Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The morning after the morning after

Some Wednesday Morning Quickhits from Cowboys-Redskins:

1) That crucial holding call on Flozell Adams is being ridiculed as a conspiracy against the Cowboys. Well, I am here to tell you that while that was not the worst offense of holding ever recorded, it absolutely was a proper call. He had his left arm wrapped around the Redskins DE and otherwise stood basically behind the player. That is textbook, kids. I realize the penalty killed the Cowboys, but your beef is with the $25 million Left Tackle, not the refs.

2) And while we are speaking of the refs, thank them for blowing the call on the Sean Taylor hit on Patrick Crayton.

3) Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson demonstrated how important and crucial they really are. Glenn is a legit deep threat (as long as he stays healthy) and I swear Keyshawn catches anything thrown in his area. He is really, really money. I think the league’s hypesters are ignoring Keyshawn since his falling out with Gruden, but he is as close to Michael Irvin as you can get when it comes to fighting for a ball and demonstrating great hands. Of course, it might have been nice to see Glenn run his route deep enough on 4th and 4, but…

4) Please explain why Roy isn’t playing Linebacker. I don’t understand. At least in the nickel package.

5) You must really ask the question why Parcells and Zimmer stopped blitzing for the most part after Roy’s sack of Brunell. They rushed only 4 gassed DL in the late stages who got no pressure on the Skins QB.

6) I still am interested if Julius Jones can remain healthy with a Curtis Martin-type workload. Love the kid, but every game he looks beat up, and they keep handing him the ball. To compound my feelings, he is on the sideline with the Cowboys having the ball deep in Skins territory early (Anthony Thomas was in) and late (Tyson Thompson).

7) You must also ask Terrence Newman what he was thinking on that 4th and 2 when Brunell found a wide open James Thrash, Newman was totally lost on the play and that was his guy. Blown assignment at the most horrendous time.

8) Seems like the Cowboys will have to decide between Al Johnson and Andre Gurode pretty soon. A platoon at center will lead to more fumbled exchanges, and continuity is required at that position. Personally, I think Johnson is the better player, but Gurode has the size advantage.

9) Why did they not at least TRY the field goal at the end of the half? I realize their kicker is a spare and that 54 yards is a long way, but what did you have to lose? I mean besides the game.

10) Daniel Snyder is officially annoying.

Hockey is sort of back. Tuesday night had the Edmonton Oilers in town to play the Dallas Stars for the first hockey game in the city (and the league) in roughly 16 months. I love the sport. Hopefully, by now you know that. But, I do have to ask if the Emperor is wearing clothes or not.

The Announcers, Ralph and Razor, assure me that the product is better. The players are buying in, the coaches are buying in, and I am led to believe that everyone is pleased with the sport. Jim Lites assured me that he really likes the action of the preseason during his interview with Ralphie.

But, whether it is Ralph, Razor, Lites, Guerin, or Turco we should all remember that they are being paid by hockey, and they can gain plenty if the sport is successful. They want it to be good, and yes, they need it to be good. Even if the product isn’t that great, they will assure us it is, and many times, we will nod and agree. But, 20 power plays, like we saw Tuesday, isn’t that great.

Will we see a difference in the product? And will it be a difference for the better? No one knows. Trust me. No matter how strenuously they assure us it is better, they don’t know.

So, in last night’s game, there were 10 goals. Wow, that is great. But, there were also 20 power plays. That sucks. That means of 60 minutes of hockey, 40 or so were spent with one team short-handed (rough estimate, but you get what I mean). And there is the rub.

In an effort to put the genie back in the bottle, the referees must train the NHL’s players to re-learn the sport of hockey. In doing so, they can either call a TON of penalties, or fail in their mission to change the sport. Those are the only two choices they have.

So, they really must call everything. When this happens, they turn the game into a plodding, and yes, ponderous contest of Power Play versus Power Play. 5 on 5 hockey is the beauty of the sport, but that is gone for now.

And, now the really, really concerning dilemma: Hockey will have a short time to show the world that their product is better. Maybe 1 game, maybe 1 month, the average non-hockey P1 will give it a chance, but it won’t be a long one. So, Joe Sports Fan decides to give hockey another go, and he is all geared up for opening night of the Stars season. He buys a ticket or tunes in, and all he sees is call after call and power play after power play. It sucks. He hears that this is cleaning up the game, but he is bored and frustrated that they have decided to take physical play out of hockey. He checks out and watches basketball.

By the time the players figure out how to play by their sport’s new standards, many fans will have been turned off by this most painful transition time. You see, in my opinion, October 2005 will have a huge hockey audience. Curiosity will bring many into the sport for a look-see. Sadly, October 2005 is also the time where the refs and league officials will be attempting to put their genie of clutching and grabbing back in its bottle. Good Luck. You are going to need it.

You almost wish they could re-learn the rules to their sport behind closed doors without the world watching, and then unveil their new product when they are all comfortable with what you can and cannot do so that this painful process would not turn the world off. I think the final product will be beautiful, but remember, we don’t know for sure.

Stars 6, Oilers 4

Despite a year off in which billionaires fought millionaires over how to split up the fans' money, there seemed little dissent among the announced crowd of 15,264. The return of the NHL from a full-season lockout was more relief than rejection, more anticipation than apathy.


There still is work to be done, of course. The Stars in 2003-04 never had a preseason crowd below 17,900. And whereas Stars president Jim Lites said he was ecstatic his sales numbers are more than 80 percent of what they were in 2003-04, that also leaves room for improvement.

Lebreton on the Cowboys aftermath

Julian Peterson with another tired athlete guarantee as he promises a 49ers victory, sort of…

"You can say I guaranteed it, yes,'' Peterson said Monday, hardly traumatized by San Francisco's 42-3 loss in Philadelphia. "I think we're going to play well. I'm positive we're going to win, to be honest. ... We're going to go out there to win, or they're coming out here to lose.''

Seeing as folks in Texas take their football seriously, Peterson's comments doubtless will find their way to the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters.

I’m…If you don’t know what it is, don’t bother…

Brent Musburger ticketed for a Budweiser in his car

Here is another new feature on the blog (until I forget about it). It is called “College Games I care about this weekend”:

USC at Oregon 6pm GamePlan
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech 3:30 ABC Regional
Tennessee at LSU 6:45 ESPN HD
Iowa at Ohio State 11am GamePlan
Michigan at Wisconsin 6:00 ESPN2 HD

As for our Texas teams, please check back next week…


Big Daddy said...

I agree with you, Bob. That game last night was an absolute beating. There was absolutely no flow in the game, very little physical play, and all the promised offensive flow was nonexistant, simply because it was an all special teams affair.

The only thing that was odd, and that Ralph and Razor mentioned, was the fact that we had no high sticking penalties. Taking the stick work out is to be applauded, but I fear that, unless the NHL finds a happy medium with the calls, that the game will be a shell of its' former self.

Andy Douthitt said...

Bob... you are dead on.

Let's talk about the nationally forgotten Keyshawn.

-absolute money when the ball is even in his area.

-he has got to be over 70% in balls thrown to him this year.

-his hands are Irvin-like, has to be the best in the league at sideline awareness.

Its funny, when Key got here, the main warning on him was him being a cancer in the lockeroom and his "I could care less" attitude. You could make an argument that since his arrival, he has been a model Cowboy and someone this city should be proud to have on their team. By the way, he is one of "the forgotten" above average receivers in this league.

When Drew truly gets comfortable with him.. he should be a huge factor as the season ramps up to the playoffs.

Good job Key. Another great signing by the great Jerry Jones.

Anonymous said...

I really dont understand either why Roy cant play linebacker.. he obviously cant cover.. might as well just blitz him on every down

TurfDip said...

I don't understand the "blown call on crayton" talk. I guess you're talking about the end of the first half play and the "fumble".

If that's the case, I saw the play and the replay, and it was very VERY clear that the he had control of the ball until the second the ground knocked it out of his hand. The ground can't cause a fumble, right? Case closed. Not to mention his knee might have been down anyway.


Brandon said...

I'll admit I stole this from

But you have to wonder if Brent Musberger was playing his own drinking game when he got stopped.

Also, is it gay to notice a piece of lint on the back of a guy's shirt, tell him, and then pull it off?

Phil said...

I'm not really up on the history of Ro Williams at OU but Corby was saying that the Sooners played him at LB during the National Championship Game in '00. I guess Stoopes didn't think he could cover FL St. Wideouts either.

Evie said...

I agree with didn't look like a fumble at all to me.

I only saw the replay once, but it looked like he had control of the ball until he hit the ground. I thought it should've been ruled a completion.

...and I don't even like the effing Dallas Cowboys.

Anonymous said...

what is the brent musberger drinking game?

Anonymous said...

TurfDip and Evie are smoking crack. I'm looking at the play right now on my TiVo and the ball shot out of Crayton's hands like a cannon the second he was hit. He wasn't even remotely close to being down when the ball came loose. Might want to check that replay again. And I'm a huge Cowboy fan, by the way.

Eric in Keller

Jared in Irving said...

I think they're thinking of a different play, because they are arguing that it should have been ruled a completetion, and not a fumble, which is impossible on that play.

They're confused and thinking of something else. The play Bob is speaking of is the one where Crayton got destroyed on third down on the Boys 2nd to last drive.

Danno said...

Hockey is back. I know its number 3 or 4 on the list, but I still think its the greatest game in the world.
Bob, your right. I was concerned about the rhythm of the game too. I jones'd all last year for something other than I league hockey, but found myself making frequent trips during the game to the kitchen or rest room (previously reserved only for commercial breaks)
My excitement for the new season slipped away sometime after the 10th of 20 powerplays. There was a lot of standing around, not wanting to draw a penalty, not knowing exactly what to do.
I believe the game will evolve once the players learn where the loop holes in the new rules lie. Its only then we will see the higher level of play we are used to.
Its nice to say once again,
Go Stars.

Mrent Busberger said...

I'm only wishing instead of beer it would have been a pound of pot that Musberger would have been caught with......

MistakenDip said...

Jared must be right. I must be talking about a different play.


p1dean said...

The Brent drinking game was featured on the Musers the other day. About 15 Brent-isms can trigger an opportunity to drink. Kinda gave me tiredhead.

You're right on about the Joe Sports Fan's view of Hockey, Bob. I am that guy. I tried to care, learned a little bit about the game, got all excited during the Cup year....but this past year really taught me how little I care about the sport. After Basketball, Football, Tiger (or "golf"), College Football, Arrested Development, Lost, and Netflix I just don't have time for another sport that "might" be entertaining.

Also, as for Roy, is it conceivable that the Cowboys might move him to LB, then trade one or more of their 9 linbackers and/or 4 runningbacks for a servicable safety? Then Roy could hit, cause fumbles, pose for SportsCenter, watch people run pass him, whatever? Don't you think he could be a kick-ass linbacker? Or is there something he's lacking that the position requires?


Brandon said...

Rules of the BMDG

Anonymous said...

Yes, there were two plays for Crayton that were near fumbles. The first one was in the first half and he was clearly down. The second one is the one that Bob is referring to, where Crayton caught the ball at the first down marker and got totally blown up by the safety (not sure who it was, don't care) and fumbled the ball, which the refs blew dead as an incomplete pass. I don't have a dvr or Tivo, so I can't go back and look at it, but I remember right then thinking that it was definately a fumble and that we (the Cowboys) got really lucky. I may be wrong but I don't even think that ABC even ran a replay to take a look. I know it couldn't have been challenged because the play was blown dead by the whistle, which makes absolutely no sense to me, when a player catches a ball and is tackled, the ref blows the whistle. Then they can go back and look at the play to see if he (the receiver) actually had control or not, so why can they do it then after a whistle but not on a play that could possibly be game turning like a fumble.... stupid.

Sonny said...

Bob, I've never heard such ridiculous hockey talk come from you before! 30min and 47sec of the game last night was played on the power play... why do you skew it to look like 2/3 of the game?

I cannot believe you think people will turn on hockey in October. October is the perfect month for people to NOT watch hockey. You have the World Series and NFL going on. Most people tune in to hockey around the first of the year when the SuperBowl is over or their NFL team is done with.

I also disagree with you when you say "the game is at its best 5 on 5". The best part of the game is the scoring chances! It doesn't matter if it's Turco making a great save, or Guerin smacking one in. The ooooooos and ahhhhhs of the game is what makes it fun to watch.

The thing the NHL wants and has to prevent is the "leading after 2 periods" statistic. If your team has no chance to come back after 2/3 of the contest is over, why bother?

I can turn this around to football if you like. Brett Favre (your beloved) has over 8,000 yards passing in the 4th quarter alone since 1995 -including more than 60 tds. What if when there was 5min left in the 3rd quarter, he got sacked on every play after that? I'd think you'd become disinterested in the sport since he has no chance to do anything exciting at this point. This is similar to the dump/chase/clear 3rd periods of the NHL the past few seasons.

So the question remains, why are you calling out the NHL after 1 home preseason game? I'd rather live with a PP-filled October than a boring next 6 years. Comments like yours is what causes the NHL to call less penalties year after year. At least give them until Thanksgiving before you start calling them out on it.

Jared in Irving said...


You can't challenge a play blown dead, like a non-fumble, because what if the refs determiene it was a fumble? What do you do then? You blew the ball dead, so there was no fumble recovery, no return, nothing. The ball was probably laying on the ground when the whistle blew.

Pretty simple really. Now, if you don't blow it dead, and someone recovers, you can then challenge, and if it's overturned, you give it back to the team at the spot down.

Makes sense.

p1 dean said...

Hey said "pp"!

Here's my question. If you have a sport that admits that admits that all it is is "sports filler" for 4 months of its season...why have the sport during those months?

I do agree with you about the ooohs and ahhs factor. As "casual sports guy" I would much rather see 2 hours of power plays IF that translates to more goals.

Patrick said...

I don't usually disagree with the mighty Sports Sturm, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit early after watching one pre-season hockey game. When the roster has been stripped of guys who will be playing in Iowa most of this year, then you can start complaining about the way things look.

cde420 said...

Watching the Stars game last night reminded me of playing a video game. I am just wondering if this means that the shutout is a thing of the past.