While there are countless things that I am excited about for the upcoming NFL football season, there are also a handful of things that I really don’t want to see and/or hear about. I struggled to come up with 10 total things and some may seem like a stretch because, well, they are. I really, really like watching football so it can be hard to complain about. If anyone, however, can find some faults and flaws, then I’m that guy. So here is my list, in no particular order of annoyance.
1. Anything combining Chad ochocinco/Johnson and Twitter in the same sentence
I’ve already heard enough from #85 this summer to last me several seasons. From the whole “Ochocinco” thing, to finding out he forgot to capitalize the first letter when he legally changed his name so he has to go by “ochocinco”, to him saying he is going to ingore the request of the NFL and tweet during games, I’m tired of hearing about him. I don’t mind his touchdown celebrations, but the problem is you have to score touchdowns in order to do them. Chad had 4 TDs last year and his worst overall season since his rookie year. You could say he pulled a Freddie Mitchell last year, and by that I mean talking substantially more than your on the field performance allocates. Speaking of Mitchell, aka “FredEx”, how is this for irony? Chad needs to get off the Twitter and let his performance speak for itself.
2. The inevitable Terrell Owens – Trent Edwards falling out
It’s going to happen. At some point this year, whether that be week 4 or week 16, Terrell Owens will not be happy in Buffalo and call out his quarterback in some fashion. Whether that be referring to his quarterback as a latent homosexual or stating that his quarterback and tight end secretly met to come up with plays that left him out of the picture, I don’t know, but it WILL happen. He’s thrown quarterbacks who were much better than Edwards under the bus, so I’m sure any struggles Owens has will be blamed on someone other than himself. I don’t know what’s worse: the falling out itself, or ESPNs constant coverage of the “he said, she said” battle. Thanks to the media, guys like Owens have an outlet that allows them to get attention for what should be non-issues. Notice that the first two things on my list relate to loud mouthed receivers….hmmmm.
3. Joe Buck
I really can’t stand listening to Joe Buck. I don’t know if it’s his voice or his condescending remarks that get to me, but I just don’t like listening to him call games. I hope he thanks his stars daily that his dad was a famous announcer, because without that I don’t see him getting too many Sunday games. Remember when Buck was apparently appaled and horrifed at this Randy Moss incident? Disgusting? Seriously? I think I lost any respect I may or may not have had for Buck at that moment. I’m definately not a believer that you have to had played football to be a good announcer, but you can’t be a pencil neck geek either. I hope Buck gets laryngitis for the season or gets punched by Randy Moss and becomes afraid to enter the booth.
4. Playing Madden 2010 online
This seems like an odd thing to have on the list, but allow me to explain. I used to love playing Madden against my college buddies but once jobs, wives, and distance got in the way of things, I have been forced to play most of my Madden against online foes. While I thouroughly enjoy taking my personal athletic shortcomings out through a piece of molded plastic and against a guy called “beatinyoazz” (who is, most likely, 11 years old), Madden online has gotten annoying to the point that I just can’t play for long. I place all the blame solely on the shoulders of Peyton Manning. Peyton steps to the line and nearly every play he scans the defense, steps backs, points and barks out some audibles. That works fine for Peyton, but now every player on Madden does the same. They’ll run the no huddle only to take 39 seconds to call audibles and run five receivers to the same spot on the field. The worst part is when the do this when they are playing as a team with a bad quarterback who, in real life, can barely get his team to huddle let alone read theand call audibles. I wish there were an audible limit!
5. Running back by committee teams killing my fantasy team
While it may be an effective strategy to win games as you have two (or more) running backs splitting the carriers to keep legs fresh and defenses on their toes, it causes fantasy football players to pull their hair out. Who is going to get the carriers and the goal line attempts? LenDale White or Chrish Johnson? DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart? Maurice Jones-Drew or Fred Taylor? I don’t know, and neither do you. From a fantasy standpoint, drafting any running back that is on a team that splits carries is risky. On a side note, I would like to see the Vikings give some more touches to Chester Taylor. If that means more rushing plays to make sure AP gets his, I’m fine with that. Or how about some wildcat formations with those two and Tavaris Jackson? God knows he won’t complete passes effectively, so make him run!
6. Icing the kicker
Nothing makes the last 5 seconds of the game take 10 minutes like icing the kicker with multiple timeouts before the opposing team kicker takes his shot. Thanks to Denver Bronco coach Mike Shanahan, coaches now stand right next to the referee so they can call the timeout at the last possible second. There are several times when the kicker gets a kick off only to hear the whistle blow because a timeout was squeezed in before the snap. Nevermind the fact that the game is about to be decided by the player who least resembles a football player, we need to see him and his tiny facemask go through his little pre-kick routine again. I hope that this is the result every time a coach tries this tactic this season.
7. Any pictures even remotely similar to this involving any and all NFL lineman.
8. The potential for some MLB style steroid allegations
I’m not sure how stringent the performance enhancing drug testing is in the NFL, but if baseball players risked their careers and health for the opportunity to get bigger and stronger, I have troubling believing it isn’t even more prevalent in the NFL. I know that there have been some famous steroid/PED cases in the NFL such as that of Shawne Merriman a few years back or that of former Green Bay Packer and notorious draft bust Tony Mandarich, but looking at the size of some of these players I have my doubts that everyone is clean. Some say that the 1980’s was the steroid era of the NFL and this study shows the link between steroid usage and injuries. I think you’d have to be naive to believe that the NFL doesn’t have many players juicing and looking at how PEDs tarnished the name and record books of baseball, I fear the potential fallout that the NFL may be facing. I hope I’m wrong.
9. Not getting the games I want on TV
In August, I will be moving to south-eastern Iowa which is in some sort of weird triangle between the NFL cities of Minneapolis, Chicago, and Kansas City. Being from Minnesota, I like watching the Vikings every weekend. That, however, won’t be possible unless I want to shell out a bunch of extra cash to get Sunday Ticket on DirectTV….which isn’t even allowed at my apartment. So I’ll be stuck watching some crappy Chiefs – Raiders games half the time time instead of some action from the NFC North. I’m less than thrilled and may just make the sports bar my second home on Sundays so I can watch the games I want to watch.
10. Not seeing the college overtime format in the NFL
I hate the over-time coin toss. The college way of doing things is superior in every way: it makes more sense, it is more exciting, allows for more strategy etc. This site takes a look at NFL over-time statistics…check it out, they say it better than I can. I have no idea why the NFL won’t change this. If they could significantly alter the game by adding instant replay, they can and should change the way they do overtime. Period.