Its been a while since I have written a 4 Downs with Chris post, so its time to get back to it. I am writing for GMENHQ.com now, part of the FanSided Network. It takes a lot of time away from this website but I promise to keep it up. Writing for FanSided is a pretty sweet gig, and an honor-its part of the career path. This is more of my passion filled hobby and I’m so glad that you enjoy it.
First Down: I’m Not A Blind Homer
The Baltimore Ravens are one of the top organizations in sports. This is not a Baltimore boy saying this to sip the hometown Cool-Aide. This is a plain fact. Its not even debatable. The Ravens are tied with the Green Bay Packers for the most playoff victories on the road. The Ravens came to existence in 1996, the Packers have been around forever. The Ravens have won 2 Super Bowls, they have played in 2 AFC championships and they have won 4 division titles. All since 1996…but yeah praising the Ravens makes you a homer.
Second Down: Jameis Stay In School
I don’t think there has ever been an athlete who needed his senior year of college more than Jameis Winston. The guy simply is not ready for the NFL. His off the field antics are almost as troubling for his poor decision making as a quarterback. His game needs polishing and he needs time to grow up.
Winston should not worry about missing out on millions. He is talented, the money will be there next year provided he does not suffer a career threatening injury. In the NFL its not about making money after being drafted. Many players blow through that and Winston does not strike me as a smart guy to hand a boat load of money too. In NFL, especially with the rookie wage scale, true success is getting that big time second contract. Winston needs time to polish or he could become spoiled goods quickly in the realm of big boy football.
Third Down: Bad Calls Make League Look Bad
Referees will make mistakes, this is guaranteed by them being human. The refs of the Cowboys wild card playoff win screwed up big time. This is undisputed (even to most sensible Cowboys fans). The officials probably just made mistakes, the problem is that it smells bad.
Head of officiating, Dean Blandino was once on the Dallas Cowboys party bus according to multiple sources-its old news by now. This makes it look bad. It does not matter if Blandino and the officials give no preferential treatment to Dallas or not. It looks bad. It smells fishy. Preferential treatment or not, putting yourself in such a compromising situation is unacceptable. I’m not accusing the head of officials of foul play but he put himself in a position, in which everybody must raise the question. This puts a cloud of doubt over the league’s integrity in a year where the NFL does not need more bad publicity.
Fourth Down: The Usual Suspects
Its amazing how little has really changed in the pursuit of the past handful of Lombardi Trophies. The Patriots, Broncos and Ravens are almost always contenders. The Packers and Seahawks success surprises nobody. The teams in the playoffs always change but the usual suspects remain most years.