The NFL has been up and down this season. The ups include the great fourth quarter comebacks, exciting overtime wins, and the Tennessee Titans going undefeated for much of the season. However, the downs are a much different story— winless teams, injuries on and off the field, blown calls and bad coaches. The list is endless, but here's my list of the top five worst happenings in the 2008 NFL season.
I'll start with one of my home teams, the Cleveland Browns. On paper, the Browns looked like a pretty good team. After missing the playoffs last year by only one game, this season seemed hopeful.
However, the problems started before the season did. The Browns lost their first three games and didn't seem to rebound from there. Bad turned worse when their first and second string quarterbacks both got injured, as well as TE Kellen Winslow. Here's to next year, Cleveland. At least we have the Cavs.
Aside from those awesome striped uniforms, being a referee isn't all that glorifying. The refs run up and down the field avoiding hits from players while making split second judgments that could affect the entire outcome of a game. No one said it was easy, but when a ref makes a bad call, he's sure to take some heat for it.
Perhaps one of the worst blown calls this season was during the Chargers-Broncos game back in week two. Jay Cutler lost the ball on a pass attempt, and it was ruled an incomplete pass by Ed Hochuli. A review showed that Cutler fumbled, but due to Hochuli's call and a "quarterback pass/fumble, replay, possession rule", the call could not be reversed. The Broncos kept the ball and scored two plays later. With a successful two—point conversion, the Broncos won the game.
Hochuli apologized to Charger's head coach Norv Turner after the game, but in the words of Turner, "That's not acceptable to me."
Giants' Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress is great on the field, but like many NFL players, he struggles outside the pylons.
On November 28, Burress shot himself in his right thigh while sitting in a New York nightclub. Apparently Burress spilled his drink, and while trying to reach for it, his gun went off. Now shooting himself wasn't a crime (it was just stupid), owning the gun, however, was. Burress had an expired gun license from Florida, and even if had it still been valid there, it held no bearing in New York.
Burress turned himself in, paid $100,000 bail, and got a four—game suspension. The Giants looked past the situation and continued to play well without one of their biggest stars.
The reason Burress had a gun in the first place is still a bit unclear, but who knows, maybe he needed protection for a secret dog fighting ring he was running.
I'm from Cleveland, so naturally I hate everything from Detroit. However, it's hard not to love the 2008 Detroit Lions. With a current record of 0-15, the Lions are one loss away from being the first team in NFL history to go winless since the league extended its regular season to 16 games.
Their most recent loss came from the New Orleans Saints with a score of 42-7, and the Lions will try, or rather, try not to make history in their final game against the Green Bay Packers.
This last one is going to be left up for grabs. With the entire postseason left, there's no doubt that at least one more awful thing is going to happen in the NFL. Will it be Donovan McNabb's proposed playoff tie or maybe more gunslingers? The answer isn't certain, but here's to hoping that something terrible does in fact happen. Happy New Year.