1) THE NFL MISTAKE-TURNED-OVERCORRECTION
Two weeks ago (and rightfully so) the talk of the football world was around Tua Tagovailoa and the concussion protocol debacle in Miami. Let's start by stating that there’s no debating if Miami made the wrong decision when it came to letting their franchise quarterback play Thursday night against Cincinnati. Just four days earlier, Tua went down and anyone watching could see that he’d suffered a concussion, or some sort of head trauma. Playing Tua in the Thursday Night Football game was bad for the player, the team and the league.
And so, bring on the classic NFL overcorrection in Week Five.
In light of what happened to Tua and the widespread criticism, the NFL implemented stricter rules to further protect the quarterback. Now, any “excessive slamming” that could cause potential harm to the defenseless player would result in a “roughing the passer” penalty.
We saw this rule implemented a few times this past week and frankly it was over the top. The clearest example was a roughing the passer penalty called against Atlanta, late in the game against Tampa Bay and the NFL’s Golden Boy, Tom Brady.
As a Bucs fan, I loved the call because it saved the game. As a football fan, it was laughable.
The NFL does this all the time. The media uproars, player safety is top priority again, so they implement a rule that changes the way football is played.
I don’t expect this to last long. Refs will never hear the end of it, players and coaches will speak out, it’ll result in some unlucky ending to a season and so when the season closes, NFL will revert back to the old rule.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
2) PUT SOME RESPECT ON JIMMY G’s NAME
I mean, how wrong was the media all off-season long about Jimmy Garoppolo? The saga of Jimmy G and his contract situation in San Francisco was a key talking point throughout the summer and after all we’ve seen, I can’t figure out why he was taking so much heat.
Once the 49ers made the decision to go with Lance, the market for Jimmy G was ice cold – and the media loved to infer that teams couldn’t win with him. To me, that was a head scratcher.
When he’s healthy, the quarterback WINS. He’s made a Super Bowl, an NFC title game and is consistent year in and year out. Indiannapolis, Denver, Carolina and other QB hunting programs went a different direction and the results have been pretty abysmal.
Now that Trey Lance is injured, Jimmy G was forced to restructure his deal in San Francisco to a one year deal and the veteran quarterback is playing lights out. Good for him.
I hope Jimmy G leads the 49ers to the NFC title game, loses to Tampa Bay and demands an even higher price tag for these teams that didn’t give him the time of day this past offseason.
3) TEXAS IS BACK
I know it’s fun to say and laugh at later, but this time it’s for real. Led by a healthy Quinn Ewers, Texas ran over the Oklahoma Sooners this past weekend, and if we remember back to Week Two, they also went toe to toe with Alabama.
Would the Longhorns have shocked the world if Quinn Ewers didn’t get hurt in that Bama game? We’ll never know… but my guess would be yes. At 4-2, Texas is a longshot to make the playoffs, but if they can win out and win the Big 12 Title, perhaps we see the Longhorns in the mix at the end of the year.
Ewers is locked in, and the Manning bloodline is headed to Austin. For the first time in a long time, I feel confident saying that Texas football is well on its way back.
Shout out that Matthew McConaughey NIL money.
4) THE NEW MLB POSTSEASON ROCKS
This year Major League Baseball added two more Wild Card teams in each division, and did away with the Wild Card one game format. Instead of only two Wild Card teams getting their shot, this October we’ll get six.
As exhilarating as the “winner take all” format was, it was never fun that fans would experience the emotional toll of a 162 game season, only to see it come crashing down after nine innings.
With more teams, and the best-of-three format, fans get to watch a few more days of the season, ultimately suffering in a more drawn out process…The way being a baseball fan was meant to be.
5) FANS NEED TO SIT THEIR A$$ES BACK DOWN.
Hand up – I once left one of the best comeback games to ever happen.
For those that don’t know the legend of Game 162 down in Tampa Bay, I’ll spare you the details, just Youtube it. .
I left the game when the Rays were at their depths. I was fed up and didn’t want to suffer any longer. As history would have it, the Rays came back to win the game, make the playoffs and experienced one of the most exciting nights in Tampa baseball history.
This past weekend, Broncos fans left before overtime and St.Louis fans left a playoff game after their team gave up the lead in the ninth. The latter is more offensive, but my point is for all fans: stop leaving early. In the world of sports, you just never know what might happen.
I live with regret of leaving Game 162 every day of the season, and it’s a regret I wouldn’t wish on any fan out there.