If you love the REAL NFL and not this load of effeminate malarkey that commissioner Roger Goodell has been trying to cram down our throats since he was hired in 2006, then you love the truth Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu spoke this week.
“I think a lot of players have said a lot of things, and I guarantee he heard everything everybody said. But he’s (Goodell) got all the power, and that may be part of the problem, that there needs to be some type of separation of power, like our government. There should be some type of players involved and decisions into how much people should be fined, or what they should be fined for, as well as coaches, as well as front-office people. I don’t think it should be just totally based on what two or three people say who are totally away from the game.
I think it should be some of the players that are currently playing. It’s football, you know. If people want to watch soccer they should watch soccer," Polamalu said. "But honestly, overseas, when people are attracted to this game, they’re going to see the big hits. They’re not going to care about touchdowns and different things, so you’re also taking a part of what attracts people to this game."
Perfectly said, and words the fascist Goodell cannot fine him for. You can bet the petulant Goodell checked with the legal department already to see if he could.
While Goodell is just continuing the mission of his predecessor, basketballer Paul Tagliabue, he has raised the ire of current and former players by disgracing the game by his revolting disrespect to the history of the game and the gridirons legacy while trying to force his own image as the stamp of the game today.
These last two commissioners of the NFL knew nothing about football or what made the game so popular. While they spent their time boot licking the pedestal of the quarterback with inane rules that castrated defenses, and furthered it by polishing off the knobs of most every other offensive position, the reason most fans watch the game is for the collision instead of points.
The American Football League showed the NFL you could score without disparaging the defense. This is why they forced a merger. Yet that message taught has been lost for the bottom line with the failure of realization the accounting department would have been unaffected if they had just let defenses play defense.
Whether you see a penalty and fine for "putting too much of his weight on the quarterback" or fines for legal hits like Dunta Robinson incurred, the chagrin of the player grows deeper. Though they stay quiet, for the most part, to collect their paychecks, some understand the legacy of the game is being besmirched by a clueless and power hungry puppet named Roger Goodell.
Thankfully Troy Polamula said what most players feel. While it probably falls on deaf ears in the NFL front offices, as well as most the fans with attention spans of a fruit fly with Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, it resonates with those who truly love and respect the game of football.
Game of the Week
This is an evenly matched clash. Both teams are very similar statistically in almost every facet of football. Miami, however, has lost all their home games and won all of their road games.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh is biting at the bit for more snaps, and would prefer to start at wide receiver, but Derrick Mason is still too important and productive to bench. To make things worse for T.J., Donte Stallworth will return this week and has a wealth of talent himself.
Both teams are health, run the ball well, and have young quarterbacks showing they have bright futures. The Ravens need this to stay in the running with Pittsburgh, while Miami has to win to stay within reach of New England and the Jets.
This game could go to overtime or be won by a late field goal.
Ravens 16 Dolphins 15
In this divisional match up of 5-2 teams, the Buccaneers are a nice surprise. They rank 21st and and 25th in offense and defense respectively, but they don't turn over the ball and the defense comes up with timely big plays.
Atlanta's defense is about the same as Tampa Bay's statistically in yards allowed, but their offense is very productive. Though the Falcons run the ball very well, their effective passing games gives them nice balance.
If Atlanta hangs onto the football, they should win.
Falcons 27 Buccaneers 17
On paper, this is an evenly matched game. Both teams are porous on defense and below average on offense. Yet, New England wins as much as they appear to struggle.
Cleveland hasn't yet announced their starting quarterback this week, but that is more their head coach Eric Mangini trying to stick it to his old boss Bill Belichick.
Belichick will try to remind the Browns of the mistake they made firing him as head coach in 1995.
Patriots 31 Browns 20
This game involves two starting quarterbacks struggling mightily, though one still may return to the NFL somewhere next year.
The Cardinals are still within reach of their division lead, while the Vikings appear to be going nowhere. Both teams need to run to win, since their erratic quarterbacks cannot be relied upon to do much more than throw interceptions.
Adrian Peterson, the star halfback of the Vikings, could run for over 200 yards this Sunday.
Vikings 20 Cardinals 17
Chicago has become pass happy, eschewing the run. Buffalo is dead last in the NFL at stopping the run, but excellent versus the pass. If Chicago does not decide to rediscover the running game this week, the winless Bills will have an even better shot at their first win. Even if Chicago runs halfback Matt Forte 25 times or more, the Bills are due for a win.
Bills 24 Bears 21
While Detroit celebrated the return of quarterback Matthew Stafford with a win off his three touchdown passes last week, the Jets came off their bye week getting shut out by a beat up Packers defense and their quarterback ended up calling out his receivers.
The real reason the Jets lost is that they blew off their vaunted running attack, and tried to pass too much in very windy conditions. The Lions defense is improving, but they are still ranked 27th against the run.
The Jets love to say they ground and pound the opposition, and this is the week to prove it.
Jets 19 Lions 13
This has the makings of a very exciting game, but it depends on both erratic teams playing up to their potential. That has not happened as much as it should have so far.
San Diego played last week like a team with the first ranked offense and defense, while last week showed why the Texans have the worst ranked defense in the NFL. Houston will need to outscore the Chargers in a shootout to win this if the Bolts decide to show up.
Chargers 34 Texans 26
The Panthers seem to be fighting for the first pick in the NFL draft in 2011, because they haven't shown a lot of fight in many other areas. Head coach John Fox will probably be gone next year, putting a dismal ending to a nine year run with the team that previously never had a team finish a season worse than 7-9.
There are rumors that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has a knee injury where the meniscus is torn and fractured. Watching him closely is the most important issue for the defending champions, because their season will pretty much be over without the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Year, which he won for a third time last season, and Super Bowl MVP.
Saints 28 Panthers 13
The Giants have stepped up the past few weeks to be the best team in the NFC. Their veteran corp bristled at a lousy start to the season, and have won four games in a row.
While a young and deep group of talented Jint wide receivers strike fear in opponents, their offensive attack is well balanced and the defense has been special at times.
Seattle, who has shocked many with a 4-3 record in a rebuilding season, is in a lot of trouble. Especially now that their starting quarterback will not play.
Giants 34 Seahawks 10
If you are under the age of 18, you may not truly grasp the importance of this rivalry. Both teams have hated each other for decades, and for good reason.
Both teams generally ruled the American Football League, and would end up battling each other for the right to go to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs persevered three times, while the Raiders made it once.
When the teams joined the NFL, Oakland kept winning while the Chiefs struggled. Still, the rivalry remained strong, with Kansas City leading the series 52-45-2. The difference in points scored is only 123 in favor of the Chiefs.
Kansas City has jumped out to a surprising 5-2 record this year, while the Raiders are starting to excel under the offensive genius of coaches Hue Jackson, Paul Hackett, and Ted Tollner by winning three of their last four games behind the fourth rated scoring offense in the NFL.
Both teams love to run the ball. While the Chiefs are ranked first in the NFL in rushing, Oakland is second. The difference may come from the aerial assault, as the Raiders are ranked 20th and the Chiefs are dead last in the NFL.
An x-factor to look for is the Black Hole. The Raiders fans, who heartily despise the Chiefs, are amongst the loudest and best in football. They will be pumped up and wearing extra make up for this one to ensure a sea of black and silver in Oakland-Alemeda County Coliseum.
Raiders 23 Chiefs 20
Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles The big news here is the return of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who gets to face an effective Colts pass rush in his return. Indianapolis lost another important starter, linebacker Clint Sessions and his 38 tackles, for the season because of injury.
While eyes might be on Vick and the return of star wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the best plan of attack for Philadelphia may be to feed the pill to halfback LeShon McCoy over 25 times against a horrible Colts run defense.
Indianapolis will rely on quarterback Peyton Manning as usual. He may be the leading candidate for 2010 NFL MVP, and the Colts season would be over if he went down too. The Colts may have just one running back with some health in Donald Brown, who recently came off injury himself.
Eagles 34 Colts 30
The worst thing about the Cowboys is now America is being forced to watch "America's Team" on television every week, as we all will be soon again on Thanksgiving Day.
They aren't going anywhere this season, and obviously packed it in weeks ago. The only battle they have left is with the Vikings as the most disappointing team this season.
Green Bay is beat up, especially on defense. Wide receiver Donald Driver failed to catch a ball the past two weeks after having caught one in 139 straight games. He will sit out until week 11.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn't always been sharp this season, but he is still the fifth-ranked NFL passer in passing yards. While Dallas has the talent to win this game, they probably still don't have the heart or desire to do so.
Packers 34 Cowboys 24
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh may have lost last week, but they still are an upper echelon team. The defense is stifling, the running game effective, and their quarterback has nearly shaken off all the rust incurred from his suspension. Cincinnati needs to win this game. A loss here will end their season.
The two receivers are expected to have extra relish added to their bologna this game in order to promote their television show. Pittsburgh will let them have it, to a point, as they procure the victory.
Steelers 26 Bengals 17