“Monday Night Catastrophe”

What a game, we as fans, got to witness this past Monday night as the Green Bay Packers headed into Seattle to face a revamped Seahawks team. To me this game was a real treat just based on the physicality displayed by both teams throughout the game. The Seahawks sacked Aaron Rogers eight times in the first half not the mention the intense battles on the outsides. However, I’m not really here to discuss the actually game but how disastrous the officiating was.

It the third week of football, we continually have seen blown call after blown call, some of which are costing teams the game, as we saw tonight. In my honest opinion, and understanding that a tie goes to the receiver, I believe that it was an interception by Jennings on the last play of regulation in tonight’s game. At some point, you have to be worried about the integrity of the game and ESPN has enough bad calls to compile a “not top 100 plays” for the week. Now, don’t get me wrong I do not blame the referees for this either. They were thrown into a situation with an immense amount of pressure and many of which have little experience officiating at this level. Tonight, we saw downright horrible calls extend drives for both teams and I understand they are going to make mistakes, but there has to come a point where you say enough is enough.

The NFL needs to stand up a take responsibility for their actions just as the players do when the NFL hands out fine after fine for playing physical football. Plain and simple the NFL needs to resolve the labor negations “AND PAY THE MAN”. You are now compromising the game and putting many players’ well being at stake. I’m tired of these greedy bastards trying to save a buck wherever they can. Football is a billion dollar industry and while we watch the “fat cats get fatter” WE, the fans, are the ones who have to suffer.  Obviously, we have seen the skill set that is required to properly officiate an NFL game and the replacement ref’s aren’t cutting it. As a devoted fan, I am pulling out my red flag and challenging the NFL do what is right and what should have been done a long time ago. As the folks at ESPN would say, “C’MON MAN!!!”

What do you think about the new ref’s and the NFL’s way of handling these negotiations?


Alex Smith’s Last Chance

As a devoted 49er fan, I have witnessed the ups and downs over the past decade. I remember being a little kid watching the Niner’s playoff game against the Packers where Terrell Owens made his mark with a last second touchdown catch to advance the Niners into the second round of the playoffs along with the 2-14 season they had in 2004.

I was watching the draft that April evening when San Francisco selected, the future of the franchise,  Alex Smith as the #1 overall pick in the draft bypassing  Aaron Rogers. Like they say hind sight is 20/20 and if the Niners had the opportunity again they would have definitely selected Rodgers who has proven to be one of the most lethal quarterbacks in the league.

I really tried to give Smith a chance, but year after year my optimistic hopes were shattered by disappointment. I watched Smith constantly make mistakes, miss throws, and underperform in big situations and after 7 years of that you begin to lose faith. Having discussed this topic with a number of sports enthusiasts I willing to give Smith one more chance, but it does come with high demands.

This is Smith’s year to really break out of his shell and show people why he was selected as the #1 overall draft pick. The Niners have given Smith every offensive weapon he could dream of and have also brought back their entire defense from a year ago. This season will be a failure for me from the quarterback position unless Smith is regarded in statistics with Brady, Rodgers, and Manning. I want him to have more than two 300 yard passing games in a season and have a touchdown to interception ratio that is among the best in the league.

The biggest problem I have with the entire situation surrounding Smith is that year after year everyone wants to take the blame of f Smith. Nobody wants to hold him accountable when he suppose to be the leader of the team; he is always supposed to be held accountable. People constantly blame it on the Offensive coordinators or the lack of weapons, but no one ever wants to say Smith needs to step up and figure the problem out. I am doing that today. Smith needs to have a career year to gain my support back and without one will lose it forever.

This year, Smith has such a wide variety of ammunition around him with Moss, Manningham, Crabtree, Davis, Walker, Gore, and rookies Jenkins and James that he should never have a problem finding someone who can make a play. Not to mention, he has his entire starting defense returning along with a good offensive line. That tells me is that it is all on you this year Smith. The Niners have figured out all the pieces to the puzzle except the one at Quarterback. This is the make it or break it year.

I don’t want to hear any more excuses be the leader of the team and get it done.  Show everyone what the Niners saw in you in 2005.

If the Niners would have landed Manning they are super bowl champions. I accredit that to how good Manning is, but also to how complete of a team the Niners have and it is time to make things happen.


The New Orlean “Head Hunters”

The New Orleans Saints have come under scrutiny in recent weeks involving special bounty programs that provided incentives to players for game ending injuries. The Saints will most likely face some sort of punishment from the league for their involvement. Former Saints Defensive Coordinator, Gregg Williams, recently admitted and apologized for his involvement in the “bounty program”.

Morally this is wrong and everyone can admit to that. You can’t justify providing incentives to purposely hurt players, it is Wrong. Professional football is a very physical sport and injuries are going to occur. Paying your players to hurt another that could affect their, career, family, and personal-well being can’t be tolerated. There is a difference between hitting hard and trying to hurt another player.

However, is the league the one to BLAME? I say this because every year rules are adjusted that change the game of football. This year it was changing the kickoff from the 30 to the 35 yard line, virtually eliminating kickoff returns. Kickoff returns were a game changing and very exciting part of football, but because players have been seriously injured the league has changed the rules to prevent them. When you sign up to be a professional football player you know the risk that is at hand.

Now days, Receivers are becoming the new QB when it comes to rules. It use to be a skill attribute for a receiver to be able to go across the middle and be successful at it, now players get flagged for even making legal hits.

It is much more difficult to play in the defensive secondary than to be a receiver. You have much more to process and anticipate while still having to be in a position to make a play on the ball. Then you have to worry about all the penalties you are not trying to commit. Let the players PLAY, or change the name to the National Flag-football League.

Defense is American and this is AMERICAN FOOTBALL.

Let me know what you think about the bounty incentives and all the rules in place to protect players. Are they fair?