Does anyone proofread anymore?

Veteran sportswriter Bob Nightengale was, unfortunately, ridiculed on Twitter this week after hash tagging “Cuns” – and not “Cubs” – on one of this tweets.

Look, tweeting is something that is done quickly and maybe even the best makes a typo sometimes. It’s just silly to have so many people tweet back at Nightengale to mock him.

What’s worse than goofing up on a tweet, though, is giving wrong information on a story posted on a website that draws a lot of clicks – and not have anyone proofread that story.

Here are some examples from ESPN.com:

This one starts off well. It’s ESPN giving the up-to-date playoff schedule.

But since when does a best-of-five series have a Game Three as potentially unnecessary?

Wow, so ESPN is saying that a team could win the first two games of the division series and the series is over!

And yes, Tom Brady is, undoubtedly, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But you need to have retired first to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Yet, ESPN has already crowned the 42-year-old QB as a HOFer… while he’s still playing for the Patriots!

Yes, some love for Brady – and that’s great. But not so much for the Patriots, who’ve been to the last three Super Bowls (not two). Here’s an ESPN.com preview of the 2019 Week One Steelers-Patriots contest (with New England coming off its third consecutive NFL title game), via the Associated Press:

So, I get it that even a sportswriter might goof up on Twitter – and people should be ashamed of themselves to mock him or call him out on social media – but a site like ESPN.com messing up things that should have been proofread? Awful.

What we’ve learned through the Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, NFL games…

The Patriots are my AFC team. The New Orleans Saints are my NFC team. Tom Brady is awesome. Drew Brees is awesome. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I admire those guys because not only are they great NFL quarterbacks, but their stories are also inspirational.

So, when I criticize, say, the Saints, it’s not because I’m against them. I want them to do well. I want them to win.

But these ‘slow’ starts are what have been costing them every year since their Super Bowl victory after the 2009 season.

The Saints said all the right things heading into their contest on Sunday, about how important Week 2’s game against the L.A. Rams was.

And they went out and got blown out.

I get it. Brees had to leave the game after his thumb was injured by the Rams’ Aaron Donald. But that’s why they have the NFL’s highest-paid backup quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has been a starter in the NFL before. He should have been ready.

Yes, the Rams are a tough team. But look – there have been all kinds of backups that came up big over the course of NFL history. And we’ve been reminded so far this season that it’s the NFL’s 100th season and we’ve seen stories and highlights of those spectacular plays over the first 99 years of the league.

Well, I can say that even against potent teams, backups have come through so many times in NFL history. Frank Reich against a tough Houston team in the playoffs. Jeff Hostetler against the 49ers in the 1990 NFC title game and the Bills in the Super Bowl. Brady when he was a backup in his second NFL season. Doug Flutie in Buffalo.

So, I don’t think Brees being injured and knocked out should be an excuse when the Saints have a capable backup in Bridgewater.

The point is, these early-season losses – and I count a 1-1 start as a ‘slow’ start for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations – have cost the Saints before. Look at 2011, when the Saints had arguably a better team than the 2009 Super Bowl-winning squad.  They finished 13-3, but costly losses in the first half of their schedule (including defeats to lowly Tampa Bay and St. Louis) cost them. They lost tie-breakers with the 49ers and ended up being the No. 3 seed while Green Bay (15-1) and San Francisco (13-3) were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. That cost them in the divisional round when they went on the road to San Fran and lost to Alex Smith.

So, as much as I hate to say it, I wonder if this inability to stop the Rams in Week 2 will come back to haunt New Orleans?

And the Chicago Bears lucked out. I thought they’d lost to Denver, but their kicker, Eddy Pineiro drilled a 53-yard FG as time expired to give them a 16-14 win. He made two 50-plus yard field goals in the game.

Pineiro did his job, but could you imagine if the Bears, considered an NFC contender, had lost to fall to 0-2? Matt Nagy, their head coach, did a great job last year, but his arrogance, especially with his kickers the way he handled them during training camp, can come back and bite him in the ass.

Both he and Adam Gase in New York seem to have this arrogance about them, but hey, they haven’t won anything as NFL head coaches, so I would say they can’t be acting like Bill Belichick, who is the greatest coach in league history. Belichick can be acting that way; he’s a proven coach who’s won multiple titles. Guys like Nagy, who’s had just one great regular season, and Gase shouldn’t be.

Speaking of new coaches, it’s only Week 2, and Green Bay signal caller Aaron Rodgers is already feuding with new head coach Matt LaFleur. The animated exchange between the two happened near the end of the first half, and although the Packers hung on against Minnesota to improve to 2-0 and both men downplayed the argument, it should be interesting to see how that relationship works out.

And speaking of Belichick, can the Patriots go 19-0 this season? Their defense has allowed just three points total in two games! And for anyone who says the Patriots have different game plans every week depending on the opponent and won’t have Antonio Brown as the featured player, which will upset AB… go back and check Brown’s stats.

There were weeks that he wasn’t targeted as much and he didn’t have 100 receiving yards in every single game with the Steelers – and he lasted nine seasons.

So… focusing strictly on the on-field stuff and not the off-the-field drama, ie. the civil suit brought on by his ex-trainer last week (which, obviously, I won’t comment on as I do not have the facts of that situation), can Brown last one season in New England? If he wants to win a Super Bowl, then I would say yes.

And, the greatest comeback against those naysayers would be for him to last the entire season, help the Patriots go 19-0, and laugh at all those people who’ve doubted him.

What we’ve learned the last few weeks in sports…

Okay, I’m a pretty busy person, so I don’t really write down my thoughts (on sports) much anymore. I normally just verbalize them to anyone who’d listen, but I think it’s a good idea to jot these things down on this blog.

On today’s agenda: What we’ve learned the last few weeks in sports…

First off, I’m a total hypocrite. During the months when Antonio Brown was trying to get out of Pittsburgh – and even this past week when he was causing trouble with the Raiders after the Steelers granted his wish and dealt him away back in March – I wasn’t a fan of what he’s about.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always thought he’s a great player. The stats back that up. His performance on a yearly basis backs that up.

The first time I saw him live in action was when I visited Dayton in December 2014 and ventured out to Paul Brown Stadium to see the Bengals face the Steelers. And man, I was impressed by the Big Three – Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, and Le’Veon Bell. It seemed that on virtually every offensive play that afternoon, it was Brown or Bell making the catch or gaining the yards on the run. Those guys put on a display that day.

Of course, my feelings on Brown and Bell changed over time when they kept making headlines for the wrong reasons over the past couple of years.

Then, Brown had that Tweet (apparently about the Raiders), about how “the child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” I thought, like, what the heck was wrong with this dude?

But when the news came that he’d agreed to terms with the New England Patriots, I did a complete 180 and thought, “WOW…” I mean, if you root for the Patriots as I do, then this signing makes New England the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl. Think about it: with Brady, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and now Antonio Brown? This team could go 19-0!!!

And so, when that YouTube video of Brown surfaced where he was running into the backyard and then calling his grandmother… I thought it was funny. REALLY funny.

There’s also the chatter among NFL executives – which we’ve all heard being talked about by insiders on various media platforms – that Brown and his agent had had discussions with the Patriots while he was a Raider and that Brown consulted with social media experts to figure out how to, essentially, force the Raiders to release him so New England could sign him.

Whatever. I just find it awesome that the Patriots were able to sign him. It just goes to show that I’m a hypocrite and change my mind about an athlete when he’s wearing the colors of a team I cheer for.

Of course, since the signing with New England, more AB drama has surfaced in the form of a civil suit against him by a former trainer. Since I have no knowledge about that situation, I will refrain from commenting. But I do find the timing of this rather odd. The trainer is getting married, apparently, and… well, we’ll just have to see how this plays out.


And then, AB wasn’t the only wide receiver making headlines for the wrong reasons.

In Cleveland, the Browns just got clobbered in Week 1 by the Titans, and there was Odell Beckham Jr. wanting to play by his own rules.

I would think that there are many football fans out there who want to see the Browns fail once again this season. Instead of focusing on winning, there is the star wide receiver focusing on his watch. Okay. Got it. Way to go bringing attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.


Athletes being disgruntled – and making the headlines… isn’t just a football thing. In New York, the Mets have been dysfunctional, to say the least. And one of their star pitchers, apparently, was “livid” this past week.

Well, I’ve never been on a big-league mound. But my thoughts are that if you’re a pro, you can adjust and work with a different catcher. After all, the team is trying to get its best lineup offensively to try and win games. But I digress.


Speaking of New York, what else did we learn on Sunday?

The Jets are back to being the Jets, blowing a 16-0 lead to lose to the Buffalo Bills 17-16. And way to go, Adam Gase, being way too critical of his wide receivers, offensive line, cornerbacks, and defense.

I wonder how long before the players get tired of Gase’s act in that locker room. It’s only one game, and the head coach is losing control. Only with the Jets.

And there was even a quote that he gave, which tells you all you need to know: “That’s the beauty part of being the head coach – I can basically do what I want” (via Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer on ESPN.com).

So, after Week One in the NFL, we know this: The Jets are the same old Jets. The Browns are the same old Browns.


One more thought: Good thing the Saints won on Monday night to start the season 1-0. There was some crazy stat that they had been a combined 1-9 in Weeks One and Two over the previous five seasons.

I want the Saints to do well. I’ve been hoping for a Saints-Patriots Super Bowl for many years because of Drew Brees and Tom Brady, and we were denied that matchup last season. And, the window is closing in terms of having both teams being legit contenders at the same time.

I say good thing the Saints won, because on that team, it seems like there’s yet another receiver who’s a diva.

Why should Michael Thomas go out of his way to comment on the Antonio Brown/Raiders situation when he should have been preparing for the Monday Night tilt against Houston? Just because he didn’t respect Raiders GM Mike Mayock?

Well, I would think – and hope – that head coach Sean Payton and his coaching staff would rather Thomas not comment on matters that aren’t about the Saints. But that’s just me.

And, to finish this post off, here’s that aforementioned AB video that just cracked me up:

NFL: Donovan McNabb shouldn’t be criticized for giving his honest assessment…

There was some controversy in Philadelphia over the weekend when former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb opined on CBS Radio on Saturday that the franchise should consider drafting another quarterback if Carson Wentz couldn’t lead the team past the second round of the playoffs in the next two seasons.

Of course, in this day and age of social media, McNabb’s take drew criticism from others, including eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson on Twitter. Johnson then went on a radio station on Sunday to call out McNabb and other former Eagles players for criticizing current players on the team.

Now, I have to say that I don’t blame McNabb for giving his honest opinion and insights. McNabb, after all, guided the Eagles franchise to seven playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl following the 2004 season. He was a proven winner in Philadelphia and in the NFL, and the fact that he played in the league for as long as he did certainly proves that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to evaluating what he sees.

I mean, what he sees on the field would be valuable analysis – that’s precisely why networks bring in former players to do commentary.

It’s better than an athlete being a homer and with Donovan McNabb being asked a question on a radio show, he gave his honest assessment and shouldn’t be criticized for that.

I remember early in the 2018 season when poor place-kicking cost the Minnesota Vikings a game, and ex-Vikings great Cris Carter was on television passionately saying the kicker needed to be cut right away. That emotion probably stemmed from Carter’s own experience in the 1998 season when his 15-1 Vikings lost the NFC championship game after Gary Anderson missed what would have been an insurance field-goal attempt late in regulation.

That would not be what I would like to see or hear from an analyst when it comes to sports takes, having emotion cloud his judgement.

But that’s just how I see it – so shame on those who criticized Donovan McNabb over the weekend.

A big problem in our society: Parents and Schools encouraging kids to “hate”

Instead of encouraging children to be positive and have a good attitude, some parents and schools are apparently doing the opposite.

In the story about a 10-year-old winning his science fair by proving New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “cheated,” the boy stated that he hated Brady and said the future Hall of Fame QB didn’t deserve his money. “Gimme some of your money; you don’t deserve it,” the boy was quoted as saying in the story.

Wow. Give me a break. I’m guessing the parents encouraged him to do this science project knowing he hated the quarterback. “Hate” is always a strong word, but if parents are okay with 10-year-olds expressing hate, our society will have a big problem.

The school should be ashamed for allowing him to win. The boy hates Brady, so can his scientific findings be reliable when he has so much bias? And the fact he was allowed to win when he has hatred is just inappropriate.

Think about this: If we are encouraging kids to be biased in their research – which clearly is the case here – what does that tell us about the results of the research? It will likely be twisted to suit the “hater’s” agenda.

Finally, the comment about giving “some of your money; you don’t deserve it”: So, what makes the kid thinks he deserves that money? Just because he used his bias to cook up a biased research project? Or, just because he hates Tom Brady? Where is the logic in that?

The bottom line is this is a good example of poor parenting and a bad job by the school.

Welcome to the society and world we live in.

And once again, how about those so-called experts…

Well, I remember after Week 2 of the NFL season, all those so-called experts thought that the Pittsburgh Steelers, 0-1-1 at the time, were done. Now, after Sunday’s comeback win over Jacksonville, Pittsburgh is the No. 2 seed in the AFC….

I still like New England in the AFC, and hope that it will be a Patriots-Saints Super Bowl and we’ll get to see Brady vs. Brees… but we shall see.

And speaking of those Saints, they lost the season opener to Tampa Bay, and now haven’t lost since, winning nine straight. And kudos to those who said that “Fitz Magic” – the superb play of Ryan Fitzpatrick – wouldn’t last. That one, I think, was an obvious one, and he’s struggled over the past few weeks. I mean, remember when Buffalo gave him that big contract all those years ago after he’d led the Bills to a winning record in the first half of the season? As I keep telling everyone, for those on the band wagon of a surprise team that starts out on fire, there’s always a second half of the season to play…

And the Dallas Cowboys… it seems a LOT of people in the media want them to fail. A few weeks ago, they were “dead” after losing to the Houston Texans in overtime. Now, they’re a game back of first-place Washington, with the two teams playing on Thanksgiving Thursday with the division on the line. Alex Smith, hurt on Sunday, is done for the season. Colt McCoy is in for the Redskins… that means Dallas has a shot.

I still think the Redskins can pull it off, and then if they go on to beat Philadelphia 11 days after that, they would have eight wins, which would essentially wrap up the NFC East … seeing that Dallas would be too far back and have no tie-breaker…

But man, the Cowboys are still in it. You know that the “haters” in the media will say this week that Dallas will find a way to choke… Fun times!

Things we saw in October…

The NFL is a week-to-week thing… every week has a new narrative. Remember how after the first two weeks of the 2018 season, when Pittsburgh began 0-1-1? Many of those analysts were predicting gloom and doom for the Steelers. Well, going into their huge AFC North matchup today in Baltimore, the Steelers are sitting atop the division at 4-2-1, just ahead of Cincinnati (5-3).

The Browns, who at 2-5-1 are at the bottom of the division, are who we thought they were…

Speaking of slow starts, wow – the Lakers’ Magic Johnson makes George Steinbrenner look like a saint… With the Lakers beginning slowly at 2-5, Johnson has apparently lost patience with coach Luke Walton. I mean, c’mon, the Lakers aren’t expected to be legitimate contenders and it’s early in the season….  Yes, I saw Magic play during his NBA career, but as an executive or fan, he’s not that great. He was the one cheering for Mike D’Antoni to be fired from the Lakers years earlier, wasn’t he? That’s exactly my point. Magic was a great player, but as an observer/fan/executive, he strikes me as a guy who just isn’t patient.

Ahhh.. Steve Pearce. World Series MVP. I’m sure throughout the summer, the buzz in Toronto (and the rest of Canada where Blue Jays fans reside) was something like, “What can the Blue Jays get for Josh Donaldson?” and “Donaldson will make a contending team a winner,” etc.

I was on TSN1040 during the summer, suggesting that teams that win the World Series, traditionally, have had under-the-radar pickups more often than those big mid-season acquisitions. For 2018, I was looking at Tyler Clippard, John Axford, Seunghwan Oh, etc. as possible difference makers. Maybe even a guy like Curtis Granderson. Okay, I was wrong. It turned out the biggest difference maker was Steve Pearce!! He had a hot few games and wound up helping the Red Sox win the World Series.

Man, it must be painful for those Blue Jays fans… they must have been rooting for Cleveland, with Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion being the two former Jays in the Indians lineup. Instead, it was David Price (who failed to deliver in the playoffs for Toronto) and Steve Pearce with their AL East rivals!!

Again, don’t trade within the division (ie. Toronto trading Pearce to Boston). It might make your fans cry in October…

Anytime someone brings up the need for a team to pick up a big name at the trade deadline to put itself over the top, I will just bring up two words. Steve Pearce.

Back to the NFL – an intriguing matchup on Sunday night with Green Bay vs. New England. Hours before that, Rams vs. Saints in what could be a potential NFC Championship Game matchup. The dream matchup would be a Patriots-Saints Super Bowl. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!