The NFL got the free agency madness it has always craved – SUH! BRADFORD! FOLES! GRAHAM! UNGER! GORE! JOHNSON! REVIS! NGATA! IUPATI! MCCOY! ALONSO! MARSHALL! MAXWELL! FELTON! THOMAS! DANIELS! WILLIAMS! ROLLE! HAWK! HELU! SKUTA! SKRINE! SMITH! SMITH! SMITH! A CAVALCADE OF MOVING SMITHS AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS FLESH! – and no damage was done by the (alleged) premature signings and (very much proven) early leaks of said signings. In other words, the league has managed yet again to worry about things that make no difference because if they don’t worry about the trivial, someone might expect them get cracking on the substantive.
And nobody wants that.
[RELATED: Raiders free-agency tracker]
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Frank Gore’s decision to forgo the chaos of San Francisco had a lot to do with his decision to forgo the anecdotal harshness of Chip Kelly’s regime in Philadelphia for the the similar money and more Andrew Luck-y Indianapolis Colts. Indeed, next to the 49ers, the Eagles have had the most hyperkinetic off-season, and Gore, being nobody’s dope, needs more of that like he needs a third ear at the back of his left knee.
It also may explain why Patrick Willis has had enough of football as well and has decided after seven years and change to be happy. College coaches bringing their time-honored my-way-then-the-highway approach to the NFL may be the game’s new market inefficiency, but the amusement in that works better on fans and media than it does on the people who actually have to endure it daily.
[RELATED: 49ers free-agency tracker]
Tell your boss that the next time he uses this (http://onion.com/1FGBrLR) as a training film.
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That said, Willis became the first football player (and first by any player since Yao Ming) to have a retirement press conference that was dominated by anecdotes about foot care. Well, that and him wearing a tie that actually missed his shirt collar entirely.
In other fashion news from the Willis presser, Jed York looked like he was hosting a funeral, Trent Baalke looked like he was hosting a one-day celebrity pro-am, and Jim Tomsula, who came off best of all, looked like he was hosting the departure of a very close friend. Now we get why players seem to like him so – he actually spoke off the cuff about Willis the man, and players like being reminded that they are not chemically enraged robots.
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Me, I like to think that Craig James is Satan working on us. That is, if Satan is an imbecile.
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Arizona Cardinal Alex Okafor had an ill-time case of CF – Combine Flashback – when he was apprehended for fleeing the scene of a collision with another pedestrian.
Yes, he was a pedestrian at the time, hence the phrase “another pedestrian.”
Okafor was running through an intersection on his way to Aquarium Bar in Austin, TX, and knocked over a drunk man “at a sprints pace.” Police began pursuit after Okafor didn’t stop to help the de-cleated inebriate, and eventually was taken down by three officers.
The man Okafor knocked over did not press charges, so Okafor got pinched for evading arrest, as well as an outstanding warrant.
For a previous pedestrian violation citation, and of course you would have guessed that. Evidently Austin is no place for the persistently ambulatory.
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In a more understandable incident, Houston Texans pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, whose rookie year was weird and injury-enriched, celebrated the off-season by getting himself was bitten by teammate D.J. Swearinger’s pit bull. The dog’s vaccinations are up to date and Clowney was not seriously hurt, so this won’t be an anti-pit bull polemic, but maybe next time Clowney should approach the dog with a treat.
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And finally, here’s why Clowney should say it with chewies. Cologne striker Anthony Ujah is one smooth talker. After he celebrated a goal against Eintracht Frankfurt by manhandling his club’s mascot Hennes the Goat (http://bit.ly/1wWvQS4, courtesy Who Ate All The Pies) by grabbing his horns from behind and pulling on them. Hennes, by the way, isn’t one of those cheap cloth costume goats you see everywhere. He is an actual fully goatified goat, from the family Goat.
Anyway, he received a pile of abuse for getting all, well, goat-y, and Instagrammed, “Apologies to Hennes for my hard celebration.” But sensing that too many athletes do the apology and call it a day, Ujah doubled down, calling Hennes his “best friend” and visiting the goat on his birthday with a bouquet of fresh carrots.
The lesson: Popular local goats are a treasure, not a prop, so don’t start thinking an apology and a trip to the greengrocer’s is going to work on every goat every time.