Friday, August 28, 2009

The NFL Does A Sandlot Do Over

Remember those kid sandlot games we played where the oak tree was the goal line on one side of the field and the public restroom the goal line on the other. The sidelines were marked by Fatso's dad's Chevy on one side and Jimmy's mom's lawn chair on the other. Any disputes over the mock gridiron's imaginary chalk lines were settled with a do over.

Folks, welcome to the National Football League, the most popular sports league in the country, home of the sparkling, new billion-dollar stadium of the Dallas Cowboys that owner Jerry Jones begged, borrowed and built. Among its features is a $30 million high def scoreboard. The giant TV screens are 160 feet long and hang 90 feet above midfield.

It seems the geniuses who designed the stadium neglected to factor in a tiny detail -- the trajectory of a football lofted mightily in the air by a punter. It happened in the first exhibition (the NFL insists we call it a preseason) game when Tennessee Titan punter A.J. Trapasso punted and the ball bounced off those pretty pixels on the midfield TV screen.

Not to worry, NFL commissioner Roger Goodall announced today. We'll do a do over. Under most circumstances, when the ball strikes the screen, the play is dead and will be replayed.

The first thing that came to my mind is what happens when a punter deliberately strikes the TV screen on coach's orders on three or four consecutive punts. Can the refs throw the yellow flag for delay of game? Welcome to high tech football played with sandlot rules.

The commissioner's ruling was greeted with these comments from football fans:

NOOOOOOO... that is BS... horrible choice by the league... How can a video board become a possible game changing obstacle

That's a surprise. Guess the NFL didn't want to foot the bill to move it.

Funny stuff. Hard to believe that a billion dollar operation like the Cowboys could screw something like this up so badly.

Dumbest idea ever, this isn't backyard football!!

What's to stop a QB from intentionally throwing at the scoreboard to get a "do over"?

You have got to be kidding! I guess Jones has the stones in the NFL. Can you imagine the Commish bending over and kissing ass for Cleveland or Detroit?

What idiots. Can't wait to see a super bowl decided by this.

Hahaha.....I think that everyone forgot how much pull Jerry has, he gets what he wants because like it or not the Cowboys generate more revenue than 90% of the other teams in the NFL, period. End of story.

Is Goodell crazy? This is insane. I hope every punter in the league who plays in that stadium hits that scoreboard every time. Keep doing it over and over and over delaying the game until people watching on TV change the channel. I know my boy Shane Lectler will have no problem hitting it anytime he wants to. Hit it, then do over. Hit it, then do over. Hit it, then do over. All in consecutive punts. Eventually, the NFL will wake up and raise the scoreboard.

What brought a chuckle to my lips are those who believe only the government can screw things up such as administering the cars for clunkers program. It happens to the best of us, it seems.

Meanwhile, inside the huddle, I tell Fatso to hold his block and give me time to throw deep to Jimmy at the oak tree.

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