Category Archives: Lockout

They Got It Right

This post will probably be unpopular, but what do I care if we lose all 13 of our readers. So here goes.

Monday night, the replacement refs got it right.

Back to that in a minute. First off, the refs were hardly noticeable at the Bear game on Sunday. Sure they blew a call here and there, but can you remember one Bear game since you started to understand football where you weren’t mad at the refs for something?

Most things I have read seem to be holding the replacement refs up to the standard of perfection, rather than to the standard of the REGULAR REFS. If the regular refs were held under the same microscope as the replacement refs (which they won’t be) would they hold muster? No. We have been arguing holding and pass interference since this game was invented.

The problem is that this is really trying to measure the immeasurable. Some penalties, such as offsides and delay of game are absolute. Others, such as pass interference and holding are subjective and can be interpreted different ways. So you can’t go back to a game and say that there should have been “x” holding penalties, because nobody, including the refs, knows the standard. Sure there is a definition in the rulebook but still – impossible to apply in an absolute fashion, such as fair or foul ball (speaking of subjective, balls and strikes, anyone?).

But back to Monday night. And don’t get me wrong here, I am not just saying the following because I hate the Packers, I am saying it because I understand the rules.

First and foremost, both referees that made the call were out of position on the hail mary. This isn’t anything new either. I see regular refs out of position all the time.

The Seahawks receiver committed pass interference by pushing Shields out of the way. Completely indisputable.

But on the catch, the receiver and defender came down and hit the ground with joint posession of the ball. Nothing else counts after that instant as the play is now dead since the receiver(s) is down by contact.

Simultaneous posession goes to the offense.

One ref calls touchdown, the other is (inexplicably) motioning for a clock stoppage, in theory because he is wanting to either think about this or have a conference with the official who signals touchdown. This clock stopping motion is NOT the same as a touchback motion, mind you – which would be one arm waving in a 180 degree arc from leg to top of the head. Obviously, if the ref was signaling for a touchback, that would have indicated an interception.

So the only call on the field is touchdown. We go to review. The non pass interference is NOT reviewable. There wasn’t video evidence to overturn the simultaneous posession call. The call stands. The Packers lose.

It really is that simple. But the bigger issue is how are the replacement refs doing? Frankly, I think they are doing pretty well, all things considered. YES they are going to blow a call here and there. NO they didn’t rob the Packers of a victory Monday night. Will the regular refs be held to the standard of perfection? I highly doubt it.

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The Post That Wrote Itself

The only happy memory I have about the last Super Bowl was that the Steeers lost. Next to the Pack, I hate the Steelers more than any other team. I do have a soft spot for the new ‘roided up Rashard Mendenhall, however for the great job he did as an Illini.

A certain Steeler player, James Harrison blatantly does exactly what the Lockout Guide asks him not to do – be a total fool and
1) bash the commissioner and others directly involved in the negotiations trying to end the lockout
2) pose with guns and make himself look like a total thug and let the fans hate the spoiled children players more

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I can’t think of a way that Harrison could damage the image of the players more. And to boot, Harrison rips his own teammates Rashard and Big Ben while he is at it. Here is the article. Well done, James!

*I still think it will be solved in time for there to be no pre-season games, and that would be great with me.

Awesome Quote

Since I am a bit bored with the lockout here is something I found hilarious.

Marmol is the Cubs closer and he leads the league in blown saves after signing a big, long term deal. But that’s just the Cubs, no big deal. The actual awesome part of it is this quote he gave after another victory he threw away:

Every slider I threw was right down the middle. That’s when I get hit. Can’t do anything about it.

HA HA HA HA love that sense of responsibility. he is basically saying that HE is pitching badly, but in the third person, like it is someone else’s fault, not his.

Back to boring NFL bickering.

Oh, and Hines Ward got busted for DUI. More LOCKOUT PREPARATION by the players.

Players Slam Dunked by COA

As I predicted, the judgement by the lower court against the owners has been tossed by the court of appeals. Just wanted to pat myself on the back for predicting EXACTLY how the legal end of this thing would run.

Four Ring Circus Now

Now the AG for the State of New York is investigating whether the lockout is legal since it will be causing harm to the citizens of that fine state. Of course it is bullshit and a PR move, but it is one more interesting angle.

I have a feeling all of this will be settled out (if it isn’t already) as soon as the deadline passes where the players don’t have to play any preseason games. They don’t like playing in them anyway.

Two Ring Circus Is Now Three, and Rooting For the Lockout to Last Through the Preseason

Well, the lockout is progressing nicely now. The FORMER players have now filed a suit in Minneapolis, contending that the current owners and players are slighting them in the negotiations. I have no idea if this is true, but it adds an interesting twist into the lockout negotiations. Sure, the current players and owners could come to an agreement, but if the courts think that the suit brought by the former players holds merit, the new CBA would be blocked and there would still be no football. What a total circus.

On that note, I hope there is (crappy) football this year – AFTER the pre season. I really, really want to get my money back for those shit pre season games. I will never forget watching Chad Hutchinson toss pass after pass to the other team in stride for a pick six several different times. Mercifully he got cut after that game. I watched that one from the comfort of my living room, but I think Carl was there. The preseason is the biggest ripoff the owners put on the season ticket holders – but, as always, I know what I can do if I get too disgruntled.

Survival of the Fittest

Dan has mentioned many times how insane the player workouts are since

1. if they get hurt many are not insured
2. the rookies aren’t even getting paid and now they are further in the hole, along with free agents that may or may not be signed
3. why do they care so much if the game is crappy when they get back; clearly the owners don’t care or they wouldn’t have locked them out in the first place

But the reason why, to me, was on full display as I watched the Cubs vs. Sox the last couple of weeks. Let’s talk about ADAM DUNN. Adam Dunn signed a GIANT contract for the White Sox, and since opening day (when he had appendicitis) he has been playing HORRIBLY. I mean so horribly that recently when he was hit by a pitch the home fans were cheering because that meant he actually got on base.

Football, on the other hand, is a ruthless game. It is hard to imagine a player being so completely ineffective as Dunn is and staying in the lineup in football. It would be the equivalent of, well, the Bears offensive line, but as terrible as they were at least the Bears had the CONCEPT that they had to do something, even if it meant pulling their “Left tackle of the future” out of that position and trying something else. And the Bears are among the most inept franchises in football as far as management; a “real” management team would have done something sooner (or not let it get to this in the first place, but that is a different story).

Thus ruthless football has conditioned players (unlike slap-happy baseball, where bloated players far out of their best days like Colon or even Kerry Wood get resurrected and weak players under big contracts like Soriano keep showing up every day, year after year) to expect to PRODUCE OR GET CUT. Thus the players aren’t really thinking that they are all in this together; they know that when the players get back on the field, if they aren’t as ready or as hungry as that new guy out of college, they will be out in the street. They can say that they are all together in solidarity, but it will be every-man-for-himself 10 seconds after the deal is done.