Lou Fontaine

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What Happened To The Bowl Games? Or Thank Goodness for NFL Week 17

What Happened To The Bowl Games? Or Thank Goodness for NFL Week 17 You knew the BCS series was going to change things and that no good would come from it.  At the cost of crowning a national champion (even when there are three 12-0 teams and one doesn’t get a fair shot to play in the big game) all other bowls are rendered moot.  Once upon a time (like even 10 years ago) you could count on waking up at and seeing the first of 8 bowls on New Year’s Day, each with a compelling matchup to coordinate your hangover/feast/leftover celebration.   The highlight was almost always the Rose Bowl.  Big Ten Champ V Pac 10 Champ: Always a huge match-up and a quality game.  Now we’re left with close to two dozen match-ups of 6-6 V 7-5 teams.  If everyone makes a Bowl appearance then no Bowl is special.  We have to wait an entire week until we see an NCAA Champ.  The Rose Bowl is on ESPN, and other than Penn State-Florida do you really care who’s playing 1/1/11?  Sure there are those who will bring up 1994 When Penn State was locked into the Rose Bowl and didn’t get the chance to play Nebraska.  Joe Pa had recruited a legendary offense that year and naturally the Nittany Lion Nation felt they should have had their fair share.  Just the same Nebraska had to beat a formidable Florida State team the win the ACC (no small feat).  While you can argue Penn State didn’t get a fair shake you can’t argue the Cornhuskers didn’t earn their crown.  It was a  gwark year when things didn’t go quite right.   So the NCAA knee jerked a solution that has made out national celebration worthy of a nap while our wives and girlfriends watch the “what no to wear” marathon. As lon as I’m on a rant, another thing I would like that won’t happen is for the NFL rules committee to throw out a bunch of rules.  Every year someone gets nailed with a bad call and the rules committee tries to “fix” it.  There are so many rules Fox has an ex VP of officiating who manages to get the calls wrong about as much as anyone else.  It’s not his fault, there are so many rules no one knows what’s going on.  If you go to the ground with the ball you have to come up with the ball: In real time.  Slow motion changes the perspective.  A hand should be under the ball on the ground,  If the ball touches the ground it’s not a catch.  Either do replay or not, get rid of the coach’s flag.  Why replace human error with an element of chance?   Tell you what, keep the red flag, just limit challenges on touchdowns, feet in bounds calls and ball placement.  That will speed the game up, and get you a better call from the referee teams.  And hire the Refs full time.   Alright, lets look at some games Bears (+10) Over Packers.  Conventional wisdom will tell you the Bears have nothing to play for as they’ve locked in the #2 seed thanks to Philadelphia’s lackluster play Tuesday.  When you read the quotes out of the Bears locker room you realize no one wants to play the Packers in the Playoffs.  Not even the Bears.   They’ve got a chance to knock the Packers out from jump start.  I think the Bears win outright. Buccaneers (+9) Over Saints.  The Bucs are scrappy.  When the Saints look up and see the Falcons crushing the panthers they’ll sit the starters.  Even if the Bucs don’t win they’ll keep it close.  Arrrrg…go Bucs. Steelers (-5) over Browns.  Remember the olden days when John Madden would through in the old school guys at the end of the season? Darryl Lamonica, George Blanda, and those guys would throw touchdowns?  This is going to look like one of those games.  Steelers. Redskins (+4) over Giants.  Will miss those corkscrew faces Tom Coughlin makes on the sidelines next year.  The truth is he had a nice little run.  Alas, only the Panthers have looked worse ovee any 5 quarter stretch of the season.  The Giants end on a low note. Rams (pick) over Seahawks.  Hey, if Charlie Whitehurst pulls this out for the Seahawks more power to him.   Could be a night for desperate housewives.  Rams. That’s it.  Happy New Year The Prognosticator



 
12/31/2010 7:12PM
What Happened To The Bowl Games? Or Thank Goodness for NFL Week 17
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