NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has issued an apology to fans as part of his press conference earlier today announcing the deal with the referees.
“Something like this, it’s painful for everybody. Most importantly, it’s painful for fans. We’re sorry to have to put fans through that.”
He added: “Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term.”
After weeks of chaos, it took the debacle scenario on MNF to motivate both sides to get a deal done. But it is finally done & I think everyone involved is happy that the regular officials will be presiding over the game tonight & for the rest of the season.
The sporting world has been turned upside down following the debacle in Seattle on Monday Night Football in which the Green Bay Packers were robbed of a victory by a botched call made by the NFL’s replacement referees.
Packers Offensive Lineman, TJ Lang made news Monday night and yesterday morning as people discovered his rather pointed tweets towards the NFL due to their ever failing replacement ref experiment. Lang continued to make noise based on his comments yesterday to 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit.
Lang said the Packers discussed taking “extreme measures” on their plane ride back to Green Bay following the loss. Extreme measures such as a strike or literally taking a knee on every offensive snap until the referee situation is resolved.
“Whatever it takes, it’s just a total embarrassment to everybody watching the game, the players in the game, it’s not fun to be a part of something like that… If it keeps going on, it’s going to get ugly.”
“Going into a game worrying about the refs more than the other team, it’s a problem. The NFL, the commissioners, if they don’t take action after last night… That should be the last straw.”
“Personally, I think more people nee to speak up,” adding that he believes players are too afraid of fines to speak the truth.
While I don’t think for one minute that players will strike or take a knee on every down, the more noise players can make the better in my opinion.
Ryan Grant, former starting running back for the Green Bay Packers has reportedly agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports:
The NFL replacement refs have taken quite a bit of criticism after repeatedly showing just how “in over their heads” they are. I personally don’t blame them, they’re doing the best they can. But I do blame the NFL and Roger Goodell for believing that they could just move on with replacement refs without missing a beat. That is pure arrogance in my opinion.
The worst of the replacement ref experiment may have taken place at the end of the Monday Night Football game last night as the Seattle Seahawks were attempting a game winning pass against the Green Bay Packers.
Russell Wilson essentially threw up a jump ball in the end zone with the Seahawks down 7-12 late in the 4th quarter. A Packers defender caught the ball, had both hands around the ball and fell down, with possession on Seattle WR, Golden Tate. Tate did not have his hands on the ball, let alone control or possession.
Somehow, even after review, the refs ruled a “simultaneous catch” which gives the possession to the offense. It was one of the most egregious calls i’ve ever seen.
Packers offensive Lineman, TJ Lang, agrees and he did not hold back on his Twitter account:
While I agree with him, and appreciate his candor… he’s going to be significantly lighter in the wallet….
Clay Matthews has taken the NFL by storm this year due to his incredible on the field performances as well as his charismatic personality. Honestly, you must only listen to one interview with the young man to come away impressed with both his professionalism as well as his sense of humor. He is known, in addition to his defensive prowess, for his long blonde locks. So much so, that Suave recently signed him to an endorsement deal similar to that of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
“The Claymaker” had a little fun with his sponsors and with his fans today, however, when he tweeted the above picture. Along with the picture, Matthews tweeted “Just got my Britney Spears on… what do you think???” Obviously in reference to Britney’s breakdown a few years back when she was threatened to be tested for drug use which prompted her to shave her head completely.
For Matthews, this is obviously (hopefully) just a bit of fun with his fans and newest sponsor because he’s getting far too much money to maintain that hair to just shave it off for a laugh. I’m sure this is part of some other commercial venture or comedic performance.
Many, myself included, believe that Mike McCarthy is the true Coach of the Year in the NFL after navigating an NFL season all the way to the summit of the football universe. It is difficult enough for any team in the NFL to get through a season and win a Super Bowl. Add to that the incredible injuries and difficult road culminating in knocking off the premiere franchise in the NFL today, and Mike McCarthy showed the world just how great of a head coach he is.
But perhaps the single best move by McCarthy wasn’t that he out-coached Mike Tomlin throughout the game, or that he called his own shot entering the week by saying that he had a great QB and that he intended to use him and rely on him to win the game for them. All week, McCarthy said that they rode on the back of Rodgers and that wasn’t going to change. Boy was he right. The Packers ran the ball an astounding 13 times! NO ONE… I mean no one, thought that either team would be able to win the game with less than 15 rushing attempts.
But the best thing McCarthy did happened the night before the game during his final meeting with his team before they went to sleep (or at least tried to sleep) the night before the biggest game of their lives. In an incredible show of confidence in himself and his team, Mike McCarthy brought in the ring fitters to size each and every person for their Super Bowl rings.
Some may think that’s arrogant or cocky and you may be right on some level, but guess what? It worked. The Packers came out from the start and looked loose, confident and certainly didn’t let the moment get the better of them. Even when the Steelers came roaring back and the Packers seemingly lost all momentum and were on the verge of losing control of the game, they stood strong and responded. Greg Jennings was even seen grabbing his ring finger after one of his 2 TD’s during the game.
Did McCarthy’s decision to fit his team for rings on Saturday night win the game for them? Of course not. But it shows you the culture and attitude of the team and that confidence carried forward on the field last night. After the massive injuries the Packers sustained during the game, including their defensive captain, Charles Woodson, and after the Steelers took their best shot and came back firing, it would’ve been very easy to let that game slip away.
The way Rodgers played last night, throughout the playoffs, and all season, I just hope McCarthy fit him for a championship belt as well.
Not really a look-a-like… but ya know…
Just a few short years ago Plaxico Burress was one of the heroes of the Super Bowl as he played a key role in helping the New York Football Giants derail the Patriots’ pursuit of perfection. As we know, Plaxico then had the unfortunate situation whereby he shot himself in the leg at a night club. Due to New York City’s strict gun laws, the star WR has been spending his time in prison.
According to reports by TMZ, Plaxico has “full TV privileges” and will be able to watch the Super Bowl in prison. Not a bad perk for inmates… I wonder if those inmates would be able to watch the Super Bowl if it wasn’t Plaxico Burress locked up along side them or if this is some special perk.
Steelers rookie Center Maurkice Pouncey had an incredible first season in the NFL. Not only did he earn a Pro Bowl bid, but he helped to stabilize a shaky Steeler offensive line and is headed to the Super Bowl in his rookie season. Unfortunately for Pouncey and the Steelers, he went down with an apparent ankle injury during the AFC Championship game against the Jets. At the time, it was thought that he suffered a sprained ankle.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, Pouncey also has a broken bone in his left ankle along with the high ankle sprain. This is a tremendous blow for the Steelers as he is now considered “highly doubtful” for Super Bowl XLV. Pouncey didn’t miss a game this season and despite going out in the first quarter of the AFC Championship game, the Steelers were hopeful that he would be able to recover during the 2 week layoff leading up to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers are publicly saying that he hasn’t been ruled out for the Super Bowl, but players have already indicated that he will likely not be able to play. According to the Post-Gazzette, Chris Kemoeatu told reporters earlier this week that Pouncey would not be playing in the Super Bowl. He then backed off those comments presumably after being talked to by Steelers brass.
For the Steelers, the biggest question beyond Big Ben’s suspension for the first 4 games of the season has always been if their O-line could hold up. They don’t have a strong line by NFL standards to begin with and they have suffered injuries which have caused them to shuffle players around all season. Despite the line’s inconsistency, the one anchor this season had been Pouncey. Losing him presents significant problems for the Steelers against Green Bay.
The first and “biggest” challenge is B.J. Raji. Raji is an underrated player at Nose Tackle for the Packers and even though he can take up space, he’s not the traditional “Space Eating” 3-4 NT like Gilbert Brown. Raji is athletic and can rush the passer and even drop back into coverage as we saw against the Bears. Raji is a handful for any NFL center, let alone a backup who has seen limited time this season.
Secondarily, the Packers have an extremely underrated defense and very complex blitz schemes. Dom Capers has transformed the Packers defense into one of the league’s best and Clay Matthews and company will present serious concerns for the Steelers offensive line. Pouncey is responsible for all the line calls and losing your starting Center who is the “quarterback of the o-line” is never a good thing. Obviously, Roethlisberger has a unique ability to get away from pressure, but the Steelers o-line’s ability to hold up against the Packers rush will play a huge part in this game.
Two weeks is a long time and medical staff’s can do an awful lot in that period of time. Ben Roethlisberger just recently played with a broken bone in his foot and it’s still possible that Pouncey will give it a go. Either way, even if he’s able to play, he will certainly be far from 100% and it will impact the game.
B.J. Raji had one of the most athletic and incredible plays for a nose tackle perhaps in NFL post-season history. But that was the least impressive thing he did in this video. The big man “listed” at 340 pounds, who is probably closer to 4 bills than 3, picked the Bears QB, Hanie off and returned it all of about 9 yards for a TD.
The ensuing TD dance is legendary. Raji shows off some great dance moves and then flashes his championship belt. Of course, I remixed it a bit to spice it up…
Take a look: