August 5, 2019
Much to the delight of Pittsburgh Steelers fan everywhere (or most I’m sure) is the fact that ex-Steeler Antonio Brown has been a non-participant in the Oakland Raiders annual training camp thus far. This due to what A.B. terms a “foot issue.” Reportedly, it’s blisters giving Brown the problems and as of right now his participation is based on a day-to-day consideration for taking part in team activities.
Naturally, the once excited Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is no longer gleeful about his newly traded for toy:
“I think we're all disappointed. We think he's disappointed. We'd like to get the party started. We'd like to get him out here. He's a big part of the team. I want the guy out here as soon as possible. I'd like him to never leave and stay in the huddle every play. But life goes on and you've got to continue to work, and the other guys got to take advantage of these opportunities, and so far, they have.”
It already seems like it’s going to be a LONG season in Oakland filled with drama and talent from A.B. unfulfilled. You have to love it when an athlete squawks and boasts like Brown has done and then they can’t walk the walk from their talk the talk.
A Raider and a Hall
Oakland got another dose of a downer this past weekend when in less than a week a second legendary NFL player passed away. This past weekend it was former Raider Cliff Brank who reportedly died from natural causes in a hotel room. He was 71. Nick Buoniconti is the other veteran player who died as the ex-Miami Dolphins linebacker died on July 30.
Last Saturday, a handful of new enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame were inducted and they were:
Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, and Johnny Robinson.
In my opinion, Bailey Gonzalez, and Reed are definite worthies. If I was a voter, Mawae would not have gone in but replacing him would have been Alan Faneca. Robinson was voted in by the veteran’s or other special committees as was Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen. Ty Law? He was a very good cornerback. One of the best ever? I don’t buy that.
Ahhh those Pittsburgh Pirates. They are having an absolute horrible second half to the 2019 season. Another weekend passed and another two out of three losses. Now the Bucs are 48-63 and 12 games behind first finding themselves in the basement of the National League Central Division falling further back from fourth place Cincinnati who is now 7 ½ back from the Cubs. Pittsburgh began their fade shortly after the All-Star game and it’s been a deep drop since.
Fire the Ref
Is Herb Dean the worst referee in the UFC? If he wasn’t before last Saturday, he is now. On the main card of UFC on ESPN Covington vs. Lawler, Dean was involved in two main card fights and he COMPLETELY blew both of them.
In the middleweight scrap between Geral Meerschaert and Trevin Giles, it went to a third round but in that last five minutes, Meerschaert caught Giles in a guillotine choke that Dean failed to see so even after Giles tapped Dean did not see the tap and got down on the canvas to check on Giles still not realizing he was already unconscious and had tapped so Meerschaert kept the hold on Giles neck much longer than he should have and Giles just fell limp.
Move to the co-main event and we had what was thougtht to be might possibly be the fight of the night. Two warriors, Jim Miller and Clay Guida. The end came quickly as Miller also caught Guida in the same choke Meerschaert had Giles in. With Guida not moving and not trying to escape, Dean lifts his right hand which is limp. Not once, not twice, but a third time each time it was obvious that Guida was out cold. Still, Dean did not separate Miller from his choke hold despite Guida being asleep.
This is certainly not the first ime Herb Dean has been smack in the middle of a controversial ending to a fight. His blown decisions are countless and when Robbie Lawlor fought Ben Askren, here he thought Lawlor was sleeping but he was not and Askren was awarded a gift victory. Herb Dean is the WORST referee and he should not be allowed to be in the Octagon for another bout again.
In the main event, the interim welterweight champion is Colby Covington who may have now surpassed Ben Askren as the most obnoxious and annoying fighter in the UFC. His opponent Robbie Lawler gave THE MOST lifeless, uninspiring and disappointing efforts I have ever seen since I began watching MMA.
After Covington easily defeated Lawler by scores of 50-44, 50-45, and 50-45, the fight was so one-sided that you wonder if Lawler had any positive moments in the bout. He did not. Covington threw 534 strikes to Lawler’s 264. Covington landed 89 significant strikes while the former champion nailed just 50 none of which had any impact. 13 takedowns for the interim champ, none for Lawler. Add an additional six for Covington and he also had three submission attempts.
The cage control? Out of control. Covington had 10 minutes three seconds of control. That’s nealry the entire fight. I thought when Lawler entered the Octagon breathing heavy, something was wrong. Be it nerves or he was trying to pump himself up, whatever he was doing backfired. In a big way. The old Robbie Lawler was a beast. An animal. He threw caution to the wind and would walk through an opponent’s offense.
This was not that Robbie Lawler on Saturday. For whatever reason, the former welterweight champion did not throw enough strikes, failed to go on any sort of attack, got tired, and worse, could not defend takedowns or get out of ground control. It was easily his worst performance ever and I think he should have retired.
As for Covington, he was invited for an interview post fight with Kumara Usman right there and the television crew knew what they were doing putting them side-by-side. Obviously an argument broke out and all kinds of smack talk. It was stupid. Covington is an ass and is so completely unprofessional. He believes he is the greatest welterweight ever so hopefully someone will punch him or submit him out of that dream soon.