Monday, March 22, 2010

Count Me As A Nay- Vote For the New Overtime Rule...

The new post season overtime rule that was proposed by the NFL's competition committee would allow for each team to get a possession in the event that the team that receives the ball first kicks a field goal.

In my opinion its not a good ides and here is why:

1) Teams Trading Field Goals
If you've got two elite QB's playing in a game that goes to OT, i.e. Rivers vs. Manning in the Colts@ Chargers wildcard game of the 2008 postseason or Brees vs. Favre this past post season, the idea of allowing those QB's the opportunity to win the game if the other fails to put it out of reach by scoring a TD on the first possession is appealing. But what if you've got two defensive/ run heavy teams like the Ravens and Jets playing? Not so much. A game like that could last another 4 quarters before a winner is decided. Could you imagine if the Ravens @ Titans in the postseason last year, had gone into overtime and the team was not allowed to win it on a field goal. You've got rookie led Ravens offense that can’t even get the ball into field goal range, a Titans offense that turns the ball over every time they get inside the twenty, and two aggressive penalty prone defenses.

Under the new rules, let’s say the Titans get the ball first they drive the field like they'd done all game and get to the red zone. At that point the Titans have to keep playing and risk yet another turnover because they can’t win the game on a field goal. They decide to play it safe anyway, run 3 times and end the drive with a field goal. So, Joe Flacco and the Ravens trot onto the field, and they only need a field goal to not lose. Flacco drops back to pass launches one deep down the field and it’s incomplete, but wait Nick Harper just got flagged for PI. The Ravens are now in field goal range; they also play it safe on 4th down and settle for the field goal. And just like that the game continues. Titans turnover, Ravens 3 and out, Titans turnover, Ravens 3 and out...... Does that sound like a game you want to continue watching?

Personally I love smash mouth football, I couldn’t be a Ravens fan if I didn’t but the masses want offense, offense, and more offense. You’re just not going to get that from every team. And that alone could turn an otherwise "harmless" two possession overtime into something that fans simply don’t want to watch.

And despite what some may say any rule put in place to get around trading field goals in OT would simply be "unfair". What are you going to tell the Ravens that they HAVE to go for the TD on 4th down of OT or they forfeit the game? That not fair because the Titans were allowed to settle for it.

Are you going to allow the Titans to win the game on a field goal on their second position of OT? Well that kind of defeats the purpose of giving each team at least one possession in the first place. The game is still being decided by a field goal and the coin flip. The Titans ARE guaranteed the first second possession of overtime, unless there is a turnover or onside kick, thus they've still got the first chance to win the game on the field goal.

2) With Every Extra Possession the Risk of Injury Increases

This one speaks for itself. Obviously football is violent sport by nature and the risk for serious injury is inherent but could you imagine the backlash if two teams started trading field goals in OT of the AFC or NFC championship and a key player was seriously injured on one of those extra possessions?

What happens if in this years NFC Championship the Vikings do get a possession in OT and they also kick a field goal... then Drew Brees and crew come back on to the field and as Brees throws the game winning field goal Jared Allen knocks him out and he lands on his throwing shoulder funny. Yeah, the Saints won and they are going to the Super bowl but they've just lost their starting QB for the season, how much of a chance do they have? They certainly don’t win without Brees. So, are you now looking at a Super bowl blowout?

What if Favre gets hurt throwing the game winning TD on that second possession? And instead of a Manning/ Favre matchup in the Super bowl, you've got Manning vs. Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson. Would you want to watch that? I certainly don’t.

For those players getting to the Superbowl would still be a dream come true and the fans of those teams would still be elated but that is just a small portion of the Superbowl viewing audience. The NFL is a business, they need and want the best matchup possible and I am sorry but that doesn’t include a bunch of backups battling for the top crown. Bottomline in the big game the NFL and the fans wants to see each team with its best players on the field, not the sideline.

But that’s just one football fans opinion.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baltimore's Infatuation with the Colts....

Thursday I was having lunch with one of my colleagues at Henry James Bar-B-Que and in between our random chatter about work we started discussing football. Me being a Baltimore native, he wanted to know why "Ravens fans" STILL have such hatred for the Colts organization. I am not one to speak for an entire city or fanbase, especially considering the Colts left Baltimore before I was even born. But I do have an opinion on it and based on what I do know, here is basically what I told him:

1) I hate that Ravens fan automatically equals bitter ex-Colts fan in the eyes of some people. Dont get me wrong, I hate the Colts just like most other Ravens fans but it is not because they left Baltimore. Again, I wasnt even alive when the Colts were in Baltimore to be bitter about them leaving.
Now am I bitter about the 8 straight losses, some down right embarassing blowouts, that the Ravens have suffered at the Colts hands? ABSOLUTLY.

The other problem that I have with this is that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins both have sizeable fanbases in Baltimore, probably smaller than they once were but they are there. Not all former Baltimore Colts fans have converted to being Ravens fans. I know for a fact that there are former Colts fans in both those fanbases that are just as bitter about the Mayflower trucks.

2) I could be very wrong about this but I think in general people have moved on. I dont think there are many former Colts fans that are still crying for the team to return to Baltimore. I think the issue now is the history of the Baltimore Colts being credited to another city. My grandfather, a former Baltimore Colts fan who has been a card carrying member of terrible towel nation for as long as I can remember explained it to me like this:

Its like when a man (Baltimore City) finds a wife (Colts organization), they settle down and have some good years. They make memories and start a family (HOF players and championships). And then the marriage gets rocky and things get really ugly, until one night said wife just decides to load everything into a Mayflower moving truck and run off with a new man (Indianapolis), leaving her ex-husband with nothing and allowing his kids to be raised by her new husband.

Now it takes a while for the ex-husband to move on but eventually he settles down and he remarries (Ravens). He makes some good memories in his new marriage and starts another family. The hatred for his ex-wife begans to fade except when the subject of his children with his ex-wife comes up. He wants his children back but his wife, her new husband and the judge (NFL HOF) wont give them back. So, no matter how much he loves his new wife and his new kids, he will always love the children from his first marriage just as much and hate his ex-wife for taking them away.

So, basically what I told my colleague is that, in my opinion, if the Colts gave back the champions and seperate the Baltimore Colts history from the Indianapolis Colts history, the off the field tension between the city of Baltimore and the Colts organization, would eventually die. The Colts will still be hated but it will be because of how they play vs the Ravens. Not because the people of the city feel slighted.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Could Troy Smith be hurting his trade value?

Troy Smith and his agent have made it clear that he wants out of Baltimore. The Ravens have made it clear they are willing to grant his wish by tendering him with the low tender. However, Smith and his agent may be doing him more harm than good by publicly expressing his desire to play for Cleveland. It is my opinion that Troy's insistance on playing in Cleveland is forcing other teams to steer clear of him. Think about it? What team is going to give up a draft pick, in what most experts call a deep draft, to take a chance on an unproven QB who has his heart set on playing for his hometown team?

1) If a team takes a chance on Smith and he becomes a successful starting NFL QB, there is always going to be the worry that he will bolt to play in Cleveland the first time he hits the market,

2) If a team takes a chance on him and he is relegated to backup duty, he might again began to express his desire to play in Cleveland, like he is doing now as a member of the Ravens.

I think Smith lobbying to be drafted by Cleveland played a small factor in his falling to almost the 6th round in the 2007 draft. And its going to be a reason that he doesnt get a chance to start in the NFL one day.

My advice to Troy Smith is this... If you REALLY want out of Baltimore, keep your mouth shut and tell your agent to do the same. Cleveland CLEARY does not want you. They had the chance to draft you in 07 and they choose Brady Quinn instead. They've had the opportunity to bring you in and sign you to an offer sheet, they opted to trade for Seneca Wallace. The Browns dont love you as much as you love them. Keep your options open and stop burning bridges before you cross them. If it is your dream to play for Cleveland thats fine but keep it to yourself, until the day comes when the Browns actually want you. Otherwise, you will be closing the door on opportunities elsewhere.