Tag Archives: football

On the Horizon: On Being a Football Referree

As a sports mom, I’ve always had a tendency to either blame or yell at the refs on the field of play. But after doing this week’s story, I have a new found respect for those hard working men (and occasionally women). They are asked to make calls about things happening on the field that those of us in the stands can’t always see with a discerning eye and get upset about if the call is against our team. We get all uppity if we feel the call has been made wrong only we didn’t necessarily really see what happened. The refs on the other hand have a close up view of what is really going on. Now they might get a call wrong every now and then but they are much closer to getting it right than those of us in the stands and most of the time, don’t get upset back at us when we yell about something we didn’t like. So remember that the next time you get upset with a call made by a ref and maybe pause and think before you say something..

In this week’s video blog, I hope you will fall in love like I did with the two long-time friends who have been refs for many years and could possibly have even been a ref at one of your kids’ games.

Alisa Hines

OU/Texas: The Best Rivalry In College Football?

Image from "EDU In Review" - click link for commentary on Top Ten Red River Rivalry Games

(Note: Originally published Oct. 1, 2010)

by Rob Loeber

College football is full of rivalries, and there are some great ones…

Michigan/Ohio State has tradition, but hasn’t been worth much the last few years.  The Iron Bowl between ‘Bama and Auburn is the best of what the South has to offer, but it still misses the mark.  Oregon and Oregon State call their battle the Civil War, but something about Ducks fighting Beavers just doesn’t inspire me all that much.  Bedlam is up there for sure, but you get the feeling it means just a little more to the side in orange.

OU/Texas is the gold standard in rivalries and here are the reasons why.

The Cotton Bowl is the perfect setting.  It’s almost exactly halfway in between Norman and Austin.  The stadium is split at the 50 yard line.  Sooners on one side, Longhorns on the other.  Show me another event like this in all of sports.  Go ahead show me.  You can’t do it.  The atmosphere alone makes this game what it is because you can feel the tension in the stadium and all around the fairgrounds.  Nothing but burnt orange and crimson as far as the eye can see.  The Texas State Fair is part of the experience.  Ride the ferris wheel, win a teddy bear, eat something fried, eat something else fried, almost get sick, drink beer, feel better, watch football.  If I’m not mistaken that might just be the meaning of life right there. Continue reading OU/Texas: The Best Rivalry In College Football?

Football Season Open, Wedding Season Closed!

by Rob Loeber

I choose to see the good in people.  At least I try to see the good in people.  Most folks have a good grasp on manners, courtesy, basic human decency and consideration for the feelings of others.

But apparently there are still some out there, who don’t quite understand what it means to be a part of society.  You know who they are, and they know who they are.  There’s a good possibility you’ve been directly afflicted by their negligence.  I’m talking of course about the people who choose to get married on a football weekend in the fall.

There is no longer any excuse for this.  Of all the unwritten rules and laws, breaking this one is the most egregious offense.

I had a buddy call me the other day and tell me he has to attend a wedding on the evening of the OU/Florida State game.  What!?  The groom’s excuse: “Well it’s a bye week for OSU.”  Dude.  Just because the team you like is off, what about the rest of the poor saps you invited?  I’m not talking about only the OU fans, what if you’re a fan of football at all?

This disturbing trend has to stop.  I know it’s your wedding day and you’re supposed to be able to plan it however and whenever you want.  You might not be a football fan or have any allegiance to any particular team.  I know it’s your big day and all the attention should be on you and your so-called love.  If you’re actually happy then good for you, but holding your nuptials on a football Saturday or Sunday is a sure fire way to suck all the joy out of what could be an otherwise beautiful ceremony.  Here’s the question that must be asked: Do you want people to attend your wedding because they want to, or because they have to? If you shoot for a weekend between September and early January, the vast majority of your guests will be there begrudgingly.  Continue reading Football Season Open, Wedding Season Closed!

Picturing America Without The NFL Is Terrifying

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, left, and NFL football Commissioner Roger Goodell announce the end of the NFL lockout (courtesy cbsnews.com, AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster)

by Rob Loeber

Did you hear that?  That was the sound of a nation letting out a collective sigh of relief.

The NFL will have a season, and all is once again right with the universe.  The lockout is officially over and now you can move forward with important decisions like when to schedule your fantasy draft.

I guess I always believed deep down the owners and players would eventually come to some kind of resolution, but I was starting to have more doubts and I actually began to envision a world with no professional football.  It wasn’t a pretty picture.

Sure, you’d still have college football but that would only account for half of a weekend.  It wouldn’t have been enough.  What would you have done with all that free time on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights?  The hours normally reserved for eating wings, drinking beer, and finding that optimal couch position would have been spent shopping with wives and girlfriends, getting yard work done, or finally fixing that leaking faucet.  It would have been a world with empty sports bars, crowded golf courses, and a lot of men walking around Target in a semi-conscious haze mumbling about missing the second half of a game that wouldn’t even exist.

Instead of rushing home from church to put on your team’s jersey, you’d be talked into brunch or a trip to the in-laws for the afternoon. Continue reading Picturing America Without The NFL Is Terrifying

Call Me Commish

Acting as Commissioner of a professional sports league cannot be an easy job.  It requires business savvy, knowledge of the law, negotiating skills, and the ability to wade through piles of criticism while maintaining a tough, confident appearance.  Most of the job responsibilities aren’t glamorous, and the hours are long.  Commissioners are rarely praised and often vilified.  For the most part, I think the four Commissioners, David Stern (NBA), Roger Goodell (NFL), Bud Selig (MLB), and Gary Bettman (NHL), do a pretty decent job.  But every fan wonders what it would be like to be in charge.  We’d all love to take the ownership reigns of our favorite team for a week, but how does one attempt to change an entire league?  Well, like this for starters.


Is anyone else tired of talking about the same players and the same teams over and over? (courtesy bumpshack.com)

The first thing I’d address as NBA Commissioner is what I like to call the “redundancy factor.”  The league’s biggest problem is that 75 percent of its teams are almost irrelevant.  This is a league that revolves around seven or eight franchises at the most.  The conversation, the media, and the telecasts, focus on these so-called elite teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Mavericks, Heat, and Magic.  The rest of the league is barely worth talking about and that has to change.  The gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has to close for the NBA to become an all-around better product, because when only a few teams have an actual shot to win a title before the season even starts, then why is the regular season interesting?  Where’s the drama?  Right now, we’re all just biding our time until the playoffs start.  In my mind, the best way to solve this problem is contraction.  I know it’s a dirty word, but it’s time.  Too many small market teams (Milwaukee, Utah, Sacramento) acquire star players only to see them bolt in a couple years for one of the big cities.  The teams that can hold onto stars are eventually forced to trade them away because the players have too much power (i.e. Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams).  Getting rid of six teams would help bring the league back into a better competitive balance.  Talent wouldn’t be spread so thin, and increased parity is the result.  In other words, a more interesting, compelling NBA than what we have right now.  It gives me no pleasure to do it, but I’m taking the ax to these teams:

Continue reading Call Me Commish