As we prepare to continue this series here is a review of numbers 7-10 of the list. Click on the titles to read the articles. Number 6 to appear soon.
10: Wimpy Pitchers
Random Commentary and Satire About Interesting and Sometimes Pathetic Stuff
Bill Belichick is talking … finally. And, while he’s apologizing, he’s also implying it wasn’t much of a big deal.
But what’s more important is what former Patriot employee Matt Walsh has to say. Walsh says he had evidence that the Patriots taped the St. Louis Rams’ walk-through before the 2002 Super Bowl.
Belichick recently minimized “Spygate,” saying, “I take responsibility for it. Even though I felt there was a gray area in the rule and I misinterpreted the rule….”
Here is the rule he misinterpreted. Tell me how someone who is consistently called a “genius” could misinterpret such a rule.
NFL Constitution & Bylaws Article 9:
Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game.
How on earth could someone who is not even a genius misinterpret that, much less a genius?
Meanwhile, Belichick is denying the Rams incident and Walsh is keeping the evidence until he has stronger assurances from the NFL.
Walsh! Don’t give the evidence to Roger Goodell! Remember what happened to the previous evidence? Heaven know has much incriminating evidence Goodell has already destroyed. Don’t give him any more.
“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.
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.
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.
Put the game back in the hands of the players. Kill the timeout from the sidelines. Coaches messing with kickers has caused a number of double kicks, which sometimes backfires, and is definitely not fair to kickers. Now, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has added a new twist, calling a sidelines timeout moments before Tom Brady was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 sneak, negating the play and robbing the Ravens of a deserved upset against the less-than-perfect Patriots. After two other fourth down reprieves, Brady threw a winning TD.
It was like the 1972 Summer Olympics Gold Medal basketball game, when the three Eastern Bloc judges kept giving the Soviets chance after final chance until they won. Here it was not corrupt judges; it seemed more to be Fate.
And a hare-brained coach. Who called timeout as his valiant players exerted their final majestic effort … successfully, but fruitlessly.
This game will be remembered for a long time. Maybe not as long as the ’72 Olympics (the silver medals still sit unclaimed in a vault in Lusanne, Switzerland), but still a long time … for Ravens fans … and Patriots haters.
So, please. NFL, put the game back in the hands of the players. Kill the timeout from the sidelines.
The U.S. sports scene has been providing a bumper crop of soap operas.
1. Barry Bonds: Finally indicted.
2. A-Rod: Mr. Not-October slinks back to New York.
3. O.J.: Is America ready for another trial?
4. Stephon Marbury: AWOL egoist pays.
5. Ricky Williams: Desperate Dolphins tap sober former-superstar.
Joe Glenn/Kyle Whittingham: Coaches prove they can be less mature than the students they coach. [story]
Michael Vick: Continuing saga.
Belichick/Patriots: The coach fans love to hate.