The importance of New Year's Day bowl games in the BCS era is certainly up for debate, but sports fans can all agree on one thing: Jan. 2nd, 2012 was made more enjoyable because of the absence of one Craig James. Awful Announcing and Bloguin's college football blog Crystal Ball Run were the first to tell you that Craig James was departing ESPN to pursue the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Texas. And now that James has officially left the network to run for office, it was only a matter of time before James' first attempt at a political ad to introduce himself to voters would become public. College football fans (and fans of sanity in general) can apparently thank those "strong business leaders in Texas" for taking James out of the booth and into politics.
Shockingly in his first official ad, James doesn't directly address that whole killing five hookers at SMU rumor. But, the rest of James' ad is about what you would expect from a Texas Republican. It's about as Texan as Texas can be, complete with a cut to James grinning in a cowboy hat while trumpeting his conservative credentials and values. Apparently, fighting your whiny kid's battles and getting Texas Tech's football coach fired while keeping your job at ESPN despite a massive conflict of interest qualifies James as a "conservative," although none of that is mentioned. On a related note, thanks to SI's Richard Deitsch for reminding everyone that it's been 123 days since ESPN's ombudsman, the Poynter Institute, promised to examine James' tenure at the network.
One other interesting takeaway from the ad is James lining himself up with former Texas Govenor Rick Perry... you know, the same Rick Perry who did this at a presidential debate. Come to think of it, James was to the broadcast booth what Perry has been to presidential debates, although somehow even more of an incompetent disgrace. Have no fear, this blog certainly won't be turning in to Politico by any stretch, but you can bet we'll be keeping an eye on Craig James' quest to make Texas great again through his belief in America! How original! How inspiring! How... absurd.
[H/T Darren Rovell]
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@bggatbdl Thanks for the comedy. That was quite hilarious. Way to play the race card on Obama when it's pretty obvious he has no clue as to how to solve any problems and wants to put off any decisions until after the election.
This article is ridiculous and a homer piece for Pereira who is acting like a kid who missed recess and snack time. Gruden is dead on and is saying what all fans are saying: what are the damn rules b/c they seemingly change week to week, crew to crew. The first call was "defenseless receiver" (which is wasn't) and if that is a penalty then the 2nd should have been a penalty b/c the receiver had is back to the defender which is pretty defenseless. The real story of these calls and that game was that Jeff Tripplet still has a job officiating a multi-billion dollar industry when he has laid his incompetence out there for everyone to see for over a decade now. Hey Mike, why does that moron still have a job?
Did you read the actual rule regarding "defenseless reciever"? The rule pretty much states a defenseless reciever cannot be hit "in the head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder". That happened on Colston play. The rule also applies to "lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body.” Did Jenkins hit Kelly with "the top.crown or forehead/hairline part of the helmet"? Yes or no? The video shows the obvious answers is 'no', so the Jenkins hit was legal.
The reason some fans are confused is because they are ignorant of the actual rules. You'd think with all his NFL experience, both on the sidelines and in the booth, Gruden would have cracked open a rule book at least once.
You and the NFL can recite the rulebook verbatim as much as you want but that is not the issue - it's the enforcement of said rules which are extremely inconsistent. It's not being "ignorant" about the rules at all. The rules themselves would be torn apart by a lawyer b/c they are so vague and open to endless interpretation. What is a defenseless receiver for instance? And why is there a defenseless receiver at all anyway? It's football, defend yourself. They've turned the game into a flag football contest hence the passing records. For the record, I have a huge issue with the "lowering the head" portion of the rule book. Please NFL players, keep your head up and expose your unprotected neck. The lowering of the head in most cases is for defenders to defend themselves and not to inflict more punishment (James Harrison not with standing). @Real_DWM @JapaneseBistro
LOVE this piece!!! Mike is my new hero! and kudos to Fox Sports for caring about facts and knowledge and expertise vs "tv personality"!!! espn can keep gruden and james (when his senate bid fails)... the true "leaders" are on the other networks.
you're nuts. Gruden and the rest of the football lifer's are simply saying it's impossible to play defense today in the NFL (which is true and why Jimmy Graham will break every TE record. It's touch football in the middle now). They are highlighting the fact that the intent of the rules are inconsistent as well as the calls. Lofton did NOT lead with his crown, he had his head up and had a textbook tackle. The only reason he hit colston's helmet was because he was 2 feet above him and on his way down. That should not have been called. Your interpretation of the 2nd call is 1st grade logic at best and an attempt to discredit Gruden's knowledge. They are pointing out the irony and the inconsistencies of the intent, which is protecting the defenseless. Pereira is just a dork referee who memorizes rule books like most refs, and with no background on competition.
@bhughesnola I do not disagree there is inconsistency in they way the NFL wants to make rules to protect "defenseless players". Alas, officials cannot make calls based on intent. They have to enforce the rules the way they are written. They can't make them up as they go along. Jenkins was not hit in the back with the helmet. The referee cannot say "well, what the rule really meant was, you can't hit a defenseless player hard, so that is a penalty"
@bhughesnola they play defense every sunday but player safety matters and HOW you hit SHOULD matter.
"Tripplet didn't mention helmet-to-helmet. So in that sense, I think Gruden has an argument for the second hit being the same call"
Tipplet didn't have to. Helmet-to-helmet is covered in the prohibited contact against a defenseless reciever definition. Did you read Pereira's column where her referenced the specific rule?
.”Rule 12, Article 9, (b): (1) “Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; and lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body.”
So, an illegal hit on a defenseless reciever clearly involves hitting the player in the HEAD or NECK (not "Back" or other parts of the body) with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder.
So, the hit on Jenkins, by rule, was clearly not illegal as he wasn't hit in the HEAD or NECK.
@Real_DWM dude it was illegal. it's right there in your own post.. u should finish reading the rule before you copy and paste:
"and lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body"
@vegasrobert I am reading the rule as posted above and applying to that hit........it is not illegal. Real_DWM you are choosing to "hear what you want to hear" or "read what you want to read". You pull part of the quote in order to support your lack of comprehension. The first part of the quote addresses hitting the defenseless players head or neck area. Jenkins is not guilty of that. The second part addresses the defensive player lowering his head and making contact with "ANY part of the body" (which is what you choose to read/hear). Jenkins is not guilty of that either as he clearly made contact with the players back with his shoulder. Reading and comprehension are two separate things, the latter of which you should work on before copying and pasting of a copy and paste.
@Real_DWM@vegasrobert My condescension was aimed at vegasrobert. Replace Real_DWM with vegasrobert in the second sentence and my reply makes perfect sense. I have no insecurity other than in my own comprehension of the structure of my posts on this thread. for the record - the Jenkins hit is totally LEGAL for all the reasons listed in my original reply.
@scoiler@vegasrobert Physician, heal thyself. Setting aside your condescension which reveals your insecurity, I comprehended just fine. The rule says: "making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body.”. On the Jenkins play, he was not hit in the back "with the top/crown or forehead/hairline parts of the helmet". Try, again.
"I still believe Gruden has the potential to be one of the best analysts on television"
No. No, he doesn't
"as he is with most replay reviews and rules questions, Pereira is right on the money with his article."
are you kidding me? it seems like pereira gets the calls wrong more than he gets them right
@jackbutler505 how about you share some facts to support that? re Pereira: "it seems like pereira gets the calls wrong more than he gets them right"
Gruden is terrible, that I think we can all agree on. That said, the call on the field was "hit on a defenseless receiver" and Tripplet didn't mention helmet-to-helmet. So in that sense, I think Gruden has an argument for the second hit being the same call. The receiver hadn't gotten both feet on the ground when the defender struck him, hence defenseless.
For Pierera to argue that the ref called the two hits "correctly and consistent" is a bit of a stretch considering his argument is based entirely on the helmet-to-helmet hit, which was not called on the field.
I respectfully disagree about Gruden in that I feel he is completely un-listenable.
Jaworski's blatant arrogance is tough to take, but Gruden has caused me to not even turn the game on throughout most of the season.