Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post-NFL Week 3 Predictions

Predictions made prior to the NFL Week 3 based on the results of those games

Week 3 will be one of the more exciting NFL weekends in recent history!

First, the Saints will, umm, something with the Chiefs...

Then how about the 49ers, who will, with the Vikings...

And then there will be the Music City Miracle, but doesn't make sense, because that happened during the 1999 playoffs...

Somehow the Cardinals, Falcons and Texans will all be in the same category after week 3...

Predictions are not coming easy this week. Something fishy is in the air.

Not fishy. Fishal. Ficial. Officials!

Week 3 will be one of the more exciting NFL weekends in recent history, and yet all anyone will be talking about will be the replacement officials.

It won't be good talk, like:

"Did you see how far that guy threw his flag? What an arm!"

"How about the decision making by the referee! That guy has football-smarts."

"The way the line judge followed the play down the field - what a tremendous athlete!"

No the talk will be more like what will be heard reverberating throughout M&T Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday night - something Al Michaels will refer to as "manure."

Officials are at their best when they are neither seen nor heard. Unfortunately for the NFL, the replacement officials will be seen, heard, and then seen and heard again and again as highlights on SportsCenter will not be of the players making plays, but players reacting to officials calling those plays.

To be fair, ESPN has been showing highlights (or lowlights) of the officials since week 1, because even calling the plays correctly was a reason to be amazed.

The NFL had to know that the replacement officials would be more scrutinized than the actual officials ever were, or will be. Heck, during another time of year, the NFL would want that to be the case!

The NFL prides itself in being a year-round talking point, always having something coming up on the calendar. But with this situation, the NFL blew a prime opportunity. All it had to do was have the replacement officials work the preseason games and then bring in the regular officials right before week one. That way, everyone would be interested in the preseason, talking about the preseason, arguing about the preseason, but no real games would be affected.

Now real games have been and will continue to be affected and it almost might be a better idea to keep the replacement officials in for the whole season - maybe that way, every team will get screwed equally.

Strangely enough, the owners, including the ones whose teams are affected by poor officiating, will remain quiet on the whole "let's-get-the-real-officials-back" front. So Roger Goodell, who works for the owners, will be the whipping boy for everyone with a pen (or a blog), while the owners will go unmentioned.

What should also be mentioned is that these replacement officials did not ask to be thrown into the spotlight like this. Goodell and the owners put the NFL in this position and these replacement officials were asked to help out. Because of the actions of Goodell and the owners, these poor officials are way over their head and they are being ripped apart because of it. Time to stop pointing fingers at them and start calling out those who can actually change this for the better.

Now that we've waded through the screaming about the officials, we've arrived at a few predictions.

The Giants won't understand what the big deal is with having replacements while they demolish the long-handed Panthers.

You know that desire that everyone has to show up their former employer and making them regret letting you go?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kevin Kolb!

During the Eagles' loss to the Cardinals, after the 89th hit of the game on Michael Vick, Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid will ask if anyone called "no backsies" on the Kolb/Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie trade.

NFL announcers will trip all over themselves trying not to say "Roger Goodell" in relation to "replacement officials," so they will replace "Roger Goodell" with "The NFL."

As in, "The NFL" should really do something about these replacement officials.

As in, "The NFL" really bungled this whole situation.

As in, what was "The NFL" thinking?!

It will take 47 games before an announcer will finally point out that the replacement officials are less to blame than "The NFL" himsel- er, itself.

Thank you, Cris Collinsworth.

Prior to the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Seahawks, the question on everyone's lips will be, "did the Packers learn anything from the end of the first half of their playoff game against the Giants last season"?

After their loss to the Seahawks, the answer will be a resounding, "NO."

Fortunately for the Packers, the actions of the replacement officials (and "the NFL"), will allow them to escape without receiving too much grief.

Well, kind of.

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