Category Archives: 04B | NFL

ProBowl Flag Fix

It seems to TheLongTalk that the ProBowl is pointless.

Certainly there are NFL fans who’d disagree and the NFL itself must believe the event has purpose or they’d stop holding it.

But, from the outside looking in, it appears as though the ProBowl is an All Star Game without any of the leagues actual stars… either due to “injuries” that keep them from participating or the upcoming Super Bowl that they’re getting ready to compete in.

And, the stars who do show are either their by contractual coercion or just to have a good old time… and there’s nothing wrong with that. Almost every All Star Game in every league suffers from this same thing… they are, at their best, little more then a friendly scrimmage.

TheLongTalk would suggest that the ProBowl’s problem, if anyone is willing to concede it even has one, is that it looks like a regular game but is played like a practice match.

The key to fixing it… Flag Football.

No one takes Flag Football serious… except that guy who takes Flag Football serious… note to that guy… DON’T BE THAT GUY. Flag Football is, at it’s very core, about playing football without actually playing “real” football.

It’s meant to have all of the upsides of the game… fun, excitement, running, playing, teamwork, learning, etc. without any of the downside… broken fingers, twisted knees, concussions, pain killer addiction, PED’s. etc.

So the ProBowl should become a Flag Football game.

I know what you’re thinking, “Would that be much of a change from what it is already?” ProBowlers avoid hard tackles and contact of any kind like it’s the plague. So what would be the difference if they played Flag Football instead of “Easy guys, don’t hurt each other.” football?

The difference would be entirely physiological.

Flipping that switch in the brain that says, “We’re playing relaxed football, let’s stay safe out there.” to “We’re playing Flag Football, let’s have fun out there.” would… in TheLongTalk’s humble opinion… make a substantial difference in the quality of play at the ProBowl.

Think about Professional NFL Players, why do they play?

• For the love of the game

• To compete at an elite level and dominate

• Money, stacks and stacks of MONEY!

What does the ProBowl put in danger?

• The love of the game? NO

• The ability to compete against the very best in the league and win? NO

• Their stacks and stacks of MONEY! YES!

How would Flag Football fix that…

• People love playing Flag Football and NFL Players are… in fact… people.

• TLT would suggest that most NFL Players would compete just as hard, if not much harder, in a Flag Football game as they would in a ProBowl. It’d be fun for the… one would think. A break from breaking everyone and everything. A fun, light hearted, but still competitive, chance to play.

• Their stacks of MONEY shouldn’t be in any danger due to a game of Flag Football.

Now there is for all human endeavors, someone who will take the thing way, WAY to serious. There would be ProBowl Flag Footballers that would bring too much aggression to the game, for those people there are flags. Just have the refs keep a tight handle on things so that everyone can enjoy themselves.

A group of grown men playing Flag Football and having fun would have to be better then a group of ProBowlers going 20% in a “real” football game.

ADDED TWIST: Include top College Seniors in the competition.

• They’d get a chance to show their stuff against the Pros without risking their knees and other joints and a they’d get a brief… if not entirely meaningless… feel for what lining up with a Pro feels like.

• The Pros would get to put the young bucks in their place and show off against lesser talent. A good ego boost.

• Scouts and Coaches would get a look at potential talent… even if it was in a weird, not exactly connectable, context.

So what do 90 and 12 think of TLT’s idea? Work able? Ridiculously? Unnecessary? Weigh in now Cargumentors…

Patriots are buying back Hernandez jerseys; what’s one jersey you wish you could trade in?

Ever have a favorite players jersey only to see them do something that lands them on the trading block and never to return to your team? Philadelphia fans would know a thing or two about owning a Barkley jersey after he left, or Iverson when he was gone, or Van Horn, or Iggy, or any plethora of their super stars that left for other teams. Perhaps you’re the Colts fan with the Marshall Faulk jersey who watched him go on to win a championship with the greatest show on turf, or a Cardinals fan who watched and wore a Cardinals Boldin jersey as he won his first ring with Baltimore and is chasing a second as a member of your rival 49ers.

If you have ever been in that awkward position wearing a players jersey who no longer is part of that team (and that player is possibly despised by that organization) who would you have swapped out your jersey for?

I for one have a Dwight Howard for the Magic, Manny Rameriz for the Dodgers both of which I’d love to swap in for different players with those organizations. Either swap them in for a legends jersey or a current young gun who hopefully stays with the organization or at least leaves on amicable terms.

#12 Cargument of the Month – Which Sports Team Would You Want To Own

This should be a fun one.  If you could own any team in any league who would it be?  This one is tough for me, there are 7 teams I would want to own (1) the Pittsburgh Steelers, (2) the Pittsburgh Penguins, (3) the New York Yankees, (4) the Pittsburgh Pirates, (5) the Utah Jazz, and  (6) the Chicago Cubs, and (7) the New Orleans Hornets.  The Steelers are my favorite NFL team, but they are already run so well and have arguably the best ownership in the league, I would love to continue that tradition as an owner, but since they are already doing so well I shall pass.  The New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team and if you owned them they would make you lots of cash.  My second favorite MLB team is the Pittsburgh Pirates and I would love to take over that team and help provide a winning tradition.  I would just like to own the Cubs because they would make you a ton of money and it would be cool to be the owner who ended the billy goat curse.  The Pittsburgh Penguins are my favorite NHL team (see a trend?) but I would pass on owning a hockey team.  I love the Utah Jazz, they are my favorite NBA team, when I was growing up I wanted to be John Stockton, you will not find a bigger John Stockton fan out there than #12, (part of the reason my identity on here is #12 is because of Jon Stockton).   I would want to own the New Orleans Hornets, not because I now live in New Orleans, but so I could move the team to Pittsburgh, they need an NBA team for me to root for.

However, if I had to pick one team to own it would be the Utah Jazz.  I’ve seen the Steelers win multiple championships, the same with the Yankees, and a few years ago I got to see the Penguins win, but never the Jazz.  I would want to own the Utah Jazz and I would bring them the championship Salt Lake City has been dying for.  I wouldn’t have let Mes Matthews go just to save a few bucks and that also goes for Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and Eric Maynor.  I also would’ve drafted differently.  I want to own the Utah Jazz and lead them to hanging a championship banner by the rafters.  Maybe I’ll go play the mega millions, $640 millions might be enough to buy them, but probably not after taxes.

Anyways, if you could own and sports team, who would it be?

#12’s Janaury 15-21 2012 Boob of the Week

This week’s Boob of the Week was so easy to pick, or at least I thought it was going to be.  I had two, one sports related the other not.  First let me go with the one that was not sports related.  Captain Francesco Schettino, who abandoned his sinking cruise ship while thousands remained on board has to be the biggest Boob of this past week.   I’m not saying the guy had to go down with his ship, but come on man you should’ve stayed as long as possible to get as many people off safely as possible.  But you clearly did not and therefore you are a Boob.

Now, this second sports related Boob of the week was an easy choice, or so I thought.  In the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game Kyle Williams of the San Fransisco 49ers let a punt hit him in the leg, causing it to be a free ball that was recovered by the Giants.  At this point I texted my dad “that boob just cost the 49ers a trip to the Super Bowl” and I knew this kid would make my column as the boob of the week.  The Giants went on to score a go-ahead TD, but the 49ers come back to tie the game and go into overtime.  In overtime the same Kyle Williams fumbled a punt that was recovered by the Giants in field goal range.  Soon after the recovery the Giants made a field goal and were Super Bowl bound.  Kyle Williams clearly was a boob on the field and a major reason why the 49ers are home and not going to Indianapolis.  Easy to pick him as the boob of the week right?  I thought it was too, until reports of even bigger boobery came out with the news that people were wishing sickness, illness, cancer, death, and other various horrible things to not only Williams, but his parents, wife and kids.  Listen, Williams was clearly a boob on the field, but you boobs who wished such things on a person for what happened in a game are clearly much more worthy of the title Boob than Kyle Williams is.  I was rooting hardcore for the 49ers, the Giants are my least favorite team in professional sports, but I didn’t and don’t want something bad to happen to Williams.  I even had the thought that I hope he doesn’t go Vince Young and disappear for a while causing people to call the police because they were worried about his mental stability.  After the game I sent my dad another text, it said “I hate the Giants, but oh well, this isn’t going to effect how I sleep tonight.”  If this game caused you to loose sleep and threaten and wish harm on a fellow human being and his family then you are the boob of the week and are in desperate need of examining the priorities in your life.

#12’s January 8-14, 2012 Boob of the week

For the second week in a row my boob(s) of the week go to members of the NY Jets.   Last week reports broke that anonymous members of the Jets had a problem with Mark Sanchez, lots of problems actually.   Things such as “We have to bring in another quarterback that will make [Sanchez] work at practice.”   and   “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched,” were supposedly told to the New York Daily News.   Another person, or possibly the same one said this of Peyton Manning “Come on. That’s a no-brainer.   If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid. If I could get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning, then, hell yeah, I would trade Sanchez.”   Another, or again maybe the same person said that they could win a Super Bowl with Peyton.   That’s a lot of talking for someone who doesn’t want to put their name to it.   But the team is only following the lead of its head coach who doesn’t know when to shut up.   So, for this week there is not just one boob of the week, but a team full of boobs, congratulations New York Jets your team is my boob of the week.   And, until proved otherwise, you will be referred to by me as the New York Football Boobs.
Now, who was your boob of the week for last week?
– – –

TLT’s Boob of the Week…

Anyone who thought that God got Tebow and the Broncos past Pittsburgh, but couldn’t get him past New England.
If God had wanted Tim Tebow to beat the Patriots, Tim Tebow and the Broncos would have beaten the Patriots.  It’s that simple.

Why would God have the power to beat the Steelers, but not the Patriots?

January 1-7 2012 Boob of the Week

The first Boob of the Week for 2012 goes to none other than Santonio Holmes for his boobish actions against the Dolphins on January 1st.   I was upset a few years ago when the Steelers traded Holmes to the Jets for a third found draft pick, but I guess we see now what Homes was traded.   If the Jets would have won the game they w0uld have had a shot at making the playoffs, but Holmes, the teams best wide receiver and a team captain, was pouting, showing terrible body language and had to be separated from fighting with team mates on the field and on the sidelines many times during the game.  Eventually Holmes was benched for the final drive of the game in a 17-19 loss.  If Holmes was in the game and acting like a team captain instead of a boob, perhaps the Jets would be in the playoffs instead of hitting the links.  You, Mr. Holmes, are a boob.



Who Will Play in Super Bowl XLV?

This week,  I pose a simple question. Who will play in Super Bowl XLV? From the NFC we have the Packers and the Bears, and from the AFC we have the Steelers and the Jets.

Let’s take a look at the NFC first.

I have to be honest, I actually watched more of the Bears-Seahawks game than I did of the Packers-Falcons. To me, this one seems sort of split down the line. They’re division rivals, so they know each other well. If I were to pick solely based on last week’s performance, I’d have to go with the Packers after their manhandling of the Falcons (the number 1 seed for the NFC). Chicago did well against Seattle, but to me, Seattle looked terrible.

Now the AFC.

Here is where my bias kicks in. I’m a Steelers fan at heart, but this game has me worried. The Jets have just gone through the Colts and the Patriots over the past two weeks. Combine that with the fact that Pittsburgh looked absolutely awful during the first half against Baltimore, the Jets win against the Steelers on 12/19, and you have what makes for quite the matchup. I’m going to go with my boys though and say Pittsburgh wins the AFC.

There you have it, Steelers-Packers for Super Bowl XLV. What’s your take?

NFL: What in the world is a catch?

I hate to say this.  Really I do, but I’m becoming less and less a fan of the NFL.  I know this is blasphemy in the sports world, but I have to be honest.  And it’s not because of the new safety rules, well, maybe it partly is.  I couldn’t agree more with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, James Harrison, when he argues that he should not be the one penalized (or fined) when an offensive player ducks his head before he is tackled and the result is helmet to helmet contact.  He offensive player should bear some responsibility, and to say they not is simply absurd.  But that’s not my biggest issue with the NFL.

My single biggest issue with the NFL is the rules about what makes a catch a catch.  Seriously, what makes a catch a catch in the NFL?  I’m not sure anymore.  What I do know is that Calvin Johnson had a catch in week one against the Chicago Bears.  But the referees said he didn’t, and the Lions lost as a result of it.  Hey, NFL, that was a catch.

And in tonight’s Patriots vs. Steelers game Hines Ward had a catch that was challenged and the play was over turned to no catch.  Ward caught the ball, had complete possession and then his knee then hit the ground while a defensive player was in contact with him.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but compete possession of a ball, knee down and touched by an opposing player equals play over right there, it doesn’t matter what you do with the ball from there because you are down by contact.  How can this be an incompletion?  And here is where it gets real interesting, if this is not yet a catch then Ward cannot yet be down by contact, because you cannot be down if you haven’t yet caught the ball.  Therefore, once the catching motion is complete, once Ward has “really” (according to the NFL) caught the ball he should be able to get up and advance the ball.  But no, the NFL says if you complete the motion of the catch (whatever that means) and contact has happened with your knee down, at any point during the catching process then you are down.  How can this be?  I don’t get it, and its turning me off to the NFL.  The worst part is I’m not even convinced the NFL knows what a catch is anymore or how to deal with the problem I just laid out above.

Possession of the ball, knee down and in contact with a defender should be a catch and the play is dead whenever the ball is at when the knee is down.  I don’t understand how Ward’s catch wasn’t a catch and I don’t understand how you can be down by contact before you have caught the ball.  Please someone, anyone help me with this one.  Because right now, I just don’t get it.


NFL Mid-season Awards

Before the NFL season I made some preseason picks, which don’t look to be turning out too well.   So here is my revised mid-season awards for the NFL.

MVP – I might have had the right division for this winner, the AFC South, but the wrong team.  I went with Matt Schaub to have a breakout year, lead the Texans to a wildcard birth and put up MVP numbers and win the award.  Looks like I am going to be 0-1 so far with my picks.  It looks like Peyton Manning might take home another MVP award, though, #12 does not think he should.  If Philips Rivers turns the Chargers around and they make the playoffs he will be the MVP, however at 4-5 I can’t give it to him now.  And considering only three MVP awards have not gone to a QB or RB it would be foolish not to pick a QB or RB.  But maybe I’m feeling foolish, so right now #12’s NFL MVP pick is Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Has he had the best statistical year? No.  But he does allow the best defense in the league (123 points allowed, least in the league) to do things that no other defense can do.  Steelers are the best team in the league, the defense is the best part of the Steelers, and Polamalu is the best player on the Pittsburgh defense because of what he allows them to do.  It won’t happen by seasons’ end, but Polamalu is my MVP of the league to this point.  If the MVP is the best player (or most dignifcant) on the best team the MVP should go to Polamalu, but it won’t.

Projected preseason picks: 0-1

Defensive MVP – Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers is the popular pick but he is not my pick.  He is my #3ish right now, but not my number #1.  My preseason pick, San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis, has about zero percent of winning this award, so it looks like my preseason picks will go 0-2 so far.  My defensive MVP right now is Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall.  He singlehandedly beat the Chicago Bears with 4 interceptions in one game and returned one pick for a TD and the Redskins won by 3.  The game against Dallas he stripped Tashard Choice of the ball , recovered the fumble and returned it for a TD right before the half to give the Redskins a 7-3 lead going into the half against Dallas.  While an argument could be made for Matthews, a much better argument can be made for Hall being the Defensive MVP to this point in the season.

Projected preseason picks: 0-2

Offensive Player of the Year – Again, my preseason pick of Adrian Peterson looks to be wrong.  I think for the first time ever this award will go to a Tight End, Anatino Gates of the San Diego Chargers.  Gates has 663 yards receiving, 40 receptions, and is tied for the league lead with 9 TD catches, oh yeah, and he just missed a game.  Gates should return after the Chargers bye week and be fine and keep putting up the numbers he has been all season.  The guy throwing to him, Philip Rivers, could win this award if he goes over 5,000 yards passing and 35 TD passes, but methinks he won’t go over those numbers and Gates, who should win, will win.

Projected preseason picks: 0-3

Offensive Rookie of the Year – This is one is easy, too easy and I got it wrong at the beginning of the season.  I wanted to go with Sam Bradford, but I listened to all the “experts” talk about how good Ryan Matthews would be (note to self: never listen to the “experts” again) so I went with Matthews over Bradford.  I should have went with Bradford because he will win, as he should and he is my midseason offensive rookie of the year winner.  Javad Best of the Lions could give him a run for his money if he finishes strong, but I doubt he will and the Rams in the playoff hunt gives the end to Bradford.  If the Browns keep winning McCoy could make some noise, but do really expect the Browns to keep winning?  Bradford is my pick here.

Projected preseason picks: 0-4

Defensive Rookie of the Year – I think this pick, safety Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, is the best chance I have of getting a preseason pick right.  Berry has 45 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions, and 2 sacks for the first place Chiefs.  Again, being in the playoff race will be good for drawing attention to Berry to help him win this award.  However, some of the abovementioned “experts” would not agree with me as some say that Ndomnikan Suh of the Detroit Lions is already the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL.  Suh has good stats with 30 tackles, 0 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 6.5 sacks.  This is good, but with the Lions (still) losing it could take away from votes when Berry might be going to the playoffs with the Chiefs.  Another possibility is surprise Philadelphia Eagles safety Nate Allen who has 34 tackles, 0 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 1 sack.  I’m not a college football guy and without looking it up I could not tell you where Nate Allen played college ball and the sheer surprise factor might just push him into winning the defensive rookie of the year, and the Eagles get far more media coverage than the Lions or the Chiefs which is good for Allen’s chances.  However, Suh gets by far the most media coverage of the three and the smart would put his money on Suh.  But I’m feeling lucky and really don’t want to have an O-fer in the inaugural preseason picks by #12 on so I’m sticking with my pick of Berry and hoping for the best.

Projected Preseason picks: 1-5

Yes that’s right, according to my own projections I should be 1 of 5 on my major preseason.  Dang, .200 is not even a good baseball average.  Anyways, on to my pick to who will win the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Pick – My preseason pick to win the Super Bowl was the Vikings.  My desire to see Favre (possibly) go out (who knows he might be back next year) on top overtook any logical pick that I might have made.  And you know, my desire has not changed and neither has my pick.  The Vikings are 3-5 right now, they will finish 10-6 and make the wildcard round of the playoffs and, because this is how sports work, I would not be surprised if they played Randy Moss and the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl.  However, I’m not going with the Titans in the AFC.  I’ll go Vikings VS. Steelers in the Super Bowl.  With the winner being the Minnesota Vikings! (Here is to hoping, not logic)