The NFL’s announcement that it will hire up to 24 full-time officials is a good PR move. It gives the league a chance to show fans that it’s trying to improve the quality of the officiating.
But don’t be fooled. Even making all the officials full-time wouldn’t make much difference.
The other major sports have full-time officials — and their officials make mistakes all the time. Remember, they’re human beings. Coaches and players make mistakes all the time. To think officials aren’t going to make mistakes is downright foolish.
NFL officials tend to get more scrutiny than officials in other sports because the regular season lasts just 16 games and teams play only once a week, so fans and the media can spend several days talking about a blown call.
Baseball teams usually play the next day — and the next … and the next — so the debate about a blown call doesn’t last as long.
Continue reading “Full-time officials is just another PR ploy by Goodell & Co.”
The Miami Dolphins’ desperation move to bring Jay Cutler out of retirement once Ryan Tannehill was injured is another example of how a team can be haunted for years by mistakes of past regimes.
That’s because neither Tannehill nor Cutler should be their quarterback.
Their quarterback should be Drew Brees, but the Dolphins bypassed him twice early in his career.
In the 2001 draft, they took cornerback James Fletcher with the 26th pick in the first round. Brees went to San Diego with the first pick of the second round even though Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said before the draft that three members of his staff had looked at every college pass by Brees.
According to a story written in 2009 by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who still covers the team, Spielman told him after the draft they didn’t feel Brees was that much better than incumbent Jay Fiedler. Later, the story changed that then coach Dave Wannstedt pushed Fletcher instead of Brees.
Continue reading “Cutler move shows Dolphins still paying a price for past personnel sins”
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is facing an unusual dynamic this season that no NFL coach has ever faced.
He’s got Tom Coughlin as his boss.
Coughlin, who built the most successful NFL expansion team ever in his first tenure with the Jaguars, is back this year in a new role.
He’s the executive vice president of football operations, but he’s not the coach.
In his first stint with the Jaguars, Coughlin also ran the show, but he was the coach. So Coughlin couldn’t second-guess himself.
Continue reading “With Coughlin being Coughlin, Marrone already looks like a short-timer”
“The NCAA’s Worst Nightmare’’ the headline on the HuffPost website blared over the weekend.
It turns out the site feels the NCAA’s nightmare is longtime sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who is continuing his legal assault on the NCAA’s gameplan of making billions of dollars without paying the players more than the alleged cost of attending college.
In effect, Kessler is trying to change the system and force the colleges to give the players more compensation.
It’s likely to be a long legal fight that will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, although the NCAA has managed to all but continue the status quo despite some recent legal hits.
First, Ed O’Bannon won his lawsuit last October in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that found the NCAA was violating antitrust law. The Supreme Court let the decision stand.
Continue reading “Here’s hoping Kessler lawsuit blows up the NCAA’s corrupt system”
When Gisele Bündchen married Tom Brady eight years ago, she said he told her he planned to play 10 more years.
The problem, she said, was that as the years passed, the number never went down. As recently as 2015, he was still saying he planned to play 10 more years.
Now Brady finally seems ready to concede 10 more years may be a bit unrealistic. He seems to be talking about five more years.
Brady turned 40 Thursday, and in his first press conference of training camp Friday, he was asked about Patriots owner Bob Kraft saying he could play until his 50s.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said the 50s,’’ Brady said. “Maybe once. You know, I just love doing it. Again, I’ve never thought about not playing, at least until my mid-40s, so that’s a pretty good goal in and of itself, and then we’ll see when I get there.’’
Continue reading “Age will soon catch up even with the remarkably durable Tom Brady”
Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying something along the lines of “America eventually does the right thing after exploring all other options.’’
Scholars say there isn’t much evidence Churchill actually said it, but it is a good line — because America indeed has a history of taking a long time to get around to doing the right thing.
Now it may be time to apply that to the NFL after a remarkable Washington Post interview with Allen Sills, a Vanderbilt University neurosurgeon hired in March as the NFL’s chief medical officer.
The NFL may be finally getting around to doing the right thing on the issue of player health and safety.
Sills made some common-sense observations to the Post, but common-sense comments haven’t usually been the norm in recent years when NFL officials talked about player healthy and safety.
Continue reading “NFL’s new stance on player health is encouraging, but we’ve been fooled before”
Patriots owner Bob Kraft apparently recently gave President Trump some tax-policy advice.
The two men have long been friends, and Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Kraft gave him the advice after a recent dinner.
“Donald, don’t worry about the rich people,’’ President Trump said Kraft told him. “Tax the rich people. You’ve got to take care of the people in the country. It was a very interesting statement. I feel the same way.’’
It remains to be seen if Trump really feels the same way.
But Kraft could have given Trump some advice on being wary when dealing with Vladimir Putin.
Continue reading “Patriots’ Kraft should have advised his friend Trump to be wary of Putin”