The run for the Lombardi Trophy is underway. The proverbial starting gate has been sprung open, and the 32 NFL teams are fighting for position. As it is said in the NFL, the season is a marathon and not a sprint. A team can not win the Super Bowl in four games, but an early loss can come back to haunt the team later when it comes down the stretch for playoff positioning.
There are 12 more games to go, and the NFL is at the quarter pole. Of course, my being a horse racing fan, I am going to use a little horse racing jargon. I can’t help myself.
The race to the Super Bowl to me is like the Kentucky Derby. After all, there is all the pomp and circumstance with both events, etc. As the Derby is 1 1/4 miles and starts at the top of the stretch, I would say at this juncture, the 32 NFL teams would be “passing the stands for the first time,” as many racing announcers have said about the bum rush of horses going for the first turn to try to get position.
I hope you will enjoy this.
1. The Labor conflict between the referees and the NFL
I am one who believes the refs (in all sports) should be seen and not heard. In other words, if there is a penalty, just call it and go away. I never could stand it when refs, especially MLB Umpires made themselves more important than the players fans paid good money to see.
What I thought was disappointing was that the deal that was eventually signed possibly could have been done months ago. Why did the OWNERS (who Roger Goodell works for) dig into their positions like they did? Why did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones play, “See No Evil. Speak No Evil. Hear No Evil?” when it came to the substitute referees? It didn’t take a genius to figure out those people were in over their heads.
Sadly, each week, ESPN and NFL Network talked more about the referees than the games. Of course, it took the Green Bay Packers to get screwed out of a win on Monday Night Football, and ESPN to go nuts for the NFL to negotiate the deal.
2. The constant love affair with “America’s Team” has to end.
I am going to be honest. I have always hated the Dallas Cowboys. I never liked them. My dislike for them stems for my dislike of just about any sports team that emanates from the state of Texas, particularly Dallas. The main reason is because of the events of November 22, 1963 when then President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and then Governor John Connally was wounded.
The other major reasons for my hating the Cowboys are the media’s constant fawning over them, and people calling them, “America’s Team.” Since when did everyone in the United States pick this team to represent the NFL? I hate the big star on the helmet. I could not stand Roger Staubach and his perfect teeth. I could not stand Staubach’s perfect little image. The Triplets of the 90’s, especially wide receiver Michael Irvin, made me sick.
Now I have to put up with ESPN being in love with Tony Romo who tries to play QB. At least Troy Aikman and Staubach had talent, and won some hardware.
ESPN is going bonkers over the years over a franchise that has won ONE playoff game since 1996. I mean, let’s get real. In Week One of this year, when the Cowboys beat the defending Super Bowl Champions New York Giants, everyone on ESPN were ready to hand the Lombardi to Jerry Jones and his gang. Of course, the Cowboys came back to earth when they got their butts beat by the Seahawks.
Now that the Chicago Bears mauled Romo and the Cowboys, people are jumping on Romo, and blaming him for the loss. While his 5 interceptions did not help, Romo is not the sole problem.
I am not going to go into the details of the game. I just want to say that every time the Cowboys run into trouble, ESPN and other outlets come to the same conclusion that I do. The team has talent, but the head coach is not allowed to be the head coach. There is someone else who is backseat driving so to speak. He is the owner and GM of the team, and that person is Jerry Jones.
My point is that people should stop going nuts when it comes to the Cowboys. Year after year, the song remains the same. Until Jerry Jones decides to relinquish some of the control, it is not going to be any different.
3. New York Jets fans deserve better than what they are getting.
When I lived in New Jersey for the first 29 years of my life, I followed two teams. Those teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants. I started following the New England Patriots way later.
Anyway, I absolutely did NOT like the Jets. I thought the team and a lot of their coaches were a bunch of loudmouths. That head coach Rich Kotite got on my nerves. I couldn’t stand this one particular Jets player, Mark Gastineau. Oh man. He was such a loud mouth. He was so annoying.
Fast forward to today, and I still can’t stand the Jets. The same reasons apply, and their current head coach Rex Ryan is always good for a quote. He loves to antagonize Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Ryan’s obsession with the Patriots is a bit over the top.
I am going to defend their fan base. They are vocal, rowdy, but are very loyal. The last time the New York Jets were in the winner’s circle with the proverbial blanket of roses and holding up that Lombardi Trophy was at Super Bowl 3 in 1969 with Joe Namath at QB.
They have been to playoffs under Bill Parcells, and recently Rex Ryan. However, the team has yet to be in the Super Bowl, no less win it.
During the first four weeks of this season, I cannot help but feel bad for Jets fans. During the preseason, there was always some sort of distraction. Owner Woody Johnson said that he did not want his team described as a “circus.” Well, unfortunately for him, this is what the first four weeks are shaping up to be for his team.
In the first week, the Jets blew out their AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills. In the second week, the Steelers destroyed them. The Jets just squeaked by AFC East rival Miami Dolphins in Week three and this past week, they were pulverized by the San Fransisco 49ers. In the process, they lost star WR Santonio Holmes to a LisFranc injury and star DB Darrelle Revis to a torn ACL for the year.
The problem with the team is that their once good defense has been compromised due to Revis’ injury. The team, as shown in the pre-season, has barely any offense. With Holmes’ injury, the offense is even worse. Sanchez has not progressed from last year to this year. At this point, he should be improving.
I am not a fan of Tebow as a player, but perhaps he should get a shot.
My point is that Jets fans deserve way better than this. Fans saw some of their players being very rude to reporters after last season. Bart Scott this year had some media ban. Mr. Scott’s production has not been all that since coming to the Jets. Scott had that first year with the Jets that was good, but has declined since. I guess that one hit to Ben Roethlisberger is the only thing he will be known for.
Woody Johnson said he didn’t want a circus? Well why did he give Mark Sanchez a new contract only then to trade for Tim Tebow? He could not have been that naive. Was Johnson under a rock last season when for 8 weeks all the media could talk about was Tebow? When Tebow went shirtless, why was he surprised at all the media?
If Johnson didn’t want his team to be a circus, he should not have said he would rather have a Mitt Romney presidency than a winning Jets season. If I were a Jets fan, I would have been annoyed. I don’t want to hear his politics. I want him to run the team so it is a winning team. That is his job.
Jets fans deserve way better. They deserve a team that has mentally functioning players who can play. They deserve responsible ownership and leadership of the team. They are not getting either.
4. Some rather unexpected things in the NFL.
This blog will end with some unexpected things in the NFL thus far.
Elite QBs such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers are leading teams that are .500 or worse. It is a bit shocking to say the least. I am still a little stunned that Drew Brees is leading a Saints team that is 0-4. It’s a little upside down at the moment. However, I expect all these great QBs to turn everything right side up. With the exception of possibly Drew Brees, I suspect all of them will be in the playoffs as well.
Well, that is the end of my blog. As of this writing, the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams are about to kick off Week 5 which starts the next quarter of the season.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan
[amazon_link id=”1936635135″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1477542981″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft[/amazon_link]