NFL Kickoff Thursday

Well, I was wrong.

I thought Denver would get blasted at home, not due to their defense, but lack of offense.  No one could have predicted how well Trevor Siemian would play in that game.  Did he make mistakes?  Absolutely.  However, it was his first game ever.  He was expected to make mistakes.

The whole first half, Denver couldn’t stop shooting themselves in the foot.  3 times inside the Carolina 30-yard line, 3 turnovers.  Denver’s defense should be thanked for keeping them in the game, because the offense was trying to lose in the 1st half.

Then came the second half, where it appeared that the Denver D came out with a different speed.  Carolina had been run down, and for the bulk of the second half, Denver looked to be comparable to their Super Bowl winning team from February.  Then, came the final 2 minutes of the game, where Denver’s defense decided that it didn’t want to win the game.  In the final two minutes, Denver could have sealed the win at least twice, and committed stupid penalties to give life to Carolina.  They got lucky though, when Graham Gano pulled the game winning FG to the left.  Denver wins 21-20.

Now, let’s talk about the amazing lack of late hit calls, and the total disregard for concussion protocol shown by the Carolina Panthers.

While I haven’t been the biggest fan of the over-protection of quarterbacks recently, rules are rules.  The hardest part about enforcing late hits on QBs, is that they are completely subjective.  The first few hits on Cam Newton, I didn’t think were penalties, but as the game went on, and as Cam kept getting up slower and slower, the need for the officials to step in hit a head.  Sadly, the one time that they finally called a late hit on Newton, he also got called for Intentional Grounding, nullifying the penalty.

The other aspect of late hits, and more specifically helmet-to-helmet hits, is the concussion protocol.  Never once, even after Newton was clearly dazed, did Carolina’s team doctors check him.  Apparently, winning the game was more important to Carolina, than the well being of their star.  I believe that the NFL needs to do something to Carolina to make sure that they understand the protocol.

Last night, NBC made it a point to highlight #54 Brandon Marshall of the Broncos, for kneeling during the National Anthem.  I’m not going to delve into this topic, only to say that while it’s anyone’s right to do whatever they want, it’s also my right to believe that you are a disrespectful prick.

The final thing that I’ll say is about the rumor that the entire Seattle Seahawks team is planning to kneel or sit during the National Anthem on Sunday.  While I generally want to avoid this topic altogether, I can’t on this one.  Sunday is the first Sunday of the NFL regular season, but more importantly, it is the anniversary of 9/11.  If you want to protest by sitting or kneeling for the National Anthem, by all means, but not on 9/11.  The single biggest day in my lifetime, where all of America stood together in mourning, and the day that I decided that I wanted to serve my country.  I’m begging the Seahawks Organization.  Don’t do this on 9/11.  Do it next Sunday.

Also, I’ve seen recently on social media, people posting memes about how it’s hypocritical to expect athletes to stand for the anthem, while I sit on my couch.  Let’s just squash this right now.

36 U.S. Code § 301 states that during a rendition of the national anthem:

  1. when the flag is displayed
    • individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
    • members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are PRESENT in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
    • all other persons PRESENT should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over their heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart

Respect the flag.  That’s all I ask.

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