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"Penalties" Archive


Bounty Killer: In trying to change the league the NFL may be leaving its players and coaches in the dust

Bounties may be fairly common, but Gregg Williams' record is proof that they do not necessarily make defenses better. I wonder how much they will be missed.

So much has been written on the New Orleans Saints and Gregg Williams and their apparent bounty system already. It’s crazy how fast the internet pushes out opinions. Typically the same ones: most writers’ columns are either outraged about the bounty system or outraged about the outrage.  Either you’re appalled that this kind of thing goes on or you can’t believe how naive people are to believe that this kind of thing doesn’t go on.

As you know, I’m always a few days late with my thoughts because I hate being redundant and I also like to think about what I think. In this case, I understand both sides of the issue but I’m stuck on one thing that’s more important to me than how folks feel about bounties:

With every passing day it seems that Goodell is moving ahead with his new version of the NFL without waiting for everyone else to catch up.

As players, coaches, and diehard fans, we are not yet ready for Goodell’s kinder, gentler league. In fact, we don’t even know what it would look like in practice. The thought of players approaching the game with any lesser degree of fury just feels like the creation of a sport we want no parts of. And players and coaches are eager to look for ways to keep the sport closer to its roots. That mentality will take time to change.

Especially when the league is insistent upon portraying it as a “culture change” rather than what it is: a revamping of the game itself. And that’s why a Coach like Gregg Williams can run bounty programs across multiple teams over several years without any eyebrows outside of the organizations in question being raised.

If it’s not clear to you yet, please understand that the NFL has NO CHOICE but to re-position the NFL as a game that is violent but not malicious. A game where players say  ”I want to stop the play not stop a career”  which for most of us loyal football watchers is a distinction without much of a difference. Still, I don’t question the need for the NFL to try to create a stronger boundary there. The lawsuits against the NFL by former players and their families are racking up. There are over a dozen lawsuits in play currently and over 300 players involved. The public hasn’t really gotten a grasp of the fact that all of these lawsuits have been running without any decisions handed down. That means the NFL has no idea what the end result will be and the impact that it all will have on this country’s favorite sport.

In the meantime, Commissioner Goodell is scrambling to make the NFL something that it’s never been before. And again I understand the need for change but what I question is the mad dash speed at which its taking place. I think the league might need some sort of “No player or coach left behind” program.

A while back when I wrote about illegal hits in the NFL I think I used an analogy about lunch at work. So I’m going to stick with that analogy but change it a bit. I want to make an important point about official rules vs. unwritten rules.

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Why Did Jim Harbaugh Challenge the Lions’ TouchDown When All Scores Are Reviewed?

The Ever-entertaining San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh

So everyone wanted to know why San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh threw that TD challenge flag during the game against the Lions. There were all manner of snarky reactions “doesn’t he know the rules?” “why would he do that?” Harbaugh’s handshake nemesis Lions Coach Jim Schwartz can be seen on replay politely (lmao) telling Harbaugh to learn the rules.

For the late folks, all TDs are reviewed, flags on scoring plays are no longer necessary. In fact, they draw an unsportsmanlike behavior call which is exactly what Harbaugh received.

So why did Harbaugh throw the flag?

Harbaugh claimed after the game — and after his little post-game shake-and-shove with Schwartz — that he did know the rule. But he threw the flag anyway in hopes it would buy time for the mandatory replay review to alert Carey to take a look at the play.

The 49ers were penalized 15 yards, and Carey never reviewed the play.

I find this confusing. Maybe someone can explain it? As far as I understand the review rules, no one needs to buy time for this. A signal is sent down to the refs if the play reviewers believe they should take a look. If buying time is an issue, I haven’t seen it come up until now.

I think Harbaugh is just planning to entertain fans all season long with his mercurial ways. And for his edification, Steve Mariucci and Michael Irvin have rather hilariously demonstrated proper hand-shaking technique so Harbaugh never has to risk physical altercation due to poor sports manners ever gain.


NBA Lockout: Compliment Costs Michael Jordan $100K

Former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan in his younger days

A young Michael Jordan, long before he started wearing wide leg jeans with dress shoes

The differences between the NFL and NBA lockouts are just astounding. I think I already mentioned in an earlier post how the NBA cannot profit off of players during the lockout, so they had to do things like take all player video and images off their web site. During the NFL lockout, you couldn’t even tell it was a lockout. NFL network, and pretty much everything related to the NFL went on as usual except contact between team staff and players and organized team activities.

Now, thanks to Michael Jordan’s decision to give an innocent compliment to Andrew Bogut in an interview with Bogut’s hometown paper…IN AUSTRALIA, we find out that owners can’t discuss players in any capacity.

A snippet of Jordan’s comments:

“I can’t say so much … but I know the owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can co-exist as partners. We need a lot of financial support throughout the league as well as revenue sharing to keep this business afloat.

“We have stars like Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team.”

Jordan said small-market teams would benefit greatly from a “hard” salary cap, and it would allow clubs such as Milwaukee to plan a future on key players including the Australian centre.

“Bogut is a good piece to build around for Milwaukee,” Jordan said.

Then BAM! $100K fine! Jordan’s comments violated both the league’s rules on discussing individual players as well as the general collective bargaining process.

If you ask me-and no one has-this is how a lockout should be done. Everyone should suffer. Not that $100K is taking anything out of Jordan’s golfing budget or anything. But it made me think of how whenever the government shuts down, only employees are hurt (for the most part). The public and those in power keep going along just fine. Not enough of the government is ever shut down to make people realize that there’s actually a problem. Therefore, no one takes it seriously. Yeah I know the government is a lot less important than the NBA *snickers* but you get my point.

If you’re gonna shut it down, shut it alllll the way down. Every time someone violates a lockout rule we are reminded that shit in the NBA is pretty real right now. Pretty real = pretty messed up.  The guys across the blogosphere think the NBA is going too far in enforcing the rules. Funny to me, because I don’t see them saying the rules aren’t good, just that the NBA is taking them too seriously. Odd position to take in my opinion.

For some reason though, this fine reminds me of a school yard fight between two girls over their cheating boyfriend. The owners and Billy Hunter are arguing with Hunter telling the owners to KEEP MY MAN’S NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH OR ELSE.

Or something like that. Can you tell I have some hood in me? Mind your business!





Dungy: Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury Result of Illegal Hit by Phillip Daniels in 2006

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Peyton Manning’s former Coach Tony Dungy provided a little background on what he thinks marked the beginning of Manning’s problems with his neck. According to Dungy, in a 2006 game against the Redskins Manning’s neck was twisted and his helmet pulled off by the Redskins Phillip Daniels during a high low hit by Daniels and Andre Carter. Manning finished the game that day with impressive numbers, but Dungy believes that it spelled the beginning of marked decline in the heralded quarterback.

“Then we sort of forgot about it at halftime, and Peyton seemed fine,” Dungy said. “He lit it up in the second half. He was on fire [throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns]. But that’s the year we started cutting back on his throws at practice. I’m not putting two plus two together. I just figure he’s getting older and he needs some time off, he’s made enough throws. But now, as I look back on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that this was the start of his neck problems.”

Manning’s 2nd neck surgery, a cervical fusion, took place last week. And I’m still confused as to why he hasn’t retired. I just don’t see any reason for his career to proceed at this point. The NFL contains about as much parity as you can ask for in a professional sport. I know it’s only week 1, but if the Colts are this bad without Manning, it’s not likely that they would be good enough to win a Super Bowl with Manning against the high level teams that are competing right now. At 36 and with a fragile neck, I see no reason for Manning to continue unless a Superbowl win was imminent. And honestly, taking off my “fan of the sport” fitted cap and putting on my “caring woman” sequined fedora, superbowl or not I wouldn’t want my loved one out there.

Manning should be looking forward to the Hall of Fame. Not dodging sacks from 6’4, 260lbs ++ Outside linebackers like Mario Williams and Brian Orakpo. Besides, it puts guys in a difficult situation. With an injury like Mannings, should he return, nobody wants to be the guy that paralyzes Manning for the rest of his life. Again, why haven’t we wrapped this retirement thing up?

Manning should hang up the cleats and crip walk…wait…riverdance (is that racist?) into the Hall of Fame as a healthy and happy husband and father of twins.  He’s collected his roster bonus of $3 million dollars already and the Colts have the option not to pick him up going forward. Why draw this out?

As far as the current Colts, I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see it for Kerry Collins. Not sure how many weeks he can make it without injury. At the very least the Colts could use a better backup, can we toss up some things and add recently-and-unceremoniously-fired former Jacksonville Jaguars QB David Garrard to the equation? I will admit I have no idea what their current backup Curtis Painter is capable of, but the one bit of play action he saw that I witnessed wasn’t very good. Garrard can at least withstand some heat and is 6 years younger than Collins. And I doubt he would perform so well that it would put them out of contention for Andrew Luck…assuming the Colts are even thinking about that.








Video: Ochocinco Vows To Pay Fine for Rookie Linebacker That Hit Him While Defenseless

New England Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco is Ever the Defiant One.

New England Patriots Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco was hit by rookie Linebacker Mason Foster during the Patriots exhibition game against the Bucs. Today Chad tweeted that he didn’t agree with the fine and would pay it personally. The tweet in question was addressed to Roger Goodell who the mercurial star referred to as “Dad.”

Couldn’t tell if the Dad comment was related to players’ feeling that they are treated like kids (for an example, see Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson telling Cam Newton not to get any tattoos or piercings) or if it’s a reference to Colin Cowherd’s IDIOTIC statement that players look at Goodell as a father figure. I’m still in disbelief that Cowherd said that…he must get his information from Fox news.

Two things here:

1. No doubt in my mind that Ochocinco was defenseless. The question (not for the refs) is whether the hit could have been prevented given Foster’s momentum. My feeling is that that was a hit that didn’t have to happen. Everyone wants to stop the completion but sometimes you have to settle for stopping the gain after. The public and players need to get used to this.

2. Foster is a rookie and hasn’t even received his first game check. So regardless of whether the fine is right or wrong, it’s stand up for Ocho to pay the fine. That lil boy doesn’t  have a lot of money yet. Foster was a 3rd round pick. He signed a deal for 4 years that is worth $2.784-million (but could go up). Only $1.4-million is guaranteed in the first two seasons. A fine of a quarter of his game pay would be a big ouch for a rookie mistake during a game that doesn’t count.

View the hit for yourself here:


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