The Week That Was….& The Right Replay Call That Wasn’t! By The Sports Philosopher

January 16, 2012
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     The second round of the NFL playoffs was played this last weekend, and it was enjoyable as always, and, not surprisingly, I have some thoughts about the 4 games just witnessed that I wanted to share with you, to, well, among other things, see if you good people agree.   Or not.

A new sheriff in town.

A new sheriff in town.




     To wit, in no particular order…..


·          It was great seeing the Green Bay Packers exposed for the deeply flawed team they are.   No running game, a lousy defense, pass-protection issues, etc.   Green Bay, one and done, I love it.   (Too bad they didn’t show their true colors in last years’ NFC title game, which would have allowed my own deeply flawed Bears to get into the Super Bowl.)

·         The New York Giants must be the best 9-7 team ever.   They’ve got it all.   Their defense is suddenly good, their passing game is great, so is Eli Manning, annoyingly so…oh, on second thought, I guess their running game isn’t so good.   But I still can’t believe they lost 7 games.

·         The Houston Texans were a MUCH better team than the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.   Even though they lost.   They ran a lot better, passed a lot better (for the most part), played much better defense, and had a much better pass rush.   The problem is that they had a rookie quarterback (Taylor J. Yates) and made four really dumb and totally avoidable turnovers.   Baltimore was at home, was not penalized, made no turnovers, and therefore should have won by 25 points or more, given the four free extra possessions.    Right?   But they barely won by seven.   New England has to be licking its chops at the prospect of playing this decent but decidedly ordinary playoff team in the AFC title game….

·         Jacoby Jones’ trying to field a punt bouncing around deep in his own territory with two Ravens already up and in his face has to go down as the dumbest play in these playoffs….so far.   There’s always next week.

·         It was a good weekend for NFL agnostics.   Tom Brady proved to Tim Tebow and Denver and the rest of the world that playoff games are won on the field, not in church….

·         The Saints are something special offensively, but their defense isn’t worthy of their transcendent offense.   That’s why they lost.   They almost overcame 5 turnovers, and they had the lead with a minute to go.   But they couldn’t stop the 49ers from going 85 yards—EASILY—to get the win.   Don’t you feel cheated missing out on a New Orleans vs New England Super Bowl?   I do.

·         Isn’t it weird that we now, suddenly, have a 45% chance of having a president in about 370 days named Mitt???   I know its got nothing to do with sports, but I thought it was worth mentioning.   (His real name is actually Willard, which of course is worse.   At least Mitt is fun.)

·         Wait a minute, Mitt does have one thing to do with sports.   His first cousin once removed was the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears in the 20s.   No, seriously.

·         Why did New England’s lousy defense suddenly get good once the playoffs started?

·         I usually laugh at people who think sporting events are fixed, or that organizations like the NFL have a vested interest on who plays in big games and that therefore the refs might try to “influence results” according to league wishes.   But I have to admit, there was a play in the Packers/Giants game on Sunday that made me wonder.   A Green Bay player fumbled, it was a clear fumble, but the ruling on the field was his knee was down; no fumble.   That’s bad enough.   But after New York coach Tom Coughlin (he of the famous “enema face”) challenged the call, despite multiple replays which CLEARLY showed the guy lost the ball before going to the ground, they did not correct and reverse the call.   Both announcers, the usually bland and politically correct Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, said flat out it was a lousy call.   And their guest announcer, former head of NFL officials Mike Pereira, to the embarrassment of the entire NFL I would think, affirmed unequivocally that it was clearly a fumble and that it was cause for a clear reversal that the refs just plain flat-out blew.   How could they have gotten it so wrong?   Did the NFL want the Pack in the Super Bowl that bad?   Who was behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll?

·         Next week’s NFC title game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants has got my good friend, Dr. Jack Ames of Long Island, New York, very excited.   Being a New Yorker the Giants are his home-town team, but being a Stanford graduate he has a soft spot for the San Franciscans.   Jack’s my buddy.   You’d think the wealthy old guy could score me a couple of tickets!   Anyway, my angst aside, I’ve decided to refer to the SF/NY game next week as the “Jack Ames Bowl”.   Enjoy the game, Doc….



That’s all I got this week.   Did I get it right?


meet….The Sports Philosopher!

Brad Eastland, aka TSP

Brad Eastland, aka TSP

Brad Eastland is an author, historian, film buff, undiscovered literary giant, and lover of NFL playoff games and the historical reflection they inspire.   Brad’s other recent columns for La Verne Online can be found in the Sports Section under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.    Brad has also written 4 novels* and over 20 short-stories.   

*To pick up a copy of his recently published novel of life at the racetrack, of triumph, and of utter despair, WHERE GODS GAMBLE, a tale of American mythology, simply search for it on,, or   And then order it.   And then READ it.   He thanks you.





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