Posts Tagged ‘football

23
Nov
10

a little venting

So, the Steelers/Raiders game has been talked to death in Western Pennsylvania. And for good reason — the officiating was arguably some of the worst I’ve ever seen in any NFL game. It wasn’t like they blew 1 call … it was a constant barrage of bad calls. It was one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever seen.

And with that has come crazy talk — conspiracy theories about a bias against the Steelers. I don’t believe that — truth be told, I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories — but man, it’s hard to NOT think that someone has a hard on to screw the Steelers. From Ryan Clark’s “helmet to helmet” penalty (when anyone could clearly see his helmet hit the guy mid-back) to James Harrison’s “landing on the quarterback” penalty, things certainly seem to have hit a new point of ridiculousness in the NFL.

For example, James Harrison’s hit on Jason Campbell:

The hit results in a penalty.

However, the Giants hit Tony Romo with a similar tackle, which results in a broken bone …

Nothing. No flag, no fine, no nothing. Clean hit.

Come on, now. Seriously. It’s essentially the same hit. Why is one a flag and why is one not? I don’t get it. And no, I don’t expect the refs to get every single call right … but I’ve seen this exact same tackle a million times … the ones that are penalized are ones that are obviously late, or are low or hit the QB’s helmet. That wasn’t the case here. It was “landing on the QB while tackling,” according to the refs. Oooooookay.

Then there’s the punch … Richard Seymour just turning and belting Ben Roethlisberger. Hey, I don’t care if you like Big Ben or not, or if you believe that Ben somehow “instigated” Seymour or not, or if you thought that was karma for Ben’s actions in Georgia: that was a flat out sucker punch, and illegal in the game (as well as in life).

Now, in the pre-Roger Goodell days, I would have accepted Seymour’s ejection as penalty enough. Players get frustrated and do dumb things. Got it. Fine with it. Let’s move on.

But we’re in the midst of the Goodell regime, where penalties fly with reckless abandon and suspensions lurk around every corner. So, obviously, Goodell was going to make an example of Seymour, right? That’s what the Steeler Nation was thinking, especially with James Harrison being fined for everything under the sun.

Nope. Word came down that it was a $25,000 fine. That was it.

I heard that the $25K fine is the maximum fine for “fighting.” Well, I guess I have a different definition of fighting that the NFL does. However, if Harrison would have done the same thing to  Tom Brady (or Jason Campbell or any QB, for that matter), I’m 100% certain that the punishment would have been something more than just a maximum fine. Why? Because Harrison has been labeled as a “repeat offender” and is getting some … uh … extra attention this year. (Except that Seymour has apparently punched other players in the past … but I guess the NFL can just look past that.)

As a fan, I’m getting frustrated. The hypocrisy of what will be called and what won’t be called is maddening. And on top of that, it sure as hell feels right saying “What will and what won’t be called on the Steelers” — because apparently, they’re getting some special attention this year, too.

Really, it’s come to the point where I’m considering not watching the rest of the season. I just don’t need the epic stupidity and the extra frustration of watching my favorite sport slide down the tubes.

And that’s just my reaction as a fan: I can only imagine how frustrating all these rule changes — in mid-season, no less — are for the players. Seriously Goodell, why couldn’t you have made these changes in the off-season, so players and fans could adjust in pre-season to this unicorn-friendly version of professional football?

Oh NFL, I hope you get your shit straightened out soon. Consistency is the key here, and right now, it seems like there’s none. I really don’t want to give up Sunday football, but if this is the way things are going to be in Goodell’s NFL, I may be better off without it.

26
Oct
09

Holy freakin cats

Just a small recap of the Stillers v. Vikings game:

IN GENERAL:

  1. Just a fantatic game, and I would have said this even if the Steelers would have lost. Well, I would have been pissy about it, but I still would have said so. But this was the first game in a long time that I found myself yelling at the TV. Usually, I fall asleep in there somewhere.
  2. Again, I gotta find a way to listen to the local broadcast instead of the national announcers. What irked me this time was the Moose and Goose show, in which they A) Talked about their own careers or B) Gave each other compliments on their retired careers. And Goose, I’m sorry, I can’t stand listening to you talk, period. Well, I have a bye-week to try and find a way to make this happen.
  3. I moved my overstuffed lazyboy into the living room from its usual spot in my enclosed porch. Turned the TV a bit to get the “straight on” view. Watching the game in it was fantastic. That may be a permanent change.

STEELERS:

  1. Big Ben: I don’t know if he was nervous or what, but he seemed to be throwing every single ball as hard as he could. Then again, he was threading the needle a lot of the time, and Viking defenders were always nearby.
  2. Defense: They finally decided to show up. Seriously. I was really impressed with that goal-line stand and their overall play.
  3. Santonio: OK amigo, you really need to stop that flexing move. After your impressive catch-and-run that Mendenhall squandered, it was warranted. Doing it after you get 3 yards is just plain silly. Plus that move is like just so 1984. Really, find something else.
  4. Get a grip: Speaking of fumbles, Mr. Mendenhall, do you really want to earn a reputation as a fumbler in the NFL? Every single defensive player knows that you are vulnerable there, and they’re gonna try and strip it. I suggest working on your technique. It just sucks because you were having a great game up until that point.
  5. Get a grip, 2.0: William Gay, today I labeled you the “Weakest Link” during half time. Why? Cause Favre targeted you. Know why? Cause you keep missing the initial tackle, fall down, and start grabbing for the receiver’s legs. I know it’s the NFL and receivers are shifty, but I’ll counter that with an “It’s the NFL, you should know how to tackle by now.” And oh, if you were wondering if you looked silly when Peterson paved you … the answer is yes.
  6. Run backs: I think those 2 run backs by Woodley and Fox took more time off the clock than any of the Steelers offensive drives in the 4th. Seriously, they made Harrison look like a World Class sprinter.
  7. Chateau Bow-Wow: Skippy, your horrid attempt at running that kick receiver out of bounds OR most pathetic excuse for a tackle imaginable (whatever it is you’re calling that little move on the field) has pretty much left you with no fans. I’m fairly confident that you won’t be with the team next year. It’s one thing when you screw up off the field, but that move just showed a complete disregard for your teammates who, if you noticed, were busting their asses out there in a tightly contested game.
  8. Lucky dogs: Sacrifice several goats to whatever being you worship, because your asses were only saved by divine intervention and a lot of lucky breaks.

VIKINGS

  1. Favre: You know, I rarely get a chance to seem him play, which is sad, because he’s such an icon in the sport. But I had this feeling going in that if it was a close game, he was gonna throw an interception at a critical moment … which he did. Regardless, still great to see him play.
  2. Peterson: What a freakin’ hoss. Seriously. I have to admit, I cheered when he crushed Gay, because you could see the intensity in his face (thank you HD) and his flat out desire to win. Can’t say enough about the guy. He’s a driven player, and the Vikes would be silly not to trust him to take them to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. He reminded me of the Bettis days, when Bettis would get into the backfield and just knock over little DBs.
  3. Overall: Super impressed by this Viking team. I may jump on the bandwagon and make them my NFC team to cheer for, just because they played with so much heart and passion.
18
Oct
09

Make it 12

In the vein of the Steel City Slant (sorry to copy, but it’s a useful idea), here’s a couple of thoughts that came to me during the Steelers v. Browns game.

IN GENERAL:

  1. Comcast customer service

    Comcast customer service

    HD v. Primatecast: Today, my Comcast opted to have problems … RIGHT AT KICKOFF. I switched it to “normal” cable and cannot express my disdain at not having my HD working. Seriously, if you’ve never seen football (or hockey or any sporting event) in HD, it’s wonderful. If Comcast borks me again on another Steelers game, I swear, I’m driving down and kicking people in their groins. Stupid muppets.

  2. Commentators: Where the hell do these guys come from, and why do they suck more than Hoover vacuums? Seriously dude, it’s MENDENHALL, not MENDINGHALL. And way to focus on all the irrelevant stuff during the game. I hope that DVE comes up with a way that I can tune in to their broadcast and watch my HDTV. I hate listening to the network guys. They blow goats. I have proof.

STEELERS:

  1. Coach Three

    Coach Three

    Poor Sweed: Wallace is kicking some serious ass. OK, he’s not posting breakout numbers or anything, but what I like about him is that when he gets the ball, he does something with it. Great speed, good hands — he’s a guy that’s going to do good things down the road. To pull a Coach Homer, “Limus, I liked your hustle. That’s why it was so hard to cut you.”

  2. Competition: Was it just me, or did it look like Fast Willie was playing like he used to, ie, hitting gaps fast, following blocks, etc? Mendenhall’s performance in the past 2 games seemed to get him going, but I have a feeling it may be too little too late. If Mendenhall keeps playing like he has been, I think he will be the man next year, and FW will be somewhere else.
  3. Fumbling ways: I know the rule with Mendenhall’s fumble, but I still call that last one bullshit. He was on his back, the pile had slid to a stop, no one was going anywhere. And then as they all lay there, they rip it out of his hands. That’s just dumb. However, Mendenhall really does need to hold on to the ball better … I swear I get flashbacks to Tim Worley sometimes.

BROWNS:

  1. W-T-F.

    W-T-F.

    Rivals?: You know, I’m no fan of the Brownies … but Jeebus does it piss me off to see them suck so badly. I’m sorry, but I really enjoyed the “Rust Bowl” days  — you know, when it was a good, tough game, and the intensity was a lot higher due to rivalry between the teams. I would get amped up all week for that game, and my old college roomate (who was a Browns fan) and I would leave trash-talking messages on each other’s answering machines. What the hell is wrong with that organization? That rivalry is still kinda there, but it’s kinda like beating your trash-talking little cousin — you won, sure, but it’s not really fulfilling. I feel dirty saying this, but Browns fans and the city of Cleveland deserve better.

  2. Cribbs: If the Browns don’t take Cribb’s desire for an extension seriously (and it’s not one of those “I want $10 billion” kind of requests), I’m gonna have to put their management on par with the Pirates’ management. That dude is all over the place, and he plays hard.

OTHER:

  1. Pats v. Titans: Way to run up the score, Bill. You’re about as classy as the folks from “People of WalMart.But on the other hand: Titans, see what happens when you diss the Terrible Towel? The only way that that game could be better is if the Pats ran it up on the Titans, and then a meteor strike destroyed the stadium in the 4th. Seriously. I loathe the Pats.



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