Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Florio Watch

I love reading articles by Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com. Sometimes it's for the right reasons. Mostly it's for the wrong reasons. Not only does Florio seem to have his head firmly entrenched in Roger Goodells butt most of the time, but he also revels in attacking ESPN (nothing to do with being an NBC employee of course) and is constantly harping on about bad journalism etc. His favourite gig at the minute seems to be talking about how dirty some of the players are (especially if they play for the Steelers) for making helmet-to-helmet contact in games. Florio basically loves the new emphasis on heavy fines and suspensions for hitting defenseless receivers. He also enjoys telling everyone that they don't understand the rules. He smugly (I know the feeling) claims that everyone else is wrong and harps on about how the rules haven't changed, it's just the greater emphasis being placed on the rule etc. Which is why I found what you're about to read so very enjoyable. See, in his Monday 10-pack Florio mentioned the two big helmet-to-helmet hits that occurred this week. One he was right to complain about; the hit by Packers safety Nick Collins on Roy Williams. That hit was nothing but illegal. There was no excuse for how late and deliberate it was. But Austin Collie getting jammed between the combination of Philadelphia safeties Kurt Coleman and Quintin Mikell was a completely legitimate play. The league seems to agree, as IndyStar.com reports that the League will take no further action against them. Florio doesn't though, saying in his 10-pack article; "Still, both hits violated the rules, despite the protests of a pair of Collie's Colts teammates." I'm not sure whether he meant Collie's teammates or not, but that's not important. The rules were not broken and the league seems to understand that. Having had a private rant to myself, I put this one away in the back of my mind. That might help explain the twitching from that region which occurred when I read this article from Florio which he posted approximately 12 hours later, specifically this section: "It definitely makes no sense because it was presented with a flawed premise. When a "ball carrier" ducks his head at the last minute and absorbs a shoulder or a helmet to the head, it's not a violation of the rules. A "ball carrier" isn't a "defenseless player." A "ball carrier" therefore assumes the risk of getting hit in the head when he lowers his head just before impact. I started to write an item explaining how ESPN's chronic ignorance of the rules and their nuances is doing a disservice to the fans and, ultimately, to the game. But then it was mentioned that Commissioner Roger Goodell would be talking with Tafoya........ ......... Then came the money question. The "ball carrier" dipping his head question. The opportunity for Goodell to clarify for ESPN and anyone else who doesn't understand the difference between a helmet-to-helmet hit on a "ball carrier" and a "defenseless receiver." " (No additional smugness added) Wait a minute? ESPN's chronic ignorance of the rules and their nuances? Doing a disservice to the fans? The opportunity to clarify for ESPN and anyone else who doesn't understand the difference between blah, de, blah. Busted Florio!! Having claimed such a high horse that it could practically straddle Mount Everest, Florio then proceeded to switch places with the ass. Just 12 hours previously Florio was telling us all how bad the hit on Collie was and how it was illegal etc. The league disagreed, not fining the players in question. And by Florios very definition -- Collie had caught the ball and taken several steps -- he was no longer a defenseless receiver. He was a "ball carrier" and thus the hit was perfectly good. Having told us all in superbly arrogant fashion how chronically ignorant of the rules we all are, Florio himself appears to have missed this one. An apology maybe Florio? I very much doubt it. That might take a shred of humbleness I guess. Have a great day everyone.

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