RCS Sidelines

November 4, 2010 5:47 AM

Column Awards of the Week (10/27-11/2)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particularly passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly (though some may become reoccurring). 

Column Awards pic.jpgWe had our first week of the NFL since they decided to crack down on illegal hits. Kind of funny that they need to crack down on ILLEGAL hits and that's pretty much what Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. He was asked about whether he'd coach his players any differently and he said he wouldn't since he had always coached them to hit legally. I guess sometimes they just don't listen.

So what happened this week? Football went on as planned. That's basically the point David Climer of the Tennessean made: This wasn't supposed to happen, right? When the NFL office came out with its crackdown on cheap-shot blows to the head and neck of defenseless players, all these so-called football purists told us that it would ruin the game.
The hue and cry: Football is blood sport. Only the toughest survive. Intimidation is part of the game. If you try to legislate big hits of any kind out of the game, you're killing all the fun.

A couple points - 1. It was only one week but I do agree with him that football will go on. 2. The argument that cutting down on these hits will ruin the game is absurd. First, the people who enjoy these hits should start thinking of the ramifications they are going to have on these humans lives. These are actual people and they need to be protected. And second, this isn't the first time rules have changed. The NFL is always looking to change to stay competitive and entertaining and they've done a terrific job. How about we assume they know what they're doing in this case as well? These players must be protected from themselves. If huge hits are rewarded then they are going to go out there and lay into somebody. If they're discouraged then they will adjust. It's that simple. On to the awards!

Dated Reference

Kalani Simpson of Fox Sports thinks the BCS brings about some interesting scenarios: So when the Wolf Pack get ranked in the AP poll for the first time since 1948 in the same season everyone is agog over Boise State's strength of schedule? Well, it's something Arsenio Hall and I file under the list of things that make us go "Hmmm."
Good points though - this revisionist history - Va. Tech's record so important but Boise's win should be viewed for what it was at the time.

Arsenio Hall? I don't even remember that reoccurring bit. Maybe he's actually friends with Arsenio Hall (well-known for his avid hatred of the BCS...). But Simpson does bring up some good points about how the BCS can really obscure many things. Many have mentioned that what Virginia Tech does down the stretch is extremely important for Boise State's strength of schedule. The Broncos beat the Hokies in the first game of the season. But shouldn't that game only count for what it meant at the time? The Hokies were a very young team facing a senior-filled Boise State. Virginia Tech has now gotten better. Does that mean Boise's win should be worth more? The whole system is screwy (dawg pound woofs in agreement).

Ignoring the Facts

Steve Serby of the New York Post wrote an entire article lambasting Jets QB Mark Sanchez: Ryan needed his quarterback to rescue him yesterday, and Sanchez was off the mark. "Poor performance by myself and it's tough to get an offense going when your quarterback's not playing well," Sanchez said.

What quarterback has Serby been watching all year. Sanchez is completing just over half his passes this year and has caught a few breaks with some poorly thrown balls not getting picked off. His performance was sub-par for him but it wasn't that far off from what he has done all year. How many people were actually shocked at that performance? Sanchez is decent but needs that running game to be clicking in order to open up the passing game. The Packers shut that down and Sanchez floundered.

Admitting a Mistake
It's not often a columnist admits their wrong - especially when his name is Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe:
The Patriots are better without Moss. I certainly did not believe this when they dealt Moss to the Vikings four weeks ago. I thought it was a signal that they were giving up on the 2010 season. But as always, Belichick knows his team better than us. Bill could not be more right about this one. The Patriots are better without Moss because they are more like the old Patriots we came to know and love back in the beginning of the 21st century. Those Patriots stressed team above self, a mind-set impossible for Moss to grasp.

How quickly he turns and remembers the good ole days without Moss. And the best part is, at the end of the column, he vows never to question Belichick again. For some reason I don't think he'll be able to stick to that promise.

Unjust Favre Bashing
David Whitley of FanHouse was among many who didn't think Favre should've started Sunday: His QB rating is 68.0, a depth usually reached by only Al Davis draft picks. His off-field distractions have literally become a "Saturday Night Live" skit.

Does that sound like somebody you'd start Sunday against the Patriots? Only if you are delusional, desperate or just plain dumb. If Brett Favre takes the field in New England, we'll know for sure that the Minnesota Vikings are all three.

There has been a lot of Favre bashing and much of it justified. But let's give him a little credit now. He completed 22 of 32 for 259 yards and had one interception that wasn't his fault.That's a pretty good game for just about any QB. The other thing is it seems like Whitley's implying that the Patriots have some great defense. Their pass defense is fourth worst in the league and they have just 13 sacks on the season. It's not like they were playing the Steelers - although that hit on Favre was reminiscent of James Harrison.

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