Tag Archives: espn

Super Bowl Sanctions Make No Sense

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The game of “How Outraged Can I Be At The NFL?” has reached an all-time high. It’s traveled so high into the stratosphere that a founding member of ESPN The Magazine suggested on Friday that “the Patriots should be benched for Super Bowl XLIX.”

The absurdity of any moment in today’s “react first then reflect later” environment is only topped by the absurd reactions of the paid experts who report on them.

Roxanne Jones, the author of this insane suggestion, is not alone in her blood thirst. NFL Hall of Famer and Cowboys Ring Of Honor inductee Troy Aikman publicly condemned Tom Brady the morning after a Chris Mortensen report revealed that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game were under-inflated by 2 pounds per square inch.

Such a tremendous reduction in air pressure should be noticeable to anyone who has handled a football in the NFL, so Aikman, Mark Brunell, and several other experts believe to be true.

Then there’s Amani Toomer, who when holding a 10 PSI football compared to a 13 PSI football said, “It’s (the difference in air pressure) not noticeable.” Dan Marino proclaimed belief in Brady’s innocence, and a doubt that he would have paid any attention to the firmness of a pigskin, or lack there of.

So which pro player is more believable than the other? That’s all that this outrage comes down to.

It’s not about what is known, but what is believed.

It is known that the New England Patriots played the 1st half of the AFC Championship Game with footballs that were under-inflated. No ifs, ands, or buts.

However Miss Jones, Mr. Aikman, and a host of other indignant folks believe that it is enough evidence to alter the legitimacy of the NFL’s crown jewel. The bath water is so sour, that the baby that is the 20 weeks leading up to the Super Bowl must be tossed out.

Let’s dance then.

Indy please board your plane to Arizona.

The Colts lost by 38 points, though, so wouldn’t it make more sense to advance the team that played the Pats to the closest finish in the playoffs?

Baltimore, you are the logical choice to represent the AFC next Sunday. Or are you?

Indianapolis believed that New England used sub-inflated footballs back in week 11. Wouldn’t that suggest that every Pats game from that moment on should be forfeited?

At 7-9, the Patriots wouldn’t even be eligible for the playoffs. The Dolphins would win the East, so reseed the whole damn thing. That includes the NFC playoffs, because the Lions would be NFC North champs with a bye week and hosting a home game instead of traveling to Dallas in the Wild Card Round.

The sanctity of sport requires us to take every precaution necessary.

Hogwash.

Even with the simplest proposal of suspending Belichick, Brady, or both for the Super Bowl, how could anyone sanely suggest that a Seattle victory would be seen as free from bias?

That’s assuming that proof surfaces that either of those gentlemen had a hand in Deflate-Gate.

Imagine the genuine outrage that would come if a 6-month investigation proved that the missing PSI was an accident. An act of God that no one could account for. How cheap would Super Bowl XLIX be then?

The proper play for Roger Goodell and the NFL is to allow the investigation to play out. If it is found that the Patriots organization intentionally broke the rules, then punish them in due time and with a penalty that is appropriate according to the known facts. (As of this afternoon, the Patriots have now set their cross-hairs on a member of their locker room staff as the guilty party.)

Sadly for some, that means that we will see a fully intact Pats roster and coaching staff on the field of University Of Phoenix Stadium a week from now.

That’s okay though.

At least it gives you someone to root against, but be honest. You hated the Patriots long before nearly a dozen footballs lost some air.


Dustin Copening is a Sports Contributor at The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @SNUtilityMan.

 

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Fight: Saying Goodbye to Stuart Scott

This is a special contribution from CEO & Founder, Jamie Kelly.

A giant fell today. One of my heroes. A man whose story would become more important to me than I could have ever imagined.

Stuart Scott died today.

USATSI
USATSI

When Stuart Scott came onto the national scene, he brought a fun, never-heard-before voice to sports broadcasting. As a working sports television journalist in the late 1990s, there were a handful of personalities from whom I drew inspiration; Scott and his ESPN colleague Chris Berman were the voices I identified with the most. They just seemed to have fun with every moment, making every stat and recap seem electric, and making me laugh even when my team had suffered a crushing blow.

I tried to emulate that spirit during my three-year stint on Soccer News USA, which aired on Fox Sports Southwest and the Pax Network. I wanted the viewers at home to feel my energy through the screen, and to know that I loved every second of my time with them each week. While the show didn’t survive for the long-haul, that inspiration never died. Here we are nearly 20 years later, and I still hear Stuart Scott cracking jokes in my mind when we go on the air for The Scoop Radio on Monday nights.

But that’s not where the story ends for me. This is personal.

When the news of Scott’s passing came out this morning, I was laying in bed feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t grip my coffee cup… again. This is fairly normal for someone with Fibromyalgia; I drop things pretty regularly because my hands just “let go.” That part frustrates the hell out of me. I remember falling to pieces in a crying, snotty, lump of human being when I dropped one of my daughter’s bottles during a middle-of-the-night feeding when she was an infant.

My body is my worst enemy. Some days I have difficulty dressing myself. Some days I’ll be driving in my own neighborhood and have to pull over and collect my thoughts to figure out where I am. Many days are good, but the vast majority are not. That’s where Scott inspired me once again. Even when he was fighting the battle of his life, he went on camera and made us smile. I watched him religiously, and sat in awe, wondering how he drew the strength to share himself with the world, when he was struggling so mightily in his personal life. It would be so much easier to shut down and shut the world out, something I have done more times than I care to admit.

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When I became a parent a few years ago, I knew immediately where the drew his strength from. I never felt more connected to a man I’d never met than when he spoke of his daughters. I finally got it. When you’re a parent, it’s not about you anymore. You fight not for yourself, but for a little human who thinks you hung the moon.

As I laid in my bed feeling sorry for myself for having yet another rough day, the news of Scott’s passing was a crushing blow. It was the last thing any of us wanted to hear this morning. Yes, I cried. And cried. And am still crying. But just as quickly as the tears came, the determination stormed in.  Fibromyalgia sucks, but cancer? Cancer?! I could picture that signature Stuart Scott smirk as I told myself, “GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, GIRL!

ESPN
ESPN

Stuart Scott may be gone, but the gifts he gave us will never die. Inspiration lives within your soul and becomes part of your fabric. His legacy to all of us is that he taught us how to fight. And fight, I will.


Jamie Kelly is the Founder and CEO of The Scoop, and host of The Scoop Radio on Monday nights on KTSR. Follow her on Twitter at @JamieSportsTalk.