I think I've got it figured out on Cris Carter. The reason he's so easy to dislike even when he's making sense and not actually trying to be condescending is because he's convinced that everything that comes out of his mouth is profound. Think about it. Have you ever heard Cris Carter waffle? Ever heard him indicate anything less than complete and absolute knowledge on whatever topic he's discussing? I mean, we all do it, we "say for pay" types, but once in a while, I've caught myself shrugging and I've seen other guys say they need more information. Cris Carter? Never. So I guess that explains why, every time he opens his mouth and waggles those pushbroom eyebrows, I want to blow holes in his contentions. This week, Carter was asked about not getting into the Hall of Fame. As Michael David Smith at PFT pointed out, only seven wideouts who began their careers after the 1970 merger have made it into Canton (Michael Irvin, Steve Largent, James Lofton, Art Monk, Jerry Rice, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann). On the outside looking in are guys like Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Carter. Carter chalked the lack of enshrined wideouts to the position being underloved. "I think the modern-day wide receiver, I would say that his skill level is not appreciated. Its not just about the numbers. Its the ability to catch the football and put your talent on display, Carter said in an interview with Michael Irvin. Here's the thing, Cris. Everybody loves watching wideouts play. Everybody marvels at their speed, athleticism and toughness. Nobody with an ounce of sense would contend that wide receiver, cornerback and, perhaps,running back are not the most athletic positions in football. But wide receiver is not an indispensable position. Quarterback is. Defensive end, linebacker, offensive line, quarterback. Critical. The closer you are to the ball at the snap, the more important you are to winning and losing on a weekly basis. Generally. For a wide receiver to be transcendent, he needs the coach to call the play, the line to block it, the quarterback to see it and then throw it. Then and only then does the receiver get his chance to put his "talent on display", as Carter says. Jerry Rice is probably the greatest football player of all time. But even he needed his Walsh, Montana and that Niners offensive line to let the talent shine. Randy Moss will be in the Hall of Fame before Cris Carter because Moss was transcendent, the greatest deep threat in NFL history. Cris Carter is Art Monk without the rings. I mean, Torry Holt has 100 fewer catches in five fewer seasons, 500 fewer yards and a Super Bowl ring. Both were Pro Bowl players and among the best in the league at their positions over six-year stretches. Everybody can tell wide receivers are talented. Everyone has an appreciation for them. But sorry Cris, you aren't the enlightened one here preaching to the unknowing rubes who don't get your subtle beauty.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what a crap shot this Presidential debate is going to be on Monday night.
*Brett Connolly has hooked on with the Washington Capitals, and the Caps hope they’ve found a “gem” in the former Bruins winger.
*John Tortorella is putting his Blue Jackets through an absolute boot camp thus far in Columbus. Bold strategy…I wonder how this will play out.
*The Pittsburgh Penguins appreciate the gifts of defenseman Kris Letang, even if Team Canada didn’t for the World Cup.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ken Wiebe has the details on Jacob Trouba asking to get moved from the Winnipeg Jets.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has Saturday night’s World Cup of Hockey showdown between Russia and Canada as another chapter in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry.
*It’s sad to see respected veteran player Clarke MacArthur have to be helped off the ice after a vicious hit in a training camp scrimmage. What a dumb move by a guy that’s never going to crack the Senators roster.
*For something completely different: a good father/son piece on learning to appreciate things that your kids are interested in, and how rewarding it can be in the end.
Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami.
David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.
I dont have the words to describe the pain feel for the loss of my friend Jose. Goodbye, my friend. pic.twitter.com/xvaa5z62RW— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) September 25, 2016
There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday.
There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.
Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote Fernandez's intitals and his uniform number 16 on his cap.
Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July.
"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," Fernandez had said.
Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:
First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning.
My heart is with Jose's and the other victims' families, and my cherished Marlins family. My deepest condolences. This is heartbreaking— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) September 25, 2016
wow very sad new this morning...hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion #ripjose— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) September 25, 2016
Woke up to terrible news! Our baseball community has been hit hard from the loss of Jose. May God bless his family 🙏🏾#LongLiveJose— Mookie Betts (@mookiebetts) September 25, 2016
Heartbroken, speechless. #RIPJoseFernandez— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) September 25, 2016
May God strengthen the Fernandez Family
Increíble. Indescriptible. Dios fortalezca la Flia Fdez