Monthly Archives: September 2012

It Finally Happened

Well despite what I thought before the replacement referees made a game changing mistake.

Last night the Green Bay Packers played the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The Packers were up 12 to 7 with just 8 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Seattle had the ball, and with such little time left the quarterback had to make a long pass to a teammate in the end zone and hope they are open to complete a touchdown. Well Seahawks  #81, Golden Tate was not open. He had 5 Packers around him all hoping to intercept the pass. When the call was thrown Tate pushed one of the Packers out of the way, but the foul was not called. Then all the other players jumped up to catch the ball, making it hard to get a good visual on who caught the ball. But what you could see was that Packer #43 M.D. Jennings pulled the ball to his chest indicating to others that he made the interception and had the ball, and Tate just had his hand in there and the other around Jennings. The referees called the play, well one called a touchdown and the other called a “touchback” which means he believed it was an interception. When there is two separate calls like this from referees it is up to the “white hat” official to hear both sides and make the call. If they cannot make a clear decision, the officials can look at the replay, if they still can’t decide the ruling on the field will stand. If the officials decided Jennings and Tate both had the ball it would have to go to the offense. Well The “white hat” was nowhere to be found to mediate, so they went to the replay and decided it was a Seattle touchdown. Seattle Seahawks won 14-12. UNBELIEVABLE!

Many are in shock with the outcome of this game. It is awful one of the referees called a Seattle touchdown. I am not saying that would be an easy call to make but that referee should have made sure before he made the call. Very sad for the Packers because they should have won that game, but do to a bad referee call they went back to Green Bay with a loss. Now even more are speaking out against the Replacement Referees. Players are posting on their twitter, media and fans are talking out, and even coaches are stating their opinions.

Here are some professionals on this issue:

NFL Analyst Herm Edwards on Mike and Mike in the Morning ESPN Radio Click Here .

  • This is the one you must listen to! I agree with Herm Edwards completely; the replacement referees do not have control, referee calls are inconsistent, players are acting out because they feel they can get away with it, coaches are not being responsible for their players.

Long time NFL Referee, Jerry Markbreit on Mike and Mike in the Morning ESPN Radio Click Here

To read more tweets from Packers players Click Here

Even though I completely agree that this was a really bad call by the replacement referees and it changed the outcome of the game, which I did not think would happen, I must say I still believe people are over reacting. Players are speaking out because they believe they can and will not get into trouble. These replacement referees are not in control and need to be stricter with these players and coaches. The original NFL referees made mistakes as well but they were in control and ejected, penalized or fined any one that approached them in the wrong way. Coaches also need to get control of their players as well. There is no stopping the media or fans from saying what they think but the NFL needs to control themselves. These replacement referees will make mistakes, yes, so teach them more about the game or give them more resources, or email your team owners to encourage them to get a contract done. It is getting out of hand.

Resources:

http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/article-1/Rodgers-spoke-for-all-It-was-awful/1722adf3-45ed-4015-b587-56c4519a6418

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/roger-goodell-nfl-office-phone-number-posted-irate-wisconsin-state-senator-replacement-refs-job-green-bay-packers-article-1.1167760

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/green-bay-packers-blow-twitter-complaints-replacement-refs-controversial-loss-seattle-seahawks-article-1.1167619

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NFL 101, Understanding the Game

Today I will take you from start to finish of an NFL game explaining it as best I can.

Coin Toss:

About 3 minutes before the start of the game, the captains from each team will meet an official in the middle of the field for the coin toss. The visiting teams’ captain will call the coin (heads or tails) before it is tossed. The winner of the coin toss with get to decide if their team will receive the ball or kick it first, and which goal his team will defend.

The team that starts the game kicking off will start as the defending team. The team that starts the game receiving will start as the offensive team.

Start – Kickoff:

An NFL game always starts with a kickoff. The football is placed on a kicking tee at the defensive team’s 30-yard line. The defensive team’s kicker will kick the ball down the field. When the ball is kicked the defensive players will start to run down the field to tackle the offensive player with the ball. The offensive team’s kick returner will catch the ball and run up the field as far as possible, while his teammates try to hold off the defensive players and make a clear path.

When the kick returner is tackled, where ever the ball lands will be the yardage it will start from for the next play. If the kick returner catches the ball in their end zone he can 1.) run it out of the end zone and as far up the field as he can, or 2.) take a knee to stop the play, which means the ball will then be placed at the offensive 20-yard line for the start of the next play.

Offense:

A team is considered offense when they are in possession of the ball. The offensive team has the job of keeping control of the ball and trying to get past the defensive players on the opposing team to complete a First Down or get a touchdown. Wherever the ball lands the play before is where the next play will begin.

Defense:

A team is considered defense when they do not have possession of the ball. The defensive team must hold back the offensive team and try to keep them from getting a 1st down or touchdown. The Defense must protect their team’s end zone and keep the other team’s offense away from it, so they do not score a touchdown.

Switching Rolls:

The offense and defense switch from team to team all throughout the game. There are many different ways teams can switch roles:

  • No first down – The main way is to keep the other team’s offense from completing a first down. If a team’s defense stops the other team’s offense from getting a first down in 4 plays then the defense will become offense.
  • Points scored – If a team’s offense scores points from a field goal or touchdowns they will then become defense.
  • Turnovers – When a team’s offense accidentally turns over the ball to the other teams defense from either an interception or fumble.
    • Fumble – If the offensive player that has the ball drops it, all players on the field work hard to be the one to recover it. If a defensive player recovers it, the defense will become offense.
    • Interception – When an offensive player throws a pass to a teammate but a defensive player catches the ball.

First Down:

All movements or progress on the football field during a game is measured out by yards. Wherever the ball lands after the starting kick off, 10 yards is measured out from that location. You will find two orange and black markers on the side of the field held by two officials and mark each first down. The offense gets 4 downs/plays/chances to get past those 10 yards with each new down starting wherever the ball lands from the play before. Between the two first down markers on the side of the field you will see another marker with a number on it that indicates the down that is being played.

  • They did it. If the offensive reaches the 10 yard mark, they complete that “1st down” and it starts again with 10 yards being measured from where the ball landed.
  • Couldn’t do it. If the offensive team does not get close enough to the first down mark by the 3rd play, they have the option to either punt it or run it during the 4th play. If they punt (kick) the ball it will travel further down the field pushing the defensive team further away from the offensive team’s end zone. If the offensive team runs it in hopes they cross that line, they only have that one play to do it, or the defensive team will get the ball where it lands for the next play and become the offense.

Points:

The object of the game is to score as many points as possible. There are different ways to get points in football:

  • Touchdown = 6 points. A Touchdown is the best way to score the most points. This is when a player carries the ball crosses the goal line of the other team’s end zone. When a touchdown is scored by a team they are also given the chance for extra points by 1.) kicking a field goal for 1 extra point , or 2.) run the ball into the other team’s end zone for 2 extra points (much harder to do).
  • Field Goal = 3 points. A field goal is when the offensive team kicks the ball through the defensive team’s goal post. The ball must make it over the crossbar of the goal post, and in between the upright posts. A field goal is usually kicked when the offensive team is unable to complete a first down by the 3rd down, but feels they are close enough to make a field goal (usually about the defense’s 45-yard line or closer).
  • Safety = 2 points. A safety is when a defensive player tackles the ball carrier of the offense in the offense’s end zone. The two points are then given to the on defense.

Time:

Each NFL game is divided into 4 quarters that are 15 minutes each. In between the 1st and the 2nd quarter there is a 2 minute beak as well as between the 3rd and 4th quarter. There is a 12 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd quarter that is called the “halftime”. The 2nd and 4th quarter begin where the game left off the last play of the quarter before, while the 1st and 3rd quarter start with a kickoff.

During a game the clock is stopped for each time a player goes out-of-bounds with the ball, when an incomplete pass occurs, when an official calls a penalty, and when a play ends. At the end of each play the offense has 40 seconds to strategies, call a new play, and snap the ball to begin the play. If the offense goes over this time an official will call a penalty known as a “delay of game”.

When the game is over the team with the most points wins. If there is a tie the game goes into overtime which is 15 minutes. Overtime begins with a coin toss to decide which starts with possession of the ball. The first team to score wins the game.

Resources:

http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/cointoss

http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/beginnersguidetofootball

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Broncos vs Falcons, Replacement Referees have no Respect

The NFL union and the Officials have yet to come to an agreement, so for the meantime the NFL went out and got replacement referees. Now that the regular season has begun having the replacement referees has caused an upset.

In the first week the replacement referees were inconsistent with calls and made a few miss calls, but nothing that changed the outcome of any games. Over the weeks I felt that everyone was just over reacting on this situation. The regular officials made mistakes and were not perfect either. They would miss calls and a few even fumbled their words when announcing a call. I believed that everyone was just being extra hard on the new referees because they were new and not what everyone was use too. Also they are getting their mistakes pointed out way more publicly than the regular officials did, because the new ones are being watched with a close eye from the whole world. I think everyone needs to relax and not be so hard on them. Instead we should all do what we can to be more helpful. This is the hand everyone is dealt right now in football and everyone needs to handle it in a more positive way.

Well last night I noticed something else.

Last night the Denver Broncos played the Atlanta Falcons in a 3 hour and 27 minute game that really got out of control. The officials of this game missed quite a few calls, and even made some mistakes with ball placements and yardage. But it was the first half that was the worst of the worst. In an unbelievable 1st half that lasted an hour and 28 minutes the replacement officials continued to make 1 mistake after another. At the end of the 1st quarter with only a few seconds left the Broncos fumbled the ball. The players leaped after it piling up on top of each other. As the officials called to stop the play the players were pulling others off the pile starting many fights. When the officials got to where they could announce the call they said the Falcons recovered the ball, but personally I would have thought the Broncos player (#87) had it. Also the officials made no ejections.

The best video of the fight: click here

If you watch the video you can see players not listening to the officials, yelling at them, and even pushing them out of the way. SAD! Even the Broncos coach, angry about the call, started yelling at the referees; not setting good examples for the players in this situation. It just got out of control and almost took everyone about 10 minutes to resolve the issue. With the referees being new I feel they should be strict and throw out ejections with ease, just for the first few weeks till they have some respect from other. The referees should have ejected any players that continued to fight or talk back during that time. They need to demand respect!

After seeing this I realized the coaches and players of the NFL do not have any respect for the replacement referees and they have no problem with showing it or voicing their opinions.  Now it doesn’t matter how many good calls or mistakes these referees make, the respect is gone. I feel like we are going to have many more games like this and the lack of respect and disobeying will just grow. Throughout the weeks coaches and players have made comments about the referees and I believe it has led to this. With everyone stating their opinion on how much they don’t like the replacement referees it is rubbing off on others and motivating the rebellion. With no respect players will feel they do not have to listen to these officials, which will result in fights or outbursts or who knows what else. This is not going to be good, unless these replacement referees learn to demand respect. I hope they learn from this situation as well as coaches.

Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick said, “It’s extra stress when you have to sit there and wait. The one thing you don’t want to do, you don’t want to put the game in the officials’ hands.”

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco said, “I might sound like a little bit of a baby here, but for them to make that call, I think, was a little crazy.”

Philadelphia linebacker Ray Lewis said, “The time is now. How much longer are we going to keep going through this whole process? I don’t have the answer. I just know across the league teams and the league are being affected by it. It’s not just this game, it’s all across the league. And so if they want the league to have the same reputation it’s always had, they’ll address the problem. Get the regular referees in here and let the games play themselves out. We already have controversy enough with the regular refs calling the plays.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to be playing in a game and the officials making inconsistent calls, or not even being aware of all the rules. I just feel that there is a better way of handling this situation. I believe it would be more effective if coaches and players present themselves as more understanding for the time being. If there is a problem they should just explain it to the NFL or calmly to the official during the game, but not to the media. Also coaches right now need to be more worried about setting a good example for their players and if there is a problem or bad call the coach should talk it out with the referee instead of screaming or yelling. Yes this would be fine if the regular referees were here because they already have the respect from players and coaches. So the yelling and standing up for their players is not a problem and the regular officials can handle it. At this moment the new officials can’t and the players are seeing it and so they are acting out more. The NFL needs to get all this under control fast or quickly comes to an agreement with the regular officials before this gets too far out of hand.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8394294/nfl-coaches-players-fed-fill-refs

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2012-09-18/denver-broncos-vs-atlanta-falcons-peyton-manning-new-officials-old-qb-equally-sh

Sports Center on ESPN

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Tony Romo’s Mistake

The Dallas Cowboys head to Washington this weekend to play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday September 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM (CT). Tony Romo has not been back to play in Seattle since 2006. A night that Cowboy fans have never forgotten.

In 2006 the Cowboys played the Seahawks in Seattle in an NFC wild-card playoff game. In a playoff game fight for the championship the Dallas Cowboys had a chance to win it but just didn’t do it, or I should say…. Romo didn’t do it. With 1 minute and 19 seconds left in the 4th quarter the Dallas Cowboys were down by 1 point, 20-21. They were only 19 yards away from the field goal on the 4th down, so they were going to kick it for 3 points. Tony Romo would be the holder for the Cowboy’s kicker, Martin Gramatica. This would be the play to put the Cowboys in the lead and probably win the game with such little time left. But Romo messed it up. After the snap Romo fumbled the ball and could not get it in position in time for the kick. After the ball’s side touched the ground Romo tried to quickly pick it up to run it in but the Seahawks tackled. The ball was then turned over to the Seahawks and they won the game by 1 point. It was a sad moment for the Dallas Cowboys and all their fans.

Since then the Cowboys have not been scheduled to play in Seattle till now. This weekend Romo will return to Seattle to play the second game of the season. Romo said he has taken that moment and has learned from it. “Football is a great game. It teaches you a lot of lessons. It’s about your ability to interact with other people. From that game, it’s like anything in life. From adverse situations you learn from it and get better. You can teach yourself certain things and that was part of it,” said Romo.

That mistake Romo made was as a holder and not his normal quarterback position it was still his responsibility. Some may argue it wasn’t his responsibilities people’s lists for not liking Romo should not include plays with him in any other position than quarterback. Others can make the argument that holders are usually quarterbacks on the team, so it is one of their jobs. I guess it just depends on if you are a Romo fan or not.

Teammate Jason Witten said, “I remember more than anything his mindset of, ‘Man, I feel like I let everybody around us down,’ you know? I do think he uses that fuel. That’s what kind of teammate he is. Not only for himself [and] for what he wants to achieve but he wants others to have that success. He wants it bad for them.” Romo is a good teammate and does what he can to be a good leader for his team. I am sure he wants a championship for his team and teammates just as much as any other quarterback in this league. I am personally not a fan of Romo, but I am sure he is a hard worker and a good teammate. He would not still be here if he wasn’t. I do not watch the Cowboys all that much, but every time I do I always see Romo throwing interceptions and making all sorts of mistakes. So learning of the 2006 mistake it was not a surprise to me. In 2006 Romo had no excuses and should have been able to hold the football. I give him props though for his quick thinking to pick it up and try to run it in. Maybe I am watching Romo at all the wrong times, but from what I see and hear sometimes, that is my opinion I have formed. This Sunday I predict the Cowboys pull out another win because they have something to prove this game, or at least Romo does. Maybe he doesn’t feel like he does but I am sure he knows that fans feel he does. Normally I could not see the Cowboys starting the season 2-0 but I think this year, with this game, they might. Plus I am not sure Seattle is all that good either.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/8375780/bobbled-snap-seattle-hovers-tony-romo-accomplishments-dallas-cowboys

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Who is RG3?

This week everyone in sports has been talking about RG3, but if you did not attend Baylor and do not watch much sports you may be wondering…Who is he?

Robert Griffin III (RG3) is the new quarterback for the Washington Redskins and played a spectacular game last Sunday September 9, 2012 against the New Orleans Saints. The Redskins won 40-32. Griffin was 19-of-26 for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns. This means Griffin completed 19 passes out of 26 that all together added up to 320 yards, and two resulted in touchdowns. Griffin also rushed for 42 yards in 10 carries. With this being the very first regular season NFL game for Griffin, those stats are very impressive. Last week there were 3 other rookie quarterbacks that combined threw a total of 10 interceptions and none of their teams won their season starters. Mike Jones posted in the Washington Post, “Griffin became the first player in league history to pass for more than 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his NFL debut.”

Robert Griffin III was born in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on February 12, 1990. Griffin has lived in Washington, Louisiana and Texas. Griffin went to Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas. As the starting quarterback for his junior and senior year, Griffin passed for more than 3,300 yards and rushed for more than 2,100 yards. Many colleges pursued Griffin in the 2008 recruiting season including Nebraska, Oregon and Tennessee. Tim Hyland of About.com wrote, “The recruiting service Scout.com ranked (Griffin) as the 12th-best quarterback in the nation, while Rivals.com listed him as the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback of the year.”

In the end Griffin decided to play for the University of Houston. After his decision Houston’s head coach Art Briles left to be the Baylor Bears head coach and convinced Griffin to go with him. During Griffin’s freshman year he had thrown for 2,091 yards with 15 touchdowns and rushed for 843 yards with 13 touchdowns, and was named Freshman of the Year in the Big 12 conference. Sophomore year season (2009) was not nearly as impressive. Not impressive at all. In the 3rd game of the season Griffin injured his knee and had to sit out the rest of the year. When he finally returned to play the next season Griffin throw for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdowns and rushed for 635 yards with 8 touchdowns. Then Griffin finished his final year at Baylor throwing 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for 644 yards and 9 touchdowns. That year (2011) Robert Griffin III was awarded the most highest of honors when he was announced the Heisman Trophy winner, Baylor’s first ever. When given the award Griffin said, “It’s unbelievable because in the moment we’re all amazed when great things happen,” the history-making quarterback said. “But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work. [Coach Art Briles] always says great things only come with great effort. We’ve certainly worked for this. That’s right — everybody associated with Baylor University has a reason to celebrate tonight.”

In the 2012 NFL Draft the Washington Redskins picked Robert Griffin III. Griffin was the number 2 pick overall in the draft and the Redskins were ecstatic to get him. Not only is Griffin known as a talented quarterback but he is said to be a great leader as well.  In past seasons the Redskins quarterbacks never amounted to much and they were in dire need of a good quarterback. With Griffin the Redskins got what they were waiting for and he proved it in last Sunday’s game. After the game the players and coach had nothing but great things to say about him, even the defensive players. Barry Cofield, Redskins nose tackle said, “He’s captivating. I’m always watching that kid, all week in practice. You can’t help but watch him.” Redskins’ defense is excited to have a good quarterback on the team, because it helps the offense to gain some yards up the field. Then the defense does not feel so much pressure, come their turn, to hold the opposing team as far back. Linebacker London Fletcher said, “From our standpoint, defensively, he’s a sight for sore eyes.”

Even when the pressure was on during the game Griffin kept his cool and made great plays. Fletcher said, “When you see a play breaking down and he’s able to roll out of the pocket, stay cool, be patient and turn it into something, that’s talent. He made some plays today where you see why we were so excited to get him.” With a great game and many compliments from his teammates, Griffin still remained humble and after the game said, “Nothing’s ever perfect. There are some passes I wish I had back, some plays I’d like to try again. But we won the game and we did a good job, so I’m going to be happy about that.” And yet the accomplishments keep on coming. This morning Griffin was named the NFC Offensive Player of Week 1.

RG3! What a great quarterback he seems to be for the Redskins. I know many Baylor fans are confident in Griffin and not surprised with his success. Yes I am sure there will be games that Griffin will make mistakes in because, after all, he is a rookie and this is his first season in the NFL. That is a given. I am not trying to take away from the great game RG3 had on Sunday. I did not get to watch it but from what I hear, Griffin was amazing. I look forward to watching him play in the Redskins next game this Sunday September 16, 2012 against the Rams at 3:04 PM (CT). I hope RG3 can continue down the path he is going, and the Redskins become a competing team.

Resources:

http://www.redskins.com/news-and-events/schedule.html

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/42953/robert-griffin-iii-breathes-life-into-redskins

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2012/09/12/robert-griffin-iii-named-nfc-offensive-player-of-week-1/

http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/14875/robert-griffin-iii

http://collegefootball.about.com/od/heismantrophywinners/a/Robert-Griffin-Iii.htm

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RIP Art Modell, Thank you for Monday Night Football

Art Modell was admitted into Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday on Wednesday September 5, 2012. Early this morning Modell passed away at the age of 87 from natural causes.

Even though Art Modell was a high school dropout, he moved on to become the majority owner of the Cleveland Browns from 1961 to 1995. Also during that time Modell was president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969. In 1996 Modell decided to move the franchise to Baltimore, and so the Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore loved the move and Modell for the decision but Cleveland despised Modell for it. Cleveland hated Modell back then, and some even still, like they hate LeBron James now.  Cleveland was left with no pro football team for three years until 1999 when owner Alfred Lerner brought it back. Modell saw his team win 2 NFL Championships, one with the Browns in 1964 and the other in 2000 with the Ravens. In 2004 Modell sold the majority of the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti, but remained a minority owner.

Not only was Art Modell a great owner but he changed NFL football in a major way. In 1970 Modell was a key factor in the NFL and ABC contract that allowed Monday night games to be televised. Actually Monday Night Football being on T.V. was his idea. Modell took his idea to ABC and the contract was done. That same year the Cleveland Browns hosted the first ever Monday night football game in front of 85 thousand fans at the stadium and even more watching from home. So Thanks to Art Modell we can watch our favorite teams play on Monday nights in the comfort of our own homes.

In 2001 Art Modell was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and made it all the way to being one of the finalists. Modell was a semifinalist in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, but never received the votes he needed to actually get into the Hall of Fame. Maybe next year.

This morning Art Modell’s son, David Modell said,

“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at 4 a.m. this morning. My brother John Modell and I were with him when he finally rejoined the absolute love of his life, my mother Pat Modell, who passed away last October. Poppy’ was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren. Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him.”

Modell has left his mark in the NFL and will never be forgotten. Modell seemed to be a passionate and dedicated man who loved the game of football. Rest in Peace Art Modell, and thank you for giving us Monday Night Football.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/62739/art-modell-dies-former-ravens-owner

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2012/09/former_cleveland_browns_owner_1.html

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