Reminder > New OVERTIME Rules For The NFL Playoffs

~ The playoffs this year are going to be featuring new rules for Overtime. It’s not exactly sudden death anymore and I’m not exactly sure if that’s Brett’s Favre’s fault for throwing that interception in the NFC championship game last season that sent the Vikings home and the Saints to the Super Bowl or maybe it’s not. I could be wrong … I’m most likely not.

NFL owners voted to change the current sudden-death nature of overtime last March for this year’s playoff games, in which the possibility of a team winning with a field goal on the opening possession of overtime is eliminated.

This is how the new system will work …

  •  The team that gets the ball first in overtime can win the game by scoring a touchdown.
  • However, if they get a field goal, its opponent gets a possession with a chance to tie the score with a field goal or win it with a touchdown.
  • If that team gets a tying field goal, the game proceeds on a sudden-death basis where the next team to score wins the game.
  •  If neither team scores on its first possession of overtime, the game is sudden death from there.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this turns out for the playoffs, I like the set up however I’m wondering why they didn’t use it for the regular season just to try the system out.

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Rex Ryan … The Promoter & The Coach. Put Up or Shut Up Time.

 

~  The NFL playoffs get started this weekend and the Jets will be one of the 12 teams on the road to Dallas for the Super Bowl. If you’ve been keeping up with the Jets the last 12 months, you’ve wittnessed one hell of a roller coaster ride. The 2009-2010 playoffs ended for the Jets with a loss in the AFC championship game to the Colts. One game short of the Super Bowl in head coach Rex’s Ryan’s 1st season … not bad at all. Rex Ryan was talking. If you ask Rex Ryan then he would have told you that he knew that’s where they’d be anyway. A year later, a HBO Reality show later, a couple of off the field incidents later, the Jets are back in the playoffs and playing the Colts. If you ask Rex Ryan he’d most likely give you the exact same answer … ‘I told you so.’ The Jets coach is not afraid to tell you how he feels, he’s been telling you how he feels since he was hired to coach this team. It’s been 2 years of non-stop, in your face, Rex Ryan. There are two sides to Rex Ryan in his role with the Jets … promoter and coach. Rex the Promoter is not afraid to tell you and anyone with a television that his Jets are the team to beat. It’s then up to Rex the Coach to get the Jets to back that talk up on the field. The flip side to the coin in professional sports is that talking only gets you but so far and you will be expected to produce. It’s put up or shut up time for the New York Jets and Rex Ryan.

If Rex Ryan was a party promoter, his events would sell out every sunday afternoon and occasionally on monday nights. The man can talk.  Since taking over the Jets head coaching duties from Eric Mangini, Ryan has created a winning atmosphere based on his take no prisoners attidude. If someone asks the question , “Why the Jets?” … Ryan’s leadership reflects  “Why Not the Jets?”  He’s the anti-Mangini, everything about him is night and day compared to the coach that was here before him. If Jets fans remember, Mangini’s teams were not really that bad and in fact many of them are on this current Jets team. The difference was clearly Ryan. The team owner even acknowledged that upon hiring him that it a change was needed. The Jets opened a new stadium and had seats to fill of course. They bring in Ryan who quickly let it be known that he’s here to win. They then drafted high profile Mark Sanchez and tagged him as the quarterback of the future. The results came and came quickly as the Jets brought into Ryan’s talk and “Why not us?” mentality. Ryan was talking. The fans brought in too, and so did the media … the NEW YORK Media. Once you talk the talk with the New York media, you’re going to be expected to walk the walk and walk it quickly and often. Ryan won the media and fans over with his talk. He won players over too, signing future hall of famers LaDanian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor. Ryan traded for Antonio Cromartire and Santonio Holmes. Those moves made it clear that the Jets were making a Super Bowl run for 2010-2011. Ryan talked some more and the executives at HBO were listening. The Hard Knocks Series featured the Jets and gave not only the New York market an inside look, it gave the entire country a chance to listen to Rex Ryan talk. The party was now a live one with a lot of energy, Rex the Promoter was talking the talk and then … the regular season started.

The Darrelle Revis holdout throughout the summer and a monday night loss to Ryan’s old team Baltimore to open the season was thought to possibly humble him, it didn’t. The Jets then ripped off five wins in a row. Revis injured his hamstring, which tends to happen if you holdout and miss most of training camp. Braylon Edwards got himself in trouble, arrested on DWI charges. Ryan’s Jet’s won four of the next 5 games headed into a monday night showdown in New England. He was still talking the talk after Tom Brady showed the nation against the Jets why he’ll most likely be MVP this season and why Bill Bellichick will most likely be coach of the year … the Patriots 45 and the Jets 3. The New York media was starting to take notice though that despite the talk Ryan was talking,  this Jets team was not playing with the same swagger it was playing with the season before. Ryan’s talk has always been the shield for what has gone wrong with the Jets, towards the end of the season it began to fall on deaf ears and then the media found a crack in Ryan’s armor … his personal life.

A story broke reportedly involving Ryan’s wife and some private videos. The media asked the questions they were supposed to ask and expected Ryan to once again … talk the talk. Ryan’s response was:  “I know you need to ask, it’s a personal matter.” The talk was temporarily silenced and the aftermath of that was a Rex Ryan that the media, Jets fans, and possibly even the the Jets were not expecting. Ryan was not giving off the same energy in front of the cameras and looked to be thinking about his answers before the questions were asked. The results were mixed as even though you can’t really blame Ryan for steeping up and protecting his family and private life, the swagger the Jets have been carrying clearly was nowhere to be found headed towards the end of the season. They went to Pittsburgh and pulled out a tough win though that I thought was the best of the season. It put them in position to go to Chicago and clinch a playoff spot without any help needed … they lost. Fortunately for them, the Jaguars were able to help them get into the playoffs anyway by handing over a win to the Redskins. The Jets backdoored into the playoffs with 11 wins, and this time it wasn’t due to Rex Ryan’s talk.

Last season, the Jets went into the playoffs confident and playing with house money. We all fed into the hype that Rex the Promoter created, I did, the Jets fans, the media, and now we all are looking for results from Rex the Coach. Rex Ryan is a very good coach, this sometimes get’s forgotten because of his mouth. The Baltimore Ravens through the last decade have been known for it’s intimidating defense, and it was Rex Ryan who had a lot to do with that before coming to New York. In this city though, all the talk and all the promotion in the world is good for only getting you to the door, it does not always get you through the door. It was the Colts who stopped the Jets playoffs run last season and they are standing in the way again.12 months of talk, hype, drama, and when that wasn’t happening … football. In the business of promotion, once the talk is done the actual event has to live up to the expectations. If that does not happen,  that promoter is tuned out and could be eventually out of business.  When Rex the Promoter and Rex the Coach are both on the same page, the Jets are hard to beat. It’s going to take them both to get past Peyton Manning and then Tom Brady and then possibly a rematch in Pittsburgh with Ben Rothlisberger just to get to Dallas. All the “Why not us?” talk won’t be enough if the Jets don’t show up ready to play against the Colts. Rex the Promoter has done all he can to get the Jets to this spot, it’s now up to Rex the Coach to show us all … Why Not the Jets!

Jim Harbaugh to Coach 49ers

~ The Jim Harbaugh tour has reached it’s destination and the San Francisco 49ers got the man they wanted for the job. Harbaugh leaves a succesful run as head coach at Stanford and accepts a 5 year deal worth $25 million as reported by ESPN (Friday, January 7th) to become the head coach and replace fired coach Mike Singletary. The hiring caps off what was a whirlwind couple of days for Harbaugh, he was actively pursued by the 49ers and Miami Dolphins and rumored to be a canidate for the vacant college head coaching spot at his alma mater Michigan University.

This is pretty much the dream job for Harbaugh. He does not have to relocate his family if he does not want too, and it’s as big a rebuilding job as you can get. A chance to restore some of the luster back to a 49ers team that has not been to the playoffs for 8 straight seasons. It’s a good hire for the 49ers and good PR  too for a team that really needed it after a season like the one they just had.

The time was definitely now for Harbaugh after 4 years at Stanford. He led the Cardinal this season to 12-1 record and a convincing 40-12 win in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. It was under Harbaugh where Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has emerged as a potential No 1. NFL Draft Pick.  This move has all the makings of something good. The NFL would love for the 49ers to be interesting again and Harbaugh brings name credibility. Can he make the adjustment from college to the pros as a coach? Harbaugh coached a Pro-Style offense at Stanford and his NFL career as a quarterback was long and successful with the Bears, Colts, Ravens, Chargers, and Panthers.

“Losing is not an option … ” – Jim Harbaugh

That mentality has to be music to the ears of the 49er fans.

Yao Ming Has Ankle Surgery – Career In Jeopardy

~ Houston Rockets center Yao Ming underwent surgery (Thursday Jan 6th) to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle … according to reports it may end his career. Ming has only played in 5 games this season and has been declared out for the season by the Rockets. It’s been a difficult road the last couple of years for the 7 ‘ 6 Ming who missed all of last season following reconstructive foot surgery.

With his future in doubt as far as returning to an NBA court, Ming says he will just focus on his recovery and then examine his options.

“I know this will be another long rehab, But I’m looking forward to beginning my recovery. I will use this time to consider all of my options, and will make a decision regarding my career plans as I get closer to the end of my rehab.” … Yao Ming

Imagine suffering a serious injury and then battling all the way back to play again only to injure yourself again. This time the injury might be enough to end your career.  Ming is 7 ‘ 6 and thats  a lot of impact coming down on those legs and feet. This is also the final year of his contract. He’s going to have to ask himself is this worst risking a healthy quality of life in the long term.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck Decides To Stay In School

 

   

~ Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to stay in college to get his degree instead of heading to the NFL where he most likely would have been the No 1 pick in the Draft. Luck has two years of eligibility remaining at Stanford, however he is eligible for graduation in spring of 2012 according to Yahoo Sports.com.

“I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012.” … Andrew Luck’s statement issued through the school.

 Luck finished up this season as runner-up to Cam Newton of Auburn for the Heisman Trophy, he’ll now be one of the favorites for next year’s award. I have not followed Luck until this season as I heard his name begin to come up often in NFL draft talks. The Carolina Panthers have the No.1 pick in April and reports were they were expressing interest in drafting Luck. It’ll be interesting to see now what Carolina does with that pick, they still don’t even have a head coach in place as of yet.

As for Luck, he clearly showed this season why he has all of the hype right now highlighted by his four touchdown passes he threw in Stanford’s Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. He reportedly consulted with NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and last year’s No. 1 pick Sam Bradford on his choice, however the final decision was apparently all his to make. Bradford and Manning both were faced with a similar choice to make when they were in school and both made choices to stay and get there degrees. If Luck is as talented as the hype has him right now, he’s going to be just fine in the NFL … in 2012.

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