Earl Thomas Has Doomed Ravens With Super Bowl Promise

  • Ravens safety Earl Thomas has predicted that Baltimore is going to be in the Super Bowl this year.
  • With a 9-2 record and a win over the Patriots, it looks like the Ravens may be the team to beat—at least in the AFC.
  • But bragging about making it to the Super Bowl or predicting a win is almost always a bad idea.

Right now, it is hard to say who even has a shot at beating the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl or who could stop them from getting there. Lamar Jackson is playing well, and the defense is certainly getting the job done. The Ravens do look like the team to beat.

So, it is not hard to understand why Ravens safety Earl Thomas is feeling a little confident about his team. The Ravens do appear to be the team to beat this year. But acting like it is a foregone conclusion that they are going to be in the Super Bowl is a mistake.

Earl Thomas Predicts Super Bowl for Ravens

Thomas made his comment when asked if Sunday’s game against the 49ers could be a Super Bowl preview:

Anytime someone makes a Super Bowl prediction, the media likes to get as much mileage out of the statement as it can. As could be expected, one of the first people asked about it on the 49ers was a former teammate of Thomas, Richard Sherman:

Sherman’s response is about what you would expect it to be—measured, thought out, and logical. Anything could happen from Sunday until it is time to play the Super Bowl. But predicting your team is going to get there is definitely a bad idea.

Why?

Karma

Joe Namath may be the only guy ever to predict his team was going to win the Super Bowl and actually win it. But he didn’t make the claim until his team was definitely in the game.

It just doesn’t happen. Whenever guys tend to make those kinds of predictions, they almost always end up being wrong.

Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson predicted a Super Bowl appearance for the Bears this season after the team went 12-4 last season and won the division. Lamarr Houston agreed with him. While they are still in the hunt at 6-6, it is safe to say that the Bears will not be in the Super Bowl this year.

He wasn’t alone, though. Trey Burton made a similar claim.

Former Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery promised a Super Bowl victory following the 2016 season—which obviously didn’t pan out. But it wasn’t like anyone took him seriously with the Bears coming off a 3-13 season.

Ryan Kalil promised Carolina Panthers fans a Super Bowl win back in 2012 and even took out a full-page ad in the paper but failed to follow through on that one. Another Panthers player, Mario Anderson, predicted a Super Bowl win a few years later. But he too was wrong.

Dak Prescott told a couple of kids he’d be in the Super Bowl last year and sent them there with tickets. As it turned out, he could have used a ticket himself.

Whether it is a humblebrag or a not so humble brag, predicting a Super Bowl win is never a good idea. Such comments are always going to put a spotlight on a team. When the spotlight hits, guys start thinking they have to be perfect. Rather than just play the game, they start to over-analyze and second guess their instincts.

In short—they make mistakes.

Mistakes lead to losses. Should one come during the postseason, that means the promise will go unfulfilled.

There is no sense in making the game any harder than it needs to be. It is okay to feel confident your team will make the Super Bowl, just don’t tell the media.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Josh Shaw Suspension Is Proof NFL Wants to Look Tough, Not Be Tough

  • Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for gambling on NFL games.
  • Shaw has been forgettable as an NFL player, but fans may remember him as the USC player that injured his ankles jumping from a balcony.
  • He claimed he was trying to save a drowning nephew. But he eventually admitted that he was trying to avoid the police. A neighbor had called them because Shaw and his girlfriend were arguing.

Whenever it can, the NFL likes to flex its muscles and throw the book at someone. It’s why Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the season earlier this year. It is why Myles Garrett isn’t going to play until next season at the earliest.

It’ also why John Shaw is not going to play until 2021 at the earliest.

Josh Who?

Two of those three names are pretty well known, as is what they got suspended for. Burfict can’t seem to stop making dirty hits on people. Garrett’s now-infamous helmet swing will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Josh Shaw (whoever he is) must have done something serious to get hit with a more substantial suspension than both of those guys. The truth is, he did, but he didn’t—and the NFL made sure to say that when it announced Shaw was being suspended indefinitely for gambling on NFL games.

He can apply for reinstatement in February 2021.

For the first time in over 30 years, the NFL has suspended someone for gambling, Cardinals DB Josh Shaw : Twitter

The Case Against Josh Shaw

The NFL actually had almost nothing to do with building a case against Shaw. He did it all for them. According to Ian Rappaport, Shaw went to Vegas with some high school buddies earlier in the season. Thinking it was legal, he placed a few bets on games.

He didn’t try to hide it and even used his own ID and casino player’s card. Once he realized he made a mistake, he flew to New York, where he cooperated fully with the NFL.

Shaw did not use any inside information, his team (the Arizona Cardinals) were not aware of his gambling, and he didn’t impact the outcome of any games since he has been on the IR the entire season.

We don’t know if he bet on any Cardinals games, how much he bet or with who. Since the league has not had a history of gambling issues (or at least guys caught doing so), there isn’t much precedent for Goodell to follow.

Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for a season back in 1963 for betting on games (never on their team and usually $100). It didn’t happen again until 1983 when then-Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter bet so much he couldn’t pay off his bookies.

He, too, was suspended for a season.

But since Roger Goodell wants to look like he is cracking down, he is breaking with precedent and dinging Shaw for two seasons—or so it seems.

The Real Reason For Josh Shaw’s Heavy-Handed Punishment

It sounds like Shaw is going to plead ignorance in his appeal and ask for leniency. If the league had a heart, it would listen to what he says and give it to him – but it doesn’t have a heart.

The league needs a scapegoat, someone it can use as proof that gambling may be an issue in the NFL. Said scapegoat has to have the book thrown at him, of course. With a minimum suspension of two seasons, it looks like they threw it at Shaw—but not really.

Shaw has been out for the entire season this year, making getting suspended for this season a moot point. The Cardinals only signed him to a one-year deal for $895,000; he is not likely going to be a priority to resign in the off-season.

Since he can’t play next season, no one is going to sign him. Even if he were eligible, he very well would have gone unsigned anyway.

So, the NFL just threw the book at a guy who already couldn’t play this season and likely wouldn’t have been playing next season anyway. Way to flex those muscles, NFL.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.