Posts Tagged ‘Criticism’

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said Thursday he’d never make a move like Kevin Durant did to win a championship.

“You hopped onto a 73-9 team and he took the easy way out, in my mind,” Garrett said of the former Oklahoma City Thunder and current Golden State Warriors star to Ken Carman and Anthony Lima of 92.3 “The Fan.”

“It’s different when LeBron left. He went to (Miami to join) Wade and Bosh, but it wasn’t something that was already guaranteed, something you already knew was going to have immediate success. (James) had to jell and work things into place.”

Garrett’s opinion might be skewed by the fact that he plays in Cleveland, but his comments were scathing, nonetheless.

“If I were him, I would’ve never made a move like that in the first place,” he added. “Me, I’m too competitive to try and ride on somebody’s coattails to get a W. But for him, you might as well stay at the spot you’re at now. There’s no point in leaving since you’ve already taken that moniker where he’s been called the snake and cupcake and all that. You might as well stay and just keep on winning.”

Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, was part of a Browns squad last year that went 0-16. He posted seven sacks in his rookie campaign.

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On a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff discussed signing Bret Hart in 1997. You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here, below are some highlights:

Whether he wanted Bret Hart to come to WCW with the WWF Championship:

“There were probably two or three different conversations about that. The one conversation that I distinctly remember. I remember that I was in Wyoming. I remember it because my cell phone went off and I was in a cell area that was really sketchy, where I was around a post office in the middle of nowhere. I remember going inside the post office to use a pay phone, and I remember standing there thinking, why am I having this conversation again? It is not that important of a deal. I convinced Bret Hart one last time do not worry about the Championship belt. In my mind, I remember thinking this at the time, what I thought Bret Hart should do is given the fact that he is Bret Hart, and you know, Stu Hart and the Hart family legacy, the tradition of the business, what I wanted Bret to do is just pass the belt on. Do the right thing. Shake Vince McMahon’s hand. Leave on good terms. The business; the audience would have had more respect for him than to hold on to the belt because he didn’t want to lose in Montreal, Quebec Canada [Survivor Series 1997] because he is a Canadian. That, to me didn’t make any sense. Worrying about it didn’t make any sense to me because Bret Hart was coming to WCW. The fans were sophisticated enough to know that if he lost a match it wasn’t going to diminish who Bret Hart was. That logic from talent never made any sense to me. That is when you get sucked in to the work where you work yourself. I tried to explain that to Bret Hart. It just didn’t matter to me”.

Whether he consulted with WCW talent about Hart prior to him arriving:

“I talked to Hulk Hogan. I talked to Kevin Nash, Scott Hall. I talked with Ric Flair It would have been kind of standard operating procedure to have conversations to pick the brains of the top guys that he would have been working with. To make sure there was no chemistry issues, or landmines that I needed to be aware of. If there were I would have to deal with them prior to him coming on board not afterwards. I would have probably listened to a number of people suggest best possible ways to take advantage of Bret Hart, including Hulk Hogan. Hulk had a long history with Bret Hart, as did Ric Flair. They had a long history with Bret. They knew Bret Hart better than I did. I had never worked with Bret. Quite frankly, I never followed him much in WWF. He was never really my cup of tea. I appreciated and understood why fans loved him. I understood the qualities that he brought, but he wasn’t one of the guys where I watched him and thought to myself that I couldn’t wait to have that guy on the roster. I was interested in the perspectives of guys like Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, who did know Bret at a much different level than I could possibly know him.”

Why it took so long to have Bret Hart debut in WCW:

“Why wouldn’t I just drop everything and take in a guy who had a certain amount of time of a no-compete clause; had a broken hand, and just kind of drop everything and throw him in the middle of something without any real planning, backstory and throw it against the wall in hopes that it would stick? Is that the question? That is the kind of prevailing critique that I hear often; how can you take a guy like Bret Hart, which by the way, he wasn’t drawing, there is a reason why Vince McMahon let him go. It wasn’t because he was making Vince McMahon money hand over fist. One of the things that I liked—look at what we did with Sting and Hulk Hogan. I wanted long term plans. One of the reasons I thrust myself in creative, and I may have said this to you before, if I didn’t I apologize, but I was never comfortable with creative. I was comfortable with the business side of it. I understood the business side of the business pretty well. What I didn’t know I could pretty easily understand and figure out, but that creative side was the voodoo side that I never got close to. I never got close to the creative in AWA; not only was I not close to it, I wasn’t allowed to be in a room close to it when they were talking about creative. That is how tightly held Verne Gagne believed in kayfabing people who he didn’t believe needed to be in the process. I had zero exposure to creative in WCW up until 1993, 1994. Even then I was at a distance. I would talk to Dusty Rhodes because he and I were tight and we would talk a little bit, and would explain to me the ideas that he had and sucked up as much as I could. I was fascinated by it quite honestly, but I was still never comfortable being the guy in the room that said yay or nay on something. Ric Flair, when I brought him in as a booker, I was never in that room. I would come in and out. There were certain things that I had to be aware of as Executive Vice President, depending on the timeline was of the company and being responsible financially for things. I had to have an idea of where we were going, what the pay per views were going to look like, how the cards are being advertised six months before pay per views and all that kind of crap, but I didn’t sit in a room with a team filled with guys who had hundreds of years of more experience than I did and try to influence their creative decisions. I tried to stay out of that. It wasn’t until later on that I inserted myself in that process.”

Bret’s tenure in WCW being a failure:

“I think it all goes back to the very beginning. I think it is fair for Bret Hart and fans of Bret Hart to suggest that there was never really a long term plan with Bret. That is fair. Bret came in rather abruptly. We didn’t have a long time to really lay out in a thoughtful way where we can balance different options and really creatively do the best job that we can do. Even with the time that we had, we didn’t do a great job. I didn’t do a great job, so I think if you go back to the very beginning with all the things that were going on; with the pressures of WCW Thunder and some of the choices I was trying to make, and the pressures were we getting from WWE, and the pressure we were getting from our own company, and the fact that they were gutting our budget, all of those things were throwing us off of our game, and a lot of that had to do with the reason why, so we didn’t have a good plan, we just didn’t, and that is fair for Bret, and for fans of Bret, but I will also say that Bret Hart didn’t contribute. He didn’t try. Despite the ‘hero’s journey’ and the amazingly, Steven Spielberg-ish where he single handedly, against all odds created in Toronto, Canada so that his fans, the multitude of fans, who stood outside in the freezing cold as Bret Hart had to walk over the almost comatose body of the head booker only to prevail in the ring and to prove to all of the bookers and to everybody else that Bret Hart had the keys to the kingdom that night, but despite all of that, Bret Hart didn’t really contribute as much as Bret Hart could have contributed to Bret Hart’s own success. In his own legacy. Right now, Bret Hart’s legacy is a bitter, broken guy who wants to blame everybody from Vince McMahon to Eric Bischoff, to Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, to Dean Malenko for God’s sake for all of the things that went wrong in his career. Regardless of all the things I did wrong, that is on Bret Hart.”

In response to Bret’s comments about Eric Bischoff not creating talent:

“Yeah, I’m sure the next time you go to a Wrestlecon, or maybe even the ‘All In’ event. I am sure if you see Scott Hall and Kevin Nash signing autographs, I am sure Scott Hall is wearing a Razor Ramon gimmick. I am sure Kevin Nash is going as Diesel, right? Wrong! They are still more over today because of what I did for them. I made them bigger stars in WCW than they ever were in WWE. If you don’t believe me just go check it out next time you see them at autograph signings. They are still wearing their nWo s**t. By the way, our shirts are still selling over at WWEShop.com. Oh, by the way, Booker T, that guy in WCW, who is still associated with WWE, and Bill Goldberg, who was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, all of those guys who suffered at Eric Bischoff’s hands, whose careers just died in the wasteland at Eric Bischoff’s understanding of the Pro Wrestling business as Bret freaking Hart knows it. Those guys are still making money. I kind of say to Bret, just look around you Bret. Pull yourself out of the mushroom that you live under. Look for a little daylight, and look around you to see that you are kind of full of s**t. You really don’t know what you are talking about because you weren’t inside of Turner Broadcasting. You weren’t inside of the machine that was going on at the time where Ted Turner was literally pulling the carpet from underneath me and didn’t know it until I was asked to leave my own office. Bret Hart, you don’t really understand the business of the Pro Wrestling business, you only understand the Bret Hart business of the Pro Wrestling business, and they are two different things.”

After his second high-profile loss in the Octagon last night, Dana White appears to have called time on former WWE star CM Punk’s UFC future.

Punk was outclassed by Mike Jackson at UFC 255, with the judges awarding a unanimous decision to the latter. Speaking in the post-show press conference, UFC honcho White said:

“It should be a wrap. The guy’s 39 years old. I love the guy – he’s the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight in this fight. And yeah, I think he should call it a wrap.”

White took a similar position following Punk’s debut annihilation at the hands of Mickey Gall just over two years ago. With the latest defeat dealing another damaging blow to the ex-wrestler’s drawing power, there’s every chance the UFC impresario is being sincere this time.

Punk was taken to hospital for a facial CT scan after his loss, and as a result missed the press conference. He later Tweeted:

https://oembedly.com/embed.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FCMPunk%2Fstatus%2F1005715287637987328

White’s compliments did not extend to Punk’s conqueror Jackson, who he called a “goofball” and a “complete f*cking idiot” for appearing to toy with his bested opponent.

The first-round selection of the Boston Red Sox is endearing himself to the Fenway faithful already, as Triston Casas plans on sticking at the hot corner by staying agile, unlike a certain Boston third baseman.

After being selected with the 26th overall pick, Casas didn’t mince words, specifically calling out Pablo Sandoval.

“Obviously watch my weight,” Casas replied when asked what he’d have to do to stay at third base, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. “There was another third baseman in Boston called Sandoval who had some problems. Just stay agile, continue to take a lot of ground balls and keep doing my thing.”

Sandoval signed a five-year, $95-million deal with the Red Sox as a free agent prior to 2015. Ultimately, the infielder affectionately referred to as “Kung Fu Panda” did not play that contract out, as the Red Sox designated him for assignment during the 2017 season.

Casas, 18, whose value at the plate is what made him a first-rounder, has had his defense criticized by some scouts, with his path to the majors perhaps on the other side of the infield at first base.

The Washington Capitals are still a win away from clinching the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup title, but that isn’t stopping questions about a potential White House visit should they earn the crown tomorrow night against the Vegas Golden Knights.

On Wednesday, those questions were posed to Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

“The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Smith-Pelly said of Trump in an interview with Postmedia’s Michael Traikos. “Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with.

“It hasn’t come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up.”

The Capitals as a team have refrained from commenting on any potential trip to visit the president in Washington, but after hearing from Smith-Pelly, you can begin to understand the sentiment within Washington’s dressing room relating to views on the president.

“Things that he’s saying about immigrants and people of color, I don’t think anyone here would agree with that,” said Smith-Pelly. “We’ve got a lot of Europeans and a lot of Canadians.”

Questions regarding the NHL champions’ White House trip have come to the forefront following Donald Trump’s cancellation of the Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to Washington to commemorate the team’s Super Bowl LII victory.

The Capitals will earn the first Cup in the club’s 44-year history with a win over Vegas on Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Arena.

Unquestionably, former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson would like to walk back from what he reportedly said about owner Eugene Melnyk late Sunday night.

In a conversation he said he believed would never be made public, Alfredsson opened up a can of worms by saying, “We hope to get a new owner”.

So much for the calm before the storm, as we wait to see whether current captain Erik Karlsson re-signs with the organization or is traded away in the summer.

With fans frustrated at the shrinking front-office, concerned about the number of stars who have left under dark clouds, anxious about Karlsson’s future, and with season ticket sales hanging in the balance, the Alfredsson noise is additional fuel on the fire that has also included the “MelnykOut” billboard campaign.

Yet when we take a step back from reading the money quote, while recognizing Alfredsson’s frosty relationship with Melnyk over the years, should we really be all that shocked or surprised at a sentiment that is shared by so many others in the city?

To rehash, the comments came in a conversation with Sue Sherring, a blogger and a former city columnist for Postmedia, as Mayor Jim Watson officially launched his re-election campaign late Sunday.

“We’ve talked a lot, we’ve talked about the future of the Senators and of its ownership, and we agree,” Alfredsson reportedly said of his connection with Watson and the state of the Senators franchise.

After making the comments, Sherring says, Alfredsson told her the comments were “off the record”, but Sherring chose to share the words on her blog, On The City, From the Burbs.

(As an aside, the “off the record” dance between interviewer and interviewee can be a tricky one, depending on when it is said and the trust that’s shared between the two sides).

Neither Alfredsson nor the Senators responded to media requests Monday. Watson wasn’t touching the comments with a 10-foot hockey stick, either.

“Mayor Watson will not comment on a private conversation in which he was not involved,” said a statement from his office. “Mayor Watson’s focus, with a strong mandate from Council, is to work with all parties to move the LeBreton Redevelopment Project forward and the hockey arena downtown.”

Previously, Alfredsson has been diplomatic when asked about why he left the Senators organization for a second time last summer — he has typically offered up that it was for family reasons — but the history with Melnyk hasn’t been positive.

Five years ago, Alfredsson left the Senators as a free agent following a nasty contract fight, playing the final season of his career with the Detroit Red Wings.

Thanks largely to Alfredsson’s relationship with the late Bryan Murray, he returned to the Senators for a grand jersey retirement party in December, 2014.

In 2015, Alfredsson joined the front office as senior adviser of hockey operations, working closely with general manager Pierre Dorion.

Last July, however, he abruptly left the organization again, leaving behind a train of rumours and speculation for his sudden departure.

During the 2017-18 season, Alfredsson was largely out of the spotlight, helping coach his sons’ minor hockey teams. In April, the Ottawa Sting named him as the organization’s volunteer of the year. Occasionally, including when the Senators travelled to Sweden for a pair of games last October, Alfredsson has said he would like to one day return to the NHL in an ownership capacity.

What adds additional spice to the fresh words from Alfredsson, of course, is that he remains close with Karlsson.

Two weeks ago, when he was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in Denmark, Alfredsson was asked about Karlsson’s plans.

“To me, he says that he wants to stay,” he said. “But it’s not all in his hands.”

Indeed. Dorion has said the Senators will offer Karlsson a contract extension July 1, but if the current captain isn’t keen on the salary involved and the future direction of the franchise, the organization could be forced to trade him before the start of the 2018-19 season. Otherwise, the Senators risk receiving little in return before Karlsson officially becomes an unrestricted free agent in July 2019.

While the Alfredsson-Karlsson relationship continues to be fascinating, Alfredsson’s connection to Watson is somewhat surprising.

While the Senators are a private business, the mayor and Melnyk have butted heads over a variety of projects over the years. Melnyk pushed for a casino of his own and wanted the city to endorse his plans for a Major League Soccer franchise in Kanata, instead of bringing CFL football back to Lansdowne Park.

In April, Watson was outspoken after Melnyk expressed some doubts about continuing with the LeBreton Flats project.

“If he’s constantly hedging his bets on whether he wants to move or not, he better tell us that because that will really send us back to Square One,” Watson said of the complicated negotiations that involve the National Capital Commission.

The appearance of Alfredsson at his re-election launch was no doubt aimed at helping Watson in the popularity department. Instead, the Alfredsson comments that became public have created some controversy to start the campaign.

As for the popularity of Melnyk in the community, Alfredsson’s latest words probably won’t change that many opinions.

A player who has knelt during the anthem took umbrage Thursday with President Donald Trump’s latest criticism of such protests.

After Trump said of NFL players who don’t stand during the national anthem ahead of games, “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country,” Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall called the statement “disgusting.”

“I say ‘disgusting’ because of our First Amendment rights,” Marshall told Jeff Legwold of ESPN. “We have freedom of speech, right? Freedom to protest? Because somebody decides to protest something, now they have to be kicked out of the country? That’s not how things should work, in my opinion.”

Marshall joined the protests in 2016, kneeling during eight games that season. He did the same in Week 3 of the 2017 season after Trump caused a firestorm by calling for protesters to be yanked off the field and lose their jobs.

He received death threats after taking his position in 2016.