Super Bowl LIV is over. This brings to a close the 2019 football season. This has been a season of highs and lows, just like every other one has been. This year, the players were not as political (that was a good thing) but a few players were team troublemakers that cost their teams. Baker Mayfield finally admitted that he needed to concentrate more on the game and less what sportswriters said about him. Maybe he will figure out what being a professional means. I hope so, I think he has a lot of talent. Now, we wait for the draft. I thoroughly enjoy watching it. You have to be a football junkie to watch, but I admit I am addicted! I found it interesting that Carson Palmer, the former quarterback of the Bengals, pretty much said what a lot of us were thinking; The Bengals aren’t really trying to win, and he doesn’t think Joe Burrow, the presumed #1 pick should go there. I also saw where Alabama quarterback Tua Tagavioloa’s agent doesn’t want the Bengals to take him either. That should stir up some controversy, so I will let you decide for yourselves.
Mostly, I think this was a good year in the NFL, I do hope they figure out the targeting rule though. I do think the NFL officials had what I would consider an average year, not great by any means, but remember they are there to enforce the rules, not make them. That is on the owner’s rules committee. The playoffs this year were competitive too. I enjoy competitive games, and most of them were. The only team that was a little disappointing to me was the New Orleans Saints. I thought they would make a long playoff run, but they looked like they just ran out of gas. If Drew Brees comes back, they will have another shot at it.
The Super Bowl was very entertaining. (I never watch the halftime show). I did hear one thing about the Super Bowl that struck me as an odd comment; there was an article highlighting the fact that 5 of the officials were black, while only 2 were white. I have no idea what that has to do with anything! Most of the officials who worked the game had worked a Super Bowl before, so regardless of skin color or whatever, they were pretty darn good! I suppose in this age of diversity and awareness, it means something to somebody. I would bet that Bill Vinovich, the referee, couldn’t have cared less what color everyone was, he just cared if they knew what they were doing! I thought they did a good job, no real controversy at all and I bet 90% of the viewing public didn’t realize how diverse they were, nor did they care. Officiating is a close brother hood, and before and during the game, the only thing you all care about is getting it right! I have known good officials, and bad ones, and color, age, or religion had nothing to do with it! I look forward to the day when things like the makeup and color of a crew doesn’t need to be pointed out as special and to try and make a political statement.
Now we wait for the draft, then the camps, and then preseason, and finally the season. High School, College and Pro Football can’t get here quick enough for me. I do want to congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs for a well deserved victory, and I am truly happy for one of the nice guys in the league, Andy Reid. He deserved it. Kyle Shanahan will have another day to win his Super Bowl, he is a good coach and has a good team. Now is the time to just savor what we have seen this year and wait for better things next year! That’s how I see it from the sidelines!
Contributing columnist Mike Stegall a 27 year former OHSAA high school football official and current Darke County Commissioner