Women In The Lockeroom; A Regression.

Ines Sainz Showed Up in the Jets Locker Room and 1980 Broke Out.

You don’t have to look too far for an athletes behaving badly story.  After all, this is the day the Francisco Rodriguez text messages hit the internet.  For all the scandals, examples of poor morals and decision-making, it had been a while since we went down the route of a female reporter in the locker room.  Of course at one time the women weren’t allowed inside locker room at all.  Then I imagine once that barrier was broken, the women had to deal with incidents that lacked professionalism on an almost constant basis.  I want to say that the tide eventually turned, possibly sometime after the famous Mark Gastineau comment, but the “incident” involving Ines Sainz and the Jets shows us that either the Jets forgot this was 2010 for a moment, or we really have made no progress at all.  Here’s an article from 1985. Change the dates, and the theme is the same.

The details of Sainz’s visit to the Jets facility are a little vague.  We know she arrived during a work-out, immediately creating quite the distraction.  Apparently Jets players started looking for excuses to go anywhere near Sainz, and even the rotund coach himself, Rex Ryan, got in on the act.  I guess the real issue is what happened when Sainz entered the locker room.  A reporter for the Spanish-speaking TV Azteca, Sainz was there to do an interview with Mark Sanchez.  The behavior in the locker room was limited to comments, catcalls, things of that nature.  Apparently another female reporter on the scene approached Sainz to ask if she was ok.  For her part Sainz said she felt a uncomfortable, but isn’t sure that she was necessarily harassed.  She’s not really the one blowing the whistle on the Jets here.

The NFL and the Jets are both looking into the incident, and Sainz has become somewhat of a household name (or at least face), but the most disturbing piece of the story is those who claim Sainz essentially got what she deserved.  There is a feeling out there she isn’t a real reporter, her appearance is her only asset, she was dressed in an unprofessional manner…this is what the athlete apologists are saying.  I don’t know what Sainz was wearing, but as long as she was dressed in something, I can’t imagine it was any more unprofessional than what most male reporters wear on a daily basis.  Have we seen these characters?

The whole notion of Sainz getting what she asked for, or being out-of-place in the “Jets’ locker room,” is a troubling one. I wonder if it is not a coincidence that this happened in New York.  If anyone watched Hard Knocks, it’s not exactly a progressive culture they are promoting up there.  I don’t want to come across like Tony Dungee, and I enjoy salty language and crudeness as much as the next person, but there’s a time for it.  I’d also like to think if I was running a team that my players would understand there are consequences to their behavior in the locker room when the media is around.  What made them think this was ok?

The worst news for the NFL is that the most offensive reaction to the incident probably came from one its own players.  Clinton Portis, who can produce an interesting quote, offered the following:

And I mean, you put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her. You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages. And you’re just sitting here, saying ‘Oh, none of this is attractive to me.’ I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m gonna cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.

Oh, my.  So, the point here isn’t really what happened to Sainz (I’m sure women crossing the street experience worse on a daily basis), but it’s interesting to highlight that many, many players probably still feel that women have no place in the locker room.  And while the incident that happened in New York is not common, it’s a clear expression of what is on a lot of player’s minds when someone like Sainz enters a locker room.  This time it was simply voiced, and that sets off the chain reaction debate that we should have settled decades ago.

Qb Controversies…

Are Usually Bad News.

I may not have been able to pick a winner if my life depended on it Sunday, but one thing I had nailed was the feelings of most Eagles fans.  While they spent the off-season sitting back and saying how they were ready to grow with Kevin Kolb as the starter, I knew better.  This isn’t a town that was ready to endure a tough season.  There’s no patience here.  If the Eagles were say, the Lions, then maybe a 7-9 season with some promise would be good enough.  There was no way that was going to fly here, no matter what the masses said before Sunday.  The demise of Kevin Kolb came much more quickly than even I could have expected.  His awful play in the first half against Green Bay and then the dynamic effort by Michael Vick in relief sapped the entire region’s patience.  The decision had been made.  The people wan Vick. Cue the Qb controversy.

Only, there really isn’t a controversy.  Not quite yet, anyway.  The Eagles have hitched their wagon to Kolb.  He has the new contract while Vick is on the last year of a 2-year experiment.  Kolb is the chosen one of the Eagles front office, and Vick was an offensive novelty brought in for…well, I’m not sure.  Don’t let the Eagles convince you they ever thought of this scenario.  No, the fact is, and Andy Reid reiterated it yesterday, Kevin Kolb will return as starter when he’s ready. The problem is the fans, many of whom are now telling Kolb to go ahead and be extra cautious coming back from this concussion.  They have visions of Michael Vick streaking through a mediocre Lions defense and saving the Eagles “season of growth.”  I can’t say I blame them.  It’s the route of instant gratification.

The problem with QB controversies is that they are symptomatic of bigger problems and often times don’t end well.  The biggest point I can make is, if your team has controversy at quarterback, all that means is they don’t have a true #1.  And, that’s a problem in this league.  Good starting quarterbacks are clearly the starters, and not just because the head coach says they are.  It’s clear to everyone.  When Tom Brady came in for Drew Bledsoe that was biggest non-QB controversy in the history of the league.  Most good teams go to lengths to avoid the situation.  Look at Green Bay.  When they were ready to go Aaron Rodgers, they cut ties with Brett Favre.  Go back in the day to when the Niners cut loose Joe Montana.  When I think of messy QB controversies, I think of bad teams.  The Browns last year.  The Bills.  Teams with no direction.  Sound familiar?

The other problem with the QB controversy is that they undermine confidence on a number of levels.  The fans lose confidence, both quarterbacks likely have their doubts, and the team around them has to wonder what is going on.  I have a sense that the Eagles locker room doesn’t have a ton of faith in Kevin Kolb right now.  They aren’t sure if he’s the best option, and I can’t blame them.  Even when Kolb was healthy he spent a good bit of his time running off the field so Michael Vick could come in and run the plays that Andy and Marty draw up on the lids of KFC buckets.  The most likely outcome in the coming weeks is that Michael Vick plays just well enough to keep that seed of doubt in people’s minds. Kolb will be under added scrutiny, he’ll be booed, and the Eagles will get less than adequate QB play…likely from two different guys.

So, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this isn’t going to be a fun Eagles season.  It’s going to be a confusing one, and a frustrating one.  The result, probably somewhere around 7 or 8 wins, is what everyone said they were going to be ready for, but clearly they aren’t.  And, I’m going to have to include the Eagles management in this one as well.  If they really were ready to go with Kolb, they should have cleared the back-up QB position of any Michael Vick type threat.  They should have stuck with A.J. Feeley, or someone as non-threatening as possible.  If Feeley was getting ready to start this Sunday in Detroit, no one would be that excited.  Feeley is a known commodity.  He’s not a long-term solution.  But, people think Michael Vick is, and that creates a problem.

Summary of Contests, Feats Of Skill, Etc.

I'm the Best Wrapper Since Biggie.

All right, time to break down all the housekeeping.  We’ve got Pick ‘Em to summarize.  We’ve got DA Fantasy capsules.  There’s suddenly a lot to attend to at the end of the football week.  I’ll get right into it, because it’s probably going to be a mouthful.

NFL Pick ‘em Standings:

  1. JCK 5-0
  2. Big Dub H 4-0-1
  3. Nichols 3-2
  4. Kraft 3-2
  5. Grossy 1-2-2

Quite simply this is called being a good host.  The people with theories I discount say the first couple weeks are the best time to bet.  Well, I started 5-5 last year, and I’ll have to rally to do the same this time around.  For me, I feel like I know teams better now, and it should get better.  That’s probably not accurate, but it’s what I feel.  For some of my Ace Rothstein-esque buddies, they’ve set the bar pretty high.  I’m proud of these guys.  Good show.  Keep up the good work.

The “He’s Got Elin Woods Money” Pick of the Week:  I’m giving out a co-trophy this week.  Two guys without losses and they both made picks I wouldn’t have made.  First, JCK tabbed Pittsburgh to beat Atlanta.  This was a huge spot for Atlanta and a bad spot for the Steelers, but JCK saw the buckle and picked up the win.  For Big Dub, the line, “since when do the Niners lay points on the road,” I think sums everything up nicely.   Well played, I owe you both a 2-pack of Butterscotch Krimpets.

The “Do You Even Watch the NFL?” Awful Pick of the Week:  Clearly, I have to take this on the chin.  Though other people shared some of my defeats, I think I’ll single myself out for the St. Louis/Arizona game.  Only a push you say?  Well, it was a wasted pick.  I tried to get cute.  I picked a guy making his first career start on one of the worst teams in the league.  I don’t care if they were getting 4 at home.  It was 7 shades of idiotic.

DA Standings and Recaps:

  1. Kraft 1-0
  2. Eli “esses D” for Food Stamps 1-0
  3. The Slop Jocks 1-0
  4. Team Motorboat 1-0
  5. Team Horseface 0-1
  6. Neck Beards and Codeine 0-1
  7. BK 0-1
  8. Dan 0-1

Eli “esses D” for Food Stamps beats BK 72.5 to 35

This was a massive outburst by Big Dub H.  He rode a fearsome tandem of Matt Moore (49 points) and Mark Sanchez (23.5 points) to an easy victory.  Great drafting out of the 8/9 hole made this one a lay-up.  BK started off all right with Jake Delhomme (27 points), but by the time the 16th pick rolled around he didn’t have a ton to choose from.  A flier on Chad Henne and his bazooka produced just 8 points.

Kraft destroys Neckbeards and Codeine 79.25 to 7.

Thank goodness we aren’t doing cumulative scoring.  This only counts as one loss for Brian.  Kraft proved that a high draft pick can be successful by parlaying the 2/15 into Sam Bradford (34.25 points) and Alex Smith (45 points).  It was interesting that Kraft had the Niners in Pick ‘Em and Alex Smith in DA Fantasy.  Clearly both of those weren’t going to work out.  Matt Hasselsnatch (-14 points) ruined any chance Brian had in this one, and even a respectable 21 points from Jason Campbell left him 10 pick-6’s behind.  DA Football, it’s volatile.  It’s wild.

The Slop Jocks Squeak by Team Horseface 19.75 to 13.5

This was a tightly contested battle for two guys that didn’t have their best weeks.  Trent Edwards (18 points) was actually a disappointment to me, but he was the difference in this one.  Tim combined him with a pass happy Kyle Orton and it was good enough for the win.  It doesn’t seem right that Team Horseface lost with Derek Anderson (4.25 points), but we can only hope the Rams are the softest spot that DA will land in all year.  I believe he will be back.

Team Motorboat Cruises by Dan 25 to (-12).

Dan was crippled in week one by the unexpected outburst from David Garrard (-19 points).  Remember when Denver’s defense was a hot commodity last year?  Yeah, those days are over.  Dennis Dixon wasn’t nearly flashy enough (7 points) to even get Dan back in the black against Nichols who got 19 points from Matt Cassell on late Monday night to cement the win.  Cassell had one of the worst performances in a win, and aside from not turning the ball over showed a ton of potential.  Some may blame the rain, I’ll blame Cassell.  Also, no more 10:15 start times on Monday night, please.

The 3-Putt Territory DA Award Goes To…

Mark Sanchez.  This might create some controversy.  Sanchez did not turn the ball over after all, but many of the other contenders had something that kept me away from them.  Smith threw for too many yards, Bradford was making his first start, Kevin Kolb got hurt, Matt Moore probably deserved it, but how can you not give it to a guy who is so bad his team won’t even let him do anything?  Sanchez was 10/21 for a whopping 74 yards.  Barely over 3 yards per attempt, he did nothing down the stretch, and this is a Super Bowl contending team?  I award Sanchez, because I think if they had let him throw 40 times like the other candidates?  You bet your ass he’d have turned it over a few times.

Week Two Information and a New Honorary DA are both available by clicking on the DA Fantasy Football tab at the top of the page.