Hi there. Been a long time and before we dive into the title of this entry a couple of non football observations. First off Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy Festivus to the loyal readers and listeners. Did I missed anyone?
Leading off is the most annoying holiday commercial this year. The winner hands down is the auto maker who dissected and butchered Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” from the “Vacation” movies. It makes me want to borrow the keys to the Family Truckster and…nevermind!
I want to know if anyone went to a Vegas sports book and put down a few sheckles on Mickey Callaway and Aaron Boone being named the new managers of the Mets and Yankees respectively
So I went to my local high school gym on Saturday December 2nd to get into the basketball mood by watching a couple of games. I wish I had brought my cell phone so I could have taken photos as proof, but there was not one, but two codes of conduct for fan behavior as you went into the gym. The fans at PGA tour events and ATP tennis matches are allowed to make more noise. It was quiet and depressing at the same time. If some one scored a basket, you got a polite golf applause from the sparse crowd that showed up. On a good note, at least an official didn’t come up to me and complain that I was being too loud and I was disrupting the concentration of the host team when they were at the free throw line. (that actually happened earlier this year at a game that John Pratt and I were broadcasting at the same school.) I kept to myself at the top row of one of the bleacher sections and kept quiet the entire time I was there.
Now on to ranting on football. I’m starting with botched coaching hire by the folks down in Knoxville Tennessee and Old Rocky Top. You blew it! He may not have been the glamour hire and all coaches have some sort of speed bumps on their resume and a majority of college coaches who try to make the attempt to be a head coach in the NFL fail. Greg Schiano was a miracle worker on the Banks of the Old Raritan. Not many coaches after winning only 12 games in his first four years survive, but he did and proceeded to go 23 games over 500 in the last 7 years in charge. He ran a clean program that graduated its players and made Rutgers actually have people take notice in an pro sports dominated area. One more thing and this goes to all major college and university football fans and I’m included among you faithful. There are very few dream destination jobs in college sports and the painful realization is that most teams including your team doesn’t rank among those few. Wake up! Not every great coach or rising up and comer wants to come to your school no matter how much money you’ll pay them or how great the facilities are.
Next is Eli Manning. The Giants are 2-9. It is a lost season and are going no where and decide to make a qb change. Sorry mister two time Super Bowl MVP who beat Tom Brady twice, face the reality. All streaks come to an end. You were given the opportunity to start and then be replaced like in an exhibition game and you still said no dice. Even the greatest diplomat couldn’t handle telling Eli, Geno Smith, Davis Webb, the media and Giants fans in such a way that would make sense and not hurt a snowflakes feeling. If the change didn’t happen this week on the road against the Raiders, when would it happen? Next two games are home games versus the Cowboys and Eagles. I don’t think so. If I’m Eli, I would look at it like a baseball pitcher who gets shuts down because he’s at his innings limit and starts thinking about next year. The good news is the Giants will have a new general manager, head coach, and hopefully healthy receivers, a stud running back and improved offensive line that will protect him.
Finally my observations on what is wrong with the NFL. I’m not going to talk about concussions, suspensions or anthem protests. Every one else has talked or written about them ad nauseum. First off is the rules. Half the time we don’t know what constitutes catches, fumbles, muffs, penalties, so called football moves, etc, etc. Way too much grey area. Second, there is too much football on tv! With the NFL Sunday ticket available to most fans, the product is diluted and with that comes bad games that we used only have to see the hi-lights of. Dump Sunday night completely. The only Thursday games throughout the regular season should take place on Thanksgiving. Bring back the Saturday afternoon games that took place in the last two and three weeks of the regular season after college is done and before the important bowls are played. During the playoffs could we bring back the old start times of 1 and 4pm please! I admit it was kind of cool last week watching the CFL Grey Cup title game being played in a snow storm, though. Last but not least the owners and players association need to dump the current men in charge. To quote that guy who used to host The Apprentice, “Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith…YOU’RE BOTH FIRED!” Right now the players and owners don’t trust each other. We need new voices on both sides who will sit down like reasonable adults and work together to make the league better and regain the trust of each other, the sponsors, the fans, and the parents who have kids who might want to play football but are rightfully scared to death to let them do so. When played the right, safe way there is a beauty to the game of football and that goes for most contact sports in general with the combination of athletic skill and controlled violence.
If you have any problems with this entry, sorry but they’ll have to wait until after Festivus dinner and the airing of grievances take place.