Roger Goodell is a genius – Why keeping the NFL Replacement Refs is just good business

Last night ‘s Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks NFL football game ended with a Hail Mary pass by former University of Wisconsin and current Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson calling the wrong play in the huddle before scrambling to heave a near perfect 40-yard ball into the corner of the end zone…to be caught by…..

…..who cares. It didn’t matter who caught the ball because former Golden Domer, Golden Tate shoves the defender in the back with such force he sends him sprawling. Offensive Pass Interference, Easy Call, Game Over….or is it?

The ball flies into the end zone and Green Bay Packers defensive back, Jennings rises high to grab the ball, pull it into his chest along with Golden Tate’s arms, and comes down in the end zone, Interception, Easy Call, Game Over….or is it?

Heck no, the replacement referees can’t figure out what the call is and after missing the obvious pass interference call, decide it is simultaneous possession and award the ball and the touchdown to….Golden Tate. Game over! For real, well sort of, as they had to kick the PAT.

The press has gone wild, the fans and players are incensed and all I could think of was keeping these high school referees in the NFL is pure genius. Record numbers of fans and viewers are watching these games. So what if it isn’t to watch the football? The bottom line is that ratings are surging and the money is flowing in! Advertisers are thrilled! The NFL will be rolling in dough and didn’t have to pay extra to so called professional referees to do it. Brilliant!

This season is football’s reality TV equivalent of Snookie and The Situation and Honey Boo Boo. Even though you know you’re going to see something completely ridiculous and embarrassing, you have to tune in and watch, and that means more money for the league. The outcomes when the perennial best of the NFL plays the perennial doormats are completely in question because with these referees ANYTHING can happen. And people love to watch the unexpected.

So before you jump up screaming about how you want the professional refs to return, think about how boring it will be to see the Patriots, the Packers and Saints winning all of their games again. Everything Roger Goodell has done from the player lockout, to Bounty Gate to the replacement referees has been pure genius. He has done what Al Davis never could, established parity in the league where the outcome is always in questions and the fan is engaged for all 60 minutes…

…plus replays!

Rev3 Cedar Point 2012 – Half-Rev Race Report: A Perfect Return to Triathlon

The announcer at the Rev3 Cedar Point Triathlon swim start on Sunday morning was irreverently making fun of all of the OCD age groupers who were tripping out about their final preparations, with athletes aimlessly wandering around the beach nervously chatting and asking the simplest of questions to anyone who looked seasoned enough to ensure they hadn’t missed an important detail. He called it T.P.D.  Tri-Panic Disorder and described it by pointing out that statistically 80% of the athletes there had bachelors degrees, 35% of the athletes had masters degrees but on race morning T.P.D. makes everyone a complete idiot, demonstrated by a significant drop in IQ points. He further went on by saying that the vast majority of the age groupers would NOT be happy with their performance, walking into their offices on Monday morning grumbling about how they had a horrible swim, a horrible bike or a horrible run; obsessing about how they could have shaved another 15 seconds off of their transition time if they only had ponied up the extra $100 for carbon fiber shoe laces. He asked: “Does anyone EVER say they had a good race?”

Well I am here to tell you that I had an AWESOME race on Sunday, and even after having been racing or coaching in endurance sports since the mid 1980′s, I felt like I was a complete beginner again and had all of the same butterflies that a first-timer would have. I haven’t raced since 2008 when I had an absolutely miserable experience that told me enough was enough given a whole slew of physical, emotional and mental issues that afflicted me during the prior year and continued on through 2012. Let’s go to the tale of the tape. In 2007 I raced Iron distance at 178 lbs, training like a pro by riding Bear Mountain and Tinker Hill in New York with the Race with Purpose crew every week. I was lean, mean and ready to rock. I still remember buying my first wetsuit and the salesperson at Sports Basement in San Francisco saying, “You are exactly how this wetsuit is supposed to look” (I completely ignored the obvious desire for her to make a sale ;-) But, you know what, she was right, I had the prototypical multi-sport look.

Fast forward to 2012 where I toed the line on Sunday at a svelte 211 pounds (which is 14 pounds less that 2011, but 33 pounds heavier than I was in 2007) and dreaded going through my triathlon drawer because I know that all of my clothes would make me look like a Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, a fat guy in a little coat.

The result: 6:23:52, which back in 2007 I would have laughed at, but today, I am absolutely thrilled with. I swam in 45:57, biked in 3:01, and the ran err shuffled, errr dragged my left leg in 2:25. But here is the kicker, in 2008 I did Tupper Lake Half not knowing that my body was all jacked up and I swam in 49:01, biked in 3:25 and ran. err walked in 4 hours with my heart rate while walking pinned at 165 bpm while thinking it was only minutes before my life would end.

On Sunday in Sandusky, (an unfortunate name for our race location) I had an absolute blast and smiled the entire race, quipping with other athletes and volunteers along the course. The only other triathlon since June of 2008 was two months ago at Lake Milton, an Olympic distance race where I came in last, no not last in my age group, LAST! I had no idea what to expect on Sunday and while the run was the run was the run, which won’t change until I replace a few things in my body, everything else was absolutely perfect. I honestly thought it was 50/50 if I would even be able to finish the race, so for me, crossing the finish line was truly a victory and while this wasn’t my fastest race by a long shot, it may be my most successful race ever.

I’ll do an actual race report later with things that other people can learn from about the race, but I really just needed to vent and say thanks to everyone for helping me to embrace yet another new beginning with even more great experiences to come.

So there you go, Mr. Announcer, here’s a triathlon race report that is completely regret free.

Looking back, this has been a fairly comprehensive year of racing. And Fall only arrived last week.

Looking forward to 2013. Happy end of Summer everyone.