Three points, one column: Justin Tucker’s terrible idea, Jack Eichel’s return, and what could factor into Tony Romo's next move...
3 pointer - Regulation win
This week Ravens kicker Justin Tucker suggested a rule change to the NFL. He wants to have a point awarded for a kickoff that goes through the uprights. It’s a terrible idea. Worst ever contender. How bad? Measure it against this one from my own twisted mind….
During the third period of hockey games, NHL teams will be allowed to give one player a “super stick”. Any goal scored by this player will be worth two goals. Gone are the days of feeling you’re out of it late in a two goal game. Your super stick player can get two for the price of one and voila! The game is more exciting!
What would you do? Do you give it to your best goal-scorer? He’d already be facing the toughest competition. Do you go with a solid third liner? Would that force the defense to focus more on that player, opening things up for your top line player to try to get on the board more traditionally?
Think of all the replay reviews we could have too!
Announcer: “Well ya see Dustin Byfuglien has the Super Stick so the Flames have challenged this to see if it touched someone else’s stick on the way in. The Flames are hoping that this goal is only worth one instead of two.”
Also, make it neon. That way all the people in the building and on television can clearly see the player that’s carrying the Super Stick.
We’d have more advanced analytics too!
“So-and-so has a 57% shot rate without the super stick, and a 47% with it. He just doesn’t handle the burden all that well. He’s not a gamer I think we should find a new player.”
Ok, this is a terrible idea. Is it worse that Justin Tucker’s?
2 pointer - Overtime/shootout win
Jack’s back, and what a difference eh? We aren’t used to having nice things when it comes to sports so maybe we should all be excused for forgetting just how good he is, right? I mean… we knew he’d return to the lineup, and we remembered how great he was last season but still, we’re conditioned to failures and collapses.
Eichel’s return is just what we need. He remains the most important athlete that we have in this market. He still, to me, represents hope and the belief that a team here can play at the top of the league with star power to boot. Eichel should be one of the game’s best players for the next decade or so.
He makes you want to watch the team. Sometimes, that’s all that it needs to be about.
We had a caller this week say this about Tyrod Taylor. While I’m not ready to lock Taylor in as the starter for the next few years, I have to agree (on a much smaller level obviously). The Bills are a more fun watch than they’ve been in other years of the drought. I know most would take boring and playoffs, but its worth noting that simply wanting to watch your team play is something a sports fan needs. Hey look! Someone exciting or good! Why did we support the tank? Why do I still have about 3,000 people on a text list that just loved the tank? Because of last night. A Tuesday game in Ottawa was infinitely more interesting and exciting because of one player. Building around him is the tough part. It’s having him that will truly engage so many fans in the rest of the building process. Thurman Thomas and Eric Wood tweeting their excitement during pregame should tell you what you need to know. The opening night shell shocked performance should tell you. That’s Jack’s team.
1 pointer - Overtime/shootout loss
If Tony Romo decides to play another year and gets his pick of where Dallas trades him, he’ll have lots of teams hoping they’re the pick.
Here’s my top five, if I’m Romo:
- Denver - Everyone wants to go to Denver. First class organization with weapons and defensive talent. The division might start to work against them, as a good team in that division might miss the playoffs this year or next.
- Baltimore - Their defense is legit. Football Outsiders tweeted this week that the Baltimore run defense is on pace to be BETTER than the 2000 Ravens run defense. This could possibly be due to a change in how often teams run from 2000, but they’re still good. That defense could stay strong and the division looks available for them. Pittsburgh will be there, but Cincinnati and Cleveland are down and I think they will be for another year or two.
- Minnesota - Sam Bradford is ok, but he’s no Romo. Bridgewater is a bit of a mystery on how he comes back from his injury. I wonder about Dallas trading him within the NFC, but Minnesota has weapons and a strong defense.
- Jacksonville - That team has TALENT on defense, and good weapons too. They should maybe be 30th on the list because they’re the Jaguars but, if he wanted to win?… it’s a good choice. Mostly a dog division, and a defense loaded with young talent.
- Buffalo - Eh, why not. Romo might be as attracted to coach and coordinator as any other factor. If that’s the case, how would he feel about Rex Ryan and Anthony Lynn? Not sure. Would Romo want an offense that is run-first?
I again dedicate my weekly column to raising awareness for the 3-2-1 point system that the NHL so badly needs.
Stat for fodder this time around: The LA Kings have TWENTY 3-on-3 victories in the last 80-ish NHL games. TWENTY.
If we’re being honest, 3-on-3 is no more representative of how good your team is than the shootout. 3-on-3 wins should not be worth the same as a regulation win. Teams are getting tons of fake wins for that bonus point. It stinks. (Don't text me about the bastard nature of the loser point, there is no loser point. There is a regulation tie point, and then a bonus point.)
We need the 3-2-1. Vive la resistance!
Thanks for reading…