There are few things you can count on in life. Death, taxes, and the San Diego Chargers imploding at some point are pretty much it. The Chargers are letting us off the hook of waiting around for them to be terrible and gotten right to business in disappointing their fans. It started at the end of last season, when head coach Norv Turner and G.M. A.J. Smith both inexplicably kept their jobs despite repeated failure, continuing embarrassments, and all-around terribleness. This season, the Chargers enter their bye week at 3-3 and can already see their season crumbling around them. Let’s watch…
Fans rejoiced this week when the NFL finally came to terms with the locked out officials and brought the regular refs back to the game. This was only after two months of stalled labor talks resulted in replacement refs standing in for three weeks worth of games that count, and they made a bit of a mess with it. The outcry became so great after Monday Night Football’s thoroughly discussed ending, the league finally relented, made some concessions in their demands, and got a deal done.
Today, Roger Goodell sent out a personal letter to me, and anyone else who has ever given their e-mail to sign up for anything related to the NFL, explaining the whole situation. Turns, he’s super sorry you guys, and wants us all to just get along. Let’s rip this PR form letter to shreds, shall we?!?
While the sports news cycle has been dominated by the insufferable incompetence of the NFL and their continued insistence that the replacement officials are perfectly adequate, another significang labor situation has gone largely unnoticed. The NHL has been locked out for 11 days with no substantive talks taking place for more than a week. The preseason has already been completely cancelled and the threat of more cancellations looms large. But the two sides are going to come back to table and talk to each other on Friday, so that’s progress, right? Ehhhh….
The fallout for the crew that officiated the Monday Night Football fiasco just keeps coming. In the days since that fateful Pacific Northwest evening, more and more details have come out about the referee who gave the Seahawks the win by calling the “Fail Mary” a touchdown for Golden Tate. His name is Lance Easley, a banker from Northern California, and his fateful evening as side judge in Seattle is going to stick with him for awhile. And as we learn more about the man who doesn’t understand what the word “simultaneous” means, the more we see he REALLY shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
The NFL has been in the news cycle all day for all the wrong reasons after the replacement officials, lovingly referred to as “those f******* scabs” by frustrated fans everywhere, put forth one of the poorest efforts ever for officiating. We ran down the worst offenses yesterday, but people are still steamed after the terrible and controversial ending to the Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. We won’t hash out the details again because RAGE, but the fallout has been far reaching.
Players have taken to social media to voice their displeasure, extending even beyond those directly affected. Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, a fake Frank Gore, and countless others have taken to Twitter to tell the world, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in particular, that there needs to be resolution. Fans have talked about boycotting the games for Week 4, but that’s not going to happen becasue FOOBAW, so we’ll have to settle for leaving 70,000 voicemails for the league office and hope that someone gets the message. Let’s just hope the person taking that message isn’t Jerry Jones, cause he’s terrible and thinks everything is awesome.
The labor dispute between the NFL and the NFLRA has officially claimed its first victim. Congratulations, Green Bay Packers! You may be the sacrificial lamb that finally breaks the stalemate between these two sides! After a rough outing in Week 2, the replacement refs were downright awful in Week 3, taking the focus away from some very exciting football and pushing players and coaches to the edges of frustration and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Players have started tweeting their frustration, one player reportedly told a referee to go “kill yourself,” during a game, and coaches have broken down and chased referees down the tunnel to tell them just how much they think of them (spoiler: NOT MUCH!). So with these terrible stand-ins in mind, we present a very special Biggest Meltdowns: Scab Ref Edition!
The NFL is quickly running out of good will on their side in their fight against the referees’ labor union. The “replacement refs” a.k.a. scabs, are the biggest reason why. After a rough Week 2 of officiating, fans endured a BRUTAL Week 3 that saw a blatant helmet to helmet hit send Darrius Heyward Bay to the hospital go unflagged, Redskins OC Kyle Shannahan go after an official after the game, and Bill Belichick lose his cool and grab an official to try and get an explanation of some highly questionable calls.
But perhaps the most egregious boneheadedness of the weekend came in the San Francisco 49ers loss to the Minnesota Vikings when Niners coach Jim Harbugh was granted two extra challenges in the fourth quarter…by asking nice apparently?
The NHL is hurtling closer and closer to an impending lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman stamped an arbitrary deadline on talks of September 15 where if no deal was in place, the league would lock out the players. Well, that deadline is tomorrow, and almost no progress has been made in the negotiations and no meetings are scheduled before Saturday’s deadline. So with no talks and no progress, Bettman gets to oversee his third work stoppage and second in the last eight years, when the league lost an entire season while the owners held the players over a barrel. Guess who’s ready to do it again? The owners, of course!
We start off the prognostication on a mildly high note, finishing the week 4-3 in our Week 1 picks (hooray for not being sub-.500!). We get back to our normal slate of five picks this week, and hope to match (or even exceed) the luke-warm success of last week. The games this week include some really terrible matchups that I wouldn’t want to wish on my worst enemies. Cleveland-Cincinnati, Buffalo-Kansas City, and Oakland-Miami sound like games that you would show to Guantanamo detainees when you needed them to talk. We don’t pick any of those games and send our deepest condolences to the markets that those games will be shown. Picks are in bold!
Week 1 is in the books, and with it came the unpredictable, crazy, and unexpected turnover of the NFL which leads to wild speculation. THE REDSKINS ARE GOOD! MARK SANCHEZ FOR MVP! THE 49ERS ARE A DYNASTY…AFTER WEEK1! And so on and so forth. More importantly, however, the NFL gave us our weekly dose of delicious meltdowns. There are some surpirses (no Romo?) and some unsurprises (Jags and Browns still terrible!), but it’s still just as tasty. Come for the failure, stay for the pictures of rich people playing a game looking silly.