HEAD GAMES

When Will Smith (the Brewers pitcher, not the Fresh Prince) was caught with a foreign substance on his arm by the Braves, he was ejected and subsequently suspended for 8 games.

Freddie Freeman–Smith’s opponent– was quoted as saying: “As a hitter you want them to do it so they have a better grip, so we don’t get hit in the head.” Continue reading HEAD GAMES

THE PATRIOT ACT

The most used attempt to minimize Deflategate is to point out the disparity in the AFC Championship score:  Patriots 45, Colts 7.

Is that the lesson: cheating is relative to  margin of victory?

What about the game before the Colts, when New England narrowly beat the Ravens 35-31?

Before sentencing a convicted thief, should we consider the wealth of the burglary victim?

A lighter sentence for a murderer whose victim was already 85 years old?

And attempted murder….take it easy on that guy–his aim is poor.

Let’s cut Richard Nixon some slack on that whole Watergate thing too. No sense in replacing a guy who carried 49 states in the 1972 election.

Punish for what the culprit *tried* to do. The Patriots tried to cheat the integrity of the game.

Multiple times.

And is there any doubt as to whether they learned their lesson from the Spygate punishment?

The NFL should keep this in mind, when deciding its sentence:

You will always get what you tolerate.

YOU CAN’T MAKE ME

When people want to keep the rule, or non-rule, regarding fouling intentionally, they often cite that a players lack of a skill shouldn’t be catered to.

“If a player can’t dribble well, or pass well, that’s their fault (too).”

It is.

But unlike intentionally fouling bad free-throw shooters away from the ball, the defense can’t commit a foul to *make* a bad dribbler dribble.

Or commit a foul to *make* a bad passer pass.

If a player is a bad outside shooter, the defense can and does apply that value into their defensive scheme.

That bad shooter’s presence, or lack thereof, allows the defense to sag off of him and help vs penetration; blitz ballscreens, double-team post-ups, etc.

But you can’t foul to *make* him shoot a three.

Just like you can’t *make* Roy Hibbert dribble the ball.

Hibbert’s lack of ballhandling prowess already diminishes the Pacers’ ability to penetrate gaps with the dribble. Just as Hibbert’s defensive strengths increase his teammates’ abilities to defend dribble penetration.

Should hockey teams be able to *make* Ryan Reaves shoot wrist shots too?  After all, “it’s his fault” that he’s not a complete offensive player.

A rule to stop intentional fouls away from the ball won’t hide incomplete players.

They are already hindering their team on every possession.

And helping them on others.

That’s team sports.