallas on Thursday. But after an impressive, opening first quarter drive that made the ‘Boys look invincible, they managed to literally fumble and bumble the game away.

Now let’s provide a little context. This was the game after the game that they lost to the World champion New England Patriots. After the loss to the Pats, their prima donna owner ripped Head Coach Jason Garrett and the coaching staff a new one. Jerry all but threatened to fire the entire coaching staff for the poor performance on the field.

But were taking about Dak here. Coaches can’t control performance and execution, and Dak hasn’t being playing well of late.  You would think that Dak would come out and play lights out like Lamar Jackson, especially AT HOME on Thanksgiving. Nope. Didn’t happen, at least not for the last 50 minutes of the game. You would think that Dak would dance his way back into the favor of Cowboy Nation and put some distance between them and Philly; strike two. And you would think that the entire Cowboys team would show up and show out if they wanted to save their coach.  Clang. That one bounced off the back of the rim. Game, set match, Buffalo Bills. 

Maybe Dak needs to do his pregame dance a little more? (Or is a little less?) Oh well. It all may come down to a Eagles/Dallas showdown in Philly in a few weeks.

Go Birds! 

 

Note to Vonte Davis: “Don’t Quit Halfway Through”

 

Vontae Davis
Vontae Davis Walks Out and Walks Away

Vontae Davis quit halfway through.  That’s right. A PROFESSIONAL NFL football player actually played one half of a game, took a look around him, and realized how bad the situation was, and, instead of pledging to help make it better, he quit. Forget this retirement rhetoric; that’s garbage. Dude quit.  Vontae Davis called it quits at halftime, when his Bills were losing 28-6 to the Chargers.  The final score was 31 – 20.

For the first time in NFL history, a player, namely the Buffalo Bills’ cornerback Vontae Davis, called it a career and retired at halftime. With the Bills looking like the worst team in the NFL, per CBS Sports, this sudden change to the team’s roster is unlikely to make things better.  

The veteran defensive back  pulled the most incredible exit in NFL history yesterday when he decided at halftime that he was calling it a career. He pulled himself out of the game,  put on his street clothes, walked out of the stadium and decided to retire, right there. This is one of the Bills’ starting cornerbacks!  The 30-year-old cornerback, a first-round pick in 2009, spent a majority of his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts. He played in 121 games and finishes his career with 22 interceptions and 98 pass deflections. 

So let’s analyze the situation for a minute: Yes the Bills stink. In the season opener on Sunday, September 9, 2018, the Baltimore Ravens dominated the game and slaughtered the Bills with a final score of 47 to 3.  That’s beyond bad. And no, you don’t get better in an instant. But yes, the Bills were a playoff team last year. But no, you don’t quit halfway through. It’s that simple. It’s like cheating, or accusing someone of cheating that isn’t cheating. You don’t. You just don’t. 

Davis said later that he came to the realization during the first half that he didn’t belong on an NFL football field any longer and that he should just retire. (Buffalo was down 28–6, so maybe a few other players should have had the same epiphany.) He said he didn’t mean to disrespect his teammates but they clearly still felt disrespected.

But don’t we teach our children not to give up and not to give in? Don’t we teach our boys and girls to be team players and not to be selfish? Aren’t we supposed to model before the next generation how to gut it out and suck it up? 

Incredibly, some are defending Davis for what he did. Why? Because this is a me first generation. This is an “I before we, me before you” and everybody else society that doesn’t give a hoot about how their actions affect anyone else.  And it’s said. It’s all so, so said.

 Here’s what Mr. Davis had to say for himself:

“This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” Davis said, via NFL network. “But in my 10th NFL season, I have been doing what my body has been programmed to do: get ready to play on game day. I’ve endured multiple surgeries and played through many different injuries throughout my career and, over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge.”

“I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level,” Davis said, via NFL network. “But physically, I know today that isn’t possible and I had an honest moment with myself. While I was on the field, I just didn’t feel right, and I told the coaches, ‘I’m not feeling myself’.”

So you quit at halftime? Seriously?  He signed a one year deal with the Bills who weren’t that bad last year. But that was then, and this is now.  We’ve all learned that decisions should not be made on a whim or in the heat of the moment. Davis’s snap decision in the “now” moment certainly could be rethought or, even rescinded. But based on his statement, it doesn’t look like that will be the case. 

Mr. Davis went out and he put a bad taste in a lot of fans and players mouths.  And that’s just not how one should want to be remembered.

Shining Light On A Shady Deal

lesean-mccoy-getty-5

LeSean “Shady” McCoy was the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles. The star running back was the stellar backbone of the team. He was positive and productive, constant and consistent, steady and stable, all rolled up into one.  Shady was the emotional constitution of the Eagles.  He was their vital center and their vibrant core. He was their footing and their foundation, and now he’s gone.

“Shady” McCoy is not the name of a protagonist from an old western movie. It is, in fact, the cool nickname of the top-scoring running back in the NFL.  

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy received the nickname “Shady” from his mother as a baby, due to his constantly changing mood. McCoy’s mother said that her son would “go from smiling one minute to shy the next.” Shady can now stand for McCoy’s elusiveness on the field. A quick-shift running back, McCoy is there one second and gone the next. 

For some reason, the Eagles organization found it in their hearts to trade their bread and butter.    For some reason, the Eagles punted and parachuted the 2013 NFL Rushing Champion, their best player and their highest hope for bringing a Super Bowl to Philly.  In other words, in the eyes of the Philly faithful, the Eagles just bagged a big mistake. Or did they?

McCoy Rushing

Shady deals can be doubtful and debatable, dubious and devious, disenchanting and disappointing.  And everyone who’s got a heart, fans and foes alike, are leery and loopy, cynical and skeptical, in disbelief and downright dejected about this trade.

Shady is not an attribute or an attitude you want anyone you deal with to have.  Shady salesmen and shifty spokesmen never quite win you over. And this deal has all of the ingredients of a sour lemon. They say that the Eagles are “saving” money and banking salary, but tell that to a woman who now must ride the bus when she was accustomed to being chauffeured all over town.  The big numbers in this trade were $24.25 million and $1.69 million. The former is what McCoy is owed the next three years; the latter is what Kiko Alonso will make on his rookie contract this year and next, according to Spotrac.

lesean-mccoy

But it can’t be all about the money. McCoy has big shoes to fill. And yes the Eagles defense is detestable (actually, the Eagle’s “D” STINKS to high heaven!) and needs all of the help it can get; but fans would rather see addition rather than subtraction used to solve this mammoth math problem.

And so the deal is this: time will tell whether the Eagles made a good deal or no. Super Bowls are won and lost just as much off the field as on the field, and just as much during the off-season as during the regular season.  And it takes guts to make decisions that aren’t popular or pleasing to the naked eye, and yet are the right move to make.

Spiritually speaking, God made a shady deal too. He sent His Son, his only begotten Son, down to earth to redeem mankind from sin and shame. On the face of it, that was a shady deal. It was a tricky and risky, chancy and dicey deal fraught with uncertainty and filled with ambiguity, because it was based upon the free will of man. It was contingent upon man’s reception of Jesus Christ, and the only certainty was God’s love. The risk God took was that man had the freedom to accept or reject His love. But that deal worked out pretty good, and it continues to work out in the hearts of faithful believers every day.

And so, like my parents used to say: “we’ll see.” We’ll see if this trade works out. We’ll see if Coach Chip Kelly really knows what he’s doing. We’ll see if the Eagles can and will bounce back and move forward without McCoy. And as shady as it seems, this deal just might turn out all right after all. 

#KellyTough: No. 12, Jim Kelly

jim-kelly-daughter-hospital

“Fight the good fight of Faith . . . ” 1 Timothy 6:12

Jim Kelly and his fight to beat cancer is a powerfully potent, stimulatingly stirring story of health and hope. His strength and his stamina, his attitude and his fortitude, his will power and his staying power have carried him through the death of an infant son and now are carrying him through his battle with this dreaded disease.

Most, if not all great athletes are better people than they are competitors. Most great athletes are better at life than they are at sports. Most great athletes are bigger winners off the field than they are on. So, since Jim Kelly is a great athlete, it follows that he is a greater person. And his successes on the field are far outshined and overshadowed by his victory over this fearsome and formidable foe.

Jim Kelly, the Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback who lead his team to four consecutive Super Bowls, was once remembered as the quarterback “who couldn’t win the big game.” Now, we hope that he will be remembered as the quarterback who beat “The Big C.”

Cancer is an enemy that has claimed many lives and destroyed many more livelihoods. Cancer is an enemy. And it is an enemy that will be destroyed. But in order for it to be destroyed, if first must be beat, and in order for it to be beat, it must be fought. And Jim Kelly is a fighter, on the field and off, so he is more than fit for the fight.

Kelly will be an honorary captain when the Bills take on the Giants in the Hall of Fame Game, and NBC’s “Outside the Lines” aired a special on the former Bills quarterback leading up to the game. Kelly said he’s been trying to live his life as he normally would in recent months.

“I’m kind of beating this,” Kelly said. “That’s why I continue to do things I love and I enjoy.” Kelly goes on to say that “There is no way I’d be here without my faith; it’s been such a roller coaster (ride). So many things . . . the Super Bowl losses, the fabulous career, my son born sick, making the Hall of Fame, my son dying, two plates and 10 screws in my back after major surgery, one plate and six screws in my neck after another surgery, a double hernia, the cancer, surgery on my jaw, the cancer coming back, now what I’m facing. But …

He looked at (his daughter) Erin.

“When you’re going through pain, you’re what?” he said.

Not even a millisecond elapsed.

“Kelly tough,” said the eldest daughter of Jim Kelly.

So let’s pray and rejoice and pull for the great Jim Kelly. His grit and his guts, his moral fiber and his charismatic character are examples for us all. He’s a shining example of faith in action, of joy in the midst of sorrow, and of “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

http://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/index.ssf/2014/08/jim_kelly_outside_the_lines_espn.html