Football Friday: On Accountability

Posted: November 11, 2011 by dontbeskerritt in College Football, Just Turrible, NFL

Welcome to the end of one of the wildest, most surreal weeks in sports of my lifetime.  We have been quiet at the Mancave about the situation up at Happy Valley because most of the issues stem from your opinion on whether Joe Paterno, and others, should have done more (because they all legally did enough) to stop the sexual abuse crimes going on from the inside of the Penn State program.  I don’t want to dwell on it too long but I will say this; the real tragedy from reading the grand jury report this week is that there were countless opportunities for someone to step up and stop the alleged monster Jerry Sandusky and it never happened.  It took who is now called “Victim 1” telling the principal at his school to get the investigation started.  We can only wonder what would have happened if someone, anyone, did more.

It’s called accountability my friends.  They needed it at Penn State.  And your team needs it if it wants to compete at the highest levels.  You can easily tell who the contenders and pretenders are by seeing if people are being held or are holding themselves accountable.  Cam Newton said he feels like a failure because his team is 2-6.  Is he a failure?  No way, his numbers are amazing, especially for what scouts and analysts expected of him.  But because the team isn’t succeeding, he holds himself accountable as the leader of the squad.  The Panthers will be in good hands.  But here are two teams, near and dear to my heart, that are displaying no accountability.  And it shows on their performance on the field.

Philadelphia Eagles

I didn’t see this coming at all.  3-5 at the halfway point of the season.  At least the 2000 Redskins made it to 6-2 before collapsing.  This team has been putrid all year.  The defense…SOFT.  The Bears knew that going into last Monday Night and they ran the Eagles into the ground.  The secondary hasn’t made a play all year, despite the two all-pro additions.  The defense got no sacks against the Bears, WHO HAVE THE WORSE OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE LEAGUE!!!  I haven’t heard Cullen Jenkins name in weeks.

The offense maybe worse.  Coming into the year, this was supposed to be the best WR corps in football.  On Monday, I didn’t think they could catch the flu going around.  DeSean Jackson looks like he is slowly quitting on the year.  He can’t go deep so he doesn’t do anything else.  Jeremy Maclin, what happened to him?  And let’s not forget Michael Vick.  He played a bad game; don’t be fooled it wasn’t Maclin’s fault he fell.  Vick threw a terrible pass which caused Maclin to be unbalanced.  Vick has gone from a turnover machine, to just an average QB that can show you a flash or two a game.  How the vaunted Eagles offense has fallen.

But accountability starts at the top; AND TRICKLES DOWN.  No one on the team is being held accountable because Coach Andy Reid, at least not publicly, doesn’t hold people accountable.  Every press conference after a loss is “I have got to better.”  EVERY PRESS CONFERENCE.  I’m sorry if your boo keeps messing up and has the same lame excuse every time, don’t you stop believing that they believe it’s their fault?  Hey Andy, how about you stop insulting the intelligence of the Eagles fans and start saying what’s going on;

Start saying that you need to make LeSean McCoy a heavier part of the offense.  Start saying the Michael Vick needs to start making plays again and DeSean needs to stop moping while he runs his so-called routes.  Start saying you built a flawed defense.  Your linebackers get picked on constantly.  You have too many corners; is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (they call high DRC – Don’t Really Care up here) still on the team?  Why is Nnamdi Asomugha still playing zone?  Does the Eagles even play special teams?  Hey Andy, why don’t you let others start being accountable on this team before you’re out of a job?

Actually, I can’t front because I love all of this because I root for the most unaccountable team in the NFL today; that would be

Washington Redskins

It’s been this way since 1992.  We had brief glimpses of greatness in 1999, sprinkled with luck in 2005 and 2007.  But the abomination that the Redskins have turned into is a sight for the ages.  Let me name the atrocities in just this lost decade alone: the whole 2000 season, Vinny Cerrato, the firing of Marty Schottenheimer, the Steve Spurrier error..I mean era, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta, trading a 3rd-round pick for TJ Duckett, Southeast Jerome, the hiring of Jim Zorn, Steelers on Monday Night, Home loss to the Chiefs, Swinging Gate, Albert Haynesworth, Easter 2010, cardiovascular endurance, the QB battle between John Beck and Rex Grossman, 3rd and 21, the Buffalo Game in Toronto.

I didn’t wikipedia or google any of that.  They are etched in my brain like a pimple on a puberty-striken teenager.  I laugh to keep from crying sometimes.  The problem is, who was held accountable?  I don’t care about people being fired; obviously things haven’t changed with all the firings that have occurred.  So what has stayed the same since 1999.  Only Mike Sellers, and Daniel M. Snyder.

I’m sure Sellers is getting his reward (he will be cut next year for sure).  But Snyder still collects the receipts.  And the Skins still languish in perpetual mediocrity.  Our great QB battle should have took place last year in order for us to get Andy Dalton this year.  Instead of the robbery on Easter 2010, that 2nd round pick could have been beat-your-feet king Arrelious Benn or zone runner expert, Ben Tate.  Even better, an offensive line.  Actually, let’s go further.  Instead of retreads and has-beens coaching (Shanahan I’m looking at you), we could have gotten an up and coming coach that is ready to make his mark on the league with a new energy and vision that a franchise needs (look at John Harbaugh with his silly but awesome press conference after the Steelers game).  It’s to the point now that I don’t see this franchise having sustained success with Snyder at the top.  In fact, I sometimes wonder how I’d feel if Snyder held up the Lombardi trophy one day.

Firings don’t cut it Snyder.  That’s not accountability, that’s passing the buck.  It hasn’t worked for 12 years, both in Washington and at Penn State.  By passing the buck all these years, actions that could have created a positive outcome have been delayed in both places.  Leadership in both places are now scrambling to try to right what was wrong.  If only accountability was part of the formula for success, these heartbreaking problems would not have gone on for as long as it has.

In honor of Heavy D, who started to hold himself accountable for his weight issues before he passed this week, here is my favorite Heavy D song.  Also, we honor the late Joe Frazier, who never got the respect he was due as a great fighter.  It’s amazing; there is a statue of a fictional boxer in Philadelphia, Rocky Balboa; but there is not even a plaque for the heavyweight champion of the world, Joe Frazier. Games of the weekend after the break.

Yeah, you might want to get up early this Saturday for football.  Sunday, you might have to give your girl your credit card to go early Christmas shopping because the slate of games is that good. Best games in bold, then italics, and don’t worry about it in regular font.

Saturday, November 12

12-3pm: Nebraska vs Penn State (ESPN), Oklahoma State vs Texas Tech (ABC), Florida vs South Carolina (CBS)

3:30-7pm: TCU vs Boise State (Versus), Auburn vs Georgia (CBS), Miami vs Florida State (ABC or ESPN)

8pm: Oregon vs Stanford (ABC), Alabama vs Mississippi State (7:45pm ESPN), Maryland vs Notre Dame (7:30pm NBC)

Sunday, November 13

1-4pm: New Orleans vs Atlanta, Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati, Buffalo vs Dallas

4-7pm: New York Giants vs San Francisco, Detroit vs Chicago, Baltimore vs Seattle

  1. LBC says:

    When it comes to the Iggles? We should not have crowned them in the first place. Who was the last football team to add a bunch of star players and win the SuperBowl the very next year? Even the Patriots lost that 1 game which turned out to be the only one that mattered. The Eagles can be good I think, but they just don’t know how to play together and be consistent. Seems like they have a lot of unspoken issues going on. The Eagles are built to play flag football just run real fast. That’s not going to work in the NFL.

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