Archive for December 7th, 2012

WATERCOOLER CHAT: NFL CONSIDERING DRASTIC MEASURES, CHARGERS FIRE TURNER, GREINKE IS BIG PRIZE

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, with concussions on the rise, and the the league under fire to make the game safer, they are now considering some drastic measures.  Emphasis on the word “considering”, however.  There are reports that the NFL ‘would consider’ eliminating kickoffs and punts from the game.  These are the plays when players can get seriously injured, because everyone is running at full speed and crashing into each other.  Last year, the league moved the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line, which resulted in fewer touchbacks and fewer injuries.  But, needless to say, there were still many tough hits.  Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, who saw one of his players paralyzed while at Rutgers, thought of an interesting idea.  According to ESPN, he said instead of kicking off, at team would get the ball at its own 30-yard line in a fourth-and-15 situation. The team then would punt the ball away or, to replace an onside kick, could go for it and, if it failed to get a first down, the opposing squad would start with great field position.  It’s a bit confusing and would drastically change the game’s strategy, but it’s pretty clear that the game of football as we know it is changing.

In some other NFL news, it is (finally) the end of an era.  The San Diego Chargers had some good years last decade, but they could never quite get over the hump.  And the past few seasons, they’ve been lackluster at best, with nobody thinking they ever had a shot to win or even make it the Super Bowl.  Yet, year after year, they stuck with the same plan with Norv Turner at the helm.  The NFL play-calling style is changing, and Turner simply can’t keep up.  It was time for a change in San Diego, and that’s why the Chargers have decided to fire both Coach Turner and the general manager.  They have to reinvent this franchise, who have a consistent brand of ‘mediocrity’.  Bringing in a younger, creative coach will be good for quarterback Phillip Rivers as well, who’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the league — just needs some fresh play calling and someone to throw to.  There’s a chance that the genius coach Chip Kelly of Oregon may be available this off-season. Stay tuned……

BASEBALL

The winter meetings are underway.  This is when team mangers get together and discuss which free agent acquisitions they want to make in the off season.  The big prize this season is Los Angeles Angels pitcher Zack Greinke.  Greinke is thought of as one of the best pitchers in the league, and the Angels essentially rented him for a late playoff push last year.  Now, it looks like teams with big pockets are willing to shell out HUGE money for Greinke.  The leaders:  The Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers would both love the young ace.  The Rangers would pair him with Yu Darvish, to get a lethal 1-2 pitching combo, while the Dodgers could use him to revitalize their organization and pair him with Clayton Kershaw (another ace).  It will be interesting to see where Greinke lands.  And you can never quite count out the Yankees.

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