Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hail (cough), to the Packers

I mean no disrespect to the Packers...wait, yes I do, I'm from Chicago.

Seriously, well done to Mike McCarthy and company for turning takeaways into a Super Bowl title. Three Pittsburgh turnovers led to 21 Green Bay points, part of their 31-25 win in SB 45. Aaron Rodgers threw the last shovel of dirt on the fans still clinging to the memories of the good old days with Brett Favre under center. That era is over (and should also be remembered as the 1 SB title for Favre, not multiple like his legend would suggest).

The Packers didn't completely outplay Pittsburgh, but they took advantage of what the Steelers gave them. Remove the turnovers (two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions, and a Rashard Mendenhall fumble), and the Steelers win the game. I'm not sure Rodgers would have gotten as on track as he did, because momentum can be an awesome thing. Rodgers was good, don't get me wrong. Things look different with a short field as opposed to starting in the shadow of your own goalpost.

So, the defending champs are scheduled to play the Panthers next season in Charlotte. If there is a next season. Carolina is on the clock for the NFL draft, but the league is on the clock to get a new collective bargaining agreement done (from this point out, it's being called the CBA on this blog. I'm done typing it out). Nice that the NFL and NFLPA met the day before the Super Bowl, and have scheduled more meetings. The sands of the hourglass are slipping away, and the question is who do you believe? Owners who say they want a deal, or the union saying a lockout is coming, and could be a long one. I don't know. I just want the game.

To the NBA, Charlotte Bobcats get a losing-streak snapping win over Boston on Monday, and did so after Stephen Jackson was ejected in the 2nd quarter. Jackson got called for an off-the-ball foul while guarding Kevin Garnett. Jackson disputed the call, and picked up a technical foul for complaining. He continued the verbal exchange with the officials, and picked up a 2nd tech, bringing with it the instant heave-ho.

Memo to Jackson: shut up. Take the call, and walk away. Don't protest. Don't flail your arms. you know you were fouled, but the refs aren't going to give you that call. Refs are looking at you as the boy that cried wolf. They don't believe you, and now, they want to run you. They are looking for the chance to slap a technical foul on you, in the hopes you'll get another, and be ejected.

I like Jackson a lot, as both player and person. He is way too valuable to the Bobcats success to keep racking up technicals. Bobcats fans empathize when you don't get the call, but they would rather boo the official for a bad call, than watch you walk of the court after being tossed. Keep your head, man. Stay in the game.

NBA refs ARE targeting Jackson. Hard to tell me they're not. They know Jackson is a guy that plays hard, but also feels he doesn't get his share of the calls. There could be something to his argument, but here's the problem. The NBA has empowered its officials to the point the refs are above questioning. They rule the floor with an iron fist, and will gladly swing it at any player that dares question their authority. Unless it's Lebron James, of course (I'm not blind, Michael Jordan was afforded the same treatment when he played).

Jack needs to stop yapping, and keep playing. That will ultimately be the best revenge against the 3rd team on the floor.

Mike Solarte

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