Sunday, August 29, 2010


As a self-proclaimed football gal, I feel I should comment on this MSN piece entitled NFL Eye Candy. (Link via Go Fug Yourself.) It's my duty.

The thing about it is that I can sum it up in these four words: lots of white quarterbacks. There are a couple obvious reasons for this--first, QBs are the most famous and visible members of teams. Secondly, I believe the writer of the article is white. People tend to be more attracted to the familiar, so that's white QBs on both counts. I still wish she'd corrected for this a little more, though. Sure, you have to include Tom Brady, because you have eyes in your head. But Tony Romo? Peyton Manning? I love Peyton as much as the next person, but foxy he is not. It doesn't get silly until the end, when she tacks on some old-school players, and those players are six white quarterbacks and Jerry Rice. C'mon.

Other than that, I guess it just comes to down to personal taste. However! She did leave off my personal favorite eye candy NFL guy, perhaps because he's not a player. But Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dividing the Big Ten

Official word is supposed to come down in a few weeks about how the Big Ten will split into divisions come next year, when Nebraska joins and makes them the Really Big Ten. Different opinions on how this should shake out have, of course, been spouted since before Nebraska even joined, but the one thing everybody seemed to agree on was that they shouldn't split up that conference's showpiece rivals, Ohio State and Michigan.

But that's what they're (apparently) deciding to do.

Here's the Really Big Ten (map modified to include Nebraska by yours truly):

And, according to reports and rumors, here's how they want to cut it up:

I'm not a big fan, but it does have some merits. It's good that they don't split any of the pairs of schools that are in the same state. (And they don't split up the schools Wisconsin and Minnesota, which is basically the same state repeated, right next to itself.) And I suppose, although I haven't done the math, that the population breakdowns of the states that are put together aren't very disparate. (One argument for not splitting the conference east vs. west that I actually sort of buy is that the eastern states just have way more people(and therefore fans and TV sets) in them than the western states.) And there's not going to be any breakdown that satisfies everybody.

But messing with Ohio State-Michigan is really making people angry.

It's not that they won't play every year; of course they will. It's that a premium is being put on the conference championship game over all other considerations. This is short-sighted (read: dumb). They'll move the OSU-Michigan game, which has been played in the last week of the season for 75 years, up to the middle of the season. So if they meet in the championship game, it won't be two weekends in a row. They're being put in different divisions so they can meet in the championship game. The speculation is that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is negotiating a separate TV contract for the championship game so that there will be a bigger payout if the participants are OSU and Michigan.

Here's the thing: the Big Ten is learning the wrong lessons from the Big 12. The thing they have learned that they shouldn't have: geographic splits don't work. It's true that the disparity in divisions in the Big 12 contributed to its instability--but the North wasn't always so much weaker than the South, and it wouldn't have continued forever. College football doesn't work that way. Also, if you look at the sport's undisputed most successful conference, the SEC, you see a geographic split that works just fine. That's why I still think this

would be the best way to divide the Big Ten. Nothing is permanent in college sports--except geography.

This is what the Big Ten should have learned from the Big 12 but didn't: a game does not have to directly decide the conference championship to be a Big Deal. If they left the OSU-Michigan game as it was, and left the two schools in the same division, it would be the Big Ten's Red River Shootout. It gets tense enough when the game (probably) decides the division winner. Besides, no game involving Michigan is likely to decide anything important for the foreseeable future. There's no reason to think Michigan is going anywhere under Rich Rod, and no reason to think they can't whiff again the next time they hire a coach. And if they do get back on top, it certainly isn't a given Ohio State will still be up there. By planning everything around an OSU-Michigan title game, the Big Ten brass are planning around something that may not even come to pass for years and years and years.

Like I said, short-sighted. Which is to say, dumb.

Monday, August 23, 2010


A writer at the Washington Post just rips Albert Haynesworth a new one. Even better, she contrasts Haynesworth's wussy prima-doninity with Mike Shanahan's total awesomeness. Did you know that once, Mike Shanahan was so determined to keep playing a football game that he almost died? Like, was given his last rites almost-died. This article is fantastic.

Tom Brady hates the Jets. I think that's great. Fans hate their rival teams, why shouldn't players? In this day and age, I find it downright heartwarming.

Video: A couple SI writers who are not very comfortable on camera discuss how good Oklahoma will be this year. Uncomfortable guy on the left, Andy Staples, is the only sportswriter I've seen who expresses my opinion: that it doesn't make sense that Oklahoma (or texas, for that matter) is ranked so high in the preseason polls.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thoughts On: the Boise State Broncos

There's only one question that matters for Boise State this year: can they make it to the BCS championship game? Let's break this down pro-and-con style:

PRO: the team itself
There are nineteen starters returning from a team that went 14-0 last season, including a victory in a BCS bowl. The coaching staff has been pretty stable, the quarterback is good, and this is a group of players that don't really know how to lose--the team has only done so four times over the last four years (and three of those were in 2007, when even the "national" "champion" LSU team lost twice). As Pat Forde would tell you, there's a very strong case to be made that Boise State should start this season ranked #1.

CON: They absolutely must go undefeated.
When a team plays for a conference outside the big six, no matter what else they have going for them, they cannot ever lose a game and hope to make the championship. Depending on circumstances, Alabama could lose a game at some point and still make it to the big game. Same for texas or Oklahoma or Ohio State etc. Boise cannot. Even if we had another 2007-style year, with contenders losing left and right.

Their schedule is tough, opening against Virginia Tech in a hostile environment (Maryland which, if everything I've heard about Maryland is true, is pretty hostile to everyone anyway). They also play Oregon State, and their other two non-conference games are against non-BCS but still respectable opponents, Wyoming (at Wyoming) and Toledo.

PRO: Their schedule is tough.
They've done about all they can, scheduling-wise, to make up for being in the WAC.

CON: They're still in the WAC, though.
It's not just the BCS that won't give credit to the smaller conferences; there are even fans out there who can't make themselves believe that a minor conference team could be better than a major conference team.

PRO: If they can ever do it, this is certainly the year.
Their years of consistent excellence have finally put Boise State in a good position to start the season. One of the worst things about college football is that if a team doesn't start the year ranked highly in the preseason polls (which are just guesses), they can't climb to the top of the polls even by the end of the season. The system being what it is, Boise is very fortunate to be starting at #5 in the coaches' poll (which is the one that matters) and #3 in the AP poll (which doesn't officially matter, but is still nice for some prestige). With not that many teams ahead of them, there aren't that many teams that need to lose once or twice to oblige Boise.

CON: But who's to say they can ever do it?
We are only one year removed from the BCS, faced with the qualification of two non-BCS teams, matched them up against each other. And that's Boise State's biggest con, right there: the people who run the BCS are cowards. Unmitigated cowards. They are terrified of teams from outside the club showing up the teams from inside the club. If they can find any half-decent excuse, or even if they can't, they will keep Boise State outside of the title game. They will.

In conclusion, I would like to see Boise State dominate all of their games and make it to the championship--even if they don't win a championship, it sure would be nice if they (representing all the little guys) finally got a shot. But do I think that's going to happen? No I do not.

Either A) they'll lose to Va Tech right off the bat, making all the speculation moot or B) at least two major-conference teams will go undefeated, pushing Boise State out of contention or C) the BCS will just screw them over some way, somehow.

My First Fantasy Football Disaster

That's right, it already happened!

The preceding also applies to the draft in my all-girl autodraft league, unfortunately. See, I thought, naively, that if I checked the league's home page every day or so, I'd eventually learn when the draft was and before it happened I could--this is important--customize my player rankings. I would have done things like moved Jermichael Finley above other tight ends because I think he's great and he's Jorvorskie Lane's brother. I would have moved Adrian Peterson down just a smidge (from second to third or fourth, maybe) because he fumbles so much and I just don't like him.

And I certainly, CERTAINLY, would have moved down the person who, thanks to my not re-ranking in time, became my starting quarterback.

When I found out about this last night, I was--maybe "devastated" is too strong a word, but something in that area. I told Mr. Football Gal about how I never got informed that the draft was going to happen, and he thought I'd be within my rights to just drop out of the league altogether. I don't want to do that, but I was mad enough that I had to sleep on it before I posted a message to the league's board. I thought it came out very civil ("Subject: draft over. Message: I'm pretty disappointed that the auto-draft happened with no warning, since I was hoping to customize my player rankings beforehand. I guess there's nothing to do about it now . . . except state that I am open to trades, if anybody wants to make them").

It was certainly nicer than the tide of profanity I unleashed last night when I found out that my quarterback is Jay Cutler.

Jay ************* *** ** * ***** ******* frat daddy *****-*** ****** Cutler.

It's not that I expected, in a twelve team league, to definitely get Peyton or Aaron or even Matt (Schaub). It's just that I cannot stand Jay Cutler. Well, also that I don't particularly believe he's going to get any better this year, and I think he'll continue to be an interception-machine, but mostly that I can't stand the guy.

I'm not particularly angry anymore, but I am a little sad. This was not how I was hoping to start the season. Oh well; one week until my next draft (and you can bet my league members know about it), one where I won't have to take Jay Cutler unless I get really, really, really desperate.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Upcoming Fantasy Season

I may have been a bit . . . foolhardy.

Here's what happened: last year, I wanted to play fantasy football, but I ran into a bit of the old No Girls Allowed. This stuck in my craw slightly, so in a spirit of "I'll show you! I'LL SHOW ALL OF YOU!" I decided to start my own league this time around. I've cobbled together a few folks, so now I'm going to be a commissioner, even though I've never played before. Unfeminist alert: I figure it will be OK because I can ask my husband questions before I make decisions. (Wow, that came out even more unfeminist than I anticipated.)

(Team name: The Bubby Bristers)

Here's what happened next: I became a big fan of Cris Collinsworth's website, Football Pros Live. (I've also been trying to post on the message boards enough that someday I can write blog posts there, but it turns out I'm not very good at posting on message boards, so that project is coming along slowly.) Many dudes on the boards decided to play fantasy football together, so when the third league came into being, I decided what the hey, I was in. The catch is that they're doing an auction draft. I have--I think--a fairly good idea of how a regular, snake-style draft goes, but auction? I'm in way over my head here. Luckily, this draft is a week after my other draft, so I'll have a little general draft experience under my belt, and I'll have that week to try to figure out what in the world I'm doing. Studying: the answer to all life's problems.

(Team name: The Fightin' AJ Hawks)

Here's what happened after that: one of my friends on Facebook asked her friends at large if anybody would be interested in joining an all-girl fantasy football league. After some internal hemming and hawing, I told her I was in. After all, that's kind of what I wished I could put together in the first place; I just didn't know enough football gals to make it happen. This one is at the opposite end of the pressure spectrum from the FPL draft, since it's auto-pick. (To be honest, I'm almost as flummoxed by that as the auction thing. It's not going to draft me eight wide receivers, is it?)

(Team name: The Larry Fitzjerries)

So there you have it. I'm a fantasy football rookie in three leagues.

Maybe that increases my odds of winning one?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still Not Done with Conference Shenanigans: Updated!

Here's a new one: after a summer filled with teams hopping to more established conferences and persistent rumors of a future filled with sixteen-team superconferences, one school is apparently deciding to turn back the clock and go independent.

BYU wants to set itself up as Notre Dame West*. It will just schedule whomever it wants in football and affiliate itself with the WAC (which hasn't replaced Boise State yet) in all its other sports. This plan is, I think, diabolically clever.

Yes, it seems a little stupid on first glance. BYU is no Notre Dame, national-relevance-wise. And who goes from being affiliated with a conference to independence these days? But then you look a little closer.

BYU just lost its rival in the MWC, Utah, to the Pac-10-soon-to-be-12. This wasn't just bad for BYU in a rivalry sense; it was bad for the MWC as a whole. Remember, they had just added Boise State and, when the Big 12 looked about to collapse, may have been in line to collect the Kansas, etc. schools. The MWC (which had also just had a very successful collective season versus BCS-conference opponents--so successful that there was talk of it getting its own automatic BCS bid) looked like it was going places. But then the Big 12 didn't collapse, the Pac-10 had to look somewhere else for a twelfth school to complement Colorado, and Utah got poached. Even with the addition of Boise State, the MWC was now in a much weaker position. So BYU, one of its two strongest remaining programs, doesn't have that much to lose by leaving.

Of course, there wouldn't be conference realignment without that all-powerful force, TV money. BYU, despite their non-scoffable legacy of football success, isn't Notre Dame, but it's got commonalities. Thanks to its affiliation with the Mormon church, BYU already has its own TV network and a built-in, (somewhat) geographically dispersed fanbase. If anybody can pull this off, it might as well be BYU.

Good for them, I suppose. But I can't help but feel sorry for the MWC. Those poor kids really looked like they were on the verge of greatness (or at least pretty-goodness), but it's all been steeply downhill since their Boise State coup. Sorry, guys.

*I did, by the way, think of that phrase before I read a similar one in the linked article. Just so you know.

UPDATE: Now the MWC is all, "So, WAC, you think you can steal from us after we stole from you?! We'll steal from you more!" and has invited Nevada and Fresno State to join them. However, WAC members agreed to a $5 million penalty for leaving the conference after Boise State left the conference, and that may be more than either school can afford. Upping the ante: if the MWC can't pull this off, Boise State might not join them after all, because they're no longer nearly as appealing. Also, depending on how other teams shake out, the MWC's San Diego State and UNLV are pondering moving to the WAC as well.

This is turning into some sort of bizarre conference death match. I love it.


Pat Forde has a good piece on the pros and cons of Les Miles. Maybe it's my anti-Miles bias (he's a terrible coach), but the con side seems stronger.

Mike Leach is back in action! Or will be back in a sort of action, in the broadcast booth for games very few people will watch. I'm still excited, though. Great tidbit: he's not under any obligation to refrain from talking about Texas Tech or his firing. Of course he isn't! The Tech brass are trying to get out of paying him a dime, instead of settling (which would be their only leverage to shut Leach up). Because they're idiots.

Cris Collinsworth shares his thoughts on the 49ers. They're getting a decent amount of hype this offseason (not a Jets amount of hype, more just the "they're going to get to the next level!" kind), and Collinsworth, to my surprise, does nothing to reign it in. I'm excited that he's big on them, because I like Mike Singletary. How can you not?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bromance UPDATE

Despite mutually underwhelming performances in a (by-definition underwhelming) preseason game, the Chad & T.O. love train keeps chugging along!

The two of them explaining their "Batman" and "Robin" relationship to Andrea Kraemer last night really cracked me up.

I put together a little twitter list of just the two of them. Much more Batman-and-Robin-ing there, I assure you. Here's a good one from this morning:

I can't help it, you guys--I find this whole thing hilarious and even kind of endearing. I started to find "Ochocinco" amusing in spite of myself last season, and adding T.O. to the mix just makes him even more exuberant. I'm excited to watch Bengals games this year, which means their evil plan is working.

In conclusion, coordinating segways:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Season Preview: the Fightin' Texas Aggies

This off-season has taught me something about myself: being an Aggie fan for the past ten (or so) years* has scarred me a smidge. You see, I kept reading all these positive things about the upcoming season--this is an A&M with decent expectations. And my first reaction was creeping terror. Expectations, in my experience, lead to disappointment, if not heartbreak.

But I think--I think--I'm starting to get over it. Maybe it's just that I'm getting used to the idea that my own team actually has talent and experience and a coaching staff that can find their collective posterior with their collective number of hands.

The most exciting part of this team is (by far) its offensive skill players. We've got a very good receiving corps, some quite promising running backs, and probably the best quarterback in the Big 12, for crying out loud. They all performed really well last year (for the most part) and should be even better this year. (This is the kind of thing that makes me nervous. A super talented Aggie offense? You haven't seen any apocalyptic-looking horsemen around, have you?)

In spite of myself, I'm also kind of excited about the defense. Experts agree: if they can be merely competent, the offense can lead this team to very good places. (Money quote from the Yahoo! Sports preview magazine: "Three times last season A&M scored at least 31 points and lost.") They've been terrible--just abysmal--for Coach Sherman's tenure so far, but this could be the year they turn the corner. The new defensive coordinator, Tim DeRuyter (da-ROOT-er, according to Aggie Athletics), was lured away from Air Force because he did such a good job there. He's switching the Ags to the 3-4, which should work better with the team's personnel. Plus, we've got Von Miller, and he's so good!

And he wears glasses!

To be sure, he can't pick up the slack if the other ten guys are no better than last year, but it's nice to have him there.

So we've got Jerrod on one side and Von on the other, but that can't erase all the worries.

Second-biggest worry: the offensive line. They showed improvement over the course of last season, and we've finally got some more talented guys up there, but they're young. Jerrod can't Heisman it up if he has to run for his life on every play.

Biggest worry: special teams. Dangit, why did I already use up the word "abysmal"? They were so bad last year. Don't blow off the importance of special teams--if the Aggies had been competent on the third side of the ball last year, they wouldn't have lost that bowl game to Georgia. End of story. Maybe they'll be better because they've got a new coordinator too? And of course, there's the "They'll be better because they have to be" theory, which is frankly what I'm hanging my hopes on.

What does all of this add up to?

Rankings smörgåsbord:
Here's what my beloved preview magazines have to say. Yahoo! Sports ranks the Ags 43rd in the country, third in the Big 12 South. Athlon says 35th and third respectively. Lindy's (whose rankings, overall, look to me to be the least likely) goes with 30th and--brace yourself--third. It's a consensus that texas and Oklahoma will still be the cream of the division and that Tech, Oke State, and Baylor will be non-factors.

Similarly, the New York Times' college football blog (summarizing a longer article at Pre-Snap Read) places the Ags 34th in the nation.

Finally, A&M is "receiving votes" in the one that kind of matters, the preseason coaches' poll--the Aggies are getting 45th-most votes, if you take the time to count up the RVers. How many votes does that translate to, you ask? Why, a healthy three! Interestingly, A&M is getting fewer votes than Oklahoma State and Texas Tech--maybe the coaches don't read the magazines?

So if the average prediction comes true, we're looking at finishing the season definitively outside the Top 25, but at least on a few people's minds. (Alamo or Insight Bowl, I'd suppose.) But that won't win Jerrod a Heisman, now will it?

It is my tradition not to predict the outcomes of A&M's conference games until the non-conference slate is over. This year, unusually, we have the first conference matchup (against Oklahoma State) before the last non-con (Arkansas). So I'm just going to pick the first four and save the last eight until after they're done. (A&M vs. Oke State seems to be the easier call anyway.)

9/4, Stephen F. Austin: Layup.
9/11, Louisiana Tech: A team A&M should beat even if they didn't have a new coach.
9/18, Florida International: And that makes three.
9/30, at Oklahoma State: I like the odds of starting 4-0, I really do. Oke State lost a lot, a lot, of guys, and I've never been sold on Mike Gundy. Last year was their big chance to achieve something, and they blew it. When you think about it, it's a bit surprising T. Boone hasn't put out a hit on Deion Sanders. That we know of.

Now, if the Ags win these, and depending on how they win (and on how everybody else does, of course), we'll be able to see if the Aggies might be able to make some noise this season. Here are some more things to consider:

Arkansas is a team in the same general mold of the Aggies--big-time offense, afterthought defense. Their offense is, however, bigger-time than ours (at least so far).

This year's North slate is Mizzou, at Kansas, and Nebraska. It's nice that the tougher two are at Kyle. I don't have high hopes for the Nebraska game, because I'd have more faith in their lousy offense against our possibly lousy defense than in our possibly terrific offense against their very serious defense. (Did that make sense?) I'm pretty confident about the Kansas game--new coach, bare cupboard, same old story. The Mizzou game falls somewhere in the middle. I never have a great handle on those guys, mostly because of my apathy toward them.

Texas Tech and Baylor, like Oklahoma State, don't really scare me that much this year. Tech's got a new coach, and although Tommy Tuberville's great, it's hard to predict how he's going to mesh with the guys on Tech's roster. The system he's going to want to run is very different from the system most of them were recruited to play in. Baylor should be better than they were last year, because their crazy amazing quarterback, Robert Griffin III, will be back from injury (on top of the natural arc of improvement they should be following in their third year under Art Briles). But that means they should be roughly as good as the Aggies were last year, shooting for bowl eligibility. (You'll hear this anywhere Baylor is mentioned, but if they make it, it would be their first bowl game since 1994.) They could beat us, but the odds aren't good enough for me to fret about it.

As for the big boys--another thing the experts all seem to think is that texas and Oklahoma are going to be just about as good as usual. They're projected to compete with each other (and Nebraska) for the conference championship and to be at least in the discussion for the national title game. (t.u. and OU are respectively ranked fourth and eighth in the preseason coaches' poll.)

I'm a little dubious. (Is "hopefully dubious" a thing?) The t.u. team lost most of the stars that studded last year's national championship runner-up team. OU was totally wrecked by injuries last year (yes, for a Bob Stoops team, eight wins counts as "totally wrecked"), and they should be better this year, but they still don't have comparable guys to those that were the runners-up to Florida in the '08 championship. The prevailing theory seems to be that with the two schools' top-notch coaching and recruiting, they can simply reload to stay at an elite level no matter who graduated or got drafted. I just don't know if I'm buying it.

Here's the thing: texas and Oklahoma, if I'm guessing right, might have down years in the same year. This is the last year of eligibility for Jerrod Johnson, who's the best quarterback to come through A&M in a long, long time, and he's got an excellent supporting cast. What I'm getting at is, I want A&M to win the Big 12 South.

Now, next year's Aggie team might be better than this one, because even though we'll lose Jerrod and Von, everybody else will be a year older and wiser, and trouble spots like the offensive and defensive lines should continue to improve. But OU and t.u. will probably be fully reloaded again, so I think our odds will probably be worse. (Of course, by next year, there will be no such thing as winning the division, only winning the conference. But, practically speaking, that's not going to be much different than winning the South is now.)

So that's what I want. What I expect (as in "These are my bare minimum expectations for you, Mike Sherman") is an eight-win season. I could live with seven, but I wouldn't be happy about it. Nine would be nice, ten terrific. Eight is doable. It's not asking too much. Go forth and win at least eight, Aggies!

*Yes, since I didn't become an Aggie fan until I started school there, that statement made me feel old, too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Come to This: a Brett Favre Post

Brett Favre might retire, again, for realsies this time, as was first reported this morning by Adam Shefter. (Who, by the way, direct messaged me on Twitter last night! I replied to a tweet he made, and then he responded in direct message form, which I have set to get sent to my phone, so it was practically like Adam Shefter texted me! I was super excited about it last night but didn't know how I should brag. If I had tweeted "OMG @Adam_Shefter DMed me!" he might have seen it and been like, "Nerd!" If I'd put up a status update on Facebook, almost all of my friends would have been like, "Who the crap is Adam Shefter? What a nerd!" And if I'd just gone into the other room to tell my husband, he would have been all, "OK, but why did you wake me up? I've got to work in the morning." And he probably wouldn't have called me a nerd, but it might be implied.)

Do I believe Favre is actually going to pull the trigger this time? No. Does anyone?

It's possible that his ankle really is bad and he really doesn't think he can play another season. It is, however, far more possible that he cannot stand that nobody's been reporting on him all off season and that this is yet another narcissistic ploy to get attention. It's totally working, too. Sports Illustrated is running all this stuff about his greatest games and his amazing stats (my favorite: all time high interceptions), ESPN is (apparently, I don't have cable) doing All-Favre Coverage, and hey, even I am writing this Brett Favre post.

Another factor is the "it's just a ploy" theory: we already know the guy really hates training camp. Maybe this season he doesn't want to do pre-season games either. That's why I'm not buying that he's done until and unless I see somebody else start for the Vikings against the Saints on September 9th. (Some people think that he might stage a "heroic" mid-season comeback if things look favorable in November or so, but I don't think there's any way he's giving up the iron man streak until he's done for good.)

Now, if he does finally go ahead and quit, Vikings fans should be quite unhappy that ol' Brett didn't figure this out at the beginning of the off season, when there were numerous decent-to-middling quarterbacks available. But if Favre ditches them now, they're stuck with Tarvaris & Sage. Which, incidentally, sounds like a cocktail my cocktail-inventing friend would invent. I'm no mixologist, but obviously, it would be purple and have a sage leaf stuck in it; ideally, it would be served in some sort of drinking horn; and as for taste, I'd go with bitter, bitter defeat.

In conclusion: I think he'll play this season. He won't show up in Minnesota until mid-August (likely after the Vikings have upped his salary a bit). My mind might change a little bit if he gives a press conference instead of just texting teammates and encouraging rumors to swirl, but it's not like he hasn't given retirement press conferences before. I feel a little bad for the Vikings for having to deal with the uncertainty, but on the other hand, that's what they get for signing him in the first place.