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September 25, 2012

Long national nightmare ends! Real NFL refs return!; plus pix 'n fantasy (WWE), SOPY rankings, bickering Marlins & more

[1) It is THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27. Mike Love, who unfortunately owns legal rights to the name "The Beach Boys," has followed a successful 50th anniversary tour by firing three founding members of the group including mastermind Brian Wilson. Mike Love is a lunatic. 2) Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote and join us on Twitter @gregcote]

AGREEMENT REACHED AFTER NFL REPLACEMENT OFFICIALS HIT ALL-TIME LOW ON MONDAY NIGHT FARCEBALL: The real striped shirts will be back on the field beginning with tonight's Browns-Ravens game after an eight-year agreement was reached late last night. Click on Our National Drug for today's latest column by me, on how America's obsession with sports overrides everything -- yes, even including replacement refs. Original post: I tried, folks. I really did. I hated that so many fans were obsessing on the NFL replacement officials. I was, like, "Hey, 1aa1reprefsthey aren't perfect, so what?" But last night turned me around. Incompetent officiating literally stole a victory from the Green Bay Packers and handed it, unearned, to the Seattle Seahawks with an outrageously, preposterously blown call in the end zone on the game's final play. Seattle receiver Golden Tate snatched the ball off the chest of the intercepting Packers defender -- except really all he did was put an arm on the ball. The official at left is making the proper signal of GB possession, but the dunce on the right signalling touchdown prevailed. I think the official on the right, the cheater Tate, the referee and the replay official should all be tarred and feathered, paraded in shackles through every NFL stadium and pelted by bottles, then set loose in a meat-packing plant in Green Bay. There they should be beaten within an inch of their lives by enraged Packers fans swinging enormous legs of lambs, after which they should be shot from cannons into the middle of the ocean and stranded there until rescued or (preferably) devoured by lamb-blood-smelling sharks. In all seriousness, I would make two points. 1) The commissioner's office should void that final, mistaken call and award this victory to Green Bay in the best interests of the what's left of the integrity of the game. 2) The league should cave, give the real officials what they want and get back to the way it was, when we'd complain about the officiating but at least sort of trust it. (Do I sound bitter? The next item, Pix 'n Fantasy, may help explain why...)

Update: NFL statement on MNF mess: The league admitted that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate committed an offensive pass interference penalty that was not called -- and that shold have ended the game with Green bay winning. On the call itself, the league stands by the ruling of "simultaneous catch" favoring the offense, even though any sighted person not living in Seattle who watched the play live or on replay is aware it was not a simultaneous catch. What a calamity for the NFL. Embarrassing.  

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WWE: WORST ... WEEK ... EVER!: Speaking of embarrassing, let us just say that Monday night's stupefying ending was a perfectly fitting cap to my weekend. NFL predix: I went 3-13 on my NFL picks this past week. There. I said it. THREE AND THIRTEEN! I believe that is my single worst week in 22 seasons of Friday predix. (I was 4-11-1 against the spread). Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. Dolphins blow a field goal. Detroit's OT botchery. Saints' blown lead. Steelers' blown lead. Monday night. Just unbelievable. Greg's Lobos: Would my fantasy team offer me a smidgen of solace? Of course not! Lobos got whipped, 139-93. I had nobody better than 19 points. I am very close to finally running out of patience and benching Chris Johnson. That of course will be the week he rushes for 226 yards and three TDs.

HEATH: SHUT THE BELL UP!: Marlins defrocked closer Heath Bell popped off about his manager Ozzie Guillen on my friend Dan Sileo's WQAM show, saying, "It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't 1aa1bellhtell you the truth." And, "We need someone who leads us that everybody respects and looks up to." First thought: I know you're frustrated, Heath, but how classless to publicly rip your manager in-season. Second, Bell's own miserable April is what first tipped this season and sent it over the cliff. This human goat is the last man in that clubhouse who should be pointing fingers. (Bell is pictured, presumably marking down his latest blown save).

NHL MOURNS WITH 'LOCKOUT MAN': A hockey blog mourns the season-threatening NHL work stoppage with "Lockout Man," to the tune of Elton John's "Rocket Man." Click here to listen. Other than going on waaay too long, it isn't bad.

SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 4): DANIELS STILL NO. 1, UM'S MORRIS CLIMBS TO FOURTH: This college football season marks the blog debut of our weekly State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, 1aa1bjdwhich I call the "Sunshine State Heisman" until a Heisman lawyer tells me to stop. Our chart encompasses the most productive seasons of any quarterback, running back or receiver from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida and FSU, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. (Note: Rankings consider only passing, rushing and receiving, not returns). Our formula awards one point per offensive yard gained running or receiving and a half-point per yard passing, plus six bonus points for touchdowns thrown or scored. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. After Week 4 it's B.J. Daniels of South Florida (pictured) on top for a second straight week. The SOPY Top 10 entering Week 5:

Rank (LW)     Player, Team-pos.     SOPY Pts. Week=Year

1 (1)     B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb     249 = 830

2 (3)     E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb     304 = 694.5   

3 (2)     Jake Medlock, FIU-qb     59 = 606.5

4 (10)     Stephen Morris, Miami-qb     240 = 587.5

5 (4)     Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb     148.5 = 527

6 (--)     Chris Thompson, FSU-rb     194 = 508

7 (8)     Duke Johnson, Miami-rb     110 = 473

8 (6t)     Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb     73 = 446

9 (5)     Blake Bortles, UCF-qb     BYE = 376

10 (6t)     Kedrick Rhodes, FIU-rb     DNP = 373

Bubble: Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb, 364.5

State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (4-0); 2. Florida (4-0); 3. Miami (3-1); 4. UCF (2-1); 5. South Florida (2-2); 6. FIU (1-3); 7. FAU (1-3).

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

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