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

NFL Outlandish Celebrations – A Distraction?

excessive-celebration-penalty-nfl-referees-flags-antonio-brown

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE OF SPORTS December 5, 2016 #621 Up next…Outlandish Celebrations – A Distraction?

After Further Review…Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethleisberger (#7) along with Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin have openly criticized Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (#84) for “excessive celebrations” after scoring a touchdown. Those celebrations have cost Brown several thousand dollars in NFL fines, but more importantly the T*E*A*M has been assessed a 15-yard penalty each time. Roethleisberger and Tomlin claim it has put the Steelers’ defense in a vulnerable position, with their opponents gaining a kickoff-return advantage.

Brown is a talented receiver, and at this writing leads the NFL with 82 receptions and 10 touchdown catches. Some of his celebrations bordered on the obscene. Brown, you may recall, was a “Dancing With The Stars” contender, but was eliminated in the semi-finals of Season 22– May, 2016. Brown’s rise to NFL fame is to be commended. He earned All-American honors as a punt returned from Central Michigan, but went late in the 2010 draft at #195 (sixth round). At five feet ten, he was not considered a top prospect. That did not detour him, as he recently announced: “I went from the underdog to the top dog. I started from the bottom and now I am here.” In 2012 the Steelers signed him to a five-year, $42.5 million contract.

The several thousand dollars in fines has not made a financial impact on Brown as he continues his celebrations. Breaking down his $42.5 million into each touchdown catch ranges near $6,500. per catch. Does he really need to draw this attention to his game? For many years, and this is where Roethleisberger plays a part, veteran players would take it upon themselves to call upon a teammate who places himself above the T*E*A*M. Reprimands would include: “We don’t do that on our team,” or “that’s not who we are.” The attitude of today’s players seems to avoid that father-type advice. Some consider showboating as a lack of respect for opponents.

The NFL, aka by some, as the “No Fun League,” has clamped down on excessive celebrations. Who’s to blame for such regulations? It’s the opinion here that it’s the players themselves! Each such celebration is followed by another, who must outdo anything previously done. Where will it end? Will the players themselves put an end to it?

Will you log-in on your thoughts about excessive celebrations?

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