Thursday Night Observations

• Irrespective of how Josh McCown’s thumb x-ray turns out, that a 35-year old journeyman who thrived in ideal conditions over a handful of games last year would succeed in a new offense was always farfetched. Mike Glennon might not be the answer but at least Tampa’s asking the right question if he’s playing.

• Bobby Rainey fumbled twice in a 56-14 blowout, yet still managed 41 yards rushing, seven catches and 64 yards receiving. The fumbles could help reinstall Doug Martin when he returns, but I think Rainey’s the better back and doubt he’s going away.

Johansen Contract Saga Getting Ugly

Coming off the best season in franchise history, the future seemed bright for the young Blue Jackets. They had a stacked farm system, an elite goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky, a deep group of defensemen that included future Norris Trophy contender Ryan Murray, and a deeper group of physical, skilled forwards headlined by rising star Ryan Johansen. Sure, Johansen was a restricted free agent, but it’d be crazy to think they wouldn’t get him inked quickly…

Cue the ominous music.

Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, has a penchant for tough negotiations and occasional holdouts, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Johansen is back home in Vancouver instead of in Columbus as training camp begins. But after a fairly quiet summer in which the two sides seemed to make some progress by agreeing to a two-year ‘bridge’ deal, even if they were millions apart in salary, things blew up completely over the last few days, with GM Jarmo Kekalainen and president John Davidson both publicly raking Overhardt over the coals. Davidson even went so far as to reveal what the club has offered Johansen, and that’s where the story really starts to get interesting.

Week 2 Observations

I discovered this morning DirecTV is now charging extra for the fantasy and red-zone channels. I thought about paying, but resented it a bit – who do they think is buying the Sunday Ticket in the first place if not the fantasy player? So I held off and decided to surf manually while watching the games. The main challenge is keeping two screens away from commercials. The Microsoft ones are embarrassing. If the Siri voice is so damn annoying, then don’t subject me to it. It’s the same thing with the Kenny Rogers one. If hearing him sing that song gets old, then why are you playing it on an endless loop? I can’t even remember what product they were advertising, and that’s a good thing for them because when I do, I will make sure never to buy it. The Bud Light “up for whatever” ones show how vacuous their ad agency thinks millennials are. “Yeah dude, I’m up for whatever.” You know who’s up for whatever? Justin Blackmon and Aldon Smith. The NFL should be forced to reinstate both before they’re allowed to run that ad again. I don’t mind the Matthew McConaughey ones, though. He’s all: “Time is a flat circle, and I’m gonna put Reginald Ledoux’s corpse in my Lincoln.” I would buy a car on that basis.