FanDuel - WFBC

January 13, 2013

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 37 comments

In case anyone hasn't seen it yet, the new trailer for "42" is out.

I know trailers are supposed to do this, but I'm very optimistic about this movie.

posted by grum@work at 11:02 AM on January 13

Strange how half the commercials I seem to watch today have either Peyton Manning or Clay Matthews on them. Shoving playoff losers down the public's throats.

Read an ESPN column where the writer said Denver wasn't expected to go as far as they did this year. Really? They made it as far last season with supposedly the worst quarterback ever to grace an NFL roster and this season they weren't expected in the playoffs?

Strange statement.

posted by dyams at 11:21 AM on January 13

That trailer makes me much less worried that "42" will be a movie about how hard it was for white people to put Jackie Robinson on the baseball field.

On the other hand, it makes me worry a little more that there will be some sort of totemic power assigned to "the number" throughout.

posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM on January 13

The Sunday Times has some good questions for Oprah to ask Lance Armstrong.

posted by rcade at 12:23 PM on January 13

Read an ESPN column where the writer said Denver wasn't expected to go as far as they did this year.

A lot of people wrote off the Broncos believing that Peyton would be mostly ineffective following three neck surgeries and an entire season off at his age.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:45 PM on January 13

Does no one remember that "42" is the answer to the universal question?

Adams, Douglas: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

posted by Howard_T at 03:15 PM on January 13

Icing the kicker is one of the stupidest practices in football. I love when a kicker misses the called off kick and then makes the next one.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:17 PM on January 13

A lot of people wrote off the Broncos believing that Peyton would be mostly ineffective following three neck surgeries and an entire season off at his age.

(raises hand)

Hi, I'm a lot of people. I don't know whether I would have said "mostly ineffective," and I hedged my bet by saying "He'll never win another playoff game," but I genuinely didn't want to watch a Broncos game in September for fear of witnessing an actual death on the field.

posted by Etrigan at 04:43 PM on January 13

Doesn't change the fact they even won a playoff game with the worst QB in football. I thought that seemed to prove they didn't really need a Pro Bowl QB to have a team expected to challenge for a playoff spot.

posted by dyams at 04:48 PM on January 13

I wouldn't say that Tebow is or was the worst quarterback in football. Worst pocket passer? Sure. But if my OC is able to work with his playing style, I'd rather have Tebow under center than a lot of guys drawing an NFL paycheck as quarterbacks.

posted by Etrigan at 05:36 PM on January 13

I can't believe Carroll called timeout on that FG. They had the game won, I don't think icing the kicker works when you give him the mulligan. That and the mismanaged 3rd/1 and 4th/1 without Lynch...they threw the game away.

Ah well... go Pats!

posted by hincandenza at 05:45 PM on January 13

Icing the kicker doesn't work at all -- kickers are slightly more accurate when they're iced than not -- and it sure as hell doesn't work when you let the guy get an actual swing at the ball. Anyone good enough to be signed as an NFL kicker is good enough to adjust himself ten feet to the left on the exact same kick.

posted by Etrigan at 06:18 PM on January 13

If the whistle blows for the time out and the kicker still kicks the ball there should be a penalty called. Letting him take a practice kick isn't right.

posted by dyams at 07:16 PM on January 13

Really, what was Pete Carroll thinking?!

posted by steelergirl at 08:14 PM on January 13

If the whistle blows for the time out and the kicker still kicks the ball there should be a penalty called. Letting him take a practice kick isn't right.

If it blows as he has started his approach should he just stop mid-kick?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:23 PM on January 13

I think the whole "he missed the kick" thing is a bit overblown, as if it was one of those situations where the timeout was called at the very last minute but no one on the field knows it. Both of the lines were standing up and disengaged when the kick went off, and I think Bryant knew it as well. Seemed more akin to a guard shooting a three after the ref blows the whistle for a foul away from the ball. Yes, he missed it, but seemed very much a practice kick to my eyes at least.

posted by holden at 11:01 PM on January 13

If the whistle blows for the time out and the kicker still kicks the ball there should be a penalty called. Letting him take a practice kick isn't right.

If it blows as he has started his approach should he just stop mid-kick?

Not stop, but maybe "not actually make contact with the ball." They probably have enough control over their bodies to do that. Except maybe Janikowski. I suspect his leg has a secondary brain like a stegosaurus's tail.

posted by Etrigan at 11:32 PM on January 13

Jacquizz? Seriously?

posted by phaedon at 02:33 AM on January 14

Well holden- I think the mistake is that Carroll shouldn't have called time at all, but if he did and the kick goes through it *is* more than just a freebie... as Etrigan said, anyone good enough to be at that level can adjust their kick 20 feet to the left, and not miss it twice.

Me, once the die was cast and there were 2 seconds left on the clock, I would have gone for the FG. Yes, you don't know your kicker- he was a replacement-, but Carroll played that game as if he had no kicker on the roster (as evidenced by the first half's goose egg on the scoreboard).

I still say a 65-yard attempt in a dome is a "safer" bet than a hail mary pass. First, unlike a hail mary where you're throwing into a sea of jerseys, it's very hard to stop the FG attempt itself. If anything, the opposing team is probably going to be soft on defense, because the last thing they want is to get a penalty and move you closer to the uprights for another attempt. Second, inside a dome especially it's pretty much just the kicker hauling out and putting his best kick on it. In 2012, kickers were 79% from 50 yards or more, so while 65 yards is not just another 15 yards... it's not so outside of the range of possibility when you have nothing to lose. NFL kickers- even replacements- can kick it that far, we just don't see that many attempts since it has to take place in a field position that is not desirable if you should miss.

But kickers are more accurate than ever, and I'd bet the hail mary play had a far lower percentage of success than the missed field goal.

posted by hincandenza at 03:23 AM on January 14

If it blows as he has started his approach should he just stop mid-kick?

I think the rule and expectation should be all play stops at the whistle or the teams risk being penalized. That would eliminate most of these extra attempts because I do believe the whistle blows in plenty of time for most kickers not to have to follow through with a kick but I wouldn't doubt their feeling is, why not benefit and take a practice try if nobody cares?

posted by dyams at 05:45 AM on January 14

I still say a 65-yard attempt in a dome is a "safer" bet than a hail mary pass.

Well, it worked out perfectly for these same Seattle Seahawks the last time they tried a hail mary with no time on the clock.

Also, their kicker wasn't their regular (as he was injured the game before). It was 38-year-old Ryan Longwell, who hadn't attempted a field goal all season. In fact, his career longest was 55 yards (over 5 years ago), and hadn't kicked one over 53 yards in over 4 years. I simply don't think he had that distance in his leg.

posted by grum@work at 08:19 AM on January 14

A savvy defender would, in such a situation, rush past the unengaged offensive line and block the freebie kick. Sure, he'd risk pissing off the officials, but he could force the issue, saying "I'm not the only one playing after the whistle, I'm just preventing him from gaining much advantage from it." Then there would be a fight and probably offsetting penalties, and maybe some recriminations and bad blood and fines, but I'd say that defender was just doing his job.

Of course the whole mess would be avoided if these jackass coaches stopped with the bullshit late time-outs, they're basically top-down unsportsmanlike conduct no matter when they're called.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:20 AM on January 14

I don't have a problem with kickers getting a practice shot because the opposing coach tried to ice them at the last moment. It discourages coaches from that obnoxious practice.

posted by rcade at 08:23 AM on January 14

Besides, you guys are debating the wrong freebie kick. How about the Ravens' kicker getting in a practice kick in between the 1st and 2nd overtime? That, certainly, must have given him a huge advantage ahead of the real kick just moments later.

posted by bender at 08:58 AM on January 14

I'd be in favour of demanding the kicker gets a free shot at the posts if an opposing coach calls timeout during his run-up.

Anything to help stop this behaviour.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:01 AM on January 14

The Ravens kicker having some guy (not even in uniform) hold while he took that practice kick on the field, during a break, isn't legal and should have been penalized.

posted by dyams at 12:15 PM on January 14

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the guy holding on that practice kick wasn't a player.

posted by dyams at 12:33 PM on January 14

The Falcons could have avoided this whole mess by way of not having two possessions in the red zone in the 2nd quarter and getting zip out of it.

posted by Bonkers at 01:00 PM on January 14

The Ravens kicker ... isn't legal and should have been penalized.

It felt weird to me, too, but I'm not aware of any rule explicitly forbidding it. I could be un-lazy and look this up myself, but since you're the one calling shenanigans - do you have a source for the claim that it's illegal?

posted by littleLebowski at 01:08 PM on January 14

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the guy holding on that practice kick wasn't a player.

It was kicking consultant Randy Brown. Apparently Jay Feely chimed in that he has been told that it is against the rules to kick a practice ball on the field during overtime. Former referee Mike Pereira clarified that while it is not allowable in the rules, there is no penalty. I imagine this may be revisited in the offseason. This practice both should not be allowed and should result in a penalty. That has to be an enormous advantage to the kicker.

posted by bender at 01:16 PM on January 14

Former referee Mike Pereira clarified that while it is not allowable in the rules, there is no penalty.

That's precious. So, do it and you're only on the receiving end of a finger-wag? When I questioned dyams, it was purely out of curiosity. As a Brown's fan, I long ago swore in blood to forever hate the Ravens, and the practice kick "felt" wrong. So, I agree - that should be sured up in the offseason.

But, I don't have a problem at all with the "practice kick" after a late icing timeout - within reason. Like others have said, anything that discourages that childish practice is fine by me. But, maybe a solution is to have an official stand between the snapper and holder and then leave the "pocket" after the line is set. That way, the rule could be "you can still be an asshat and call a timeout whenever you want, but if you call it after the official steps away, the kicking team gets to take that practice shot." but at the same time, the kicker can't abuse the situation if the timeout is called in undeniably plenty of time.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:34 PM on January 14

Agreed on the late timeouts. I think it's pretty lousy that some coaches are pulling that crap, and giving the kicker a practice kick is suitable punishment to hopefully put a stop to it.

posted by bender at 01:50 PM on January 14

Agreed. If you don't want the kicker to get an extra practice shot, don't "ice" him. It's that simple.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:14 PM on January 14

There should at least be a fine assessed over that illegal practice kick, which was a brilliant move because they got away with it.

I don't think it's an "enormous" advantage -- kickers got to use the field at halftime -- but it's definitely an unfair one since both teams didn't do it.

posted by rcade at 02:16 PM on January 14

I don't think it's an "enormous" advantage -- kickers got to use the field at halftime -- but it's definitely an unfair one since both teams didn't do it.

I think it's pretty significant in this situation. There is no question that this kicker (or any kicker in the NFL) can make that kick. So much of whether or not he does make that kick comes down to mindset and nerves rather than talent. Combine that with the fact that this is a rookie kicker in 2OT of his second career playoff game, and I think a freebie--on the actual playing surface, just a minute or two before the real kick--to ease the pressure a bit is a huge advantage.

I agree that a fine is in order, one I'm sure the Ravens will be happy to pay.

posted by bender at 03:17 PM on January 14

Good to see Seattle lose a game they could have battled for in overtime if not for the limp-dicked move by their coach.

On a side note, I recall reading recently that kickers actually have a higher success rate of making a field goal after being "iced" prior to the kick.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:14 PM on January 14

Actually they wouldn't have gone to overtime. The Seahawks were ahead by a point. What they should have done was stay with their original defense after the kickoff since it was apparent that Atlanta hadn't made any useful adjustment in the second half. That soft cover prevent defense is worthless and it, along with a horrid first half, is what cost them the game IMO.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:06 PM on January 15

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