Sunday, December 4, 2011

The NFL is a Joke (WARNING: This Contains a Little Homer Rant Material)

Before everyone tells me how much of a homer I am and that if I was just watching from an unbiased perspective I wouldn't have the following comments, I would just like to say you may be a little right, but are mostly wrong. As everyone who knows me knows I am a Detroit fan through and through. I have watched the Tigers, Lions, Wings, and Pistons fail miserably at some point over the past 2 1/2 decades (yes the Wings were bad at one point). However, with that said, watching the NFL conduct business both on and off the field has become a joke.

If you look at the scheduling it is not very well made for the fan (let's face it, I don't think you will be watching San Diego and Jacksonville on MNF). It's been like that pretty much all season long. As of right now you will have some awesome prime time match-ups (gag).

Week 13 MNF: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 14 Thursday Night: Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 14 MNF: St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 15 Thursday Night: Jacksonville Jaguars (again????) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 15 Saturday Night: Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 15 Sunday Night: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 16 Thursday Night: Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts (NFL PLEASE FLEX NOW!!!)

Seriously, I think the only reason why Jacksonville has prime time games is so the people in Florida can actually watch their team play. They couldn't sell out their stadium if they gave tickets away. I only listed what we have the privilege of watching from today forward. I could go back and look at the whole season, but I think you got my point.

For my second point on how the NFL is a joke I would first like to present two scenarios to you. Not knowing the players previous records you tell me which one you think is worse. Player A is in a pile, gets up from said pile and then tries to stomp on an opponents arm. Player B is on the ground with the opponent looking over them, Player B instead of getting up decides to first line up and kick the opponent right in the marbles. Next I would like for you to watch the two following clips side by side. One will look very familiar as all of the sports networks have shown it a bagillion times. Also thank you to those that have posted the following videos. For reference: Player B is the first video, Player A is the second.

Now after watching the two you would have to think that the NFL would at least punish the individuals the same no matter what prior instances they may have had. They both get personal foul 15 yarders called against them. However, Suh gets ejected from the game (as he should have), fined $25k (as he should have), and suspended 2 games (suspended yes, 2 game may have been much, but that is fine). If you look to see what happened to Robison, he got fined $20k. Wait, there must be more right? Apparently the NFL is ok with extreme cup checks because he didn't get ejected or suspended, just fined. I understand Suh has prior fines against him, but seriously NFL, you mean to tell me that if a guy gets a bone broken by a malicious play, but it was the players first offense you will just fine him? I appreciate that you are trying to send a message to Suh, but please be consistent with your decisions. I find it interesting that both personal fouls happened with the opponents being the Packers OL. Just saying.

Another thing, and this goes out to the refs, if you are standing there watching the after the whistle stuff, please do us all a favor and either throw flags on both parties or neither. I am sick of watching only retaliations get penalized. There is a reason why players react the way they do, and why the guys who get retaliated against start celebrating shortly afterwards.

That leads me to my third point. NFL, please, pretty please, change the rules so everyone can understand them including the refs. Also when it comes to assigning refs to each game, please give the national spotlight a crew who is competent. I mean, you are really going to assign the crew that calls the most penalties to a Thanksgiving game that has potential playoff implications (yes, the Detroit vs. Green Bay game)? People who tune into that game are going to want to see high powered offenses go up and down the field, not yellow flags being throw almost every play. Regarding the rules, there are about 50 I would like corrected, but please just fix what is known as the "Calving Johnson Rule."

A catch as defined in the NFL Rulebook states:

Article 3 Completed or Intercepted Pass. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to
perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it,
advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).

Note 1: It is not necessary that he commit such an act, provided that he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so.
Note 2: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any part of his body other than his hands to the ground, or if there is any doubt that the acts were simultaneous, it is not a catch.

Item 1: Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

Item 2: Sideline Catches. If a player goes to the ground out-of-bounds (with or without contact by an
opponent) in the process of making a catch at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous
control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, or the pass is incomplete.

Item 3: End Zone Catches. If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.

Seriously if you aren't confused by this rule then you probably wrote the rule yourself. There are thousands of videos on YouTube (which is why you won't see one below) that show plays that look identical but are ruled differently. Bottom line, if you want me to enjoy the NFL as a product again, you will have to change the rules so I can at least understand them.

I think I have that worked out of my system, but unfortunately I will continue watching the horrible product. At least if I want to I can watch college football because the BCS system makes much more sense. Wait..... LSU vs. Alabama again???? But I thought that Oklahoma St. destroyed Oklahoma while Alabama sat at home eating Cheetos? At least Boise State who was seeded 7th will get a BCS bid, and Michigan will get to play a good match-up and not a team like Va Tech. Wait... neither of these are true either? How I hate the BCS as well!

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