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No Better Place

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    Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

By Ryan Decker for Now on Deck

Last Tuesday it was reported that the New England Patriots had struck a deal with the Washington Redskins, trading center Bryan Stork (above, left) to Washington in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick.

At face value, it’s a rather meaningless, lackluster trade.

Stork, a two-year veteran, was not going to be the starter in D.C. Kory Lichtensteiger has the starting job wrapped up, as he has ever since he became a Redskin in 2010, originally at left guard, but at center for the last two seasons.

On the other side, it was another case of Bill Belichick trading away a player he didn’t see a use for on his team in exchange for a late-round pick that may end up being traded away down the road. He’s a crafty head coach that way. How else do you explain the five former players drafted in the first round the Pats have gotten this summer alone.

However, a trade involving a center and a seventh-round pick has never been so interesting.

Shortly after the trade was announced, Stork was quoted as saying he would consider retirement before playing for Washington, a team coming off an NFC East division title with a strong possibility as repeating as division winner.

To quote comedian Larry the Cable Guy, “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there!”

It is funny. It’s down right hilarious! I nearly fell over laughing – as a Redskins fan – when I read the update I got on my phone saying Stork would rather retire than suit up in the burgundy and gold.

The story then took a sharp turn; Stork saying he would report to the Redskins and would play for them.

End of story right?


According to ESPN 980 in Washington’s Chris Cooley, Stork failed his physical with his new team, thereby voiding the trade; sending him back to New England and the seventh-round pick back to Dan Snyder and the Redskins.

What will happen to Stork when he returns to New England remains to be seen, but it’s odd to read that a player who was vying for a starting job on one team failed a physical on another.

Redskins fans can at least be glad all their team gave up for Stork was a conditional seventh-round draft pick (which they now get back) instead of the $100 million they gave to a former lineman that also couldn’t pass a physical.

If there’s any indication of how odd this trade has been, the tweet that Stork sent out Saturday that is included in the graphic above has since been deleted.

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Is the NFL preseason too long?

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the NFL season is fast approaching and the first game is Thursday, September 8th, a Super Bowl rematch between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. Currently, preseason games are underway, where most teams have played three out of four preseason games. In preseason games the starters play very little and backups play the majority to earn roster spots. Therefore, the majority of NFL fans find the preseason games boring and unnecessary, and the fans think the games should be cut down because four is too many. Therefore, let's investigate the issue.

The main argument against the preseason is that there is too much risk for injury to the players. For example, in 2015 the Green Bay Packers lost their top wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, for the season in the preseason. Then this year Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, broke a bone in his back and will be out until at least week four of the regular season. The preseason games mean absolutely nothing, but star players are prone to injury.

NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell agrees with this argument. He said about the preseason, “I don’t believe the veterans need four preseason games anymore. The primary purpose of a preseason for a team is to evaluate and develop players and then they select their teams. Our athletes stay in shape all year now. It’s a different game. So I believe we can get to two games.” Veteran players barely need any preseason action, they already know what the game speed is like and usually already have chemistry with teammates.

On the other hand, the preseason is great for rookies, younger players, and backups. For rookies and younger players, it helps the players get accustomed to the new style of play the NFL has compared to the NCAA. NFL coaches also love it for the younger players because it gives them an opportunity to develop their talent and work on things in a game. It also helps these players get used to playing with new teammates, develop chemistry, and prove themselves in game action. Then these games also help decide position battles, either for backup spots or starting roles which are huge for those backup players.

The coaches and organizations also utilize the games to evaluate the talent of newly signed players and recently drafted rookies. This gives the organization insite to each player’s potential and if they should hold onto or cut certain players. Therefore, especially for younger players, there is a need for the preseason.

Overall, what Goodell said is the best option and opinion. The preseason should be shortened to two games. Veterans need minimal time to get ready for the regular season and two games should be enough for teams to evaluate their talent. It should also be enough time for rookies to get accustomed to the league, but since so few rookies start week one they have extra time to prepare. The only drawback would position battles would have to primarily be decided in practice, which is not perfect but is a sacrifice that would be made. However, it is unlikely for this to happen because the NFL would lose revenue and for the reason alone the preseason probably will stay at four games for the time being. 

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There is never an excuse to not stand during the National Anthem.

According to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, there is.

Friday night in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick refused to stand for the second time this postseason.

Following the game, Kaepernick spoke to reporters.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

What a joke.

Yes, there is plenty wrong in the United States of America right now, but both sides are at fault. There is no immediate fix, but refusing to stand during the National Anthem is a petty excuse for protesting.

What Kaepernick fails to recognize is that by staying seated, he’s not only protesting, he’s disrespecting. Disrespecting the good cops and all of the men and women serving in the armed forces both here at home and abroad.

If not for those people, Kaepernick would not be able to be a below-average quarterback playing football for living. His lack of gratitude and appreciation is horrendous. It shows what type of person he is: selfish.

The best part about this is that Kaepernick has better things to focus on, like his job. He’s thrown 15 interceptions in the last two season despite only playing in 25 games. He’s going to lose his starting job to Blaine Gabbert. Enough said.

Instead of trying to get better, Kaepernick is too focused on disrespecting the country that made him. He never knew his maternal father and his mother put him up for adoption. Despite that, Kaepernick was raised by a foster family and made it to the Super Bowl only three years ago. He defines the American Dream: the chance to become whatever you want if you work hard enough no matter who you are.

Kaepernick is an embarrassment to the 49ers, to the NFL, and to his country. If he wants change, he needs to become that change. Talk to policemen, talk to African Americans. Identify the problem and start a non-profit organization that unites the two groups.

Kaepernick is making $11.9 million this season to lose a quarterback battle to Gabbert and complain about not being allowed to wear Beats headphones and sit during National Anthems. This is the type of child that men and women have to risk their lives for. What a shame.

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