It’s a huge week for Stanford, leading up to the Thursday night’s meeting with Oregon, which means it’s a huge week for David Shaw, obviously.
At his weekly presser, Shaw spoke at length and in detail about the match-ups and big focal points for such a significant game. It’s a massive game, fascinating in every way.
But Shaw also was more than ready to address the situation involving one of his former players — tackle Jonathan Martin, who has left the Miami Dolphins, will be placed on the non-football injury list and has notified the team and the league about potential player misconduct involving guard Richie Incognito, who reportedly left racist and threatening voice-mails on Martin’s phone.
Incognito has been suspended by the team and the NFL is launching an investigation into the entire matter.
At the presser, Shaw said he hadn’t yet spoken to Martin but others in the Cardinal program have, and said that he just wants Martin to feel better and get back to playing football again.
After the presser, I asked Shaw a specific question:
Was he at all concerned that there’s maybe some tension between Stanford players and other NFL players with different backgrounds?
Shaw’s answer: Not at all, because Stanford’s program is at the level where it is sending players regularly to the NFL, and plays a physical style that is suited to the NFL — with tough players (like Andrew Luck and Zach Ertz) who are thriving in the NFL.
–Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News
This is what happens when you pop the lid off the NFL and peer into the pot. You realize you probably shouldn’t have been so curious about what’s inside.
America’s favorite sport is a slimy stew simmering inside a pressure cooker. While some of the ingredients are premium quality, there are also a lot of things bubbling in there that you really don’t want to see.
We were reminded of that this weekend, particularly in the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story, which continues to unfold in disturbing fashion.
Martin is a second-year offensive lineman from Stanford. His parents are Harvard-educated lawyers. He was a smart classics major who is interested in a law career. Incognito, who has never lived up to his name, has been plagued by trouble for much of his career – kicked out of Nebraska for an assault on a teammate, drafted and released by the Rams, called the dirtiest player in the NFL. But somehow he ended up on the leadership committee of the Miami Dolphins.
Incognito was suspended Sunday for conduct detrimental to the team that includes harassing and bullying Martin, who left the team last week to seek treatment for emotional issues. The NFL and the Dolphins were examining evidence that reportedly included voice mails Incognito left for Martin, filled with racial slurs and threats. Incognito’s career in Miami is apparently over.
In the best of the NFL, such opposite types of humans as Martin and Incognito can come together and work as teammates. That’s one of great things about football: people from vastly different backgrounds pulling as one.
But in the worst of the NFL, such differences become divisive and explosive.
– Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle
As much as he tried and as hard as he worked, Barry Zito never lived up to expectations in his seven-year stay in San Francisco, which ended Saturday when the Giants declined to pick up the option year of a contract they must regret ever giving him.
Signing a staggering seven-year, $126 million contract in 2007 after his third All-Star season with the A’s, Zito faced expectations that were just as big.
But it was obvious from the start that the Giants overpaid for the former Cy Young Award winner who left his nasty curveball in Oakland and had no other pitches – certainly no fastball – to fall back on.
Zito’s 11-13 record in 2007 was his first losing season in the big leagues and his 4.53 ERA the fattest of his career. He lost his first nine games of 2008 and never regained the faith of Giants fans.
– Victor Contreras, Sacramento Bee