Practicing with the team in Australia, Cal’s new running back Shmarshawn Shmlynch.
Pulling Back the Free Agency Curtain
For a professional athlete with options, a lot goes into a free agency decision. Much of that process is foreign to us as fans – many assume it mostly boils down to money. I’m sure it largely does, but I don’t begrudge an athlete maximizing his income. More power to ‘em. But there’s certainly more to it than money, and new Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones provides a small peak behind the curtain of his first free agency – which teams he considered, and how he chose Detroit and why.
I took special interest in this story, as Marv played at Cal, and was a great player who also seemed like a great guy. Yes, that’s him burning Richard Sherman:
Here, Marv also provides a small glance into how he got to his free agency, including something even most Cal fans don’t know: On Marv’s first day of camp his freshman year, he found out he was going to be a dad. As if that wasn’t enough for an 18-year old kid, Marv discusses the difficulties of playing college football and attending school full-time while missing out on being a father, while his son was 6 hours away. This article confirmed for me that Marvin Jones is a great guy, and raised my respect for what he did at Cal, and since, ten-fold. -TOB
Source: “My Road to Detroit”, Marvin Jones, The Players Tribune (08/18/2016)
PAL: I appreciated how serious he took his responsibilities as a father (twice in college), how that prepared him to be a professional, and it all makes a lot of sense when you read how much Jones looks up to his dad. And, for chrissake, it’s not all about money. It just can’t be. It was cool how much weight Jones put on finding a neighborhood that felt right, and it’s cool that one of the key factors for him was whether or not the kids in the neighborhood were all out playing with each other. Best of luck to Jones in Detroit!
Cal Bears Down Under
Later tonight, Cal and Hawaii open the 2016 College Football season, a week ahead of everyone else…in Australia. I was pretty annoyed when this game was announced – it robbed us of a home game against FCS South Dakota State, which is generally a good excuse to drink some beers and then go sit in the sun as your team puts a pounding on a JV squad. But now that it’s upon us, I’m excited. For one, it’ll get ESPN’s full attention. For two, Cal is expected to net $1 million from this game, more than they (SUPPOSEDLY) net from a home game. And that’s saying something because shipping an entire football team and dozens of support staff, and their thousands of pounds of gear and equipment, is really god damn expensive.
The logistics for such an endeavor are much more fraught than you might think. To make things easier, Cal chartered a Boeing 777 from Virgin Air, and even had to ship their own goal posts, because Australia apparently does not have college regulation goal posts. This is a fun look into the logistics behind a football game, especially one with as many considerations as this one.
Source: “Cal’s Over-the-Top Preparation for Football Game Down Under”, Connor Letourneau, SF Chronicle (08/23/2016)
LAX-iest Bros of All the LAX Bros Attend University of Albany
Chaunce. Couger. Blaze. These are not what the cool kids are calling weed these days; rather, these are some of the names on the University of Albany Lacrosse team. Barstool Sports caught this one flush by simply posting the roster of the team, their bios, and adding just a touch of commentary. For a solid laugh, please go check out the entire roster. Here are some of my favorites, followed by the Barstool commentary:
Feel like I’m really missing out by not having a dude named Cougar in my immediate friend group. I’m friends with guys named “Scott” and “Mike” and it’s just all super white and super boring. If we brought Cougar into the mix, I’m sure that would spice things up a bit.
Looks like if Spicoli and some frat star at Georgia or some shit like that had a love child. “Intending to major in business” is sneaky hilarious. Just a great euphemism to say that he doesn’t go to class ever, just chills in his room, smokes weed until lax practice, rinse, repeat.
In comes younger brother Sean who has a bit of a cleaner look to him but you can tell that there’s some bad boy just itching to come out. He’s only a freshman so we’ll check back in a few years to check in on his progress by senior year.
Big shoutout to Meagan Hutcheon, a proud University of Albany alumna, who brought this gem to my attention. – PAL
Source: “I Wouldn’t Bring Your Girl Near The UAlbany Lacrosse Team If I Were You”, Jordie, Barstool Sports (4/2/16)
TOB: Look, you can’t hate a kid for having a dumb name (you hate their parents instead). But you can hate a kid for having those stupid haircuts. In unrelated news, did you see I made the newspaper this week? I’m famous:
The College Football Training Center Arms Race Has Got To Stop
I mean, get a look at this shit.
Phil Knight could have cured cancer with the money he spent on this thing. Google says he spent only $19.2 million. I say “only” because there’s no way that cost just $19.2 million! I still say he could have cured cancer. This has to stop, seriously. Spend just $10 million and pay the friggin players or something. Ugh. This is too ridiculous. I’ve got to stop. -TOB
Source: Eugene, Hell on Earth (08/25/2016)
PAL: HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I don’t know if I’m taking a virtual tour of Jay Z’s 40/40 Club*or watching the Oregon virtual tour of their training facility. Also, while Mariota was the Heisman winner in 2014 (the only Duck to ever win the award)…too soon to be naming the entire training facility after him?
Here are some of my highlights (please, please, please watch the video in TOB’s writeup, otherwise this commentary will make no sense):
- The music. Sounds like something that comes as a package deal with video editing software. You spent a gazillion dollars on the training facility, Philly Knight – go one more step and clear a song from a top-rate artist.
- The boxing ring with the ‘O’ sparkly lights. Because nothing drives home the grit and toughness of boxing like a flashy ring for non-boxers:
- The night club massage chairs (I think they are massage chairs)…looks more like a champagne room. Just saying.
- WHAT IS WITH THE THRONE? WHAT HAPPENS IN THE THRONE?
- This is a lot of bluster for a team that’s never won a National Championship in its 100+ year history
*Hova, get some music for your club’s virtual tour…you’re friggin’ Jay Z!
Deadspin Does God’s Work
One of my favorite things about Deadspin is how it manages to do the dirty work of being a discerning sports/sports media consumer. This is a perfect example. I don’t follow too many sportswriters on Twitter, because they ALL. TWEET. THE SAME. THING. You get four tweets in 30 seconds letting you know that the Giants have sent Mac Williamson to the minors. As Deadspin notes here, football training camp twitter is even worse. Tons of writers all tweeting that so-and-so completed a pass to such-and-such. But Deadspin did us all a favor and compiled a list of all the tweets about (mostly) backup quarterbacks throwing horrendous passes throughout camp, and it is funny:
There are more. This made me chuckle, and that’s all I’m really looking for from Twitter. Thanks, Deadspin. -TOB
Source: “All NFL Training Camp Tweets Are Bad Except For These”, Barry Petchesky, Deadspin (08/24/2016)
PAL: God, how I hate pre-season football.
Video of the Week
PAL Song of the Week: Alabama Shakes – “Over My Head”
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