The Huddle

On the TunneySide of Sports January 22, 2018 #676 Up next…The HuddleOn the TunneySide of Sports January 22,  2018 #676 Up next…The Huddle

After further review…During Herm Edwards’ recent introduction as the head coach of the Arizona State University football team, he declared “What football is all about is ‘the huddle’. You see, football is a tough physical game and each of us needs all of us. When you step into that huddle and look around at your teammates, and you see them looking back at you, you know that you are there to help each other. Family structure, much like a football team, fails when members don’t huddle.”

There is widespread concern today by adults who question the safety of football given the repetitive concussions, head traumas, and resulting CTEs experienced by former professional players. Herm’s response to parents who may question whether they should let their son play the sport is that “Football has made great improvements in protecting players from life-threatening injuries – better equipment, improved blocking and tackling techniques and a clearer understanding by coaches and players about unnecessary contact that has surfaced in recent years. Football is fun; you have to have a ‘little kid’ in you to play this game.

When I go into a player’s home and visit with his parents, I emphasize that I am primarily interested in helping develop the best that young man can be; that includes academically as well as socially, creating him to become a solid citizen both during his time at ASU and after he graduates. Yes, I am interested in him graduating. Many of these young men may be the first in their family to graduate from college. I was the first in my family to graduate.”

Herm tells each parent, “I want your son to be coachable, be available, and be on time. When you come to a meeting and you’re late, it’s because it’s not important to you. In the real world he’ll have to be on time in his job. I’ll insist on that. We want the Sun Devils football program not just to be the best in the state of Arizona, or in the Pac-12, but to be the best in the country. When your son commits to ASU, and commits is the key word, he will never find a better college program in the country.

To the question “Will ASU win the Pac-12?” Herm’s answer is: “You play to win the game. You don’t just play it. You play to win the game.” Herm teaches every individual to learn the importance of giving one’s best effort to be successful.

Will you value the importance of the Edwards Code?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.comThank you!

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Playoff Assignments

On the TunneySide of Sports January 15,  2018 #675 Up next…Playoff Assignments

On the TunneySide of Sports January 15,  2018 #675 Up next…Playoff Assignments

After further review…As we work our way through the National Football League playoffs toward Super Bowl LII, to be played indoors in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018, it brings up a personal memory. Forty years ago, today – January 15, 1978 – I officiated Super Bowl XII in the Superdome in New Orleans. Louisiana. It we the first Super Bowl to be played indoors.

That 1978 playoff assignment was unexpected and came via a phone call on the Tuesday before the game. In those days game officials received only one playoff game each season. I hadn’t received a playoff assignment, and thought I might not get one that year. Moreover, I was honored to have officiated Super Bowl XI the year before in the Rose Bowl, and the NFL had never assigned back-to-back Super Bowls in the referee position. It hasn’t happened since. Officials in other on-field positions have had back-to-back assignments, but not in the referee position. Indeed, I was honored and grateful.

Art McNally, Supervisor of Officials for the NFL, was adamant that those receiving playoff assignments not reveal them, except to one’s own family. So it was a total surprise when Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bob Oates called to congratulate me and said he wanted to do a story about the “only referee to be assigned back-to-back Super Bowls.” I told Oates that he had to get permission from McNally, which he did, on the condition that he didn’t publish his story until the day of the game. It was a promise-kept. “Dean of NFL Officials” was the headline for the L.A. Times sports article written by Oates and published on Sunday January 15, 1978.

The game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos was not a memorable Super Bowl game, unless you are a ‘Boys fan (Dallas won 27-10). However, there were two plays in the game that in today’s game would have been reviewed by replay. One was a rollout pass by Dallas Quarterback Roger Staubach that was intercepted by Denver in their end zone, but I ruled Staubach had stepped out of bounds before he threw the ball. Video replay had not yet been instituted in 1978, so the call stood. It was confirmed by a photo later that week.

The other questionable call came on a pass caught by Cowboys receiver Butch Johnson for a touchdown, but as Johnson hit the ground and rolled over, the ball came out. What defines a catch in today’s game was not in place in 1978, so it was ruled a catch and touchdown. My two sons Mike and Mark, who were in the Superdome that day, agreed with both calls. Denver fans might remember differently.

Will you recall that game? Was it memorable?

Watch Super Bowl XII | NFL Full Game here.

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.comThank you!

Posted in NFL, Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment

Is Replay Here to Stay?

On the TunneySide of Sport January 8, 2018 #674 Up next…Is replay here to stay?The TunneySide of Sports January 8, 2018 #674 Up next…Is Replay Here to Stay?

After further review…The use of video replay, and the pressure that comes with it, expanded greatly during 2017. In the World Series, the NFL season, NBA season, and surely, in the upcoming NFL playoffs, the use of video replay will demand that “we get every play right!” Well, it ain’t gonna happen! Seriously, life itself is rampant with imperfections and sports are better off when the human element functions with “doing the best we can.” The NBA would not be as entertaining if LeBron or Kyrie made every shot. Human shortcomings are what makes life so interesting.

When players on the field or on the court point to the jumbotron with the intent to correct an official’s oversight, I wonder when that player steps out-of-bounds or commits a foul against his opponent, why he doesn’t do the same pointing out his own error? Why is it that he only does it to point out the error that would benefit him? The obvious is because he wants the advantage. The officials don’t care who wins – that’s the difference. However, since video replay can correct human errors, why not use it for every play? We do have that in place – it’s called Madden 18, a very entertaining video game. But it’s not real.

Will we ever abolish video replay? Not in this writer’s lifetime! We all love to watch a given play more than once, however, four and five times is overkill. Yet, even with all the camera angles possible, calls on replay are still missed. This is what the NFL questioned in 1978 when Tex Schramm, Dallas Cowboys president wanted to introduce it for NFL games. It took the owners until 1986 – eight years – to finally adopt it, and then only on a one year trial basis. Can we look at video replay as the tool for which it was created – entertainment value?

Since this writer operated under the NFL replay system beginnings (1986-1991), that firsthand experience has helped to understand its use and its limitations. However, it is far more complicated in today’s (2017) NFL rule book. While just two pages (Rule 15, Pages 65 & 66) list the Instant Replay rules for officials, 26 pages are devoted to what are called “Case Book” interpretations. It gets more complicated every year, even though the NFL competition committee endeavors to simplify its interpretations.

Will you log-in your thoughts and, maybe suggestions, for the use of video replay?

 

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.comThank you!

Posted in Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Tagged | Leave a comment