The Blog About Nothing 5/15 Edition

Logo BANWhat up world! Welcome to another edition of The Blog About Nothing. This week I’ll rap a taste on Tom Brady’s suspension, why too fast is too fast, and how a beloved television show may lose a big character. Got it? Lets do this!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have heard that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended the first 4 games of the NFL season due to the “Deflategate” scandal. “Deflategate” will also cost the Patriots a 1st round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, a 4th round pick in the 2017 Draft, and a $1 million fine. The Wells report showed that the Patriots were supposedly negligent and maybe complicit when 11 out of the 12 game balls used in the 1st half against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game were under-inflated.

The reason for my using the word supposedly, and maybe, are the report never really came out and said the Patriots ball boys, or Brady, were purposely deflating balls. There is a hell of a lot circumstantial evidence and that circumstantial evidence was the reason why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on New England. Honestly, I thought “Deflategate” was an overblown (see what I did there) much ado about nothing. However, when it comes to the Patriots and their history with cheating (see Spygate), I guess the Commish had no choice but to hammer on what is a repeat offending franchise.

deflategateNow, I fully expect Tom Brady to appeal this decision. I also fully expect that the suspended equipment managers involved will eventually lose their jobs. The result of Brady’s appeal, in my opinion, is going to see this suspension reduced. Four games to me feels excessive, especially coming from a Commissioner who initially felt that two games was enough for Ray Rice. Yeah, I have a hard time taking the word of a Commissioner who gives only a two game suspension for a man who knocked out his woman on an elevator, compared to someone who circumstantially told his boys to deflate some footballs. The hypocrisy of it all is a bit much.

So hopefully common sense intervenes here. Two games for Brady feels like it’ll be enough. One game for not complying with Ted Wells and the NFL when it came to handing over his phone records so that they could investigate, and another game based off of the suspicion of cheating. It’s already pretty damning that the defending Super Bowl Champions will have to wheel out it’s backup quarterback because of a cheating scandal, but four games just feels too much to me.

When it comes to Brady, you’d think I’d be happy he’s being suspended. I’ve long hated the guy. Some back story if you will. I’m a Michigan fan. Brady was a Michigan quarterback. However, when BrBrady&Hoodieady played at Michigan I used to call him “Loser Tom Brady”. He wasn’t Brian Griese. He wasn’t good enough to win a National Title in my eyes, and all he was doing was holding off a better option in Drew Henson. Once again, in my eyes.

At the time NBCSports.com had a message board. I was the “Infamous Hater X”. Originally I was just “Hater X” but some lame asses were biting my style so I had to claim my throne. Anyway, I bashed Tom to no end. I bashed him so much that Michigan fans were begging me to stop. Apparently they felt Tom would read it and hurt his confidence. I was a college kid, and just having a good time on a website. I could give a damn about his feelings so I got up in his ass good. I was so good that the mods banned me. To be young and dumb, I guess.

So imagine what happens when “Loser Tom Brady” starts playing for the New England Patriots and wins games? Wins Superbowls? I’m a New York Jets fan. So, yeah that bullshit stuck in my craw. However, I used to be a real jersey head. I used to buy a lot of college and pro jerseys and wear them all the time. Now, as I’ve matured into the 33 year old typing this blog I gave away all of them but three: an Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick jersey, a New York Jets Darrelle Revis jersey which I got before he was dealt away to Tampa Bay, and finally a New England Patriots Tom Brady jersey.

Why did I keep the Brady jersey? As much as I hate him, I respect him. Despite me calling him a loser, all he’s done is win. I also don’t think he’s a cheater. At least he hasn’t cheated over his entire career, in my opinion. If this is a one time incident, then four games really does feel like much too much. So hopefully, he appeals, and hopefully he wins. May Tom not lose this time.

Amtrak rail derailmentMoving on from sports, some of you may be aware of the Amtrak rail derailment that took place this week. On Tuesday an Amtrak train bound for New York Penn Station derailed off the tracks and crashed. To date 7 passengers have died, 12 are missing, and countless others were injured. The train engineer has been cited for going 106 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The 32 year old engineer called 911, as per Amtrak policy, but he suffered a concussion in the crash and has apparently lawyered up.

Now my thing is this: why were you going so damn fast? Now, I’ve traveled by Amtrak before. I’ve taken it out to Philadelphia a couple of times, and when I was real young I took the long train ride from New York up to to Toronto (about an 11 hour trip). I understand there are spots on the line where you can accelerate but going into a curve at 106 miles per hour is just down right insanity. Imagine driving a car, and taking your car into a curve in the road at 106 miles per hour. Unless you’re an expert driver, it’s pretty likely you’ll get yourself into a hairy situation making that curve.

We don’t know what happened but I’ll bet damn good money that the engineer was doing something other than his job at the time. We don’t know if he was on his phone, or if he fell asleep, but he damn sure messed up somewhere. Hopefully, we’ll get down to the details but there has to be some sort of conclusion for this. I understand Amtrak and the rail industry have fallen on some hard times but they owe it to the deceased in this tragic event to find some sort of resolution and some sort of overhaul to their process. This cannot happen again.

Lovejoy FlandersFinally some sad news in the world of entertainment. If you are a fan of The Simpsons, you might be sad to know that Harry Shearer will be leaving the show after 26 seasons. The 71 year old Shearer, the voice of Ned Flanders, Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Reverand Lovejoy, Principal Skinner, and other key characters will be leaving the show after a pay dispute. Fox has renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons, and has committed to showing The Simpsons practically 24/7 on their station FXX.

The Simpsons debuted on Fox as a 30 minute sitcom in 1989, after a period where it was a cartoon skit on the Tracey Ullman Show. I was 7 years old when The Simpsons began as sitcom, so clearly I grew up with the show. With that said, I lost interest in it once I hit my freshman year of college (give or take). At that point I gravitated towards some of the great Sunday night programming of HBO. Yeah, I really got into shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, and now Game of Thrones to the point that I left Fox’s Animation Domination behind.

WaylonHowever, last summer when FXX aired “Every Simpsons Episode Ever” it gave me a chance to catch up on  what really is a great television show. Yes, some episodes, and even some seasons fall flat, but what made The Simpsons a good television show in 1989 still rings true in 2015. So, to lose an individual in Shearer who voiced so many characters over some money is the dumbest thing ever. Fox has built a network on the back of The Simpsons, and to lose a man over some coins just feels like some industry bullshit.

So, goodbye Mr. Shearer. While they will not kill off the characters you voiced, they will kill off the spirit. Yes, others will fill the void but Ned Flanders won’t sound the same. Neither will Mr. Burns, or Mr. Smithers. Take a bow Harry Shearer. You deserve it.

I’m done. Actually, no I’m not. Often in these blogs I get to prognosticating. Sometimes I’m good like when I called Mayweather-Pacquiao and sometimes I’m bad like when I called the Washington Wizards to make the NBA Finals. While, I still don’t believe in the Atlanta Hawks, I made my bold prediction before John Wall broke his hand. So while the Hawks will likely make it to the Eastern Conference Finals if not the NBA Finals, I still think the future is bright in Washington.

Backcourt Shown actual size
Backcourt Shown actual size

Coach Randy Wittman might be mocked but he’s a solid coach. John Wall and his backcourt partner Bradley Beal are still young, and there might be hope that Otto Porter will become a player. Add to that the contributions of Marcin Gortat, and whatever they can still get from Paul Pierce and you’ve got a good enough squad to hang around in the East for the next couple of seasons. It might even be a good enough base for Kevin Durant to come home and play for the Wiz? I won’t prognosticate that though but if it does happen … remember I said it.

I’m done. Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com.

Peace.

 

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About Earl (EJ) Brewster 284 Articles
Born, raised, and still reside in Brooklyn, New York. I'm in my mid 30's, and I love sports, music, politics, and blogging about real life. You can find me on Twitter at @EJ_Brooklyn_Own

3 Comments

  1. Earl “The Pearl” Brewster does it again. Thanks for another good read.

    I think you touched on it, but perhaps it could be further emphasized that the “conditions of proof” used by the investigators of DeflateGate are those of civil courts rather than criminal courts. In criminal courts the “proof” needs to be convincing “beyond reasonable doubt.” In civil court, the “proof” is validated by “preponderance of evidence.” The NFL uses the preponderance of evidence standard.

    I grew up in Ann Arbor and so am a lifelong BigBlue fan too. Tom Brady always impressed me as a squeaky clean kid. But somehow, I never really trusted that image. I don’t think he would knowingly have done anything wrong, but I can see him ignoring “harmless pranks” done by others.

    It is quite possible that the NFL suspected that a harsh penalty would be appealed. That, perhaps, is one reason it is so harsh. Now the League can reduce the penalty to seem to be making an effort to be fair and still make the point strongly that the rules are for everyone to follow.

    With regard to the engineer on the crashed Amtrak train. Later returns include eight people killed. What happened is still not known in detail: the train sped up for some reason in the minute or minutes before the curve. Apparently the engineer activated the emergency brake, but not in time to avoid disaster. I caution everyone to give some slack to the engineer, the entire crew of the train, and those in charge of rail right-of-way. Let us recognize that frequently in cases like this, the event is dependent both on a malfunction (or misprogramming) of hardware combined with late or improper human intervention when things started to go wrong.

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