While speaking at a luncheon on Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he would not give a timeframe as to when his decision regarding the appeal of the 4-game suspension to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be announced. “We are being very thorough and want to make sure we consider all aspects of his appeal. We will make a decision as quickly as possible.” With this latest on the situation we now find the magic number at 184.
That’s the number of days that have passed since the Patriots pummeled the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship, mostly remembered as the game that launched the deflated footballs investigation. Every passing day without closure on the topic makes the commissioner and the rest of the “best and the brightest” at NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in New York City look increasingly incompetent in their pursuit of the “integrity of the game.”
Brady met with Goodell on June 23, spending over 10 hours in a closed-door meeting to appeal the suspension that the league handed down in the wake of Attorney Ted Well’s investigation and subsequent report. Now, a month after that meeting, the appeal is still in limbo, as is the fate of Tom Brady. And while veterans are set to report next Wednesday with training camp officially kicking off on Thursday, we sit and wait on Goodell. Please, let’s not rush him…
Beckham catch remarkable, but Butler play SUPER
At last week’s ESPY awards presented by ESPN, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the play of the year award for his acrobatic catch against the Dallas Cowboys in a regular season game from last November (video below). The play beat out among others, Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl clinching goal line interception.
Okay, let me start out by saying that Beckham’s catch was unreal, an incredible feat of athleticism. That catch deserved and in fact received it’s due with constant rewinds and re-plays on ESPN. However does it truly deserve the distinction of being called THE singular play of the year? I know this may sound a bit biased, especially coming from a Bostonian, but Beckham’s play was in a regular season game, which his team lost. The award wasn’t for circus catch of the year; it was for the best play of the year. I’m sorry but the Beckham catch just doesn’t add up to that title. His team failed to make the playoffs, finishing with a 6-10 record.
National media and fans need to stop trying to turn the NFL into the NBA. Individuals are deified in basketball but please leave football alone. In its history, Football has always stood for team play rather than individual accomplishments. Basketball used to represent this as well, but now, aside for few and far between circumstances (Golden State Warriors) it has become a game of individuals.
This is not to say that even the most ardent team first football fan doesn’t gush over quarterbacks who throw 50-plus touchdowns in a season or defensive sack statistics, all things driven by our love of fantasy football. However let’s remember that although individuals can make great plays, unless said play represents something greater in the long run, does it truly mean anything?
The beauty of the Butler play (watch below), besides the fact that it won a Super Bowl for the Patriots, is that it was a collaborative effort. If cornerback Brandon Browner doesn’t jam Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse at the line of scrimmage, Butler wouldn’t have been able to make that incredible jump on the ball. Kearse would have been able to push Browner into Butler thereby allowing Ricardo Lockette to catch the football in stride and waltz into the end zone.
Malcolm Butler’s interception won a championship and will be remembered forever in NFL history. Beckham’s will hang on for a while until another acrobatic catch pushes it aside.
Beckham versus Butler should be a slam-dunk, but decide for yourself.
Christian A. Guarino, a Boston North End resident, writes about football and soccer for the Boston Post Gazette.