Haters Gonna Hate

The NBA Finals has finally come down to two teams. The creams of the crop. The picks of the litter. [Insert any “absolute best” cliches here].

The Golden State Warriors are taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Curry vs. James.  Cute Kid Riley vs. Receding Hair Line.

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So who do you think is going all the way?  Well, that should be easy to answer. Just ask yourself this: Who do you want to see raising that golden trophy? Who do you want to send to Disney World?

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Steph Curry, no question!  Lebron already has two championship wins, every endorsement deal known to man and has ESPN in the palm of his hand…why should we give this Space Jam wannabe a chance for his sweat band to be retired in the NBA Hall of Fame?

I know what you are thinking? “Why do you hate Lebron so much?”

You know why? Because haters gonna hate, and I am a true hater of Lebron.

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The guy is a walking “BUY ME” billboard, a man who is so hated he has his own website http://ihatelebronjames.com/.

(Granted the website hasn’t been recently updated. Probably because the hostility and hate just runs so deep that the website owner’s violent typing made his computer internally combust into flames)

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Now that is true hate.

It’s not that I hate Lebron, the man himself, it’s that I hate “the man, the myth, the legend” the media perpetuates and worships. Now that is something you can entirely blame on Lebron. Yes he is only doing his job, a job of god-given talent that anybody would kill for but doesn’t he have any shred of integrity or credibility to just say no to the media, the sponsorships and the attention?

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Someone needs to teach this goon about modesty. Next up, Lebron Tampons: time to get that thick-ass sweat band protection ladies!

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All of the credit and ball-sucking attention Lebron receives from ESPN is just nauseating. There must be some undisclosed contract where he pays ESPN for his unbearably large amount of air time and mentions.  This just in at ESPN – “Let’s see what Lebron thinks of the Masters! According to his Twitter, he tweets: “Yo Tiger Woods, where you at?”

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I don’t think any athlete can compare to his obscene level of overexposure.  Well, maybe Peyton Manning.

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With the millions of dollars he makes daily (yes DAILY), doesn’t he have enough money to feed Russia? You would think that but no, he probably doesn’t. I mean that lavish lifestyle doesn’t pay for itself.

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And now that Lebron is back with the Cavaliers, an unnecessary spectacle of itself, ESPN will stop at nothing to see him holding that golden basketball trophy for a third time, a shining beacon of hope that the hero can return to his hometown and achieve the possible.  YES the possible, this is Lebron we are talking about.

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The real culprit here is ESPN.  But who the hell is going to hate ESPN, the almighty giver of worldwide sports and beloved top 10!

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That being said. Go Warriors, the rightful winners who have no players sucking on ESPN’s proverbial teet. Steph Curry has yet to become a tainted spokesperson of soul-less commerce, so there is still time for his pure talent to take him all the way, all the way to get that golden trophy.

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Plus, his daughter is just too cute to pass up.

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We Should Thank Mayweather

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Pretty Boy vs. Pac-Man. The illusive yet “it’s never gonna happen” fight that remains only a figment of our crafty imaginations may very well happen this May.

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And why wouldn’t it? These are the only two high level boxers who have yet to fight each other.  And why is that? Well, you see Floyd Mayweather is a very high commodity, not only for sports promoters, television broadcasts and fans but for the sport of boxing itself.  He may be the greatest Welterweight fighter the sport has ever seen.

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Floyd Mayweather jr. vs Shane Mosley

Mayweather has consistently surprised us fans both in and out of the ring.  Not only being one of the most electric undefeated fighters, barely throwing a punch during his matches, but has revealed his true compassionate side towards the human race. He saved all of his children from their mother’s abusive hand.  How dare she teaches them a language outside of English, a language Mayweather  masters each and every night by reading a chapter of Harry Potter to his devoted children.

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His confidence in his portrayal of the world’s other cultures is something to be admired.  His critique of Oscar De La Hoya’s Mexican heritage as well as Pacquiao’s delectable Filipino cuisine is a commendable quality every American should try and emulate themselves.  Americans always embrace each others’ differences.

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Instead of wallowing over his friend’s selfish action of taking his own life, he openly supported one of the National Basketball Association’s struggling franchises, a Clippers team that is in dire need of attention from people who epitomize positivity and respect.

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Manny Pacquiao should be honored to even be considered meeting Mayweather in the ring,  I mean this man’s nickname is “MONEY.” And who honestly doesn’t love money? Especially if that money is going towards Mayweather’s pre-approved charities that benefit all of mankind.

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As long as Mayweather is given what he deserves, which should be a very fair salary distribution, then the fight should happen. Even though Mayweather probably wouldn’t be able to necessarily read the fine print of his contract, he should be preserving his real power for when he meets Pacquiao, defeating him with his unrelenting wit and tenacious intellect.  Someone with his high level of  intelligence only surrounds himself with like-minded people.

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And what has Manny Pacquiao done for this world to be given the honor of fighting Mayweather? He is a rigged politician who devotes his life to the corrupt public while his mother openly performs witchcraft in public against his innocent victims. His questionable actions and ill-family ties have made him ultimately untrustworthy and sour.

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Come May, we will see who the true winner is in the boxing ring.  The right winner will be a man of the utmost dignity and virtue, an athlete who go down in history as one of the greatest men to have ever graced this world with his divine presence.

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(Sorry, I think I almost lost my lunch there……)

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Nobody can be a Redskin

The United States Patent and Trademark Office in a 2-1 vote cancelled the Redskins trademark because it was “disparaging to Native Americans.”  Does this mean the name is about to change?

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Unlike in 2003, when the Redskins won an appeal on a similar ruling, there are bigger and badder voices involved so this won’t go away quietly.  Then again, owner Daniel Snyder refuses to change his team’s name because of “tradition.”  The decision however will not take effect immediately. The Redskins will remain the Redskins during Snyder’s official appeal.

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“Tradition”, now that is a funny word.   Was it a tradition to land on Plymouth Rock, have Thanksgiving dinner with the Native Americans then all of a sudden kick them out of their own home, make them build casinos on the reservation, butter our toast with Land O’ Lakes Butter , jump into our Jeep Cherokee and ride off into the sunset? Ehhh….

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Are we still going to base our “traditions” on racial slurs?  As a country that has embraced racism in the past on more than one occasion, it seems a bit of a set back.  Yes, it would bit of a set back to change a company’s name and logo that has in place for more than 75 years.  But it would be MORE of a set back to have a company name and logo that perpetuates a racist stereotype that our country would like to not necessarily forget but to shelve.  How about the Blackfaces, catchy right?

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The only way this is going to go away is if the Washington Redskins drop the name voluntarily. It could happen.  It’s just going to be a very very VERY long time.  But if that does happen then we can kiss goodbye to the Atlanta Braves, Florida State Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Blackhawks.

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In the Washington Redskins defense, there is a quite collection of team names that derive from Native American culture.  It should be said that naming a sports team after a Native American tribe and/or name can be seen as an act of honor and remembrance.  Despite the bloodshed and struggle Native Americans underwent, various sports owners came together and chose to celebrate those individuals engrained in our history.  However, changing every team name that people find racially offensive is just bananas.  BUT, talking about the color of a culture’s “skin” makes it a whole new ballgame.

The intentions of naming the team the Redskins were pure but we have realized that the execution is in poor manner and a change needs to take place.  In reality, there is always a downside. And the downside is the $$.  After all, football is a business.

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The Redskins organization will lose a significant portion of its ability to protect its financial interests, meaning if others wanted to print and sell the name and logo sweatshirts, hats or other apparel, it will be hard to go after them legally.

And that’s bad business for the NFL as a whole! Merchandise sales are shared 31 ways (every team in the league except for Dallas since they think they’re better than everyone) so if the Redskins lose money, they ALL lose money!

Does that mean Jerry Jones to the rescue?

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The $$ Irish

One of the most celebrated rivalries in college football took place last Saturday evening in good old South Bend, IN: Notre Dame vs. USC.

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I luckily have had the chance to attend this decorated event every other year and see all what the Fighting Irish have to offer.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been to South Bend before and have loved every minute of it: the fantasy like campus set in the lush forest, the crisp fall October weather, the old brick buildings, the one of kind religious monuments sprinkled all over campus…the list can go on because Notre Dame Campus is that awesome.

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However, this trip around, I noticed some gaping downfalls of attending a football game at Notre Dame.  As a USC fan, granted I was wearing an embarrassing Trojan football helmet I stole at a frat party, I would either receive a few accolades or a few insults from football fans alike, I may not be the most reliable source….

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But what the hell,  this is my sports blog.  Here are 6 points that need to be said about those Irish at Notre Dame.

1. The Book Store

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I have been to Notre Dame at least 5 times before but for god sakes does their Book Store need to be so damn big?  In the past I was a child, had no reference to any other university student store out there.  Now as a graduate of college and graduate school,  I have seen my fair share of student stores.

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Notre Dame’s just takes it to entirely new level.  3 levels to be exact.  The size of the student store alone looks like an apartment complex.  The square footage alone can fit a baseball field.  I mean, how much college paraphernalia does one school need?  Apparently, a shit load: $8.3 billion endowment.

One would think their money would be put to more practical use.  But wait, this is Notre Dame we are talking about.  They have more money than they know what to do with.  And that comes to my next point.

2.  The Campus

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Holy Bejingo.  This campus is HUGE, almost the size of UCLA, ya know, just without the hills and steps….and sunshine.  I asked a fellow alum how many total students are on campus, undergrads and graduates…..or just looked it up on Wikipedia.  11,733 students on a campus that is 1,250 acres.  Now let us compare this to a University that is known to have one of the largest student bodies: The University of Wisconsin, 38,255 students on a campus that is 936 acres.   How about University of California, Berkeley: 35,899 students on a campus that is 1,232 acres.

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Now does that statistically make sense?  Hell no.

I get it, South Bend, IN isn’t the most lucrative place and the area has plenty of land to go around.  Even Farmer John doesn’t want to buy land there.  And you know the campus is just going to get bigger and bigger, with their student body numbers remaining exactly the same.  Yea, the students really need all that space, how do you think they get their creative juices flowing?  And what about that Art School huh?

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3. The Band

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One of the best parts about visiting another school for a football game is seeing their band perform.  Although nobody can be as nearly as good as the Spirit of Troy, Notre Dame does have one of the best fight songs.  So as a visiting college football fan, you can’t help but feel a little giddy when the band is about the play on the steps of a building in the middle of the Quad.

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But this time around was completely different.  Seeing how the band Chicago went to Notre Dame and I am sure donated millions of dollars to the school, the band decided to dedicate their entire play time to Chicago songs.  And not just sheet music, we are talking American Idol singing performances with little to no band participation.

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What the hell is this?!  I don’t care if Chicago donated millions and millions of dollars, Notre Dame already has billions of dollars, that doesn’t make it acceptable for fans traveling to South Bend to come watch a college football game be forced to watch amateur Chicago hour.  And South Bend ain’t an easy place to get to.

Is it so much to ask for a college marching band to play its own fight song?  I guess not when Chicago and a big check are in town 😛

4. The Stadium

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Gotta love those old classic stadiums built in the 1930’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I love an old stadium that has character, has history and tradition.  Those are really hard to come by now a days. But Notre Dame really?  After the 1997 renovation, expanding the seating from 50,097 to 80,795, you would think this new and improved stadium would be the cats pajamas.

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Have you seen the seats?  Notre Dame seating is composed of long wooden benches, wooden benches that weren’t included in the renovation, OR, were included in the renovation but modeled after the original 1930’s seats.  These seats are about 15 inches wide with small white numbers designated each seat.  Do you know how fat Americans are now a days?  A butt load bigger than we were in the 1930’s that is for sure.  BUTT being the operative word.  And we are only going to get bigger and fatter.  Just look at the country’s child obesity rate…….thanks Ronald McDonald.

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Nobody is ever sitting in their actual seats because horizontally challenged people can’t seem to stay in their own goddamn seat.  Especially in cold weather, when people are bundled up like the inflated Michelin man, you tend to take up a bit more square footage.

You would think with all the cha-ching, they would renovate the seats to house the ever-growing fatness of America.

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5. Night Game

Why in god’s name would you have a night game in late October in South Bend, IN?!  Speaking from a Sunny Californian perspective, that is hella cold bra.  Honestly with the seating and the weather (RAIN), why would Notre Dame ever think that it would be ok to have a night game.

Oh yes, of course.  Thank you NBC.  Notre Dame’s lucrative TV deal with NBC forces them to comply with television ratings and broadcasting of other football games.  SIGH.  Let the fans who are at the game suffer while the fans at home enjoy an ice-cold beer and warm hot dog by the roaring fire-place.

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6. The Fans

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This particular game was a little special for me because I was never told by a Notre Dame fan at a football game to “Be Quite.” Are you kidding?  This isn’t the opera lady, we are at a FREAKING FOOTBALL GAME.  I swear if I was the level of drunk I wish I was at considering the cold weather, this old lady and her husband would never show their faces in Los Angeles.

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While watching one of the WORST football games I have ever seen (mind you I just say football, because I have seen High School football games better than this one), I couldn’t help but notice the surrounding fans.  What the hell else was I going to do, watch a football game?

One always has to remind oneself of this little tidbit when at a Notre Dame Football Game: half of the fans didn’t even go to Notre Dame.  One half are old fogey alumni who are all on medicare telling fans to be quiet as the other half are townies from South Bend who have nothing else better to do than attend a Notre Dame football game.  Hell, some of these fans LIVE and BREATHE Notre Dame, DOMERS we like call them.

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These fans are tasteless drunkards who are some of the most foul-smelling people you can be around.  You can immediately tell the difference between alumni and townies, townies are the ones who can’t shut the f*ck up and are relentless in their dim-witted name calling and obnoxious swearing.   Yelling for “Mark Sanchez to come in for Cody Kessler!”……come on man you can’t you come up with something a bit more creative than that?  You walk around campus don’t you?

YES, I am going to pull the “I am better than you” card because “I have an education and have seen life outside Hickville.”

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These townies don’t really have much of a life outside of Notre Dame, so you gotta give them the benefit of the doubt on game days.  But no, they are terrible fans and considering Notre Dame’s prestigious reputation and vast bank account, one would assume that these fans wouldn’t even be allowed on the church steps.

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A majority of this list all comes down to the one thing that makes the college sports world go ’round: $$

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Money exudes out like sweat at Notre Dame, from the campus, the buildings, the band and the culture.  With such a great prestigious reputation, you would hope the University wasn’t as so immersed into such a Scrooge McDuck persona.

(BTW: Wasn’t RUDY Ruettiger charged in a stock scheme in 2011?)

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BUT, that is entirely hypocritical.  All Universities wish they could be like Notre Dame, they all wish they had the same donors with deep pockets, dedicated alumni, smarty pants students and collegiate tradition that surpasses most.

Despite money being the utmost importance to Universities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is ok to push their financial gain into the lime light.  Students and Alumni have managed to find other finer things in life, like serving beer at the stadium, treating visiting fans with respect, expanding the student body, making sure fans are comfortable enough to sit down in their own seats and playing the goddamn FIGHT SONG.

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As a Trojan fan I will always chant, “BEAT THE IRISH,” but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to enjoy my stay at South Bend next time.  Get it together Notre Dame.

Big Brother Sucks

The most wonderful time of year is about to begin and it seems a bit mellow.  A little too mellow for my taste…..

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College Football kicks off in less than a week and I have seen slim to none coverage of the sport on ESPN unless Johnny Football’s face is slapped on the screen, Nick Saban counting his crystal footballs or the greedy NCAA being sued for their Scrooge McDuck behavior.

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What seems to be the overshadowing Big Brother of College Football is, and always is, the NFL.  Forgive me if I am wrong though, but I distinctly remember a lot more ESPN College Football coverage including interviews with the coaches, players, highlights and season predictions for all the conferences.  I am well aware that ESPN fills in a half an hour slot at 1pm for College Football talk but I am strictly speaking of SportsCenter evening programming. You know, the evening show everybody and their mom watches before going to bed.

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(The more important question now is, how can you go to bed without watching Top Ten?)

I know it is the NFL pre-season, and NFL fans just loving telling non NFL fans the many reasons why the NFL is “better” than College Football: The NFL makes more money, the NFL is quicker, the NFL is more badass, the NFL is professional, the NFL does your laundry….the list of reasons can go on for ages.  But speaking as a College Football fan, I don’t care.

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I have been College Football for years now and ESPN has always been my dependable news source for the pre-season. I ask you, how the hell are you supposed to make realistic Heisman Trophy winner bets in Vegas now?! G Golly Wiz.

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After letting my frustration subside, there are three distinct reasons as to why I believe there is more NFL pre-season coverage than College Football pre-season coverage this year.

1. Johnny Manziel: The Kid Who Got Caught.

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Ever since Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, the controversy hasn’t stopped.  All of his publicity and attention have been negative, from the day drinking to the busty women he hangs out with. The guy just can’t catch a break.  Unfortunately, his childish antics has severely put a dark cloud over college football, a cloud that won’t evaporate until Manziel proves himself on the field this season.

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Who cares if he is giving College Football players a bad rap.  He isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last.  Damn you social media and your trickster ways!

2. NCAA: Scrooge McDuck

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The NCAA this year has been going through hell (and rightfully so?).  First, six current college football players are suing the NCAA for what else?  MONEY. The players are suing the NCAA in hopes to expose their Scrooge McDuck persona to billions of dollars in damage.  The plaintiffs now demand the NCAA find a way to give players a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales and video games. PSsshs, yah good luck with that fellas.

Damn, and I loved those video games too…

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Second, this is the last year of the BCS System before Playoffs are implemented in the 2014 season, the NCAA’s last hurrah of raking in the big cha-ching. Poor guys, they are so useless and don’t even know it.

3. The SEC Dominance

Once again, the SEC is expected to completely dominate the season.  SNORE. We get it, the dynasty is here….thank you Mr. Saban. Despite the SEC teams’ not so competitive schedules, everyone is convinced that this College Football Season will be an SEC season.

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No wonder nobody is really excited for this year’s upcoming College Football season. Without the excitement of upsets and unexpected cinderella stories, the season will drift off into SEC waters and never return.

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I hope my theories are BS. Please feel free to let me have it because College Football is my absolute favorite time of year and arguably the best sport 😛  (Don’t Hate!).  So here is hoping that the season will in fact not end up being a Johnny Manziel COPS special, or a Scrooge McDuck downfall or even an SEC snore of a season.  Let us expect a great season for the coaches and players, but more importantly the fans.

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The NFL can suck it.  Your season doesn’t start till September 8th.  Wait your turn.  Let the little guys shine for a week or so.

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Standing up to NCAA you say?

Standing up to NCAA you say?

Take a good look college boys…because this is what you are going to be staring at when your taking on the NCAA……

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You might be asking yourself…..what’s the big deal.  Oh ….you just wait….with money….college…athletics…..and Sauron involved, there is bound to be an apocalypse of crystal football proportions.

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One ring (cha-ching$$) to rule them all…..

Let’s just hope there are some smarty pants working for the NCAA to save the day….

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NFL Replacement Referees Running Ridiculous

It is safe to say the NFL replacement referees are in indeed a ridiculous bunch.

Ever since the quarrel between the NFL owners and referees over a management-labor situation…..basically a “who wants to earn the more money” situation.  Such a money-grubbing business……but then again that is all professional athletics.

The NFL owners don’t want to pay the Refs their hefty pension, pretty good deal for only working 16 games out of the year.  The owners want to roll back their pension.  Any employee no longer receiving the guaranteed money they were promised by their employers is going to cause some outbursts.  Then again, why are refs getting pension at all when they work once a week for less than half a year?  Dayum, sign me up.

The veteran refs said they have already planned their retirement based on this pension.  Fine.  Let those veteran refs get the pension and have the league hire new refs and get them off the pension.  Is it that hard to hire new refs, new reliable and experienced NFL refs?  Well, based on the performances of these new replacements refs……I guess it is.

These replacement refs are unfortunately not cutting it.  There are construction sites safer than NFL stadiums right now.  The refs have been calling terrible plays and sometimes not even calling plays at all, especially personal fouls.   This labor dispute is not only compromising the 32 arrogant NFL owners and 121 headstrong referees but more importantly the health and safety of the players.  You know, the big guys on the field who actually do the REAL work and PLAY the game!

This disagreement seems like it is going to lead to more than just empty pockets and angry faces, more or less some broken bones and broken spirits.  The responsibility shouldn’t be to your wallets, it should be to the safety of the players, the ones who draw the crowds, make the money, make the game!

The NFL’s effort to save money has made a mockery of the league and put its legitimacy into question.  Is the game of football really being tarnished by all of this??  The ones who are truly suffering in all of this are the players and spectators….you…the audience…the fans!

Some officials as well as players are so frustrated by the situation that they can’t keep their mouth shut.  One former official, Jerry Markbreit, blasted the league this last week claiming that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just doesn’t care, “”It’s obvious to me that (Goodell) just doesn’t even care. Otherwise, how could they replace professionalism with unprofessionalism in a game that’s so tough to work, even for the best officials in the land? How could he care about it?”

Markbreit is confident that the refs and the league officiating will inevitably deteriorate, “”These guys have relied on competent, top-notch, terrific officials all these years. And now they have a bunch of amateurs out there and it’s going to fall apart.  It’s not going to get better, as the commissioner said … It’s going to get worse.”

Great, sounds like a party.  In the replacement refs defense, defensive linemen for the New York Giants Justin Tuck said it best, placing the blame on the NFL for this unfortunate predicament, “I am more upset with the NFL for not handling this and taking care of this in due time, I guess. I think the replacement officials are doing their best in a very sticky situation for them.”  Very true….very true. These refs aren’t trying to fail and make terrible calls, they are just in a newer bigger and badder arena.  They aren’t used to the NFL and are probably scared shitless to even step foot next to Ray Lewis.  But for the rest of us, we are just used to the best officiating and don’t want to settle for anything less.  The NFL is forcing us to settle……bastards……and we just have to bite our tongue and pray that a resolution will be made sooner rather than later…..Let the good times roll boys.  Oh wait, Jerry Jones has something to say….

The wannabe George Steinbrenner of the NFL, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, expressed different sentiments about the situation, downplaying the impact the replacement refs are having on the football games, “You’ve got to remember that you’ve got all kinds of complaints at any time about officiating,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. “Did you happen to notice that the ones that were complaining the most, if it were from within, were the players and coaches on the losing teams? Hello. I don’t even have to look at the games or the dates on the newspaper, just hand me one from 30 years ago and it’ll be the same thing — they’re complaining about the officiating.”

Hmmmmm.. sorry Mr. Jones I beg to differ.  Yes, I agree that it is inevitable that coaches and players will often disagree with officials and their decisions, but this is quite a different matter.  This matter is jeopardizing the integrity of the game.  The calls these refs are making aren’t just some lousy calls for fan interference or excessive celebration, these are a lack of calls that can lead to harmful outcomes for the players.  The safety of the players should be the number one priority of everyone involved in the NFL.  Even the hot dog vendors at Candlestick park want Alex Smith to be well protected and healthy.  If he doesn’t get a call for roughing the passer or holding and in consequence breaks his nose or elbow…..then we have a problem.

The poor officiating has created an unstable environment that is going to get somebody badly injured.  The owners and refs need to make a compromise, for God sakes…..no wait…the PLAYERS sake.   So players can get back to the real work without the worry of ridiculous referees running the show into the ground.  Do it for the dedicated fans who not only bring you the cha-ching but give the games the passion and emotion that unites everyone, making the sport of football special and important.  Come on, this is the NFL, it should start acting like it.