The Browns have their act together on the football field. As for their fans in the parking lot and surrounding areas of the stadium?
That’s another story.
The action started with a mano a mano between a Browns fan in a hoodie and another Browns fan in an Odell Beckham Jr. jersey. Then, incredibly, it evolved into a full-on melee with perhaps as many as 12 people duking it out.
GO BROWNIES! They fight with the same a level of skill that the Browns play football with…(runs into closet) pic.twitter.com/UEHHGL9CgG
Everything might have been okay, but, ironically, the guys who came to break up the fight actually ended up escalating things and starting a brand new fight that was far worse than the original scrap.
In fairness, the fight should not have been broken up at that time. Odell Beckham Jr. jersey took several blows to the head and fought his way out of a nasty position to get back to his feet. UFC commentator Joe Rogan is not here right now, but if he were, I’m pretty sure he would say that guy deserved to finish the fight after mounting that kind of a comeback.
Regardless, the beverage table ended up getting the worst of it, as is often the case in these parking lot brawls. The ratio of strikes-landed to strikes-thrown was wildly out of whack, and it appears most, if not all of the combatants, escaped significant injury.
The Texans, however, did not escape injury. Houston lost starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to injury and then lost the football game to the Browns, 31-21.
The vice president of the United States devoted her attention Saturday afternoon, not to the thousands of illegal immigrants packed into squalid conditions in Del Rio, Texas. Instead, she took the time to toss a coin at a college football game.
Kamala Harris made the trip to Audi Field in D.C. on Saturday to perform the opening coin toss in the game between her alma mater, Howard University, and Hampton University.
US Vice President Kamala Harris tosses the coin for the football game between Howard University and Hampton University at Audi Field in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
A tweet from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino summed up the situation well, as he reminded all that Biden tapped harris specifically to handle the border crisis.
Media and politicians have described the scene in Del Rio as a humanitarian nightmare. Over 10,000 men, women, and children, primarily of Haitian descent, have sought refuge under a bridge in Del Rio.
DEL RIO, TX – SEPTEMBER 18: Migrants return from the town of Acuña, MX to the banks of the Rio Grande River near a temporary migrant camp under the international bridge on September 18, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas. The temporary migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, TX has rapidly grown to more than 14,000 people and a lack of supplies has forced many migrants to cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico for basic necessities. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
“Speaking to Border Patrol agents, the worst is yet to come, they’re worried about what is behind here, they’re worried about co-ordination with Mexico,” U.S. Representative August Pfluger (R, TX) told Fox News.
The crisis arose after the Biden Administration halted deportation flights.
“The migrants have set up a de facto camp under the bridge to shelter from the 100 degree heat as their numbers swell and they wait to be processed by Border Patrol,” Fox News reported. “Officials have rushed toilets, water, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to try and help.”
DEL RIO, TX – SEPTEMBER 18: Border Patrol officers temporarily restrict access to the Rio Grande River near a temporary migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, TX as strong thunderstorms move towards the area on September 18, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas. The temporary migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, TX has rapidly grown to more than 14,000 people and a lack of supplies has forced many migrants to cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico for basic necessities. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) blasted the Biden Administration for halting the flights and said that the crisis could be solved if the administration would “simply following the law and reinstating deportation flights back.”
“When you have open borders, this is what you get,” Cruz said. “This is wrong. This is not humane. This is not compassionate. This is lawless, and it is inviting suffering. This needs to end.”
The Giants announced that Gates had suffered a leg fracture.
“The 25-year-old Nebraska product is in his third season with New York,” Fox News reports. “He played all 16 games for the Giants last season. He also played in each of the team’s 16 games in 2019, starting three. “
Navy assistant football coach Billy Ray Stutzmann was fired on Monday in response to his refusal to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
An early report from Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo stated that Stutzmann had left the program for “personal reasons.” However, a social media post from Stutzmann says that the academy fired him after refusing to take the vaccine for religious reasons.
“After much thought and prayer, I am unable to follow the requirements,” Stutzmann wrote.
“Stutzmann said the Naval Academy Athletics Association’s vaccination policy went against his religious convictions,” USA Today Sportsreported. “Team spokesman Scott Strasemeier confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the school’s athletic department instituted a vaccine mandate.”
Stutzmann says that he applied for a religious exemption to the academy’s vaccine mandate, but his request was refused.
MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images
“After applying for a religious exemption and attempting to further negotiate alternative working arrangements, I was ultimately relieved of my duties here at Navy,” Stutzmann explained. “I continue to stand firm in my conviction of faith, but I understand and respect that each individual and institution as a choice on how they wish to manage these issues.”
“He’s added a lot to our program,” Niumatalolo told the Associated Press. “Wish him the best of luck, he and his wife Shanelle. Wonderful young man. Got a bright, bright future in this profession.”
Stutzmann is not the only football coach to encounter controversy when it comes to the vaccine. Earlier in the summer, it was reported that Vikings assistant Rick Dennison had been fired for refusing the vaccine. Instead, the coach had requested an exemption to receive the vaccine and was ultimately reassigned to a different job within the organization.
The NFL has not said whether it plans to honor America or the 13 service members who recently lost their lives in Afghanistan during the Thursday night season opener between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers, according to the Association of Mature Citizens (AMAC).
Given the proximity of the NFL’s opening night to not only the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks but also the terrorist attack that killed 13 Americans as they worked to evacuate thousands from the airport in Kabul, AMAC Newsline asked the NFL multiple times whether they planned to honor the fallen at some point during the broadcast.
As of Wednesday, the NFL had not responded to that question.
Last season, the NFL began devoting an increasing amount of its pre-game ceremonies to celebrating social justice causes. The league removed any doubt about whether it would allow players to continue the anthem protests begun by former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, when Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for “not listening” to players and encouraged all of their players to “peacefully protest.”
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChangepic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
In addition, the league began playing the song Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, also known as the black national anthem, before games. The league further solidified its status as a platform for leftist messaging by stenciling social justice messages in the end zone and putting league-approved social justice messages o the back of helmets.
The NFL recently announced they would continue having social justice messaging prominently placed on the field and uniforms this season.
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 13: The message “End Racism” is seen in the end zone during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
From a financial standpoint, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owners – or, more specifically, their pocketbooks – can hardly afford to further exacerbate the kneeling controversy. The league saw sharp declines in viewership throughout the 2016 and 2017 seasons that were linked to kneeling protests. While ratings recovered slightly in 2018 and 2019, a fresh wave of Black Lives Matter protests prior to games throughout the league last year sent ratings tumbling once again. Clearly, fans prefer their football politics-free.
Goodell was already unpopular among players and fans thanks to his botched handling of the so-called “deflategate” controversy involving then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2015. The commissioner routinely draws boos from fans every time he makes an appearance, even during 2020’s virtual NFL Draft.
As the kneeling controversy swept the league, Goodell further sullied his own reputation by effectively allowing political activists and radical groups to hijack the league to serve their political ends. Indeed, when the flag controversy began, he seemed to implicitly approve of coverage by the left-leaning ESPN and NBC that seemed to favor the protests. He then turned a blind eye to backlash against players like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who dared to say that not standing for the anthem was “disrespectful.” In doing so, the commissioner became for many just another rich, entitled businessman more concerned with cultivating favor among woke ideologues than caring for the best interests of the players – both on and off the field.
The NFL would not be the first professional sports league to hold memorials for the 13 American service members killed in Afghanistan. Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers have paid tribute to the fallen. In addition, several high schools have also held memorials.
Whether the NFL follows their example remains to be seen.
MLB legends and MLB Network (MLBN) personalities Al Leiter and John Smoltz will no longer appear at MLBN studios after the pair refused to comply with the network’s vaccine mandate, the New York Post reports.
The vaccination mandate, according to the Post’s Andrew Marchand, will take effect on September 1st. Leiter and Smoltz are not banned from appearing on the network, however. Instead, the two will make their appearances remotely.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 18: Former New York Mets and New York Yankees pitcher Al Leiter speaks during an event at the governor’s office on March 18, 2021 in New York City. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about the return of spectators to performing arts and sporting events, including a limited amount of fans attending baseball games at the start of the season. (Photo by Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images)
“Smoltz will also still call a Division Series game on site in October,” Marchand reports. “The two are regular in-studio analysts for the network.”
ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 02: Former Atlanta Braves player John Smoltz stands in the dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Turner Field on October 2, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Leiter played for the Mets, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Marlins over his 19-year career. Smoltz won 213 games over a 21-year career spent almost entirely with Atlanta.
NFL players are under tremendous pressure to get vaccinated. However, those choosing not to get vaccinated have a powerful backer in the league’s best quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers shared his thoughts on his own vaccination status and that of his teammates while talking to reporters after practice on Thursday.
“Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” Rodgers said. He then spoke about the rest of the Packers roster, a patient bunch during Rodgers’ hiatus in Hawaii. “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys.”
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 21: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the second half against the New York Jets during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 21, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Rodgers’ public backing of the unvaccinated comes at a time when the NFL has increasingly cracked down on players who violate the league’s Covid protocols.
On Thursday, Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie shared a letter he received from the league for failing to wear a mask in the weight room.
On August 25, 2021, at approximately 2:15 p.m., while walking through the indoor fieldhouse and into the training room, you failed to wear a mask. Then at approximately 4:35 p.m. on August 25, for several minutes, you again failed to wear a mask in the meeting area while gathered near other players after the offensive meeting.
For players like you who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, like you, your conduct is expressly prohibited by the Protocol. Again, your conduct potentially compromised not only your own safety, but also the safety of others, as well as the league’s ability to ensure that your club’s training camp is conducted in a safe matter.
As Breitbart’s Penny Starr reported, “Teammate Cole Beasley wasted little time chiming in on the league’s messy protocols, pleading for somebody (presumably the NFL) to ‘make it make sense.’”
(JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
“Don’t worry they got me too,” Beasley wrote. “But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways? Meanwhile I’m here still testing negative and can’t come back. Make it make sense.”
After a tumultuous offseason, Rodgers is back in Green & Gold and ready to lead the Pack: vaccinated and unvaccinated.
It’s usually hard to tell when a television show has run its course. Unless the ratings for that show have crashed 59 percent in the last two years, then it’s really easy to tell that the show is on its way out.
The numbers from the first two episodes of this season’s edition of Hard Knocks are in, and they are completely awful.
The first two episodes of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ averaged 317,000 and 273,000 viewers respectively, up from the corresponding episodes last year (273K and 251K), but dramatically lower than the first two episodes in 2019 (705K and 733K). ‘Hard Knocks’ has now failed to crack the 400,000 viewer mark in eight-straight episodes, compared to zero such episodes in the previous five seasons combined.
Again, as with all sports-related ratings, comparing TV numbers to the first year of the pandemic is a complete waste. Instead, one must compare current numbers to the last “normal” television viewing year to get any real gauge of a show’s popularity. And, obviously, compared to 2019, Hard Knocks is a mess. HBO and NFL executives must be even more upset because this season featured the Dallas Cowboys, a team everyone loves or loves to hate and normally generates big ratings.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: Raiders fans pose as they gather in a parking lot outside Allegiant Stadium, the USD 2 billion, 65,000-seat home of the Las Vegas Raiders, on September 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders will play their first game as Las Vegas’ NFL franchise at the glass-domed facility against the New Orleans Saints on September 21, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the league’s first “Monday Night Football” broadcast. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
If ratings are down 59% with the Cowboys on Hard Knocks, imagine if the Colts or the Broncos had been this year’s team?
CANTON, OHIO – AUGUST 5: A Dallas Cowboys fan reacts during the 2021 NFL preseason Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 5, 2021, in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
The simple fact of the matter is that Hard Knocks is an outdated television model. The one-time hit HBO series came about in a largely pre-social media era when fans didn’t have instant access to videos and backstories taking place at NFL training camps. With saturation coverage by the media and players who regularly use social media, most of the major storylines Hard Knocks features are already known to fans by the time the show reveals them.
It was a brilliant concept and a revolutionary idea at the time. It’s just not that big of a deal anymore.
During the Steelers game against the Lions on Saturday night, a woman in the stands argued with a man as she stood between him and another man she appeared to be with.
At some point, the argument became heated and then turned physical. The man pushed the woman while telling her not to touch him—the woman retaliated by slapping the man in the face. The men then started fighting, and the man who appeared to be the husband or boyfriend of the woman got knocked out.
I went there a couple years ago with my wife for a Browns steelers game. Never again. Was 2 different fights right around our seats. One was about halfway thru the game and the other was as we were walking down the steps at the end of the game and steelers fans were instigating