Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The running rhetoric seems to be "The Replacement Refs Haven't Altered the Outcome of Any Games." Which I consider the most preposterous suggestion possible. Refs alter the outcome of games. They do it in small doses across 4 quarters, and when they are doing it right we never notice that a holding call here, and an offsides there is killing a drive that may result in a punt that may have been a field goal, or a field goal that may have been a TD. Jon Gruden, one of the top 5 most bombastic blowhards on television made a point Monday night, in the face of rampant incompetence on the part of the officials, that the second half of the football game would be decided "by these two quarterbacks."
We all know Gruden slobbers over QBs the way middle-aged single women slobber over their lapdogs: incessantly, publicly and with no regards to boundaries. And I can't begin to catalog the problems with putting the whole of the game on two players, who has the time? But the bogus implication is that good quarterbacks aren't bothered by bad officiating - and so we should all just get over it. After which I imagine Roger Goodell winked at Gruden, slipping him a glitter-covered $100 bill.
Even tremendously fair refereeing can be beset by human error - with the resulting penalties costing offenders between 5 yards on upward to the pass interference that wasn't called and the one that was botched. In a game that refers to itself as a "game of inches" it doesn't take too much math to figure out how much damage can be inflicted by even the smallest of these penalties.
The story that is being sold is hung on the notion that unless a last second, goal-line call is screwed up, then the game wasn't changed. Well, just ask Rob Gronkowski if the late-game holding call that kept Danny Woodhead out of the end zone affected the outcome of the game (and for the record I am NOT one of the 20 million people who had the Patriots in a suicide league). Ask the San Francisco 49ers if the blatantly missed block in the back call that let Randall Cobb run back a punt that sparked a Packers comeback didn't affect the game. Of course it did. Just because the Packers didn't actually come back to win doesn't mean the missed call had no impact. And just how happy is a Giants fan going to be when the same type of oversight costs them a W? Or a Redskins fan? Or God forbid a Philly fan?
It bugs me that the NFL got away with being greedy against the players and now it just assumes it can be greedy across the board. This sum of money is so insignificant in terms of NFL dollars that we are dealing with this issue on principle, and the NFL should beware that acting on principle is not necessarily in the best interest of the game right now.
This weeks fantasy highlights sponsored by the replacement refs
The Kansas City Chiefs RBs- Before the season began the big debate was who will be the more effective back? Jamaal Charles or Peyton Hillis? The debate is now which one of those bozos can I afford to drop to clear up room on my roster for a backup kicker? If Charles' first week was the definition of underwhelming, then his week 2, 3-yard rushing performance was somewhere south of comatose. Peyton Hillis looked like a guy who you might trust to start on the week when your entire team is on bye.
Larry Fitzgerald: Sure, Cardinals fans are excited, unless that fan also started Fitz in fantasy. Then they are in a state of total confusion, their favorite team is 2-0, but their star receiver was a complete fantasy non-factor.
Brandon Marshall: People put a lot of stock in chemistry, like, Marshall and Jay Cutler have lots of chemistry. The thing I remember about chemistry is that if the elements aren't combined just exactly right you are going to end up with a dumpster fire on your hands. Mostly I blame coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Tice for defiantly ignoring the "How-To-Beat-Green Bay" playbook which consists of using lots of run plays mixed with some short passes and is the opposite of the "let's send Marshall on deep routes all game and see if the pocket will hold up long enough for him to get open" plan.
Kevin Ogletree: Rule number 1 - never start the guy you picked up off waivers because he blew up in week 1. It NEVER works out.
Dez Bryant: You can't say you weren't warned.
Chris Johnson: Who was I kidding? The Chargers were going to eat him alive. Sorry about that.
C.J. Spiller: I'm in a league where one owner has managed to get to 2-0 while keeping C.J. Spiller on his bench for two weeks. Week 1 is completely forgivable, week 2? nah. He's acting like his team is too good for Spiller to have a starting spot. Which is like saying my driveway is too filled with BMWs for me to park this Maybach there. I just pray he keeps the ruse up at least until after I play him.
Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks: Sure, they were mostly started, but a lot of people were spooked by the combination of the Giants week 1 ineptitude and the Buc's week 1 defensive dominance and kept these guys on the bench - which looked like a swell idea through about half time, then turned into one of those nightmares where you are falling face first into the jaws of some primordial Goliath with horrid breath and bits of triceratops still stuck in his teeth.
Willis McGahee: There was one piece of the the Bronco's offense that neither the refs nor Peyton Manning's first half jitters couldn't contain: McGahee. I'm pretty sure John Fox told his group after the game "The Manning experiment was fun, but from now on this is McGahee's show.
Thank God for Replay
Michael Vick: Say what you will about the Michael Vick Experience, the last part of the ride has definitely been the best these first two weeks. He's never been better at digging himself (and his owners) out of some pretty deep holes. Think of how many points he can score if he cuts his turnovers in half.
Reggie Bush: Don't get all excited about that week 2 business. He was playing against me in two leagues, so this was the natural bad karma outcome. Next year I'm toning down my "player haters guide" to a "Players not living up to their amazing potential guide." I think the language should get me around any of these karmic pitfalls.
Vernon Davis: It's taken years, but VD seems finally to have shaken the "can't be trusted" label. In an upgraded aerial attack that includes Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, Davis is the go to guy for Alex Smith. I couldn't draft him because I didn't want any of my bad luck to spill over into the 49ers season, but I'm enjoying his play almost as much as if I had him on all my teams.
Posted by The Owners at 12:49 PM