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Cory's Corner: Is This The NFL?

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Cory's Corner: Is This The NFL?

Mark Cuban is looking like Nostradamus after what he said in 2014.

“Just watch,” Cuban noted after the NFL just expanded its TV package. “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business.”

The reason I bring that quote up is because I’m not exactly sure what the NFL is marketing itself to be? Before this season, if you sat down hoping to see the same game hard-hitting game that gave us Ray Nitschke and Lawrence Taylor, you’d still be searching. 

Today’s game doesn’t allow defenses to play defense. What’s worse, it’s making them terrified and forcing them to pull up, which often allows the play to continue causing ridicule on said defensive player. That happened in Week 2 vs. Minnesota. Mike Daniels met Kirk Cousins but since Cousins gave him a pump fake and since Daniels didn’t want to hit a quarterback that didn’t have the ball, he put the brakes on. 

Of course, there’s the other side with the NFL going Blair Witch Project on Clay Matthews. The first week was a bad decision by Matthews but he has gotten jobbed the last two weeks. And what’s worse, nobody seems to know what the answer is for players that are rushing the quarterback. 

There has been 33 roughing the passer penalties called in the NFL this season and the league is on pace to call 165. Last year, there were a total of 107 and in 2016 there were 89. This isn’t just a point of emphasis, the NFL is changing outcomes — subjectively. My whole point is, how do we know that a different set of refs would call Matthews’ hit on Sunday roughing the passer? Roughing the passer has turned into the toughest call to interpret in sports, usurping the block-charge call in hoops. 

Look, I get what the NFL is doing. It’s trying to keep starting quarterbacks in the game, because many casual fans gauge their interest by who is under center. But at the same time, the league has totally devalued everyone else and has made defenses nearly impossible to play. If you were a college football player, why in the world would you aspire to be a defensive player? The next level not only disrespects you but it totally throws everything you’ve ever learned in your entire playing career into the garbage. 

Matthews said that the NFL is “soft,” but I don’t even think quarterbacks want to see the game degrade like this. The game doesn’t look like football anymore. First it was complete confusion in terms of what a catch is and now the league has no idea what a form tackle is. 

The NFL is at a crossroads right now. It has to decide what kind of a product it wants moving forward. If it continues to let folks in the booth dictate how the game is played, the game will be littered with stoppages and second-guessing. But if the league gives autonomy back to the refs, the game will operate smoothly and resemble what we all remember. 

I don’t think the NFL will change the interpretation of the rule midstream but there’s no way it wants the enduring image from Super Bowl LIII being an erroneous roughing the passer call that decides the biggest game of the year. 

Your move Roger Goodell. I guess that’s why you make the big bucks. 




Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (47) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Johnblood27's picture

Just forget it Corey.

This hog has already been taken to the local abattoir.

My attention and my money are going elsewhere.

RCPackerFan's picture

The NFL is truly at a crossroads.

I get the want to protect QB's. The problem is they don't know how to. Out of all the Roughing the Passer hits I have seen only 1 was truly warranted. And 1 wasn't called. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out.

Roughing the QB should be egregious. Meaning it should be something more then simply tackling a guy. Picking a guy up and slamming him down should be. Simply landing on the QB should not be a penalty.
I think if the flag is thrown, they should have it automatically reviewed by the booth. Not even have the REF involved. Have someone in the booth or at the headquarters review it and tell the ref.

They better get this figured out sooner then later because it is ruining the game.

Big Moe's picture

I quit NBA basketball after it became unwatchable, the NFL is just about reached that point for me as well, your product is stale and these new rule changes are looking to be the final nail for me, If the leauge can't get refs to call a game equittably then what is the point, and please don't tell how the leauge is right, they are failing the most importent test, the eye test, the game no longer looks good!!!

Handsback's picture

Big Moe, I did the same on the NBA years ago and found college basketball a much better product to watch. Although its changing into the NBA more so every year.
The longest football game I've watched so far was the Jets/Browns last week...saw the last three qtrs. My wife is a Browns fan and it was fun watching a rookie come out like Mayfield did in that game. Outside of that......a qtr here and there and that's it. No FFL and not really caring about any team but the Packers.

The game is very stale and political. Maybe they want younger eyes to watch and this will help...I don't know. I do watch college football but wonder how long before they become like the NFL.

Pack204's picture

The NFL is going to keep on this path now. Players will evolve and adapt and yes it will cause defensive players who rush the qb a headache to adjust. We as the viewers have the ultimate choice of whether or not we want to support this product with our hard earned money.

Its disappointing for sure but at the end of the day players like Aaron Rodgers dont get the money that they do to sit on the sidelines cause they are the type of players that bring in the ratings.

I dont agree with all this but its just the reality of where they are headed as a business and we as a consumer always have the option to take our dollars somewhere else.

Bure9620's picture

Trying to see the positive, I am wondering if the Packers get jobbed on these calls that it is it better this happens early in the season?? So they can adjust? better now than one deciding a playoff game. The rule of averages says these need to even out at some point this season right? The problem is the play against the Vikings could cost the Packers the division. I guess we just have to beat them up there in their in front of all their ridiculous fans and giant horn.

egbertsouse's picture

It’s all about fantasy football and gambling. Goodell is going for the fans that don’t really give a crap about football.

Razer's picture

If I could give you 100 thumbs up - I would. I think this is the bottom-line motivation for almost of these changes. Yes, the league wants to reduce the amount of gratuitous violence, but that is not what is being addressed here. The newest and quickest growing fan base are the fantasy football fan. The stats are more important than the game.

Ultimately, whether we are talking fantasy or Vegas, we are pointing to gambling. Making this a scoring league favors the new fan base. To that end protecting the scorers is the point of most of these rules. This is not about making a tough game safer. This is about protecting the business of the NFL. Game be damned

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I went to to see the game results. When I clicked on Game Center the stats for the QB, RBs, and WRs are shown. Nothing else. No defense. No kicking or punting. The NFL clearly thinks that is all that most fans are going to want to see. They do have Analyze Game one can click to get the old-fashioned box score. It is like it's an afterthought.

Tarynfor12's picture

100% right....The Raiders will be in Vegas in a brand new stadium that has the fans needing to park there cars 3-5 miles away at different casino and business lots.....Essentially, No Tailgating.
The NFL doesn't care about the older hard core fan as this is the first real open act to show it. How does the NFL approve a stadium to be built without on site parking to accommodate fans to park. They have 20 percent of the required number for a stadium this size, which will be used for mostly Limo's, taxi, Uber and bus parking.

This deal was a bad deal for the fans to start and got worse. Don't expect to see the Black Hole in Vegas during games and the NFL couldn't care less.

A reason I watch on the internet and can't understand why anyone pays to watch this side show. If I had to pay outside my 45 dollars for internet on my home computer, I wouldn't watch a single game,but since I can watch every game nearly free...16 games a week, 4 weeks a month,that's 64 games at a cost of $45 a month is like .70cents a game. I guess that's why I don't get as outraged about some things in a game and can just watch with unbiased objectivity, gamble and make a little money.

But, football will be gone as us old people remember it and the new socialists don't really care except for their protesting everything, and the new government ( not Trump) taking over full blown, starting come death of the USA midterms, will end the NFL and mandate soccer as the only sport so...don't care...won't be around likely.
Go Pack Go !!!

scullyitsme's picture

I actually agree with Tarynfor on the first part, paying for Nfl games when everything is available on reddit or countless other sites is silly. On the second, well. since every owner in the league are conservatives, and roger is conservative. Blaming the downfall of football on liberals is also hilarious. The Russian bots got Tarynfor on speed dial.

RCPackerFan's picture

I was in Vegas recently and saw where the new Stadium is being built. Essentially its on the other side of the Interstate behind Mandalay Bay.

So people will for sure take shuttles or cabs from Casinos to the game.

Just curious, how do you watch it on the internet?

Tarynfor12's picture

I have 8 different sites and 1 site where I can watch the replays a few hours after it's over also.

I'll give you now and you can try it for a baseball game today. Click the menu and than game to watch...then the big arrow and enjoy...make sure you have an adblocker enabled...i use adblocker plus

use this to watch replay

Let me if a issue and I can help with other sites. I use a home computer,not a laptop,or phone though it works but will depend on area because they aren't landline server. I'm not tech savvy but I have no problems. Let me know how it goes with these.

LambeauPlain's picture

There is simply too much subjectivity given to the refs. The subjectivity has been increasing every year for several years.

I have heard refs joke they could call holding on every play if they want to. Now they can call roughing the passer if the QB is knocked to the ground...or not.

NFL = Game of Zebras. They are becoming the main players...and it is making the game boring and unwatchable.

Jamie Freier's picture

It's like watching a freaking supreme court case now, "interpreting the rules" and not watching the actual players make plays. They have rule interpretation specialists on the freaking broadcasts now. I'd like to see a breakdown of how much air time is spent on the zebras, rule interpretation specialists, and the blathering fools they have calling these "games" talking about the zebras calls vs. air time actually broadcasting football. And drop the instant from instant replay, it is anything but. So painful to watch the NFL now.

Tarynfor12's picture

I love watching Government TV...the stupidity by some of the Blue Wave hopefuls is absolutely incredible. Especially when the one dipstick guy from my ex home state mentioned his ' Spartacus ' moment....exhilarating.

Although,however sadly, it appears that those types of dipsticks will be getting full run and I hear the toilet flushing and the great USA going down it.

4thand1's picture

Go masturbate to fux news and move to red state Russia you brainwashed political hack.

Tarynfor12's picture

Says the brainwashed political hack....I expected no less than the nasty retort.

scullyitsme's picture

This is a comment I’d expect from a 6th grader. Maybe 4-6th. I know you are but what am I?

Bure9620's picture

The flush you are hearing is democracy Taryn

PackfanNY's picture

The NFL has a major problem. Games are becoming unwatchable. Officials are now OVER-officiating these games. The rules have become both over technical and arbitrary.

Teams now throw the ball up just hoping for a pass interference flag. Roughing the passer is du jour with each defensive intent reviewed as if the game or the defender is playing at half speed.

Kick offs? In the NEW NFL they don't happen without the dreaded flag. This is step 2 or 3 to banning the kick-off. They need to (but they won't) figure out a way to let the players decide the game on the field or the product will continue to suffer.

Since '61's picture

Cory - this isn't the NFL and it hasn't been for a long time.

I've posted here for years that the quality of play and the quality of officiating has been declining since the early 2000s. Now both are at the their lowest point and continue to go downhill.

The current culprits are the totally stupid and confusing rules over a catch, a tackle, roughing the passer, PI and Illegal contact. Will we continue to see more bad calls throughout the season and guess what not one roughing the passer call good or bad is going to prevent injury to a QB. Even if Barr was flagged for his hit on Rodgers last season Rodgers would still have broken his collar bone. So has does making a bad call on roughing the passer protect the passer.

As for CM3 his hits on Cousins and Smith were exactly how players have been tackling QBs since forever. I was taught to tackle just like that back in the 60s. If defenders cannot make tackles we are no longer playing football at any level.

The NFL turning points came first with the alleged tuck rule call which gave the Pats a win over the Raiders and launched their run. If they lose that game who knows if they ever win or even get back to a Super Bowl. Then the 2005 AFCCG between the Colts and Pats and resulting rule changes in illegal contact. Another game involving Belicheat and the Cheatalots.
Then the current CBA limiting practices and on and on.

If not for Aaron Rodgers I would have left the NFL around 2008 or 2009. But I don't want to miss a generational player like Rodgers so I have hung in there. I will always be a Packers fan but my days of watching the games are numbered. It's not like I'm watching the NFL anyway. Thanks, Since '61

PackerBacker's picture

I can honestly say that this last week was the first time I've thought about not watching NFL football anymore. I love the Packers and love watching them every week. Even when they don't play their best.

But this wasn't football. It wasn't watchable, it was pathetic. And if they decide to make the quarterback untouchable, I don't want to watch anymore.

Skip greenBayless's picture

You put liberals in charge of just about anything and it leads to total destruction in time. Liberal and social justice warrior Roger Goodell is the problem and this NFL train is on a course for extinction. Why? Once people quit watching they find other things to do in their lives and it's very hard to get them back. I quit watching tv as it's totally unwatchable with the PC garbage they throw at you. The NFL is so generic and sanitized from their stadiums to their pre-game shows. Nothing is real anymore. It's all PC fake. Sorry but I just wanted real football. I guess those days are over.

Oppy's picture

Roger Goodell:

Married to (retired) Fox News anchor Jane Skinner, whose father (Sam Skinner, Republican) served as Chief of Staff and Secretary of Transportation under George H.W. Bush's administration in the late 80's and 90's. Rogers own father, Charles, served 4 terms as a Republican in congress before going on to being a Republican senator.

Doesn't sound very likely to be a liberal household, and his political affiliation probably has little to nothing to do with his business decisions, but don't let that stop you from injecting spin to rouse, rile, and incite politics on a sports forum.

Sweet baby J, Please stop.

scullyitsme's picture

Don't let Dash rile you up too much, Nobody can be that stupid. Russian bot. Hello comrade.

Oppy's picture

That's ridiculous.
Dash is a long-time poster on numerous sites using a new name for him/herself.
I'm fairly confident I've been acquainted with Dash's posts for over a decade.

scullyitsme's picture

Your saying he is that stupid?

Oppy's picture

I am not.

What I am saying is that Dash is intentionally stirring the pot because Dash knows that bringing politics into a sports forum is poking the hornet's nest.

scullyitsme's picture

Understood. I'm not so daft myself. Just having a little fun with the angry neo-conservative type. Things were so much easier when liberals had all the conspiracy theories and most of those where about ufo's. Now that conservatives have them, we have to listen about Hillarie's child sex ring in the basement of a pizza parlor and how our real end goal was to take down the nfl.

Oppy's picture

Can we just stop talking about politics? Please?

The vast majority of people don't come to this site to hash out neo-con / liberal anything. We come here to discuss sports.

There's almost never a valid reason to bring up any of that stuff when discussing sports.

This post you just made is unnecessarily passing political judgement just as much as Dash's post... everyone just stop it.

4thand1's picture

Dash I like and read a lot of your posts, but you just lost credebility with me.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Well that's unfortunate 4th and 1. So you agree with Roger Goodell and his liberal agenda/policies? I'm honestly shocked 4th and 1 as you seemed sort of like an old school type of guy.

flackcatcher's picture

FLAT OUT BS AND YOU IT! Go play your stupid triggering games somewhere else.

Since '61's picture

Dash - what is happening to the NFL has nothing to do with politics, liberal or conservatives. NFL owners are probably evenly split politically just like the rest of the country. I would go so far as to guess most are staunch conservatives and take advantage of every loop hole they can for the benefits of themselves and their businesses.

The NFL does have everything to do with money and that is all this league cares about. The problem is that because they are chasing the dollars they have ended up chasing their own tails and they don't have a clue about what to do to protect their revenue streams. I would go so far as to say that the owners have reached a point where they are just trying to suck as much money as possible out of the game while placating the fans with player safety, high scoring games and no defense.

It's just not working for the traditional fans but appears to be working fine for FF leagues, gambling and the casual fans. The league is trying to grow those market segments because they believe that is their future revenue streams. Fans who don't care about teams but only players and betting could care less about the impact of the rules as long as their players earn FFL points and/or they win on their wagers. The NFL is about money and has been for a long time, it's no longer about the game and we have reached the point where there is no longer any integrity in the game. When that happens you have pro-wrestling. Thanks, Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

And the real danger is that the owners will destroy the core of the game for a few more cents on the dollar. It's just as you say '61........

JohnnyLogan's picture

It's not just roughing the QB calls that are ruining the game,, the defensive backs are penalized for breathing on a receiver after five yards, the O linemen if the DL falls down by accident, the linebackers if they're left hand is gently caressing the receiver while the right hand bats a ball away. Is there a play made that we don't all quickly look to see if there's a flag. That's not how the game was meant to be played.

mrtundra's picture

When the game's play by play announcer had to dissect why Clay Matthews' tackle was roughing the passer, was the moment when I turned off the sound. He said CM3's helmet hit Smith in the shoulder pad and anything from there up is a penalty. WTH? Time for that idiot to go back to scrubbing toilets. Cannot wait to hear the idiot define what a catch is or what a football move is. The game is screwed and everyone can see that it is the NFL that is doing the screwing.

PatrickGB's picture

See my comment in the other article that looks just like this one. Your point is valid and I can see why you repeated it ;-)

4thand1's picture

Did anyone catch the Zimmerman comment about what the ref told his defensive back? The league wants us to throw these flags. The refs are doing what they're told to do. Last night watching the MNF game there was call after call for roughing the passer. It's like the league was sending a message in prime time for all the world to see. Big Ben went down like a ton of bricks when he got tapped on the head by JPP, knowing he'd get 15 free yards. I'm an oldtimer like a lot guys in here and can't take this shit anymore. The only ones defending the league are these young so called experts, and you want to punch them in the face just listening to them. The head ref looked embarrassed when calling the roughing the passer penalties over and over.

Lare's picture

What Mark Cuban was referring to was the NFL over-saturating the market with preseason games, games on Thursday nights, Sunday nights, Monday nights and overseas. It was a little eye-opening to open that link in another thread showing all the half-empty (or worse) stadiums this past weekend for games. With the quality of the product and the cost of tickets it shouldn't surprise anyone.

And now the NFL is driving away the TV viewers by having officiating dictate the outcomes of games.

In spite of what the NFL wants with gambling and fantasy football, if there are no fans of NFL football they lose their revenue sources.

Ultimately, fans are the only ones who can fix these problems. Everyone needs to quit blaming everyone else for the NFL's problems and do something about it. Nobody buying NFL licensed products, nobody at games and zero Nielson ratings will get changes in a hurry.

Royalty Free GM's picture

NFL fuckep up half of their fan base with their sjw bullshit. That’s it. People are not coming back.
Personally I’m not giving NFL anymore money at any level. I only watch some Packers games for free.
Bonus; It is fun to watch NFL dismantling itself :D

Skip greenBayless's picture

Totally agree. As long as Goodell and his liberal buddies are calling all the shots, it's quite entertaining watching them destroy what was once a great product. The more they try to fix the poor ratings and attendance the more damage they do. They simply don't get it because they are incapable of not thinking like a liberal. There's only one man that could turn this NFL around in the first year.

P.S. Congrats to your boy Ridley. You hit that one out of the park.

Lare's picture

"There's only one man that could turn this NFL around in the first year."

Let me guess, Donald Trump?

Skip greenBayless's picture

I'm going to do an Oppy and say please stop, just stop. Do not bring politics into this ok. For the record I actually forgot to say the guy but I was going to say Vince Lombardi. Lombardi was a no nonsense guy that didn't take crap and could succeed when all others failed. Lombardi is probably the only guy capable of turning this NFL around to where it is great again.

4thand1's picture

Are you saying he would teach these SOBs a thing or two?

Royalty Free GM's picture

LOL you really voted for Hillary!? ;D
You lost. Let’s make it rematch 2020!
Please let it happen! ;)

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