Tater Takes On Burkinis, Babies and Books

Burkini Bans: The news broke today that the French court ruled that mayors could not ban burkinis on their public beaches. I was happy to see this news. It’s ridiculous that burkinis were banned in the first place, especially in France where their beaches are generally known for an anything goes attitude when it comes to swimsuits or the lack thereof. This was just another stupid “all Muslims are bad” reaction to terrorism. Somehow, we are supposed to assume a woman in a burkini wants to kill us all and not just simply enjoy the beach while wearing what makes her comfortable. We feel comfortable assuming all Muslims are bad because of terrorist acts of a radical extreme, but we would never assume every white guy with a gun wants to shoot up a movie theater or church. We can’t judge and discriminate against someone else for the actions of another. I’m glad to see the French courts agree.

Birthing Babies: Yesterday the news was posted on sports sites and twitter feeds that AJ Green would miss a game for the birth of his child. This was broken like it was big news. I don’t get why it’s such big news. I missed work when my kids were born. I think most people who have the ability to be there for the birth of their child are there for the event. I know Green makes a lot more money than me, but should that mean that he should go to work instead of being there for the birth?  This isn’t news. It’s a father doing the right thing.

Books: I am reading a book that features a deaf character in parts. I like the books, but I think it’s weird that all other dialogue is in regular print, but the dialogue in sign language is in italics.  Is this normal for books with deaf characters? Do they really think we need an indication that this dialogue is in sign language? Can’t we just assume that if the deaf character is speaking, this is likely the case? Can’t the dialogue just be in regular print like the rest? I don’t know why it annoys me so much. It just does.

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Let’s Talk About Cheaters and Their Balls

Unless you have been living under a rock the past week you have likely heard the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots and their deflated balls. At this point, it seems like there is enough evidence to prove that the balls were deflated and that the New England Patriots have cheated once again. Bill Bellichek can claim all he wants that he knows nothing about the issues with his balls, but we all know that isn’t true. We have to assume that since Tom Brady and the rest of the offense spends their entire career handling balls that they had to know as well. My personal opinion is that Bill Belichek needs to be suspended since this is his second time being caught cheating. If the NFL had any guts they would suspend him for the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, what will likely happen is that they will be so mad at New England that they will fine Marshawn Lynch more money for grabbing his crotch(maybe we was making sure his balls were properly inflated?) and not talking to the media.

This is not a sore loser complaint. I’m not saying the Ravens lost to NE because of their balls(I do blame GB’s loss on the lack of balls). I’m saying that I don’t like cheaters and that we seem to be to willing to forgive the cheaters of the world. There are plenty of people out there who think nothing should be done because they assume NE would have won anyway. These are probably the same people who think the steroid users from baseball deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. These are probably people who would and possibly have cheated to get ahead in life.  We use the excuse that “everyone else is doing it” so it’s OK for us to do it as well. Do I think that there is a good chance that every team in sports cheats in some way? Yes, I think bending and violating rules is common place. Do I think that’s OK? No, I don’t. I would like to think that my team’s ownership, coaches and players are honest, but I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that they aren’t. I also wouldn’t argue that it’s no big deal. If John Harbaugh was caught cheating I would wnat him suspended by the NFL and fired by the team. Same goes for John Calipari at UK. I would rather be an honest loser than a cheating winner.

Ravens Off Season Thoughts

Now that the Ravens are done for the year, it’s time to start looking ahead to off season moves. We will be saying goodbye to some familiar names this year. I think the following will not be on the team next year:

Michael Oher – too inconsistent.

Arthur Jones – too expensive

Jacoby Jones – too expensive for what he does

Ed Dickson – We have Pitta and Dickson can’t catch

James Ihedigbo – Elam will move to strong safety and they will bring in a free safety.

I think Suggs will restructure and stay with the team. If he refuses, I believe they really will cut him.

I think the O line will be addressed via free agency, while the WR and safety positions are filled mainly via the draft.

I think the team would really like Caldwell to get offered a job so they can bring in another OC.

I think they will pick up another young RB either late in the draft or free agency in case Rice/Pierce don’t improve.

Other veterans I am not expecting to leave might be cut.

Monday Morning Quarterback, October 14, 2013

The Ravens lose a close one to the cheese heads 19-17. Here’s the good and bad.

The bad:

The offense still can’t score early and they started from behind again.

The run game is essentially nonexistent.

The offensive line is still really bad.

The defense gave up big plays at really bad times.

Questionable coaching calls like going for it on 4th and goal when down 3-0

Stupid “fans” who boo the team and now hate Rice, Flacco and assorted other players because they are 3-3. I hate fair weather fans.

The good:

Jacobi Jones looked good in his return as did Marlon Brown.

The defense did a good job of making it a winnable game.

The only major injury was to the team photographer.

We don’t wear dairy products on our heads.

Monday-morning quarterback

The Ravens got the win in a close one yesterday. I have to admit that a road game against a team with a winning record worried me. I was also worried about the fact that the only three receivers they had were Doss, Thompson and Smith. I was pleasantly surprised by the win.

The good:
the run defense was very good

Once again, the defense pressured the QB a lot and sacked him several times as well

The defense, in general is very good this year

Ed Dickson and Tandon Doss learned to catch

Justin Tucker is very good.

The run game looked better.

3-2 equals a tie for first place.

The bad:
Bryant McKinnie

The pass protection in general. Flacco is very good, but he needs time to throw.

Koch is looking a little shaky this year.

Franchising Flacco

I will start today on a topic concerning a team at the top, the Baltimore Ravens. Coming off of a Super Bowl win, the Ravens now have to make some big personnel decisions. The first decision that will impact the rest of those decisions is what to do with Joe Flacco. The best thing that could happen is a long term deal that is in the best interest of both Flacco and the team. A contract with the money he wants, but with a structure that allows for the team to stay somewhat intact next season. Unfortunately, that looks less and less likely to happen and the franchise tag comes into play. There are two different franchise tags, the exclusive and the non-exclusive. The exclusive guarantees Flacco will be on the team next year, but will cost $20 million dollars and will result in several cuts of veteran players. The non-exclusive costs less, but allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams.

Personally, I am it a fan of dismantling a team in order to make one player happy, regardless of the player. Would I love to have Flacco back? Yes, of course, but I don’t want him back if it means we tear the team apart. If Flacco and the team can’t come to terms on a mutually beneficial long term deal, I hope the team uses the non-exclusive franchise tag and allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams. If another team is willing to break the bank to pay Flacco, I would take their first round picks, offer one of them to the 49ers for Alex Smith and his 8 million dollar salary and move on. If Flacco wants to be a highly payed player on a crappy team, API would prefer he do it away from Baltimore.

NFL Fumbles Ravens/Texans Game

As early as Wednesday, the NFL had to know that a game in Houston this weekend was questionable.  The first rumors out of the league was that the game would be played, but at a neutral location out of the path of the storm.  The league immediately denied this and then waited until late Thursday to announce the game would be played in Houston on Monday night.  Now, word is out that the stadium is damaged and, of course, the city has a lot of damage and power outages.  Still, no word from the NFL on what they plan to do in regards to the game. Reports are out now that the game will be postponed.  I will believe it when I see it.  I fully expect the NFL to announce the game will be played at a neutral location on Monday night.  I can see why the NFL would want to play the game.  A postponement would be a scheduling nightmare as the league is not set up to handle this scenario.  The league could have made the right decision on Wednesday to move or postpone the game instead of leaving the players in limbo.  Now, instead of the Houston players being able to deal with any damage at their homes, they are likely sitting at a team facility waiting for word on where they need to be on Monday.  The last thing they, or the city of Houston needs to be worrying about right now is the status of a football game.