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 Oscar.com…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…