Ma Nishtana 1: NFL Free Agency Period Raises a Few Questions

Posted in Ma Nishtana on March 11th, 2015 by Spounder

Ma Nish logoMarch 11, 2015 – Opening Day for NFL’s Free Agency period has already raised a few questions.  The day was more about trades than FA pick-ups.  Therefore its seems like a perfect time to launch my new addition to The Bench Jockeys called, Ma Nishtana.


Q1  – Why, Father, why is this trade worse than all other trades?

One this night (or some night recently), the Jets acquired Brandon Marshall to bolster its passing game without an NFL QB. Talk about a waste of resources.  That’s like putting a Porsche engine in your Dodge Dart.  Marshall became frustrated with Cutler slinging the ball all over the field in Chicago.  Can you imagine Marshall on a fly pattern looking back to see Geno try and side-arm the rock out to Chris Ivory on 70% of his routes?  Marshall (who is also an NFL Network commentator) will certainly be able to cover a game and play in it at the same time.  64 Catches/709 yards….

Q2 – Why is the Jimmy Graham trade worse than the previous trade?

One this night, the second best team in football acquired the league’s second best tight end in Jimmy Graham.  Something is very wrong when a team is allowed to trade one of the best offensive players in the game for back-end draft picks.  The NFL cap is forcing teams to make idiotic trades and drop fan favorites; it is both ugly and insulting to the fan base.  At least Pete Carroll will have a reasonable excuse to throw it from the 1 yard line next year.

Q3 – Why is the deflate-gate investigation worse than all other cheating investigations?   

Does one get the feeling the NFL is holding the release of any written report on the deflated footballs until a time that nobody cares.  I fully expected an indecisive report to surface with 8 minutes left on the clock before Tampa’s first pick.  The report will only be leaked prior to that time if the NFL has anything on the Patriots other than a ball boy relieving air from 11 footballs in under 90 seconds instead of his bladder.

Q4 – Why on this night are you allowed to tamper but on all other nights you cannot?  

Because, my child, on this night, it’s called legal tampering.  Is this the tamperer’s reward for finding the afikomen?  Has this particular NFL period existed before?  Apparently, now you can talk to a free agent but you can’t make any monetary overtures.  What exactly did Dolphins owner Steven Ross and Ndamukong Suh talk about?  Unless you were living under a rock, you certainly knew the Dolphins were going to throw an obscene amount of money at Suh… Glad that the entire NFL universe was able to work out the particulars of the deal prior to the end of the legal tampering period, because if they followed the NFL’s rules, Ross and Suh were likely discussing the Real Housewives of Miami…356 pounds of girth changes hands and teams – clearly against the rules – without any backlash, but 1 pound of air leaves a football on a cold night and it makes international news… Roger’s Salary should be lowered to $30 Million tops next year.

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GOP Fantasy Draft Kit

Posted in Sport/Pol Crossover, US Politics on September 8th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Sept 8, 2011 – What did we learn from last night’s GOP gab-fest in Simi Valley, Cali?  As far as potential presidential candidates, Mitt Romney looks to be losing his grip on the #1 slot, Rick Perry is gaining ground, Michele Bachmann’s numbers are slipping, Ron Paul is getting older, and no matter how smart Jon Huntsman is, no one is picking him – possibly because of the team he played for last year.  In fact, the whole ranking of GOP hopefuls is not unlike the Fantasy Football draft which 3 of the 4 Bench Jockeys have participated in for the last 20 years and which took place at the exact same time as the Republican debate.  Not a coincidence.

Last night, while DVRing the debate, the stars aligned to allow yours truly to snake Ray Rice as the 6th pick of the draft.  6th!  Although I had to change draft strategies on the fly, I am thrilled with the opportunity to own Ray-Ray through the 2012 election.   Interestingly, four game-tested QBs were selected in the first 13 picks, as a significant percentage of the owners did not want to be saddled with an inexperienced leader at the reigns.  Does that perhaps portend the proclivities of the populace?

However, the more intriguing development was the way Jamaal Charles (touted by the media as a top five selection) plummeted all the way to pick #11.  He was the fantasy equivalent of Newt Gingrich – chock full of spin and promise but ultimately dropping off of the radar when the doubts started to surface.  The media can try to establish the market, but a discerning and involved public understands far more than the pabulum that it is fed.   As I watched the post-mortem on the debate, I was positively disgusted at the manner in which a purportedly unbiased media portrayed each candidate as hero or villain depending on the particular leanings of each pundit.  Make no mistake, the media control the message far better and far more effectively than any campaign manager.  The media has the forum and the capacity to bombard the airways with any sound bite, whether favorable or devastating to a candidate, relative to any subject matter.  The only way that a voter can make a truly informed decision is through an individualized analysis, and honestly, who has the time to rifle through the interwebs to fact-check every candidate?  No one.  And that’s exactly what the media counts on.

So open up wide, America.  CNN, NBC and FOX will keep feeding you their agendas and you can just keep swallowing or, maybe, just maybe, you will come to the voting booths on November 6, 2012 with a well-researched portfolio of facts, data and trend analysis where you can formulate your own decisions about the leadership of this great country.

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NFL SB XLVI Predictions

Posted in Chazerai, Professional Sports on September 8th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

The crack staff at The Bench Jockeys are throwing their two cents in with the array of other soothsayers as the NFL season begins tonight on hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field.  Three of us think the game tonight will feature at least one of the teams who will be raising the Lombardi Trophy in February.  Go on record and send us a message with your predictions.

Brittany Eagles over Patriots
Spounder Patriots over Packers
Zuckerman Saints over Chargers
Paregol Packers over Ravens
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Waiting for Goodell

Posted in Professional Sports on May 21st, 2011 by Spounder

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has been using his idle time to reach out to NFL Season Ticket Holders to offer his support and assurances during this period of uncertainty.  I have not received my call yet, but I am certain it is coming any day.  Roger recently told a Pittsburgh Steelers Season Ticket holder that he is confident that there will be a full 2011 season played.  In the unlikely event that the work stoppage seeps into the Fall, his goal is that there will be a Superbowl.  That technically gives him until February 5th, 2012 to get a deal done to save the 2011 season.  No wonder he has plenty of time to reach out and touch us with his wisdom.

NFL Season Ticket holders are being assured that they will receive 1% on their money if any games are not played.  Wow, that’s reassuring.  If we have to miss an entire year of football, my $3500 investment in my team will be Read more »

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Learn from Draft History or Be Condemned to Repeat it

Posted in Professional Sports on April 23rd, 2011 by Ian Paregol

With the NFL draft looming, The Bench Jockeys did a little research on the top 10 picks over the last 12 years to determine from what draft board selection position was a draftee most likely to start and remain a factor in the NFL.  We looked at the player selections from 1999 to 2010 and ranked the draftees based upon their NFL longevity versus standard player career of four seasons and whether they were a starter or role player.  Players were graded A thru D with an A rating receiving  4 points and a D rating counting as only 1 point.  For all the talk about draft positions and the escalating salaries for certain selections, it is our firm conclusion that Read more »

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Pennington Faces a 4th and Long

Posted in 4th and Long, Professional Sports on April 1st, 2011 by Ian Paregol

James Chadwick Pennington cannot catch a break.  In what must seem like an April Fools’ nightmare, Pennington, who has rehabbed his shoulder, not once,… not twice,… not thrice,… but four times after game related injuries during his career, sustained an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his knee while playing pickup basketball on Thursday.  Pennington has played all 16 games of the football season only twice in his career.

Chad made his first real mark in the NFL when Read more »

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Opening Day for The Bench Jockeys

Posted in Our Mission, Sport/Pol Crossover on March 28th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

It just seemed appropriate that The Bench Jockeys initiated their Blog to coincide with the start of the 2011 MLB Season.  Although there is nothing like debating AL and NL Pennant chances for the upcoming baseball season and analyzing the strengths, but more likely, the weaknesses of current and former ML players, starting this Blog at this time offers The Bench Jockeys the opportunity to assess the potential play-off scenarios in the National Hockey League, as well as the contenders and the pretenders for the Green Jacket, which is  just around the corner on April 7th.  The NBA is just absolute garbage, so you won’t see much from us about that steaming pile, but you will be able to read about the Final Four and VCU’s improbable run.  (We don’t hate basketball, we just hate the NBA.)  Conflicts, oddities and head-shaking actions within NASCAR, soccer, tennis, even the much-maligned PBA, will be served up with cheeky commentary and exploration.

But it’s not just about sports here at The Bench Jockeys, oh no.  We have opinions about any number of subjects.  And along with the sports banter, we intend to mix in a fair share of analysis about the national political scene, potential domestic and global crises, and of course, we fully intend to heckle leaders deserving of derision.  We hope that you will come along for the ride and participate in the discourse.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice it in the pic above, Barack Obama is a lefty.  Now, there’s a big surprise.

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