The Seahawks started getting good again around 2013. If you ask some of my friends, they’d aruge I started losing my hair around then too. Call me crazy, but I think there’s a correlation between the two. And you saw exactly why on Sunday night.
Their games in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era are just balls of stress woven into an even bigger ball of stress. I can’t remember the last time they just blew out a team no problem. Hell, there’s points where I would even take a blowout loss. Let me enjoy my Sunday a little without feeling the need to write a blog at 1 AM.
Obviously, this Sunday night’s game was no different. The game was absolute madness with the Seahawks going down 37-34 in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It hurt, in more ways than one. First, it hurts the NFC West Standings. With the loss, the Seahawks stay in first place but the NFL’s best division is getting a whole lot tighter.
So the Washington Redskins are finally changing their team name, which has been a long time coming. It’s probably one of those things where our kids will shockingly ask us someday “wait, there was actually a team called the Redskins?” Although it’s taken them awhile, good on them for finally changing it. Since many people took offense to the Redskins, it got me thinking: how many other NFL team names could be considered offensive? Every single team, if you truly try hard enough.
Fantasy football is without a doubt one of the best parts of football, and it’s easily the best of all the fantasy sports. Fantasy baseball has too many games, fantasy basketball is just uncomfortable, and honestly I’ve never done hockey but I’m sure it isn’t better than football. Continue reading The All-Time Fantasy Football Roster→
The @MiramarPD said an arrest warrant has been issued for Giants’ CB Deandre Baker and Seahawks’ CB Quinton Dunbar for four counts of Armed Robbery with a Firearm and four counts of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. Incident occurred May 13.
Well, you can add DeAndre Baker to the list of recent Giants draft busts. I must say, he joined it in STYLE. And not the good kind of style, the Lady Gaga wearing a meat dress to the VMA’s kind of style.
Two weeks ago, as most sports fans did, I watched the NFL Draft. Because I was so starved for sports, I actually watched much of Rounds 4 through 7, which I never do. I was desperate for sports. Anyway, at one point in the draft, some of the analysts referenced the New Orleans Saints’ three-consecutive devastating playoff losses. Yes, those losses must have been rough for Saints fans. To put this in perspective, this year’s Saints were legitimate Super Bowl contenders and lost a #3-#6 playoff matchup in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings….and that was probably the least painful loss of the Saints’ three consecutive playoff losses. That tells you something. Of course, when you can name a loss with something as simple as “Missed Passed Interference” or “Robey-Coleman” or something as momentous as “Minnesota Miracle”, you know the loss is bad. This year’s loss was merely “an overtime playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings”, which does not have quite the ring of the others.
Ahh, draft night. Twice a year (I only watch the NFL and NBA drafts), we see dozens of young athletes who were stars in college officially make the jump to the pros. These guys’ lives instantly change. Not only are they significantly richer than before, but there’s a lot more attention on them as well. And with that attention, comes people looking into your past. And with that, comes old tweets being dug up. Continue reading A Tradition Unlike Any Other: Old Tweets Exposed on Draft Night→
The NFL Draft is tonight, and you’ve probably been looking forward to this since at least Sunday’s premiere of ‘The Last Dance’. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to it for longer. And as cool as the Jordan documentary has been so far, it’s about the past…not the future. And nothing is more exciting than the future.
There is no worse feeling for the collective of sports fans than the feeling that the wrong team has advanced in the playoffs. I don’t mean “wrong team” in the “Jaguars over Steelers last year” sense. Sure, most of us were hoping for a Steelers/Pats AFC Championship game, featuring the two teams most of us thought to be the best in the AFC; but we were happy for the Jaguars for pulling off the upset fair and square. No, when I say “wrong team”, I mean it in the sense that the wrong team has advanced as a result of something completely beyond the control of the teams in the game.
Unfortunately, this was the case with the Rams/Saints NFC Championship Game. It is extremely rare for all sports fans to agree on an officiating call, but that is just what happened with Los Angeles and New Orleans. Everyone knows that the officials should have called either pass interference or unnecessary roughness on Nickell Robey-Coleman, but the officiating crew somehow rendered no penalty. Meanwhile, a penalty call would have given the Saints a 98% win probability. In that case, the Saints would have been able to bleed the clock down to 23 seconds or so before giving Will Lutz the chance to kick a game-winning and tie-breaking 21-yard chip-shot field goal.
Of course, the officials missed the penalty call, so the aforementioned scenario did not occur. The Rams are now heading to the Super Bowl. As a result, I spent the first several days of last week trying not to think about the Super Bowl. Just as I have tried to avoid football after devastating Giants playoff losses, I did the same for a few days here because of the Rams/Saints game. Never in my life have I seen an official’s call so drastically affect a playoff result, and this happened to send essentially the wrong team to the Super Bowl. Sitcoms and dramas are scripted. Reality shows are REALLY scripted. However, sports are not supposed to be scripted at all. Sports serve as a meritocracy where each team must earn all of its success. I did not feel that the Rams had earned its trip to the Super Bowl.
Fortunately though, as last week wore on, I started coming to grips with having the Rams in the Super Bowl. I know you might be thinking, “Jesus, it’s just a game, Focker.” However, if I actually had that type of attitude toward sports; chances are I would not spend hundreds of hours per year watching people I have never met compete against each other on the field. I certainly would not spend multiple hours per week writing blog entries. Therefore, I did truly need to come to grips with the Rams being in the Super Bowl, and I was somewhat successful. My consolation has come from this simple fact: After the missed call, the Rams STILL had to do a whole lot to win the game.
We are all correct when we cite the “98% win probability” number as reason why this missed call should not be treated equally with the multitude of other missed calls in NFL games. However, many people act like the missed call handed the Rams the win. That is not the case. With the non-call, the Saints’ win probability fell to 78%. After the non-call, my thought was “Let’s hope the Saints hold on to win anyway, so that this call does not matter”, not “Oh my God, the refs just took the Saints’ win and gave it to the Rams!”
After the missed call and Will Lutz’s subsequent go-ahead field goal, the Rams still needed all of the following to happen:
Jared Goff needed to lead a last-minute drive into field-goal range in one of the toughest road venues in sports
Greg Zeurlein needed to kick a game-tying 48-yard field goal
The Rams needed to win the overtime coin toss, since we all know that, if a team has a Hall of Fame quarterback (like Drew Brees), that team will score a TD on the opening possession of OT.
Oops, the Rams lost the toss but forced that Hall of Fame QB to throw an interception.
The Rams needed to drive to at least the Saints’ 33-yard line so to minimize the risk of a missed FG giving the Saints great field position.
Oops, the Rams stalled, and Sean McVay showed enormous spheres by letting Zeurlein kick a 57-yard FG (as I implored McVay to punt), which was good by several yards.
I should also note that, if the officials had made the correct call on the disputed play, the Rams would have likely ended up with the ball at their own 25-yard line with 20 seconds to play. They would have needed to gain 35 yards to set Zeurlein up for a 57-yard game-tying field goal, which he clearly could have made. Could the Rams have gained those necessary 35 yards on consecutive sideline passes before letting Zeurlein tie the game? It is not likely, but it is also not impossible.
Anyway, whether that last scenario works for you or not, the fact remains that the refs did not hand the Rams a win. The refs merely upgraded the Rams’ chances from “long shot” to “unlikely”. Kudos to the Rams for taking advantage of a slight opportunity.
Lastly, I should note that one could consider the missed penalty call a lucky moment for the Rams. Whether we like to admit it or not, many of these nail-biting games come down to luck. No, luck does not always involve a missed penalty call, but luck could be a bounce of a fumble, a made or missed FG, or a lucky catch. Just look at the Chiefs/Pats game. Dee Ford being offsides had nothing to do with what should have been a game-sealing Chiefs interception, but the penalty gave the Pats a second life. Because of a guy lining up a few inches offsides, a different team is now heading to the Super Bowl. It happens. Actually, speaking of the Pats, look at the first Giants/Pats Super Bowl, and look at the Patriots/Seahawks Super Bowl. In both games, the Patriots were victimized in the last minute by incredible catches with elements of luck (David Tyree’s Helmet Catch: combination of skill and luck, Jermaine Kearse having the ball fall in his lap: mainly luck). In the former case, Eli Manning used Tyree’s catch and several other clutch throws to give the Giants the win over the Pats; in the latter, Malcolm Butler’s interception kept Kearse’s catch from leading the Patriots to defeat. Of course, for another modern example of luck, we know that the Eagles beat the Bears this postseason by a fraction of an inch on a “double-doink”.
Over the years, we have had many, many NFL teams win playoff games by the slimmest of margins, and those games are always the most bitter of pills for the losers to swallow. Unfortunately for the Saints, they have been eliminated in consecutive seasons by those slim margins in as devastating fashions as possible. The Saints are not the first deserving-to-be-there team in history to watch the Super Bowl from home, and they will not be the last. They are not even the only current team feeling that way, as the Chiefs are in the same boat.
The closer the game, the more likely it is that a bad bounce or bad call will greatly swing the result. Sports can be cruel. In this case though, the Saints still had a 78% chance of winning after the bad call. How much does this assuage my initial negative reaction to the game? I do not know. If the refs had made the right call, we are probably watching the Saints on Sunday, February 3. However, I keep telling myself that the Rams did what they had to do to win the game. I think I have come to grips with the Rams’ victory, and I hope you have too.