I had intended to make three or four quick points about the NFL season before getting on with the esteem checking, but I honestly don’t remember what I was going to say. I watched the 2nd half of the Sunday Night football game and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was easily the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen in any professional sport. Is this what it looks like in Bolivia when someone fixes a soccer game? The atrocious calls were going both ways, but then to so blatantly get the game wrong at the end? It’s inexcusable. Especially in a sport that is supposed to have replay. I picked the Packers and I would have loved the win, but since that’s just a pride thing, I’ll get over it–by Thursday.
The bigger concern for the fans out there has to be, what if this happens to my team next week? If an umpire misses a call that costs a team a baseball game in May, you would never say that call kept a team out of the playoffs. Even if they miss by one game, over 162 contests there will be a dozen that could have been wins. But, in the NFL, there’s a chance the Packers could actually point to that moment and say, “that’s why we missed the playoffs.” Could you live with that if you were a Packers fan? I wouldn’t be able to sleep after that loss.
The NFL is the biggest sports product in the country and it’s not even close. The fans are so loyal, so addicted to fantasy and gambling, that the product has become secondary to the result. Most don’t care how bad their team looks if they win, or if their bet wins, or their fantasy team wins. Parity, mediocrity, terrible prime time games–none of that matters because people will always watch. But this situation with the refs is different, because now it’s not only impacting the quality of the product–it’s impacting the results that the fans care so much about.
It’s a disgrace for the NFL to keep moving ahead with the status quo. They either need to get the regular officials back, or figure out a way the guys they have can do a much better job. Our weekly self-esteem relies on it. Coming off a week of highs, this was not quite as good–especially for the blogger, 1st to worst.
NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:
- Kraft, 9-6.
- Big Dub, 8-6-1
- JCK, 8-7
- Nichols, 8-7
- DC, 8-7
- Grossy, 7-7-1
The “Backdoor Miracle,” Pick of the Week: Kraft (Tennessee +3.5)
Much credit to Nichols for righting the ship with a 4-1 week, and that included picking Buffalo–always a steely-eyed call, but as you all know, I’m partial to the commentary. It’s hard to put into words how bad Tennessee was the first two weeks of the season. They were blown out and looked awful in the process. Chris Johnson was averaging about 1 yard per carry and backing up a fantasy letdown year with one of the worst fantasy years of all-time. But for some reason Kraft picked Tennessee. Coin-flip? Blindfolded darts? Nope, the simple reason was, “weird things happen.” After tonight, I believe they certainly do.
The “Bend Over and I’ll Show You,” Awful Pick of the Week: DC (Home Parlay of the Week)
Does this (New Orleans and Indy) count as two losses or three? I can’t be too sure, but here we had two favorites that both lost outright. The Jaguars may stink, but they’re 2-0 against the spread when DC has the other side. They may rename the empty upper deck after him in Jacksonville. The comment was, “The Jags are lost.” What then are the Colts? And, I have a feeling it’s going to be a long time before someone takes the Saints again. Long time. Separately, these games might not get attention, and maybe I continue punishing myself, but throwing out parlays is just asking for it really.
3-PT D.A. of the Week: Sam Bradford.
For full D.A. coverage and a look at Sam Bradford’s mysterious career, click on the D.A. tab at the top of the page.