NBA says “No Flopping Allowed”

ESPN has reported that the NBA is trying to stop the floppers. League Commissioner David Stern has had enough with players deceiving the officials by flopping like weak little fish and has been seeking a way to properly penalize the “phony” aspiring actors of the NBA.

The new procedures will likely involve a review after the game is played by the league office, rather than an official calling an infraction during the game, NBA spokesperson Tim Frank said. Players likely would be fined if the league determined they flopped. $$$

“If you continue to do this, you may you have to suffer some consequences,” Stern said about flopping during the NBA Finals. “What those exactly should be and what the progression is, is to be decided, because … we just want to put a stake in the ground that says this is not something that we want to be part of our game, without coming down with a sledgehammer but just doing it in a minimalist way to begin stamping it out. And I think there are ways we can do that and we’ll have to wait and see exactly what we come up with.”

Uh oh? What is Chris Bosh, or better yet the entire Miami Heat team going to do once this new procedure is implemented (yea Bron Bron you’re just as bad)? Bring on the fines Stern!

NFL Referees Are Baaaaack

I’ll see you on Sunday says Ed Hochuli

After three months of excruciating negotiations and an insane amount of scrutiny the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have reached a tentative agreement it only took one of the most chaotic displays of officiating in NFL history during this week’s Monday Night Football debacle between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers to speed things up a bit. Lock-out over! Let the football fanatics rejoice!

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell provided an apology this Thursday morning saying, “Something like this, it’s painful for everybody. Most importantly, it’s painful for fans. We’re sorry to have to put fans through that.” Goodell said that, as a fan of the NFL, he’d never want to see a game marred by officiating as Monday’s clearly was.

Here’s what happened: There were eight seconds left on the clock. Seahawks QB Russel Wilson scrambles outside of the pocket, throws a 24 yard pass in Golden Tate’s direction. Green Bay’s Greg Jennings jumps up in the end zone and catches the ball, Tate also jumps and gets his hands on the ball. The two land on the ground fighting and rolling for the ball. The refs call it a touchdown declaring a win for the Seahawks. HOWEVER before any ball was caught Tate committed some SERIOUS pass interference – which he has even admitted to after watching the replay. The real issue was that the two refs (confused in the photo below) were both blind enough to miss Tate push the crap out of the Green Bay defender. Had the initial correct penalty been called, there would have been no argument regarding the touchdown because time was out.

Caught on camera to remember forever

The fury over the replacement refs even got attention from the White House when President Obama tweeted earlier this week, “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon.”

Thankfully, regular union referees will be on the field in Baltimore tonight when the Ravens face the Cleveland Browns. Hopefully they can get things right.

The NFLRA were seeking improved salaries and retirement benefits in their negotiations with the NFL during the lockout. They worked out the kinks in the benefits and 401(k) business and also discussed compensation. Who knew pay day was so nice for union referees? Compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019. Sign me up!

See ya replacement refs – it’s been real, but it hasn’t been real great.

Peace Love and Basketball

Some of our favorite local NBA players took a stance against gang violence by attending the Peace Tournament hosted by Father Michael Pfleger at his church’s gymnasium this past Saturday. Yes, you read that correctly, there was a tournament where rivaled gang members dunked it out on a basketball court. The ultimate goal was to have the gang members battle it out on the court and not the streets. The idea is rather genius – change the teens perspectives by putting them in a place where they can see common ground and a basketball court is the perfect environment.

 

A Bulls trio of Derrick Rose (DRose), Joakim Noah (messy-bun swagger) and Taj Gibson (dunk machine) volunteered to support the cause as well as NBA hall-of-famer Isaiah Thomas. Rose, who was born and raised in Chicago,  experienced this violence first hand in schools or on the streets and knows just how important it is to believe in yourself and the difference you can make with hard work and perseverance. You’d be silly not to consider taking advice from an NBA MVP!

The Bulls players and other athletes attended the tournament not to seek attention, but rather to make an impact on the city streets of Chicago. “It’s not about sending a message, it’s about listening to what they have to say,” Noah said. These gang members had the opportunity to see that people care and that there are other ways to live life than through violence.

Saturday was just the start according to Father Pfleger and definitely a step in the right direction for the city. His church is helping individuals get there GEDs and some of the sponsors offered others jobs. He also hopes to make this game an annual event, but they’re going to need a bigger gym!

 

White Sox Wedding Bells!

White Sox pitcher John Danks (he’s been on the DL since May of 2012 with a sore shoulder) popped the question to long time girlfriend Pistol Annies singer Ashley Monroe over the weekend! Who knew major leaguers could be so romantic? I guess it’s not just sunflower seeds and chewing tobacco all the time! Check it out…

Bud Light is Getting Very Superstitious This Fall

With the start of the 2012 NFL season, I find myself spending quite a bit more time in front of the TV on Sundays and less and less time soaking up the sun (goodbye sweet summer). Obviously the best part of Sunday game day is the actual play of football, but the commercials take up quite a bit of my time as well, so I like to choose a favorite of the year. So far, Bud Light takes the cake. It features fans across the country who are superstitious and wouldn’t dare play with luck or their choice in beer.Take a look!

BEAR DOWN in the Dumps

And so the hangover of defeat begins to dig deeper into our Bear-fan souls. After the debacle that went down on the field at Lambeau last night (final score 23-10), it’s not great to be a Bears fan this Friday. As the Bears sit 1-1 in the NFC, the question of – just HOW good are the Chicago Bears this year? –  lingers in the back of our minds. The season opener against the rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts went so well, Chicago fans were riding a 4 day high thinking the Bears could make an early presence in the division and then we headed up to Green Bay and watched the Bears offensive confidence crumble into a million pieces of cheese.

Clay Matthews (who is undoubtedly one of the best linebackers to ever play the position) pillaged, ravaged, and destroyed the Chicago Bears offense – specifically left tackle J’Marcus Webb. Cutler was sacked 7 times (3.5 delivered personally from Matthews), finished with 11 completions on his 27 attempts and threw 4 interceptions. Those are some real bad stats.

Part of the problem was Cutler’s cocky trash talking throughout the week wishing the Packers defense “luck” – which came back to bite him right in the a&%…”Heard some talk out of the Bears: Packers secondary not working coverage, bigger receivers … we heard about it,” veteran safety Charles Woodson told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after the game. “We understand that Jay is excited about his new weapons (referring to Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery), but it’s the same-old Jay. We don’t need luck; Jay will throw us the ball.” Lambeau field is like Jay Cutler’s kryptonite as a Chicago Bear.

It’s easy to place all the blame on Cutler for being a headcase during the Thursday night showdown on NFL network, BUT it all comes down to the Packers out playing the Bears. Chicago has some things to figure out:

  1. Cutler played REAL poorly, but he is not to blame for all the wrong doing. The offensive line needs to block for their quarterback. Linemen are enormous SOBs and they need to do the job they get paid handsomely for. Also, when the offense is having a tough time to begin with, how about we avoid all the false starts (cough cough Webb).
  2. The O-Line was horrendous, however, Cutler needs to learn how to get rid of the ball and not take a sack for a loss of yards. Quick-short passes can be your friend Cutty.
  3. Our much anticipated receivers need to do their job – catch passes. Brandon Marshall our talented addition to the offense cannot drop a catch-able pass in the end zone. Earl Bennett needs to come up on the ball, not drift back and get beat out by his defender resulting in a Jay Cutler interception.
  4. Where are Chicago’s trick plays? That sneaky faked field goal with the GB special teams was slick and not one person on the Bears saw it coming – perfectly executed. Last night Lovie Smith and his staff got out coached…once again.

In the aftermath ESPN published a story about Brian Urlacher and his views on the Bears this season, “maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were,” Urlacher said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, that’s obvious. Maybe Green Bay is just that good, I don’t know, we just didn’t play well. They played good enough to do what they did to us.”

I would agree with Urlacher, we have a long way to go just yet, but no need to pout it was only game two! Green Bay is a well oiled machine with great chemistry and we’ll get another shot at them later in the season. Hopefully Matt Forte’s game ending ankle sprain isn’t serious – fingers crossed. Shake it off, rest up, and let’s take care of St. Louis in game three.

DRose Dishing Out the Best Pizza in Town

Looks like Derrick Rose and I have something in common…we both love us some Giordano’s pizza! Thursday morning news broke that Rose had taken an equity stake in the Chicago pizza icon and will also serve as the spokesperson. There is nothing wrong with diversifying his business interests – especially when it comes to pizza.

Growing up in Chicago, Giordano’s was a staple for the Bulls point guard, “I’ve grown up with my family eating Giordano’s pizza. I’ve always loved Giordano’s, so this was a uniquely personal opportunity for me.” DRose is even working on his own signature pizza claiming to be “pretty good in the kitchen” and not just on the court. We’ll be the judges Senor Rose.

Starting this month, Rose will appear in ads, promotions and attend charitable events on behalf of the chain. The only down fall, he’s not allowed to be “Bulls” branded as the Bulls already have their signature pizza – DiGiorno. It’s just #DRoseSwagger as a standalone – nonissue.

I bet Rose gets unlimited deep dish pizzas…and not I just got really jealous!