(Photo by Slate.com)
Once coach Chip Kelly named Colin Kaepernick the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, all speculated reasons of his absence finally came to an end. From his supposedly emaciated weight to his salary guarantee upon a permanent injury to a reported restructured contract, no one cares as long as Blaine Gabbert is no longer on the field.
The 49ers deserve credit for capitulating to public pressure as Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke remain divided over the controversial quarterback. It is well-known in league circles that the underachieving general manager has grown tired of Kaepernick’s presence while Kelly has always wanted to use him as the main feature in his run-heavy offense.
Except, the Niners made things difficult by retaining him despite his National Anthem protest and him being dressed as a benched player. Publicly, dressing Kaepernick fueled critics’ anger toward him but increased fans and media demand for him to play. Financially, they may have brought on extra danger as playing him would increase the risk of him getting a permanent injury salary settlement.
Regardless, even though his deactivation would have put him in street clothes and decreased financial risk like the Washington Redskins’ of Robert Griffin III, the Niners developed a secret trick for their own personal gains as Kaepernick’s actions proved that “any press is good press.”
After he announced his motives of protesting the National Anthem in August, NFLShop.com revealed that Kaepernick’s jersey sold the most among NFL players. Over a month later, despite wearing shoes to offend police officers, receiving death threats, accusing two presidential candidates of racism after their debate, and playing only three regular-season offensive snaps, his jersey ranks second in sales, just behind Odell Beckham Jr.’s.
However, with eight of the ten highest grossing jerseys featuring players that played at least fifteen games, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson being the only top-50 selling player (no. 27) not to play a game, and a deactivated Robert Griffin III finishing outside the top-50 in 2015, the 49ers may have found a creative marketing strategy. By having a benched Kaepernick suit up, they used a “sport it, sell it” model to make his jersey more relevant for sales as his deactivation would have defeated the purpose of soliciting his jersey.
Think about it. Can you really sell a jersey better when a player does not wear it?
Besides, with what is likely the NFC’s most poorly constructed and least marketable roster, and their marketing department being well aware of the aforementioned uniform trend, do you actually think that the 49ers would take a moral or meritocratic stance when they needed and could make money off Kaepernick’s jerseys?
They only had one of the biggest rosters turnovers since the 2001 Baltimore Ravens tore apart their Super Bowl-winning roster from 2000. Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Anthony Davis (the first time), and Justin Smith retired, and it is possible that Kelly is a tremendous waste of money as he is echelons far below Jim Harbaugh in the NFL and NCAA ranks.
To make amends for the turnover, possible due payments to two head coaches (Kelly and Jim Tomsula), and revenue as losers fail to generate any; there was no better way than to use Kaepernick as merchandise bait.
Like Kaepernick, you all have First Amendment rights by opting to agree or disagree with what I have to say. Regardless, when he looked healthy enough to not to be underweight, suited up despite his deactivation decreasing financial risk, and, lastly but notably, was highly unlikely not worse than Gabbert as a passer or runner, there is no sense in falling for what has been reported or sold to you. Remember, teams like to be secretive in everything they do, and when most revelations come through anonymous sources or after time passes, there is more sense behind this likely marketing conspiracy as teams want one thing besides winning: money and lots of it.
Now, with the team headed to Western New York to take on the Buffalo Bills, do not be surprised if Kaepernick’s jerseys sell better than they currently are as the aforementioned stats and history show that playing more can boost sales. From April to July 2011, Tim Tebow’s jerseys were the eighth-highest sold while he sat through a lockout and on the bench at Denver Broncos training camp. With the Broncos finishing 7-4 with him at season’s end, Tebow’s jersey finished second in sales, even though he was the league’s worst starting quarterback.
Remember that not all teams feel that they have a chance to win while all want profits when their fiscal years come to an end. NFL teams may put up headaches as long as they win. Except, when the NFLPA continues to shrivel under the failing and unqualified DeMaurice Smith and extra revenue streams are in sight; they will put up with even more as money can cure all ills, including losing.
Bills Put O.J. Simpson’s #32 Back in Rotation for First Time Since 1977
For the first time since 1977 the Buffalo Bills have put #32, the number famously associated with O.J. Simpson, back into circulation and new free agent signee Senorise Perry is now wearing the number during OTAs, according to ESPN.
“I thought it was retired, but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it,” Perry said of the number, according to The Athletic.
“I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I’m willing to take anything that comes my way. I’m going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I’m doing well for my family.”
Simpson rushed for 10,183 yards and 57 touchdowns, leading the NFL in rushing four times during his nine seasons playing for the Bills, but his post-career life has been marred with numerous troubles with the law and his controversial trial, and outcomes, stemming from the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, which he was acquitted for in 1995, but found liable by civil court for wrongful death.
Simpson, 71, was sentenced to prison in 2008 for armed robbery and kidnapping after entering a Las Vegas hotel room to recover stolen memorabilia items, and paroled in 2017.
“Whatever they do is fine with me,” Simpson said, according to the Athletic. “That’s how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honor the team. Since I left, I always tried to honor the Bills.
“And, to be honest, it’s not something I think about. There’s too much else going on in life.”
Simpson’s number was never retired, although he is on the team’s Wall of Fame at New Era Field.
Bucs’ Jason Pierre-Paul Automobile Accident Blamed on Bad Weather
A recent automobile accident the occurred in Broward County in South Florida involving Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rushed Jason Pierre-Paul is being attributed to bad weather, according to TMZ Sports.
According to the report which cites a crash report that they had obtained regarding the accident, Pierre-Paul was driving a $350,000 Ferrari 88 Pista when he crashed into a concrete barrier back on May 2nd.
Officials believe that Pierre-Paul lost control of the car around 2:38 AM and collided with a concrete barrier on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, adding that there were no skid marks or debris found in the roadway. Officers did not believe that Pierre-Paul was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and did not test him for it.
In conclusion, officers believe “weather conditions”, more specifically wet roads, caused Pierre-Paul to lose control of the car and crash into the concrete barrier. Pierre-Paul and a passenger in his car were transported to a nearby hospital.
Pierre-Paul is considered likely to miss the entire 2019 NFL season after suffering a fractured neck due to the accident.
Panthers’ Greg Olsen Donates $2.5 Million to Pediatric Cardiac Center
Carolina Panthers veteran tight end Greg Olsen, and his wide, recently made a $2.5 million donation to help establish the HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center in Charlotte, North Carolina o expand access to vital therapies that improve survival rates and quality of life for children with congenital disease, according to an official announcement from the Atrium Health Foundation.
“While most know Greg Olsen as a Pro Bowl Tight End for the Carolina Panthers, we at Levine Children’s know him and his wife, Kara, as visionary leaders and champions for pediatric congenital heart disease,” said Stacy Nicholson, MD, president of Levine Children’s, as he announced the transformational gift, according to an official release.
Greg and Kara Olsen started the HEARTest Yard initiative in 2012, initially focusing on home health care for children with congenital heart disease. The Olsens have a son with a congenital heart defect. Back in 2017, the couple helped launch a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic at Levine Children’s, which is currently one the few such clinics in existence in the United States.
“This new center will be a game changer for the children of the Carolinas,” said Nancy Dobrolet, MD, director of the cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic. “Thanks to the Olsens, and their many supporters, we provide the best comprehensive cardiac care in the country for young heart patients.”
The HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center, scheduled to open in 2021.
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