Monday, September 24, 2012

Jinxes



While watching the 49ers in the first half, I went through all the possible jinxes which could have caused the complete lack of skill they were showing on the field.

First instinct is always to go with the Announcer Jinx.  Chris Collinsworth didn't announce this game, so anything intentional was out.  Plus, I muted most of the first half out of frustration anyway.  Can't place the blame there.

Then I thought back to the SF Giants post game announcers on Saturday night talking about how good it is for SF sports fans right now.  We have our baseball team clinching the NL West Division Championship and our football team was ranked #1, both looking to make a run in the post-season.  We're 2 games in, please be cautious with your predictions!

After looking through my texts, I saw a good friend, who should know better, make a similar error, comparing SF to Boston in 2004 with the Pats and Sox. No, no, no, noooo!  But really, I was thinking the same thing, or at least that other fans might start to hate us the way they did Boston.

Finally, I looked down and realized I wasn't wearing my lucky Rice jersey.  The same jersey I wore to the Saints playoff game last season and the first 2 games of this season.  I could blame my hairdresser's failed attempt at strawberry blonde, turning out more red than blonde and not looking good with the red jersey.  But, I watched the game alone, at home, while studying.

It was all my fault!

I changed in to my jersey at halftime.

Wait, could the ESPN Power Rankings be jinxing the #1 ranked teams??  Green Bay-loss. New England-loss. Niners-loss. Who wants the #1 spot? Atlanta? Houston? Be careful what you wish for!  Although, bad things happen in threes, so maybe this jinx has passed.

In reality, all the jinxes in the world can't explain away poor play by the team.  Luckily, we're only in Week 3 and it's just 1 loss. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about the the possibility of a Replacement Refs jinx.  This was especially true after the fake refs decided to call 2 phantom penalties and ignore a blatant one that actually changed the game and led to a Minnesota TD.  Maybe if the bad calls didn't affect EVERY TEAM, a jinx could be considered.  Well done, Goodell, well done.  So much fun to watch the result of a grown man acting like a stubborn toddler.  I've honestly debated not watching the NFL until his temper tantrum is over.  At the very least, I'll be sticking to the Red Zone for my own sanity.  PAY THE DAMN REFS ALREADY!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"It's the 6th String Refs"



At least that's what Jon Gruden called them. 6th string referees. Yes, the NFL referees are on strike. They want some of the money the NFL makes, and then NFL doesn't want to give it to them because they ref so few games a year, unlike baseball and basketball.  It makes sense, it's a mess, but the real tragedy is the games that are having to go through with these replacements.

I wish it was as good as the movie The Replacements, but it's not. This rag tag crew of refs aren't coming out the winners. In fact, they're showing the world how hard it is to be a ref. To know every detail of the game, be able to call it perfectly, and to step up into rules you're not used to calling and get it right. The problem is these guys aren't the best of the best in college world. Those refs? They're still in college, because they are probably making more money, had their travel arranged, etc., etc., etc. So they are the ones making the good calls on the big college networked games. These current NFL replacement refs, well they weren't seasoned enough to ref those games.

6th string. Now, for the NFL, 6th string isn't great, but they make great tackling dummies at practice. Unfortunately, when it's game time, they're on the bench keeping it warm for everyone else. Or sometimes, they don't even dress.

I feel bad for these refs, they're doing their best, but the tv fans, media, and everyone else is so quick to rip them apart. I stat basketball games, and I don't envy the refs at all. It's hard enough following all the information I have to process, let alone remember every single rule. We have a team of statisticians that work together to comprehend it all. It's tough work, but these refs are mixing college and NFL rules, and just all in all making it a mess. But, they're doing a way better job than I ever could. And I don't have a tv crew breathing down my back, pointing out all my flaws to millions of people.

The players are frustrated, they don't feel like the games are fair, you can tell, they're telling the refs which calls to make. You can tell the refs are listening too. As long as they listen to both teams . . . they might as well listen to the ones who know the rules better than any other.

The ref that I feel bad for the most? The Saints fan ref. He had a few photos in Saints shirts and jerseys, and he was released from being a ref. For VERY good reasons, as anyone involved in the documentation and outcomes of any sporting game, you are not to gamble, have fantasy leagues, or even promote that you prefer one team over another. It shows bias, and the teams are very aware that it doesn't end well. Remember the refs that took money on games? Yeah, it all starts somewhere, so they take it out at the beginning. So this ref, who normally refs college (I think, I didn't do that much research on him), got the chance to ref his favorite team's game. Do you know how excited he was? Do you know how much he was working to prepare himself to be unbiased and act professional? A ton, because most people that work in this industry, don't watch games like a fan anymore. Screaming and cheering goes out the window. So the likelihood of him being bias was slim, but it's perception and nipping it in the bud. The NFL had to release him, there was no question. But he got the break of his lifetime, and never got to even try for it.

All in all? Give the refs a break, but for goodness sake . . . can we get the old refs back?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Football and Fashion



Can you hear that in the air? Thousands of fans cheering? Yep, it's that time of year again, it's football season. I'm finally jacked for it! Yes I understand that football season has been in pre-season swing for the NFL and college started last week (ROLL TIDE!) but as I listed in my last post, I've been footballed-out! I'm finally getting a grip on reality and on the festive season that is worth cheering over once again.

Yesterday I received a nugget of awesomeness in the mail - a 2012 NFL sports gear catalog. Mine was specifically geared toward the Pittsburgh Steelers fan in me, at least on the cover. Inside it was a wonderland of merchandise. Usually I get a catalog and it's all about men's gear, some kids stuff and I might be lucky if there is a bedazzled pink jersey {gag} or a scrunchy with my team's colors on it.

Not this time folks - this time the women's NFL fashion is actually been stepped up a notch!  No longer am I forced to purchase "ladies jerseys" that make me want to hang my head because there is a "diamond" in the middle of one of the O's, or forced to purchase a Youth Jersey just because they are smaller than the men's gear. I personally own a men's jersey. It was my first purchase and I had NO idea how long they were, or how large they run. It's an XL, needless to say even with all my um... blessings? it's still HUGE on me! I could totally rock it as a dress!

NFL has finally knocked women's sports fashion out of the park. Between t-shirts, custom jerseys, pjs and the like I'm finally able to rock something "feminine" and not feel like a tool.

Check out this gear!!! (and it's models! How cool is this campaign?)

Women's NFL GEAR 2012
Yes, that's Ms. Rice! And I'd like to think these Jets fans are all about McElroy, like me • via
 There are still rhinestones if you are into that sort of thing - but the options are never ending it seems! I love the weathered look and the fact that Ms. Rice's jersey is tough and fem at the same time!

EVEN TEENS CAN ENJOY IT! So cute!
See the bottom, available at affordable locations, thank you very much NFL!
Totes Adorable, yeah I said Totes! • via
 A Personal Favorite! OK so maybe I won't rock my Steelers gear with a fringe skirt, but if I had Kym Johnson's legs, I totally would. I sort of love that she is sporting the Black and Gold no doubt in support for former player Hines Ward and her winning partner on Dancing with the Stars. Yes, I just wanted to work his name in here someone. I love me some Hines!

Kym Johnson, always flaunting and fabulous • via
 The Ladies in all their glory - can you pick them all out?
Huge Layout Ad for Women's NFL • GIRL POWER • via
So there you have it ladies - you no longer have to sport your man's tired old jersey, 2nd hand tshirt or faded sweatpants! I'm by no means saying get rid of them - there is something glorious about worn in sweatpants that belong to your man. What I'm saying is maybe on a big important game day you can rock something fabulous, in your size and meant for just you (just be sure you wear your lucky tshirt or underwear under it... it's a game day tradition... at least it is in my house!

HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON ONE AND ALL!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our tried and true passions are back!





Well, college sports are back. The school year has begun, and the crazy fandom can begin. In fact, it already has, because college football kicked off this past weekend. And it was definitely interesting.

Hurricane Issac came through and decided that football was not to start yet (among telling people they couldn’t live there anymore and ruining a bunch of people’s lives, so please keep your prayers going for those that are suffering).  So now the ticket battle has occured, people that orginially bought tickets can't go or they just opened it up to whoever wanted to buy and screwed everyone else. To be perfectly honest, I don't know for sure what happened and I haven't heard too many complaints, so obviously it went well in the ticketing world. Happy days, since everything else in that area is suffering.  At least A&M prolonged the butt whooping it's going to receive. And if A&M wins, I'll eat my words . . . in the form of candy.

Penn State kicked off it's season after the Sandusky scandal, after Paterno, after the NCAA penalties and fines, and after losing players because of it all.  The fans supported and rallied for their team. The new coach (Bill O'Brien) had a lot on his shoulders. Penn State lost to Ohio 24-14, and really after all that's happened to them, that's a decent game. It was so nice to see that the fans are still supporting the organization, and supporting the team. The stadium was over 90k full. They understood that what happened was not the players, and that these kids need all the cheering they can get. The best part of it all? Child abuse philanthropies are getting recognized and children are being helped, because the fans are telling the world we care about the kids (they had a Rally Ring around the stadium before the game), but we also care about the University. The best of both worlds, unfortunately something bad had to happen first. 

Alabama took over what should have been the University of Michigan, and turned them into a Michigan high school team. Which, is not what was expected. In fact, for Michigan it was embarrassing, last season they were held to the same level. However, we all know that last year means nothing for the current season. Michigan showed promise, and it's not time to hang their heads yet, but they've got to put on their big boy pants for this weekend. Hopefully Michigan remembers, that any team can be beaten on any given day.

And the biggest kicker of all . . . University of Houston lost to Texas State University. And by Texas State University, I mean Texas State, which used to be Southwest Texas. Which didn't have a football team until a few years ago. Houston is a good team, they tend to kick SMU's butt every year. It's one of the games that if SMU wins, it's a good season. Even SMU would assume Texas State as a cupcake team. And they beat Houston. This is the first year for Texas State to even be in the FBS (Football Bowl Series aka true D1 school), and Houston was expected to win by a spread of over 36. It's sad for Houston to have their season start with such a tarnished mark, but as a supporter of a permanent underdog school, I'm giving a mental high five to Texas State (because no one really wants to give a real high five to that school).

And on a personal rant: Commentators are awful. If you don't have anything to say . . . just don't say anything. I had to listen to commentators during the SMU/Baylor game and I about threw my tv out the window. You don't need to tell me where the stadium is located in Dallas, we know where it's located. I really don't need the intersections. We know SMU was getting pummeled by Baylor. We know we weren't doing well and it was embarrassing. Don't embarrass yourself by just trying to come up with things to say. We're okay if you don't say something for 30 seconds. Promise.