Monday, November 3, 2014

Bochy Ball 3.0

Through eons of columns from beat writers, sports analysts, and general managers alike, a team with chemistry, great pitching, power, and a little bit of luck will usually be playing baseball in October...

When it comes to the San Francisco Giants, statistics, odds, and assumptions officially do not apply. There's a growing love affair between San Francisco and October. "Orange October" Particles align surrounding San Francisco and baseball when the Giants make it to postseason play. Based on team numbers displayed in box scores and spread smts, no one would have picked or expected San Francisco to represent the National League in the Major League Baseball World Series; even avid fans were suspect the latter half of 162 games! Based on a team that had challenges scoring runs , the least number of home runs belted out of ballparks, mediocre number of multi-base hits, league leading numbers in stranding runners in scoring position, and a mediocre at best starting 5 ERA amongst the Major League Baseball's best pitching, no way San Francisco in the Black and Orange make it to the Fall Classic with those lackluster stats.

Ahhh.... Luckily what creates a "Winning" franchise requires more ingredients than a triple crown winner, a Cy Young recipient, and MVP team savior... Just ask Hunter Pence, or should I say "Preacher Pence", whom coined trending tag of "Champion Blood", "We accept each other for who we are, and go out there and play for each other!" Since that eloquent pep talk (and he now gives one before each game), Giants have 'saddled up' and continued to pursue greatness this postseason,  going on the road as underdogs to beat Pittsburgh in a one game playoff, upset heavily favored Washington Nationals sending Strassburg and Bryce Harper to book tee times, and finally strangling hopes and aspirations among St. Louis and Kansas City players and fans. What exactly makes San Francisco persevere and seem virtually as immortal as cock roaches alive in a nuclear Winter? That my friends, is a complex contest, which I am happy to break down. Its what San Franciscans (and Bay Area diehard baseball fans) like to call “Bochy Ball”.  Billy Bean may have perfected "Money Ball" with mastering Saber metrics, there's no comparison with the execution implemented by Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy with "Bochy Ball" to out swindle and confuse opponents in a post season 'no script' mastery of moves establishing a mini-dynasty of World Series Championships in 2010, 2012, 2014, and possibly more.

Through out Spring Training, and the marathon of months leading up to October, Bruce Bochy and the managing staff of the San Francisco Giants have creatively compiled a “Band of Ballers” that somehow worked through plugging holes in Season ending injuries to an All-Star Ace  (Matt Cain, season ending elbow surgery assigning starting by committee between Yusmeiro Petit, and flailing starter Tim Lincecum), an All-Star Second baseman who never recovered from shoulder and back issues (Marco Scutero showed up for one game, and Bochy pulled an all risk move calling up a kid from AA ball, Joe Panik, that has turned out to be our future full time 2nd baseman), and worst of all, the assumed 'straw that stirs the drink' went down for majority of 2nd half of Season, as well as playoffs ( Angel Pagan and his perfect flowing hair, as well as Center Field and lead off position play seemed daunting to plug, until our 'White Shark' Gregor Blanco stepped up Defense in the outfield, and sprouted leading off at the plate to keep Giants in the conversation).  Those were just a few of injuries, not to mention Mike Morse injured, Brandon Belt injured, and our clutch back up catcher, Hector Sanchez, who suffered back to back concussions, a back-to-back Cy Young Ace pitcher (Tim Lincecum's ERA blew up and seemed could not get out of the 3rd inning of a game without being handled by opposing offenses across MLB Ball Parks) along with yo-yo performances from the remainder of the starting pitching staff (Vogelsong, and Hudson became inconsistent from start to start; going from blowing up within 4 innings, to holding strong through 7, there was no assurances what pitcher was going to show up from start to start). One bright spot, and stopper the San Francisco Giants had in their back pocket was a 25 year old country strong mass of man leftie, Madison Bumgarner. Quietly, Madison amassed a 2014 winning record, only one shy of assumed Cy Young and MVP pitcher from Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw. 

With the San Francisco Giants NL West nemesis, Los Angeles Dodgers' money men all healthy and performing (the blockbuster trade made a year ago between Boston and Lalala land sending Beckett, Gonzalez, and Crawford to the Dodgers, seemed to be paying off with all members healthy and contributing to the impending security of the NL West title), and a pitching staff that seemed to be mystifying opposing batting orders, it was assumed Brian Sabean had been backed in to a corner to do something, to pull some blockbuster trade at the deadline.

Despite hair pulling and "Its Over!" cries made by national sports analysts, as well as local franchise supporters, Sabean pulled mystifying moves boggling minds tuned in… Acquiring a struggling Jake Peavy from defending World Champions, Boston Red Sox, and re-signing Travis Ishikawa to minor league deal. That's it! Once again, the fans and all involved took a collective deep breath, and said, "Okay, well, Let's go!".  The San Francisco Giants franchise had a positive outlook and faith in their GM, their Manager, and the coaching staff to make it work with the mixture of players they’ve groomed and acquired, to give them the best shot at making the postseason. The faith San Francisco organization has in its process, reminds me of a quote I've ran across, “It's not about what happens, it's about perspective. I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.” ~Michelle Sedas

It worked! It was a gem! In hindsight, After 3 World Series Championships, we should all trust GM and Bochy know not to screw with the chemistry brewing in the dugout. The combination of grit, a contagious never give up mantra, prime line up tinkering throwing out the script, a tightened up Defense, a pitching staff willing to adjust roles to get wins, were the perfect ingredients to make another World Series appearance. There is a philosophy Bochy brings to his line up most other managers heed from- he’s not afraid to bench a player, or put a player in, or move one to a different hole in the batting order, to achieve best results.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it matters what you’re doing. Some of the greatest moves (his instict should be studied) recently have been calling up and starting Travis Ishikawa in Right Field (he's a natural 1st baseman, and has worked a whole 5 times in OF before this decistion, yeah.. He hit the walk off HR catapulting SF Giants in to the World Series), standing firm with Joe Panik as 2nd base, and having him hit 2nd in the Line up. Bochy has been nothing short of a world renowned conductor guiding all the instruments through a melodic masterpiece concerto with a crescendo final movement booming as strong as Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Once again, the pesky underdogs from San Francisco (I'd like to affectionately label 'Bochy's Roaches') are giving their opponents headaches, and unnerving frustrations. Somehow with a batting average hovering closer to .200 than .300 is beating the touted best pitching in Major Leagues. Somehow the pitching staff has figured out feared power hitters amongst MLB. How do they do that? A little bit of luck? A whole lot of faith? Well, maybe a sprinkle of those ingredients, and a masterful manager. All the San Francisco Giants needed was an in… A ticket to the Fall Show… From there, the players, the coaches, and everyone involved from the owners down to us fans believe they not only belong there, but can win it again! The Comissioner's trophy's back home boys! Thank you!!!

Major League decided to honor the San Francisco's run, and I believe the captured quite a bit of our essence:

I've been asked by a very close journalist friend, which World Series championship means the most, closest to my heart. Of course, we'd all like to sit on a fence with that question, and reply 'They're all great, they all carry the same weight'... We all know that is false; there is always one that stands out above the rest! I never thought 2012 would be trumped in my heart. The 2012 World Series brought out national love for a couple of my favorite baseball players I always rooted for, Barry Zito, and Sergio Romo. I never thought the clutch performances would ever equal those stellar game on the line heroics made by those two incredible underdogs on the San Francisco pitching staff. I now can say, watching Madison Bumgarner, Travis Ishikawa, Joe Panik, and the Brandons just man up on take it to whomever they were opposing, brought me to greater appreciation of baseball, and its pure diligence pursuing excellence. I teased my Dodgers friends earlier in the playoffs (jokingly) with the following phrase, "Kershaw may get you to the playoffs... Bumgarner will win you rings!" In hindsight (like Sabean, and Bochy), my words were valid!

If its an even year, and you see 'San Franscisco' as one of the teams in the playoffs... Do yourself a favor, don't ever think we have 'no chance'... You're only fueling the fire!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Full Squad Fierce!

A funny action happened in the Bay at the beginning of the Millennium's 2nd decade that had every fan of Golden State Warriors scratching their heads. When Don 'Nellie' Nelson (his second stint as Warriors head coach, and last successful coach to take Warriors to playoffs in 1990's) brought The City a splashy entertaining team in 2007, a window opened leaning towards promise of repeat playoff success. Yet, brisk gales of staunch West Coast opponents quickly shut the glass panes, when it was clear the team Nellie and fans idolized was built one sided-run and gun offense. Realizing Golden State Warriors were continuing down the much too familiar yellow brick road to nowhere, fans and speculation pointed to Oracle tycoon Larry Ellison to invest and accelerate success in a solid Bay Area franchise. Before arguments could be formed on the pros and cons of an 'Ellison' owned NBA team, fans and Media were taken back when Joe Lacob and Peter Guber were announced as purchasing The City's NBA pride, Golden State Warriors. I know I was not alone at googling the new owners. Who are these guys and what intentions do they have with an NBA team? If we knew then what plans they had to bring us to what appears to be back-to-back playoff appearances, and best record since 1994, The City would have rolled out a Golden Carpet!

The partnership of Lacob and Guber acquired the Golden State Warriors in 2010. After short term success with Nellie's reprise coaching appearance that pumped up Golden State Warriors as potential playoff contenders 2007-2009,  NBA fans and analysts quickly realized there were missing pieces for Warriors to be serious contenders at the next level. Little did anyone with a finger on the pulse of 'The City' franchise realize a venture capitalist teamed up with a Hollywood producer would have a winning formula hidden in their Gucci wallets. The Bay Area community were flipped upside down when news broke that two seemingly unknowns had the purchasing power stronger than Larry Ellison to acquire one of the hottest franchises in the Millennium, The Golden State Warriors. In the sizzling Summer of 2010, everyone within a 50 mile radius of Oakland, California became familiar with the likes of Joseph Lacob and Peter Guber.

Leading up to the team's sale, the franchise had some tangible products in place in Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, and David Lee. The obvious sore spot that everyone thought was locked up was a big man, a bona fide Center. Andris Beadrins displayed a minute of hope. In the "Believe" run in 2007, Andris had one of the most influential break out moments in NBA history. In one Season everything Andres did on the hardwood worked; he was everywhere on both ends of the floor blocking shots, retrieving rebounds off the defense and offensive boards. Every tip drill that he practiced Paid off in a dreamy contract. As far as anyone knew, the scrappy line up of Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Andris Beadrins, Matt Barnes, and  Stephen Jackson appeared stable to continue contention as one of the top eight Pacific Division teams in the NBA West. It only took a year for the Golden State Facade to unravel before everyone's glittery eyes at Oracle Arena. The next two Seasons were bitter disappointment for everyone invested in the Golden State Warriors. Baron Davis left for the Hollywood lifestyle, signing with Los Angeles Clippers. Matt Barnes left; and the most famous and fastest performance collapse occurred with Andris Beadrins. With a head coach more interested in hosting Who's Who poker games in Hawaii, and an ownership seeming content to keep with the status quo, a boisterous grievance was going to be heard across the NBA community regarding dissatisfaction of affairs regarding lack of direction present in the Warriors franchise.

Fans, journalists, and local media knew the team was stagnate, and there was a demand to transition the franchise in to hands of an owner who would give more than two cents about winning, bring Golden State Warriors back to legitimate contention for a NBA title. The request was granted in 2010. The Golden State Warriors changed hands to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. Before exiting, one acquisition Don Nelson did make in the 2009 draft, was acquiring Stephen Curry from Davidson. It was a pick that was peculiar. Considering the assumption new owners would build the team around Monta Ellis, everyone wanted to figure out how two strong shooting guards would work in the line up. It wasn't long before ownership and a new appointed GM gave us a poignant reply, by trading away Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for big man Andrew Bogut (who was injured at time of trade). The 'Dream Team' we all adore in 2013-2014 began in humble and misunderstood beginnings of centering The Golden State Warriors Quest for a title around arguably one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Stephen Curry.

Ownership began ruffling comfort when they made a head snapping change in the front office dropping Chris Mullin (a beloved former Warriors player, and standout Community member) and promoting upcoming whipper snapper Bob Myers as General Manager. Myers began overhauling the line up, coaches, and opinion. At the beginning of bold changes starting in 2010, there became looming doubt about new ownership and their intentions with Golden State franchise. Were they interested in winning? Or were they drawn by one of the most profitable NBA teams with a solid fan base? We quickly had our answer on their intentions when they announced hiring Jerry West as a consultant. Key pieces that were added were Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Dramon Green, Festus Azeli, and recently, Jermaine O'Neil, and Andre Igoudala. Exits included Jeremy Lin, Stephen Jackson, and a very hefty contract unload to Utah Jazz, Andris Beadrins. In three years, three coaching changes, and multiple moves in a twelve man roster, it appears the front office team of GM Bob Myers and Consultant Jerry West have created a premier contender for NBA West Title. When Golden State Warriors are at full squad with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andre Iguodala, and Andrew Bogut healthy and starting games, they're literally unbeatable!

Looking back, Golden State fans have been treated with a flashy and exciting product, always displaying highlight reel dunks, sky hooks, alley oops, crazy beyond the arc treys, and spinning layups. Considering Golden State Warriors have only made the playoffs twice in last 20 years, the stands at Oracle were always filled with supportive diehards enjoying Warriors brand of basketball. Were fans more interested in a great show versus wins? It appeared that fans and sports media may have been satisfied with a zesty show, rather than showing up in the playoffs. Of course, fans and sports media were leery if any vision of the team's outlook would change with new owners. An unfortunate assumption amongst jibber jabber loud mouth fans and analysts alike were if new sports franchise owners could (or even aspired to) execute success, where previous owners fell flat? One reflection never made was the owners' individual success they've both made to place them in a position to acquire an opportunity to manage a NBA franchise, in hopes of attaining the NBA's highest prize, the Larry O'brien trophy. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber obviously possess leadership and decision making attributes we admire. The owners know how to build a management team that will reach goals they've established for Golden State Warriors. It's obvious now, Golden State owners and their annointed General Manager have created a change in Culture and expectations between coaches, players, sports writers, and most of all, the best fans in the NBA helping protect "Warriors Ground". The landscape has changed perusing the Western/Division front, and The City has pried the window back open!

This fan (along with Warriors Nation) looks forward to that day I know will happen sooner than later, a Parade down Broadway, in Oakland with a well fought for Larry O'Brien trophy in The City's hands!

Last time Golden State Warriors won a NBA title? I wasn't even 10!

Enjoy a trip back to Rick Barry's year of glory!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Minority Report

The perennial procession of time and moving forward has sprung upon us!

Its March, and as I age (hopefully growing wiser), it seems Seasons creep faster upon the shadows of my porch than I recall. February has whisked by, and with it, the knocking of Spring appears on manicured playing fields in our Nation's sunshine states of Arizona and Florida. Spring training has commenced, and the boys (more like Goliaths, in our millennium age) of baseball are taking up space on the fields dreams are unearthed.

There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball (MLB). Come March 1, all 30 teams have same hopes and aspirations of making it to the Fall Classic, MLB World Series.  Out of all professional leagues present in North America, Baseball has the fewest teams eligible to make playoffs. Only 10 teams have an opportunity to advance, based of course, on record. Of those 10 teams, 2 will be omitted in a 1 game opportunity to advance further. Less than 30% of MLB teams will get an opportunity to reach October glory. If you've been stuck in the wilderness, or vacuumed up by another dimension, the object to baseball is to hit the ball away from players on the field, round all 3 bases and score reaching home base. Of course, the pitcher throwing a ball at you, and all the position players assigned to cover the bases, and outfielders covering well hit balls have rigorous intentions to make sure all the batters that come up to the plate, either struck out or tagged out. Honestly, its quite a strategic game of cat and mouse at the highest athletic level. One of the greatest aspects regarding baseball, is there's no clock. Teams do not need to worry about minutes running down, or a buzzer sounding. Rather than worrying about futile sweeping of ticks escaping opportunity to score, all teams have 27 outs.  Needless to say, heavy emphasis lies upon hitting success.

Baseball has played in some sort of organized format at least 125 years. It's been considered a favorite past time in America, and pastoral game quite stringent to change. In its traditional form, and rules between 1890 and 1980, there were a hand full of stand out hitters. Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, and Pete Rose are the few like no one else. The feats fans were blessed to witness and marvel during their careers may never be repeated. In the 1980's, there was an interesting change in the anatomy and dynamics of baseball players. The era of performance enhancement infested the clubhouses in every town USA. It was a whispered transition purposely ignored by owners, and majority of fans. The thrill of hits, runs, home run bombs blasting out of yards began to draw National interest back to baseball that drifted in a lethargic stagnant decade of 1970's. Hitters were not alone. Pitchers needed to quickly figure out how to improve their performance on the mound. The days of complete games diminished, as team managers quickly realized 'specialists', like closers, and set-up men were in demand to keep a fresh arm available to combat the increasing number of power hitters.  No one was left innocent in a prevalent PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) Era that began in the mid- 1980's. A few of the distinguished known users were Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Samy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Andres Galarraga. Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco were ostracized by their baseball community publicly disclosing rampant use of PED throughout baseball. Of course, majority of baseball owners and players vehemently denied such accusations.

Unfortunately, in a Congressional special report that came out in 2007, The Mitchell Report, confirmed such allegations. Millions of public dollars were used to expose questions regarding morality and legitimacy of PED use in a professional game. The information disclosed in the 409 paged Congressional Document to the attention of the Commissioner of baseball caused chaos. A supposed illegal substance banned by Major League Baseball in 1994, was the most significant oversight in regulation of professional sports. There literally was no enforcement in place, or punishment truly on record. Owners, and the commissioner of Major League Baseball were literally caught with their pants down.  There was no more speculation, no more denying steroids, designer performance drugs, Human Growth Hormone supplements were prevalent in USA's endearing traditional game. Altruists, and journalists who've followed the sports since childhood ostracized every player caught as cheaters. There were others, though, who had a more pragmatic evaluation, disclosing an era of baseball that was inevitable. Lines were drawn in the dirt, and journalists with their ultimate power of words and Hall of Fame votes, have risen the stakes of what side they represented.  With a critical aristocratic tone, majority of credential-toting journalists, beat writers snubbed any person challenging their black and white temperament regarding certain performances and its relation to use of a PED. It seems they've bunched up everyone who've used some type of PED as cheaters, plain and simple. Of course, there are valid cases of players sparse surges in numbers, and relation to some type of chemical assistance.  Majority of players who sought some type of PED, desired any kind of edge to assist in keeping them healthy and strong enough to remain valid, and in 'The Show'.  Yet, there is a player, regardless of designer performance supplements, that's truly an exception, and should never be lumped in to the same sentence as Ken Caminiti, or Samy Sosa.  I am in the minority supporting the excellence and jaw dropping career of Barry Bonds.

Barry Bonds was eligible for the Hall of Fame two years ago. The journalists have drawn first blood, shutting him out of a prestigious honor he deserves.  Unlike any other baseball player accused of using some type of PED, he successfully sustained explosive performances for 15 years. If you look at every other 'user', they may have had one, or two incredible years. The Hall of fame numbers posted by Barry Bonds begs the question, exactly how did still unknown and assumed designer PEDs assist Barry Bonds? The only advantage any regimen completed by the Bay Area legend would be recovery.  No designer enhancement made today or tomorrow can teach a player swing speed, and eye hand coordination. If anything, the advantage Bonds had over every other player, was his ability to see the ball, insane swing speed, and lineage. Barry Bonds is the product of two great hitters that groomed him, his father Bobby Bonds and Godfather Willie Mays. The research and studying Barry and his father put in to pitchers he faced would astound anyone.  Steroids destroys a body. Steroids eventually destroys sound thinking. I won't deny that Bonds may have used something to assist in his ability to sustain his performance, I don't think it was steroids. There are many other products  available to players (like Human Growth Hormone, Blood doping) where there are no valid tests presently in place by MLB (they really ought to discuss valid testing with Olympics testing labs, they seem to keep up with he most dated products used by athletes seeking zero detection).

Barry Bonds has been hired by San Francisco Giants to join the organization to become an assistant to the hitting coach. Once again, the sides have piped up if this is an appropriate action, a positive action to support team progress in hopes of boosting a known suspect offense. I whole-heartily support the move and if I were Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, or Brandon Belt, I would be ecstatic at the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest hitters ever dawning a San Francisco Giants uniform in the 20th Century.  I support the action of Barry Bonds becoming a Hall of Famer. I one hundred percent support Bonds presence at the batting cage. There is a wealth of knowledge and approach Barry Bonds has and can pass on to the next generation of hitters. I may never see another performer in my life time that had the power and patience as Mr. Bonds. I am privileged to count myself as one of thousands blessed memorizing greatness out at Candlestick and the current San Francisco Giants home, the house that Bonds built,  AT&T Park. I am the minority, and proud fan of Barry Bonds!

One of Barry Bonds' last public interviews, was one of the best candid windows in to a man we all think we know, but have a lot to learn about. Please watch and enjoy:

Barry Bonds Interview

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Head Coach Roulette

The 2013 NFL regular season is in the books and the doom of "Pink Slip" Monday (versus Black Monday that happened when the Stock Market collapsed) loomed large in front offices around the Nation's most prominent sports league. A perennial passage of "Head Coach Roulette" transpires upon command come the 17th Monday every NFL Season. The usual suspects predicted by many sports writers and analysts came through associated sports press lines before the West Coast was conscious, on December 30, 2013. Six head coaches were handed their exit package. I'm sure actions didn't surprise any personnel by the owners' sentiments to overhaul direction of some type, and chose the leader (they felt) most suspect of franchises' prime fodder to failure. 

The vacant Head Coach slots (some including entire coaching staff) as of December 30th  2013 in NFL, are Washington Redskins (fired Mike Shanahan, who really should consider retiring), Houston Texans (fired Gary Kubiak, a predicted playoff team that fell off track, leaving disappointed players, front office, and Texans fans dumbfounded with legitimate gripes), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (fired Greg Schiano, a team considered one of the stronger defenses heading in to 2013 Season, displayed depleted results versus expectations), Cleveland Browns (fired Rob Chudzinski, a definite trivia question for the pedestrian football fan... Cleveland continued its backwards direction), Minnesota Vikings (fired Leslie Frazier, I definitely understand Vikings GM and owner on this move, considering prime talent on offense and defense), and last but not least the Detroit Lions (finally fired Jim Schwartz, honestly surprised this didn't happen a couple years ago; once again Detroit chokes and falls a game short of making the playoffs, regardless having one of the most prolific receivers in Calvin Johnson, and a boosted running game with dual backs in Reggie Bush, and Joique Bell; Detroit should be disappointed not making playoffs)  

Some dissolutions between coach and franchise I can understand, even validate. A few, I view as premature, pulling plug before given an opportunity to establish a program. Is there any cure in sight, any savior on the horizon to remove that revolving door in Cleveland? In Tampa Bay? Or are there larger looming inquiries that should be directed at the ownership? The decision makers? There are unanswered ponderings lying in the midst surrounding programs seeming to be going nowhere; systems that appear stale, and stagnant; are there owners with there heads buried in the sand? Are there owners wandering the halls in denial? Is there a group of franchises content with mediocrity?  

Upon skimming the names axed on ‘Pink Slip’ Monday, I was surprised not to see a few I felt should be handed their severance package. The New York Jets seems to be a team doomed to be average, going nowhere under the system of head coach Rex Ryan. Between the head coach, and general manager, some of their personnel decisions in last three years have been questionable. Although New York Jets were a playoff team four years ago, I felt their appearance was a fluke. The Oakland Raiders have hit a serious rough patch, where their performance seems to be moving backwards versus forward. I’m not sure all blame lies in the lap of aspiring head coach, Gary Allen. It’s been little over 2 years since the legendary icon owner Al Davis passed away leaving his franchise in the hands of his son as principal owner, Marc Davis. One of the first actions he took was dismantling a couple leadership positions, in hopes of rebuilding one the NFL’s storied franchises back to greatness. Although Mr. Davis may feel he’s made appropriate moves, he has a few critics (including me) shaking their heads, insecure with decisions of severing ties with long time President Amy Trask, and hiring Reggie McKenzie as General Manager. Hence, I am not sure all finger pointing should be directed (of an obvious toxic professional football program) in head coach Gary Allen’s direction. 

Last but not least, we have Jerry Jones, and the Dallas Cowboys. Are Jerry Jones’ loyalties to certain members of his staff suffocating an opportunity for Dallas to return to playoffs? It would be superfluous mentioning criticism analysts and fans alike have for the second most storied NFL owner and his inability to keep his hands out of the pot relating to team management. Tony Romo had his run. For a decade, he has literally gone above and beyond attempting to bring the Cowboys back to the playoffs. Yes, yes, yes, I hear Romo is a great man, great teammate, and loves the game. He may not be ready to hang up his pads, but I feel Jerry Jones, his GM, and head coach choice need to take a serious step back, and realize the system they have is not the one they’d hope would bring more wins, playoffs. Will Dallas Cowboys leadership be ballsy enough to make an overhaul? Sometimes, one move, one change can make the difference between booking a tee time in January, and booking a flight to compete on a Wintery gridiron in hopes to reach the Super Bowl.

Answers to repetitive failures are complex. Is it as easy as changing the head coach? Is it the choice of head coach you feel can transition from a dominant college program to a competitive professional one? Is it a predictable playbook? Is it lack of an ability to adjust to opposing play plans? Does it lie in an inability to effectively execute qualified personnel in the strengths and abilities in the role handed to them?  Is there a disconnect between the play book and the personnel acquired to successfully run the plan? There is never an obvious reply. All decisions come down to risk based on faith and trust surrounding leadership and their support team.  Some of these decisions may be purely profit driven. I believe most include franchises’ stakeholders, its fans. Fans support greatness. Fans stay loyal. Fans place faith in owner decisions, hoping results will bring “Winning” back.  All stakeholders in the grandest league in America ultimately place blind faith in its power decision makers, the NFL owners, in hopes they will never abandon sincere interests, supporting the “Greatest Show on Turf”.