Randy Edsall’s Reign of Terror Continues Unabated

About ten years ago, the University of Maryland kicked off a decade of football performance that was the most prolific in the school’s history. About one year ago, the school kicked off a decade which has the potential to be one of its worst.

Despite the recent signing of five-star recruit Stefon Diggs, Coach Randy Edsall has successfully alienated a stunning number of players, leading 25 to leave the program. Most prominently of those is former ACC rookie of the year, QB Danny O’Brien. O’Brien never seemed to fit in Edsall’s system: after a promising season-opening victory over a depleted Miami team, O’Brien eventually lost his job to C.J. Brown. It seemed evident O’Brien would depart at season’s end to play elsewhere. Of course, this upset Edsall:

“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” Edsall said in a statement. “Danny told me that he’s not committed to our program, that he’s not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”

Yet, that wasn’t enough for Edsall or the University: not only did they restrict O’Brien (and two others) from transferring to schools on the UMD schedule, they also forbid them from attending Vanderbilt, which just so happens to be enjoying a nice run of success under former UMD coach-in-waiting James Franklin. One might see some glimmer of rationality here, except for the fact the Terps will welcome three former New Mexico transfers who are hoping to play with their ex-coach (and new UMD offensive coordinator), Mike Locksley.


What’s that thing about people in glass houses not throwing stones? I think SI’s Michael Rosenberg summed it up best:

My media colleagues seem to be split in their opinions of Maryland football coach Randy Edsall. One camp thinks Edsall is a self-serving, hypocritical turd. The other camp thinks he is a shameless, ruthless disgrace to his profession.

To borrow a phrase from Bill Simmons, “Yep, this is my college football coach.”

People, Listen To Me, STOP BUYING MADDEN

Lets get real honest here people, you know it and I know it, every Madden game since ’06 has pretty much been the same.  2006 was when Madden was first released on the new generation of consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360) and you really started to see some leaps and bounds in terms of the graphics for the game.  Sure the graphics have gotten little better every year since 2006 and if you showed me 06 side by side with Madden 12, I would probably scoff at the look of the game, but for all intents and purposes…every game since 2006 is a patch.

There have been minor tweaks in terms of gameplay every year, some good (the hit/truck stick was nice), some bad (why in God’s name did you change how to call audibles???), but on the whole, this game plays virtually the same as it ever has and is still plagued by the problems that it has always had.  In every single version you get balls that somehow get sucked right into your receivers hands, even if he’s not close to the ball.  In every single version you have defenders that should be intercepting the ball somehow have the ball pass right through their bodies like they are some sort of ethereal spirit.  In every version you have announcers that are a beat slow or say something that has no meaning significance whatsoever to the actual situation that is on the screen before you.  In every season you have players stuck in animations and screwing you up making you throw the controller down in anger.  In every season you have players that should be called out of bounds, called in bounds, and vice-versa.  In every season instant replay challenges are a joke.  In every season if you have a quarterback that can run…you will win the game. In every season, the plays are unbalanced in that some work way too well every single time and others will never work at all no matter how out of position the defense should be (helloooo End-Around).

Back in the day, EA Sports also used to have an incredibly in depth franchise mode in Madden that they took out entirely, made into a video game called NFL Head Coach (which bombed since no one wants to play a simulator on a console) and subsequently NEVER REALLY PUT BACK INTO THE GAME.  You could choose the price of the hot dogs you sold in the stands!  The hot dogs, man!! EA Sports instead added several new ways for them to monetize Madden, even more than forking over $60 every year for a patch, by having players purchase online decks of cards for online leagues…that, and please correct me if i’m wrong, are only good for that year’s version of Madden.

The only good thing about the latest Madden games are the Xbox Live and PSN features that allow players to form leagues and play online together.  Those added online league features are generally great…but sadly if you and your friends want to play together with this year’s rosters, all of you have to buy the new version to play together.  Sorry my unemployed friend Mack who has the most time to play this game with us, yet cannot because we’ll all have the new version while you’ll be stuck with last year’s.  You sir will have to wait til you get that job you interviewed for two months ago.  Good luck with that.

Don’t you, the Madden fan, deserve something better than what has been offered the last half a decade? Since the Madden franchise has no legitimate competition out there to drive them to be better (thanks to an exclusive license with the NFL and NFLPA) the only way that Madden will get better is if no one buys their repetitive and boring crap.

I’m not saying Madden is a bad game, its not, its just stale and needs to be better. Why pay for what you already have? Aren’t you tired of plunking down $60 of your hard earned money for what is essentially a roster update and a patch which includes some graphical and playability tweaks?  I know I am.  I voted with my wallet last year and I will do the same this year, I will not be buying any more Madden games from EA Sports until they decide to make actual, real and necessary improvements to their product.

There are just so many times that I can have an interception pass through my cornerback like he was Kitty Pryde from X-Men. I will not take it any more and neither should you.

The only way change will happen is if you let your voice be heard peoples. Take a stand. Vote with that wallet of yours and for the love of God, stop buying Madden.

Fuck you, NFL. Seriously. How dare you? Remember when you had a Super Bowl in Detroit? Did you invite Motown legends to perform at the halftime show? No. You went abroad and got the Rolling Stones as if to mock the people that did it first and more importantly, right. We’re subjected to Faith Hill every Sunday night and now you go and pull the most heinous of musical crimes.

Forget the flags, F-15 fly-overs, troops and other “USA!” hoopla the NFL throws at you every week. They’re all lies. Subterfuge even. If the league really cared about this country, it wouldn’t make the Black Eyed Peas the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XLV in February.

The expected choice would signify a generational shift for the NFL, which played it conservatively during the last six years with boomer rockers and mainstream arena stars Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the Who. That seemed in direct response to Janet Jackson’s notorious breast-revealing “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004.

Why punish the whole country for the mistakes of the few? Does the NFL want kids to see grown women piss themselves like the drunk, homeless guy talking to himself at the Broadway/Lafayette stop?

If seeing Janet Jackson’s breast was bad, how does the NFL think this will go over? Isn’t it hard enough for young people to get a decent education these days without dumbing them down with idiotic lyrics? Why not have them chug lead paint while we’re at it? Most people will be lucky if they remember all six vowels at the end of the set.

You think that guy who shot up his TV after watching Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars was an anomaly? Just wait until the BEP play.

The NFL somewhat redeemed itself with the Prince and Bruce Springsteen halftime shows which were actually decent. They failed again with The Who. The producers of the CSI shows must have pictures of Roger Goodell with a goat. How does a purveyor of kiddie porn get into the country anyway? Research, my ass.

Justin Beiber and Willow Smith must not have been available but there’s plenty of time to force the millions watching to whip their hair. What’s Up With People doing these days?

Tuesday brought upsets as well as some expected results. Turkey fell 1-0 to Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland only managed to draw 1-1 with the Faroe Islands. England failed miserably as expected against Montenegro and staggered to a 0-0 result. Meanwhile in Genoa, it was business as usual for Serbia. What’s that mean? Italy-Serbia was called off due to Serbian rioting that was predictable whether you listen to the Kaiser Chiefs or not.

The good times kicked off after Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic withdrew from the match due to abuse suffered from Serbian supporters on his way to the stadium. It’s suspected that he was being abused for currently being a Partizan Belgrade player after plying his trade with Red Star Belgrade. Remember how well Figo’s switch from Barcelona to Real Madrid went?

The match started 30 minutes late as Serbian fans led by a guy wearing a ski mask climbed a fence, tore a hole in it and started throwing flares on the pitch and at Italian fans.

Some footage has finally hit YouTube. Enjoy!

Play was halted after several minutes as police tried to control the crowd. A flare appeared to hit Italian keeper Emiliano Viviano. Meanwhile Italian fans cursed the Serbs and the guy in the ski mask kept the Serbian contingent hyped up until the team came over to ask them to calm down.

At this point, Serbia should charged with a forfeit and Italy will granted three points. Italian fans should be grateful the way they’ve been playing the past year.

You have to love how the Guardian refers to Serbian supporters as “traditionally combustible”. How cute.

UPDATE: Here’s the best YouTube footage we’ve seen so far courtesy of @Paolo_Bandini. Ski Mask Guy is really making things happen.

Smooth on you if you got the Peabo Bryson reference.

What do you get when you cross a Boston and a Scouse accent? Unfortunately for everyone, we’re about to find out. The shit show that is Liverpool FC rolls on with the news that New England Sports Ventures’ (NESV) bid to buy Liverpool has been accepted by the club’s board.

NESV is fronted by John W. Henry who is best known for being the owner of the Boston Red Sox. The group also owns New England Sports Network (NESN), Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing. Board members met with Henry in Boston, Liverpool and London before agreeing to the deal. The proposed £300m deal would eliminate the debt put on the club by current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. The group has also agreed to consider the redevelopment of Anfield.

The club released the following statement at 7:00 AM GMT:

Liverpool Football Club today announces that the Board has agreed the sale of the Club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).

New England Sports Ventures currently owns a portfolio of companies including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing.

Martin Broughton, Liverpool FC Chairman, said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive. The Board decided to accept NESV’s proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner. NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox.

“We’ve met them in Boston, London and Liverpool over several weeks and I am immensely impressed with what they have achieved and with their vision for Liverpool Football Club.

“By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team. I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale.”

Note to editors:

The sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning Board membership and other matters.

[Update: An interview with Broughton has been posted on the Liverpool website since the original announcement. Watch and read it here.]

The deal is not a fait accompli by any stretch. It has to be approved by the Premier League after a vetting process. It would be one thing if that was all it took to consummate the agreement. There’s also the small matter of the civil war that is tearing the board and club apart. Hicks and Gillett have driven the storied club into a massive hole due to infighting between the two and battles with board members who have not allowed the duo to drive the club into more debt. They have repeatedly stated that they would not sell to anyone without being able to realize a profit on their investment. This is not only unrealistic but it is suicidal for the club. It is believed that any deal would allow them to receive whatever they lent the club but nothing more than that.

Hicks and Gillett attempted to block NESV’s acquisition of the club by replacing managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre with Hicks’s son Mack and Lori Kay McCutcheon, the financial controller at the Texan’s company Hicks Holdings. As it stands, Purslow, Ayre and chairman Martin Broughton can outvote the two owners. They resisted the coup and the dispute will most likely be settled in court.

The [club's] statement left no doubt that Broughton, Purslow and Ayre, the majority, were in favour of accepting one of the offers and selling the club. “The board of directors have received two excellent financial offers to buy the club,” it said. “A board meeting was called today to review these bids and approve a sale.”

The clear implication was that, while both offers committed to clearing the £237m Liverpool owe Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, which is due for repayment in nine days’ time, they were not preparing to give Hicks and Gillett much for their shares. One source said the bids would repay Hicks and Gillett the money they have loaned into Liverpool, which stood at £144m at 31 July last year, but not pay them a personal profit for transferring ownership.

Even if the boardroom dispute is resolved in favor of the majority wanting to sell to NESV, there’s still the matter of Liverpool supporters who have been vehement in their desire to rid the club of Hicks and Gillett. They have staged multiple protests and have even enlisted Hollywood types like Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Myers to express their disgust with the American owners. The prospect of being taken over by another American entity will fill many with dread. It might serve them well to consider the success of the Boston Red Sox before raising a stink. Broughton, Purslow and Ayre seem to have the club’s best interests in mind and surely have done their homework and due diligence before agreeing to the deal.

English supporters, in general, tend to resort to xenophobia when expressing dissatisfaction with foreign managers and owners. They act as if an English owner would make everything right. Pundits and fans like to refer to “respect for the history”. Bullshit. There are plenty of incompetent English owners and managers. It would seem the quality of the ownership would be more important than the country of origin. Henry would be a step up from the current regime as the Kraft family would have been had their interest been reciprocated several years ago. Both know what it takes to run successful organizations with rabid fan bases. Hicks has always been an assclown when it comes to sports ownership. Just look at the Texas Rangers (who are inexplicably in the playoffs despite his best efforts to run them in the ground). Bankruptcy la la la la la!

Liverpool need to realize who and what they are at the present time. They should hope that this deal goes through for the future of the club. Nothing would please me more than to see Liverpool relegated and have to battle teams like Ipswich and Burnley on a weekly basis. The idea of two teams I detest coming together disgusts me but seems right. Two annoying fan bases and awful accents. Just wait until Boston fans start going on the dole and robbing player’s houses while they’re playing away games. Liverpool supporters’ can adopt an even larger, overinflated sense of entitlement even though they lucked out in the Champions League and haven’t won the league since Technotronic pumped up the jam with a song you probably don’t remember in 1990.

This goes out to Liverpool’s ownership and last league title. What you know ’bout the Adventures of Stevie V?

**One more thing. Stop singing for Kenny Dalglish. That’s almost as bad as the Newcastle supporters who demanded Alan Shearer take over as manager. That worked out well. Dalglish did do well in his earlier stint as manager but this is a different time and situation. The problems at Liverpool run deeper than the manager. Roy Hodgson needs to be given time to get it right. He can only do that with the proper support and funds which he doesn’t have.

It was only yesterday that fans were demanding Rafa Benitez stay put. He has a hand in the current state of affairs on the pitch as well as the ownership. That fat Spanish waiter is overrated and rode that Champions League win in Turkey until he left. He never had a clue how to win the league and ended up selling and alienating some of his best players. Two words. Xabi Alonso. Ryan Babel had the potential to be a special player but Rafa broke him and now he’s a sub who spends time making up wack raps and retweeting Rev. Run.

Hate the ownership but back your team, scousers. You think they don’t know how bad it is? Oh and stop robbing them too. What the hell? I know it’s in the blood but damn. By the way, how come you haven’t ransacked Joe Cole’s house yet?