TOP OF THE TOWN – I watched Jadeveon Clowney play for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and he didn’t play very well. It actually looked like he was taking plays off. If you are thinking this is just sour grapes, you are wrong. Clowney, when he wanted to play and was invested in a particular game, was clearly a top tier defensive end. But he often doesn’t play like one. If I’m an owner and general manager of a team, I would not have gone after Clowney as the Seahawks did, hanging on hope after hope he would come back. He’s playing with the system, which I guess is good for him, but he wasn’t worth the time spent on trying to get him back. One man doesn’t define a football team, unless it’s Russell Wilson or Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes. I’m not waiting for the time when Wilson gets blindsided and suffers a major injury that sidelines him for a long time. If Wilson gets blasted, the hopes of the Seahawks fade pretty quickly. That is why I never could quite understand how the Seahawks have had so much trouble building a good offensive line to protect him. He’s your gold mine and you let intruders destroy it with well placed dynamite? I always felt Bill Belichick year after year had an offensive line that served as a brick wall around Brady, who could sit back behind it and pick opponents apart. For much of his career (this is his ninth season), Wilson has been scrambling for his life. He’s a good scrambler, I will give you that. But at some point he’s going to get crushed and then everybody will wail in protest, why couldn’t they build a brick wall like Belichick?  As long as Wilson stays healthy, this year’s Seahawks are contenders for a Super Bowl. They have more dangerous offensive weapons and at some point you would think their secondary will come together and be maybe not the second edition of the Legion of Boom, but close to that. The weakness is the lack of an effective pass rush. We all know that, and you are screaming, “Yeah, that is why Clowney would have made a difference.” And I will reply, “Yeah, but Clowney did not want to play with the Seahawks.” He gave Houston fits before they decided to get rid of him and traded him to Seattle, and I don’t believe Clowney ever wanted to return and play for the Seahawks. Enough of that. We will find out just how good the Seahawks are Sunday night when they host Belichick’s Patriots in a nationally televised game. Hopefully, by that time it will be smokeless in Seattle. … You would think Trump would have issued thousands of rakes to California to prevent those wildfires. But I guess he thought it’s better to let California burn since it’s a blue state controlled by a Democratic governor. That brings up this question: Did you ever in your right mind ever think that you would live in a world with a President who is such a divider? He uses all the power of his office to make sure blue states don’t get the federal help they are entitled to. It’s a clear abuse of power and in my mind I would never had even thought a President could be so full of hate for the opposition and half of America. Isn’t a President supposed to govern and protect all of America? How the hell did this guy get elected? Oh yeah, I remember now. It’s the Russians. … Despite COVID-19 causing a shorten season and upset the “Step-back” program that general manager Jerry Dipoto installed for the Seattle Mariners, the team has performed better than expected. Of course, beating up on a hapless Texas team helped. I don’t know what has happened to the Rangers. They went from good to bad in an awful hurry. It’s funny, but I covered Major League Baseball for nearly 30 years and I now have a difficult time with the players on rosters. Who are these guys? What happened to all the good players I knew? Turnover  of rosters has really sped up in the last few years. Money, as we know, dictates everything, and it appears baseball owners have figured out they don’t have to pay ridiculous salaries, except for the very few, and are playing more and more younger players who cost them less and still perform well on the field. I have always felt this way, that there isn’t a lot of quality differences between players, other than the Ken Griffeys, the Barry Bonds, Randy Johnsons and Roger Clemens. You can win in MLB with guys just a cut above average and maybe toss in a Griffey or Bonds. You do need pitchers. If I was building a team, I would start and end with pitching. You got the best pitchers, you can field average defenders around them and win.  But, hey, what do I know? Chemistry is also very important. If you can get players to play together (and that is not an easy chore), you can win. If players don’t care who gets the credit, you can win. The 1995 Mariners came from way back to win and they did it because, yes they had some really good players, but the 25-man roster started to belief in themselves, played together down the stretch and did the improbable. Of course, it helped the Mariners had that 6-10 ace – Randy Johnson. He had their backs. Needed a win or somebody to throw a couple critical innings in relief, here comes the Big Unit.  Hey, that is enough for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.