Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Night Football

Time for a bit of Thursday Night pick 'em. But first, more complaining. I have a simple question; who the hell does Rodger Goodell think he is? Two of the latest fines that have caught my attention are these: Kenny Britt; fined $5,000 for wearing a towel that had "#10 VY" written on it during the Colts game. Tony Brown; fined $5,000 for wearing red cleats during the Colts game. I don't get it? How in the name of god does the NFL have the power or even the right to fine someone $5,000 (Five. Thousand. Dollars.) just for wearing a pair of cleats that aren't of an approved color? I could understand if the team itself wanted to discipline a player who had been asked not to do a certain thing (like wear red cleats) or who they felt was taking actions negative to the clubs image (with the VY towel), but even then not to the tune of $5,000. It's just getting ludicrous. The amount of control wielded by the commissioner and the way it's being wielded is absolutely absurd. What annoys me the most though is three fold: 1) Goodell's smug face. 2) Why the national media aren't doing more. 3) Why the players aren't doing more. Everyone just seems to be sitting on their God damn hands hoping that this is some aberration for the 2010 season that will blow over in time. Well it's not going to is it. What we've seen consistently is that if Goodell wants something and nobody puts up a fight, then he gets it. He's not going to back down from his current dictatorial approach unless someone applies a little pressure. Which is why I'd like to see the US media do something for a change. The analysts on NFL Network sometimes mention it in passing, or complain during a highlight reel, but I don't see an organised resistance. I don't see them banding together and making their feelings known more vociferously. And what about the other networks? Everyone complains briefly but then does nothing more. Why? As a mere blogger with a (very) limited reach, I have basically zero power to put a stop to all of this. But the big networks? They represent (or at least should do) NFL fans across the states and the world, and they have an obligation I feel to make the fans concerns known. They also have the power, if they dislike Goodell (which, judging by their comments many do) to put that message out there and make it clear that Goodell is an ass who needs to go. And the Players? I've heard some comments from a few Baltimore and Pittsburgh players, but that's it. The rest of the league..... almost nothing. Everyone seems to be happy to complain about these things on Twitter or to quietly grumble to their local rag, but where is the concerted effort to make a stand? When are these people going to grow a sack and start hitting out with a unified voice against Goodell? Yeah you might get fined a few thousand dollars. Yeah maybe the owners might look at you with a little suspicion. But that's why you all get together and go balls to the wall to make a point. That goes for the press to. They've got to stop kissing Goodell's ass and actually stand up for what's right. Just look at that weasel Mike Florio at He used to be all about the fans and reporting unbiasedly about whatever issues came up. Now he's practically a step away from being Goodell's lap dog because he smells a chance to get a permanent slot on NBC television. This is precisely what free speech and free press was designed for; to allow people to hit back at dictatorial regimes like Goodell's. It's about fucking time some of these big shot media people exercised that right and told Goodell - on behalf of the fans if nothing else - where he can stuff his fines, stuff his "enhanced season" and where he can stuff his ridiculous "roughing the passer" penalties too! Ahem. What was I saying? Ah yes, Thursday Night pick! San Francisco 49ers @ San Diego Chargers: Interesting. The 49ers had a great game last Sunday, as did the Chargers. Both teams need a win pretty badly to keep alive their respective hopes of making it to the playoffs. Of course, the fact that I just mentioned the 49ers and the playoffs in the same sentence says a lot about the NFC West this year. San Francisco's hopes are alive only because of the spectacular level of mediocrity that exists in their division. They've been no better really. Or have they? After getting soundly whipped by the Seahawks in week 1, they then took the defending Super Bowl champions right to the wire. The Chiefs battered them the next week only for the 49ers to have the Falcons nearly wrapped up a week later. Only a god awful fumble allowed the Falcons to snatch victory from the Jaws of certain defeat. A week after the 49ers took the Eagles to the wire and lost by 3, then went on to beat the Raiders. Then lost, somehow, to the Panthers. They then beat the Broncos and Rams in successive games before being blown out by the Bucs'. They trounced the Cardinals, got run over a week later by the Packers, then hammered the Seahawks into the floor. All in all, something of a sketchy season for my 49ers. But they are probably a bit better than that record tells. Especially when you look at the performance of Alex Smith last week. Operating in the Shotgun and using more of a spread style look, Smith was suddenly back in his comfort zone and doing well. Well enough to beat the Chargers? That's hard to say. The 49ers defense isn't exactly the most stout in the league, despite sporting a number of very good (read; under rated) players at various positions. That kind of poses a problem against the Chargers, what with them having Philip Rivers at Quarterback. And Vincent Jackson at wide receiver. And the rest of the Chargers receivers. And Jacob Hester at Fullback. And Mike Tolbert or Darren Sproles at running back. That's before we even get to the defense. In summary; shit bags. Chargers win. Have a great day everyone.

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