Monday Morning Quarterback for February 3rd

Last Saturday, the National Football League announced its current Hall of Fame Class.  Among the class, one player sticks out in my mind more than anyone else on the list.  That player is former Oakland Raider Punter Ray Guy.


When I starting following football as a kid, my favorite team was the Oakland Raiders. They had great players.  One of my favorites was QB Kenny “The Snake” Stabler.  I am left handed, like Stabler, and I used try to be like him when I played football with my friends.  Other great players included Kenny King, Cliff Branch, Dave Casper, Mark VanEagen, just to name a few.

Then there was punter Ray Guy.  The kicking game was not like what is today, so specialized.  Guy was the first of his kind.  Great yardage on his kicks, placing the ball inside the 20 yard line of the other team and one of the greatest hang times a punter every had, which allowed the Raiders to have great coverage on their punts.  The Raiders were a great team in the 70’s and early 80’s and Guy was a big part of that success.

Ray Guy had a great career, but at the time, a kicker, let alone a pure punter, was never considered for the Hall of Fame.  Several decades past and still punter was elected to the Hall of Fame.  All I have to say that it is about time that a pure punter is a Hall of Famer and that Ray Guy was the first.

Have a Great Week!!

Tuesday Thoughts: NFL in London, England is a bad idea

nfl europe

Does anyone remember NFL Europe? Probably not. If you do it’s probably because your favorite player couldn’t make it in the regular NFL, but you still followed their career. This made me ponder the questions as to why the NFL is considering putting a team in London, England.

Much discussion has occurred concerning the NFL success overseas leading to the development for a regular team overseas in London. The NFL has played some international regular season games in Wembley Stadium in recent memory. Why is the NFL so desperate to tap into a market saturated in soccer? The cost of travel is a budgeting nightmare and converting salaries constantly from pounds to dollars and back is a human resources nightmare. This makes no sense from a player personnel point of view.

So to the NFL……do not place a team in London, England!

Structural Flaws: NFL’s Third Challenge For Head Coaches

In Structural Flaws, I will discuss a particular rule or organizational structure in sports and explain why I agree or disagree with the issue. In this edition…the NFL’s third challenge for head coaches.


The NFL’s replay system has tremendously improved the game by allowing for incorrect calls to be overturned if video evidence clearly shows that the call was wrong. With so many moving parts and with human officials trying to watch every player on every play, there are going to be mistakes. The replay system does a great job of correcting missed calls, which is good for all parties involved.

The challenge system is the method by which coaches can instigate a review. Each head coach gets two challenges per game. If any challenge is successful, the call is overturned and the team issuing the challenge does not lose a time out. If any challenge is unsuccessful, the call stands and the team issuing the challenge loses a time out. If any team is successful on its first two challenges, the team receives a third challenge which they can use in the same manner as the first two. A team can only issue a challenge if they have at least one time out remaining in the half. All plays in the final two minutes of each half and overtime are not subject to coaches’ challenges. Instead, decisions regarding whether any of these plays should be reviewed by the referee are determined by replay officials. All scoring plays and turnovers are also not subject to coaches’ challenges, as these plays are automatically reviewed by the replay officials, who will let the referee know if the play does indeed need to be officially reviewed.

This system does a good job of correcting mistakes. An argument could definitely be made for scrapping the challenge system altogether and replacing it with the system used in the last two minutes of each half and overtime, but for now I will focus on the challenge system as it currently exists. There is one particular part of the challenge system that I really disagree with, that being the rewarding of a third challenge to any team that wins their first two challenges.

I do not believe a team should be rewarded a third challenge simply because they won their first two. I do not think it is not a skill to win two challenges, and therefore, it should not be rewarded with an extra one. Most of the time when a team issues a challenge, they are not necessarily confident that they are going to win the challenge. Sometimes the game situation just calls for a challenge to be made. For example, if a team gives up a big play that has a major detrimental impact on their chances to win the game, that team would practically be compelled to challenge the play if there is any question that the call might not be correct. The result of this replay should have no bearing on whether or not this team should receive another challenge.

Challenges are usually issued because there is a CHANCE they could be overturned and help your team, not because the team has exhibited some great skill and therefore has proven itself worthy of having more opportunities to do so again later in the game.

I suppose the argument could be made that if a team has had two bad calls go against them, and those calls have been overturned, then they deserve to get more chances because it is not their fault the officials messed up. My argument to that is that such a system discourages teams from challenging calls unless they are almost certain they will win the challenge. I contend that teams should be able to challenge questionable plays without the fear that losing a challenge could result in them not getting an extra one later. It is already risky enough that a team would lose a time out if a challenge fails. There should not be an extra risk of losing another opportunity to challenge simply because one or both of their two original challenges could not be overturned.

Another point to be made is that sometimes the video evidence isn’t strong enough to overturn a call even if the call on the field was incorrect. A coach might issue a challenge and be absolutely right, but if the camera wasn’t in the right spot, he could lose the challenge because the evidence cannot be physically seen on the replay. That is not the coach’s fault. The penalty of losing a time out should be enough. He should not be forced to lose an opportunity to issue an extra challenge later because of this.

So I believe that each team should get either two or three challenges per game (I don’t really have a preference), and no extra challenges should be awarded based upon the results from previous challenges.

What do you think?

The Latest Episode of the Steve Black Show 12-26-13

If you have not had the chance, you can check out the latest edition of the show from 12/26/13.  We had a new crew of people discussing the BCS Bowl games and their predictions.  We discuss the BCS Era as it comes to a close, talk about the upcoming NFL Playoffs and Steve The Stud Sexton joins the show.


New Sports Internet Radio with The Steve Black Show on BlogTalkRadio

Monday Morning Quarterback for July 29th, 2013

Welcome to the 7-29-13 edition the Steve Black Show’s version of Monday Morning Quarterback.  Now on to some highlights from last week.


NFL training camp’s injury fest!!

National Football League teams are officially getting ready for the new season and the season is already over for some players.


Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his right ACL during Saturday’s practice and likely will miss the season. Maclin went down at the end of a non-contact drill and appeared to be in pain while he was on the ground for several minutes. He was helped onto the cart and needed assistance getting off it and going into the team’s practice facility.


Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip during a drill on Saturday.  Pitta’s injury occurred during the third day of training camp, when Pitta collided with safety James Ihedigbo in the back of the end zone vying for a pass from Joe Flacco.


And Denver Broncos center Dan Koppen is out for the season after tearing his left ACL on Sunday in 9-on-7 drills, less than six weeks after rejoining Denver following J.D. Walton’s setback in his comeback from ankle surgery.

All I want to know is WHO’s NEXT??  Yikes!!!!


USA National Men’s Soccer Team wins the 2013 Gold Cup


USAs Brek Shea scored 42 seconds after coming into the game as a substitute, and his goal in the 69th minute gave the United States a 1-0 victory over Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. It is the fifth Gold Cup title for the U.S., but its first since 2007. The victory also extended the Americans’ winning streak to a record 11 games, four more than their previous best.

Can the Americans ride their success into next year’s World Cup in Brazil?  We will have to wait and see.


Ryan Newman wins the Brickyard 400


Like many Indiana kids, Ryan revered Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track he first visited in 1986 and later accidentally stumbled upon NASCAR’s inaugural 1992 test while out buying tires with his mother.  And like many racing fans from Indiana, like Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, Ryan longed for a victory at one of the world’s most famous race tracks.

Stewart has one to his name and Gordon has collected four of his own, but on Sunday Newman made the boyhood dream a cool reality, taking the checkered flag at Indy to end a 49-race winless streak in front of his home state fans. His parents, who fueled his love of racing and took him to the 500 as a kid, joined him for his biggest win in Indiana.

That’s it for this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback.  What will this week in sports have in store?


2013 NFL Draft by Conference

The 2013 National Football League Draft has come and gone.  Which conference sent more players on the the NFL via the draft this year?  Well, not a hard guess, but here are some numbers for you anyways!!

SEC  Once again, the SEC is one top with 63 total players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. 


Pac 12  The PAC 12 came in 3rd with 28 players drafted.

Big 10  The Big 10 had 22 players drafted.  As so did the……..

Big 12 The Big 12 Conference.  And of the 6 BCS Conferences, bringing up the rear was the……..

Big East  Big East with 19 players drafted.

How good are the SEC’s numbers?  24.8 percent of those drafted this year came from the SEC.  33 of the first 99 players selected were from (you guessed it), the SEC.  It is the 7th straight year that the SEC has lead all conferences when it comes to NFL draft picks.  How many BCS titles have the SEC won in a row?…………..wait for it…………..Right!!!  7 in a row.  Is there a connection here?  You tell me.