Listen up, Goodell…

The interception-called-touchdown heard ’round the NFL. Green Bay 12, Seattle 14.

The game had been a defensive battle, Seattle sacking QB Aaron Rodgers 8 times in the first half. Green Bay found their groove in the second half and took the lead 12-7 in the fourth quarter. With just under a minute on the clock, the Seahawks were spottily moving down the field. And then came, the play.
Eight seconds left, fourth down and a few. Russell Wilson snaps and scrambles left, then lobs a pass up and into the left corner of the end zone. Seahawks WR Golden Tate and Packers DB M.D. Jennings, along with three other players from both sides, jump for the ball. The former two come down with it, falling to the ground with both of their hands wrapped around the ball.
Finally, in this moment, for this play, when the officials could have redeemed their reputations as incompetent scabs, the officials have finally decided a game. And not correctly.
Penalties littered the game with 100+ missed yards. Those penalties matter none at all now. Debate with small things like those are irrelevant with the game on the line. Any and all events before this play were leading up to this memorable moment: when it mattered, the officials messed up the one call they needed to get right.

M.D. Jennings had the ball.
On the play, one official called it a touchback, the other raised his hands for a touchdown. The head official made his way to the replay booth as the Seahawks’ sideline began their premature celebrations and the crowd boomed with noise. This was the play that the home crowd was hoping for, and seemingly they had gotten it. Some Packers were shouting at anyone within earshot hoping to God for some justice. Others were already shuffling to the sideline, just trying to wrap their heads around what had just occurred.
The official came back onto the field to report his ruling. A ruling that the NFL will come to regret with every day that passes without a deal with the NFLRA.
“After review, the ruling on the field stands. Touchdown.”
And the crowd goes wild.
This play was a decision ready to be discussed post-game, about whether the refs got it right or wrong. I’m happy as a jumping rabbit for my Seahawks coming out with the win. This is huge for a team that has been building an identity or toughness under former USC Head Coach Pete Carroll. The defense was stifling all game, and Marshawn Lynch was fighting for every yard like he was running with the bulls in Spain. This is exactly the team that Pete Carroll was looking to build in Seattle. And they were just as deserving of the win as Green Bay was with the way that they played tonight.
But the fact is that the NFL has caused one of the greatest sports travesties in history. This is not an overstatement: Roger Goodell and his negotiating staff have caused a team to actually lose a game.
Think about that. The commissioner, not the players or coaches, decided a game.
I know I advertise no politics, but when he decided that it was more important for the league to win a small percentage of money, compared to what the league is actually worth, he forced the politics to decide whether or not the Packers won or lost tonight.
You can’t even say it started when he suspended Saints players in the Bounty Scandal (whether he pulled those allegations out of his ass or not is not the question) because frankly the Saints were not the league’s most respectable team to begin with and they absolutely could have carried out a pay-to-hurt system.
It started when a bureaucrat with seemingly autocratic power over a billion-dollar industry believed the integrity of the game would not be affected by a few respectable men not getting the money they deserve. Roger Goodell is jumping butt-naked into a winter-cold creek of national hate.
I really feel for the Packers, I do, regardless of how I feel about Seattle winning such a close, nerve-wracking game. But it always feels better when the right team won. How do you know? You just do.

When teams work their asses off for several months, 2-3 times a day before the season to win games like these, they expect to win them when they do the right things. To have caught that pass in the waning seconds of the game, only to have his moment of glory snatched away from him by these old farts who vacated their bed pans for this, M.D. Jennings better be angry. He has every right, and he won’t be told off for it. This was his interception, and it was pulled from his fingers unjustly.

The NFL is suffering. Teams are suffering. And fans and analysts should be calling for Goodell’s head in 3…2…wait, they already have. BIG time.
This isn’t just a game anymore.
Here’s a message to YOU Roger Goodell:
If you continue to refuse the demands of the NFLRA, I warn you now: war will ensue. This is not about you. This is not about money. This not about ego, or leverage, or plain old power anymore.
It’s about everyone else.

I know y’all have opinions. Tweet us @aceing82, or comment down below. Let’s hear what the fans have to say.

Quick Thoughts

Some random thoughts on some or all of the games…depending on how productive I feel.

1) The 49ers are in no way the Super Bowl favorite after three weeks of football. Not because they lost to the Vikings, but because it’s only been three weeks of freaking football.

2) Christian Ponder looked good! He wasn’t perfect, but he was a leader.

3) The Bengals defense looks like the Saints’ from 2009: Not looking to make all the stops, just the ones that  win games.

4) Speaking of New Orleans, they’re 0-3. Hey, that’s my record with women this week!…Not sure if that really deserved an exclamation point.

5) Jake Locker is a wild card on his own. He’s fantastic one week, a liability the next (“liability”! That’s the word I wanted to used for Ponder, he wasn’t one of them things). Oh well, Tennessee: take what you get. Don’t switch back to Hasselbeck too quickly.

6) I’m not sure whether the Jets should be considered decent…or lucky…TEBOW. Let the record show, Tebow’s name actually came up on this blog. Oops, there it is again! Silly blogger, Tebow’s for running!

7) Randomly, I thought about Zoolander officiating a game: “Hey, you! In the helmet! You’re not too good-looking! I’m going to throw this yellow rag at you because you’re not good-looking, and it hurts my really, really, ridiculously good-looking face to look at yours!” *flashes Magnum at the camera, and all is forgotten*

8) This week was the first time since 2010 that there were three or more overtime games played in a single week.

9) Cardinals legit? The defense seems stifling by the box score. But despite the 3-0 start, somehow I still don’t believe that it will hold up. Korn-on-the-Kolb will falter soon, I know it!…I may be eating my words soon.

10) Will seems to think the Jets are a potential sleeper. Tweet your take on how wrong he is @aceing82. Scale of 1-10, a weird photo of you with a sign saying how fail the pick is, whatever works.

11) I also won a bet against Will in the Denver vs. Atlanta game. Just for the record. IN YOUR FACE! MUAHAHAHA.

12) There’s a chill blowing in New England. The chill of 1-2. HOW WILL THEY GET THEMSELVES OUT OF THAT?? Tom Brady is god, remember?

13) There’s more to this Rams team than just a transition to a new coaching staff. Sam Bradford seems to be maturing and is working out what he needs to do to be successful regardless of the system.

14) There isn’t a single team in this league who is at par with the Houston Texans. My Super Bowl pick is sticking to it strong!

15) There is no 15.

Any ideas for a topic that should be discussed? Tweet it to @aceing82 and we’ll do our best not to screw it up!

Officiating. Gotta be kidding me.

I know it’s not their faults, but the officiating for the Denver-Atlanta game was a disgrace. A complete and utter abomination of classic, mistake-free football.

I mean, taking 8 minutes to decide a fumble recovery/on-field bar fight? Even Phil Luckett would have had that sussed in a minute or two. And don’t even get me started on the longest first quarter ever. A friggin hour??? Now I have to say, get it together.

Peyton Manning on his knees in a “C’mon, seriously/?!”
moment from the game. Officiating was in the gutter
all game.

Now, needless to say, I’m not sure I could do even close to a decent job filling in the way these guys are holding up. You have to admit, it doesn’t look like a fun job to get right. At the end of the day, one side or the other will hate you, even when you make the right call.

But as a manager at the cafe I work at, it’s crucial to focus on the profitability of the business and not he said/she said. In the same way, referees (especially the scab ones) have to focus on the integrity of the game they’re deciding and not on what the coaches, players, and commentators say under their breath and right in their faces.

If you made a mistake calling an extra timeout, don’t hesitate to ask someone if that was the case. Don’t turn it into a double timeout trying to figure it out. If you made a mistake calling a fumble recovery, don’t hesitate to send it upstairs for further analysis. It’s easier to live with yourself and get the call right, than miss it and potentially change the fortunes of either or both teams.

Here’s to hoping that the league swallows their pride with these negotiations sooner rather than later.

Tweets from the game:

31m Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82
NFL officiating reaches new depths on MNF

1h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

My fantasy team is starting to give me a headache… #frustrated #someonetradewithme #whydidntikeepcjspiller

6h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

Loving the human dressing room for Matt Ryan’s knee brace adjustment. #goodthinking #iwouldnthavethoughtofthat

7h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

Manning throws 3TD’s in the fourth quarter to lead Denver to a 28-27 comeback win…wouldn’t that be something, haha. #clutch #dreaming #nfl

7h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

This Atlanta defense could be one of the best this season. Looking good so far!

7h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

I wonder how much more competitive this game would have been with proper officiating. #wecanonlyimagine #nfl #whatcouldhavebeen

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

I’m sick to my stomach watching the officiating here. #DENvsATL

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

What a catch by Thomas! Inexperience? Ha!

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

@MikePereira let’s hope the next two and a half minutes don’t take another hour.

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

And now the no-huddle comes in. Way to be late to the game, Denver. #DENvsATL #finally

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

Mike Tirico says, “Matt Ryan is looking like Peyton Manning.” #offense #explosive #beautiful

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

Denver needs to let Peyton Manning do his thing, run the offense in no-huddle! At this point, it IS a dire sitch and no huddle would work

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

@AshleyMFox I’m not sure they ever gained the players respect from the start

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

What was supposed to be the most hyped game of the season is turning into a mess #ridiculous #seriously #gettingtiredofthis

8h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

There must be a record for “Longest Time Taken to Decide a Fumble”. This is embarassing. #cmonman

9h Arneet Singh ‏@aceing82

@MikePereira I wrote it in my blog how sick of this I am so, no, you’re not alone.

Comments? There’s a little pencil button somewhere down here…

Weeks 1 and 2 Are In The Books. But you already knew that.

It was a foregone conclusion that the 2012 NFL season would be one to watch. Of course, we knew there would be surprises and Week 2 turned in many more crazy decisions than Week 1’s “Symphony of Offense.” 

The Cardinals shocked the Patriots with a 20-18 stunner in Gillette Stadium on a missed field goal by New England’s kicker Stephen Gostkowski (say what?!). The Bears, Cowboys, and Lions were slapped with embarrassing losses to the Packers, my Seahawks, and the 49ers respectively, bringing them back down to Earth. 

Somehow, the friggin Eagles pulled another win out from their rears despite 4 turnovers against the Ravens and I’m starting to think that Andy Reid’s moustache is a hairy wizard (a feasible theory since he seems to refuse to shave it off). Jeff Fisher’s ‘stache worked it’s own ways on the Rams, who propelled themselves to the finish line against RG3 and the Redskins (just to be clear, the refs beat the Redskins as well).

And then Brandon Weeden threw less than 4 INT’s which was uncalled for. Mike Zimmer, defensive coordinator for the Bengals, probably took it easy on the poor soul. Thank GOD I didn’t have their defense on my fantasy team. I did have Andy Dalton, though, and I should have started him, but noooooooooo. Drew Brees will ALWAYS deliver, WON’T HE???

…But I digress.

Bad officiating, huge tables turning in free agency, and a new a breed of quarterbacks have started a firestorm of unpredictability in a league known for constant change. So why talk about just a couple of weeks gone by? Let’s talk about what’s going to end up playing into the fates of these teams.

First off, the quarterbacks.

Hey! QB’s don’t HAVE to be tall with big arms and concrete running shoes at 0.9 yards per carry anymore? SA-WEET! With defensive players becoming stronger and faster at such a quick rate, strict pocket passers seem to have become less and less desirable in the past 4 or 5 years. It was rare for a quarterback to possess the skill set to run with the ball before the 2000’s. It wasn’t until 2001 when the Atlanta Falcons drafted Michael Vick that the trend began to drastically implement itself into the position.

The tank that is Cam Newton. He is one of a new
breed of quarterbacks taking over the league.

Now more than ever, we’re seeing these newbies breaking all types of quarterback conventions. They need to be light on their feet, quick to reset outside of the pocket with the ability to throw on the run, and they are faster to release the ball than in the past. Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, RG3, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and even Matthew Stafford have proven that just being a kid with a gun for an arm is no longer talent enough. As the season goes on, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these guys proving the evolution of the position as they pile on wins against quarterbacks obeying old-school conventions.

Now, free agency.

Peyton Manning. Haven’t we heard enough already? Point made, end of story. 

Williams should add a fierce edge to a pass rush
that has been lacking it for a while.

Let’s talk about the other guys, like Mario Williams! He’s…well, the Texans are better off without him thus far, and the Bills going 1-1 is a good sign. He’s the biggest free agent acquisition of the year besides what’s-his-face, and put next to Marcellus Dareus and Mark Anderson, they are supposed to be one of the most formidable D-Line’s in the NFL. Well, if they can stay healthy, unlike Fred Jackson and the injury bunch, sure! Why not? Personally, I think there are quite a few teams who could challenge that title, but let’s let the Bills have this one. It might be the only time they get to be the best at anything for more than the first 5 or 6 games (in my defense, I did predict the Bills would challenge for a wild-card spot this year).

Only one thing about this season is for certain though: if we end up relying on them for longer than we have to, the replacement referees will ruin the 2012 season.

Be honest, he looks pretty sweet in the black and white.
I’m sure if he messed up a call, Magnum would subdue
all of those in the stadium.

I’m seriously considering sending a letter to the NFL Head Offices telling them that they’re eggheads. The replacement refs aren’t setting off nuclear explosions around the league, but they’re certainly not doing us any favors. Basically, I’m not so desperate that if I had a choice I would call up Derek Zoolander and his buddies to pitch in. But I am frustrated, and I know you are, too.

Players, coaches, and even the referees themselves are concerned about the way the league is dealing with this, but until then I see no profit in the waiting period for these guys who have worked their hinds-quarters’ in the blistering sun for months to fulfill a life-long goal: to win the Super Bowl. It’s sad that this could be it: a possibility for many veterans that their last chance at a title is stunted by the idiocy of the league.

Maybe we should get these guys
to officiate.

But maybe I’m too pessimistic. Maybe the refs finally get it in the coming weeks and this becomes one of the fairest, most acclaimed season of football in officiating. Heck, maybe they win some Emmy’s.

Until I see some real improvement, I can only hope a deal gets done with the real zebras like Ed Hochuli soon. As much as I respect him, I’m tired of Mike Perreira telling us at home that a call was made wrong.

With all of this in mind, let’s hope the last 15 weeks of the season don’t eat away at our sanity. Barring the apocalypse (I’m ready for anything…and *knock on wood*), this may turn out to be an incredible season of football. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions, comments, ideas for posts, random thoughts about cheese, or discussion topics: comment or shoot me a tweet @aceing82!

Welcome to the show!

Welcome to “Let’s Forget The Politics!” My Name is Arneet Singh. I’ve been avid fan of the NFL since my hometown Seahawks went to the Super Bowl in 2005. I’ve created this website as an outlet to the ridiculous amount of politics that overtake the major NFL news headlines every day. So, this is to focus on what really matters: the teams and the players. And unlike other sites, I want YOU, my fellow fans, to comment and tweet me (@aceing82) when you get an idea for an article. By creating a space for everyone to post their ideas, predictions, and far-fetched NFL fantasies, the NFL won’t seem too big for anyone one fan. Everyone’s opinion matters…even you, Steelers fans…I’m still bitter about Super Bowl XL. Once again, welcome! And happy reading!