An infographic explaining the outcome of “The Trade.” Not depicted: The part where Jimmy Johnson makes it all happen in spite of the meddling of Ol’ Jerruh.
The title of this piece isn’t intended as a revelation. It has been known for some time that Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jimmy Johnson, the team’s former coach and architect of the franchise’s massive success in the 90s, passionately dislike each other. It’s one of the dominant themes of the fantastic book Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty, and it was explored again recently in an incredible article by ESPN writer Don Van Natta Jr.
I’m writing this because, on Thursday, the latest salvo in the artillery battle between these two football titans with their Stalin-like, non-receding grey hairlines was fired, with Jimmy Johnson declaring during a discussion of the 25th anniversary of the trade of Herschel Walker that, “Jerry Jones told me I couldn’t get rid of [him].” (All too predictably, Jones stated the next day on-air that the Herschel move was all his idea.)
To those of you unfamiliar with the Cowboys of the 90s, the trade of Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for seemingly countless draft picks (known thereafter in football lore simply as “The Trade”) is what got the team the personnel it used to win its three Super Bowls that decade. Jerry Jones’ claim to his role in the success of those years is that it was his management and draft decisions, not Johnson’s, that built the team. So Jimmy’s words roughly translate to, “How many times do I have to make clear that I managed to succeed in Dallas despite having this corn-toothed dunce as my boss, not because of it?”
Nearly two decades have passed since Johnson’s departure from the team, and nearly two decades of on-field impotence have followed, making Jones’ claims ring more and more hollow by the year. (Please note this was written before Dallas’ Sunday win over Seattle, and, according to all Cowboys fans, my statement regarding a lack of on-field success is now patently incorrect and it’s time to start sizing the team for its sixth ring.)
As a Redskins fan, those three Dallas Super Bowl victories were almost worth the shit-show that has followed. To the residents of DC, Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson were the interminably successful power couple that lived on your block and one-upped you in every conceivable avenue of life. The had a nicer house than you. Their jobs paid more. Their kids were doing better in school than your kids. They even looked better than you. Hearing how much they now hate each other is akin to learning that the husband in this metaphorical couple turned out to be gay and left with the pool boy, the wife got disbarred for botching a huge trial and is now penniless and both of their kids dropped out of college to “find themselves.” In other words, it’s the most refreshing cup of Schadenfreude punch you’re ever going to sip.
Michael Sam, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, has made headlines with his public announcement on ESPN that he is gay. Some commentators are already trying to downplay the significance of Sam’s announcement, which comes less than three months before the NFL Draft. True, Sam may not be the first gay athlete to play in one of the four major American professional sports. But no one can change the fact that, in 2014, Michael Sam will become the first male athlete to play his entire career in a major American pro sport while being openly gay.
Jason Collins may have technically beat Sam to the punch of announcing publicly that he is gay; however, Collins’ decade-long career as an NBA benchwarmer was effectively finished when he made his nationally televised announcement in 2013. For DE Michael Sam, he will play his entire NFL career with some of the pressure that followed Jackie Robinson after he integrated Major League Baseball. Sure, Sam won’t suffer many of the indignities that Robinson did, such as the prejudice of many white baseball fans and players who ignorantly proclaimed that black players were not “intelligent” enough to play baseball (yes, America was that ignorant in 1947). But Sam will share in the burden of representing an entire class of disadvantage minorities for the entirety of his pro career, in a place where no gay man has ever felt comfortable being entirely himself. Stay tuned for the April 2014 NFL Draft and beyond– we will all have to wait and see where Michael Sam goes from this day forward.
It’ll make sense when you click the link.
In his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback article, Richard Sherman mentions receiving a Tweet after his trash talking of Michael Crabtree that reminded him of the Irvin Himmel quote “No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is” and how it profoundly affected him. I’m happy that the guy seems to be wising up, because a lot of the hate directed at him was quite n-bomb laden, and I was starting to feel guilty by association even though my dislike of the guy was due entirely to shitty sportsmanship and a general loathing of anything related to the Seahawks. To close this post with another piece of profound wisdom, “What the Hell kind of country is this where I can only hate a man if he’s white?”
You can read the rest of Richard Sherman’s MMQB article by clicking here.
Look at how far ahead the Denver Broncos are when it comes to both points and yards this season. Insane. Thanks to ESPN for coming up with the graphic and my friend Bode for tweeting it.
With Jim Caldwell leaving to coach the Lions, the Ravens needed a new offensive coordinator. And they might not have looked far geographically for him. Pro Football Talk reports that former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has interviewed for the position. As a Redskins fan, I can only imagine that the instant he leaves DC he will prove successful elsewhere. Read here for the full story.
Here are PFPod’s top 5 stories from Sunday:
5. Jacksonville was eliminated from the playoffs in Week 1. It’s hard to stick a fork in any team this early in the season, but the Jaguars’ humiliating loss to the Chiefs suggests that this team will never win another game with Gabbert at the helm. Unless the Jags’ owner wants to tank the rest of this season (and then relocate the team to LA), the only way to save Jacksonville’s NFL team is to bring in hometown hero Tim Tebow to save the day. If you’re gonna win 4 games or fewer, you should at least find a gimmick that will get your 10 loss team more air time than you should ever deserve on SportsCenter.
4. Luck barely beats Pryor in starting debut. Manning destroys defending champs. Congrats to Terrell Pryor for a performance that surprised NFL fans, sports writers, and scouts. That said, the Raiders still don’t look like a playoff bound team, and Indy fans should wonder if it was worth giving up on Peyton Manning for an unproven Andrew Luck. Luck might be good enough to win a Super Bowl eventually, but right now Manning looks ready to sing his swan song all the way to the Lombardi Trophy in February.
3. Baltimore’s loss is San Fran’s gain #Boldin. The 49ers’ aerial assault against Green Bay looks like a different beast this year: Anquan Boldin’s 208 yard week performance is already making Ravens’ fans regret the trade that sent their top receiver packing in the offseason to the defending NFC Champions. While Baltimore’s receiving corps looked lost on Thursday without Boldin and injured TE Dennis Pitta, San Fran’s new duo of Boldin and TE Vernon Davis are gonna make the 49ers other receivers look like John Taylor.
2. The Steelers have to vote someone off the island. Honestly, the Rooneys may need to kick everyone off the island once this season is through. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley seems to have lost Big Ben already. Even if Haley gets axed next week, that won’t change the fact that Roethlisberger looked like the fourth best QB in his DIVISION on Sunday. Two rings aside, the Steelers need to take a good look at the player Big Ben is today, and then detemine whether their aging QB can bring another title soon. If the Rooneys decide to go all-in on Big Ben for the next few seasons, then Coach Tomlin might be the one searching for a new job in 2014.
1. The Saints are back. With Sean Payton at the helm again, and Rob Ryan running the defense, New Orleans took down the defending NFC South Champions this week. Atlanta looked good too, especially with the addition of Steven Jackson to their starting backfield, but the Saints started this season off with a nice warning shot to their divisional rivals: the Saints are a legit contender to take home the NFC South title this season. We’re already looking forward to their regular season rematch in the ATL.