What a bunch of jackwagons
When it comes to weather-related issues, sometimes the NFL makes you want to channel R. Lee Ermey, the former drill instructor in that Geico commercial. Teams might as well just chug on over to Namby-Pamby Land.
Take this dispatch from Ashburn, Va.: The lack of a bubble is supposedly hampering the Washington Redskins as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Players actually had to get in their own cars and drive from team headquarters to a nearby gymnasium Thursday to practice because of a steady snowfall. (Awwwww.)
The Redskins are one of a handful of NFL teams without an on-site indoor practice facility. Of course, one reason the Redskins don't have a bubble is because former coach Joe Gibbs never wanted one - he preferred to practice in the elements because that's where Washington's home games are played. But what did he know? His Redskins teams won only three Super Bowls, and he's in the Hall of Fame.
Namby-Pamby Land, continued
You will also hear some whining surrounding the plans to play Monday night's Vikings-Bears game outdoors at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium because of the collapse of the roof at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The executive vice president of the NFL stood at the edge of the snowy stadium Thursday and vowed that it will be the site of the game despite concerns about player safety on its frozen field.
"We are planning on playing here," NFL VP Eric Grubman said as behind him hundreds of workers continued to clear snow and ice from the facility. "If we can't, at that point we'll figure out what we'll do next."
Despite an offer from the Indianapolis Colts to host the matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium, and concern from several members of the Bears and Vikings, Grubman called football a "cold-weather sport" and noted that several other NFL teams, including Buffalo and Kansas City, play in outdoor stadiums with no heating systems to keep their fields warm.
Bears safety Chris Harris said he understood why the Vikings want to play their home finale in Minnesota, "but at the end of the day you've got to be safe."
George Halas must be rolling over in his grave. What's become of his Monsters of the Midway? Hey, Chris, just buckle your chin strap and go out and play. Sheesh.
Not going down without a fight
It's tough to see John Fox's tenure in Carolina ending the way it is. One of our favorite coaches was denied a contract extension for two years, then told to finish out his deal coaching a stripped-down, youthful, banged-up roster that's become the worst team in the NFL, one that's likely to finish 1-15.
Sunday will almost certainly be Fox's final home game in Carolina in his worst season in 20 years in the NFL. But he's not getting all teary-eyed about it. Those wimpy 'Skins, Bears, and Vikings can take some cues from him.
"I think the staff, the players here, and myself included, I think we've done absolutely the best job we could possibly do," Fox said. "I will be able to look myself in the mirror when I walk away from here."
Owner Jerry Richardson isn't talking - he hasn't taken questions from reporters in almost three years (now there's a real stand-up guy: the anti-Fox).
Fox will no doubt land another head coaching job, and here's hoping that when he does he returns to Carolina with his new team and sticks it to the Panthers.