All the experts are picking the Patriots, Ravens, Saints, and the Patriots in the playoff games. Can't anyone have some fun and call for an upset? I'm calling the New York Giants to shock the Packers 34-27. Patriots will destroy the Broncos. Saints will win a close one in SF, and Houston will lose to Baltimore by ten. Hopefully no one will have seen this as of Monday.
I think delay of game on fourth down should be a 15 yard penalty, and the QB should not be allowed to call a time out at the line of scrimmage on fourth down. Is there anything more boring than when they try to draw the other team off-sides on the hard count on fourth and short at mid-field and everyone in the stadium knows they aren't really going for it, and then its seven minutes of commercials after the qb calls time-out? When was the last time you saw any defense fall for it? I think Chris Berman must die. I think any fan who throws a home run ball back on the field should be ejected from the stadium. I can't stand Joe Buck. I wish Tim McCarver would retire. 786,222 jokes told on the air so far and not one has been funny. Bob Euker, now he's funny. Roy Firestone's impression of Gordon Lightfoot singing the National Anthem is hilarious. The ESPB Sportcenter anchors are a little funnier than McCarver. They actually made me laugh once after 23,000 wise cracks, although that was many years ago. There's been 23,000 more misses since. Hockey is the best sounding game. Football is the best game on TV. Basketball is too loud now. The NBA, the Noisy Basketball Association. All noise all the time. I rarely watch anymore. Its just a needless noise festival. Once upon a time you could hear the whistles and the sneakers squeaking, the ball lighting up the twine, the coaches yelling and a good heckle by a sharp fan. That was part of the greatness of the game. Now its just artificial noise overwhelming the real sounds of the game. Soccer is obviously a great game to play but absolutely horrible to watch on TV. I'd rather watch Survivor Gabon! It was a sad day in my life when they made the horse-collar tackle illegal. That was always a highlight for me to see a guy turning the corner with open field in front and then - yank! I would get rid of all instant replay in a heartbeat. The human element is supposed to be part of the equation. Refs are SUPPOSED to make a bad call now and then, even in big situations. That's life. Sometimes life isn't fair either. So you move on. Bad calls are fun. Its fun to get mad and have something to gripe about. It adds to the sport. It teaches sportsmanship. Complaining about it at the water-cooler the next is all part of the scene. Bad calls will even out in the long run for any fan of any one team. Move on. Suck it up. If you can't beat the other team by enough of a margin to survive one bad call then you didn't beat them, you just squeaked out a marginal win by the skin of your teeth. Overcoming bad calls shows character and builds it. Taking away the right of a ref to make a bad call is disrespecting human nature and depriving the official of the chance to do their job. Everyone makes mistakes at their job. But referees are not allowed any more. Anyone can make the easy calls. You don't even need a ref for those. So the one time we need to turn to the officials we also tell them, by the way, your word is not good. We will go over your decision on film and all the refs will have a conference and no mistakes will be allowed. Bad calls by the ref are part of the drama of sport and when you take that ways you lessen sports. And you slow up the games to holy hell.
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Photo by Mike Donovan
Mike at bat in 1967
My days with the Padres
I played two seasons with the San Diego Padres in the early 90's but was forced to retire because of an unfair smear campaign.