Gronks and Donks Trash Talk Bonanza!

Been a huge week of activity, from the shutdown/default can down the road kicking, to new FISC apologia, to the stunning announcement of a new media venture. So, a lot of stuff, so to speak. Also, my retained palm tree trimmers think my palm trees are too unruly and nasty for their “talents”. Say what you will, the last item is really troubling.

Anyhoo, I hear there are sports afoot this weekend. Let us start with the lead on the title of this post, the Gronk. The Gronk is back baybee! And that means we must celebrate the return of the Gronk jesus. Since those nasty Patriots up and cut Baby Jesus. Brady has basically been pulling shit out of his ass with Julian Edelman and a cast of nobodies. Smurf Amendola still out and proving exactly how valuable Wes Welker really was (hey, even Giselle must want him back by now), but with Gronk back, maybe, just maybe, the Pats can still take the Jets, Jets, Jets. I think they can make Rex suck on Gronk’s toes!

Okay. On to the other NFL games and things of note. Apparently Adrian Foster of the hapless Houston Texans has decided NOW is the time to market his football career via an IPO stock offering. Gosh, I am no Goldman Scrotum Sacks level genius business expert, but maybe when your team sucks ass so bad you are turning to, effectively, your taxi squad quarterback, and the local fans think that is the only possible excitement in sight…maybe you are not an IPO genius. Just saying. And i say this with all love and due respect for our long time friend and matey, teh Gulf Coast Pirate. Arrrrrr, don’t but that there stock matey!

The Iggles will ride Nick Foles again with Michael Vick on the injury bench. Foles was down in the hated Old Pueblo of the Arizona Wildcats for 2.5 years, so I know him well. Kid has a great arm, and lots of natural talent. Never read off coverages so good, and is nowhere near the “mobile” quarterback Chip Kelly relishes. That said, he may well have NFL level talent, but as far as I have ever seen, it is as more of a classic drop back QB. We shall see. I actually think Matt Barkley is a better leader, but who knows what Kelly will do in Philly. If you ask me, Kelly’s QB is not yet on the Eagles.

In memoriam, last rites must be given to Bad Eli and the Lost Gents of The Meadowlands. On a far happier note, HUGE congratulations to our good friend Pachacutec who was able to finally get married thanks to the rapidly un-bigoting of these here United States. I have never been more happy for a betrothed couple. Salute! Unfortunately, the Giants will still suck this year; though there may be a wedding wedding gift from the Vikings if Adrian Peterson is not so pissed and charged up he rambles for 350 yards.

Oh yeah, Gronks at Jets is actually a game. I know the Mistress of the Distressed Song will be along to carp about how Pretty Tom and his band of Edelmans can not POSSIBLY beat Rex Toesuck and the Jets, but I don’t buy it. The Tom and Gronk Show is more fabulous. In other Big Mitten news, the Kittehs should put the Bungles in the litter. Browns are a semi-real deal, but not in Lambeau. Bears and Skins are a pick em. Chefs look to have home cooking. Oh, yeah, about those Donkos in the title of this post. Peyton going back to Indianapolis. Irsay trying to get in Peyton’s giant head. Who will win that? Um, think I will take Peyton’s big head and the Donkos over Irsay’s idiocy. Luck is a keeper, but not this time. Enjoy the Donkos (okay jackasses) in the Canyon music attached hereto.

In the Semi-Pro league, Florida State versus Clemson is by far the class of the offering. Game is prime time and in Clemson’s Death Valley home. Still, I am hard pressed to not pick the Seminoles and their wonder child QB Jamels Winston in an upset. Really tough call; Tajh Boyd is pretty much the match, more experienced, and at home. I have bad misgivings about this, but have a hunch the ‘Noles are on a roll. The Washington huskies are going to be the final straw for the ASU Sun Devils. Game is at Frank Kush Field, but i won’t be there. Huskies are good; Sun Devils an anomaly. Pick em.

As I write and post this, it looks like the Cardinals are cleaning out the Bums, 6-0 in the 5th. for good in Busch Stadium. Bye bye Bums, that pissing in the DBack’s pool was bad karma for you. Who couldda knowd? The Sawx are up 3-2, and have the last two games of the ALCS at home in Fenway. Still, the Tiger’s pitching is a problem. Tigers are coming with Scherzer and Verlander in games 6 and 7. Bad ass stuff there. Sawx counter with Buchholz and Lackey respectively. Not the star glitz of the Tigers’ pitching aces, but not bad at all. In Fenway, if the Sawx can’t win one of the two, they don’t deserve the pennant.

There you go. Let your hair down and trash this post with all your swerve and verve.

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95 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    Yay Pach!

    Which is not to be confused with any “yay Cheesehead” nonsense. Da Bears will take down the Washington Insults, staying at least a game ahead of the Velveetas of the north.

  2. masaccio says:

    Congrats to Pach!

    The Denver Mannings are all over Sports Center while I exercise my old bones. I’d rather watch Lawrence Welk reruns. Go Indy.

  3. PJ Evans says:

    Congratulations, Pach, and best wishes for years of happiness to come!

    (Ferdie Grofe, I take it? My mother met him; she said he was a DOM.)

  4. bmaz says:

    @PJ Evans: PJ – not sure how in the world you got caught up in our filter, but your comment is free now. Sorry about that. We are tinkering with a few things, so prob our fault. Sorry about that!

  5. GulfCoastPirate says:

    I think I’ll pass on the Foster IPO.

    As for your other comments, let’s not forget they plucked Foster off the taxi squad also and now he’s got his own IPO. :)

  6. emptywheel says:

    Dunno why you couldn’t go to the game and help the Devils.

    In our local sports news the return of the AHL champion Griffins to an unfurled banner has led to 100% inflation in the dogs and beer bargain.

  7. Jim White says:

    What a joy it was last night to watch Louisville fritter away any chance they had at a national championship. With their schedule of patsies, losing to the only halfway serious team they play all year — at home — ends any hope they had. And on top of that, UCF looks in pretty good shape for whatever they’re calling the old Big East and could even get the BCS bid for the conference. Best example yet of the depravity of the current system.

    I’m worried about my Gators. It’s now in the mid-30’s at Mizzou and the day will top out below 60. Reptiles don’t move well in that weather. There are rumors that Tyler Murphy got a shoulder banged up at LSU and didn’t practice much this week, but he is still expected to play. I really have no idea what to expect for the game. Could believe a solid Gator win but would not be surprised by a blowout loss.

    Baseball is such a huge disappointment in the playoffs. Of the four division series, three went the opposite way of what I wanted. The Cards getting into the Series last night is another travesty. As a very young kid, I was a huge Cards fan in the Bob Gibson and Lou Brock days. But with what Mark McGwire did to the game with steriods (and Tony LaRussa there too, whom I already despised from when I was in the Bay Area when he managed the A’s) while the Cards promoted the shit out of him, I just can’t support them any more. And yes, I know the beer people don’t still own the team, but the stadium is still named after them and the beer company did a huge screw-job on Roger Maris’ family here in Gainesville, taking their distributorship away from them around the same time as the steroid shit. Fuck the Cardinals and the dump of a town where they are.

    If the Card’s opponents are the Sox, I will boycott the entire World Series.

    And get off my lawn.

  8. emptywheel says:

    One other story that deserves in Trash is that of the Grambling football team, which effectively went on strike this week because the school cares more about enforcing authority than contributing to their success.

    Near the start of the 2013 season, the Grambling Legends, a group unaffiliated with the school, put up $11,000 to buy replacement flooring for the weight room. Doug Williams, then the Tigers coach — as well as a popular alumnus, a former Super Bowl MVP and a member of the Grambling Legends — helped arrange the purchase of the new rubber flooring, just as he had done last summer with new flooring for the team’s locker room. Williams had a history of ruffling administrative feathers at the school — in April 2012 he sued Grambling State for performance bonuses he says he was owed — and he often circumvented the athletic department’s chain of command. The funds to pay for the new weight room floor, which had not been filtered through the school’s foundation as Pogue and athletic director Aaron James demanded, were yet another instance of that.
    Pogue and James, however, refused to install the new floor and had it stored in another building near the team’s practice field. A week after the large rolls of flooring were mothballed, they fired Williams from his job as the Tigers’ football coach.
    The players, unaware of any administrative politics, knew only the basics: One minute they were getting a badly needed new floor in the weight room, and the next minute they weren’t; and one minute Williams, who had led the team to a SWAC title as recently as 2011, was their coach, and the next minute he was not.
    The revolt of the Grambling players earlier this week was reportedly a protest of long bus trips, a lack of food on the road and a general decline in the university’s support of the program — and that is true. But as SI learned while with the Tigers as the events of the past week unfolded, the players’ actions were also driven by the need for answers to questions they have long been asking: Why can’t they get a new floor in the weight room, in addition to some of the other things they feel they need to win games? Why did Williams get fired? And, most importantly, What has happened to Grambling football?
    [snip]
    Ask school officials why the football team and other programs are struggling and they quickly shift attention from personality conflicts and staffing decisions to the budget. Since 2007-08, overall state funding for Grambling has gone from $31.6 million to $13.8 million. The school has attempted to bridge that gap by increasing tuition, but it has fallen short, and cuts have been made across the board. Approximately 127 staff members have been laid off since 2008 and furloughs are common. Professors have also been asked to teach an extra class each year for free. Generally, the school has “cut to the bone,” says Leon Sanders, Grambling’s vice president for finance.

    I’m certain I don’t quite understand the story, entirely, but it takes some courage to just refuse to practice and play. And Grambling’s history is such that it’d be nice to find a way to bring this program back, perhaps as a model of what student athletics should be.

    Or maybe this needs to be a discussion about funding for college, more generally.

  9. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Dang, I did mean to include that story. Dunno what to make of it, but that is truly a huge funding loss. Is this a Jindal deal? How does Louisiana get away with hammering it that bad?

  10. scribe says:

    Wacha Wacha.

    I’m still bummed the Pirates didn’t make it past the Cards. Really. But they have a good strong nucleus of younger players and, possibly, they can keep some of their rent-a-veterans for next year. It needs be remembered that during those all long years in the desert they made a profit from revenue sharing and TV rights well before selling a single ticket, so giving me the “small market” line goes absolutely nowhere. And also – if you didn’t notice on the TV during the pennant run and playoffs – they have one of the prettiest of all stadiums in the game. The view alone is well worth the price of admission, especially the play of the light on the buildings across the river as the sun goes down.

    Of course, one of the other very conveniently pleasant things about liking Pittsburgh teams is that they all have the same colors in their unis, so one can move easily from season to season without changing the wardrobe too much.

    At least you still have an AHL team, EW.

    No one has mentioned the Crows at Stillers this week – getting national TV. Kinda unsurprisingly, Fluke-o and his crows have underwhelmed this year. A post-Super Bowl hangover and talent departures reminiscent of a Florida Marlins fire sale only go so far. Maybe Fluke-o overperformed last year. I’m hoping the Stillers have found their feet and gotten over them rather than curling up like an armadillo looking to become roadkill. Or like the Giants. Still getting some good quasi-national coverage for the Stillers game (We Are Everywhere.) though the sudden emergence of Da Chiefs grabbed most of the markets west of the Mississippi. Will be interesting.

    The game I’m looking at most is Owboys at Iggles. This will prove interesting. Anyone in the Great Northeast or South Philly still want to boo Andy Reid? I think he can coach. A detailed unraveling of why the Iggles weren’t so good in the latter years of Reid’s tenure would be a fasinating read.

    And hockey’s picking up. Ahhh.

  11. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: Yeah, see the graph in this post of mine: http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/05/03/strikes-in-ca-republicans-in-fl-admitting-loss-of-quality-fallout-from-long-term-underfunding-of-higher-education/

    States have been steadily cutting their funding for universities since the Reagan years, so tuition has been increasing at a much faster rate than inflation as the schools try to keep up. Even with those huge tuition increases, though, most are barely keeping up and infrastructure across the board is suffering greatly. [And the raving Galtians keep telling me that these increases in tuition are because of out-of-control administrative salaries whenever I point to the graph. These folks never let actual math get in the way of their rants…]

    And, of course, factor in that this is an HBC in Louisiana as scribe points out, and these guys are going to get their funding cut much worse than any other universities in the state.

    That said, though, it still looks pretty bone-headed for administrators to not join in on Williams’ creative funding work and even to fire the biggest name they had associated with the athletic program.

    So I will be Chuck Todd here and say both sides have done things that are pretty bad.

    As might be expected, the biggest losers are the students and I have to tip my hat to them for their principled stand.

  12. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Not just Louisiana. Lots of questions whether it makes sense to fund historically Black colleges as such anymore. Don’t know what the answer to that is though.

  13. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Dunno abt AZ, but public schools are being gutted around the country. I think it is worse for the Historically Black Colleges.

  14. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: I think Reid’s family issues probably were a distraction from his admittedly superb coaching talent. KC brings him some distance and a fresh start from some really tough issues.

  15. Bay State Librul says:

    Do you believe the Onion?

    Patriots at Jets

    OSN’s Pick: Patriots – It will be more understandable this week when Patriots fans leave the stadium midway through the fourth quarter.

  16. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Sure. And Arizona public universities took some of the biggest hits in the nation. But between 2008-2013, the same period where Grambling lost about 60% of its funding, the three AZ universities lost about 36%. Which has been made up by large tuition increases and greater public/private partnership ventures. Not sure about NAU as much, but after some initial thinning of resources at ASU and UofA, they both are going wild with building and programs lately.

    Looks like Grambling has just been devastated though.

  17. Jim White says:

    Really pitiful game so far for the Gators. Only 62 yards of offense in the first half. Got a safety ejected for targeting on the first play from scrimmage. I have never seen an offensive line that was so pitiful.

    And the real travesty is that Muschamp will be given a free pass on this shitty season because of all the injuries.

  18. Peterr says:

    Think Red Sox fans rooting for the Yankees.
    Think Bears fans rooting for the Cheeseheads.
    Think bmaz rooting for Gloria Allred.

    That’s how wild this past week was in World Cup qualifying in Central and North America, with Mexican soccer fans rooting for the US. When you add in the non-understated style of the Mexican tv announcers, things really get wild.

    Amazing.

  19. Peterr says:

    @emptywheel: Nothing gets by you.

    Two consecutive possessions with turnovers ==> ten points. Not good.

    But they’re still fighting . . . and now only down by7.

  20. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: How many white kids go to [name a HBC]?

    Few.

    But that is a red herring of sorts – there continues to exist a culture of segregation in this country, black President or not. And college choices also have a lot of other things coming into the equation. Family ties/legacy, for one. When I was in law school, the son of an older classmate was a senior in high school, getting admission offers from Harvard, Yale and a couple more Ivies. He went to Morehouse because of family history with that school. (That, and the Ivies, Harvard especially, were known at that time for outsize generosity with financial aid to minority students freshman year, followed by less generosity soph and later. It worked to get them in and make the stats look “good” and then put the screws to the parents when the kid got to like the place and couldn’t bear the thought of having to go somewhere else.)

    I have little doubt that the people writing budgets for state schools in the South (and elsewhere) do so with an eye toward “keeping ‘them’ in their place” and that HBC suffer disproportionately as a result.

    Given the description of what happened at Grambling, firing Doug Williams over getting alumni to buy a new weight room floor beyond the budget, the first thing I thought of was that the administrators pissed about it were most pissed because they didn’t get a chance to dip into the money for themselves and/or their pet projects, first. That, and Williams showed them up by out-fundraising them and scorning their budget.

  21. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: I would hazard a guess that the generic Bruins fan has a very ambivalent opinion of Thomas. Yes, he bailed on the team last year, but in so doing he allowed Rask to come to the fore and take the team as far as they went – pretty far. And the season was a lot shorter last year. Not for nothing, if not for Bergeron, the team would have lost to Toronto (of all people) and never gone as deep in the playoffs as they did. Rask is pretty darn good.

    Yeah, they’ll enjoy beating Thomas and goofing on him, but they’re also glad he left.

  22. rosalind says:

    got home and turned on the Stanford game, tied up at 3. next play Stanford player brings in the TD catch w/one hand, then Stanford intercepts and a few plays later drives it in.

    Stanford 17, UCLA 3.

    hee.

  23. emptywheel says:

    In a matchup of hoops powerhouses, Wolverkitties beat IU 63-47 at the Big House.

    Bring on March Madness.

  24. Jim White says:

    What an awesome win by Auburn over A&M. Yes, Manziel showed a lot of grit playing hurt at the end, and yes, Auburn got away with a horsecollar that should have given the Aggies a first down.

    But never forget that the cheating little grifter never should have been playing this year with all the cash he got on the side for the autographs. His half a game suspension was ludicrous and craven. He is a cheating grifter from a long line of grifters and I’m very happy he lost.

  25. CTuttle says:

    My Cardiac Sox are hosting another World Series…! ;-)

    The ‘Flying Hawaiian’ rawked the Kitties with a Grand Salami and Uehara closed the deal…!

    Sorry, Jim, it looks like you’ll boycotting the Series…! ;-)

  26. scribe says:

    Per ESPN: Grambling to players: “get your asses back to work or lose your scholarships”.

    Port Chicago, 2013 edition.

    Here’s the problem. For the Grambling kids, if they quit, they lose their scholarships and their chance at school. If they show up and lay down, they both deprive their opponents of honest competition – the chance to put their best against the Grambling team’s best – and give ther Grambling administration a prextext upon which to shitcan their scholarships. If they play hard, they ratify the malfeasance of the Grambling administration and nothing changes.

    So, what to do.

  27. Bay State Librul says:

    @CTuttle:

    38,823 fans never left for the exits.
    The road to redemption marches through St. Louis.
    X-Man versus Wacha?
    Rookie versus Rookie
    Triple A Pawtucket and Triple A Memphis.
    Aruba vs Texas A&M
    Fastball hitter vs .43 ERA
    Will Bobby Valentine will be throwing out the first pitch on Wednesday?

  28. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Valentine is owed some credit – he started cleaning out the clubhouse cancers. They’re not eating chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse any more, and that’s his doing.

    That, and picking up Victorino was huge move. He’s the prototypical dirty uniform and I still don’t understand why the Phils let him go.

  29. What Constitution? says:

    @rosalind: That Stanford one-handed touchdown catch might well have been the best catch of the year, college or pro, when all is said and done. Hardly surprising that UCLA gave up from there on out, too busy shaking their heads in awe and amazement to play football.

  30. scribe says:

    I am stuck with a real conundrum: whether to laugh at and jeer derisively the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS or the Patsies, both of whom I don’t really care for.

    At the rate that Biebs is missing his receivers (Gronk included), I’m betting on a tie.

    … a few minutes pass …

    and now it looks like the J-E-T-S will grind it out on the ground into FG range.

    … a few minutes pass and …

    The J-E-T-S miss a looong field goal. But, but, but …

    More instant karma for that showboating – one of the most obscure unsportsmanlike conduct penalties evah.

    and …

  31. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Well, they did. But they should have expected something like that, given the showboat at the end of the first half.

    Cheaters never prosper.

    The rule is fairly straightforward – one player is not allowed to push another player of his team so as to asssist him through the opposing line. It;’s right there with “no climbing on your teammate’s back to get height to block the FG try.” That it is infrequently called is merely a measure of how basic the rule is.

    Look for a new name on the back of jersey #94 next week.

  32. Bay State Librul says:

    Confirmed with the NFL that that was the first time the pushing penalty was called. New rule this year.
    I understand that folks hate the Pats, but this was a bush call, in my
    humble opinion.
    I thought this was trash talk and nobody has an opinion?

  33. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    But if you view the replay, you see nada, no climbing on his back.
    Btw, Jones has accepted responsibility (No #94), but Bill might promote
    him. Hey, the Pats played poorly, granted, but nobody likes to see a game end this way……
    What does Bmaz think?

  34. Bay State Librul says:

    Here is good summary from the Globe beat writer

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Patriots lost to the New York Jets on a 42-yard field goal by Nick Folk in overtime, 30-27, but the crux of the loss comes down to a pivotal play just moments prior.
    Defensive tackle Chris Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a teammate in an attempt to block Folk’s 56-yard attempt with 7:17 left in the extra period.

    It was a violation of one of the NFL’s new rules for 2013, governing play on extra points and field goal attempts, in an attempt to make sure the game is more safe for players in the trenches.

    Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b) 2 — “…players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”

    Jones was admittedly unaware of the rule, which had been announced by the league in August and shown to each team as officials made their rounds during training camp.

    “It was something we probably talked about during camp and it just skipped my mind, it was my mistake and nobody else’s,” Jones said.

    It couldn’t come at a worse time. The Jets had run the ball eight straight times before stalling at the New England 38-yard line. The Patriots were up against the wall in a defensive stand, hoping that Folk would miss from from more than 50 yards.

    When the kick went up, there was a sense of confusion on both sides because the try went wide left and a flag had been immediately thrown.

    “I was confused at first, didn’t know what was going on,” Jones said. “Then I figured out what it was and I was like, ‘oh, it was my fault.’ Still had more football to play after that so I just had to get rid of it really quick.”

    The Jets were awarded 15 yards on the penalty and Bill Belichick was livid over the call, which referee Jerome Boger explained was a quick decision.

    “The umpire’s flag went up almost instantaneously as he observed the action,” Boger said in a pool report. “We just enforced it as he called it.”

    With three more rushes for -1 yard, the Jets had a much more accommodating field goal try from 42 yards out. Folk nailed it, ending the game and the Patriots’ six straight wins over their AFC East rival.

    According to Fox Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira, it was the first time this season the rule had been enforced.

  35. scribe says:

    That little bump you might have felt a couple minutes ago?

    It was the world coming back onto its axis, as Suisham’s GW field goal crossed the uprights as the clock clicked to :00, giving my Stillers a 2-game winning streak.

    It might not seem like much, but it’s gotta start somewhere.

  36. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: Someone’s got to be first.

    You’re howling like a Mets fan. Or a J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS fan. Starting off with loud blizzards of angry syllables then going over to moaning, crying and screaming like souls being slow-roasted over the coals of Hell, occasionally turned by teams of demons to ensure even cooking.

    Be like a Stiller fan: grit your teeth, suck it up, grumble and maybe curse a little and hope for better next week.

  37. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe: Okay, I will go silently into the night. Actually, I wasn’t too pissed but thought it was no way to end a game, the ref should have shown a little discretion, it wasn’t a blatant foul…. It was no way to win or lose a game.

  38. Peterr says:

    As a fan of Da Bears, I gotta say that injuries suck.

    As a fan of Da Bears, I also gotta say that I’m loving the defense of the Chefs. Tamba Hali is something else.

  39. emptywheel says:

    @Bay State Librul: To be fair, Pats were ALSO first team to benefit off of overturning of the tuck rule–was it the Bills game?

    Look, Brady needs to get his head out of his ass and throw more accurately. He’s got Gronk now to give the rookies some space. That’s not Wes, but that’s what he’s got.

  40. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Ah, see where I went to football school, you ponied up for the tix and either used them or sold them. Plus there’s always Dad.

  41. emptywheel says:

    @rosalind: Girlfriend. All taht shit you used to tell me about Andrew Luck’s superiority? that’s what I need about now. I mean,I get it. And Manning will still be in brain fuck for another 20 minutes. But … please?

  42. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: How many credits do you need to sign up for in order to get a student ticket? There are a bunch of . . . how to put this? . . . second career students these days.

    Might be cheaper than paying full freight for the Rich Alumni/Soak the ‘rents tickets.

  43. JohnT says:

    @emptywheel:

    These two plays are what told me he was something special

    This pass against Oregon in 2009 when he was a red shirt freshman was a wow moment. 2:27 in the video

    I can’t find the video anywhere else for a better angle, but I remember watching it live, and what made it amazing is that he dropped into Whalen’s hands perfectly. The only other time I’ve seen a pass like that, was when Favre was playing for the Vikings in the Playoff game against the Cowboys. Favre’s 40 something yard pass to Sydney Rice was placed so perfectly only Rice could get it

    And then the hit on Shareece Wright

    Booooom! Almost as good as the Clowney tackle that ESPN runs about 5,000 times a day

  44. rosalind says:

    @emptywheel: (sorry, i was off getting my live musica fix: mi amigo de silverlake dave alvin and a few of his buds, peter case, chris smither and rick shea over at McCabe’s Guitar shop. got to listen to the first half on the way over, had faith that Luck would hold out thereafter).

  45. Bay State Librul says:

    @emptywheel:

    The obnoxious Boston fan agrees with you

    From Boston.com

    “Tuck Rule” and “Spy Gate” meet “Rule 913 (b2).”

    It states that “[defensive players] cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation” on a field goal or PAT try. It was added to the Official Playing Rules this season.

    Before Sunday, it had never been called.

    But the NFL wasn’t teetering on the verge of irrelevancy in New York so early in the season before Sunday, either.

    Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones, who had 10 tackles and two sacks against the Jets, was lined up behind Will Svitek and attempted to shove his teammate through the center of the Jets line. Nick Folk’s 57-yard overtime field goal attempt fluttered wide left after not being affected by Jones’ play.

    None of that mattered to Tony Michalek, who threw the flag.

    The officials consulted.

    They got a call directly from Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office. They were told uphold the call because New York’s two NFL teams were about to fall to a combined 3-10 and be out of any realistic playoff contention this year with nine weeks left in the season. The league needed to avoid the hit of having both of teams located in the nation’s top media market being unwatchable in the same season, tanking TV ratings on games that have to broadcast locally, especially in a season where the Super Bowl is headed to Met Life Stadium.

    OK, that last part didn’t happen, or maybe it did. It’s no more crazy or unrealistic than all the other whackjob conspiracy theories that have been generated by the success of the Patriots in the past dozen seasons.

    The Jets would be awarded 15 extra yards and a first down, eventually setting up Folk for his game-winning 42-yarder in the Jets’ 30-27 OT victory over the Patriots [5-2].

    For millions, this was karmatic payback. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick getting the shaft thanks to a ridiculously timed call that was barely correct on the strictest interpretation of the law.

    “Tommy Boy” and “Belicheat” finally got theirs from the NFL and the refs.

    The most laughable part about this rule is that NFL instituted it to increase player safety.

    You know, the same league that has celebrated certain players while they were still being tried for murder, or just settled a lawsuit for its injured retirees for $765 million, or saw three starting QBs knocked out on Sunday alone.

    If the NFL was deadly serious about player safety, it would ban face-masks and bring back leather helmets. The head would no longer be used as weapon. You’d see more broken noses, bloodied faces and chipped teeth, but fewer players taken off on stretchers or lost for weeks with concussions.

    “We just enforced it as he called it,” referee Jerome Boger said via a pool reporter, adding, “It’s any type of pushing action.”

    After the game, Belichick said the call should not have been made because Jones wasn’t a “second-level” player, meaning that the rule only applied if someone came in from behind the line of scrimmage.

    There’s no mention of any “second-level” player in Rule 913, at least in the version posted on NFL.com on 6:32 p.m. Sunday.

    “(a) When Team A presents a punt, field-goal attempt or a Try Kick formation, a Team B player, who is within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage, must have his entire body outside the snapper’s shoulder pads at the snap. (b) When Team A presents a field-goal or Try Kick formation: (1) No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap; Penalty: For illegal formation by the defense, loss of 5 yards from the previous spot. (2) Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation. Penalty: For unnecessary roughness, loss of 15 yards from the previous spot.”

    But here’s what appeared on a Google cached version of the NFL.com page that explained the rule before it was updated:

    Cached Page.jpg

    The part about players “not on the line of the scrimmage” was removed by the NFL’s website after Belichick spoke on Sunday, ostensibly to eliminate confusion, reported CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran.

    The Push Rule didn’t change, just the explanation of it. Changing it just further muddied the issue, and damaged the NFL’s credibility when it comes to credibility.

    One thing is for sure, there’s no Push Rule when the Chargers play the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

    There were no “unicorns” or “showponies” at Met Life Stadium on Sunday. They were too hung over after partying with the Red Sox and their fans at Fenway Park Saturday night.

    Jones took the hit after the game, in true Patriot Way style, saying it was his mistake and he realized his misdeed once he saw the flag. But who can blame him when it’s obvious that the NFL can’t properly explain its own rule until Belichick tried to do it for them.

    “It’s about time we caught a break,” said coach Rex Ryan.

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