Congratulations are in order for the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, not just for making it to 'The Show', but for being the very best this season. Frankly, this matchup inspires my nostalgia for football past, when the 'Hawks were part of the AFC West. Many many memories. I remember Denver kicking the Seahawks in Denver only to be blown out in the King Dome. I remember "old" Craig Morton coming off the bench in the third quarter, Denver trailing by 24 points. Three minutes later, Denver had three touchdowns, and went on to win the game. I remember Safety Dennis Smith launching at Steve Largent and planting him but good in Mile High (personal foul, 15 yards.) Later that season, blocking for an open field run, Largent repayed Smith with a hit that blasted him out of his boots, (no penalty, though.) Back in the day, no one took San Diego seriously even with 4 division titles and Air Coryell. The rivalry between Denver and KC was as serious as a heart attack. The Raiders, well, everyone hated them anyway. The rivalry between Denver and Seattle was the 'fun rivalry', the one I think we all enjoyed. I only hope those memories and that spirit carries through the coming Super Bowl.
Folks, please do not buy into the bullshit narratives about Richard Sherman being a "thug". He is a passionate player with a mouth, an unbelievably intelligent player, likely the best currently at his position. (He has a ways to go before he overtakes the "Champ" as the best Cornerback ever.) The story that's being sold to you is a total bill of of false goods, and has a really ugly undertone. The only thing I can say for it is this: the sport's punditry actually got the sides of the ball right. As commenter Nameless Range well notices, we so often get this tale of Quarterback against Quarterback. Uh, no. Sherman really will be going against Peyton Manning; can Manning fit the ball where Demerius Thomas can get it but Sherman can't? We'll find out. But the color of skin and 'acceptable demeaner' of either player means absolutely jack-squat. Sherman's issue appears to be with Michael Crabtree, and Crabtree won't be there on February second in New Jersey. Please, just let it go.
Apparently, 'the league' is considering getting rid of extra point kicks. Some think this an excellent idea; I strongly don't. 'But they are almost automatic' is the hue and cry. Only 2% ever get missed. That's 2% of excitement, and actually much more. Work the math. Football is a game of multiples of threes and sevens. Anyone who watched the AFC Championship game knows the importance of the 2 point conversion. It's a gut clenching challenge to the math of the game, and horribly exciting because of it. Making multiples of 2 a regular feature reduces the excitement to a mere mundanity. Yes, it is harder to make a two point conversion than a simple kick. But if everyone has to try, then you end up with games that can more easily be tied, games that conversions won't matter in because of even numbers, and a complete disrespect for the history of the League. The PA(s)T is one tradition that should not be messed with.
Goodell, not happy with just challenging tradition, has decided that personal fouls should probably be reviewable. How absolutely gracious of him. When one player hits another, a camera should decide if it was *really* a bad hit. Again I use the vulgarity bullshit. There are three kinds of rules in the NFL. There are the basic rules of scrimmage: eleven men on either side, no one crosses the line until the ball is in play, offensive players can't hold, 4 plays to get ten yards. There are the rules that define and enhance the competition: both feet in bounds and control, no one can impede progress to the ball, stiff-arming allowed and no grounding if out-of-pocket and the toss is beyond the line. Then there are the rules for player safety, and these things should be absolute, sacrosanct and unreviewable. You don't launch with your helmet, you don't hit quarterbacks in the head or below the knees (the Brady rule), you don't hit the plant leg of kickers (I'm looking at you Steratore!) and you don't hit defenseless receivers when the ball isn't in play. These things are not currently open to review and they damned well shouldn't be. These rules are to protect players, and reviewing whether they were 'egregious enough' is a flat out stupid idea. Goodell needs his head examined. If you want to change review rules, let coaches call challenges at any time, even within the two minutes to end of half. Let coaches challenge on any potential turnover. Those things actually matter. Keeping the peace with coaches who don't think their savage back delivered a savage hit is just moronic.
Speaking of hits, which would you find to be more embarrassing: That Belickick thinks Welker deliberately took out Talib? Or that Aqib Talib has to admit to being taken out by a 5'10" receiver weighing 180 pounds on a good day, who hit him cleanly from the front when that defender saw him coming? Yes, there likely should have been a flag on that play. But considering h0w well the Broncos were moving the ball, I doubt it really would have mattered. The funny part to me is this, if Thomas would have caught that pass, we'd be talking about whether or not Welker's hit was early. Instead, we're looking at whether a defensive back got taken out by a midget receiver on purpose. If I were Talib, I would not be happy that my coach just told the world that I got blasted out of the biggest game I've played by a dwarf. ~heh~
There is always more to write, but I've typed enough for now. Please look forward to what could be an epic Sooper Dooper Bowl.