Tough Jobs and Monday Musings

Good day everyone!

Yesterday was an interesting day for football fans, primarily due to officiating. In the Dallas-Green Bay game, Dallas appeared to convert a 4th down with a chance to go ahead by 2 or 3 points, only to have the call overturned on replay. This caused quite a controversy. For the uninitiated, if a player gets both feet down with control of the ball, makes something called a "football move" with intent to do something and the ball comes free, it's a catch. If a player does not make a "football move" and the ball comes free, it's not a catch (when the ball hits the turf it's the Calvin Johnson rule). From what I read, about 50% think it's not a catch, and 50% think it's a catch. Some like Howie Long and the NFL Network's Rich Eisen are flummoxed because they think he was reaching out to the end zone, most officials are pretty sure they got it right and he wasn't really reaching out to the end zone (a football move).

One thing for certain: It's interpretive (Mike Florio explains it better than I could if you are interested). 

Meanwhile, in the sport of horse racing, this is nothing new for us. Old hat. An old shoe. We live for interpretive. My view on NFL catches with replays, and in the sport of kings with replay inquiries, is consistent. I hate seeing things overturned with even a little bit of supposition. I want the horses, or the players to decide games, not some man or woman in a booth somewhere.

Football and horse racing judging are different in one huge way, however. In racing you are dealing with a race with ten thousand or more pounds of horseflesh, with ten or more living people on their backs. Clearly a football catch is not dangerous like horse racing can be. If a jockey or driver forces his or her way out in a dangerous fashion, and wins by 5, the best horse won and that's great, but it can't be let stand.  I trust that the stewards in horse racing have to protect the participants and that's where they need to be interventionist.

It's a tough job.

The NFL will surely review this process for its sport for next year. A wide receiver taking three steps with a ball, and at least attempting to score, having his forearm go down and a ball popping out for a nanosecond will most likely be a catch in the future; simply from a walks like a duck common sense perspective. Horse racing on the other hand will have herding called one way in one state and a different way in another. Such is life in horse racing land.


Rich Berthiaume speaks about the cobalt readings his horses received at the Breeders Crown. Most folks are centering a bit on the fact that he has given Mr. Johnson piles of horses while only meeting him "once". It's not like the old days, that's for sure.

Tom Charters clears the air about his comments regarding the affair. 

In HRU, the cobalt readings were released and were over 50 ppb. In Indiana this is a positive test, in Hong Kong it's 5X over what they use. Currently, a horsemen led study is recommending 70 ppb to "be sure", so it's under that level. Because Mr. Gural's offsite test does not constitute a suspension, or purse redistribution, the 70 level, nor the 25 level doesn't mean much one way or another.

Peyton Manning apparently has been dealing with a torn quad that no one has told anyone about. He has been terrible since week 9 (his red zone completion percentage is 39% since then, after having the highest red zone completion percentage in NFL history before then), so maybe that's not a surprise. But the NFL is a gambling game, so I bet there's some hell to pay about keeping him off injury reports. I bet small on the Colts yesterday, and I don't think I would've changed that bet if I knew one way or another, though. When a high octane offense looks that horrid for so long, something has to be wrong, and I don't care or need to know.

Have a great Monday everyone.

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