Week 10: The secret to be a football analyst

After watching my share of pre-game and post-game NFL game day shows, I’ve come to the conclusion that almost anyone can be an NFL talking head. How, you ask? It’s simple. If you have opinion and can LOUDLY talk over someone else, you’re well on your way to announcer of the year. The louder you scream, the more correct you are in your argument. Decibels equal importance. More decibels? More important. For example, if an announcer were to say, “Philadelphia is in major trouble. Vick gets beat up and Andy Reid is on the hot seat,” that’s all true, but it’s boring. No decibels there, so it must not be important. However, if you scream at the top of your lungs (bonus points if you talk over the other person), “The Eagles are terrible! Vick and Reid have to go! There’s no hope for them this season!!!!” Now THAT equals a super important statement. Loud is good. Knowledgeable and well spoken, bad.

In other sort of related football news, does anyone else find it difficult to look up general NFL stories on sports sites? Just pulling up some of the popular sports websites leads to a barrage of flashing ads, screen sized photos that change so rapidly you can only read half of the caption, and an overdose of unwanted information. No, it’s not imperative that you squish the entire NFL scoreboard across the top of the page in size 4 font. If I want to see the entire scoreboard, I’ll pull it up. Hunting for an actual news article is like searching for one specific seahorse in the entire Atlantic Ocean. No, I don’t want to read expert blogs. And just when I find a decent article, my hopes deflate when I realize it’s a video. (Who actually prefers watching videos over skimming an article anyway?) Hey, an article! Oh wait, nope, can’t read that. I’m not a special subscriber. Luckily for all of you, you don’t have to be a special subscriber to share the wealth of my knowledge (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

In other news

— Paging Donovan McNabb. We have a tie.

The 49ers scored 17 points in the 4th quarter to force overtime against the Rams, but both teams squandered opportunities in the extra session and the game ended in a 24-all tie. Some folks might remember when Philadelphia and Cincinnati tied in 2008, which was the last time we had a tie, because Donovan McNabb informed reporters that he didn’t know games could end in a tie. As if the masses weren’t already secretly chuckling at him, he said this: “I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs.” At that point in his career, McNabb was a 10-year veteran. He didn’t know the rules to the game he’d been playing since he was a little kid? As unbelievable as that seems, would you believe that we actually had a “Donovan McNabb 2012” moment when both 49ers safety Dashon Goldson and Rams receiver Danny Amedola both tweeted that they expected a second overtime. Goldson wondered where everyone was going when they started walking off the field at the end of overtime. I find it rather inexcusable that players don’t know the rule about a tie. And even if they don’t know it, the coaches are responsible for reminding the players of this rule, especially as an overtime period drags on. The difference between knowing and not knowing this rule could be the difference between a win and a tie.

— Not that concussions are funny, but I like the word “concussed.”

The NFL has spent more time in recent memory addressing the issue of player concussions than ever before. I wonder, though, how many of the teams really follow the protocols put forth by the league? Why was Jay Cutler allowed to finish out the first half for the Bears after taking a vicious shot to the head by Texans defender Tim Dobbins? Replays showed Cutler on the field, walking around and shaking his head. Even the announcers commented that he was “clearing the cobwebs.” What’s more, the play when Cutler was struck was under review, so there was plenty of time for the Bears sideline – who most certainly saw that hit, especially since it drew a flag – to call Cutler over and run him through the evaluation the coaches are supposed to ask players who’ve been hit in the head. Instead, Cutler finished the last minute of the half and was evaluated at halftime. He said he didn’t even remember what happened after he got hit. Many players have had their careers cut short due to concussions, most notably Steve Young and Troy Aikman. While I applaud the NFL for making strides in this area, more must be done in order to ensure compliance by all teams.

— Fantasy blues.

I am sad. I’ve lost four games in a row in my fantasy league (cue violins), plummeting from first place into a 3-way tie for fourth. Hmph! And, as if it wasn’t bad enough that Aaron Rodgers and Alfred Morris were on byes this week, Reggie Bush got benched, and I ended up losing my matchup by 80 points. 80!! If there was a player having his game of the season, they were playing on my opponent’s team. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Fred Jackson and Tony Gonzalez all averaged 20 or more points. By comparison, I got a fraction of a point for Reggie Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, if anyone was silly enough to actually play Mark Sanchez, he and his cohort Tim Tebow combined for a total of 2.68 fantasy points, according to NFL.com. I think my husband scored at least that many fantasy points for hurtling over the dog on his way to the last slice of pizza.

Next week, the Bears have another monster matchup, this time at San Francisco. Will it be Jason Campbell vs. Colin Kaepernick or Jay Cutler vs. Alex Smith? Also, the Ravens visit the Steelers, who might be without Ben Roethlisberger, in a pivotal divisional game. And as I looked through the schedule of next week’s games, I noticed that Oakland’s stadium is named “O.co Coliseum.” Yep, that’s not a typo. I have no words . . . until probably next week, when I will write a paragraph on it.

Until next week, my friends, enjoy the games!