Buffa Quick Hits

A quick hit on a few topics.  Fast paced, short lasting potent data from my head.

Steven Jackson is a golden needle in a haysack

The 27th player to rush for 10,000 yards in the NFL does in a blowout loss on Sunday.  Typical Steven Jackson fate.  For 8 years, Jackson has kept his head down, pounded out 1,000 yard seasons, produced and been the ultimate team player.   After a contract dispute in 2008, Jackson went dead silent, kept his head down and became a legit running back.  Jackson hasn’t complained once or brought controversy.  He has played with at least 10 different offensive lines, 6 quarterbacks, 5 offensive coordinators, and four head coaches.  Jackson is a victim of circumstance.  It’s not his fault the team drafted worse than a little league baseball team at Mcdonalds.  It’s not his fault the owners haven’t invested any money in talent around him.  It’s not his fault that the Rams offensive line for years couldn’t figure out how to create a running lane for Jackson to rush through and bust 82 yard ramps like Adrian Petersen did on Sunday.   The offensive line couldn’t keep the quarterback on his feet for enough time to complete deep passes to stretch the defense.   It’s not Jackson’s fault the opposing defense knew the ball was going into his chest nearly every other snap for 4 years during the Rams futility period.  Take away the likes of Chris Johnson and Petersen, and no other running back in the NFL has produced at a more consistent rate than Jackson.  That’s what you want right.   Consistency.   Jackson has done his best in every way possible.  Faulting him for lacking a Super Bowl ring or MVP award is like stomping on Barry Sanders for dragging the Detroit Lions through a Hall of Fame career.  It’s stupid and pointless.  Take away the debilitating factors surrounding Jackson’s career and you get a great halfback who never had the chance to be a true legend.  If he gets 98 yards in the last two games, Jackson will have his 8th straight season of 1,000 yards rushing or more.  Name another running back who has played with wretched conditions and accomplished that.  Try to find a name that doesn’t end in Sanders, Dickerson or Jackson.  It’s moronic to say Jackson’s career is ruined or doesn’t carry much meaning because he didn’t win a Super Bowl.  Ask Dan Marino the same question.  Steven Jackson is an above average running back who played for a string of bad teams that scouted, drafted, signed, ran and transformed badly over his career.   In Jackson’s career, the Rams have drafted 56 players.   9 of them remain playing for the Rams while over 30 are out of the league.  On Sunday, Jackson rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries, caught 7 passes for 67 yards.  He produced, and the team got beat up.  Story of his career.   Horrible misfortune.  These may be the last 2 games for Jackson in a Rams uniform and if I were Brian Schottenheimer, I would hand him the ball 30 times each game no matter what.  Get him the 1,000 yards and send him off right.  If I were Jackson, I would hope the idea of signing with a true contender sparks his curiosity this offseason.  I would welcome him back to finish his career here but for some reason, I want him to get that Super Bowl ring or at least a serious playoff run.

THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

Let’s put it this way.  You can attack mental health disease but that will take years.  Lots of research and doctors and scientists scratching their heads at the unpredictable nature of the brain and it’s activity.  You won’t be able to figure out much for a while.   Ask a teacher if the unhinged student in her class is the kind of crazy that makes her think murder is on the horizon or basically screams out for a hug.  You can’t stop these kinds of tragedies from happening.  The Sandy Hook massacre isn’t the end.  As they say in sports, all you can do is contain it.  Every offense can be limited by a great defense.  You need to defense this problem of shootings in public places and previously safe environments.  Put armed guards on schools.   Do the same for malls and theaters.  Hire more bodies.  A security officer with a gun will do as long as he can shoot to kill.  If someone wants to walk into a school and produce hell, make sure hell is waiting for him at the door.  That’s all you can do for now.  Don’t blame the President.  He has to fight both sides of the fence.  The gun people, the anti-gun people and the other middle dwellers.  He also has to answer the 26 victims families and create answers for 20 sets of parents of children lost in the tragedy.  20 emotionally distraught and impatient broken pairs of people.  If he thought terrorists were tough to deal with, just wait for the grieving mothers and fathers to unload their needs and rages.  You can’t outlaw weapons.  It just doesn’t work.   What happens when a man walks into a theater or mall and opens fire again?  Maybe a good guy or woman with a concealed weapon puts a few holes in him before he does too much harm.  That’s justice and defense.  My brother in law has the same kind of weapons Adam Lanza used to create his massacre and he wouldn’t dream of using them in that way.  Disarming my brother in law doesn’t solve the problem.  Work on the mental health, arm up the schools, and create jobs at the same time.  Do this and I approve.  I appreciate the President’s words on Sunday.  The man is speaking not only as the President in Chief but as a father.  He wants to stop this.  I believe that.  Putting higher and more formidable security on schools comes first.  Adam Lanza shot his way into the school, and probably only had to plug a teacher to do it.  That’s not good for business.  The 20 year old changed things and the way our world will be run from here out and next time, someone like him must be stopped.  This is a start.  Now the President of the free world must put his campaign words to serious use and change things himself and needs to act quick.

REACTION TO SANDY HOOK MURDERS

People got a little bitchy on Facebook and Twitter about the mass of people pouring their thoughts into the social outlets in the wake of these horrible murders.  I have two words for you.  Necessary reflex.  It didn’t matter if you resided in China, Russia, New Zealand, or the far corner of Alaska.  This event struck you in the heart and didn’t leave for awhile.  For the deepest cynic, this event was a blow to your stomach.  For 3 days, it was connected to everything I saw.   Classrooms, children, daycares, and the thought of instant doom.  Whether you had kids or not, Sandy kicked your ass emotionally.  It’s not short changing Virginia Tech or Aurora and their victims.  This was the worst mass shooting since Columbine because this happened to innocent 6 and 7 year old children.  Innocent gentle kind souls with ambition.  The hardest part to deal with was knowing 20 futures were cut very very short.  The children were no match for the gunman.  In Aurora, there was a sense of resistance and a chance to hide.  At Sandy Hook, they were fish in a pond and that cuts the deepest.

CARDINALS SITTING PRETTY

For the first time in years, the Cards have options.   Deep rotation threats and a lineup of young talent.   They nearly made it back to the World Series in 2012 with a ton of injuries to their core players and production from Memphis farm hands without much experience.   If the majority of the roster stays healthy, this Cardinals team is the team to beat in the Central, no matter the Reds recent moves.   Nobody has deeper pitching than the Cardinals and that wins championships.  Money doesn’t buy you a ring.  A systematic roster of executioners gets the job done.  If I had to pick, the trade bait would be Lance Lynn, coming off a 18 win season with troubling stains on the sleeves.  Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal look like better long term options.  Lynn has the most value right now.  Use that and get some help in the middle infield.   Also, don’t forget about Pete Kozma.  He isn’t a starting shortstop, but he can be middle infield security and a better bat off the bench than Shane Robinson or Adron Chambers.  Kozma, like the rest of the roster, had a bad three games in the NLCS.   He also had 19 RBI at the end of the season and drove in the winning runs in the NLDS Game 5 comeback.  Don’t forget about him.  He has played long and hard to get a shot and proved worthy at the end of 2012.

QUICK TAKES ON MOVIES

Jack Reacher-Fine Entertainment.  Tom Cruise kills it as the title character and gives hope to the little guy.  Features best car chase in years.

This is 40-Judd Apatow crap.  A misfiring disappointment that runs way way too long at 134 minutes.   Reacher is 130 minutes and feels half as long because it has purpose and is entertaining and doesn’t drain you.  Since the golden goose double dose of Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin, Apatow, the proposed king of comedy, has produced crap twice in a row by hating the idea of editing.

Watching Guilt Trip with Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand tonight with the wife.   Light comedic drama with a road trip at the core and only 93 minutes long.   Rogen’s manic fratboy with Barbara’s old motherly grace.   Small positive hope for this one.

That’s it.  Get the full reviews this Friday on my website, http://www.film-addict.com.

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

D.L.B.

 

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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