Just Ask Me

So, you have some question for me, eh? OK, here we go! These ones come from Vega

-Which team benefits the most from the NFL lockout? Which team suffers the most?

Well, now, a very interesting question. There are many ways you can look at this. We could say it will be the teams with the most talent, because they will need the least practice to get going. But, then, a lot of those talented players are showboats, and love getting out and about, while the players with less talent might very well workout on their own. Then there are the serious pro’s, like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, who will work on their craft regardless of the lockout, giving them a better shot. I’ve seen all sorts of speculation on this from all sorts of pundits, but, I will say the teams that will benefit the most are those who have always played as a team. The ones who are the least “all about about me.” The team that will benefit most will be the Patriots, because, regardless of the talent level, they play for each other, work well together, and they can plug people in and out, which is the “blue collar” aura Bill Belicheck pushes. After lockouts/work stoppages for other leagues, the teams that did the best were the ones who were muckers and grinders, who used teamwork to overcome talent/practice issues.

The team a lockout hurts the most is the Dallas, with New Orleans and the Colts not far behind. Dallas, because they are (mostly) all about me me me, showing their star power, rather than playing together. The Colts and Saints rely heavily on rhythm passing, and need lots of practice and time together to get their timing down. Sure,

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– Who is more to blame for the NFL lockout, the players or the owners?

Toughy. On one hand, you have the owners, without whom there would be no teams, who dump a lot of money into their teams, and, yeah, should get money back. Then there are the players, without whom the owners wouldn’t be able to make money. That said, I have to place the blame 60% on the players. Look, they are talented, and owners need talent to win, bringing fans to the stadium and spending absurd amounts of money. But, their salaries have grown beyond the talent level. Too much is guaranteed, and the union protects them way too much from things like drug tests. Too many are primadonnas, whose mouths are bigger than their capabilities. The owners want a slightly bigger piece of the pie for the teams they own. They want a revenue split of 51-49: the NFLPA wants 50-50. Really, it comes down to the owners being, well, the owners, and if the players want that much control and money, they should buy a team.

– What does the President’s speech today mean for the future of the Middle East?

For the most part, not a damned thing. It really wasn’t, for the most part, a bad speech, when read. However, it was way too long, included way too many subjects, and also was too contradictory in other areas. Tell the leader of Yemen to go, but, we can work with Bashar in Syria? Really? And then ending with the Palestinian-Israel conflict reduced the whole point of the speech, which was supposed to be about the “Arab Spring”. It was just too rambling and long for anyone to really take much out of it. And, quite frankly, I think even those in the Middle East realize that Obama is long on talk but short on action. He took forever to get involved in Egypt, he offered no actual doctrines, and the people there have no idea how he, which means the United States, will act. Team Obama is flying by the seat of their pants.

That said, we can expect the already rocky relationship between Obama, his administration, and Israel to get rather chilly, and a lot of normal Jewish Democrat donors have become rather upset, so, donations could be reduced. And, the Palestinians and other regions players may take the speech as “well, the USA will stay out of any violence, so, let’s go for it.” Time will tell. Unfortunately, words can have consequences, and it remains to be seen whether these will incite Israel’s neighbors to attack them even more.

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