I am a sad football fan. After what was clearly the most exciting weekend of NFL action to date, officiating is the hot topic. Officiating should be invisible! We should talk about the great passes, the fantastic runs, the big defensive stops, the overtime thrillers. But no. We're talking about officiating.
And it's officiating at its worst. At the risk of getting all long-winded up on my soap box about this issue, let me just point out one thing. The NFL is coddling the replacement officials. The coaches and players are up in arms, so what does the NFL do? Start fining coaches, of course! And as far as that fiasco in Seattle Monday night, the NFL says the victory for Seattle stands and the last second "touchdown" should not have been overturned. Um, were we all watching the same play? I am convinced that the officials knew the play was not a touchdown after watching the replay, but they had no control on the field and didn't want to deal with the hostile crowd and players by overturning it. So they had no choice but to call it a touchdown. They weren't even confident in their game management abilities to make the right call. And for some reason, the NFL continues to ignore the situation -- to ignore the players, coaches and the fans. This highly infuriates me as a fan, and it makes me want to use lots of exclamation points!!
In other non-officiating news from this past week:
Maybe his next step is to take his opponent's lunch money.
Greg Schiano is officially the big bully of the NFL. That or the biggest sore loser of the NFL. Once again, he pulled out his "not illegal but horribly unethical" tactic of calling his defense to attack on the victory kneel down. What made it more atrocious this week was that after two kneel downs, Schiano CALLED A TIMEOUT (reminder: he was losing!!) and then on the next play had one of his defenders blow up the middle. What a sore, sore loser. While I really hate this play, if Tampa ever gets to taste a victory this season in which they get to run the kneel down, I certainly hope their opponent attacks the kneeler. My guess is Schiano would whine about it like a little girl. Stay tuned.
Anyone looking for a paper bag with eye holes cut out yet?
The Saints have officially caved to the offseason scandal involving a bounty program. Well, it is pretty hard to pick back up where you left off when your head coach is suspended for the year, your assistant coach is suspended for half the year, and your defensive coordinator is suspended indefinitely. Oh, and even the GM was banned for the first eight games. Hey, water boy! You! Get in here and draft up a blitzing scheme! Really though, these are not the Saints of old. The defense is terrible. In fact, on Sunday, they blew an 18 point third quarter lead at home and lost in overtime. They find themselves a defensive (and probably a mental) wreck at 0-3 and on Sunday have to pack it in for a trip to Lambeau Field, followed by a home game against the Chargers. It's possible these same Saints, who last year lost in a thriller to the 49ers in the divisional playoff round, might roll in to their bye week at 0-5.
Always trust your gut, even if your brain tells you something else.
At 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, I logged in to my fantasy football lineup with the intent to put Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph into my starting lineup and move Jason Witten to my bench. But then I looked at the matchups and thought, "Hmm, the Vikings are playing the defensive juggernaut 49ers. Maybe I should stick with Witten against Tampa." I made the mistake of going against my gut and left Witten in. He managed to get me not even a whole fantasy point, 0.8 to be exact. Meanwhile, Rudolph scored 15.60 fantasy points, which would have led me to victory in my fantasy matchup. Sad face. Another fantasy dud? Chris Johnson. Seriously, what's the deal with this guy? If you haven't benched him yet, you're probably chomping at the bit to do it this weekend.
Because the NFL has determined that we as fans cannot function without seeing the NY Giants in prime time, next week the Giants take on division rival Philadelphia in the Sunday night game. Also, the bye weeks begin, so the Colts and Steelers get to spend some extra time in their jammies on Sunday.
Until next week, enjoy the games!