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Archive for the ‘American Football’ Category

Go, Broncos

49ers-logo

Well, that was disappointing. After a house-afire start, sacking Seahawks’ QB Wilson and forcing and recovering a fumble, my beloved 49ers went on to lose, 23-17. The Seattle Seahawks, lead by former U$C coach Pete Carroll (who left the school on the hook for all the NCAA violations that occurred during his tenure there as head coach), will go to the Super Bowl to face the Denver Broncos.

Go, Broncos.

Let’s be honest, the Seahawks deserved to win: they played better, especially in the 4th quarter when we turned the ball over three times. And on that last one, I really have to wonder why they ever called that play, when there was plenty of time to call a timeout and come up with a plan of attack over 2-3 plays. The desperate shot to the endzone could have been saved for last.

Still, this is the toughest we’ve ever played them in Seattle and a sign of progress. In three years under Harbaugh, we’ve been to three NFC Championships, winning one, and one trip to the Super Bowl. For any 49er fan with a functioning memory that can recall the rotten days under Singletary, Nolan, and Erickson, the last three years have been a remarkable turnaround. And, at the end, we had a good chance to win the game, in spite of the horrid officiating.

No, I’m not saying the refs threw the game to Seattle. Again, they beat us. But many of the calls were terrible and at least one, which should have been a “roughing the kicker” penalty, undoubtedly influenced the course of the game. The crew tonight was incompetent.

Nor has officiating been a problem in only this game. Many times during the year in many different games, we’ve seen awful calls that were obviously wrong. The NFL needs to do something about this, because it’s hurting the game, itself. And it needs to be done this off-season.

Anyway, that’s now over and done with and, as my friend Alfred likes to say, we’ll allow ourselves a day or two to mourn, then get ready for next year.

As for Super Bowl Sunday… Go Broncos!*

*(No, no divisonal or conference loyalty. Not when Pete Carroll is coaching.)

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satire sports football

Well, first thing I’d do is move the kickoff line back to the 30 and then rescind the Emmitt Smith “No taking off your helmet when celebrating rule.” Things like that turn the NFL into the No Fun League.

But, my major project would be divisional realignment, trying to keep divisions as compact as possible, which is hard out West, and to take advantage of what seem to be natural rivalries. One thing I’d do is eliminate the Conferences, which are just holdovers of the NFL-AFL merger. Instead we’d have eight divisions of four teams each. The eight division winners plus the four teams with the best records that did not make the playoffs would enter the “tournament.” I’m sure some sort seeding plan could be worked out, but I’m too lazy. 🙂

Anyway, here are my suggested divisions, with their startlingly original names.

Pacific Division
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland
San Diego

Southwest Division
Arizona
Denver
Dallas
Houston

South Central Division
New Orleans
Tennesee
St. Louis
Kansas City

North Central Division
Minnesota
Green Bay
Detroit
Chicago

North Division
Cincinatti
Cleveland
Buffalo
Indianapolis

Southeast Division
Tampa
Miami
Jacksonville
Atlanta

East Division
Charlotte
Washington
Baltimore
Pittsburgh

Northeast Division
New England
NY Giants
NY Jets
Philadelphia

I would rather have had Pittsburgh in the “North Division,” because the rivalries there feel natural, but then placing Indianapolis becomes a problem. Regardless, this is my gift to you, Commissioner Goodell.

Just make sure I get credit. 😉

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satire sports football

It’s no secret that I despise the University of Spoiled Children, so you can imagine my glee when I read that head coach Lane Kiffen had been fired after another big loss, this time 62-41 at Arizona State. ($C alums are notoriously ruthless with the coaches.)

But, it’s the way they fired him that has me laughing out loud: outside the terminal at LAX, and then kicking him off the team bus, leaving him to find his own way home.

Well played, Pat Haden, well played. 😀

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Yeah, you can say I was cheering last night:

Niners-Packers

Just call it “Harbaugh’s vindication.” 🙂

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It’s not my style to praise thugs and possible murderers:

On the day Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced he would be retiring after this season, my thoughts drifted back to a bitterly cold winter day in a cemetery in Akron, Ohio.

That’s where Richard Lollar was buried and where his bespectacled grandmother, Joyce Lollar, showed me his grave more than a decade ago.

As I wrote then, she crunched through the snow with leafless trees etched against a gray Midwestern skyline. A frozen drizzle fell from above. With her shoe, she scraped the snow and the ice and the dirt from her grandson’s grave site and said a short prayer that ended with: “We miss you, Richard. We love you.”

(…)

Joyce raised Richard Lollar, who was left dead in the street in the early morning hours on Jan. 31, 2000, — a few hours after the Rams defeated the Titans in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in history. And then came one of the most chilling post-Super Bowl scenes in history. A brawl outside the Cobalt Lounge, an upscale Atlanta nightclub, turned into gory spectacle of steely knives, mangled flesh and a river of blood. The 24-year-old Lollar and his 21-year-old boyhood buddy from Akron, Jacinth Baker, were both stabbed multiple times in the heart, the knives savagely twisted into their vital organs. The killers knew exactly what they were doing.

Lewis, his two good friends — Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting — and nine others sped away from the crime scene in a 40-foot Lincoln limousine. Lewis, Oakley and Sweeting were charged with the killings and cleared in a controversial court decision that still leaves many questions unanswered.

At the very least, Lewis knows what happened that night. Until he comes clean and owns up to his part, he can go to Hell.

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At least at the secondary school level:

Hah! I bet the opposing coach was just steaming. 🙂

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WTF was that??

I think new GM Allen would be insane not to fire the lot of you after that stunt.

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Some of these I quibble with and some I can’t say one way or the other (I’m not much of a baseball fan and I lost interest in basketball several years ago), but Number One is spot on.

And that picture – hah!

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Sure it was only the Hall of Fame game, the first and most meaningless of the NFL pre-season games, but, still it was football, and the regular season is only a month away.

And that is a good thing.

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