For starters, we take you inside an ESPN2 production-planning meeting for First Take.
Stephen A. Smith: Why are we even talking about this? The Cowboys will dependably most-inopportune time and lose in the playoffs or in a playoff-qualifying game. Tony Romo is Tony Oh-No!
Skip Bayless: Stephen A. Smith, my Cowboys are going all the way to the NFC Championship Game, maybe even the Super Bowl. Jerry Jones is a genius who has constructed a contender that will challenge for it all.
SAS: On what planet in what decade? They have been irrelevant since Barry Switzer last won a Super Bowl almost 20 years ago. They are as irrelevant as your argument for them.
SB: You’re irrelevant and will look silly around here in a Cowboys jersey after they win the Super Bowl.
SAS: That’s ita��we’re spending the whole show on this until Skip comes to his senses.
SB: Fine with me.
Molly Qerim: Oy!
Not so Suh-per: Ndamukong Suh has not been the killer force the Miami Dolphins expected when they handed him gazillions of dollars in the offseason. So far, he’s sacked no one and caused no havoc other than getting his head coach, Joe Philbin, fired.
Then again, the rest of the Dolphins have not sacked anyone either, so it looks like his impact, or lack thereof, has been rubbing off on the rest of what was supposed to be a dominant defensive line.
They couldn’t even beat the Geno Smith-less Jets. But the Eagles could. Go figure!
A recent sports reporters panel discussed the question, what would you ask Roger Goodell if you could ask him anything, but only one thing?
Really, what would you ask?
How about, a�?Did you really have the Ray Rice video?a�? Or, a�?Are you sick and tired of getting the crap beat out of you in court?a�? Why not, a�?How are things between you and Tom Bradya��and will you attend any Patriots games this year?a�? Or why not, a�?Going to Bob Kraft’s house for dinner anytime soon?a�?
Here at Juice This, we’d ask: a�?Are you fixing games this year so Peyton Manning can retire a Super Bowl champion, like Ray Lewis did?a�?
Penalize This! Penalty calling is up about a gazillion percentage points this season, mostly because referees are calling all those penalties they ignored for years. All of which begs the question, should the league tell the refs to go easy so games can go more smoothly, especially on TV, or should the competition committee just rewrite the rules and let holding and pass interference be legal once and for all?
C’mon, they both happen every snap.
Lion hunting: It’s not bad enough that people have killed precious animals on safari. The league has a history of killing the Detroit Lions. Calvin Johnson had his would-be, game-winning touchdown reception against the Bears erased on a a�?process of the catcha�? call by the refs. Then they were penalized when their coach tossed the challenge flag on a play that would eventually become a touchdown and could not be challenged therefore. Even though he was right, he was subsequently ruled wrong.
Now, they have this against Seattle last Mondaya��K. J. Wright illegally taps a ball out of the end zone that was fumbled into the end zone by Megatron. Yet, Seattle, was awarded the ball on the 20 for a touchback instead of Detroit maintaining possession at the 1-yard line and still having a chance to win.
So what is it? Does the league just not like the Lions (remember, they ripped them off on a call that might have enabled them to win at Dallas In the playoffs last year)? Or does the league just like the teams the Lions are playing, especially the Cowboys, who the league wanted to see play the Packers the following week in the NFC divisional round for TV ratings protection?
C’mon, NFL, they got rid of Ndamukong Suha��cut ’em some slack.
And keep ’em off Monday Night Football. Please!