By In Stuff

Browns 0-14

This has been a fantastic year to give up the NFL. All year long, I’ve only heard whispers about what I assume are major NFL storylines — some Ryan Shazier hit (or was he hit?), some quarterback (Tom Savage?) who went into convulsions at being crunched and was soon put back into the game, the continuing insistence that a warm English muffin could play quarterback better than Colin Kaepernick — and I don’t care. At all. There is so much else to care about. Giving up the NFL and all of its trappings and nonsense has been nothing less than wonderful.

Sunday, though, I briefly got caught back up in the NFL web. I didn’t like it one bit.

First, as usual, I watched the Browns lose. This time they lost convincingly to Baltimore, and with a couple of minutes left in the game announcer Steve Beuerlein praised the Browns for not quitting (my favorite thing!), and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer made another astonishingly terrible decision with the Browns in the red zone, and Browns coach Hue Jackson (now 1-29 as Cleveland coach) said afterward that he “told our guys we have to keep working.” So it was a pretty typical week.

There was one only one real moment of Browns anti-Zen. At one point after Kizer made one of his patented “I am absolutely not an NFL quarterback” passes, the announcers couldn’t stand it anymore. They had been praising him repeatedly all game for how much he has learned, and for how well he has handled an impossible situation and, improbably, for his confidence. Apparently, he confidently told the announcers all week that he intends to be the Browns quarterback for a long time and that nobody can beat him out when he’s at his best, which may be true assuming we have not yet seen his best.

“It’s just amazing how confident he is,” one of them said, apparently misunderstanding the difference between the words “confident,” and “delusionary.”

But at some point, even the announcers could not hold back. Kizer missed an open receiver for like the 15th time, and one of them — I think it was Beuerlein but it might have been Steve Tasker — said something to the effect of: “Kizer has developed a sense of the game and gained valuable experience and now all he has to do is improve his accuracy.” Oh, that’s all? A few hours in the backyard throwing footballs through an old tire should do the job.

You know there’s a word for quarterbacks who cannot, to use some technical terminology, “throw a football where they are aiming it.”

That word is: “Stinky.”

Or: “Unemployed.”

But, really, what else is there to say about the Browns? They’re terrible beyond all adjectives including “putrid,” and yet people keep talking and writing about them like they’re a real NFL team. Last week, new Browns GM John Dorsey went on a Cleveland radio show and said the obvious: ”

“You know what?” he said, “I’ll come straight out with it. The guys who were here before, that system, they didn’t get real players.”

Well, um, OBVIOUSLY that’s true. You don’t go 1-29 with real players. That is the absolute minimum that Dorsey should say. And yet, because people want to insist the Browns are not this historic dumpster fire, he kind of had to walk it back. Some people were offended! Hey, there are some good players here John! Come on! Why so mean? And Dorsey DID kind of walk it back, saying that what he REALLY meant was that the Browns need MORE good players.

It’s amazing. Hue Jackson is 1-29 and people talk about how he’s done a good job. The Browns have traded out of spots where potential franchise quarterbacks were taken, and people say that it will play off in the end. People are still calling Corey Coleman a weapon, even though the guy has dropped more touchdown passes than he’s caught and apparently can’t get open.

The Browns have lost 32 of their last 33 games. No other team in NFL history has lost 32 of 33 games. They are the worst time in NFL history. Why are people saying ANYTHING nice about them?

Every time I hear someone talking about the Browns in measured terms, I think of that Seinfeld exchange.

Jerry: “You know, this is like that Twilight Zone where the guy wakes up, and he’s the same and everybody else is different.”

Kramer: “Which one?”

Jerry: “They were all like that.”

Anyway, this was just the usual thought, a typical Sunday, but then I started getting pulled out of my very personal Browns bubble and into the Mad Max Thunderdome world that is the NFL. I’m still mad about it.

First, news came down about Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being a pretty serious scumbag. I live in Charlotte so it was pretty hard to ignore the story. Let’s just say that any story that involves a person who has employees wear jeans so he can check them out from behind AND has perfected something people call “the seatbelt move,” is going to be pretty gross, and that’s before you get to the racism. Whew, here I thought that Richardson’s greatest crime against humanity was inflicting Hardee’s on the world.

So OK, because of Richardson, the NFL is 11 percent worse than I even though.

Then, I got a text from Michael Schur. I am entirely blaming Michael for this. He KNOWS that I don’t watch the NFL, but he sent me a running series of angry texts ranting about how stupid the NFL is. I finally texted back saying that while I agree in the macro I had no idea what he was talking about.

He told me to watch highlights of the last minutes of the Patriots-Steelers game.

I shouldn’t have done it. But I did — and I saw the play that sent Mike over the cliff. Now, remember, Mike is a Patriots fan. He is a HUGE Patriots fan. He is the world’s leading expert in that whole stupid Tom Brady footballs fiasco (earning his Ph.D in Deflategate late last year; congratulations!).

And yet the play that flipped him out WON THE GAME for the Patriots. On the play, Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James — because, naturally, the NFL has a player named Jesse James — caught the game-winning touchdown pass. I refuse to write “appeared to catch,” or “seemed to catch,” or anything like that. He caught the football. He got two feet down. He fell to one knee. He fell to a second knee. He leaned forward. He moved the ball over the goal line. The ball broke the plane of the end zone. That is as touchdown as touchdown gets.

When he fully fell to the ground, the ball moved around.

And because this is the NFL they studied the play for several hours on replay and concluded that it was an incomplete pass. Well, sure they did. I’m sure that many of you, perhaps even all of you, can quote the precise reason that was an incomplete pass. I’m sure you can cite the chapter and verse of the rule that shows James didn’t complete the football move or didn’t make a football move or something about football moves.

I don’t care. I don’t want to hear it. If that’s not a catch then I don’t want to watch football anymore.

And the good news is: I don’t watch football anymore.

Shortly after that, news broke that Jerry Richardson will be selling the Panthers at the end of the year, which I think we all can agree is true justice … that way the racist sexual harasser will get $2.3 billion for a team he bought for $200 million. A happy and just ending for us all.

Then, finally, later in the day, an NFL official measured for a first down using chains and a notecard. I wouldn’t care about this story either except someone pointed out the interview with the referee afterward, and it is beyond priceless. I will try to sum it up here.

Question: Why did you use the index card?

Gene Steratore, referee: “Didn’t use the card to make the final decision. The final decision was done visually. … The card was used as nothing more than affirmation.”

Question: How did the card reaffirm what you saw?

Steratore: “That was already finished. The ball was touching the pole. … The decision was based on my visual from the top looking down and the ball touching the front of the pole.”

Question: So why did you use the card?

Steratore: “It was just for reaffirmation.”

Question: It reaffirmed, how?

Steratore: “The decision was based on my visual … the card did nothiing more than reaffirm.”


Steratore: “My call was based on the visual.”

You know what this is like? This is like me asking one of my daughters why she did something wrong — had a school lunch entirely made up of Cheetos or forgot to turn in homework that she had already done or something like that. The conversation usually begin with a bunch of “I don’t knows,” but eventually she will latch on to some lame thing that sort of, kind of has something do with it (“I also had fruit!” or “We had a fire alarm the first 10 minutes of class!”) and then she will just keep repeating that bit in the hope that it might all go away.

This guy used a stupid note card he had in his pocket to make sure a team got a first down — as if haphazardly spotting the ball from across the field and then measuring with chain links is not imprecise enough — and when asked why he would do something quite that stupid, he wanted to make clear that he didn’t use the notecard to make the call. He used a visual. The note card was to reaffirm. He can’t tell you how it reaffirmed because he used the visual, and also he used the visual, and don’t forget he used the visual, and before you ask the next thing about the card remember, please, that he used the visual.

I guess the point is that the NFL is even worse than I thought before I checked out. The Browns, meanwhile, are exactly as bad as they have been for two years. They are now minus-25 in turnovers for the season, which gives them an outside chance of setting the NFL record for worst plus/minus of 30 set by the 1965 Steelers.

I wonder if someone will ask Hue Jackson how in the world he can escape the jaw-dropping blame for his team having a minus-25 turnover ratio — seems to me that MIGHT reflect a little bit on coaching — but I’m sure Hue will just talk about how “I told our guys we have to keep working,” and someone else will point out how this team just doesn’t quit. Anyway, there was no notecard.  The thing was already decided by the visual.


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64 Responses to Browns 0-14

  1. daniel says:

    And then the Sunday night marquee game ended on my personal least favorite rule. Raiders driving, down three, running into the endzone, LEAP!! The ball comes loose. goes out of bounds. Back up 20 yards, turn the ball over, end whatever semblance of drama the game had.

    Joe is right, football is dumb.

    • Brent says:

      What should be the rule when the team fumbles the ball through the end zone or into the end zone and then out of bounds without recovering it? I just want to know what your solution is, is it get the ball back at the point you fumbled it? Obviously it can’t be get the ball where it went of out of bounds, since that is in the end zone.

      • Scoop K says:

        Yes get the ball back where you fumbled it, the same way it is everywhere else on the field.

      • daniel says:

        To me it makes sense in getting the ball back at the point in which it was fumbled — or automatically putting it on the one yard line or something.

        It’s the special consideration of the endzone that makes it a particularly annoying rule. If the rules were that a fumble out of bounds *anywhere* on the field resulted in a turnover it wouldn’t necessarily be a great rule, but at least it would be consistent. The way it is now just doesn’t make sense.

        • Craig says:

          I have always been amazed at how stupid this rule is; in fact, I think this may be the stupidest rule in all of sports. But I never hear anybody complain about it – until now. Good to see I’m not completely alone on this one.

  2. Dale says:

    Hilarious critique of the NFL, and count me among those who can’t stand watching it anymore. Haven’t seen a game in over two years, and I haven’t missed it at all.

  3. Davd says:

    The Browns will beat the Bears.

    • Marco says:

      And I, a life long Browns fan who now lives in Chicago, will not be attending.

      You could not have convinced 20 year old me that this would happen.

  4. The Jerry Richardson thing is weird only in that the guy made it abundantly clear that he was a racist and that he viewed his players as his property. Yet it wasn’t until the sexual harassment stuff came out that suddenly the NFL needed him to go.

    The 1965 Steelers turnover record is amazing. How can it be that the turnover record is still from a time when teams mostly ran the ball and only played 14 games?

  5. Brad says:

    Not only has Joe stopped watching the NFL, he can’t not say that he’s stopped watching. He’s gone full NFL-vegan.

  6. Will says:

    I have made so much money betting against the Browns this season.

    • nightfly says:

      I would not be surprised if there were knockout pools where, instead of a “can only pick a team once to win,” there was a “can only pick against the Browns once” rule. They are staggeringly horrible.

  7. Craig says:

    Peak Posnanski. Righteous, reasoned mockery that had me in stitches.

    • Rich says:

      Agree with Craig. I enjoy reading Joe’s stuff in large part because he critiques without diminishing his subjects. He’s like the Gregg Popovich (Spurs coach) of sports writers. This is as close as he’s come in this regard.

  8. Darrel says:

    As a relative agnostic in the love/hate the Patriots debate I submit this entirely serious question to the BR here. Does anybody ever remember one of these weird is it or isn’t calls going against them. I can’t. Maybe I’m not as agnostic as I think because as soon as they started looking closely at this replay I absolutely knew that the call was going the Patriots way. Had nothing to do with the play itself, I simply knew the Pats were going to get the call.

    • Mr Fresh says:

      I can think of two…. Calvin Johnson against the Bears about 7-8 years ago and Dez Bryant’s catch/no-catch against the Packers in the playoffs a few years ago. Each at least as ridiculous as the call yesterday.

    • Scoop K says:

      The only one I can think of is the Champ Bailey INT return/fumble against the Broncos in the 2006 playoffs. Here’s an article with video:

      It looked like Ben Watson knocked the ball out and through the end zone but after review the play was upheld and the Broncos got the ball at the one.

      • Scott says:

        I was a big Patriots fan at the time, although now, like Joe, I have lost almost all interest in football.

        I remember that play well. I didn’t think that the refs got the ruling right, as it would have defied the laws of physics to go that way. But that was really just amazing effort by Watson

    • Mark Daniel says:

      It’s hard to say, because the Patriots win pretty much every game, regardless of bad calls. I recall in the SB last year, the Patriots blocked an extra point, but the refs erroneously threw a flag on the Pats allowing the Falcons to re-kick (they made it). That could have been important in a game that went to OT.
      In the same game, Edelman got nailed out of bounds in a pretty blatant late hit. No call.

      But the Patriots won, so who cares?

    • MikeN says:

      When they were going for a threepeat, what should have been a touchback on a Champ Bailey play was instead given to the Broncos.

      • MikeN says:

        Also, when Peyton won his second Super Bowl, homefield switched because of a ref call at the end of the earlier Broncos-Pats game with the backup QB playing.

  9. robert says:

    As a Canadian I get the best of 2 worlds – our 12-man 3-down CFL ball on a bigger field, and the 4-down 11-man NFL game on a bit smaller field. I have loved the game all my life, and was the world’s smallest running back in high school. But, you know what? I’m done. I can’t watch young men destroy their bodies and their brains anymore and call it sport. I checked up on some of the retired greats. I don’t know whether to be shocked or sickened. For me, it’s over.

  10. Brent says:

    AT one point on these catch rules, they talked about making a football move after the catch that would establish the catchiness of the play, but that cannot be what they looked for yesterday, because James’s extension of the ball across the goal line (while in possession of the ball) clearly was such a football move. Now, I guess the catch-phrase (I guess that is a pun, I really didn’t mean it) is “completion of the catch”, whatever that nebulous language means.

    • Eric says:

      There was nothing nebulous about this one. If you catch the ball while falling down, you have to hang onto it when you hit the ground. That’s all there is to it. James didn’t do that, so it’s not a catch.

  11. Anon says:

    For whatever reason, I have watched more NFL the last 2 years than probably the prior 15 combined and it’s not just the general public that has issues with the game. In the last 3 weeks I have heard each of Cris Collinsworth, Tony Romo and Jon Gruden essentially day that the game has become ridiculous due to absurd penalties and instant replay basically ruining the game. I really think the NFL peaked about 2 or 3 years ago and has now turned into an inexorable death spiral, mostly because the concussion issue is not ever going to go away, but some of these other little things that the NFL is doing right now have just sucked the life out of the sport.

    As to the James catch, not only is that a horrendous rule, I’m not even sure they can overturn it with the current rule. I thought he might have kept his right hand under the ball and off the ground and the replay was inconclusive. Replay was never meant to overturn those kinds of calls. It was meant to overturn the clearly blown call where the official’s view was blocked and they just simply didn’t see the ball completely fall out of a guy’s hands and hit the ground. (BTW, baseball has some of the same issues with replay, but to me it isn’t nearly as bad). I agree with (I think) your idea that the replay official gets to watch the replay at game speed and if he can’t spot it at game speed then the call stands and we move on.

    Then there is the notion that we have all this replay and make razor thin calls on catch or not, in or out, TD or not based on frame-by-frame analysis slowed down to the nth degree. . . .but we still measure 1st downs with a chain run between 2 sticks. It’s hilarious. Like anyone thinks the chain gang (standing 20-30 yards from where the ball was marked) actually puts the chain down right EXACTLY where the prior spot was. Or replaces the chains EXACTLY where they were previously set down after coming out to measure a close one. (Never mind that we’ve all seen those plays where the official doesn’t mark the ball where the guy came down but moves it up to the next yard line to make the next measurement easier.)

    • Rob Smith says:

      I’ve been on the chain gang at Middle School games. The ref puts his foot down, following a first down, in his approximation, from the sideline, of where he thinks the ball is. Then the chain gang puts the stick down somewhere around the middle of his foot as the ref moves away towards his position for the next play. Obviously for Middle School game, nobody cares and nobody is going to invest money in a sophisticated measuring system. But the NFL does it the exact same way. It’s so silly. Even in Middle School games, I was thinking how little precision is involved, until suddenly they have to measure for a first down, based on a further approximation by the ref of where to spot the ball when a pile of players lands near the first down, far away from the official first down marker. Inevitably the marker is a few inches from the first down or just past it by a similar margin.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Also, I was in a room full of friends watching this game. I was the only person that thought the call would be overturned. Of course it SHOULDN’T have been overturned. But it was the exact same play as the Deb Bryant play. If they hadn’t overturned it, it would have been very confusing as to why it was in any way different than the Deb Bryant play. Needless to say, I was the only one not surprised by the joy crushing announcement of the overturned call. Why the NFL would make a rule designed to overturn exciting plays and touchdowns, I have no idea. You’d think that, since the NFL only exists to entertain people, they’d make sure that the rules didn’t kill entertainment. But apparently there are other voices in the room more concerned about precision in catching a football. Although, as noted previously, those same people seem unconcerned about precision in spotting the ball and measuring first downs. It’s an odd game.

  12. Rob Smith says:

    The most interesting thing about all the kudos given to the Browns is to compare them to the 1970s Saints. If you’ll recall, their fans took to wearing paper brown bags over their heads, acknowledging their embarrassment of being fans that inexplicably still attended games, and referring to their team as the ‘Aints. The media then offered regular highlights of the Aints miscues and subsequent blowout losses and then cut to groups of fans with the bags over their heads. There was no attempts to find silver linings. Their was only open mockery, even on telecasts. And the Browns record is actually FAR worse than the Aints. I don’t understand the effort to find the good in this Browns team, coaches, or front office. Where are the paper bags? That seems to be the most correct response to this team.

    • Darrel says:

      I agree that the results should generate more mockery than they have but at the very same time I actually think this team is close to being competitive. The guts of this roster is comparable in my opinion to simply mediocre teams as opposed to terrible ones. With even average QB play I could see this as a 6 or 7 win team. Consider the Sunday night game. Put Kizer in for Oakland all year and tell me that team wins more than a game or two. Similarly put Carr in Cleveland and the Browns win some games this year. Considering the cap room and draft capital I would expect next years Browns diary to be a little less hopeless for Joe.

      • nightfly says:

        Sadly, there are no surviving members of the WWII Chicago Cardinals ready to pop bubbly when somebody finally beats their 29-game losing streak. Of course, those Cards went 4-37 over four seasons, and Cleveland has already limbo’d right under that mark (they’re now 2-39 in their past 41 games).

        (Although several of them did pass only recently, including Les Bruckner at age 96 and tackle Bob Zimny, age 89, who also was on the 1947 World Champion Cards, and good for him.)

      • Rob Smith says:

        I think you need to be fitted for a paper bag. Either that or a straight jacket. The fact is that they haven’t won several games. That’s hard to do. 0-14 is not some unlucky anomaly. Very few teams, even some really bad ones, have not managed to pull out a game, or two. I believe you are sincere, but come on man! Where the bag next week. It may be quite liberating.

  13. Marc Schneider says:

    Shouldn’t it be “delusional” not “delusionary”? But, then with the Browns, maybe the grammar should be wrong too.

    I find it a bit amusing that Joe, a grown man, is so outraged that Jerry Richardson will make out like a bandit for being apparently a bad guy. Who told Joe that the world was supposed to be fair? Apparently, he thinks that it’s only the NFL where life is unfair. It seems to me that sports fans live in their own little bubble where they think the world of sport is supposed to be something that the rest of the world is not-fair and just. Maybe that’s why people get so upset at baseball players cheating by taking PEDs, as if business people, for example, don’t cheat in real life. Maybe I’m too cynical but it seems silly to complain about Jerry Richardson as if he is Adolph Hitler. I’m pretty sure you can probably find people that have done a lot worse stuff than Jerry Richardson, most likely including other owners of sports teams.

    As for the NFL, I increasingly find the games unwatchable because of the endless penalties, but as long as Trump is anti-NFL, I will watch every single frigging game or at least have the tv on the game.

    • invitro says:

      Are you becoming conservative or something? I think I agree that what Richardson has done really isn’t all that bad–it’s certainly worse than a “minor” violent crime like mugging someone–with a caveat that I don’t remember all the Hardee’s/Denny’s stuff. Anyway, American society is in full moral panic mode over sexual harassment and it’s unsafe for anyone to declare that a man admiring a woman’s butt is anything less than Hitlerrific.

      • Ron says:

        Isn’t that understating things a bit- we’ll rather a lot! Calling a woman into the office and asking for a foot massage? Insisting on putting on seat belts so you can feel their breasts? Just two of several other reported behaviors. You imply that all he was doing was “looking”, which is quite deceptive, based upon the reports I’ve read.

      • Karyn says:

        No one’s calling him Hitler. No one.
        In addition to what Ron mentioned, he also had female employees stand up in the office, turn around to show him their rear ends, and then told them to wiggle it around a little. None of this is acceptable in an office. He knew it, and did it anyway because he could.
        We’re in a moral panic over sexual harassment? Good. Why was morality not an issue in how women were treated all along?

        • rabidtiger says:

          If we are going to attempt a purity of behavior to condemn and punish reprobates in high places, who have heretofore been safe to misbehave because of wealth and power, do we not also behave with absolute fervor to eliminate imperfections of rules to determine precisely what is a catch and what is not? Measure first downs electronically to remove as much of the human element as possible and eliminate all imprecision and defects!
          Make robots play and they will police themselves! We never feel again about vicious hits. Think of all the money saved on huge contracts.

      • Marc Schneider says:

        Well, I’m not a conservative but, on social media, I’ve been condemned for answering as a “white male” and also condemned as an “arrogant liberal” who “probably attended Berkeley or something.” (I did not.) So make of that what you will.

        I’m not saying Richardson is a good guy but it seems like people feel the need to show how morally superior they can be by calling one person or another out. I tire of this whether from the right or the left. Just let Richardson sell the team and get out. I get tired of the litmus tests people have for being liberal or conservative.

        I’m certainly not trying to defend what Richardson did. As far as I can see, he’s a jerk. And I just don’t understand why these men can’t keep their comments or hands to themselves. I like looking at attractive women but, to me, you can do it without leering, making suggestive comments, or touching. Why is that so difficult?

        • invitro says:

          “I’m not saying Richardson is a good guy” — I’ll go all the way and say that I think he *is* a good guy. The reason: he created thousands of jobs. To me, that goodness outweighs his ickiness toward women and blacks a hundred times over.

          I don’t understand why people almost never bring up the *good* things a person has done, but rather, are racing to be the first to call the person names. Another example: I feel safe in saying that whatever Bill Cosby did to women, he did so massively much good that he’s unquestionably a very good, or even great man. Is it now radical to consider the good a man has done along with his flaws?

          • Karyn says:

            What? I mean . . . what the what?
            Cosby drugged and raped dozens of women over decades. That disqualifies someone from being a good man. It really does.

          • invitro says:

            All right. I reviewed the evidence against Cosby, and it’s stronger than I had believed. I retract my statement that he was a good man. 🙁

          • Karyn says:

            So, it wasn’t really true when you said, “I feel safe in saying that whatever Bill Cosby did to women, he did so massively much good that he’s unquestionably a very good, or even great man.”?
            I mean, you did say /whatever/ he did to women.

          • JustBob says:

            Yeah! Cosby was a great guy! Just like Jerry Sandusky! (Kidding, of course. I’m very happy that you backed off that statement.)

          • invitro says:

            “I mean, you did say /whatever/ he did to women.” — I was wrong… I retract that sentence.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            Invitro, I sort of agree with your general point that people are unwilling to put people’s flaws into context. The classic examples are the Founding Fathers. There is no question that Thomas Jefferson,for example, was a slave owner and had sex with Sally Hemings. But that’s not the only things he did; he did write the Declaration of Independence, he had what (today) would be considered very progressive views on religion and so forth. And it wasn’t that long ago that progressives considered Jefferson a hero and Alexander Hamilton a tool of business. More recently, JFK and Bill Clinton are two obvious examples of flawed people who did some pretty nasty things involving women who also accomplished a lot, at least in my opinion. The point is not to excuse what they did but to recognize that wasn’t all they were.

            However, I have to draw the line when you diminish the more extreme sexual harassment and racism that someone like Jerry Richardson apparently practiced or the sexual assaults of which Bill Cosby was accused. I’m not at all sure that the “good” Richardson did by providing jobs-which after all he didn’t do out of the goodness of his heart-should outweigh his, if proved, bad behavior. Talking about his “ickiness” really diminishes what he is accused of. And, if Cosby actually did what he is alleged, there is nothing he did that could balance that out. You might as well say, that, well, Jerry Sandusky, other than that, he was really a good coach.

          • MikeN says:

            Dave Chapelle ended one of his shows with ‘He rapes, but he saves, and he saves more than he rapes.’

  14. Mark Daniel says:

    The NFL is unsatisfying at its best, deeply disturbing at its worst. The inexplicable rules, the incompetent referees, the interminable replay delays – they all work together to degrade the game. Throw in the gruesome injuries that we get to see in super slow mo, including collisions that you can’t help but think are permanently injuring people’s brains, and watching the NFL is sort of like watching a bad horror movie.

  15. Monday Morning QB says:

    I wasn’t a fan of the James catch-no-catch review either, but let’s pretend for a moment that instead of the ground causing the ‘incompletion’ that it was instead a Patriots defender knocking the ball loose at that exact moment. Is it a touchdown then, or just a nice defensive play?

    I guess since the ball broke the plain of the end zone before it was knocked loose that it’s a touchdown? Or, does a player have to come down with the ball and survive the defense trying to knock it loose before calling it a touchdown? I think if we consider the ground ‘as another defender’ on these sort of catches, maybe things are easier to stomach?

    Either way, I’m happy with the NFL spiraling into oblivion until they get the head trauma aspect figured out — if a solution is even possible.

    • invitro says:

      “if a solution is even possible” — I have often posted here that there do exist helmets which are much safer. The problem is that the players refuse to wear them.

      • Darrel says:

        I’ve also read something that I fully admit may be Junk Science about collars around the neck that slightly increase the pressure of the fluid in the brain. This makes it more difficult for the brain to slosh around inside the skull and do the damage associated with concussions. Now since I’m no neurosurgeon I have no idea if that is a valid theory or if the device itself works but it was interesting reading and perhaps another avenue towards prevention.

  16. Kris says:

    You must remember this
    A Catch is still a Catch, a slight is just a slight
    The fundamental things apply
    As time goes by … OR maybe not..

    Joe – Touche`. Reminiscent of the 1965 Steelers and some thereafter, I remember an interview of Andy Russell when Chuck Noll took over the reins in Pittsburgh. Andy said something like this “I thought this was the speech where Noll would say … we just need an extra play here and there and with this new system for a winning or we need just about a couple of other players to change this to a winning team … like the last few Head coaches had said.” Then Andy told the interviewer – “instead it was more like this (from Noll) ” This is a terrible football team. We stink. Next year there will be only 5-6 players on this squad still here, maybe less.” Andy told the interviewer the team was in shock, but that’s exactly what happened by the next season.

    • Rob Smith says:

      It’s fair to go there when a team isn’t performing. Obviously he was making the point that the players were playing for their careers. Personally, as a coach, I go there when I feel there was a lack of effort. When the game was mailed in. Choosing the right time to call that out is an art. Overuse it and the players will ignore you and just think you’re a jerk. But if you’re generally positive, they’ll listen when you take the opposite approach.

  17. Dan Bennett says:

    Best. Rant. Ever.

  18. MikeN says:

    > He got two feet down. He fell to one knee. He fell to a second knee. He leaned forward. He moved the ball over the goal line. The ball broke the plane of the end zone. That is as touchdown as touchdown gets.

    This suggests it is most definitely NOT a touchdown, but down short of the goal line, unless he was untouched.

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