Is it written somewhere that every time you cut your grass your dog has to christen it by…doing his business? I mean do humans feel compelled to do the same on freshly vacuumed carpet? 

Manziel wearing thin?

Johnny Football is playing more like Johnny Rotten these days, flipping off the Washington bench got the headlines, but the concern has to be how ill-prepared he looks to play football.  Brian Hoyer got the starting nod in Cleveland yesterday and head coach Mike Pettine admitted that Manziel’s latest antics played a part in his decision. 

The bigger problem appears to be unfamiliarity with the playbook.  Manziel looked lost at Washington, throw in the type of immaturity that allows him to be baited by an opposing team and you have a guy not quite ready to run an NFL team.  What’s worse, is that Manziel should have seen this coming—on one hand he demands the tight to be his own person, his own carefree, flamboyant character--but doesn’t expect any one to call him out on it, or take exception to it?  Grow up, dude.

Win at all costs

The following take could be about any fan base at any big time program---it happens to be inspired by listening to the fallout on the one-year suspension of Joe Mixon at Oklahoma.

The five star recruit was slated to be a font liner in the OU backfield until he hit a woman in a Norman delicatessen, early one morning, a few weeks ago.  He was charged with a misdemeanor, but OU President David Boren, acting on a recommendation from athletic director Joe Castiglione and head coach Bob Stoops, barred him from team activities for a year.

The reaction of a vocal minority, both in print and over the airwaves has been sadly predictable. 

“It was as much the girl’s fault.”

“How can you take away this kid’s support structure?”

“It’s only a misdemeanor, why can’t he play?” 

At the end of the day, these are the voices of the worst element in big time sports—those who wail: damn the consequences, integrity only when it’s convenient and win at any and all costs. 

Personally, I applaud Boren, Castiglione and Stoops making a statement on the issue of violence towards women.  I’m sure they were becoming wary of the growing controversy surrounding a few others in the program and wanted to appear proactive.  Whatever the motivation, the end result seems like the right one---it’s just interesting to hear those dissenters who, somehow, feel cheated by being deprived of a ‘blue chipper.’  Never mind the health or reputation of the young woman, never mind what’s probably fair for Mixon, or the image of the program-- all this very vocal minority wants is to win football games.  I wonder if they would have been just as passionate about their perceived injustice if the player they’d lost was a third string center?

Like I said, this latest example just happens to come from OU, but you could fill in the blank from just about anywhere else around the county---every bit time program has that element of fan that they’d really like to do without.

Tough injuries

As if they don’t have enough challenges moving up the ladder in the Big 12, KU has lost their top two returning running backs for the season to injury.  Insiders claim that this merely accelerates the schedule for freshman Corey Avery, who many expected to compete for time anyway.  Avery suited as a freshman at highly regarded Dallas Carter High School and was recruited by Texas and Nebraska, amongst others. 

I don’t know how much improvement is coming in Lawrence this year, but I do know that Charlie Weiss is showing a willingness to grow as a football coach.  By hiring John Reagan from Rice, essentially firing himself from Offensive Coordinator, he’s admitted that his pro style attack wasn’t equating at Kansas.  But, more than that, by ditching Dayne Christ and Jake Heaps, two highly touted transfers he personally recruited and going with homegrown Montell Cozart—he’s taking a different tact at quarterback, one that’s new to him.  How that translates remains the big question.