Allow me to introduce “Hit or Miss.” We’ll examine the month in review and identify who in sports have hit or miss. This segment is meant to expose athletes, coaches, teams, as well as some surprises to make sure we commend or condemn their recent accomplishments.

1. Miss – Instant Replay in the N.F.L.

               After two lousy calls this past weekend, the system has failed and needs to be reworked. The system has failed fans in ensuring the right call gets made. 

  Bronco’s Quarterback Jay Cutler clearly fumbled a mishandled ball Sunday against San Diego. Referee Ed Hochuli and his crew ruled it an incomplete pass on the field to which replay refuted that ruling. Unfortunately because of the rules under the instant replay system the ball needed to be spotted where the ball landed and was given back to Denver. The system was enacted to make sure the correct call gets made; not just review, followed by a collective “Opps. There’s nothing we can do about it because the rules don’t allow it.”

               Don’t even get me started on the botched DeSean Jackson call Monday night. How did they penalize his arrogance? Give the Cowboys the ball on the one yard line because that’s what the rules dictate. Give me a break!

2. Hit – Shaquille O’Neal’s decision to retire at end of contract.

               Unlike some other prominent athletes to be left unmentioned, I actually believe Shaq. Arguably the best big man in history, he has changed the way the position is played and defended. In fact teams even created a new game plan inspired by the Diesel; “Hack-a-Shaq.” For someone who was never short on comic relieve and has given back to the game and community, he will be missed.

               But don’t worry, Shaq’s contract with the Phoenix Suns doesn’t end until after the ‘09-‘10 season. Hopefully we’ll see some more nightclub freestyle rap sessions before it’s all over.

3. Miss – Florida Atlantic’s Smack Talk.

               Umm…….Yeah, about that? If you’re going to talk, back it up. Before the game, all we heard was that the Spartans reminded quarterback Rusty Smith of UAB. During the game, we heard Javon Ringer running for 282 yards in a good ole fashion beat down.

4. Miss – The 2008 New York Yankees

               Sure, there’s two weeks left in the season, but next month when it’s time for “Hit or Miss” the Yankee season will be over. That 200 plus million dollar payroll sure paid off. But don’t worry, shortly after the World Series ends and Hank Steinbrenner will be hitting free agency blocks. Sorry Brewers fans, C.C. Sabathia will probably be wearing pinstripes next season. Maybe they’ll have to shell out a 300 million dollar payroll to make the playoffs.

5. Hit and Miss – Season Premier of Saturday Night Live.

               In an effort for full disclosure, let me begin by saying I haven’t watched a live show for several years now. But when I heard Olympic golden boy Michael Phelps was hosting, I couldn’t resist.

               Surprisingly I found the show hysterical. Tina Fey’s portrayal of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin was incredible. Their writing is still above all sketch comedy shows I’ve seen. If you get a chance to check it out, it’s a definite hit.

               Unfortunately Michael Phelps, not so much. While I admire his swimming skills and how he excited the world, his acting and comedic skills rival the aforementioned Shaq’s in Kazaam. Athlete’s trying to parlay their careers into acting roles; until I see otherwise, it’s a miss.

6. Miss – Bulgaria’s Women’s Ice Hockey Team.

               Let me assure you Spartan Nation fans. This is probably the first and last time the Bulgarian Women’s Ice Hockey team will ever be mentioned on this site. That being said, I couldn’t pass this one up.

               82-0. No that wasn’t recent phalanx pole of State fans who predicted a win against Florida Atlantic. That was actually the score of the Olympic qualifying game versus Slovakia. They were outshot an astonishing 139-0. Thankfully, that loss eliminated them from Olympic contention. Do you believe in miracles?

Click Here to meet me in the Phalanx Forum to share your Hit or Misses from the last month.


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