Monday, January 15, 2018

Mailvox: the NFL is not pro wrestling

But it is not pure sport for the pure of heart either:

Didn't we agree this was pro wrestling two weeks ago?

No. Pro wrestling is actually scripted. They know who is going to win ahead of time. The NFL, on the other hand, relies upon a "thumb on the scale" approach to gently favor its preferred narrative as well as to protect the betting lines and prevent the blowouts.

Football is too unpredictable, and has too many injuries, to successfully script a game, let alone a playoffs or a season. But you can usually know which team is going to get the marginal calls in the playoffs on a week-to-week basis, such as the Saints in 2009, the Chiefs last weekend, and the Vikings this weekend.

The thumb on the scale only matters if the game is very close. For example there is absolutely NO WAY the league wanted Jacksonville to beat Pittsburgh since the narrative all season was set up for Pittsburgh to seek revenge against New England in the AFC Championship. That's why the league spins multiple narratives, gently supports them all, and hopes one or more of them will play out. They are particularly intent on doing this now in order to try to carve back some of their lost ratings before the Super Bowl.

I expect that the league now favors a Minnesota-New England Super Bowl, as "the first Super Bowl at home" and "the last ride of the GOATs part II". Also because they don't want either New England or Jackonville, both of which have excellent defenses, blowing out an Eagles team starting a backup quarterback. (Of course, if Foles can somehow beat two of the top three defenses in the league this year, he will fully merit a Super Bowl ring.) But even if you suspect you might have the official wind at your back for a change, you still have to make the plays and win the games.

By the way, I'd like to point out that Sean Payton choked on the clock management as well. I watched the end of the game again and the Saints had two unnecessary, but intentional clock stoppages once they got into field goal range. And in defense of rookie safety Marcus Williams, I will note that his mistake was NOT intentionally missing the tackle of Stefon Diggs, but rather, misreading the ball and breaking on Diggs too fast and hard.

I can guarantee you that before the play, the defensive backs were reminding each other "no pass interference!" Williams appeared to think the ball was not going to hang as long as it did and broke on Diggs, then altered his path at the last moment when he realized that he was going to get there early. If he hadn't changed his course, he would have cut out Diggs's legs before the ball arrived.

Was Williams trying to avoid a pass interference penalty?

“I feel like I was a little early [getting to Diggs], but at that point, I’ve just got to make the tackle when he comes down.”

Williams was right. He was early. His mistake was trying to break up the play rather than letting Diggs catch the ball, then tackling him in-bounds to run out the clock. But then, given that his coaches were misplaying the sidelines on offense, it's not a surprise that their rookie safety did too.

I liked this quote from Coach Zim quoting the Hitman.

No one thought we were going to be any good. I know you guys didn't pick us very good going into the year. But we have a bunch of fighters in that locker room, guys that will compete. I said to Harrison Smith yesterday in practice, I said, ‘Are you afraid of these guys?’ He said, ‘I am afraid of everybody. That's why I play good.’ That's how our team is.”

Don't overlook anyone, hit everyone hard, and don't ever quit. That's the Viking philosophy and it's not a bad one for life.



Blogger Markku January 15, 2018 6:57 AM  

I didn't really understand any of this, but even I can see that it was clearly the Russians.

Blogger Dave January 15, 2018 7:35 AM  

The Eagle's players and coaches are finding motivation in claiming they've been overlooked and disrespected since Carson Wentz went down. So much so that after the game several of the players wore dog masks on the field. And wouldn't you know it, Amazon sold out of those masks the same day.

There is a grain of truth to their claim; the oddsmakers have already made them underdogs for Sunday's game. The defenses are close with the edge to the Vikings, both teams have above average running games, and I believe Foles has started more games in his career than Keenum. Likely it will come down to turnovers and officiating and we'll see on what scale the NFL's thumb is heaviest. I don't believe the NFL has any interest in seeing that the home team plays in the SB, if they did it would have already happened, particularly I think with the Giants.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2018 7:39 AM  

Oh sweet Vox... are you eating to hope? Have you learned nothing?

Blogger tuberman January 15, 2018 7:40 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 7:50 AM  

Both games actually had some questionable clock management issues. The Steelers were acting a little too much like their season was over after the last FG was kicked, and they could have had maybe 30s or more left after the TD. It was only when they got inside Jacksonville's 30 yard line or so that both teams realized there was an issue.

And Payton really shouldn't have called that second challenge on that incomplete pass.

Everyone left is going to get out-coached by Belichick, so they better come to out execute the Patriots. Saban got his 6th, so Bill clearly wants his as well.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2018 7:50 AM  

one pattern I noticed a long time ago that made me think of the "finger on the scales" notion... teams that have spent money tend to get a near instant return on that investment. Not always.... but often. For example... Teams with new uniforms often end up in the superbowl soon after. Atlanta... Tampa Bay... Titans... new stadiums can also mean a lengthy trip into the post-season.

Blogger Lazarus January 15, 2018 7:58 AM  

I expect that the league now favors a Minnesota-New England Super Bowl,

Now that they know you are onto their little scheme, it will be Jags v. Eagles.

Blogger The Kurgan January 15, 2018 8:32 AM  

I'm starting to think another reason we should bring back duelling to the death, aside from a much needed reduction of burocracy and related nonsense is to at least have ONE activity that might not be fixed in some way.

Blogger YIH January 15, 2018 8:34 AM  

Nate wrote:Oh sweet Vox... are you eating to hope? Have you learned nothing?
No, I see his point and I agree with it. Pro wrestling is completely scripted, matches are determined in some cases months in advance. ''Breaking script'' is even rarer then in films or TV (Here's an example where the script had to be rewritten 'on the fly' - because the wrestler came into the event really messed up). For the reasons he stated, there is simply no way to an entire football game/season and be believable. Even if all the players were actors following a script there are simply too many random things that can happen - wind shifts, for example. A 'sure thing' FG or PAT could be blown wide. A whacked-out fan could run out onto the field during a key play (though that seems to be more common in soccer).

Anonymous Football January 15, 2018 9:07 AM  

If a game is slightly more likely to go a certain way bc many fans really really want it and deserve it and good players giving it their all really really want it and deserve it. I think its something we all root for. Though i have been a little critical of the NFL i believe that what they do comes from a good place and i have come to respect whatever forces are at work during the games and seasons.

Blogger VD January 15, 2018 9:49 AM  

one pattern I noticed a long time ago that made me think of the "finger on the scales" notion... teams that have spent money tend to get a near instant return on that investment. Not always.... but often.

Bingo. See: Denver.

Blogger VD January 15, 2018 9:50 AM  

A 'sure thing' FG or PAT could be blown wide.

I think Blair Walsh has amply demonstrated that was not intentional. Either that, or he is REALLY committed to the role.

Blogger JohnR219 January 15, 2018 10:07 AM  

Williams also looked down as he got to Diggs...never take your eyes off the player with or receiving the ball....that's why he missed...

Blogger KingTooter January 15, 2018 10:33 AM  

I quit watching the NFL quite a few years ago -- but I did catch the highlights of the Eagles game... entertaining. I still have no use for the nogs, the talmuzios or the fucking "eatin' up" fans, it's all bullshit. I actually started watching old games from the late 60's and 70's, especially the Dolphins, when Griese and Zonk were playing -- they were my favorites.

Blogger Jon Mollison January 15, 2018 10:56 AM  

The NCAA championship demonstrated pretty well that the same holds true at the collegiaye level. Hell, letting a team in the playoffs that couldn't even win its Division proved it.

Anonymous Ham Solo January 15, 2018 11:10 AM  

I always noticed it was most often the team with the bigger "TV Market" that god the nod in marginal calls and seemed to have the scale tipped in its favor.

One thing is for sure. They have so much power now to review plays that there is more than enough opportunities to easily put the hands on the scale in the games.

Blogger Cetera January 15, 2018 11:32 AM  

VD wrote:
Bingo. See: Denver.

C'mon, Vox. The narrative was entirely against Denver. It was all about the young gunslinger Favre and the amazing talent the Packers had, looking to repeat after beating the Pats the year before, and how Elway couldn't ever win the big one. I believe the Packers were the favorites by 14 points.

In fact, the narrative was so anti-Denver the rumors were constant that if Denver lost, the NFL was going to do away with Conference seeding for the playoffs, and was going to move to an open-seeding format to ensure better parity and better games, due to the long-time NFC dominance.

The bigger surprise was how absolutely no one in sports media took the Broncos seriously. They clearly overlooked the expansion Jags and Mark Brunell the previous year at home, in a devastating loss. But they had a top 10 all-time QB, a top ten all-time RB, and arguably the best offensive line to ever take the field. They also had the very best offense-minded coach in football at the time.

I believe the thumb-on-the-scale NFL came in with Goodell. I don't recall seeing any evidence of it 20+ years ago.

Anonymous Blastmaster January 15, 2018 11:41 AM  

Until this game. I had always thought that in playoff games, the teams from cities with the highest population of ghetto groids get the questionable calls. To prevent riots, death and the looting of grape drank

Anonymous BBGKB January 15, 2018 11:50 AM  

I saw a clip of the very end of the game where they had to have the saints come back out to finish the game. What was up with the black guy wheezing & clutching his chest?

the teams from cities with the highest population of ghetto groids get the questionable calls.

Maybe it's the team who has the most blacks going down on their knees?

Blogger VD January 15, 2018 12:05 PM  

C'mon, Vox. The narrative was entirely against Denver.

You're missing the point. Some of us knew they would be Super Bowl contenders when the new uniforms were revealed. That doesn't mean they got the thumb-on-the-scale treatment in the Super Bowl, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did somewhere along the way.

What part of "multiple narratives" do you find hard to understand? This phenomenon long precedes Goodell.

Anonymous VFM #3606 January 15, 2018 12:16 PM  

The entire thing is a Narrative correction, coincidentally. The Kneelers were humiliated by a team that apologized for kneeling. The Vikings never kneeled and beat a Saints team sued for kneeling. The Eagles of course kneel, but Atlanta made a bigger show of it. Pats never kneel.

So NE-MN i's the "NeverKneel" Bowl.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 15, 2018 12:34 PM  

The pats are long term chronic cheaters. I don't think you'd go do easy on cheating unless the narrative had to be protected.

It's not chairs to the back and bags of, 'ju-ju' dust to zombify people but it's not clean like boxing.

Blogger Cetera January 15, 2018 12:55 PM  

Everyone knew the Broncos were going to be SB contenders, because they were the previous year with the old orange uniforms and the light blue helmets. They were the best team in the AFC in '96, and just flat out laid an egg at home against Jacksonville.

The dropped game against Jacksonville increased the narrative, against them, that Elway always choked in the big games. That was the only narrative that I was aware of then.

I think it was around week 8 or so of '97 that during an interview, Elway said he hated the new uniforms, but that they were clearly lucky (as they hadn't lost yet), and that started a bit of a different narrative, of sorts, but no one in the national sports media liked the Broncos. They were always the from the backwater country-boy town that was a wannabe high-falutin' metropolis in fly-over country. This, too, was also when Colorado was still a red state, before the massive California migration to it turned it purple-leaning-blue. They got no respect, and the Broncos bucked the narrative.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 15, 2018 2:09 PM  

Titans are next year's narrative, the HC fired today, Clay Travis becoming MM's Al Sharpton ready to drop the race card at the first hint of criticism of his boy love, and voila SB victory in a nail biter over Detroit.

Anonymous Eddie January 15, 2018 2:11 PM  

How, precisely, does this "thumb on the scale" work?

If the idea is that the referees are instructed to give all the marginal calls to one team that's absurd. Refs make a couple grand per game. A ref writing a tell-all book about how the NFL is rigged would be a millionaire. The incentives don't line up. It's ridiculous to think hundreds of refs have kept this secret for decades, especially without self-interest.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 2:17 PM  

The thumbs-on-the-scale thing never bothered me, because what are you gonna do? I can't expect perfect objectivity. Until such time as evidence of actual fixing conspiracies comes out--and I don't mean Tim Donaghy or the mob getting a handful of guys to point shave--I won't believe it's rigged. Assuming they were real, how do you plan for a Williams blowing a tackle like that? Or the blocked punt? Or the tipped-ball interception when the defender wasn't even facing Brees. Or Sandejo leaving the game? Or Rhodes getting hot and messing up an assignment. Or Forbath hitting the long one. Or Casey Kasem getting the throw off a millimeter before his knee hit the ground. Or that Mankato State alumnus coming down with the ball amidst a sea of hands caressing him.

About narratives, I don't look at it so much as they pick a handful of one's they want to happen. More like they pick their favorite narratives out of the teams that are still around and have a chance. Because the Vikikngs are still in it ESPN will always bring up the dream of playing the superbowl on their home turf. "Which has totes never happened, guyz." But fact is no one really cares about the Vikings in particular doing that. And if homefield superbowl advantage was a thing with NFL higher-ups, why on earth would they give the Vikings first crack? As a poster above mentioned, the Giants would be a more natural choice. Bigger market, and I specifically remember media types complaining about having to go to the frozen north for a superbowl. Might as well get something out of it.

(They'll be cold in Minnesota, obviously. But the league needs to keep handing out incentives for building new stadiums.)

Blogger VD January 15, 2018 2:25 PM  

How, precisely, does this "thumb on the scale" work?

First, they are told on a weekly basis "what calls to emphasize". Second, there is a tacit understanding that blowouts in the playoffs are bad for business. Just watch. As soon as one team starts blowing out the other, the 50/50 calls will suddenly start reliably going to the team that is behind. Every single time. It defies probability.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 2:26 PM  

@26 tublecane

The NBA massages games by placing specific officials in them. Donaghy has actually shown that knowing the officials lets you know the adjustment for the line. That effects the human judgement aspect and they can do it simply by placing people that will automatically shift one direction.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 2:41 PM  

Could Narrative-awareness have affected Williams' play? I don't mean he reasoned with himself along the lines of "the officials want the Vikings to win, therefore I must approach any and all tackles with caution." I mean there was this unspoken sense of favoritism towards the Vikings, as exemplified by early pass-interference calls going the Vikings' way.

Maybe Saints coaches told their secondary boys to be careful. Don't give the refs an excuse to allow the Vikings a field goal attempt. (Not that they'd phrase it like that.) Then the DBs tell eachother, be careful, guys. Don't give them any excuses. Wait for the ball to come. That sort of thing.

Then it's in his mind, and he doesn't think to play the obvious way. The way of tackling Diggs in-bounds to end the game. He miss-times his approach, arrives early, pulls up a tad then goes low. Which can only be explained by him fearing a flag.

You can see in the video that he was fully expecting to take out Diggs' legs, and as Diggs flies by his head whips around to see what happened. These things happen so fast. A split-second decision to throw your body one way instead of another may look like intentionally whinging to some people. But the way his Williams' head turns to see what happened, after he must know he's missed his man, makes me think it wasn't a dive.

He really shouldn't have taken his eyes off Diggs. But that's another flag-related decision. They can't tackle people with their heads up anymore. Especially "defenseless" receivers.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 2:53 PM  

I should add that the tragic thing about Williams bid that he could have committed pass interference or drawn the hitting a defenseless player flag or held back and forced Diggs to step out of bounds, all of which are suboptimal. But every single on of them would have been better than giving up a touchdown.

Best case would be tackling him in-bounds or breaking up the pass without a penalty being called. But if he had been playing extra-extra cautious OR dirty, it would've led to a much better outcome. Even if Forbath hits a field goal afterwards. Because at least there's a chance he'll miss. And there's a chance you won't get called on your penalty.

So many options, and he somehow ended up in the worst possible position. It's a sorta metaphor for Moderates, when you think about it. Pick a lane, people. Those who stand in the middle of the road get run over.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 3:14 PM  

The TD was actually given up because he ran into the other Saint after missing Diggs. It was the nerves that got him, but in a different way than you might think. He jumped quickly after the ball released, which might have been going to 1 of 3 receivers, and was simply moving too fast. The Vikings more or less won the game the instant Williams broke too hard for the WRs.

If Williams hits Diggs, something Diggs is probably very happy didn't happen, before the ball gets there, that's about the easiest PI call of the game as Diggs is flying endo over Williams. That's why the nerves mattered. Williams over played because of the nerves and it resulted in a TD. Given where the ball got to, if Diggs came down with it, he more than likely would have been able to get out of bounds.

I don't think we're giving either Diggs or Keenum enough credit on that play, either. That was the right ball, in the right spot and Diggs got there right at the correct time. Skying for the ball meant either he gets it or they get one more shot.

And that was one of the nuttiest endings to a pro game in a while. Though Belichick laughs at the thought of being that bad with the clock.

Anonymous football January 15, 2018 3:25 PM  

Didn't see or hear this brought up.. Stefon Diggs caught the ball at around the 35 yard line with around 4 seconds left. A great clutch pass by t under pressure by Keenum and a great leaping catch by Diggs. Had the DB reacted differently Diggs still might have had the time to get out of bounds and setup a field goal attempt for the Vikings, though they would have had to move quickly as they had no timeouts. Congrats to the Vikings.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 3:30 PM  

@31-"The TD was actually given up because he ran into the other Saint after missing Diggs"

That's true, and another reason it was such a wildly improbable play. If Williams merely misses, he might be able to get up and make a play. There's pressure on Diggs to step out of bounds, even if he senses there's no one in front of him, because that's what he's been trained to do and he's actually being ordered to do it. So there'll be at least a little hesitation, compared to a situation where he's made up his mind to try and score above all else before the play starts.

Also, there's another Saint there, with a shot at running Diggs down after the catch. Williams takes him out. That freakish luck on Diggs' side.

"I don't think we're giving either Diggs or Keenum enough credit on that play"

Yes. Especially Diggs, who has the presence of mind to snap that mental picture of the field in front of him, then stay in bounds despite all the pressure on him to preserve time for a possible field goal.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 3:47 PM  

Another thing: among many reasons people despise the NFL, amidst what was one of the most exciting moments in the history of the league--in a situation where the game should be over the moment Diggs enters the endzone, leaving the audience to bask in celebration or agony--they do three things:

1. Throw an unsportsmanlike conduct flag because Diggs threw his helmet. Thankfully, I don't think they announced this over the loudspeaker.

2. Review the play, which they should do at NFL HQ, wherever that is, just to make sure he stayed in-bounds and all that. But the t.v. made us watch the ref looking at his little screen on-field, and he announced the result to the audience.

3. They make the teams come out for a points-after charade. Which I suppose means something to gamblers. And there's always the chance the other team could pull off a super-duper miracle and score points, but come on.

I did enjoy the fact that one of the Saints who came back out was the punter who hurt himself on the tackle early in the game. Were both punters on the field for that play? How often does that happen?

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 4:04 PM  

@33 tublecane

The play isn't quite on the level of the Malcolm Butler INT in the endzone, as it didn't happen in SB, but so many things happened on that play. After Diggs turned up field and go to full speed, he was clearly looking for whoever was going to come in to tackle so he could step out of bounds. Then he sees no one and just keeps running.

The Live Broadcast didn't make it clear there was no one else on that side of the field, so he had a free run to the endzone, though the broadcast booth could see it. You don't get too many events quite like that, and it was good to see Diggs soak it up after the fact and play the crowd. Everyone knew that was something special.

Anonymous football January 15, 2018 4:10 PM  

also I thought Bradshaw had a funny line before the game

he said

-If the Saitnts win, party in New Orleans ... if the Saints lose, party in New Orelans-

Anonymous patrick kelly January 15, 2018 4:14 PM  

I'm not convinced of "thumbs on the scale", but I believe it is possible.

It wouldn't take more than one key ref who is either a party line towing true believer, or owes the right bunch of good fellas. If it's the guy who does the reviews, that's more than enough.

Blogger VD January 15, 2018 4:32 PM  

Could Narrative-awareness have affected Williams' play?

Unlikely. DO NOT COMMIT PI is what every DB has drilled into him from high school on in that situation. The whole point is to NOT give the other team the ball in FG range.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 5:19 PM  

@37 patrick kelly

Given the way it's done in other sports, odds are the massage is done before the game is every played. Put X officiating team on the game and you can shift a 50/50 game to 70/30. The Narrative is built around 5-6 teams each year, but the teams still have to win the games. The NFL has extremely erratic home field advantage, so things can be fiddle with fairly easily at the League Office level.

Everyone assumes "the fix is in" would happen during a game. That only happens when the players are in on some scheme. Professionals shift enough odds in their favor before games are ever played that they'll come out on top in totality, not specifically. Specific stuff is always too easy to catch now.

@38 VD

In a normal game, if Williams hadn't ducked under Diggs, it'd be a PI and, likely, Unsportsmanlike Conduct. He broke too hard and would have sent Diggs somersaulting backwards. Diggs was still ascending into the air when Williams is passing under, physics being what it is, Diggs would have been brutalized with that hit.

The angle from the endzone looking at the play gave the impression that Williams might have, at the first split-second, thought the pass was going to a Wright, who was only 5 yards behind Diggs.|contentId%3A0ap3000000906711&tab=recap At about 50s into the video, they show the endzone angle. Williams was actually nearer to the sideline than Diggs when the ball went up, which explains part of the correction he took. He misjudged the release of the ball 30 yards away by a minor degree or two and was two steps to the Left from where he wanted to be. The whole "game of inches" concept matters in this instance.

Blogger Eric Markley January 15, 2018 5:22 PM  

"First, they are told on a weekly basis "what calls to emphasize". Second, there is a tacit understanding that blowouts in the playoffs are bad for business. Just watch. As soon as one team starts blowing out the other, the 50/50 calls will suddenly start reliably going to the team that is behind. Every single time. It defies probability."

The first I can maybe buy ... maybe. But it would have to be done in such a way that the refs themselves don't understand what's being done. You're talking hundreds of refs over the years. If the NFL was really sending strong messages e.g. "Be sure to watch for defensive holding this week at the Seattle game," sooner or later someone is going to put things together and blab.

The second claim is nonsense. Did the Titans start getting calls when New England was waxing them the other day? More obviously, what about that long run in the 80s where every freaking year the Super Bowl was a blowout? It got to the point where it was literally a joke on late-night TV about how Super Bowls were always boring. Whatever investment the league has in this team or that team winning, it's certainly less than their investment in having the games be interesting, and they've failed quite often in that regard.

It's confirmation bias.

Blogger So Meh January 15, 2018 5:25 PM  

why wasn't there a unsportsmanlike penalty for taking of the helmet and throwing it?...because time had expired? is so, accessed on the extra point or negate the touchdown?
(h) Removal of his helmet by a player in the field of play during a celebration or during a confrontation with a game official or any other player.

Anonymous football January 15, 2018 5:52 PM  

so next week its Vikings at Eagles, and Jaguars at Patriots.... Philadelphia is a tough environment to play in, those fans once booed Santa Claus and it seems the Eagles and their fans want it just as much as the Vikings. Neither franchise has won a super bowl. The Vikings should be flying high after their win and the Eagles should be feeling very good about themselves after winning against the defending NFC champions. That should be a damn good game....

Winning in Pittsburgh in the playoffs is not the easiest thing to do. I would argue that they beat mighty Pittsburgh more decisively than New England did so that should be a confidence factor for them and also I heard that the Jaguars have the best past defense in the league. They will certainly need to be at their best. I think the Jaguars Patriots should be a good game too.

Blogger bourque801 January 15, 2018 5:55 PM  

Hello, I am hoping that the Vikings can get their way to the Superbowl and Win It....If they get there I will be torn because I am a long time Patriots fan, But I have had a healthy respect for the Long time teams and fan bases like the Vikings and Bills,(Another team I wouldn't mind seeing winning the Super Bowl.) I am typing this listing to New England sports talk radio and the spoiled and entitled nature of the Hosts and some of the Callers have really just dampened my enthusiasm because I think that these "Hosts and Callers" are sadly mistaken If they think that the Patriots dynasty will last forever....Now IF The Pats-Vikings match up comes to pass, This match up will come down to the Vikings offense vs the Pats defense, Keenum has to play better then He did against the Saints because If He throws that kind of Awful Interception the Pats will exploit It with Ruthless Efficiency....In Closing, I'm rooting for the Vikings to pull of the Impossible because I think that It would be a better story for football fans, Thank You.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 15, 2018 6:15 PM

Sideline camera view. Williams first break looks a lot like he thought it was going to Wright, which given how tight the WR were, isn't necessary wrong. Main thing was he lost his outside position and had to avoid Diggs or he was going to have to hope the FG gets missed.

@41 So Meh

Official actually did throw the flag for it, but the game clock was already at zero by that point.

Blogger tublecane January 15, 2018 6:29 PM  

@41-There was an unsportsmanlike conduct flag thrown, but it was irrelevant because the game was over. The NFL doesn't negate points for things that happen after the ball is dead. Those penalties are assessed on the following possession.

They don't assess penalties on points after touchdowns. That's just not how it works.

Because there was no time left on the clock, there was no play on which to assess the penalty, so it's as if the penalty never happened.

Blogger Mad Italian January 15, 2018 6:54 PM  

Penny Arcade has an idea on how to reverse the NFL ratings slide...

Blogger Lazarus January 15, 2018 7:49 PM  

DO NOT COMMIT PI is what every DB has drilled into him from high school on in that situation.

The DB had that, plus DISRUPT THE RECEPTION and KEEP HIM INBOUNDS running in his head at the same time.

If you give dogs too many commands at once they go catatonic.

Blogger AdognamedOp January 16, 2018 12:45 AM  

The "Purple Craze" narrative was designed as a diversion to let Fish lips Franken creep back into his senate seat. Heard it from a friend who..

Blogger David of One January 16, 2018 6:09 PM  

Vikings QB: ‘3rd Best Moment of My Life Behind Giving My Life to Jesus Christ and Marrying My Wife’

Anonymous Timpaul January 17, 2018 1:15 PM  

Nick Fowles, Carson Wentz, 9/11. Illuminati says Skol victory.

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