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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.

 

The Voice of Reason: Do You Like Topsy-Turvy Football?

Here we sit, at Week # 8 in Pro Football and Week # 9 in College Football.

It. Is. Insane.

LITERALLY. INSANE.

myfoxmemphisLet’s tackle the college game first. (Get it? Tackle? I’ll show myself out.) At any rate, if I would have told you last year that the #1 team in the nation in mid-October 2014 would be Mississippi State, you’d have told me to step away from the crack pipe. Crazy thing is, THEY ARE.  Want another crazy fact? Ole Miss is #3!

Never, in any alternate universe, would you ever expect those teams to be in the top 10, much less the top 5!

You have your usual schools, the Alabamas, the Florida States, the Auburns and Notre Dames. Here come the relative newcomers into the “NCAA Playoff” discussion. Where are Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M? They are struggggaaaaling. If you are a fan of parity, then you are loving this. LOVING this.

I have to admit to rooting for the “little guys” like Mississippi State. I am a huge fan of their quarterback, Dak Prescott. He’s had a great year, as has Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace. Both of these young men should be in the “Heisman talk.”

It is fun to watch on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, Friday nights, and Saturdays to see what these guys pull out of their collective sleeves. College football is fun, and if you aren’t a fan, you are missing out on some terrific football. Those who were once on top, are now at the bottom, and the bottom teams are on top. Is this GREAT or what?

Now on to the pros.

usp-nfl_-arizona-cardinals-at-seattle-seahawks-4_3_rx512_c680x510Last year’s champions, the Seattle Seahawks are in trouble. They are only a game out of last place in the NFC West. The Seahawks are officially on a losing streak. If that sentence looks weird, it’s because you haven’t read it in over two years. Before Sunday’s loss to the Rams, and last week’s loss to the Cowboys, the last time Seattle lost two games in a row was during Weeks 7 and 8 in 2012.

Is it time to hit the panic button in Seattle? They still have two games against the division-leading Cardinals, the streaking 49’ers, the KC Chiefs, and the dangerous Philadelphia Eagles. They could potentially miss the playoffs. They are sitting at a crossroads at 3-3.

According to ESPN stats, teams that start a season with 3 wins and 3 losses make the playoffs 38.3% of the time. 38% of the time. Seattle has some work to do, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier.

Across the rest of the NFC, there are a few more surprises, for sure.

The Dallas Cowboys, who had an awful defense last year, were picked by many pundits to finish last or next to last in the NFC east. They are arguably the hottest team in the NFL right now, ripping off 6 straight wins. We all knew that they had a talented offense, with Romo, Dez, and Witten, but the defense with Rolando McClain,and a bunch of no names? They are playing well over their heads.

In the tough NFC West, everyone knew that Seattle and San Francisco were going to be there, but who saw the Cardinals? No one. The fact that they have used three quarterbacks and still managed to win, is a testament to the Cardinals coaches.

Up in the frigid NFC North, the Detroit Lions are making noise in a division that has long belonged to the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Granted, the Lions and Packers are tied for the lead, but anyone who saw that coming should have bought a lottery ticket.

Head down to the NFC South, and you find a Carolina Panthers team that is up and down, but still leading the division with a 3-3 record. What happened to the New Orleans Saints? The Atlanta Falcons? A lot of “meh” going on there. Matty Ice has been COLD. As in not hot.

The NFL prides itself on the “Any Given Sunday” mantra. So far this year, it has proven true. There is a lot of football left to be played, and anyone can be beat on any Sunday. I love it. It has the feeling of a season where any team can get hot and make the playoffs and then win it all. See the NY Giants.

I hope you like this topsy-turvy sports world. I know I do.


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. You can follow him on twitter @CapnDD.