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The catch that wasn't, index cards and a mess in Miami

The catch that wasn't, index cards and a mess in Miami
Jesse James of the Steelers did not "survive the ground." Larrybrownsports.com

The say you’re never too old to learn something new. This week has been an education to say the least.

Surviving the ground

Once again the New England Patriots are in the middle of a firestorm. Why do these things keep happening to them by the way? 

Anyway.. .the Steelers appeared to take the lead in the closing moments of their battle for the right to host the AFC Championship Game next month. But tight end Jesse James could not maintain control of the football after reaching for the goal line. 

Look.. it’s a poop rule. The actual term used by the NFL was that James completed the catch but by not surviving the ground, the catch and more importantly the touchdown did not count. There is so much gray here. It seems no one can with certainty tell what is a catch and what is not a catch. That’s a problem. The rule doesn’t apply to a player running the ball.. only to a player making a reception. Why? And no. the league isn’t playing favorites or trying to create ‘buzz.” It’s straight up incompetence. It makes the league seem like they’re literally making stuff up as they go along. 

Speaking of making stuff up as they go along..

Index card first down

Yes, that was referee Gene Steratore using an index card to measure a first down during the Raiders/Cowboys game. For real for real. 

The ball was so close to the marker that Steratore used the index card to measure if there was any space between the two. No space to slide the card=first down. Really? Really? 

Steratore later said that the index card really wasn’t really used to make the call. He made the first pronouncement “visually.” Then why the index card? And did you check the smirk on Steratore’s face? 

Alberto Riveron, the head of officiating for the NFLsaid it was cool to use the index card.. but to never do that crap again! ( paraphrasing of course).

Once again, here is the league looking like a bunch of amateurs making it up as they go along. Paging Roger Goodell.. this might be something you should be taking a close look at my man. 

Because, Miami

On the same night Lane KIffin’s Florida Atlantic University rolled up 50 points on Akron in their Boca Raton Bowl win.. the hapless Miami Marlins were having a “Town Hall” for season ticket holders. 

That thing was beyond surreal.  

Super fan and long time season ticket holder, Laurence Leavy -- a.k.a. Marlins Man -- asked The Big Fish -- a.k.a. Derek Jeter -- “do you know who I am?” Classic. 

And away we go!

Fans yelled. Fans cried. Literally cried. One fan said he emailed Jeter his concerns and never heard back. Jeter smoothly fired back “ you don’t have my email address.” 

I’ll give Jeter credit for actually showing up to this thing and pretending to care. The fish stink in Miami and Jeter is the guy walking behind the elephant during the parade.

And think about this: What kind of world are we living in where Lane Kiffin is the cool, hip guy now and Derek Jeter is the bumbling PR mess? Shoot, next thing you’ll tell me is that Alex Rodriguez is a smooth playa.. um.. what?

Ah Miami, still a sunny place for shady people..  

You can hear my show, The Sports Bosses, weekdays at 10am ET on SB Nation Radio. Follow me on Twitter @mediarodriguez

 

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How exciting Houston Texans update sets the stage for free agency win

Come off an incredible start to a new era of Houston Texans football, GM Nick Caserio and Head Coach DeMeco Ryans will look to build off their success and make some important additions in free agency.

Free agency is right around the corner, so the latest update about Texans star rookie receiver Tank Dell couldn't come at a better time.

Aaron Wilson is reporting that Tank Dell is expected to be ready for OTA's in May after suffering a broken fibula that ended his rookie season.

The timing of this news is critical, because the Texans have some big decisions to make in free agency. The legal tampering period starts on March 11.

According to bookies.com, the Texans are the favorites to sign Buccaneers WR Mike Evans. Evans will be 31 years old when the season starts and could command as much as a 3-year deal for $68 million dollars, according to PFF. Similar to Davante Adams' deal with the Raiders.

The Texans have a lot of money to spend this year, but they also have a ton of wholes to fill, especially on defense. Knowing before free agency that Tank Dell should be good to go in May, could shift their priorities this offseason. With Tank Dell and Nico Collins locked in as their top receivers, they don't need to be desperate and overpay for an aging receiver. One could argue the Texans already have a younger version of Evans with Collins.

Instead of spending big on Evans, the team can go after some top defenders on the market, or look to re-sign Jonathan Greenard, Sheldon Rankins, Steven Nelson, or Dalton Schultz.

Be sure to check out the video above for the full discussion.

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