Archive for December, 2007

Dark Day for the NFL

When the New England Patriots came back in the fourth quarter last night to defeat the game New York Giants, it capped a dark day in the history of professional football. Yes, the Pats won, aided by the superstar syndrome—the refs finding things to call against the Pats’ opponents and clearly ignoring more egregious violations on behalf of the league’s pretty boys.
 
One penalty they ignored was a clear leg-whip block by Randy Moss that sprung a big play for Roger Goodell’s favorites. Moss is one of the reasons this is a dark day for the NFL. The egotistical one will play only for a winner, no matter how much he is paid. He did a royal job on the Oakland Raiders by taking their money, then refusing to put out. Moss is worse than T.O. He only plays when he feels like it. And he doesn’t have the courage or stamina of  T.O.
 
The Patriots made Moss a star, not vice versa. Maybe he just is not good enough to put up the stats for a lesser team. True superstars are.
 
Now all the young fans will idolize a bunch of narcissistic cheaters.
 
Too bad.
 
One’s only hope is to pray for a miracle … an upset in the playoffs. For that to happen, three things need to take place: Pats have a bad game, opponents have a great game, refs call the game fairly.

Refs Hand Game to Cowboys; Officiating Partial?

“The pass interference play that wasn’t.” —Bryant Gumbel 

No neutral viewer (which I was in this game) could go away from this game thinking both teams got an even shake. Call after call went against the Carolina Panthers, who would have upset Dallas without the apparent complicity of the officials. It was obvious the refs were calling marginal penalties against Carolina while ignoring egregious violations of the rules against the preferred ‘Boys, especially the obvious pass interference, run repeatedly on the NFL Network, that Gumbel and Collingsworth both agreed had to be a penalty and totally reversed the fortunes of the game. 

Even with all the refs did for them, Dallas could only muster a 20-13 victory.

They didn’t earn it. Dallas fans can’t be proud about this one. It was a shameful display by the officials and, for at least one game, put the Cowboys on the same moral low-ground as the New England Patriots. Appropriate, I guess, since the two teams may meet in the Super Bowl. Only something has changed, at least for me. Up till tonight I would have been rooting for Dallas in that game. After tonight’s preferential, shameful display, I’ll have a hard time watching that game, if indeed it does materialize. 

John Fox, you’ve got a right to be angry. The officiating system, in front of the whole world, let you down, and cast doubt upon the integrity of the system.

Cowboys fans, hang your heads.

Brian Westbrook, the NFL’s Most Unselfish Player

With the clock running down to the 2-minute warning in Dallas and the Philadelphia Eagles up 10-6 on the Cowboys, Brian Westbrook broke into the open for a certain touchdown. But he stopped at the one and fell to the ground, hurting his own stats but guaranteeing a win for his team.

The Cowboys were out of timeouts. If Westbrook scores, Dallas has 2 minutes to get 2 scores … a longshot but still a possibility. A quick score, a successful onsides kick, and another score and the Cowboys could actually win. Unlikely, but very possible.

By forgoing his own stats in favor of the team, Westbrook guaranteed a win for the Eagles. Three kneel-downs killed the clock. Westbrook puts himself a cut above the rest of the league, especially all those guys who care most about their own stats. Speaking of that, Terrell Owens had an ineffective game and again had the dropsies, dropping a key pass that could have been a leading TD. (Tony Romo was also ineffective; Jessica Simpson was not a good-luck charm.)

Sports and Ethics awards its first  Sports and Ethics Award of Merit to Brian Westbrook, the NFL’s most unselfish player.

Warriors Beat Lakers to Stop Streak

Golden State made a frantic late 14-2 comeback to stop the L.A. Lakers, 108-106, and halt their nine-game losing streak to L.A. Baron Davis’ 3-pointer with 16.8 seconds to play was the decisive bucket.

Mitchell Report Fingers Players

Click here for the full report.

Here is the list of 88 players, active and retired:

Manny Alexander
Chad Allen
Rick Ankiel
David Bell
Mark Bell
Gary Bennett
Marvin Bernard
Larry Bigbie
Barry Bonds
Ricky Bones
Kevin Brown
Paul Byrd
Alex Cabrera
Jose Canseco
Ken Caminiti
Mike Carreon
Jason Christiansen
Howie Clark
Roger Clemens
Paxton Crawford
Jack Cust
Chris Donnells
Brendan Donnely
Lenny Dykstra
Bobby Estalella
Matt Franco
Ryan Franklin
Eric Gagne
Jay Gibbons
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Troy Glaus
Juan Gonzalez
Jason Grimsley
Jose Guillen
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Matt Herges
Phil Hiatt
Glenallen Hill
Darren Holmes
Todd Hundley
Mike Judd
David Justice
Chuck Knoblauch
Tim Laker
Mike Lansing
Paul Lo Duca
Nook Logan
Josias Manzanillo
Gary Matthews Jr.
Mark McGwire
Cody McKay
Kent Merker
Bart Miadich
Hal Morris
Daniel Naulty
Denny Neagle
Rafael Palmeiro
Jim Parque
Andy Pettitte
Adam Piatt
Todd Pratt
Armando Rios
Stephen Randolph
Adam Riggs
Brian Roberts
John Rocker
F.P. Santangelo
Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Scott Schoeneweis
David Segui
Mike Stanton
Ricky Stone
Miguel Tejada
Derrick Turnbow
Ismael Valdez
Randy Velarde
Mo Vaughn
Ron Villone
Fernando Vina
Rondell White
Jeff Williams
Matt Williams
Todd Williams
Steve Woodward
Kevin Young
Gregg Zaun

Bobby Petrino Joins the Nick Sabin League

Bobby Petrino is not popular in Atlanta. After urging his embattled team to “play all four quarters” each game, Petrino skipped town after 13 games in his first season with the Falcons. Shades of Nick Sabin. When the going got tough, Petrino got going. The players, Atlanta fans, Georgia, and all NFL viewers are rightly upset with such a low-class display. We call upon players to display character. When head coaches show so little of it, we can only pity the players who have to play under them.

And wasn’t it tacky to hold that celebratory press conference where Petrino was heralded as the Second Coming of Arkansas football? Not only did he shaft the innocent Falcons, he also was shown partying on television right after he did it. ‘Tis pitiful for a human being to act that way.

Belichick, Patriots Prepare for Jets

Bill Belichick today, when asked how he would prepare for the next game, replied that it would be just like they have been preparing for their games. Since their next game is a divisional contest with the New York Jets, we have to wonder if that includes the use of illegal videotape, which they needed to use earlier in the season when they played their first game in order to sufficiently embarrass them. Since New England will be at home, it should be easier for them to find an alternate way to cheat.