This is the first of a weekly or monthly syndicate that I hope will garner a great deal of fan feedback for or against. I also will relay a new email address down the road to send topics you want covered down the road. The title of this column is slightly borrowed from a T-shirt previously made mildly famous by the classic rock band RUSH. So my thanks to Geddy, Alex, and Neil for that one, this column is dedicated to their honor. I generally will try to be factual and upbeat with regard to most of my articles. This one is where I envision us all getting to vent on whatever doesn’t make sense in the sports world.
Topics of the day:
¨ NFL new rules changes: I’m not a fan, today I’ll focus on the clock.
¨ Will the real Black Hole please stand?
¨ The Saints not getting the right calls down the stretch.
¨ Will Manny ever cut his hair?
NFL new rules changes: I’m not a fan, today I’ll focus on the clock.
Over the last few off-seasons the NFL has made some notable differences to the game and my thought is they do harm the overall integrity of the game. For starters, they started to keep a running clock whenever the ball went out of bounds except for the last two minutes of a half. This year the league is also noticing an average of about 25 less plays a game. That equals out to roughly two to four possessions down the stretch in a game. The reason for the switch by and large is the passing game and the need for the NFL to max out its revenue by drowning the game with commercials. It’s horrible because you can feel the drama bleeding out of the games. The reality of the new NFL is that you won’t see pound ‘em out running games like you used to. The integrity of the game is being taken away and it’s sad to see. You really can’t have one without the other, but these changes kill the run game and nearly force and enhance the passing game. This is only part of the reason you see Denver throwing the ball more than they are running it. Moreover, when you short a player 25 plays in a game, you make it that much tougher for any player to reach the records some of the greats have already attained. To me it’s an overall issue of integrity and credibility for the league. I love the NFL; I just hate to see marketing decisions become the game.
Will the real Black-hole please stand?
The Cincinnati Bengals are officially the new black-hole of the NFL and it’s not because of their fans, it’s because they are the budding graveyard where great quarterbacks go to have their careers die. Carson Palmer showed he was for real three seasons ago until he was injured and bounced out of the playoff game against the eventual World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The following season the Bengals went to Denver and fell short in a snowy game where you could see the team self-destruct and start to die in a snowy meadow in the Mile High city. No the Bengals aren’t trying to rival the Oakland Raiders Black-hole but they are just as poorly put together and Carson Palmer, a true NFL talent is seeing his talents being wasted and die. I heard Sal Palantonio on 104.3FM The Fan in Denver this morning say he thought the league should have a hostile take-over of the Chiefs and the Raiders. I say he’s exactly right, but we should add the Bengals to the list. Then it should be mandated that the Bengals and the Raiders swap QB’s in order to give them both an opportunity to succeed. Jamarcus Russell has a gun, the problem is he doesn’t read NFL defenses well and there is turmoil on the pirate ship. I think Jamarcus could thrive in a system where he could improvise a little more and Ocho-Johnson and Who’sYourMama would fit well within a free-wheeling offense like that. Carson Palmer could bring respect back to Raider nation eventually, as soon as the league pry’s the Raiders from Al Davis’ dead hands and Raider nation reaches a resolution on Lane Kiffin and if they will ever give a coach any power.
The Saints not getting the right calls down the stretch.
I heard the Saints were not happy about the apparent offside’s alignment by Broncos LB Jamie Winborn on the play that saw DJ Williams stuff the Saints otherwise big TD run. Shortly prior to that play, the Broncos were inside the Saints ten when Tony Scheffler apparently dropped a pass while heading to the sidelines. The replay showed the ball was in constant motion, but the referees explained it was more of an issue of timing even though the ball was in motion and not entirely under Scheffler's control. That is yet another rule that needs further review, but if anyone had anything to cry about it was San Diego the week before and the Broncos inside the Saints ten. Meanwhile the Saints kicker struts out to attempt the game winning kick with his wedding band on while the holder is the punter and he’s got is wedding band and sporty watch on as well. Maybe if they payed more attention to the kickers and the kicking game you could have won that game, but don’t cry about it if your guys think it’s the country club 18th green with a 10 stroke lead.
Divorce Sucks: Brett Favre and the Packers split.
Divorce is brutal and it sucks, it does. I have never personally been divorced, but I do know heartbreak and what broken relationships are like. Regardless of what side you’re on in any divorce, the parts are usually better together long before the split than they are after. That is why America hates this split, but I think we now are seeing concrete evidence that divorce sucks and it translates into the NFL. Brett Favre is no better off with the Jets, though the Jets might be. The Packers are clearly no better off with Aaron Rogers and without Brett Favre. Brett has shown he can still make the big play, while the Rogers led Packers are struggling to make big plays. Brett can’t be the same free-wheeling Brett with the Jets because they can’t back-up the turnovers. The Packers brass is getting what they deserve for being such pompous arrogant nimrods, a team that won’t do much anytime soon. All I can say is divorce sucks!
Will Manny ever cut his hair?
I would say “Who cares.” except for the fact that Manny should as should all professional athletes respect the games they play enough to respect the history and those that had class on and off the field. I love long hair, I do, and I really do. I used to have it, used to wear it, but if you have long hair past your shoulders in any sport (save soccer) and you’re a professional athlete you’ll regret it one day and you’ll wish you showed the game more respect.