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Expect some ugly football in the NFL

this weekend So , the NFL season officially started last night. The reviews are in and, well, let’s say folks weren’t particularly impressed. In short, neither the Eagles, or the Falcons, or the referees impressed many Thursday night. It was an embarrassing opening game for the NFL. But none of us should be surprised by this. Expect more bad football this Sunday. The reason is what we now witness in the early weeks of the NFL is little more than what once passed for preseason football. Most of the players on the field last night have played almost no real football in nine months. Teams have become so frightened of injuries to their best players that they sit them the entire preseason. Add that tackling is virtually unheard of in practice and we witness what we saw last night. The NFL’s best players now get into “game shape” during the regular season because they simply don’t have the opportunity to do so at any other time. Thus we see dropped passes, missed tackles, confusion, blown assignments and players gasping for air because they’re simply not in condition. We also see penalties, lots and lots of penalties. There was a time this wasn’t so (grumpy old man alert). I attended the Cowboys’ 1992 training camp. Teams practiced twice a day back then; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. And they tackled each other. Every day. Jimmy Johnson’s training camps were famous for what was known as the “middle drill”. So after weeks of that in the hot Austin sun when that Cowboys’ team took the field on opening night against the defending champions this happened. That Cowboys team was playing at peak form from the very first play of the first game of the season. Now, I imagine the players that had to go through those middle drills probably wish they hadn’t today. Professional football players put their bodies through tremendous abuse. Doing that sixteen times a year is enough; no need to do it in dozens of practices as well. So the rationale is sound.But it doesn’t change the fact that that what we see in the opening weeks of the season is little more than glorified preseason football. That’s why what’s important this time of the season is results and not form. Both Philadelphia and Atlanta looked like poor teams last night; but each of them will look better a month from now. So Brett Maher Jersey , I’m not expecting high quality play from the Cowboys or pretty much any team this weekend.But the games do count so and the results matter. An ugly Cowboys’ win would be perfectly acceptable. The National Football League defended itself Thursday against charges that its ticketing policies for the 2014 Super Bowl violated New Jersey's consumer fraud law, in arguments before the state Supreme Court that reached a granular level with disputes over words in the statute including "the" and "those."The case was spurred by a 2014 federal lawsuit filed by a New Jersey man who claimed he was forced to pay more than double the $800 face value for a ticket on the secondary market because of the NFL's policy of making just 1 percent of the tickets available to the public through a lottery. Josh Finkelman is seeking class-action status for himself and thousands of other fans in a case that could translate to millions of dollars in damages.His attorney, Bruce Nagel, argued Thursday that the NFL's policy violated the part of New Jersey law requiring events to make 95 percent of tickets available to the public, considered the strictest law of its kind in the country at the time. That portion of the law has since been repealed."The NFL has never denied they never made 95 percent available," Nagel told the court. "That is proof positive that the statute not only is applicable but has been violated."Attorneys for the NFL countered that the lottery didn't constitute a public sale, and thus didn't trigger the consumer fraud law. Attorney Jonathan Pressment said it has been known for years — including by those in New Jersey who sought to attract the game — that the league's signature event doesn't release tickets to the public in the same way as music concerts or even other sporting events. Most tickets go to the league's 32 teams plus sponsors and other insiders."What the plaintiff is really asking this court to do is declare that the first and only Super Bowl held in New Jersey was an unlawful event that somehow unfolded in plain view in front of the state's public officials, from the governor to the attorney general," Pressment said.Both sides withstood pointed questions from the justices, some of whom appeared skeptical of the NFL's claim that the lottery wasn't a public sale."That doesn't seem to make sense," Justice Barry Albin said during one exchange. Asked by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner whether it would be considered a public sale if the NFL sold all the tickets in a lottery Authentic Antwaun Woods Jersey , Pressment said it wouldn't."Then what is it?" Rabner asked."It's a contest. It offers fans an opportunity to have a chance to purchase tickets," Pressment replied.The law's language also came in for some parsing that could go a long way toward determining how the dispute is decided.Nagel argued that the law's reference to 95 percent of "the tickets" and "those tickets" referred to all tickets for an event — in the case of the Super Bowl, about 82,000 tickets at MetLife Stadium. Pressment argued the phrases referred only to the tickets made available to the public — in this case, the 1,000 tickets in the lottery.If the state Supreme Court rules in Finkelman's favor, the lawsuit will proceed in federal court. A federal judge in New Jersey had twice dismissed the lawsuit in recent years, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled last December the case could go forward pending the state court's ruling.
11/8/2018 7:30:13 PMQuote    Edit/Delete
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