May the Blessings…

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 26, 2016 #625 Up next…May the blessings…

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 26, 2016 #625 Up next…May the blessings…

After further review…The Christmas and holiday season is special and we at the TunneySide of Sports feel so blessed having the privilege to write these columns/articles/blogs each week.

As we conclude our twelfth year of these weekly messages, our thanks go to each of you who read them and so often respond.

May the blessings of Christmas – in whatever way you celebrate this season – be with you throughout the coming year.

The month of December usually meant the end of football season, but not anymore! With some 40-plus NCAA bowl games scheduled, and 12 NFL games on Christmas eve, followed by all 32 teams playing on New Year’s Day; and then the NFL playoffs concluding with Super Bowl LI on – are ready for this? – February 5, 2017, then, I guess, football season will be complete. Oops, I almost overlooked the Pro Bowl game in Orlando, Florida on January 29th. How could I forget?

I was privileged to officiate six Pro Bowl games in my first years as an NFL official. All of them were held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the Rams returned this season after spending many years in Anaheim and St. Louis. The Pro Bowl in the 1960’s was a charity event sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. The selected players felt honored to be chosen and had a fun time playing under the regular rules of the game. The winning team’s players received $800 each, with the losers getting $500. During one of those games I opted not to call offensive pass interference on a receiver; and the defensive back, Maxie Baughan, screamed at me for not calling it. I said, “Maxie, com’ on, ease up, it’s only the Pro Bowl.” “Well, maybe, he said, “but it’s $300 more if we win.” Times, indeed, have changed. The Pro Bowl money is not as important now; and the prestige of being selected has diminished.

Switching to the excessive number of college bowl games, it is obvious that it’s also more about the money than prestige. Two very prominent college star players have decided not to play for their T*E*A*M’s in their bowl games, opting to save themselves from possible injury. Both decided to take that time to prepare for the NFL, with their expectation of being drafted early in the first round. Yes, the game has become characterized by the question “How much money can come my way?”.

Will you chime in with your thoughts on bowl games in these times?

Happy New Year from Jim Tunney

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

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.

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

What If….?

117th Army-Navy game

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 19, 2016 #624 Up next…What If….?

After further review…What if you saw a major college or professional football game and…

…there were only two fouls called and enforced the entire game?

…both fouls were on one T*E*A*M and none (yep, zero) were called on the other?

…not a single player scored a touchdown and spiked the ball in the end zone?

…there were no self-congratulatory gyrations after scoring a touchdown?

…there was absolutely no trash talking among players?

…there were no IBW’s (illegal blocks in the back)? … no receivers spun the ball after catching a pass downfield?

…there was no player who advanced the ball, got up and signaled “first down”?

…there were no “chop” blocks (illegal blocking below the waist)?

…there were no face mask fouls (grabbing the face mask when tackling or blocking)?

…no defender pounded his chest or pranced around after sacking the quarterback?

…there was no pushing or shoving an opponent after the whistle blew?

…there were no unsportsmanlike conduct fouls?

…there was no leaping into the stands after scoring a touchdown?

…there was no jumping in the air with players colliding celebrating a successful play?

But instead, what if you saw two teams playing hard, with fierce blocking and tackling, to win the game? What if you saw players helping an opponent up after knocking him down? What if you saw players scoring a successful touchdown and just dropping the ball or handing it to an official? What if you saw both teams standing in respectful silence while their opponents’ Alma mater song was played? Would you would have been impressed with respect on display, for the other players and for the game itself? Would you have enjoyed the game?

Well, such a game did occur on Saturday, December 10, 2016. It was the 117th Army-Navy game, played at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. While Navy came in with a 9-4 record, having been ranked as high as #22 in the AP and Coaches poll, the Cadets of Army upset the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy by a score of 21-17. The Black Knights victory broke a 14-game winning streak by the Midshipmen, who hold a 60-50-7 advantage in this rivalry. Both teams will be playing in post-season bowl games.

Will you chime in on your opinion of this type of football game?

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

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.

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

Why Are There Rules?

cam-newton-ron-rivera-292016-us-news-getty-ftr_10aqwklac0o0b1jfv61dzqfzyc

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 12, 2016 #623 Up next…Why are there rules?

After further review…That seems like an innocuous question, doesn’t it? The simple answer to it is: to maintain some sort of order and discipline in society. Discipline, while often looked at as punishment, is defined herein as training. Schools invoke rules for student safety and security, which help create the peaceful, productive environment in which the best learning takes place. No one would disagree with that. Yet many who are reading this may have challenged the school’s authority during your school days. Having been a high school teacher, coach and principal for over three decades, my authority in the classroom or on the courts and fields of play, and on the campus grounds was challenged at times. There were occasions when it was appropriate to reevaluate the intention and effect of a given rule. Making such adjustments is commonplace in the best interest of all involved. I’m confident that Head Coach Ron Rivera of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers was cognizant of that as he applied T*E*A*M rules to quarterback Cam Newton.

You may be aware that Rivera took Newton out of the starting lineup in an important game against the Seattle Seahawks recently. It seems that Coach Rivera has a rule requiring all players to wear a coat and tie when traveling, and when Newton arrived for that cross-country flight from Charlotte to Seattle he was not wearing a tie. The penalty imposed, benching the starting QB and franchise player in a big game, may seem a bit harsh.

My acquaintance with Rivera goes back to when he was a student/athlete at Seaside High School on the Monterey Peninsula. Rivera received his training (discipline) first from his mom and dad, and later from his athletic coaches, who today still require obedience to similar rules and regulations. Speaking of mom and dad, I can recall my early youth playing at our local playground or in the street, with my mom’s voice ever-present in my head: “Be home by six with hands and face washed in time for dinner.” There were times that I disliked leaving a game (the score tied, perhaps) to be home on time, but I obeyed. I hope I transferred that same discipline to my children – even when they didn’t like it.

Rules and regulations do adjust with the times. However, those in charge need to treat everyone with fairness – not just equally. It is said: “There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.”

Will you consider the fairness concept of a rule before implementing it?

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

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.

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