Juice This: Remembering Sager, Taking a Stand and Chasing Points

Chasing Points and Taking a Stand

Well, we were going to do New Year’s resolutions this week. But first, this is much more important. No, really.

We know this is an NFL content space, but we have to bid farewell to Craig Sager, the king of the sideline reporters and the most-flamboyant dresser for sure.

We always thought and still do think those halftime and between-quarters’ interviews in any sport are a waste. As if the coach is going to tell you what his or her team is going to do to maintain their lead or erase their disadvantage. Short of sabotaging the other team’s locker room with tear gas, or something.

Sager did it with class, integrity, grace and respect for his interviewee. Are you listening, Erin Andrews? Watch some footage of him. Then get a new wardrobe.

But back to football. Joe McKnight is gone and Will Smith’s shooter is going. McKnight was buried, his former teammates as pallbearers. Smith’s shooter got a manslaughter conviction. We hear about NFL players getting arrested for illegally having possession of weapons. Isn’t it about time we did something about the gun laws that allowed McKnight and Smith to now be gone? Isn’t it about time? NFL, stand up. Stand up now. Look what it took for you to stand up against domestic abuse and to be more openly in favor of concussion prevention and treatment. Take a stand. Please.

Speaking of taking a stand, some teams, including the Cavs and Grizzlies of the NBA, will not stay in Trump Hotels.

Hello, NFL.

Then again, the NFL has missed the point before. Lots of them. Extra points. How do you feel about the NFL having its placekickers boot the PAT from 33 yards away? They’re missing kicks at an alarming rate and any team could miss the playoffs if one of its kickers misses the extra-yardage boot. Heading into Thanksgiving, they had missed a record number of kicks one weekend alone.

How about it, America? Will Robbie Gould or Mason Crosby cost his team a playoff berth? Just a couple of seasons ago, Gould was doing commercials and endorsements here in my Chicago. Now he’s in danger of costing the Giants a chance to miss the playoffs. (Does anyone think they’ll beat the Lions, a team with a real defense?).

I’ve watched games this season where kickers have missed extra points but made field goals from beyond 50 yards. What’s up with that? The Steelers think the rule is so inane that they go for two lots of the time. Even (and especially) early in games. I’ve never believed in “chasing” points unless you had to. But when you have to is when it’s most difficult, so why not do it early—like the Steelers often do?

Hey, do you want to gain two yards or kick 33?

By the way, did you hear? Another team was accused of using—or possibly using, that is—under-inflated footballs in an NFL game, this year. This time, it was the Giants alleging the Steelers might have done so in their win over the New Yorkers.

The league, and the Steelers, say the whole thing is just overblown.

NEXT WEEK: New Year’s resolutions. Every team. I promise, Erin, I promise.

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