I quit watching the NHL several years ago, but I will still occassionally watch playoff hockey, which can be really exciting. I still consider myself a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, but they are so awful lately it is impossible to watch them. Some may call me a fair-weather fan- but it is not like I am rooting for other NFL teams. I just refuse to watch any hockey when the Penguins suck.
At any rate, the main reason I quit watching hockey started in the mid 90’s with the New Jersey devils and that hideous neutral zone trap. IMHO, it ruined the game. If I wanted to watch several Russians carry each other across ice for several hours, I would watch Ice Dancing. After the Devils were successful, it seemed like the clutching and grabbing and hooking just went through the roof. I would try to watch the Pens to see the stickwork and passing between Jagr and lemiex, instead I would see Lemieux trying desperately to remain graceful while a large Slav named Igor and Ivan and a last name with more z’s in his last name than he had teeth in his head rode him piggy-back across the ice.
The game, to me- has been ruined, and even though evey year the NHL says officials are going to really clamp down on the nonsense, they don’t. So I quit watching. Life is too short for that kind of boredom.
Why am I bringing this up? Because of today’s NFL playoff games. I am a diehard Steelers fan, so I know a little bit about defense and a running game. However, the officiating today, and this attitude of ‘just letting them play’ has got to go. I did not watch the Colts and the Patriots this afternoon because I wanted to spend the whole damn afternoon watching Ty Law try to rip the jersey off marvin Harrison. Watching Todd Pinkston piggyback Manning down the field is no fun. I don’t care if it is the playoffs- call the damn game the way you called it all year long. What we saw today was not good defense by the defensive backfields of the Panthers and the Patriots in their respective wins. What we saw today was a clinic on cheating.
If the NFL wants this to be the way the game is played, do us all a favor- change the rules. Let the defenisve backs mug, push, shove, trip, clutch, grab, and grasp the receivers all the way down the field- but let it be like that in the regular season, too. At least then we will all know to quit watching by the time the playoffs roll around.
Is there something the receivers could do that would force an instant replay?
I would like to see the refs view the play over and over and ignore the obvious jersey and arm grabbing.
From a hard core Eagles fan (and NJ Devils hater) who has had his balls kicked for the 3rd straight year, I’ll tell you I agree with you and add this: The Eagles receivers suck so bad, it really didn’t matter.
John, get a grip on yourself.
Was there extracurricular contact? Sure — on both sides of the ball, by all four teams playing. Did some calls get missed? Absolutely. Happens every week.
But were both games a “clinic on cheating” by the winning teams? Give me a break. For defensive backs to play hard against wideouts and knock them off their routes isn’t cheating, it’s football.
If the thought of wideouts actually having to beat man coverages and work to make receptions gives you the vapors, may I suggest giving up watching football and tuning in golf, instead. Otherwise, lay off the sanctimonious “purity of the game” crap: the Patriots outplayed the Colts, and the Panthers outplayed the Eagles. Simple as that.
Hey, don’t leave out the NBA. If the refs ever called travelling the league would collapse overnight…
I think there were some egregious non-calls, particularly in the Colts-Pats game (e.g., the two consecutive holding non-calls that killed the Colts tying drive). As an Oakland fan, I’ve not only come to expect lousy officiating, I can’t help but expect botched or non-calls at critical junctures in games.
I can’t really fault the players, however, as I think the blame rests almost entirely with the officials.
My only hope is that Carolina so terrorizes Tom “Dimple-Chin” Brady that he leaves Houston in a hearse.
I have to agree with Brett on this. I think that playoff football should be played like this, and the team that wants it more will figure out a way to win. If you’ll notice, the teams that did the most whining to the refs lost both games. There were few offensive plays for Indy that didn’t result in someone acting as if they just had their baby stolen. I hate that. Play the damn game. If your wideouts get knocked around too much, then go trips wide and send someone deep. The winning teams got the same pressure and you don’t hear them complaining.
Football is football…someone is always going to try to pull one over on the refs. Like the Colts did when the play clock ran out at least once and no delay of game was called. I saw the same thing happen last week with the Titans. The Patriots are awesome this year and they’ll take Houston by storm. Bye Bye Carolina!
Jeebus, Brett- boy did you read into my statement. I never said only the winning teams did this. I stated I hated that the referees change the rules, or at least the enbforcement of the rules.
I have been on record a while now that I do not think anyone is going to beat the Patriots- for you to come here and claim that I am stating the only reason the Patriots won is because their db’s cheated, you are making shit up.
What I said was that all four teams were clutching and grabbing and holding- slowing the game down, all with the ‘new playoff rules.’
If you don’t believe me, go look at the games again. Watch Roman Phifer basically do everything to MarcusPollard but take his wallet. Tell me that is just ‘me thinking wideouts need to be beat man coverage.”
If you want them to be able to push, bump, hold, grasp, and club receivers all the way down the field, fine. Change the damn rules.
I still think that playoffs are a different level of playing, and if the refs are going to call everysingle infraction commited on the field, we will have 8 hour games, which would bore the living hell out of me. Maybe you’re right and they should change the rules, but I prefer to let them play it out, and not depend on the ref to bail you out when you don’t make a play. I’m a Titans fan, and we got screwed with that holding call at the end of the game, but I don’t think that one call decided the game. Nor did any of the non-calls this weekend decide those games. Jeff Fisher would be the first one to say that refs do not decide football games, and those who whine about not getting calls can’t accept that they got beat. Both Carolina and New England wanted it more than Indy or Philly, and no amount of ref whining will change that.
I don’t understand where these comments like this are coming from:
“Maybe you’re right and they should change the rules, but I prefer to let them play it out, and not depend on the ref to bail you out when you don’t make a play.”
I prefer them to play it out, too. Just IO prefer the rules to be enforced as they were during the redular season. When the d-backsandl inebackers are doing everything but giving the receiver a wedgie , they are not just “letting them play.” This is decidedly different enforcement of the rules.
I can’t even count how many times a Steeler d-back was flag for holding or interference last season for merely looking ata receiver wrong. Then yesterday, I watch d-backs latch on to the receiver atthe line of scrimmage, and then spend the next thirty yards trying to rip the guys jersey off and the announcers and people like you call it ‘letting them play.’
I call it ruining the game. Just get rid of the forward pass. Or allow contact at any time and not just within five yards from the line of scrimmage. But don;t tell me that was the same thing that went on during the regular season.
Ruining the game? The 6 playoff games over the past 2 weekends have been some of the best football I’ve seen, and my team isn’t even involved. I agree that the rules should be enforced the same whether regular season or playoffs, but I can objectively say that I’vd seen any difference in officiating, certainly nothing that’s changed the course of the game.
I see what you mean about them not enforcing the rules in the playoffs the same way for certain plays as others, but considering the infraction we’re talking about, are we gonna let there be instant replay to decide whether or not the reciever was more than five yards downfield during the route? It’s like holding, you could technically call it every play, but unless it’s blatant, it will not be called. I didn’t see as much of the holding as you did as much as I saw recievers dropping balls. And to agree with JohnO, these last two weeks of football have been some of the most exciting playoffs I can remember. I understand that the recievers got roughed up more than usual during the playoffs, but hey- it’s the playoffs. Losers go home. The way to beat bump and run is to go deep. How many times did the Iggles go deep? How about the colts? Bring that garbage five yard out play and the recievers are going to get molested. I simply can’t stand people whining about the refs. Games are almost never completely decided by non-calls.
I don’t think there’s any causal relationship between “letting them play” and this season’s excellent post-season. In fact, the Colts-Pats game might have been even better had the refs not allowed the Pats to commit consecutive holding penatlies on what could have been the game-tying drive.
Yeah but Dixie, each team usually “sins equally” in terms of getting away with penalties. I would say that the Titans didn’t lose that game because of some non-calls, but because they couldn’t pick up the blitzes that New England ran (Indy had the same problem). The Titans got away with some calls too, and true competitors never blame the ref. If you listen to the Titans, none of them blamed the refs, they blamed themselves.
Tman, I don’t doubt for a minute that each team is guilty of trying to take advantage of the lax rule enforcement, but the nature of the game is that a certain team will get away with something when it counts (e.g., the non-called holds on the last Colts drive). Thus I don’t think it’s true that each team sins equally, particularly when measured by the effect of the sins.
However, I agree that if you lose on a blown call, you probably didn’t deserve to win. I love the Raiders, but that tuck-rule call wouldn’t have meant jack if the Oakland D stopped giving up the short pass on almost every down.
That said, I do think there should be consistent enforcement of the rules, regardless of whether it’s an exhibition game or the Super Bowl. The problem with “letting them play” is that some teams will get better breaks (either in what they get away with or when they get away with it). The current unofficial system leaves too much discretion to the refs, as they get to decide which penatly they’d like to call. Of course that’s also true during the regular season, but at least then the refs can’t hide behind the “it’s a playoff game excuse.”
“However, I agree that if you lose on a blown call, you probably didn’t deserve to win. ”
Tis all I’m sayin’……I agree in a perfect world, there would never be blown calls. Alas, we do not live in that world….I also believe that most players feel this way too, as you rarely hear players coming straight out and saying “we lost the game because of the refs”..
John is right. One has to look at the long term just as John did in the NHL analogy. The neutral zone trap did not just appear one day no matter what the NJ Devils haters say. It evolved over the course of several years as teams without enough depth to handle the finesse of a Gretski or Lemieux and the rollicking play of the power forwards like Neeley slowly changed the game to compensate. The league expanded beyond the available talent pool and now too many teams haven’t the depth to play NHL hockey like it should be played. The process DID start over the season but the greatest abuses were during the playoffs when the ‘Let them play’ rationale took hold. The Devils have won three cups doing this and as a result playoff hockey viewing is falling off the same way the season viewership is. I have been a hockey fan all my life, and did not even watch the last few games of the cup final once I saw the way the officiating was going.
The NHL is on the same road. It has started in the playoff runs and eventually transmit to the officiating in the regular season. The NBA is already a long way down that road.