By Ralph Hipp
Seeing how hard football players hit make my glad I never had the athletic ability or the talent to play football. (I would have liked to been good at announcing football games though!) If I were in the booth, I would have said what a lot of other announcers said last weekend. There are two penalties being called in the NFL and College Football that STINK!
The first is helmet-to-helmet contact.. when that really happens it's awful, and normally leads to a player being carried off the field on a stretcher. But to call "helmet-to-helmet" and fine a player when they hit a player in the shoulder is infurating coaches and players. Coaches like Todd Haley (the Chiefs were called for it, and the Giants scored 6 on the next play!) And players like Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, for whom controlling his intensity in a football game would be like stopping water from flowing downhill. Let the players play, and really watch for head-to-head contact, or else don't call it.
The other call in the college ranks I would call out is "excessive celebration." Once again, how in the world can you contain the excitement of a college player who just scored! Why would want to control that enthusiasm?? College football to me is even MORE exciting than the NFL. So when I saw the highlights of the LSU-Georgia game (two rival teams that I don't like) I still thought it was unfair for Georgia to be called for "excessive celebration." The penalty was imposed on the kickoff, giving LSU very good field position for a score that really did change the outcome of the game. Not fair! The penalty should be for "taunting a player on the opposing team.." which would be perfectly within the referees and umpires rights to call after a score. Not for the celebration!
Drop me a line about your opinions, and watch for these questionable calls next week. Also watch for the NFL owners and college coaches to complain loudly about what I've just talked about. Ralph