Friday 6 Pack

1-Junior Seau, the Hall of Fame LB from the Chargers (and Dolphins and Patriots) committed suicide with a gunshot to the chest last Wednesday.  Nothing has been found that it was due to concussions and NFL head injuries, though people are connecting the dots.  First thoughts of Junior’s career and lasting image in the NFL and also in your opinion how will this affect the image of violence and head injuries in the NFL?
Matt – Junior to me always looked like he was having fun playing football.  He’s a Charger in my mind too, #55 pumping his fist in Jack Murphy Stadium.  As for concussions, the dots are lining up to much and I think it puts a focus on the NFL to improve maybe the helmets and maybe take some precautions more so too.  Also as a parent it makes me wonder about letting my kid play football too.  I want him to if he wants too but also got to think of his health.
PainterSeau was one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game.  I would have liked to see him walk away sooner but that's gotta be easier said than done.  Sadly the head injuries and violence is part of the game.  Most fans like football for the violence rather than the strategy.  I'm becoming more in favor of dropping all forms of tackle football and going to more of a flag football type of game.  Not only would it cut down on the violence but also the unnatural weight gain
Majors – As a Raiders fan, I have a strong respect for Junior. He was one of those guys I knew I should not like, but loved him anyway. I will always remember him as a great player, great man. We never know the demons some people face.  As for the NFL, I don't think much will change. It is a true barbarian sport. The only way to get the injuries and such under control is to go to a flag football system, which won't happen
Zach – It may make the NFL think about protecting its players more, but I think that has already been in place for a couple years now

2-The Saints Bounty Gate had punishment handed down last week with the biggest punishment on Jonathan Vilma getting a year.  Feel this is too much for Vilma?  Just right or not enough?
Matt – I think this is right and just.  With safety being the biggest thing now in the NFL’s front office, this came at the wrong time for Vilma.  You can’t go Boba Fett on people and their lively hood.
Painter – There's been so much going on with the bounty deal that I don't even know what to think about it anymore
Majors – I live just a couple hours from NOLA, so I am in the middle of 'Aints territory. it is blowing up around here, all types of controversy. I think the year is pretty harsh, I expected 6-8 games. It will be interesting to see what comes of the appeals. I don't want to hear the players complain anymore about Goodell hearing the appeals, they are the ones who approved it in the CBA
Zach – It's more toward 'just right' if anything else, but a season-long suspension is a serious and hefty one

3-Kentucky is wanting to shut down the basketball rivalry with Indiana (after losing in Bloomington last year) unless it’s in a bigger venue that is at a neutral setting.  How is this good for either school?  The fans?  And an already watered down regular college basketball season?
Matt – C’mon. The college basketball regular season is already watered down. This ticks me off as much as Iowa and Iowa State not wanting to play at UNI or Drake. How are these decisions good for the fans, and the already terrible regular season? I don’t want to see any more games by big schools vs schools for the blind and deaf. Give us big great matchups. I loved when Iowa played UNC and Duke in the late 80s and early 90s. This is total crap and a BIG middle finger to the fans.
Painter – With the 1-and-done NBA entry rule college basketball has become pretty watered-down as it is.  If Kentucky wants to shut down rivalries then they have that power.  It's almost like the non-conference football schedules
Majors – Eh, it stinks, I guess, but I am not much of a college basketball guy anyway. The players come and go so fast it is hard to keep track. I enjoy the tourney and some rivalry games, but that is about it
Zach – It's not good for either school. Kentucky is just bitter that it lost at a true road site. Indiana was the better team that night, and this proves that Calipari is a bitter SOB about many things

4-Mariano Rivera’s career may be over after blowing his ACL in Kansas City shagging flies pregame.   Who is more responsible for the Yankees dominant run from the mid 90s to their last championship a couple years ago, Rivera or El Capitan…Derek Jeter?
Matt – Apparently this is normal activity for him but I’m shocked he did this.  I hope his career isn’t over but I am glad I got to see him in NYC and come out to Enter the Sandman.  As for the most important figure, it’s clearly Mariano.  He made (most) games for the  Yanks a 7 inning game.
Painter – Jeter by far.  Rivera only pitched one inning every few games while Jeter played every inning of every game during the playoffs.
Majors – I am a firm believer in everyday players having a big role in the games. Mo is a great pitcher, and was available more than a starter, but Jeter was the rock of that team. I am so against pitchers being MVP's it is ridiculous. I do like Rivera though, and wish him a speedy recovery
Zach – Rivera, Rivera, Rivera. He has played the equivalent of two full seasons in the postseason and his numbers rival that of a video game. Absolutely dominant

5- Bob Bowlsby took a new position as Big XII commissioner.  The conference is going through change, Texas A&M and Mizzou are leaving (marking the 4th orig Big XII member to leave) and West Virginia & TCU are coming in.  Put yourself in his shoes…to make the Big XII stable and on par with the SEC and Big Ten what do you do?
Matt – First thing I’d do is talk to Texas and tell them this is 9+1,this is a ten team conference.  Then you have to look at adding 2 more teams to get the football championship and the first one I’d make is to Notre Dame.  Force their hand with the new National Championship playoff that is coming.  That would be a big statement and also hurt the Big Ten who tried to get the Irish for years.  Add them with Louiville…Split the divisions to be Texas/TCU/Tech/Baylor/ND/Louisville and OU/OKState/ISU/KU/KSU/WVU.  After that go to NBC/NBC Sports and negotiate a TV deal and show the mothership that there are other outlets who want college football.  But they made a play this week to extend contract with ABC/Fox through 2025. 
PainterFirst and foremost take the power away from Texas.  One school cannot be making the decisions for the rest of the conference.  2nd get rid of the Longhorn Network and replace it with a conference network and make it available to everyone in the country
Majors – Institute a new rule in the Big XII football. Teams MUST play defense, haha. They are actually not a bad conference, their lower teams are on par or above the bottom dwellers of the SEC. (Kentucky, anyone?) I think he has to continue to keep the football strong, and hope the basketball can remain popular as well
Zach – Not much he can do until his conference starts being competitive with SEC and B1G

6- The voting is over…the pewter family is dead, or melted down and the new Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk trophy is a wood base, Herky and Cy in a corn field holding up a football.  Do you like the trophy that was fan decided?  Would you have done something different, or do you want to see the old one back?
Matt – This is a better choice than the Pewter family, but really I don’t know if I like it yet.  What happens when ISU changes their logo and Cy every 5 years, is it interchangeable?  I thought a legacy trophy with Nile Kinnick and Jack Trice would have been cool.  Or a Barn with the scores every year on the side.  That’d be cool.  But what we got I’d take the old one back.
Painter – I still like B-Sox's Cornbelt Championship.  I've never seen a rivalry trophy that's actually a championship belt.  At least this one is much better than what we saw last fall
Majors – I think the new one is ok. It represents the state and the teams well. Better than the family one
Zach – What was wrong with the old one? Don't change something that isn't not working. I don't hate the new trophy, but this drama could have been avoided if it was simply left alone

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