Why Are There Rules?

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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.

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NFL Outlandish Celebrations – A Distraction?

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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.

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NFL Un-Reffable?

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE OF SPORTS November 28, 2016 #621

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE OF SPORTS November 28, 2016 #621 Up next…         NFL Un-Reffable?

After Further Review…This question appears all too often in sports articles: “Has the NFL Become Un-Reffable (sic)”? This writer would disagree – but I guess you knew that. My 31-year tenure as an on-field NFL official (25 years in the position of Referee) provides me with the background to make that evaluation. Mike Pereira, formerly vice president of NFL officiating and now an analyst at Fox broadcasting told the Wall Street Journal, “We are at a point with officiating that we have never been before. I get striving for perfection, but we are at a point that anything less than perfection is unacceptable.” Perfection is and always has been the goal of NFL officiating. However, as in all human endeavors, perfection is elusive.

As an example, and with no discrimination toward the individual in question, I present the case of a Monday Night football game I watched some time ago, the Denver Broncos playing at home. Quarterback John Elway, whom I knew when he was quarterbacking the Granada Hills Highlanders in Southern California (and now for whom their football stadium is named), had just thrown an interception. The broadcaster asked Joe Theismann, the analyst in the booth, how it had happened. Theismann, who spent 12 years as the quarterback of the Washington Redskins, said “Well, Elway misread the coverage.” What? Elway, a sure NFL Hall of Famer (inducted in 2004), misread the coverage? Yes, it does happen to those involved in making split-second decisions.

Having spent three seasons recently as an NFL officials’ mentor/trainer, I can assure you that the present group of 122 NFL officials are the best available! Being present at their pre-game meetings, I am fully aware of the time and effort they spend in preparation during the week and on the day prior to their weekly game. They leave no stone unturned to be the best T*E*A*M on the field every time. Yes, there are three teams on the field; yet the team of seven officials is the only one who never gets a home game. Quarterbacks will throw interceptions (mistakes); receivers will drop passes (mistakes); lineman will miss blocks (mistakes); and defenders will miss tackles (mistakes). These all take place in nano-seconds.

Officials make mistakes in that same time frame. Yet you and I can sit at home and, with the aid of the various replays, can get the call right every time. Until you put on that striped shirt and walk onto that field with the best athletes in the world who play to win the game, criticism must be held in abeyance. Respect is more the question.

Will you judge every play, every action by an on-field official or player with the presumption that they are performing with the intention to do their very best – every time?

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.

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