It is difficult to imagine a single play resulting in a higher production of justified finger-pointing and warranted blame than what occurred during Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game between the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.
When something happens that is considered contentious, the controversy typically arises out of differing perspectives. What seems obvious to me is anything but for someone else. What’s so remarkable about the hullabaloo that erupted out of last week’s 81-yard touchdown run by Texans running back Justin Forsett is the lack of disagreement over the sequence of events.
Down by ten points, more than half way through the third quarter, Houston quarterback Matt Schaub handed the ball off to Forsett on second down with ten yards to go. The running back was granted a hole by his offensive line as devastating as a wound in need of suture. However, six yards after the line of scrimmage he was tackled by Lions safeties Erik Coleman and Louis Delmas.
Despite a knee and an elbow both touching turf, Forsett popped up in one continuous motion, in a manner that only the supremely athletic would even attempt, and ran 75 additional yards into the end zone through a why-bother Detroit defense.
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Dry your eyes mate.
“And Tony Romo … I’ve seen him break his collarbone! I’ve seen him break a rib! Puncture a lung! This is the TOUGHEST COWBOY THEY HAVE IN TEXAS!!! But at the end of the night, Tony Romo gets more done on his own than any quarterback in pro football. LOOK AT TONY ROMO CREATE PLAYS WITH HIS LEGS AND HIS ARM. He has no fear … I love this song (“God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas) … GOD BLESS TONY ROMO … They need to change the words of this song. Because without Tony Romo, the Cowboys got no chance. But he is the most dazzling playmaking quarterback in football and I LovewatchinghimRomo. “GOD BLESS TEXAS!!! Make my day, Tirico … go ahead. Make my day!!!”
Jon Gruden’s peyote induced rant at the beginning of Monday Night Football was the most terrifying thing I’ve heard in my life. Unbridled enthusiasm mixed with insanity is dangerous when unchecked.
Though it was insane, Gruden’s ‘most dazzling playmaking quarterback in football’ claim serves as a reminder for Romo haters and lovers alike. The expectations for Romo would never be met. He was never going to fill Troy Aikman’s shoes. He was never going to lead the Cowboys back to the glory days. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re now over a week removed from the play that shall not be named, and the term “simultaneous catch” still induces a nervous twitch in Green Bay. The impact of the botched call by the replacement officials on Golden Tate’s touchdown that wasn’t a touchdown at all could have playoff implications a few months from now, and it may have led to widespread property damage in an NFL outpost where over 1,200 people show up to shovel snow out of a stadium, just for kicks.
But what about the players, and their no doubt still lingering anguish after losing a game on a play that’s the equivalent of a slot machine pull? Luke Perm is familiar with that pain. He should be, because he had to defend two Hail Marys. In one game.
Previously Luke relayed some training camp survival tips, and now he checks in again to reflect back on his experience with the dice roll that is the Hail Mary.
The pain of the Hail Mary
By Luke Perm
A Hail Mary, that intense moment of desperation at the end of a game to decide the winner. If it’s a tie or overtime on the line, at least it can be resolved with real football. But when the outcome of the game hangs in the balance, it’s called a Hail Mary because you are tempting the fate of the Football Gods, those entities responsible for phenomena like turf toe, injury bugs, and a bad case of the worst refs ever. They know if you’ve been bad or good when the entire game is at stake.
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This wasn’t breakage in the Jesse Pinkman sense of the word. There was no loss here for some kind of greater gain, if that was possible. There was no sympathy, and no understanding. There was only angst, with the acknowledgement that the eventuality we all knew was coming had arrived, and the NFL’s replacement officials had run their natural course.
We knew a meaningful game would be butchered as Ed Hochuli sipped his chardonnay while doing power squats in a distant living room, and there would be serious implications for the standings, for the playoffs, for homefield advantage, for everything. So here we are during the morning after the botched call which awarded the Seahawks a tainted victory, and introduced the Packers to the 13th man.
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Labor strife is running rampant in just about every sector of industry. The NHL will probably lock out their players at the end of this week. The CAW has urged its workers to prepare for a strike as a September 17th deadline approaches between the Union and the big three auto-makers in Detroit. Violence has become common place in a heated battle between diamond mine owners and their employees in South Africa. Closer to home, staff at the downtown Toronto Hyatt staged a one day walkout during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Obviously some of these matters are more serious than others – in the case of the miners in South Africa, people have lost their lives on both sides.
The NFL is not immune. After narrowly avoiding a work stoppage last year, Roger Goodell has played hardball with another group of employees who are integral to the NFL’s on-field product.
Undoubtedly the presence of replacement officials one week into the new season has been impossible to miss. Improperly signaled penalties, falsely awarded timeouts, and missed calls have drawn criticism from players and fans alike. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s something innately bizarre about following the health of someone you have zero familial connection to. I imagine a waiting room filled with said person’s close family and friends, waiting patiently as their loved one is assessed and reassessed by the doctors tasked with keeping him alive. And then there’s me, refreshing news sites by the hour, hoping everything is alright for my own selfish reasons. Read the rest of this entry »
Brian Westbrook officially retired as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles today. In December the team will honor the former running back during a game against Washington. A stabilizing force for eight seasons, Westbrook amassed 5,995 yards on the ground and 3,790 receiving yards. When Donovan McNabb had one one of “those days” it was Westbrook who’d bail the team out with a 40-yard run or game winning punt return. The Eagles are right to celebrate his contributions to the team in front of their fans later this year, and it’s even sweeter that it will come during a game versus the Redskins, one of the teams Westbrook haunted for years.
I have zero qualms with honoring a player after he’s retired. Glancing up at the ring of honor at Ralph Wilson Stadium during game day is one of my favorite things to do. I just have one request: can we please stop with these bullshit one day contracts that feature a former star smiling with the management team that cut him after the star’s broken down body was no longer of use? Read the rest of this entry »