You guys are all fired up over the Dallas Cowboys videoboard, and we'll get to that. But first,
I love Coffee, the first real good backup the 49ers have had for
You flooded me with e-mails, Tweets and texts about the Dallas videoboard issue. For background, a Tennessee punter,
What's amazing to me, and a sign of the media times, is the amount of coverage this thing has gotten. I opened the
I'm going to run the most representative e-mails and a Tweet before responding.
OK. Four points:
1. I am attempting to clarify exactly when the NFL Game Operations Manual added the rule about hanging scoreboards. But the rule about a scoreboard having to be at least 85 feet above the field, I'm told, "is probably one of those rules that's been on the books for years and no one ever thought about it because no one ever put a scoreboard that low,'' one veteran general manager told me. (Jeff Fisher
Technically, you're right, Chris; it isn't the Cowboys' fault if the placement of the videoboard complies with league rules and passed NFL muster. But it seems if the Cowboys have a punter who reached 90 feet in the air with his practice boots (even the moderately booming
Chris, on your other point: You've got a rookie free-agent punter trying to make the team, or to make an impression on future NFL employers. You honestly think he's going to waste one of his chance to impress by trying to hit the videoboard?
2. The NFL is dead-set against making a do-over ground rule part of the rules. For that reason, I see no other way around raising the scoreboard 15 to 20 feet by the Sept. 20 regular-season opener against the Giants. This afternoon, the Competition Committee will convene via conference call about the issue, and I expect a rules clarification to be in place by the time the Cowboys play the 49ers at home Saturday night.
3. Re the pass, I'm told the same thing would happen, as of now, if a pass hit the videoboard as if a punt or kick hit it. Do-over.
4. As for who will pay for the board to be moved, my money's on the NFL picking up the tab. Why? Because the league inspected the most minute of details at the new stadium -- I'm told even rubber-stamping the size of the X-ray room and medical facilities for players at Cowboys Stadium. If they're looking at those things, they're looking at everything.
Now for a few other e-mails.
Burress had a loaded handgun not licensed for the state of New York in a very public place. The gun could have gone off and killed someone. As it was, the gun went off and slightly wounded Burress, but the point made the sentencing.
I am in favor of mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. If you don't have them, then a good lawyer can make a terrific argument for extenuating circumstances in almost every case. Let's say Burress' lawyer makes an impassioned plea about how careless this was, but also how harmless it was, and a jury buys it, and Burress gets a suspended six-month sentence. How does that serve society? The next guy who thinks about walking into a crowded public place with a gun hidden on him could either not think about the consequences (likely) or he could think, "I'll get a great lawyer and get off if I get caught with the gun.''
Suppose 50 thugs hear on the street or in the media about the Burress sentence. And suppose 40 of them scoff at it and have it not affect their lives at all. But suppose 10 of the gun-toters think, "I better keep that thing in the car when I go to the club.'' I have no idea if that will happen, because I'm not a gun-toter. But as a society, all we can do is create laws to safeguard the public, and this law -- a mandatory minimum sentence for a major public hazard with real teeth -- is good for society.
I hear you, Andrew. But if you haven't been kicking regularly, and if you're not going to be kicking once the season starts, and you're the team's best receiver, it seems silly to have him continue kicking and risk injury just because it's cool.
Unlikely. I saw where
Never thought a baseball opinion would generate so much froth. What I should have said is
It could be that Pujols will overtake him in a few years; I don't know. But Pujols is in his ninth year, Jeter in his 15th. Let's see how Albert stands the test of time. This, by the way, is not just about stats. It's about leadership, playing under the great New York microscope and consistently delivering at a championship level, and playing doggedly well, whether the game is vital or a blowout. He's everything a baseball player should be.
Hey, if you don't agree, that's fine; it's certainly not an open-and-shut case. I love Pujols, and I've loved