The ridiculous ending that shouldn’t have happened!
College football is absolutely crushing it this year. This week was no exception - particularly the fact that the craziest ending to a game shouldn’t have happened. Central Michigan defeated Oklahoma State when CMU was awarded an untimed down following an intentional grounding penalty on OK State. CMU QB Cooper Rush threw up a Hail Mary which was caught by WR Jesse Kroll, who then lateraled to Corey Willis who ran it in for the score. CMU pulled out a 30-27 victory as a result. However, an exception to the rule should have ended the game after OK State’s penalty in the final seconds of play. Check out the crazy play for yourself.
So here’s where the issue arose. The rule as it’s written states that intentional grounding results in the loss of a down. This rule also states that at the “end of the quarter” a loss of down penalty (here on behalf of OK State) should be walked off and the offended team (here CMU) should be awarded possession of the ball to start the following quarter. But with only seconds remaining in the game, this end of quarter application wasn’t helpful. Additionally, another rule states that a game cannot end on an accepted live-ball penalty. With both of these rules in mind, the referees awarded CMU one untimed town, essentially extending the fourth quarter, and rewarding CMU possession as if there was a fifth quarter.
Well it turns out this wasn’t the right call. Mid-American Conference (MAC) referee Tim O’Dey admitted that “there’s an exception to the rule that says if enforcement of the foul involves the loss of a down then that brings the game to an end.” And as if all of these rules aren’t confusing enough, there is yet another rule that states that once a referee declares that a game is ended, the score is final. So despite all of these errors, the outcome of the game will not change.
NFL Week 1 was all over the place.
Real life NFL games are finally back. I’m not talking fourth-string v. fourth-string pre-season training exercises. I’m talking actual football, the real deal. Four games this week were decided by one point: Broncos over the Panthers, Bengals over the Jets, Raiders over the Saints (ballsy two-point conversion, Mr. Del Rio) and Giants over the Cowboys. That’s the first time that four games in one week have been decided by a single point in 34 years. These close games reeeeeaaally built up the hype of football finally being back on our TVs. I mean, Sunday was truly football heaven. But alas, along came the Rams to ruin that.
Monday night was MISERABLE. The Rams played the Niners in their first game as the Los Angeles Rams since 1994. The 49ers won the game 28-0. Generally, that would make you think that the 49ers played really well... but honestly, the 49ers won because someone had too. Now, I know, I’m a Rams fan so my critique is biased. That’s true. But anyone who watched that game understands how painful it was – Rams fan or not.
In games that weren’t decided by one point, or weren’t the reason for my Monday drunkenness or other’s early Monday bedtimes, some pretty predictable things happened:
The Seahawks did what they always do – SQUEAKED BY. The Seahawks, who were the obvious favorites against the Dolphins, came out of the gates looking pretty slow. The Hawks pulled out a win on the final drive behind clutch-QB Russell Wilson. Pretty typical Seahawk play.
The Patriots did exactly what the Patriots somehow always do – WON. The Pats beat the Cardinals without Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, and Dion Lewis.
And surprisingly, (sort of, given they were playing the Browns) the Eagles did something they don’t always do – LOOKED LIKE AN ACTUAL FOOTBALL TEAM. Carson Wentz looked like an absolute stud this weekend, throwing two touchdowns in the Eagles 29-10 victory. While I’m not quite prepared to deem him the lifesaver the Eagles have been looking for, he’s certainly providing at least a glimmer of hope in Philadelphia. And oh my gosh, you guys, the Browns. Woof.
From ‘Dancing with the Stars’ to dancing in the end zone
I like Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, I like him because I have him on my fantasy team and his performance is crucial to my trash-talking abilities. Second, I like him because of his stint on Dancing with the Stars. Anyone who can look good in football pads and in sequins is okay in my book. Most recently, I like Antonio Brown because of his excellent touchdown celebration.
Brown was flagged by referees for the celebration during the game and was later fined by the NFL as well. However, Brown said that the league fines are “nothing to a boss.” So I’ll expect to see more of these moves in the future.
Viva Las Raiders?
Talk of moving an NFL franchise to Las Vegas has been in the works for a while. On Thursday this week, that plan jumped a major hurdle. An 11-member committee in Nevada gave unanimous approval for the use of $750 million in public funds for a proposed dome stadium in Las Vegas. Not all of the work is done yet, though. Supporters of the move must still get the approval of state lawmakers and 75% of NFL owners before the Las Vegas Raiders can become a reality.
Raiders owner, Mark Davis, has been cautiously optimistic throughout this entire process, but Thursday he dubbed the committee vote as a “win for everybody!” Davis has urged change within the Raiders organization for years. After being left out of the decision to allow a team to move to Los Angeles this past season (a decision that obviously resulted in the St. Louis Rams returning to L.A.) the Raiders began making moves to plant roots in Las Vegas. Officials in Northern California, where the Raiders are currently located, have been unwilling to finance a new stadium and Davis insists that the Raiders can no longer play in the Oakland Coliseum. The proposed Las Vegas stadium could cost an estimated 1.9 billion and will be paid for in part by the public funding approved by this week’s committee vote, in part by the Raiders organization, and in part by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Davis’ dream looks like it’s on its way to becoming reality very soon!
Sports + Gorilla = ???
Alright, a couple of things here. I still just can’t accept that Harambe, the gorilla shot and killed in May in a Cincinnati Zoo, has become an internet sensation. The number of times I’ve scrolled through Facebook comments (which is usually a mistake anyway) and saw “RIP Harambe” or some other version of Harambe love seriously BLOWS MY MIND.
As if this general Harambe talk wasn’t enough, apparently people all over the world are ordering sports jerseys with Harambe emblazoned across the back. So much so that Fanatics, an online retailer for the four major North American sports leagues, actually added “Harambe” to the banned list for jersey orders. But, as is increasingly the case these days, the internet lost its mind over the banning, and Fanatics quickly re-allowed Harambe jersey purchases. Not only do I find it crazy that people are choosing to pay ridiculous replica jersey prices only to add a dead gorilla’s name to it, but it’s crazy that this conversation is even having to be had, front page ESPN website and all.
Eagles TD – Catching the player instead of the ball
Big guys don’t get much ball action in the NFL. (Wow. I typed that sentence and realized how terrible it sounds… but take it as you will, because it’s staying.) But really, if you’re Jason Peters, Tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, when is the last time you had a touchdown reception? That’s right, never. Well, not that he is credited with the touchdown this week, but he did technically catch the ball (and Ryan Mathews the RB carrying the ball) in the end zone. With all of the crazy rules that exist in the NFL, and the points that defensive players get for shared sacks and hits on the QB or whatever else you can think of, I think Mr. Peters should get a special little nod for his performance this week.
This clip is my favorite. Watch it.
In the interest of sharing videos that I love, watch this video linked below too. I PROMISE it's worth the extra click!!
Chris Long hits the nail on the head with all things Kaepernick.
Before leaving you this week, I wanted to address my continually changing thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick-prompted discussion surrounding the national anthem. I’ve searched high and low for the right words to portray my opinion. But to be honest, after reading a piece by ESPN Staff Writer Mike Reiss, I decided that nothing I could think of would top what Reiss typed after an interview with Patriots DE Chris Long. So rather than try to outdo the best, I’ve included Mr. Reiss’ article below in its entirety.
New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long was a guest on ESPN Radio's "Russillo & Kannell" program on Tuesday, touching on a number of topics, including his thoughts on one of the hot-button topics in the NFL this season -- Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem.
"I've had a lot of thoughts about it, and it's hard, because you want to talk to the media, you want to say something about it. As you know with the media, it's a long conversation and if you talk about it for a few minutes, they might take 10-15 seconds out of your quote and take you out of context, and run with the narrative.
"But I'll make it pretty clear: I support my peers in exercising their right to protest. This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that, but there are things in our country that can improve. I don't think that by acknowledging as a white male that America isn't the same for me, maybe, as it is for everybody, the same great place, that we're complicit in the problem or that we're saying America isn't a great place.
"If we're saying there are incidents of oppression in this country, systematically or individually in this country, I don't think saying, 'Well, in country X, Y or Z it's 10 times worse' is making things any better. I think that may be true, but why can't we improve?
"I play in a league that's 70 percent black and my peers, guys I come to work with, guys I respect who are very socially aware and are intellectual guys, if they identify something that they think is worth putting their reputations on the line, creating controversy, I'm going to listen to those guys.
"And I respect the anthem. I would never kneel for it. We all come from different walks of life and think differently about the anthem and the flag and what that means. But I think you can respect and find a lot of truth in what these guys are talking about, and not kneel. Those aren't mutually exclusive ideas.
"Listen, it's been complicated. It's brought out a lot of what we as fans and players think about the anthem; a lot of strong feelings on both sides. But I think we can all agree we love our vets. We love the vast majority of officers of law enforcement. But they are human beings too and there are isolated incidents that need to be better and I think all guys are saying is 'Listen, most people might be great cops, great people that protect our communities, but when there are injustices, let's find justice for those situations.'
"I respect my peers, I respect Colin. Colin has really put his reputation on the line. He's taken a beating. He's also had support. I don't think he did it for publicity.
"And listen, I'm just going to listen to my peers because I respect those guys, and I can't put myself in their shoes."
Long was then asked a follow-up question on whether the Patriots have had meetings on how to handle the national anthem.
"A lot of guys in the league talked about how we were going to address it. I think the depth of the conversation, from guys from all walks of life and all ethnicities, shows that guys really are thoughtful about this thing," Long said on the program.
"It's not just like 'We're just going to do 'X' and 'Y'. There are differing opinions about the details of how you want to do it, but at the end of the day I'm proud of my teammates for standing up for what they believe in. And at the end of the day, I don't think they've articulated [how] they have the utmost respect for the men and women of our military.
"I think one of my good friends, Nate Boyer, who was a green beret, went and stood with Colin and said 'Hey, I wish you would feel the same way I do about the flag and about the anthem, and I will stand here with you until you feel like you can stand.' I thought that was powerful and coming from a guy who certainly could be very upset about Colin's protest. He had an open mind and I think that's the biggest thing. Just have an open mind.
"We're concerned about the feelings of our vets, and I certainly am, but let's treat our vets better on a daily basis. Why aren't we outraged about the lack of benefits they get? How do we treat our vets when they come home? We should be outraged about those things on a daily basis.
"I think when an African-American man makes a stand on something like that, then we get upset on behalf of those great men and women. I think we need to just think about our patriotism in general as a country."
Happy Weekend, y’all!