5-at-10: Snow wins, Jeter, stupid rule adjustments

5-at-10: Snow wins, Jeter, stupid rule adjustments

February 13th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, stay inside if you can and stay warm. Also, if you have the means, you can join our man Billy in Brainerd with his favorite "Ronrico White Russian" and chill today.

Good times.

From the "Talks too much" studios, bundle up buttercup.

Snow 3, Everyone else 0

OK, Eskimos love snow. They use it to build cool houses. (See what we did there?)

The clinging snow creates a winter wonderland scene along Gunbarrel Road in East Brainerd early Thursday morning.

Photo by Robin Rudd/Times Free Press.

Frosty and his ilk love snow. They need it to chill. (Still there?)

Kids love it because it means a) no school and b) playing in the snow and c) no school. (That said we're about one more cold or one more Snowmageddon away from our 6-year-old repeating Kindergarten.)

For the rest of us, well, this can move along. And how about the predictability of this, huh? They were able to play basketball in Pittsburgh, but the bus that was to drive the Duke players 7 miles to Chapel Hill to play UNC was stuck. Also, the original plan was for Boston College and Georgia Tech to play in Atlanta with only those who could walk to the game in attendance. Sadly, that game was postponed too.

We've had out fill Old Man Winter. Move along. We had a job offer up North a few years back and we said thanks but no. Want to know why? We like living in the South and did not want to worry about Snowmageddon. Here's hoping everyone had enough milk and bread. Side question? Why get the drink that spoils and a secondary food item to prepare for the snow?

If we're making an emergency list, we're getting 'Co-Colas' and then the bread and milk.

We'll be back in a minute. We got to go play in the snow. And make a bread sammich.

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Jeter makes it official

File photo of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Derek Jeter announced that 2014 will be the final walk in the sun of in his Hall of Fame career.

Where do we rank him among shortstops - we have him No. 2 behind Honus Wagner - and does he make the Yankees Rushmore?

We know that Jeter may have been the best at playing the game beyond the game we have seen in the modern, 24/7 news cycle, Twitter-sphere. Think of it this way - name one scandal Jeter was ever in despite spending his career on the most famous team in all of sports during baseball's most scandalous era since the Black Sox and in the media capital of the free world.

He lived one of our favorite Southern expressions - don't start none, won't be none. And now he's approaching the finish line with a Hall of Fame resume and a clean slate.

We very seldom say this about professional athletes because they are so richly reward nowadays, but despite making roughly $200 million playing the game he loved Derek Jeter gave more than got to baseball and those who love it.

Thanks Captain.

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College football rule changes

Amid the Snowmageddon and the college hoops craziness and Jeter and Michael Sam and even Richie Incognito being everything other than incognito on the Twitter, the news that caught our eye Wednesday afternoon was the NCAA announcing a couple of college football rule changes.

First, the powers over college football have rightly reversed field on the details of the controversial targeting rule that plagued the game last year. The targeting rule was designed to increase the efforts of player safety, and that's a good thing. In its first year last fall, targeting was called when a defensive player hit a defenseless offensive player around the head and shoulders. The penalty was 15-yards and the offender was ejected. The call, which is as bang-bang as it gets and is as difficult a split-second decision as there is in football this side of fumble/runner down, was automatically reviewed. If the review showed the play not to be as malicious or in the area of the head as originally viewed, then the player was re-instated to the game, in essence admitting that it should not be a penalty, but the 15-yard infraction still applied.

Yes, that was the long way of stating the rule actually reviewed its validity but only retold a half truth. In today's society it was the half-hearted apology of, "I'm sorry you got offended," without actually admitting fault.

Football tile

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

The NCAA rightly admitted that if the officials are going to review a call, then the review should be all or nothing. Now, the if the targeting call is deemed to be faulty, the player is re-instated and the flag is picked up. Sure, this move is about three months too late to help the Georgia Bulldogs and Ramik Wilson, who was called for targeting on fourth-and-4 on what turned out to be Vandy's game-winning drive in the Commodores win last year.

This rule tweak makes complete sense and should have been part of the original idea. Still, admitting a mistake and adjusting it can be difficult, so good for the NCAA. That said, this will be the first time a penalty call - a judgement call mind you - is now completely reversible. So how long before other penalties will be subject to review? Are we taking another step to a computerized officiating crew? It's certainly possible since the more technology you introduce the more you can expect to hear calls for more. That's the modern circle of life and improvement.

The other rule seems somewhat peculiar and will be fought tooth-and-nail every step of the way.

The NCAA is proposing that defenses be allowed expanded chances to substitute players in the first 10 seconds of the play clock and that if an offense snaps the ball with more than 29 seconds showing on the 40-second play clock, the offense would be charged with a delay of game penalty.

Say what? A delay of game penalty for moving quickly? Say that again? Did they figure because they fixed one fool-hearted and flawed rule by correcting targeting that they needed another silly and nonsensical option out there so they could correct something a year from now?

The old-school, plodding - some would say puzzled - defensive-minded coaches who loathe the fast-paced, hurry-up attacks that confound and frustrate traditional defenses made the silly claim that fast-paced football was not safe for the defensive players. Duh. It's football. It's not safe for anyone really. And if we're going to make rules completely and in total goals for safety, well, then blitz is pretty dangerous. So is blocking. And tackling.

There has been zero published materials or study suggesting that more offensive plays mean more injuries.

This is ridiculous and wrong. This was sprung on coaches out of left field - several coaches asked about it when the rule became public said this was never mentioned at the coaches or conferences winter meetings. To make matters worse, the two coaches on the rules committee ranked in the bottom third of plays run last season meaning they have a vested-interest in slowing down opposing offenses.

In fact, this would be the first rule we could remember that would be directly attacking a style of offense, meaning that if the game - or the members of the committee - decide that one style is tough to stop or is better or different or what have you, then they can tinker with the rules to make it fit into their model. What's next banning the forward pass because Troy Calhoun and Air Force want to run it 60 times a game?

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This and that

- Syracuse hit a money 3 to beat Pitt. Great game.

- King James hit a money 3 to beat Golden State. Great game.

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Today's question

This was the Rushmore on Press Row Wednesday but we'll recycle it today.

Best snow scenes in movie history? Discuss. (And Harry and Lauren Holley in the snow in Dumb and Dumber is money.)