Happy Friday everyone. Happy holiday weekend. As always, feel free to use this post as your open thread for the weekend. Leave us your book reviews and music recommendations and anything else you feel like talking about. Now if you’ll excuse me I want to talk about Ryan Grigson.
The NFL Fraternity is the best (worst?) fraternity
Ryan Grigson was not good at his job. I’m not going to kill him for the Trent Richardson trade, specifically. That’s a deal that he made to try and win right away. It didn’t work out, but Trent Richardson had a lot to do with that. Despite everyone’s Monday Morning Quarterbacking, I don’t know anyone who would have guessed that Trent Richardson would shrink out of the league the way he did with off-the-field issues and physical failures. Grigson’s failures go much deeper than a single trade.
Grigson took a quarterback that literally every team in the NFL would have wanted in the draft and one that basically all NFL teams would want still to this day. What Grigson did was put a team around Luck that made the world question his worth as an NFL starter while also helping him get beat up to the point that he had a lacerated kidney at one point.
Beyond that, one of the nicer NFL people I follow on Twitter, Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue, said the following.
In all sincerity, I hope that Grigson does well with the Browns. He had a ton of issues with the Colts – mainly talent evaluation and relationships with people within the building – but perhaps a new role with a new team will help him keep growing and be able to have success in that position.
The Browns didn’t hire Grigson to be their general manager, but they did bring in a guy who was known for having issues with people within the Colts’ offices. We’re talking about a guy that Pat McAfee said had “unwarranted arrogance,” whom he saw “treat humans horrendously for 5 years.” Reggie Wayne was a bit more diplomatic, but said “It was about time,” when Grigson was fired.
And yet, this guy is given a job and a paycheck by the Browns so he can work underneath a guy who used to work for him? It’s a hell of a fraternity, the NFL. Just ask George Kokinis who is still working for the Ravens after a partial-year blip as GM for the Browns alongside Eric Mangini.
As I said on Twitter, with a loyalty club like that, if Bernie Madoff had worked in the NFL, he’d have a desk and a salary from his prison cell.
The Cleveland Cavaliers vs. The Golden State Warriors
That’s really all I have on that. Maybe a few exclamation points. The Cavaliers are underdogs. They were underdogs last year. The Warriors have to take the belt back from LeBron James and company. They might do just that, but this is the way it should be.
Book Review: American Kingpin
Last week I read a new book called American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton.1 I heard Bilton on the Longform podcast and knew that I needed to check out the book. It’s all about the rise and fall of the dark web drug superstore, The Silk Road. It’s cobbled together from the court case and reporting around the investigation that brought down the site’s leader Ross Ulbricht.
Ulbricht sounded exceedingly normal from the outside. He is a Texan who attended Penn State. Before long, his political aspirations for extreme libertarianism took hold of his life and he thought he could change the world’s drug policies with his internet disobedience enabling millions of transactions surrounding illegal drugs, weapons, and even fake IDs and legal documents.
The power of the story is in the power of the internet. One man with a dream and a little bit of coding experience can truly change the world. While the feds were able to shut down Ross Ulbricht and The Silk Road, it was a proof of concept that won’t be so easily shut down completely and permanently. It also exposed the power of greed as the true story shows us that it wasn’t just the criminals who found themselves overtaken by a sense of security in greed on the internet with The Silk Road’s ill-begotten Bitcoin.
- No really. Make the title longer. [↩]