Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is Donald Trump The 'Bad Medicine' This Country Needs?

Remember as a kid when you got sick? After putting a cool hand to your fevered brow fretful parents would rummage through the medicine chest or run down to the drugstore and get you some medicine. "Take this, it will make it better" you were told. And with a face prepared for the worse you swallowed the suspicious looking liquid. The 'bad medicine' lived up to its name but after a while you began to feel a little better.

If you had told me one year ago Donald Trump would be a leading presidential candidate of 2016 I probably would have laughed it off as some political joke, waiting for the punchline. I have no animosity towards him. With the economy in the shape it's in, a good dose of capitalism would benefit the country. Sure, I cringe at some of the things he says, but I tend to like people that are upfront about what they think. Regardless, in this politically correct environment I doubted Trump's bluntness would get much traction with other folk.

So you can imagine my surprise when the media outlets began to reveal his polling numbers. I assumed family members and friends would quickly discard such nonsense and crown Trump a rich, arrogant fool. But I was the one fooled.

Who knows at this juncture how things will unfold. This narrative is not to analyze the pros and cons of such a presidency. I leave that dear reader in your hands. But this writer can't help but wonder if Donald Trump may be the 'bad medicine' this country needs to get better.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Has Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden Painted Himself Into A Corner?

With Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's decision at the beginning of the season to promote Kirk Cousins over Robert Griffin III for the entire season, he may have unintentionally painted himself into a corner. Six games into the 2015 NFL season it seems the Washington Redskins organization have once again placed fans and players in the precarious position of yet another losing season.

Since joining the Redskins in 2014 Jay has tippy toed around a dysfunctional organization with an almost cult fan base for quarterback Robert Griffin (including the team owner, Dan Snyder) while trying to rebuild a team in total disarray. Though the jury is justifiably still out on Gruden as an NFL coach, keep in mind this is the front office of a  team that chews up and spits out coaches (even previously successful ones) with a vengeance. (See Joe Gibbs, Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan).

For the 2nd time in two years Kirk Cousins has played poorly after being promoted to first string. At 2-4 and help from a weak NFC East there is still a chance to make a season of it but decisions must be made promptly and commandingly. Gruden should go down swinging and that means changing course on the fly if needed, even at the expense of appearing to flip flop!

Win or lose against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, Cousins must have a positive performance over the next two games. If there is any doubt, after the Tampa Bay game, a change to Colt McCoy must take place during the bye week. If Cousins plays well in Tampa he should continue to be under scrutiny against the Patriots after the bye. Why? That will be an 8 week sample of his performance. Half the season. We could be 3-5 or 4-4 at mid-season. Cousins must positively contribute in both upcoming games. No time to coddle quarterbacks. There are 52 other players not to mention thousands of paying fans to which Jay has an obligation.

Gruden should play to win. To heck with the future, screw the politics. If Kirk hurts the team BENCH him. The upside of Cousins' being pulled is that it will reveal if we really have a starting QB on this team at all. Jay will get to evaluate Colt McCoy one last time. Colt and Cousins both had decent preseason. Griffin's preseason was so bad he should be out of the picture.

So lets win the next 2 games. Jay Gruden needs to plan ahead and leave options open. Much better than standing in the corner watching paint dry.