Posted by Danny Goldin on October 24, 2011
The NCAA referees’ ruling of a TD for MSU’s hail mary attempt on Saturday night — overturning the original ruling that spotted the ball on the 1-yard line — was, according the the rules of both the NCAA and NFL, the incorrect call. Let me explain…
Keith Nichol's catch was almost certainly a touchdown. Key word: ALMOST.
Did the ball held by MSU wideout Keith Nichol cross the plane of the end zone? Yeah, I’m pretty sure it did. In fact, I’m INCREDIBLY confident that it did. Hypothetically, if there were a fool-proof way to prove whether or not the ball crossed the end zone, I’d be confident enough to risk $40-$50 that it was a TD, just for the chance to win $1 in return.
I would NOT, however, risk my life savings on it — let alone my LIFE — and I can guarantee that any rational person, A GROUPING THAT UNFORTUNATELY DID NOT INCLUDE SATURDAY NIGHT’S REFS, wouldn’t either. With that said, there simply was not INDISPUTABLE evidence that a TD was scored. If you disagree with me, then ask yourself this… would you RISK YOUR LIFE on it? Because if you wouldn’t, then you’re admitting to yourself that the play was not indisputably a TD. And if you would, well, then I’m sorry that you don’t value your life as much as most others.
This obviously was not the first time a call in the NCAA or NFL was overturned despite a lack of indisputable evidence, nor will it be anywhere close to the last. I do not have a FUNDAMENTAL problem with the ref’s call on Saturday night because, like I said, I am far more confident that MSU DID score a TD than I am in the possibility that they did NOT score a TD. And in the end, it’s all about getting the call on the field right, right? Still, I do have a TECHNICAL problem with the ruling, because of that darned “indisputable” term.
So, what’s the solution here? If you haven’t caught my drift yet, then I’ll spell it out for you.. ELIMINATE THE TERM INDISPUTABLE FROM THE RULE BOOK! We’re trusting the refs to make the right call on the field, so why not just trust them to make the right decision when reviewing a play? No more wrestling with “indisputability”; for any play that is reviewed, the refs would simply make the ruling that they think best fits with the play being reviewed.
Not only would this simplify the reviewing process for refs by taking out the “indisputable” factor, but it’d also allow for any play/call to be reviewed… that’s right, even pass interference. P.I. is not only the most significant call in the game (in most cases), but also the toughest for a ref to determine live and on the fly. Why should we force refs to make a split-second decision in what is often times a game-changing flag/no-flag? Train them in the offseason about exactly how P.I. is defined, and let teams challenge the call (or no-call) if they please… without the term “indisputable” in the rule book, this would be a possibility.
DOWN WITH INDISPUTABLE!!!
PS: In addition to my beef with the TD call, it was also atrocious that MSU did not receive a SINGLE penalty all game, despite a number of holding calls I noticed, as well as the fact that their left tackle INDISPUTABLY false started on their 3rd & 8 conversion with 40 seconds left. Here’s the video. I’ll never understand how I — watching on my crappy TV — was able to spot that so easily, yet not one of the refs on the field did. Why is nobody talking about this!?! If the correct call is made, there’s a good chance that MSU does NOT convert its 3rd down, Wisco gets the ball back and has a chance to win the game, or at the very least force an overtime.
PPS: I don’t think that Bielema should be fired, but I do think that Barry Alvarez should either “bench” (aka suspend) him for a game, or strip him of his timeout-calling power for this season — if not for the rest of his UW tenure — and hand it to another coach. I realize it’d be an unprecedented move, but I believe that, just as a mistake might cause a player to be benched or taken out of a certain package of plays, a coach too must be held accountable for the inexcusable mistakes he makes.
For the record, I was not in disagreement with the 1st timeout, after MSU fumbled and had 2nd & 21, but was in COMPLETE COMPLETE COMPLETE disagreement with the 2nd timeout, after MSU gained 13 yards and had a manageable 3rd & 8 approaching midfield. In my mind, there is no question that at that point, MSU has a much better chance of converting the 3rd down and completing one more pass to get into FG range (or at least keep the drive alive for a hail mary attempt!!!) then the chance Wisco had to stop MSU and either block a punt or get themselves into FG range with such little time on the clock.
Posted by Danny Goldin on September 30, 2011
Jermichael Finley has ascended to the top of the tight end hierarchy.
For the past half-decade or so, the tight end position has been ruled by 5 names: Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Dallas Clark, Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez. Unfortunately, Gates can’t stay healthy, Witten and Gonzalez have lost at least a bit of burst, and neither Clark not Davis have a QB to get them the ball. Jermichael Finley is the new BEST tight end in football, as there is not a single guy I’d rather own at the position. Numbers 2 and 3 are Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, and it should come as no surprise that the top-3 guys are all 24 years or younger, 6-5 or taller, and have the 3 best QBs in the game tossing them the ball.
- James Starks is a definite fantasy start this week. Sure, he didn’t look so hot against the Bears last week, while Ryan Grant finally looked like his old self. Still, that doesn’t erase the fact that Starks ran SIGNIFICANTLY better than Grant in the preseason and the first two weeks of the season, not to mention that it’ll be a moot point given that Grant is likely to miss this week’s game with a bruised kidney. It’ll be fun to see Alex Green get some touches, but Starks should have a confident spot in your lineup.
Around the league
- Victor Cruz and Torrey Smith were everyone’s top pickups this past week. Sure, they’re worth owning, but both seem to have “hit or miss” written all over them, AKA Devery Henderson version’s 2.0 and 3.0. Both will be no higher than No. 3 on their team’s depth charts once everyone is healthy, and they won’t be consistent enough to rely upon.
- Yes, Mike Vick has been really annoying to own through the first three weeks this season. That said, he still has the highest upside of ANY player during a given week. If it’s possible to buy low on him, go for it.
- Did you see the weather last week in the Jacksonville-Carolina game? I think I spotted the Gulf of Mexico at the 25-yard line. Sure, Cam Newton and Steve Smith did not post good numbers, but I still think we’ll see numbers closer to what they posted in Weeks 1 and 2 than what we saw last week. Don’t be surprised to see both bounce back these week, even against a tough Chicago D.
Posted by Danny Goldin on September 23, 2011
"Hey bro, that's a sweet Hanie autograph you got there."
Jay Cutler proved last year against the Packers that he was a gaping pussy. And now he’s throwing his O-line under the bus. WHAT A LEADER! He does have a point though; the Saints and Falcons combined for 10 sacks against the Bears, and combined for 2 sacks in their other 2 games. The Packers already have 7 sacks on the season, AKA we could be in line for the Caleb Hanie Experience 2.0 this week… and oh what a great experience that is.
- Roll with Cam Newton. Feel free to trade whatever starting QB you drafted if you can get something decent back. Killa Cam is basically Tim Tebow but WITH the ability to pass. And in case you don’t remember, Tebow was the NUMBER 1 fantasy scorer from Weeks 15-17 in 2010. Heck, even Minnesota’s Joe Webb was relevant when he was forced to start. Cam will continue to gain yardage on the ground, not to mention he’s basically Carolina’s goal-line back. Rushing QBs are huge in fantasy.
- The Detroit and Buffalo offenses are legit, as is the Lions’ D. Play everyone you can in these units, including guys like Nate Burleson and David Nelson.
- Tony Romo will play, so don’t worry about him. Last week he was able to dupe people into thinking that he’s a badass, and he’s not about to throw that away. Think of all the pussy he’d be missing out on!
- It sounds like Dez Bryant and Felix Jones will be on the field as well. If I were a Dez owner, I’d be sure to have another Monday night WR on my roster, just in case he has a setback (Kevin Ogletree and Jabar Gaffney come to mind as potential pickups).
- As for Felix, I’d probably bench him this week, because all it takes is one hit stick in the 1st quarter and he’s out for the rest of the game. With that said, however, I do think he makes for a nice buy-low candidate. Like many others, I was all over his nutsack heading into the season, and I’m not about to let 2 games change my opinion.
- Moving across state, do yourself a favor and bench Arian Foster, regardless of whether or not he’s active. Also, if you drafted Foster and did not handcuff Ben Tate, you’re a fucking fool who deserves to be slapped in the dickhole … or just a shitty fantasy football record.
PS: I didn’t know what to title this column, but when I stumbled across “foresights” it made me think of “foreskin” which I thought was pretty funny.
Posted by Danny Goldin on September 12, 2011
Quite possibly the only thing funner* than making wildy-outrageous assumptions after the preseason is making wildy-outrageous assumptions after the first week of the regular season. Hey, you think Cam Newton can pass for 6,000 yards? He’s on pace for 6,752! Why did LeGarrette Blount only get 15 rushing yards? Should I trade him for Bills tight end Scott Chandler? With that said, I don’t think it’s out of line to say the the Packers looked DOPE this week. We’ve already handled the Saints, so here’s a look at how our other potential NFC threats looked.
*Funner is a way funner to say funner than ‘more fun’
WHITE MICHAEL VICK LOVES PUPPIES
Eagles: OH MY GOSH, DREAM TEAM YEAH, FUCK A PUPPY, LET’S ALL EAT CHEESESTEAKS AND SPLOOGE ON THE LIBERTY BELL. Alright, the Eagles looked relatively good, though there O did look rusty, putting up just 10 points through the first 2.5 quarters against an awful Rams D. They’ll be a tough out as long as Vick can stay healthy, which there’s like a negative 5 percent chance of happening, according to both science AND Will Hunting.
Bears: I’m seriously ecstatic that the Bears looked so great against the Falcons. We already know that Jay Cutler is a loose, roast-beefy pussy who will inevitably fail when the pressure is on — that is a given — so why not let the Bears fans get there hopes up? Because if the hopes are never up, they’d never be able to tragically burn, crash and shit themselves back down.
Lions: The Lions actually looked real good, with a nice road win against the Buccaneers. Stafford has a chance to be a fantasy stud, and I really can’t say for sure that any Transformer would actually be a better receiver than Calvin Johnson. Luckily, the Lions are still from Detroit, and NOTHING good EVER happens to anyone in Detroit, in any aspect of life, so we’re safe.
Falcons: They lost to the Bears, EL OH EL!
Posted by Danny Goldin on March 23, 2011
AND we roll…
Picks 1-4: 1) Arian Foster 2) Chris Johnson 3) Adrian Peterson 4) LeSean McCoy
Picks 5-8: 5) Michael Vick 6) Jamaal Charles 7) Ray Rice 8) Roddy White
MJD is no longer a top-3 pick, but he still should find his way into the 1st round.
9) Maurice Jones-Drew: The emergence of Rashad Jennings at the end of the season is a bit of a hindrance to MJD’s value, but he’ll still obviously be the Jaguars’ feature back. While MoJo’s touchdowns and receptions fell off a bit this year, he still topped 1,300 yards rushing for the second straight season.
10) Andre Johnson: Andre will likely be the second wideout off the board, following Roddy White. He’s been a bit nicked up the past few seasons, but a healthy offseason could put him back into the discussion alongside Roddy as the No. 1 wideout in the game.
11) Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers is THE FUCKING MAN, and very well could go higher (especially if you’re drafting alongside fellow Packers fans), but the fact of the matter is that there are six elite quarterbacks in Vick, Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Peyton Manning and Rivers (and seven if you count Romo, which I do not, but yeah, whatever). Most owners will probably opt for a RB or WR in the 1st, hoping to land one of those 6 QBs in the second round, or just wait until later on in the draft to take one of the second-tier gunslingers like Freeman, Ryan, Schaub, Eli Manning, Cassell, Roethlisberger, Flacco, or, dare I say, Tebow.
12) Rashard Mendenhall: Mendy averaged under 4 yards a carry in 2010, though that was in large part due to the Steelers’ injury-riddled offensive line. He was still able to top 1,250 yards with 13 touchdowns on the ground, and should be better next year with a healthy line. He’s just entering his prime.
You can contact Danny at email@example.com.
Posted by Danny Goldin on February 16, 2011
Nearly a year back, when this blog was just a baby, I wrote a 2-part column (Part 1 & Part 2) about Aaron Rodgers’ place among the NFL’s elite QBs. I concluded that he was the 4th-best QB in the league, a stance that was met with much dissension (and by much, I mean 2 comments).
A year later, I’d like to ask a slightly different, but mostly similar question. Who is the most valuable QB in the NFL? That doesn’t necessarily mean, “Who would you take if you had to win 1 game” or “Who would you most want to run your team in 2012 (if there is a 2012)? By most valuable, I mean this; If you were starting an NFL franchise and had a chance to pick any QB in the NFL, who would it be?
Aaron Rodgers: The most valuable QB in the NFL
I’ll save you the suspense. The answer, hands down, is Aaron Rodgers. He’s THE most valuable QB in the NFL.
His regular season numbers speak for themselves. He and Philip Rivers are the only 2 QBs with QB ratings over 100 each of the past 2 seasons. Rodgers has tallied AT LEAST 28 passing TDs and 4 rushing TDs in each of his 3 years as a starter. And his playoff numbers? How about a 121 QB rating in his 1 game last year, and a 110 QB in 4 games this year. Yeah, that’s right; he played 4 playoff games and won the Super Bowl with a brilliant performance over arguably the best D in the NFL.
He’s 7 years younger than Peyton Manning, 6 years younger than Tom Brady, 5 year younger than Drew Brees, 3 years younger than Michael Vick, and 2 years younger than Rivers. And please, let’s not bring Big Ben into this argument. Numbers aren’t everything, but they’re CERTAINLY a factor.
In determining the most valuable QB in the NFL, age is most definitely a factor in the case against Manning, Brady and Brees. And playoff success (or lack thereof) can be held against Vick and Rivers.
Case closed. Rodgers is the most valuable QB in the universe. Hand over the belt.
Posted by Danny Goldin on February 9, 2011
The 2010 NFL season officially concluded three days ago (don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure the Packers won), but we all know the league is 24/7, 365 these days. Here are the post-Super Bowl, non-CBA headlines circulating today:
Cardinals seriously considering QB Marc Bulger
Wasn’t Bulger a bad starting QB 4 years ago? And 3 years ago? And 2 years ago? Last time I checked, quarterbacks were not like fine wine, and do not get better with age. Bulger was a backup this past season, and a starter for the Rams the three years before that. He threw for more interceptions than TDs in EACH of those seasons, and had a super mediocre quarterback rating between 70.3 and 71.4 each year. I’d heard that Larry Fitzgerald would be a major influencer in who the Cardinals would pursue… and this is who he came up with? You know a playoff spot will be up for grabs in the awful NFC West, and there are probably 5 or 6 other options that would give Arizona a more realistic shot at grabbing it in 2011.
Kyle Orton due $9 million in 2011 salary and bonuses
You stay classy, Kyle Orton.
Alrighty, let’s think this one out for a sec. One on side, you have Orton, who went 1-8 in his final 9 starts last season and is due a bundle of dough. On the other side, you have the son of G-d, and not just any son of G-d, but a son of G-d who actually played pretty darn well over 3 starts at the end of the season. Yeah, the decision doesn’t seem too difficult, regardless of whatever new head coach John Fox might indicate. Let’s be real here: Tebow will be Denver’s starter next year, and Denver will trade Orton, and shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a suitor.
Vikings DT Kevin Williams may be banned 4 games
The same likely suspension goes for Saints DE Will Smith, and free agent Pat Williams, assuming he doesn’t retire. And this is all over a drug test THREE YEARS ago concerning what seems to be a harmless substance. TOTALLY FAIR, I say, as long as it screws over the Vikings and not the Packers. Gotta love Roger Goodell just getting more and more popular with each passing day!
Carson Palmer puts house up for sale
Oh snap! Carson is really laying down the law! Palmer claims that he’ll retire if the Bengals don’t trade him, and based on this news, it sounds like the man might actually be serious. While Palmer is clearly not the superstar that Cincy thought they had on their hands early in his career, he’s still most definitely a starting-caliber NFL QB who’s posted a QB rating above 82 each of the past 2 seasons. There are plenty of teams that could use a QB (Dolphins, Bills, Titans, Raiders, Redskins, Vikings, Panthers, 49ers, Cardinals), and it sounds like the Bengals will be in the group before long.
Aaron Rodgers is back on Twitter
Yippee! A-Rod’s tweets were dormant during the season, but now the man is back and spitting fire, as always. He just tweeted “Dear @GregJennings, Thanks for following me”. Anything the man speaks is gold.
You can e-mail Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Danny Goldin on February 1, 2011
In case you missed the first installment of this column, CHECK IT. Off the board already are:
1) Arian Foster 2) Chris Johnson 3) Adrian Peterson 4) LeSean McCoy
Michael Vick should be the top dog when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks.
5) Michael Vick: Vick averaged the most points per game played, at any position, by a significant margin. While it depends on your scoring system, there’s a good chance he finished as the No. 1 quarterback, this despite missing four complete games, and five if you account for the fact that he missed half of two others. He will be tough for owners to pass up given that he, more than any other player, can almost single-handedly win a fantasy matchup, and you can bet that some owners will take him at No. 1.
6) Jamaal Charles: Charles was second in the league in total yardage, behind only Arian Foster. He averaged a ridiculous 6.4 yards per carry, and over 10 per reception. While Thomas Jones will likely remain a factor (assuming he’s still in KC), he’ll turn 33 before the season. Charles’ upside is tantalizing, given that his usage figures to go nowhere but up.
7) Ray Rice: He didn’t live up to his billing as a top-four pick in 2010, but he was still pretty consistent and finished out strong. Who knows whether or not Willis McGahee will be around, though it doesn’t really matter. Rice will be the premier guy.
8) Roddy White: White has zero question marks heading into next year, which cannot be said by most of the other elite wideouts from this season. He’s still in the prime of his career (unlike Reggie Wayne), he’s a proven stud (unlike Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd and Stevie Johnson), he isn’t prone to injury (unlike Andre Johnson and Hakeem Nicks), he has a star quarterback (unlike Calvin Johnson) and he’ll be in the exact same role (unlike Greg Jennings, who will again have to split targets with Jermichael Finley). Add it all up, and you have Rowdy Roddy White as the first receiver off the board.
You can e-mail Danny at email@example.com
Posted by Danny Goldin on January 25, 2011
Yesterday, the alienation of Jay Cutler was the hottest news on the press. Today, a bizarre story out of Oak Lawn, Ill., steals the spotlight. Check the link for the full story, but here are the nuts and bolts:
A man was fired, all over a tie.
- Car salesman wears Packers tie to work on Monday morning
- He’s told by his boss that he’ll be fired if he doesn’t take it off
- He doesn’t take it off, and is fired
Now, there are a number of other issues at hand here.
A) The car dealership apparently runs current promotions with the Bears
B) The employee, Larry Stone, was apparently wearing the tie to honor his late grandmother, a Packers fan who just recently passed away
C) The boss, Larry Roberts, is reportedly Caucasian, and the employee, Larry Stone, is reportedly African-American (not that this should be a factor, but you have to hope that this story doesn’t turn into an issue of race)
Anyway, I’m not going to pretend to be a lawyer here. I’m SURE this case will be taken to court, and I have no clue what the final verdict will be (though an agreement to terms beforehand is certainly in play, as well). You have to wonder if there’s anything written in Stone’s contract about dress code, because if not, it’s his right to be able to express himself. At the same time, while I’d love to express my support for the Packers fan, I’ll also say this; if I was looking to buy a car and went to make a purchase on the Tuesday morning after the Bears’ Monday night win over the Packers earlier this season, and I walked into a dealership and was approached by an employee wearing a Bears tie, I’d walk right out and head to another dealership.
So, we’ll have to see where this story goes. It’ll be VERY interesting.
Posted by Danny Goldin on January 24, 2011
So unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard plenty about today’s most controversial sports story – how Jay Cutler was pulled from yesterday’s Packers win due to a knee injury. After the injury, a number of athletes went to Twitter to express their disgust at Cutler not toughing things out, though Cutler’s coach and teammates defended him vehemently. A number of journalists have blasted those Tweeters for not knowing what they were talking about, and it’s been revealed that Cutler did indeed suffer a torn MCL. Still, I have a few things I wanted to get off my chest:
Thank goodness the Packers don't have a player like Jay Cutler leading their team.
- Alright, so he tore his MCL. Guess what? This game was to go to the SUPER BOWL! There’s no tomorrow if you lose. You put everything on the line, especially when you consider that a sprained MCL isn’t something that can put a quarterback’s career at serious risk if you play on it, as opposed to something like a serious concussion or rotator cuff injury. Philip Rivers played nearly the entire 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn ACL, a much worse injury. And we all remember the Byron Leftwich game at Marshall, when he BROKE his shin and had to be carried down the field, but still finished out the game. Even if Cutler may not have been 100 percent healthy, anyone with any heart or toughness in his situation simply would have stayed in the game. If he’s able to stand up on the sideline without any crutches, he’s able to throw a football (because it’s not like his upper body had any ailments). I’m sorry, you just won’t be able to convince me otherwise. Conclusion: Cutler COULD have stayed in, if it was up to him.
(Quick side note: I worked at an overnight sports camp until 2008. I once had a kid who was in his last year as a camper. He tore his ACL two weeks into camp, but couldn’t come to grips with the fact that his last year as a camper would be ruined if he opted for surgery. He decided to hold off on surgery and continued to play basketball, football, floor hockey and softball every day for six more weeks. Just sayin’).
- Sure, it wasn’t Cutler who made the decision to be pulled from the game, it was the Bears’ coaches and medical staff. But Cutler didn’t even put up a fight! As bad as Alex Smith’s career has been, he at least had enough self-respect and confidence to defend himself when Mike Singletary tried to bench him in a Week 5 matchup against the Eagles. The fact that Cutler failed to defend himself is simply ridiculous. Are you telling me he couldn’t demand medical attention, and at least put on a knee brace and test things out on the sideline? COME ON, MAN!
- Clearly Cutler was able to stand up and move around. With that said, it’s UNNACCEPTABLE that (as far as we’re aware) he didn’t try to help or even cheer for his backups, Todd Collins or Caleb Hanie. Hanie is a second-year undrafted rookie who had 14 career passing attempts before the game. He CLEARLY could have used the advice of a veteran watching the game from the sidelines. I don’t see how Lovie, Urlacher and company can defend Cutler after that.
- It really ticks me off that some Bears fans have said that Chicago would have won the game had Cutler not gotten hurt. First off, HE STILL COULD HAVE PLAYED, if, you know, he had a heart. Second, he finished 6-of-14 for 80 yards with an interception and zero points on the board. Yeah, not only is he soft and heartless, but he’s also a choke artist!
Raheem Brock said it best: Cutler, YOU’RE A SISSY!
Oh, and one last point. So I mentioned that Rivers and Leftwich both played hurt, and it totally slipped my mind that one of our very own beloved Packers scored a 99-yard touchdown WITH A BROKEN LEG!