The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
By Eric Judd
The Hall of Fame Game
Arizona 10 – Saints 17
Yeah, I’m totally worth it.
Drew Brees: There is a reason, (okay quite a few reasons) he just got a big fat check. Just watch the first drive of this game. After just a handful of padded practices, you’d expect a slow, vanilla offense during the first preseason game. On the second play of the game, the right side of the Saints line breaks down and Brees looks like he’s about to get crushed by Calais Campbell. Campbell’s 6’8” arms can’t grab hold of Brees and that early pressure magically, ignites his mid-season form. 8 Plays, and just over four minutes later, New Orleans is up 7, and looks completely unstoppable. Brees, who missed team OTAs waiting for the ink to dry on all those zeros, looks to be poised for the greatest of his great seasons in 2012.
“I don’t feel so good.”
Kevin Kolb: Kevin Kolb is the Anti-Drew Brees. Kevin Kolb was the highly regarded backup QB, who got the big check and the even bigger list of expectations. Brees, cast off for the next best thing, found a home in the Big Easy, and ignited the flame that will lead him right to Canton. On Kevin Kolb’s first possession, he telegraphed an out to Andre Roberts, and was intercepted by Malcolm Jenkins. Perhaps telegraphed is not the right word. Kevin Kolb put an ad in the paper, posted flyers, signs on street corners, and had a guy flipping a big red arrow that said, “Hey, my arm isn’t ready, I’m going to noodle this dead duck out to #12. Please don’t turn around, I need this.” Kolb ends up playing 6 total downs, going 1 for 4 for 4 yards and that JV pick, his only completion coming on his final play, on which he was tackled, innocently enough, by Sedrick Ellis, only to stay down, holding a indiscernible part of his body, ultimately needing to be helped of the field. Kolb ends up with bruised ribs and a bruised diaphragm (No, not the birth control). Cardinals’ fans end up with a giant pile of doubt, and tens of millions of dollars (and a second round pick) in stewing animosity.
“Yeah, you miss this.”
Replacement Refs: If there is a better argument for crumbling under the demands of the Referee Union, just watch the Hall of Fame game. The officiating was miserable, and this coming from a guy who still complains about no-calls from Super Bowl XLIII. Calls were missed. Calls were forgotten. Confusion reigned, and fans were left with a sour taste in their collective mouths. The NFL is America’s game. America’s sport. America’s passion. As a business, in order to maintain the quality of the final product, it is of the utmost importance to have the highest quality components, from top to bottom. Roger, please. Pay these men their money. Make it a long-term deal. Incorporate their deal into the players Collective Bargaining Agreement. You’ve got the cash. Fans do not want a season of Mr. Bean in stripes. He just doesn’t have Ed Hochuli’s guns. Without the best referees, the best players won’t be able to shine as brightly. Oh, and lets get some female referees. There’s no reason not to. This isn’t Augusta. It’s better than that. It’s the NFL.