Championship Sunday 2019 Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler

There are notable football weekends in the year, both for the Pros and the Joes. In college, it is the rivalry weeks, usually late in the season, and the CFB semi-finals. In the Pros, it is the last week or two of the regular season and, then the Wildcard and Divisional weekends. But nothing matches the conference championship games weekend nor the Super Bowl.

So, here we are at Conference Championship Sunday. The best four teams over the regular season are still standing and ready to play today. No outliers. It is really who should be playing today. When the “final four” are who they should be, that is a good thing, and so it is today. The national media is framing it as really old QB’s versus young second year QB’s. I am not sure that is fair, the coaching styles and defenses are every bit as important. Sean Payton has a lot more experience than Sean McVay, while Bill Belichick and Andy Reid are a lot closer (with Bill Bel having the edge historically).

Let’s see what is on tap:

First up is Rams at Saints. They are the two best teams in the NFC, and New Orleans deserves the home site via a head to head earlier win. While most focus on the head to head Brees versus Goff passing matchup, I think it comes down to the running game. If the dual headed Rams attack of Gurley and C.J. Anderson get untracked, and the Rams outstanding O-Line run blocking might provide that, it could be a long day for the Saints in their home Superdome.

But the Rams have enough defensive line attack and pass rush to neutralize the incredible Drew Brees and make him throw into a very competent Rams secondary. It is really a great matchup. I have no idea who wins this, and would not want to bet real money on it.

Second game is Pats at Chefs. While, as noted above, the coaching history favors Bill Bel by a mile, Mahomes is a more accurate and mobile Brett Favre freak, and Reid is truly a great coach. The Pats, still, are as healthy as they have been all season, are playoff pressure battle tested, and have the likes of Brady, Edelman, Gronk and many other players. If they get beat, it will not be because they were too new for the stage. And let’s note again the relative health of the roster, which was not the case a lot of the regular season. The defense is picking up too.

As much as the Bolts were kind of compelling underdogs, the two best possible teams are playing today in KC. Note that the game is in KC where it will be seriously cold, but not as bleak as earlier thought as to weather. But it is not in Foxborough, it is in the cacophonous Arrowhead. On the flip side, if there is ever a well coached and experienced team to walk into that, it is Bill Bel, Brady and the boys. Something has to give.

For the Chefs, they cook on with their redshirt frosh Pat Mahomes blowing up the NFL passing game. He is really a freak. And really good. Tyreek Hill is in a similar category, and they still have a running game and Sammy Watkins on offense. Justin Houston and Eric Berry are back, apparently at full speed, which transforms the KC defense. Special teams seems to be a wash with both playing well. Also, remember, Belichick has a record of scheming for these kind of games. So, who wins? No clue! Chefs are home in the imposing Arrowhead, but if anybody can take them there, you would never bet against Bill Bel and Brady. I have no idea.

As we often do, I would like to notice a relevant sports story that is outside of the traditional games talk. Today, it involve a superb report by friend to this blog Adam Klasfeld at Couthouse News (he really is excellent, follow him). It involves NBA big man Enes Kanter, and it is an ongoing story, but this is an absolutely great interview and report:

Sitting on the same sofa where he watched his teammates lose by a point the previous night in London, Turkish Knicks star Enes Kanter opened up about why he missed the big game – a story he wants to share with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“First, I would talk to him about the issues in Turkey and then, just meet him and talk about what’s going on, talk about my experiences and share my own personal stories,” Kanter said in an extensive interview on Friday from the lounge of his apartment building.

With their star center an ocean away, the Knicks squandered a one-point lead at the buzzer to the Washington Wizards at a matchup in London on Thursday night. Kanter skipped the game after the Turkish government put out a red notice and sought his extradition and prosecution.

“I put on my jersey because I still wanted to feel like I’m part of the team,” the 6-foot-11 basketball player recounted, arriving for the interview in a Knicks shirt.

Read the whole thing. And then think about how Trump, and his closely held administration, relentlessly sucks up to the tyranny and authoritarianism of Erdogan. Sports really intersects life more often than people think, but this is a blaring example.

Okay, that is it for Championship Sunday. So, laissez le bon temps rouler. Music by BB King. Roll it baby.

66 replies
  1. DrHack says:

    I think you meant to say “Sports really *intersects* life…” in the penultimate paragraph.

    I am rooting for the hometown Rams, and I think The Chiefs will beat the Pats. Looking forward to both games!

  2. P J Evans says:

    In related sports news: I was at the supermarket the other day, and they had a lot of Cal and Stanford stuff for the home viewer: popcorn and the like. Left over from the Big Game, I assume – but I live in Los Angeles, where it’s not the local thing at all.

  3. Peterr says:

    Great musical choice, bmaz. Here in KC, there’s a great joint called BB’s Lawnside BBQ that combines great ‘cue and great blues. Sitting at home right now, I can smell the BBQ as the music here plays. If any of you are in KC and looking for a really good expression of KC-style barbecue, BBs would certainly be one of the places to consider.

    The local coverage of the Chefs has really been something to behold. The KC Star ran five – count ’em, five – special sections related to the game in today’s otherwise slim paper. The local TV stations have been equally going nuts with their coverage, and one station had everyone dressed in red – except one anchor. He had to explain on-air that the reason he didn’t wear red was that the last two times the Chefs played really big games, he wore this particular suit and tie. “Not gonna break that good luck streak.”

    And yes, it’s cold. Not as bad as they were predicting 5 days ago, but still cold. Not “cold by KC standards,” but cold by anyone’s standards. The field itself has a warming system of pipes beneath it, so traction won’t be a problem, but holding onto the ball will be another story.

    Lots of folks here were talking about the Chefs’ defense last week, and getting Eric Berry back today will have everyone at Arrowhead going nuts the first time his name is called. As much as Brady has been concern trolling with his “we’re the underdog” schtick, the Chefs’ defense has been slammed so much over the season (at times quite legitimately) and they are on a mission to prove that last week was not a fluke but a statement of how much they have grown and jelled.

    • bmaz says:

      It really is a hell of a matchup. Again, if this was with the Pats as the home team, it might be a way easier call. Not in KC though. Truly a different thing. While won’t make any bet, even a junk blog one, think Mahomes and Chefs eat the Pats today. But, that said, do not think the Pats dynasty is quite dead yet.

    • Eureka says:

      It would be nice for Reid to have his hero story and for KC to enjoy SB euphoria this year.

      But if it goes that way, I am not looking forward to more of the ‘QB olds/when are you retiring’ talk to which bmaz alludes.  Which is inevitably where the media will return if Brady also loses today.  To be clear, all ‘objectified QB’ talk is irritating, if only because it replicates, in small part, how women in general are media-brokered.

  4. scribe says:

    It’s Cold here in Scribe-town and, with the Stillers out of the running kinda quiet, too.

    So, I broke out my memory and made a big pot of Hungarian goulash.  A nice piece of beef chuck, lotsa bell peppers – green and red – celery, diced tomatoes (extenders), onions, garlic (half a head), and paprika.  Glorious paprika, regular and smoked.  Dredge and brown the cubed chuck, sweat the onions, add beef broth and return meat to pot.  Tomatoes and celery.  Add spices.  Add more spices.  It took about 3 hours, low and slow on the stove, and I just had two bowls.  Over homemade noodles and a glob of sour cream.

    Thing about paprika is that it goes down easy and gets you the heat later.  Slow and comforting.  Sorta like cello music or, yes, some good slow blues.

    Perfect thing for a cold winter Sunday.

    The TV says it will be cold in KC.  Its colder than the proverbial [you pick] here.

    I mourn for the Iggles season.  To be fair, they had one of the worst Super Bowl Hangovers on record (it was one hell of a party), and their W-L showed it.  Their fans, well, that sliding thump you felt last week was the world sliding back onto its axis, and Iggles fans returning to their normal demented state.  Like these ladies:

    Fortunately, the microwave was not activated while the Pomeranian was inside.  Even though it’s reasonably debatable whether Pomeranians actually qualify as dogs (I’m quite partial to setters – Real Dogs they are), as opposed to some furry subspecies of dustmop, they don’t belong in the nuke, no matter how distressing the Iggles loss was and no matter how much you had to drink.

    I’m wandering because, frankly, I can’t make heads or tails out of today’s games.  KC & Cheatertown seem a toss-up and I suspect it will come down to some combination of Arrowhead Noise, Andy Reid’s Clock Management, a key turnover, and maybe the weather – someone losing their grip on the ball.

    I think the Saints are going on to the SB.  The Iggles gave them all they had but, after one key pick that game was over.  It’s the NOLA Noise and Drew Fookin’ Brees.  Brees is on his game like I’ve hardy ever seen for him.  Actually, like hardly any QB ever.  And their 2 RBs are excellent – one of the reasons they were able to sustain that massive 3Q drive (something like 18 plays and almost the entire quarter) and use that to break the Iggles backs.

    I don’t see the Rams having anything like that in their bookbags.

    You may not like Skip and Shannon on Fox Sports, but you cannot deny their bookers get the guests.  At this link, the great James Silverback Harrison discussing my beloved Stillers.

    While Harrison looks like he’s slacked off a bit on the workout routine (but not the training table), he nonetheless speaks Truth.  Listen to all of it.  I foresee dark days for my Stillers, at least until the entitled new generation of ownership gets their head out of their ass and fires Tomlin.  He made the golem that is AB (and Bad Teammate Bell).  He’s lost the locker room, lost the ability to discipline, and needs to leave with them.  And he lost Harrison:  regardless of what you might say about the way Harrison left – I believe Harrison’s bad attitude was a response because Tomlin disrespected him as a player and a man – last year Harrison was playing in the SB – the whole game – and Tomlin was on his couch, probably with a G&T.  (Yeah – I know it’s seasonally inappropriate but I’ll stand on my call.  A relative used to waitstaff at a restaurant where Tomlin was a regular…  I have my sources.  Some of the younger Rooneys used to eat there, too.  “Entitled” just began to describe them.)

    Anyway, until the NOLA game cranks up, I have hockey.  Caps at Blackhawks.  Caps losing, Not Happy, and getting lots of roughing penalties.  My kind of game.

    • Peterr says:

      You may not like Skip and Shannon on Fox Sports

      This. It is clearly not allowed to like these two.

      As for the guests, eh. The pregame for the Rams-Saints game seems to be the national version of those five sections of the KC Star devoted to the Chefs. Overdone, overblown, and lots and lots of bro-blustering.

      ETA: Not looking good for your Caps. As a Blues fan, I’m always down with seeing the Blackhawks lose.

      • scribe says:

        I don’t care what Skip and Shannon say.  I’m much more interested in what Silverback has to say.

        And I stand alongside him in refusing to extinguish a flaming King Roger the Clown by pissing on him.

    • Pete says:

      Goulash for the win. Teams with most direct descendant Hungarians win. About as “scientific” as anything.

    • Eureka says:

      “…one key pick…”

      I had a little sadz at the grocery store, stocking up for coldmageddon.  Spouse reacted as I was going to toss something his way, and I said ‘Catch it like Ertz’ –meaning for the cart to take it.  Then I looked around and saw the usual amount of cut fruit platters and what not.  Not a ‘playoffs’ amount of fruit platters…no packages of green cups nestled into convenient spots. Capitalism reminds.  Just under a year ago, on a more- and strategically- crowded grocery aisle, I called Philly Philly and while I can be embarrassing in public at times, that play went over fine.  And not just with the strangers present.

      Smoked paprika- with tarragon- is excellent on scallops.  It gives a bacony essence.  I just get a basic scampi sauce going (I use ~half olive oil/ half butter- plus the lemon juice, garlic, white pepper, salt, and whatever else I may be forgetting).  Cover with copious tarragon, tap each scallop with smoked paprika (this is for an amount guideline; it’s just going to slide into the sauce when you flip them- then tap some onto each scallop again after you flip).

      It’s good over leftover small-dice roasted beets.  Or rice, noodles- what have you.

      • Eureka says:

        Key step I later recalled: remove scallops when done and reduce the sauce until it turns a deep, rich orange.

  5. burnt says:

    Since I feel that Bill Bel and Brady might be shut down today I’m taking the opportunity to leave this masterpiece here:

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Slight edit that the good folks in NO have probably suggested: “laissez les bons temps rouler,” literally, let the good times roll.

  7. AirportCat says:

    WORST  no-call for PI that I have ever seen and the Saints have to settle for a field goal and a 23-20 lead. Ugh.

    • scribe says:

      Looked like “leading with the helmet” to me.

      I would suggest doxxing the non-calling ref, send his address to the Lions Club so they can forward some charity eyeglasses to him.  Needs them.

  8. JD12 says:

    These really are great teams and the Super Bowl ought to be good no matter what happens today.

    I’m from NE this hasn’t looked like our year, so I’ve been saying it’d be good to see KC and Reid get one finally. Plus Mahomes is so fun to watch. But the Pats came out focused and played great last week. Around here a lot of us believed that Brady injured his knee in that Titans game and age may be finally catching up, but for a few games he can easily go off. D and ST have been solid all year. I think the Pats will win but nothing would surprise me.

    Looks like LA wins in OT. Saints got screwed but that was a good game!

  9. MattyG says:

    Be a ton of pissed NO fans after this one, but as someone without skin in the game I was impressed with the Rams overall toughness, poise and tenacity. And a tough team will be needed to stop the Pats if they manage a jailbreak this evening… go KC…

  10. scribe says:

    Thing about Mahomes – he is throwing lonnng darts with seemingly no effort at all.

    Awesome sack by VanNoy.

  11. Peterr says:

    Just went outside to deal with our bird feeders (the appetizer course for the native deer who come wandering through if we leave them out over night), and I can confirm that it is cold in KC. Very very cold.

  12. Pablo in the Gazebo says:

    Payton’s appearance is one of constant constipation, so now he’ll have some time work on that.

    Judging by the first half the Pats game was closer than it should have been, but an exciting second half it was.

    The SB looks to be a good one.

  13. Eureka says:

    Two great games today.  Bummer for KC and fans.  Many know your pain.

    And as a general matter, I’d like to see some different OT rules where it gets played out, even for a shorter period.

    The replies under this one are funny in a timeless sort of way (and I’m not even trying to be punny):

    Dad: “Andy Reid makes Sisyphus look blessed”
    The next one is attn: scribe and those with Cowboys fans in their lives.  There’s a reply with a picture of a floppy disc, sharpied “Cowboys Superbowl Pictures.” I’m not up on football jokes, so don’t know if that one is tired, but thought it could be funny to add with your gag gift.

    Glen Macnow: “Got this gem from the great ⁦@Bernieparent⁩.… ”

  14. RWood says:

    Based on what I saw tonight during the Saints game, I’ve just bet $10k on The Officials to win the Superbowl.

  15. Watson says:

    I’m glad that Sean Payton lost. I guess I’m a bit naïve, but I was disgusted by his bounties-for-injuries program, shocked that the league let him return after a one year suspension, and amazed that the players didn’t have a problem with it.

    • Pablo in the Gazebo says:

      The league does not care about the players in any way except for their ability to make money for the league.  Assault, abuse of women, abuse of drugs, abuse of dogs, traumatic brain injury, it doesn’t matter.  The Saints bounty for injury scandal was small change but a good example, because  both ends of it were awful, and the league didn’t care about either.

      But the stain that the league cannot scrub away in Kaepernick.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    The joy of Rex.

    It wasn’t Rex Tillerson or Rex Ryan.

    At 10:30 PM,  Rex Burkhead sent the Our Patriots to Atlanta LIII with, off all things, a 2-yard touchdown run.


    Arrowhead stood silent.

    The commentators and lurkers at Emptywheel, LLC,  remained silent.

    What did we just witness?

    Ask Tony Romo, the Nostradamus of the night.

    We need a Scribe/BMAZ commentary.

    • bmaz says:

      I got so caught up watching those two games, especially Pats/Chefs, that I kind of forgot to check in. What a game. By the way, Bill Bel and McDaniels installed ten new plays into the playbook on game day morning at breakfast, and ran several of them including that one critical left slant to Gronk. What other team can do that without ever even practicing the plays?? That is what a cagey old dude like Brady can do for you. What a game. Also, too, as Scribe noted above, Mahomes is simply insanely good. And as I said earlier, just a joy to watch play. Brady took time to go chat with him in the Chiefs locker room! after the game to buck him up. That is pure class.

    • scribe says:

      I was watching.  It was interesting.  I’m still working through the emotions – I don’t really have any feeling, for or against, the Chefs.  (Other than amusement at Andy Reid’s plight.)  The Cheaters, I respect because they win, but I don’t like.

      That Edelman non-touch punt return looked like Football Gods’ payback for that catch in the SB versus Atlanta.  But there was daylight between him and the ball all through the sequence and from every angle shown on TV.

      Saints were robbed.  Full stop.  That was New York’s Fat Ass on the Scales.

      Speaking of Dallas Super Bowl Pictures on floppy disks – I have a bunch of 3.5 and 5.5 floppies around the house.  The 5.5’s are still in the original packaging.  I should make some labels and send some 3.5’s for next Christmas to the Owboys fans in my circle.  I know!  Put an ornament hanger on them and they’re perfect for the Christmas tree!

      In the meantime, I guess EW can hold off using the Patriots-themed crying tissues I sent her with the Christmas cookies last month.  For at least 2 more weeks.  The League will stamp a team logo on anything so long as they can jack the price beyond reason.  In some rare fit of good sense, Pats fans passed on the overpriced Kleenex and I got them for a song at a salvage store.  Still good.  As to the cookies, I know they’re gone – ask EW how they were.

      Speaking of stuff stamped on paper, I see Britain’s Defense Minister has Vladdy Putin’s face on the rolls in his loo.  I don’t read Cyrillic text and don’t speak Russian, but I’m guessing from context the words (2, monosyllabic)  say something like “Eat Shit”.

      Anyone care to edify us on that?

      • RMD says:

        It is amusing to read the self-righteous, skewed rantings of fans of teams that routinely violated NFL rules, if only to read their pathetic, ironic, and error-filled rantings about ‘cheaters’.

        Fan of the sainted Steelers? Are you kidding me?

        Terry Bradshaw is waiting on line 1.

        In the decade prior to Rydze’s tenure, many Steelers also admitted to using steroids to gain an advantage. Former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw admitted in 2008 that he used steroids during his playing career. Bradshaw said on Dan Patrick’s radio show: “We did steroids to get away the aches and the speed of healing. My use of steroids from a doctor was to speed up injury, and thought nothing of it. It was to speed up the healing process, that was it. It wasn’t to get bigger and stronger and faster.”

        Steeler’s Team Doctor Richard Rydze is waiting on line 2.

        Richard Rydze, a Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor from 1985 to 2007, was indicted in 2012 for his long history of purchasing and illegally prescribing anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and painkillers. The physician was also charged with health care fraud for falsely diagnosing more than 90 patients with pituitary dwarfism so they could receive human growth hormones and drugs meant to counteract the side-effects of steroid use.

        • scribe says:

          At  the time you reference, using steroids was neither outlawed by NFL or team rules, nor frowned upon.  Ask Lyle Alzado  (who appeared in Stop the Madness, a 1985 anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration, at the same time he was using ‘roids) and John Matuzak, and Bill Romanowski (who admitted to staying one step ahead of NFL drug testing policies).

          To name merely three.

          Moreover, I have read articles in the specialized insurance law press (some time ago) which indicated it was accepted practice in the days before drug testing and discipline for insurers providing disability coverage to athletes (and to teams, when insuring those athletes’ contracts) to require use of steroids and testosterone derivatives (of one sort or another, all or mostly all banned now) as a condition of getting the insurance coverage, depending on things like the condition of the player’s knees and so on.  I do recall during the Great Home Run Derby of the late 1990s the open presence of tubs of supplements laden with now-banned substances in athlete’s lockers was widely commented upon and received shrugs.  That, and the only-recently-banned two pots of coffee (regular and premium, the latter dosed with stimulants much stronger than caffeine) in baseball clubhouses, allegedly the only way players could be sharp for a complete 162 game schedule.  Indeed, it is said baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines, noted base-stealer, slid into bases headfirst so he could avoid messing up the packaging of his personal stash of coke, carried in the hip pocket of his uniform pants.

          The leagues only got “serious” about discipline for PEDs after the Waxman hearings and the Mitchell Report.  The latter was done by a die-hard Sawx fan who spared no effort when it came to implicating Yankees and editing out Sawx.  Both were castigated at the time (by me and others) as a payback from George W. Bush to the owners of MLB, enabling the owners to, if not break the neck of the players’ union, at least to throttle them well.

          Moreover (and the drug lawyers in this room will be quick to correct me) I recall that the commonly used anabolic steroids were not banned under federal law until during the Reagan administration, when ‘roid rage was the new fearmongering (alongside crack).  I seem to recall them being banned in the 1986 bill that went through under Tip O’Neill after the Celtics blew a draft pick when Len Bias died from coke.   All politics is local, writ large.  Which bill gave us big mandatory minimums, crack-powder disparity, federal bail “reform” (i.e., no bail for you), end of federal parole, and lots of other things you’re still fighting against 30+ years later.

          You might be too young to remember all that, but I’m not.

          • RMD says:

            the ‘cheaters’ moniker is just a sad, lazy, and a highly-partisan epithet absent any context or acknowledgement of rampant abuse of rules throughout the league.

            The Wells Report?

            Ideal Gas Law ?

            Video taping of opponents ?

            You cannot be taken seriously.

    • Pete says:

      Not Scribe nor bmaz, but as the 46 year husband of a Bostonian…meaning 46 years of Pats, Red Sox, Celts, and Bruins fanatic inlaws…I suppose my dislike for the Pats has more to do with their pounding of the Dolphins over the years (in truth I am old enough to predate the Fins franchise and am at heart a Packer fan).  I believe statistically the Fins have, oddly, I think done pretty well against the Pats in head-to-head (I think closer to 50-50 over the 21st century).

      But real or contrived incidents over the years I think, Romo hit it on the head.   A team that drafts consistently in the bottom of the rounds and generally does not free agent expensive talent they do have some secret sauce.

      To be sure they have taken many Dolphin cast-offs over the years and turned them into high achievers *

      They have my respect FWIW – with a dose of bedgrudgement.

      Too old, too slow, no defense…so off to SB LIII anyway like many in the past


      * My Packer fan son-in-law agrees that there were sure a lot of Dolphin cast-offs in the playoffs this year. Hmmm…maybe the Fins are a farm team incognito.

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    After Rex, fans in  Reading, Foxboro, Arlington, and Burlington breathed a great sigh.
    Yeah. A deep sigh of relief.
    Hearts were pumping, nerves jangled, prayers chanted, fingers crossed.
    What did we just witness?
    The answer?
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse came to our rescue.
    Brady, Belichick, Edelman, and Gronk — made “clutch”, the word of the day.
    How long was that fourth quarter?
    A lifetime baby, a lifetime.
    The memories forever.

  18. ApacheTrout says:

    Thrilled to see the Pats in the SB again. I didn’t think they’d pull it off in KC.

    Also thrilled to see Gronk participate in the passing game.  My theory on his disappearance from the passing game is that it was intentional.  It wasn’t due to skill deterioration, but more about mutually agreed-upon body preservation for the playoffs.  Those slot routes, especially the vertical ones, left Gronk vulnerable to punishing hits.  Early in the season, he was double teamed and wasn’t open, but once he missed those games with ankle/back injuries, Brady stopped throwing (and even looking) to him on the few routes that he ran.  The Pats only used him as a decoy in the passing game, and as dominant run blocker.

    Last night’s 4th quarter was some of the best football I’ve ever watched, regardless of the victor.  Oh wow was that good.

  19. P J Evans says:

    As a Niners fan, I’ve got no actual side in this – but I won’t root for either the Owboys or the Cheaters. Both teams have egos bigger than their stadiums.

    • RMD says:

      A ‘Niner’s fan using the term ‘cheaters’?

      Just more uninformed BS.

      Salarycapgate (2000)

      In 2000, then Cleveland Browns President Carmen Policy and team Vice President Dwight Clark agreed to pay $600,000 for violating the NFL salary cap while with the San Francisco 49ers.

      Stickumgate (90s)

      Former San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice admitted in an ESPN video history on the evolution of wide receiver gloves that he illegally used stickum on his own gloves to make his job easier.

      Said Rice: “I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky.”

      At a time when many were expecting Rice to claim that his words were taken out of context or that he was joking, Rice took to Twitter to admit that he did it, and that it was more than “a little illegal.” He tweeted: “I apologize ppl after doing my research about stickum!,” Rice said. “The NFL banned this in 1981.

  20. Watson says:

    I’ve been a Green Bay fan since childhood, although my fandom is pretty much vestigial nowadays. But I confess that for a while there I was perversely rooting for the Pats. I was seduced by Tom Brady’s elegant virtuosity, and I assumed that Belichick’s grumpy uncle shtick had to be an act. Then I found out that they are both Trumpsters. Yuck!!

  21. RMD says:

    Agreed. It is reported that Giselle was none too pleased when she learned about this and put the Kibosh on Tom ever wearing that f’n hat again, or speaking about tRump.

    BB on the other hand, is all in on authoritarians, corrupt or otherwise, to be sure.

  22. Warren Peese says:

    They need a ref in the broadcasters’ booth who can quickly review the obvious misses, or the coaches should be able to throw down a red flag for bad calls or non-calls on certain penalties. That was a double-penalty, PI and helmet to the head.

  23. Alan says:

    @ RMD

    Since you bought it up, and since this site focuses on a lot of legal analysis… ;-)

    That Patriots are in fact the LEAST cheating team in the league.  Deflategate was made up, which has been fairly well-documented by this point–to cover the major points: the temperature and ideal gas law explain the pressure measurements which were not very carefully taken in the first place; the ref used two different gauges which measured differently, and while the ref stated he used the lower-reading gauge at half-time and that was sufficient to exonerate the Patriots, the investigator disregarded that statement from the ref because it was the only way to make the numbers come out against the Patriots; the league did a study measuring actual game-time ball pressure the following year but refuses to release the results, no doubt because that would completely support the Patriots as well; and finally, the investigator stated that he did not need Brady’s cell phone and gave him permission to destroy it, and then Goodell held that against Brady in the appeal.

    Spygate is fairly straightforward.  There was no rule against filming signals from the sidelines and all teams did it.  Then one year the league office sent out at memo that said “Starting this year, we are going to re-interpret this existing rule “N” (whichever it was) to prohibit teams from filming signals from certain areas in the stands.”  Belichick pulled out the rule book and said (to himself), “This rule doesn’t prohibit that at all, and the league office can’t just unilaterally change the rules–there is a process for that specified by the league bylaws that requires a proposal be made and a vote of all the teams, so this memo from the league office is complete overreach and BS and I’m just going to ignore it.”  And that’s exactly what he did, he ignored the memo from the league office and continued filming signals from the stands just like all teams had always done.  Then one year, the Jets coach dropped dime and the league office said, “Are you filming signals from the stands? Didn’t you get our memo?”  And Belichick said, “Yes, I got your memo and it was complete BS–the rule doesn’t say that and you can’t just unilaterally change the rules–you have to make a proposal and put it to a vote of all teams.”  And when Goodell heard that reply, he proceeded to rip Belichick a new one, and fine him and the team and dock draft picks and show Belichick who exactly was the HBIC was up in that league.  And of course, Kraft and the team owners backed Goodell over Belichick, because that’s what they hired Goodell to do and the other teams didn’t like the Patriots anyway, so of course they weren’t going to take Belichick’s side.  So Belichick was completely right on the rules, but wrong on the politics.  He has spoken about it and explained (if you listen closely), and someday he will probably explain it fully and everyone will realize the story was about power and league overreach, not about cheating (not about cheating by the Patriots anyway–if anything, it was about cheating by the league office).

    So in summary, the Patriots are the least cheating team in the league and the cheating accusations are just an excuse made up by the other teams that can’t beat them, and a way to try to handicap them by taking away draft picks and suspending their players and still it hasn’t worked, the Patriots still find a way to win.

    So Go Patriots, greatest franchise, greatest head coach, and greatest quarterback ever :-)

  24. FIkshun says:

    The wrong team probably won both games.  On the plus side, the Superbowl winner will at least be worthy of a trip to McDonalds with the president.

  25. ApacheTrout says:

    The call was a no-brainer for multiple penalties.

    There was 1:41 left on the clock.  Game is 60 minutes.  Saints weren’t able to stop the Rams.

    Saints win the toss in OT, promptly toss up an in INT.  Saints were able to score in OT.

    Saints unable to score TDs on 3 trips to the red zone.

    Those things cost the Saints big time.  But it’s a lot easier to rip the refs than it is to deal with the fact that the Saints didn’t play well enough on both side of the ball to win the NFC.  I don’t mean this to any one here, just to sports fans in general.

    Refs are humans and make mistakes, just like the players do.  If IR is used to call or overturn penalties, the game will come to a standstill.  Every single play has a penalty.  Which ones are egregious to warrant IR?  Maybe on the personal fouls?  The PI or defensive holding?  What about offside call missed, and the QB gets sacked, fumbles, and the defense recovers for a TD?  It can get complex right quick.

  26. MattyG says:

    We vividly recall that horrible fumble reversal  in the 2002 AFC title game – the one that enshrined “Brady Tuck Rule” into football lingo. If I remember correctly the ref sorta winged the call on the field. After the season the NFL doubled down and clarified the rulebook so as to backup the rational made for that call – but very interestingly – quietly wrote it out again not long after. The enduring debate of a Pats/Refs cabal was born.

    So then as now a team that probably shouldn’t have won the title game moves on to the SB. A cool reversal this time around – in 2002 the veteran Rams where favorites – now it’s their old nemesis Pats in the roll of The Greatest Show (QB/Coarch) On Turf. Just maybe… Goff & Co can avenge that loss of so many years ago. Go Rams!

    • Alan says:

      The “Tuck Rule” call was correct–the refs followed the rule, as it was written.  The fact the league later changed the rule is irrelevant.

      • MattyG says:

        Haha – love the old debates… I went back and took a look at the videos to see how close my recollection was. I was off on a few points. Initially the call was a fumble recovered by Oakland. The play was reviewed and the ref concluded that Brady’s arm was moving forward (as was the ball) so he reversed it on the grounds it was an incomplete pass.

        The problem was it was clear from TV video that Brady’s arm wasn’t moving forward when the ball was stripped. Controversy erupted.  At some point after the game the ref admitted that he got the reversal “call” wrong, but that it didn’t matter since the tuck rule would have applied anyway. The league backed him up.

        Invoking the tuck rule after the fact caused more controversy since it’s not at all clear from the video that Brady is attempting to tuck the ball after hitching up – if anything he appears to be attempting a double clutch. Since the standard for overruling a call is indisputable visual evidence invoking the tuck rule to justify a blown call didn’t fly with non Pat fans.

        A legacy of awkward implementations of the tuck rule contributed to it’s ultimate demise. One thing that was new to me is was that it stayed on the books until 2013… I though it had been written out in the mid 2000’s.

        • Alan says:

          Brady’s intent (whether he was trying to tuck the ball or not) didn’t matter under the wording of the rule.  I’m actually in favor of those kinds of rules, that as much as possible can be mechanically applied without requiring referee judgment.  After all, this is just a game anyway and the rules are arbitrary, so I think it’s good to remove referee judgment as much as possible.  For example, I think there should be a rule that says if the ball touches the ground then it is an incomplete pass, that way we can remove the judgment decision about whether the receiver had control.  IMO, the NFL rule book should be reviewed to rewrite all the rules to remove judgment whenever possible.  But I don’t think the fans actually want this–they seem to feed off the controversy that erupts from judgment calls, and it actually increases the interest in the game.

  27. Eureka says:

    There are a few good Iggles articles today.

    Howie Roseman (re-)stocked the Eagles this year almost as well as he did to set up the Super Bowl win

    That means that 14 players among the top 25 — 56 percent either removed or diminished by injury. If you consider that the injuries to Wentz, Sproles, and Hicks were new, then it’s 17 players, or 68 percent. No matter how you count it, Roseman & Co. effectively had to replace half the team in the middle of the season.

    And they did so. Effectively. How?

    The second has been the talk of the town:

    Exclusive: Sources inside Eagles paint Carson Wentz as ‘selfish,’ ‘uncompromising’ and ‘playing favorites’

    Ignore the trashy headline and other click-bait aspects, and much of the article basically pulls together what lots have known (prior reporting), heard, or observed first hand.  Wentz has got to heal- has plenty of time now- and neither he nor the team were served by his coming back at N% (dynamics-wise, certainly- some of the ‘stats’ may be arguable); losses of Reich and DeFilippo did make a huge difference (per here, Wentz didn’t take Groh’s coaching directives, putting it more charitably than in the article), etc.

    There’s an important critique of the second article here (which is linked at the bottom of the first piece I posted, also by Marcus Hayes at the Inquirer):

    Claims that the Eagles’ Carson Wentz is selfish might not be wrong, but they’re overblown

    However, journalistically, balance and fairness are lacking in the story. Intentionally.

    The story was published Monday morning. An Eagles source said the site left a voicemail just minutes before it was posted. Santoliquito admitted Monday afternoon that he left a voicemail just 40 minutes before it was published, then wrote in the story that the Eagles did not reply to his voicemail.

    This not only is unacceptable, but seeking comment in this manner was unnecessary. He could have spoken to the team and Wentz several times during his reporting process.

  28. Mark Ospeck says:

    it was 14 below, 2 feet of snow and not a creature was stirring–except for in the only open bar upper middle west New Yawk.. ..from Bahston, and in a room full up with snowmobiling patriots haters. Told em that they gotta bring the hate. Tommy and Bill depend on you guys bringing the hate. And they sure did…roared when with a minute left the ball doinked off Gronk’s hands into a game over pick, and it looked like Gronk’s last game he’d have to be the one standing up and taking the spears (just like poor old Jeffry stood up to take them for the Eagles; great player, great hands, killed us in the SB last year).
    But then you know what?
    A miracle..”Franceso” “Francesco” “Francesco,” cue the eunuch boys’ alleluia chorus :) Ford had lined up offside (vg player, but that’s what happens when you’re on the field for 94 Josh McD plays) . Bar got real quiet after that watching the TFB, Gronk and Jules show

    looking into the crystal..12 days we got clever whippersnapper McVay and old fat Wade Phillips (see Denver AFCCG 15 season)..the crystal’s gone dark

  29. Alan says:

    “A coalition of big names in sports and entertainment is taking on criminal justice reform.

    “Rappers Meek Mill and Jay-Z and the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and the SUPER BOWL-BOUND NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS came together in New York City on Wednesday to announce the launch of an organization that will lobby for changes to state probation and parole laws.

    “The Reform Alliance will be led by Van Jones, a CNN host and activist who at one point served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama.


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