Marvin Lewis is right, and wrong, when it comes to the NFL's now relaxed rules on touchdown celebrations.
Lewis took an old-school approach to a new world order. He pretty much did the same thing when he slammed the way the NFL handles its annual made-for-TV draft show. He lamented that the NFL has made the draft "bigger than it is" and how the NFL "held (draft day prospects)" up on this "pedestal." He's right. But he's also out of step with the way his corporation is heading.
Football is entertainment. It's the movies, a walk in the park or a beer with your buddy on a Friday night. It's a business whose product is sport.
But it competes with the rest of life's distractions. Pete Rozelle figured that out years ago. The instant TV networks began ponying up big dollars for what Rozelle was serving, the "sport" aspect of football took a back seat to entertainment.
The draft, along with end zone celebrations, along with the NFL Network, along with the televised NFL Combine are all part of it. The minute the NFL made the decision to be a 24/7, 365 days a year business was the minute business and entertainment trumped sport.
It's probably not that Marvin Lewis doesn't get that. Lewis is a bright guy who is largely under-appreciated by his fan base. It's that Marvin Lewis comes from a different generation, with different life experiences, values and beliefs than a lot of the under-40 crowd. It's not better, it's not worse, it's just different.
When Lewis says he wouldn't let his first-round pick, John Ross -- the fastest man in the history of the combine -- run a 100-yard dash challenge with the Reds' Billy Hamilton because Ross "isn't a circus act," he's right. And he's wrong.
He's right for all of the obvious reasons -- not wanting his first-round pick getting wrapped up in something that doesn't benefit what his team does on the field. But he's also wrong. It's what his fan base wants.
Those of us raised in the '60s often have a hard time dealing with and understanding generations X and Y and millennials. They think, act and talk differently than us (hell, they don't even talk anymore. They just text). So when I hear Lewis say about the new relaxation of celebrations, "We had a good standard" and "that's not a very good example for young people," I think back to what things were frowned upon when I was a relatively young man. You know, things like long hair, loud music and late nights. Most of that didn't kill any of us and a lot of it made the world a better place.
Look, we're not talking about drugs, military draft protests or three days at Woodstock here. We're talking about dancing in the end zone of an NFL stadium.
Last I checked, Chad Johnson didn't kill anybody doing that. Not even when he was Ochocinco.
Of course, not everyone agrees with me. For example, Marvin Lewis' arch nemesis, Stephen A. Smith...
The Reds have the worst starting pitchers in the National League. They have the highest ERA (5.96) and the fewest innings pitched (223.1).
Even with chronic injuries to Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani, it shouldn't be this bad. I think they got set back by injuries, sure. But they were also set back by the ineffectiveness of Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed.
Reed is the mystery. He looked can't miss when he came to the Reds in a 2015 trade. A big, lanky left-hander with a very good fastball. He could get batters out with regularity in the minors but, at the Major League level, not so much. The baseball world is littered with pitchers like that.
As for Stephenson, most draft analysts projected him as a fourth or fifth starting pitching at the Major League level, at best. So far, banished to the bullpen, the Reds are waiting on that delivery...
Honestly, this year's NBA Finals might turn out that way, too, if the Cavaliers can't find a way to derail the Warriors. I know that was said before last year's Finals, but that was pre-Kevin Durant. So far, the Warriors look unstoppable.
This is some sad news about former UK WIldcats head football coach, Guy Morriss...
A monumental day has just come and gone. Yesterday, Wednesday, the great Bob Dylan celebrated his 76th birthday. Dylan, of course, is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner and and an 11-time Grammy Award winner. And he also wrote on of my all-time favorite songs
This is from his 1965 album "Another Side Of Bob Dylan." And one of the more amazing things about this song and this album is that Dylan performed all parts, all instruments and all vocals. That was quite a challenge and an accomplishment given the recording techniques of 1964.
Commercially, the album didn't do all that well. It just barely made gold status (500,000 copies sold) in the USA. And this take of this song is one of the most passionate I've heard. The Byrds did a more "guitary" version, which in my opinion was OK. This is soulful and very introspective, given the fact that Dylan was just 23 at the time.
He is, of course, a very eccentric man. There's a story about Dylan that's made the rounds of him singing at his grandson's kindergarten class about 10 years ago. One of the kids in the room said, aloud, to the teacher, "please tell the weird man to stop singing scary songs."
Dylan is a well-known boxing aficionado. He was appearing in Austin many years ago and walked into a gym and told the owner he wanted to get in the ring and spar. At the same gym that day was a comedian, Daniel Ross. The gym's owner told Ross to get into the ring and spar. Ross said to the owner, "That's Bob Dylan." The owner answered, "Then whatever you do, don't hit him."