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Archive for January 5th, 2014

Today the San Francisco Forty Niners won their wildcard playoff game against the Green Bay Packers by 23 to 20!  Go Niners!!
While I am obviously happy with the result, I am increasingly frustrated by watching the “game”.  Not just this game – all NFL (National Football League) games.  It really seems to me as if the refs (League?) have decided not to play the games by the rules.  The most egregious of these “no-calls” is pass interference.  Basically, a defender is allowed to butt/jam an offensive receiver once during the first five yards from the line of scrimmage (where the play starts).  After that, anything but “incidental” contact is considered “pass interference” until the ball touches the offensive player.  There are also a couple of ancillary rules, for example, a defensive player must “play the ball”.  This means the defender cannot watch the offensive player and then knock the ball away while making no attempt to see where the ball is.  Another rule is that both players have the right to catch the ball once it is in the air.  This also means an offensive player cannot strike the defensive player while the ball is in the air.
What is actually happening is that both teams’ players are now fighting each other in and after the 5-yard zone and before and after the ball is in the air.  And the Ref’s are letting them (the players) “play on”.  “Letting the players, play” is TV commentator speak for players breaking the rules and the refs doing nothing about it.  It has gotten so bad that at least one team (the Seattle Seahawks) coaches their team to “play aggressively” (i.e. ignore the rules) because they “know” the refs won’t throw a flag on every play.
The problem, of course, is the coaches are correct because the League allows it, not because the refs won’t do it.  In reality, if the League instructed the refs (and advised the teams) that these tactics are in violation of the rules and penalties should (will) be enforced from the start of each game, then the refs would comply, the coaches and players would recognize the rules are being enforced and they would then stop breaking the rules.
Now before any Seattle fans get all bent out of shape by my comments, let me just say: I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that the Niners have begun to play the same “aggressive” game.  I am not excusing my team, just as I am not accusing the Seahawks, in specific.  My accusation is against the NFL.  You either have rules and throw flags when the rules are violated or you get rid of the rules which you don’t want to consistently (and fairly) enforce.  It seems like a simple choice to me…
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On This Day In:
2013 Spoiling For Fame?
2012 How Many?
2011 Too Tired To Chat Much
2010 I Must Be Crazy!!
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There is no use in talking about religion with anybody who is sure that God does not exist.
  —  Herman Wouk
From the Prologue to his book: “This Is My God
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On This Day In:
2013 Spoiling For Fame?
2012 How Many?
2011 Too Tired To Chat Much
2010 I Must Be Crazy!!

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