April 18, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
48°F

Noland commentary: Of rulings, schooling & tooling

Got a lot to catch up on regarding the Browns and Buckeyes, so let’s Rick-o-chet around the world of sports:

I’ve said for years that the NFL’s penalty for pass interference is often too severe. To permit a 50- or 55-yard gain on an “iffy” call is wrong. There ought to be a 15-yard version like there is in high school and college. …

That said, when the interference is blatant or intentional on long passes, it should still be a spot-of-the-foul penalty. Otherwise, we’ll have cornerbacks tackling receivers every time they get beat down the sideline. …

I’ve heard some fans clamoring for video review of penalties. I don’t have a problem with that, particularly in the final two minutes of a game. Had that been the case Sunday, however, by the strictest definition of the rule, the pass interference call in the Browns-Patriots game would have been upheld. …

Of course, if it hadn’t been called, that would have been upheld, too. …

Coordinators and media types use terms like “nickel” and “dime” these days, but make no mistake: What the Browns played at the end of the game Sunday was a prevent defense. …

As for the ludicrous theory that the officials and NFL wanted Tom Brady and the Patriots to win: That certainly wasn’t the case earlier this season when the refs picked up a flag — for a more blatant pass interference — on the final play of a Monday Night Football game. …

A popular refrain now is to blame the constant flux at the bottom of the roster for the Browns’ problems on special teams. Are you people serious? …

How hard is it to recover an onside kick, for crying out loud? …

Josh Gordon is an absolute stud. There is no reason to worry about him on the field. Now, off the field, that’s another story. …

On a positive but sad note, in the grand scheme of things, it will be more beneficial for the Brownies to finish 4-12 than 5-11 or 6-10. …

Assuming, of course, they pick the right guy in the NFL Draft. …

This was where I was going to compliment the Browns for playing hard and not laying down, but shouldn’t all teams play hard all the time? …

Instead, I’ll congratulate the Browns for playing very well — for 57½ minutes. …

As for the Buckeyes, they simply got outplayed by Michigan State, especially when it mattered most. …

Braxton Miller is a big-time playmaker, but he’s not an NFL quarterback and should return to Ohio State. The Canadian Football League can wait. …

Meanwhile, the Ohio State defense was once again defenseless. …

Congratulations to Hinckley Township resident Connor Cook, now Michigan State’s starting quarterback, for being named MVP of the Big Ten Championship. …

As for Bowl Championship Series matchups other than Florida State-Auburn, I will be taking a nap. …

Alabama-Ohio State would have been intriguing. Ohio State-Clemson and Bama-Oklahoma do absolutely nothing for me. …

Finally, if Black River, which is in the midst of a 46-game losing streak, forces its boys basketball coach to resign after every two losses, we’ll all be getting a chance to be in charge of the Pirates in the near future. …

OK, on that sad note about what has always been one of my favorite places to visit, we’re done for this week.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.