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Stealing Jake

Giants tight end Jake Ballard played well all season, until he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl. It was a serious injury, requiring surgery. Recovery is lengthy, and Ballard will not be able to play at all in 2012. He is going to miss the entire season. So the Giants put him on waivers. I mean, who is going to claim a player who can't play? Once he cleared waivers, Jake could be put on the Reserved/ PUP list (Physically Unable to Perform). He'd still be Giant, and come 2013, presumably he would be healthy again and able to return to the team.

That's what the Giants wanted. That's what Jake wanted.

But he didn't clear waivers. He was claimed by another team. To the astonishment of all.

Who would do such a thing, you ask?

Who else? The New England Patriots.

Stuff like this is why we call him Evil Little Bill.

The Giants are pissed. Ballard is reportedly pretty unhappy as well. Evil Little Bill says what he did was legal (it was, completely), that there are no "unwritten rules" (there are, that's wrong, but hell, Bill breaks WRITTEN rules, as in Spygate, so of course he doesn't believe in unwritten ones, or things like, oh, sportsmanship).

The Patriots don't even need a tight end. They already have the best tight end tandem in the NFL in Gronkowski and Hernandez, both of whom are actually better than Jake Ballard. This move screws the Giants, but it also screws Ballard, who would have been a starter on the Giants when he came back in 2013. On the Pats, he'll warm the bench and play in some three tight end sets.

Have you no shame, Evil Little Bill?

Boo. Hiss. Boo.



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Michael Cicconi
Jun. 15th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
Not the worst decision
I don't think this is an "evil" decision necessarily. Bill wants some security in case one of his starters gets hurt themselves

Just a basic strategy that has the added benefit of making one of his opponents weaker. Seems like a win-win (or a win-lose, but that's the point)?
Michael Torreggiani
Jun. 15th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Oh those Pats, they will do anything to win.

I'm so curious what will happen with Denver. Will they be any good? Was there enough time for Manning to get used to a new system?

Now that G.O.T. season 2 is over I must console myself with football.

Jun. 15th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC)
Only Belichick could get so much hate for signing a player off of WAIVERS. This post is absurd.
Kevin Smith
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Either not evil or really evil
There's no reason for Bill to want to hurt the Giants. They're not playing in the regular season this year; the NFC East is playing the AFC Central. Since the two eastern divisions played each other last year, they won't be playing each other in 2013 either. This means that either Bill just wanted an extra tight end or hates the Giants so much he wants to screw them over even when it doesn't benefit him.
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Oh well
I guess that means another one of our favourite characters will die....
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
It's like a witty, clever, power scheme out of Ice and Fire! Not good for Giants but strategy wise, clever.
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Get over it
Really time to get over the whole "spygate" thing, at this point it just sounds like sour grapes. Seriously, the Giants have beaten the Pat's TWICE in the Super Bowl.

Get over it.
Joe Santos
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
Bill Belichick is the Worst Person in the (Football) World. And I *love* that you hate him as much as I do, GRRM.
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
oh well bubba
Putting a player on waivers is a risk. If the patriots put Tom Brady on waivers after he tore his acl and the Bengals scooped him up, how much would you sympathize with Patriot fans? Plus, you beat us. Twice. Thats got to help ease your pain.
Nate Piccini
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC)
Nothing evil about this at all. If you want to keep the player, keep him on your roster going into training camp, then PUP him, then IR him. The Giants didn't want to carry him into camp so they waived him. He's fair game like any other waived player. Sounds like sour grapes to me
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Bush league
This sucks, really. But, hey, if the Pats had won the Super Bowl *and* Bill had pulled this crap, that would be salting the wound. This is just a pathetic attempt at revenge. With the way players change rosters in The League, I wouldn't be surprised if Ballard finds himself back with the G-Men sooner rather than later. But, indeed, this is an aggravating move.

Also, this is the LONGEST OFFSEASON EVER. I can't wait for September!!! "This is the year my Chargers finally come together and win it all," he says to himself at night so he can fall asleep.
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Ugh. Even as a New Englander, and a Pats fan- I think that was a shitty thing to do. If we DIDN'T have the phenomenal set up of Gronk and Hernandez, I'd be slightly more understanding.. but we do. Yuck.
Cristobal Juarez Aguirre
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
Good move for the Pats?
I wonder how much this gentleman is making. If he is on a rookie contract for minimum money, then nice job pats. If he is making a nice chunk of change and he can't even play this year, then the pats just lost some cap space.
Scott Gower
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)
I wish I could sympathize ...
... but I'm a Cowboys fan.

Our teams' September opener in September can't get here soon enough.
Jun. 25th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Re: I wish I could sympathize ...
the september opener is in september? Wow whodda thunk it?
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
Yay! A football post.
The Bean Town Imp strikes again? Maybe. He's just trying to catch lightening.

I don't think that Ballard will pass the Pats physical either. It didn't seem that the Giants were angry. Reese seemed to me to be more resigned to what transpired. Protecting Rocky Bernard was more important.
Jun. 16th, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay! A football post.
Imp? GRRM modelled Lord Tywin Lannister after Evil Little Bill. :-) And I'm a Seahawks fan, to boot.

This posting is unfounded. Belichick thought that picking up Jake Ballard from waivers would improve his team. He did nothing unethical, below-board or wrong. Nothing.

If folks want to piss and moan about breaking an unwritten rule, well, lobby the Competition Committee to write the rule!
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
I knew you'd be posting on this when I saw the news. And yes, *sigh*. Somehow I do feel he's going to get something decent in trade for this dirty move.

Maybe between the improve pass rush of the Jets and the Bills, Brady will get knocked around a little too much. I don't mean to wish people ill, but that's one IR placement that might be hard not to smile at.
Darren Gobel
Jun. 15th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)
Vintage Belichick, has no shame. Too bad the Giants didn't pick up Kevin Boss again, he played well for the Giants. So now Bear Pascoe is the #1 tight end right? (Woooooooooooooooo from my hometown)
Jun. 15th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
I don't see this as evil either. Gamesmanship, maybe, but all teams do some of that. Parcells was a master of it, just as Belichick is.
To claim a player off waivers, they have to make him part of the active roster. So are they planning on going all year with 52? Otherwise they would have to clear waivers just like the Giants tried to.
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
The patriots are perennial contenders with a shot to win it all every year. Maybe Ballard will get a ring out of the deal.
I mean...when was the last time the Giants were relevant?
Oh wait...
Yeah, this was a douchey move. No doubt about it.
Amen-Ra Lumumba
Jun. 15th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
I feel your pain
I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan die hard. I have always hated the Patriots after what happened in the Superbowl back in 05. They are a bunch of cheats. As much as I hate the Giants I loved every minute of them sticking it to the Patriots, in both those Superbowls. Now if only I could get my brother, a big fan of the Giants, to shut up about it.
Jun. 15th, 2012 07:52 am (UTC)
In the game of NFL..
..you win or you die.
Steven Sidore
Jun. 15th, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)
Happens all the time, G
Happens to everybody. I remember a few years back the Pats had a tight end they wanted to pass quietly through wavers -- Garrett Mills, I believe was his name -- and the Vikes did the same thing. Same tight lipped press conference from Belichick that Coughlin had to give.

In Bill we Trust, as they say around here. I suppose the Dreadfort's subjects would say the same of Roose.
Jun. 15th, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)
I'm no Patriots fan by a long shot and when the teams that you like do something, I come here to read your opinions on the matter. I have to say thought that Jerry Resse and the Giants were trying to save a few bucks and got burnt. If they coveted him so much they could have protected his rights by moving him from the 90 man training camp roster right to the PUP. But then his full salary would have been owed. So Reese once again cheaped out and this time had to pay the price.

Reese has made a habit of this, most recently nickle and diming Osi for the last couple years. It was getting so bad even the other players had to say something. Not saying Osi handled himself in the best way during it but just stating the precedent.

It was a douche move but hey this is Evil Little Bill we are talking about, this or anything else should have been expected when you leave a player totally unprotected like the Giants did.

I feel bad for Tom Coughlin in this because by the terse interview he gave you could almost see that he brought up the possibility of this happening and got a "Tom don't worry, no one will pick up an injured player" response from someone higher up.

You just came off a SB, take care of your guys and stop penny pinching so much or don't be shocked when stuff like this happens.
Simon Schmid
Jun. 15th, 2012 09:06 am (UTC)
Jake Who?
Oh, this is about this strange sports where people run around trying to hug the one who carries a misformed ball, right?
I think hardly anyone outside of the US gets what this game is about or even follows it. No offense though, if that's what you want to post about, go ahead ;)
Michael Conrad
Jun. 15th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Jake Who?
And trying to play golf/baseball with a flat-sided wooden paddle wearing ridiculously large shin and face guards makes sense?
Re: Jake Who? - marlowe1 - Jun. 17th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Jake Who? - Simon Schmid - Jun. 17th, 2012 09:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
Tactically it makes good sense but morally it's a bit questionable. Bill is a strategist first and a person second which is what made New England so disliked by the rest of the country. As a fan I appreciate the decision because while we do have players in the positions Gronkowski has been injured at key points during the season. Knowing we have a skilled player to fill in is a tremendous relief. Yes it's a shame that Ballard will get less field time but that's providing Belichick acquired him for playing purposes at all. It isn't unheard of to acquire something of value temporarily and then bring it out for the highest bidder.
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