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When gag rules NFL what will fans say?

The last time I talked to Bill Parcells he said to me, proudly I might add, "we've got things locked up pretty tight over here ..."

And he's right.

As the father of keeping assistants from talking to the media whenever possible, the founder of the modern era One Voice concept, the person who pioneered keeping the media at arms-distance because, as he once said, "you guys are subversives," Parcells has started something that is expanding throughout the NFL.

Obviously, the Dolphins are under lockdown. The Patriots have been that way for some time under Bill Belichick, who learned it from Parcells. And with the Belichick coaching tree, rooted in Parcells, expanding, the One Voice concept is also expanding.

It went from the Jets to the Browns because Eric Mangini took it with him to Cleveland. It is likely to remain in New York because new coach Rex Ryan is something of a Parcells fan. It is likely to go to Denver, as former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the new coach there.

It definitely has taken root in Kansas City, where former New England personnel boss Scott Pioli, who happens to be Parcells' son-in-law, is now the football czar.

Now comes the latest duplication of the One Voice policy as Dallas owner Jerry Jones has put a gag order on his coaches -- including, temporarily at least, head coach Wade Phillips. This one, by the way is a head-scratcher because unnamed sourced stories in Dallas often come from Jones himself.

But I digress.

The point is from Miami and New England in the east, to Kansas City and Cleveland in the midwest, and reaching as far west as Dallas and Denver, an iron curtain has descended across the NFL continent. By the way, check out Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech if you want to better understand the depth of a great statesman and defender of freedom. 

And what does that mean to you?

That's the question. I perceive most of you don't care. I get the feeling the same folks that have turned blogs like this into money machines for newspapers, the same group that have given this blog a record-breaking month so far, are not that upset information is being squelched.

Am I right?

Tell me, do you really think keeping assistants from talking helps the Dolphins win? Do you think having teams say it's a leg injury instead of specifying it as a calf or knee is good? Do you believe your team is better every Sunday because players are told, under threat of fine, not to discuss their health?

And do you think your team is better because the team tells agents not to speak with the media? [Yeah, agents have told me the Dolphins tell them not to talk. Funny ain't it?]

Frankly, I expect most of you to line up like sheep and say, "Baaaa, whatever the powers-that-be say is fine by me." In which case, why are you here? Just tune in on Sunday and forget information about what's happening the rest of the year.

Hopefully some of you would like ito hear from the special teams coach on why his unit was terrible last season. Hopefully some of you would like to hear from general manager Jeff Ireland more than three times a year. Nah, I'm dreaming again.

So have your say in the comments section.

But let me share a couple of things first: I was born in a country where speech was silenced and information was restricted so I guess I'm sensitive about this subject. I take it personally because my folks risked much and sacrificed much to bring me to a place where gag orders are not the society's norm.  

Secondly, did you happen to catch the Super Bowl? The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the most open organizations in football. And the Arizona Cardinals, while not exactly an open book, are also relatively transparent.

Didn't seem to hurt their competitive advantage too much.


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This would ruin you. If you couldn't post rumors you'd have nothing to write about. Why don't you write another peice about something with some actual information in it or some insight and analysis.

I hate the writer of this blog and all of the posters, but I still read it every day and all the commmets

There is freedom of speech in this country, but the NFL is not a democracy. It is a socialist tyranny. And Socialism works in smaller organizations but not in large government. Sure people can say what they want, but your boss is free to fire you for it. Period. You can't compare freedom of speech for humans to freedom to talk to the press for your job.

Let's be honest, do most of the coaches really want to speak? Probably not. They want to coach.

I'm the truth and justice of the blog world

I tell people how to post, and other people what other people's opinion of them is

I stand up for the little people of the blog world, who can't stand up for themselves

When that doesn't work, I make fun of them and post under their name as if I was them. Except I make fun of them under their name

I hate the writer of this blog and all of the posters, but I still read it every day and all the comments

I think there's no question that a more open press policy with the organization can help limit some of the garbage speculation articles written in all of our South Florida newspapers.

The Dolphins have been the only team down here to firmly plant themselves in Dade / Broward / Palm Beach. Dolphins news is coveted.

This actually started in the Cam Cameron era and it was awful.

I think Mr. Huizenga, or at least the organization, was aware of the lack of soundbites coming from the organization and made some changes that I thought, were amazing.

They added this thing on their website called Dolphin Vision. During training camp, I was on it every day, multiple times a day. It showed the highlights of the day's events, all of Coach Sporano's daily comments, and interviews from players.

During the season it showed the same news conference the reporters attended with Coach Sporano, Coach Henning, Coach Pasqualoni, daily locker room interviews with players, a weekly Jim Mandich segment....excellent.

I think the problem is a balancing act problem. We don't want to become rats like the Dallas Cowboys became. And I agree we don't want to be book burning censors.

The only thing that really mystifies me is why Mr. Salguero has felt the need to compare the plight of Cubans and the horrors of communism to a bunch of millionaires entertaining us by running with and catching a football.

Using the "freedom of speech" plight for football reporting. ARMANDO, don't take a page out of the Jimmy Ceffalo play book.

Most people don't know what freedom of speech means and for who.
Second point it's a game of football and a game of sport reporters afraid to lose their jobs very soon due to internet and economy .I predict in two years most sport reporters will be gone since you get any info of internet.

bay of pigs? do you know that the only animal who doesn't not care if his female make out w/ any male is the Pig.

Mr. Bungle, overly short comments are often misinterpretted.

Will take the suggestion under advisement. Other than that, if it's too long, just move to the next comment.

That's funny joey porter conducting a press conference, i think id rather have that 200 lb. monkey that mauled that lady last week do it instead of joey. at least that "DAMN DIRTY APE" would have something more intellegent to say then joey...

Paul..Now your comments are very nice and i can understand since i finished only middle school with honor among total of 6 students.

Don't you know nobody cares what elitist school you went to that can finish all the grades by middle school
Stop being so condecending. My parents couldn't afford for me to go to school because I had to pick strawberries and tomatos in the great country of Cuba, with the best president in the world
If it wasn't for the public library and rafts I wouldn't be able to let you know how much I dislike you

I hate the writer of this blog and all of the posters, but I still read it every day and all the commmets

FAN is becoming very interesting to read .i wonder what is his beef w/armando?

Mr. Bungle,

I am not saying who should do the talking- assistants, head coach, players, PR guy, whatever. There's a good argument for having only one voice. BUT I think there should be a voice. Getting little/nothing from the team is not entertaining... and that is why I am a fan, not for admiration of shrewd business practices but rather for fun.

"I hate the writer of this blog and all of the posters, but I still read it every day and all the commmets"
Posted by: fan | February 25, 2009 at 12:19 PM

I started to laugh, but I think you're serious... get help, fan.

Fan: You hating me doesn't hurt me, it hurts you. A very wise man once told me hating someone is like swallowing poison and hoping THEY die. It's stupid and, ultimately, bad for you, not me.

This scorpion-blog deleted my comments!

Dear Armando,

Open your mind. You mindlessly spew the stupid Cuban propaganda. Give me a break. Do you think the paperboy at AIG is giving press conferences? How many people do you think can speak for any organization?

Perception is a funny thing and everyone thinks the way that they personally see things is how everyone else should see them. It really doesn't matter whether it makes a difference or not. It comes down to who is in charge and how they like to run things. If you don't think the media has some affect on the moods and general perspectives on a team whether good or bad than you Mando are in the wrong buisness. While I'd love to hear more from coaches and hear them take responsibility, what would the coaches and personnel gain from letting inner club info goto other teams? A gag rule is simple and self explanatory. is it always necessary, no, but is it a working philosophy, maybe.


Usually enjoy your insight about the Dolphins-- this topic was--- well if nothing better to comment on ; please wait for more NB things to blog.

Rob Canadian Dolphin Fan

Really, Armando?? Really? Less than two days away from the beginning of free agency and this is what you talk about?

You have terrible timing. This would make for a fun debate, but not right now. Maybe in May or June. Talk about awful timing. I guess this is why other Dolphin blogs (and I'm not talking newspaper blogs - aka "fake blogs") are doing better than this one.

It's amazing, really. It's amazing how people like you and your reporter friends don't realize how lucky you are. You get to cover a football team for a living. And you get some access to the team and players. And yet you still find reasons to complain.

Seriously, Armando, give me a break here.

please every person on this blog please don't get personal with armando as he works hard for his job and family we should be thankful that we can get info here and read funny stuff too so no REASON to annoy him for your own sick mind people.we are just having fun no more and no less.last mr.fan of hate try to be civil and funny but there NO reason to hurt some one feelings in such nasty way.

Armando, stop quoting me. It makes me look bad when I tell all the other guys to shut up.


I salute your parents' courage and thirst for freedom in coming to this country - the last, best hope on earth. What the Sean Penns and Souljahbeats of this world will never realize is that in bowing before the corrupt dictator of Cuba, they are attempting to legitimize tyrrany and oppression.

Now, on to more mundane matters. I find myself curiously attracted to Eurasian women. I incorrectly assumed that Olivia Wilde from "House" was such a woman, but it turns out she's just a beautiful White chick with slanty eyes.

I'm eating lunch now (my wife's leftovers). It's an odd, yet strangely delightful, combination of taco meat and pasta salad (with slices of salmon).

Finally, it's apparent that Heather is in love with me, and while the feelings are possibly mutual, my Judeo-Christian values prohibit me from breaking the commandment against adultery (not sure which number, but I know it's in the top 10). Souljahbeats needs to read his scripture.

Nathaniel; sinceyou are here .you sure can tell me your favorite meal and movie to get into the mood.

Rob: So if I don't write about something that interests you, I shouldn't write? Is that what you're saying? If it doesn't meet your tastes, you want to shut me up? Think about that, Stalin, I mean, Rob.

Matty: You don't have any idea what blogs are doing better or worse than this one as you don't know our numbers. As I stated, this has been a record month on this blog.

And, Matty, I do realize how blessed I am to be able to cover sports for a living. Right now I'm sitting in the press box at Roger Dean Stadium watching baseball. I have a great life -- even when you come on here and read what I write then go back to your blog to rip me is fine with me. Whatev.

1) Orange Bowl (numerous times)
2) Dodger Stadium
3) Rose Bowl

1) Jimmy Stewart
2) Spencer Tracy
3) Newt Gingrich (not the adultery part, but the brilliant part)
4) Jackie Robinson
5) Bobby Orr

1) That chick at work
2) Barbra Streisand (in the 70s)
3) Nancy Pelosi (about 10 years ago)

1) The Messiah (still waiting for his 1st appearance)
2) A good pop song since Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do"
3) A Miami Super Bowl
4) Stool that doesn't break off in the middle, and necessitate endless wiping.

I like this blog. Made me think. Thanks man.

Heather, to answer your questions:

I have fairly Plebian tastes. I'm happy so long as there is a dead animal and a potato on my plate (and no yucky dairy products).

My favorite movie? It could be Audrey Hepburn's "The Nun Story." Or perhaps Jimmy Stewart's "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington." Of course, there's "To Kill A Mockingbird," and, oh my, how can I overlook "Godfather" I and II?

Heather, I'm a former Canadian who drives a Hyundai Accent and builds Lego stadiums. I also snore in my sleep. I will consider adultery with you on 3 conditions:

1) No dairy in my meals.
2) No mention of Obama's so-called "Stimulus Package" which our illegitimate grandchildren will be paying for.
3) You have to tell me how pretty I am.

people thing it's easy to cover a pro football team and they frogot that armando worked for many many years and now he has the EXP for that plus he treat people the right way even if i don't like it when mix sport with politics.any way there always a fine line between critisism and hateful speech.you can't come here and try to impose your lousy and loosing life on all of us.
P.S armando did delete some my posts in last few weeks too.so i am not always in agreement w/him/PEACE.

First off - I don't rip you, really. I like to talk Dolphins - not about the media. And if I did want to rip the media, I'd spend days on ESPN and their "ridiculousness."

And the bottom line is that you provide some good news breaks sometimes. So why rip you? I just think this type of discussion really isn't necessary right now.

And let's be honest - isn't the only reason you're complaining about this is because it makes your hard tougher to get information?

Oh - and since you're at the game (and I'm a diehard Cardinals fan), how is Blake Hawksworth looking? I've read his stuff looks sharper this spring. How's his command?

Its kind of like a hot chick who shows enough to keep you interested, but once she shows you the goods there is no longer as much intrigue.

The organization is tight lipped and guess what, I'm still intrigued. :)

Nathaniel, i agree with all your 3 conditions if you agree on mine?
1-all sophia loren pictures and tapes must be burned.
2-you should buy a new king bed.
3-you must meet my girlfriend.

Armando talks freedom of speech but he controls his blog like a dictator... Emphasing the first three letters...

Armando acts like Castro CUBA

Heather, I choose to meet your conditions. I just have one qualification for the 3rd - about meeting your girlfriend. She's feminine, right? Like, she's a Lindsay Lohan lipstick lez, not a butch Samantha Ronson one, right? Right?

I find it amusing that you're essentially comparing a political (and legal) right of free speech to the media policies of a private business. I don't think anyone escaped any country to get away from a tyrannical business that doesn't talk to reporters. Nobody escaped a communist regime to ensure a rather insignificant sports team executive could talk to reporters. Drawing this sort of comparison is aggrandizing and off the mark.

Limited access hurts fans of the team and makes your job harder, no doubt. But Bill Parcells' media policies are not an assault on mine, or anyone's, freedoms.

Amen Justin.

Amen Justin.

Hawksworth was shaky in the first inning, giving up a leadoff single to Maybin and also a walk. But he settled down afterward. Looks ok. Cards leading 1-0. Pennant!

Nathaniel.my girl friend name is sara and she wants you to do some first for to come which you must declare your love for jesus first .

Dodsworth, you are hilarious.

Nathaniel , yeeesss. I can't believe you mentioned bobby orr. He was my idol growing up as a young boy . Also , don't you know the so called Messiah ( barack obama , LOL ) has a already made an appearance ( give me a break )

Oh, I'm not complaining. Don't mistake me shining a light on darkness as a complaint. I've covered the team under great circumstances and bad, when assistants talked and couldn't talk. I've been through policy change after policy change and when the policy changes again, I'll still be here.

Thanks for the Cards update.

One last one - does Albert look to be swinging at full strength? I haven't seen him take any hacks since his offseason elbow surgery.

Heather, I respect other people's religions, so, contrary to my persona, I'll actually have to be serious. I believe Jesus was a great man and teacher, but not the Messiah for two reasons. He did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies found in the Hebrew bible, and my religion informs me that no human being can be divine. Divinity is reserved for God who is one (not composed of 3 parts).

Now, that is not to say that I do not shriek certain names during relations, be they the Son of Man or Garo Yepremian...

I'm sorry Armando, I just can't help but let others know how I think of them and what other people are thinking of other people

But I just can't help but read your articles and all the commenters even though I dislike them

You could call it a love hate relationship, with the love being replaced by hate, and my only love I've ever had being my hand

fan shoud meet with nathaniel and use his hand .

nathaniel ,This is sara and i have a little question .can i bring my boy friend with me?

Armando, it was only a matter of time for the trolls to come out and screw up your blog. The imposter Mr. Bungle has arrived and he's also pretending to be others as well, just like every day. Like I said earlier, you have to sift through a lot of garbage to read the good stuff.

Mr .Bungle is a great actor ,that's all i can say.

So you say the impostor is Mr.Bungle under the name Mr.Bungle not very good impostorizing

You obviously don't have spell check because if you did you would notice that impostor is spelled with a "O" at the end not a "E"

As I've said before your not very smart for passing an elitist middle school with honors

The garbage your refering to is obviously in your post, the good stuff in mine

I hate the writer of this blog and all the commenters, but I still read it every day and all of the comments

Nathaniel, what did Jesus not fulfill?

Sara, everyone knows that 3-ways are supposed to be F-M-F; never the other way around. Don't believe me? I'll give you great examples from history -
1) Tony Orlando and Dawn
2) Archie and Betty & Veronica
3) Jacob and Leah & Rachel
4) Cam Cameron, Randy Mueller & Wayne Huizenga.

Wait, in example 4, that's three females.

Mando, sitting watching baseball on a lazy 78 degree day....you are the second luckest man i know..

for one thing he was a jew and their was no mention of after his birth till around 30 years old. what did he do during all that time, and why isn't it important. not to mention that anybody who thinks mary was impregnated by "the holy spirit" and not a man is a fool. miracles, yeah right

You don't believe in miracles? Isn't part of the prophecies is that the messiah will be born of a virgin and he will perform miracles? How else will a virgin get pregnant and still be a virgin? Wasn't there hundreds of miracles in the old testament?

All religions are faith based right? Everything is not logical...

There are also stories of him at 12 years old. And the gospels are written by men who didn't know him until he was 30. There probably are books out there that were written but weren't included in the bible...

Jews are descendants of Abraham correct? Isn't that part of the prophecies as well?

Nathaniel , what about jack , janet and chrissy from Three's Company ?

Please disregard the comment above: "for one thing he was a Jew ..." That's clearly not me. I would never be so crass and insulting and disrespectful. To answer your question, MJF, the Hebrew Bible speaks of the Messiah ushering in a period of universal peace ("The lion shall lay down with the lamb") and an ingathering of all the Jews/Israelites/Hebrews to Israel. These prophecies clearly did not come to pass while Jesus walked the earth. But let us not quarrel. LEt us agree to disagree and unite as brothers of common Judeo-Christian values and fight the real enemy in this country - Godless, secular progressives who make a fetish out of Socialism and immorality.

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