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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
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February 17, 2006
The Seahawks just didn't play well enough to win...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Sports, Super Bowl XL

This has become the flag (well the penalty flag) waving mantra for Super Bowl XL. Even Seahawks players have been soundbited parroting this drivel so as not to sound like they are whining - and so that they don't get fined.

I've been investing a little time here and there lately capturing what I can of the game. I know that the game is completed and I know what the result was. I remain unsatisfied with the NFL's obligation to its fans to provide a fair game. Until that's corrected, I'm going to continue to call them to account.

Here's another microcosm of a play with video frames again. These events occurred right in front of billions of people in the light of day (or night I suppose). In this microcosm, what does 'not play well enough' mean?


Here we are at about 10 minutes left in the second quarter. Roethlisberger has made a long pass attempt to Randle El. Seahawk defensive back Michael Boulware leaps up to intercept the pass. Leaps? Actually he flew - for a little while. In one of the most athletic plays imaginable, Boulware instigates a change in possession - not really a mistake by Roethlisberger - and it could have been a spectacular gain for Pittsburgh inside the red zone.

There are some basketball players that can execute something like a 42 inch vertical jump. There are probably only a handful of athletes in the world that could do what Boulware did here. This is one of the most extraordinary images I have ever witnessed in all of sport. At this moment billions of eyes must have been transfixed on what was happening here.


But, not only has he elevated to this extraordinary height, he has taken possession of the ball - and both he and Randle El realize that he must keep possession all the way to the ground. In this case that's a long way down and a relatively long time. Randle El's reaction is to attempt to dislodge the ball in the most aggressive way possible - he can't reach the ball - Boulware's clearance above the ground exceeds the height of most human beings - so Randle El goes for his head.


In this frame you can see that Randle El has twisted Boulware's neck far to the right with his left hand clasped over Boulware's face mask. At full video speed this is a vicious snap.


Not as well in view until they approach the ground - Randle El's right hand has been jammed against Boulware's face mask as well - and as they approach the ground Randle El uses his right hand to slam Boulware's head into the ground to attempt to dislodge the ball.

Granted that this happened pretty fast - and Boulware's athleticism was amazing. But, Randle El's actions are among the most egregious that you could ever witness on a football field. I could not have been the only fan that observed this - but that's not the point.

Given the extraordinary circumstances of this play, it had to have been observed closely by one or more officials - and there was no call. No flag. No fifteen yards for facemask, unsportsmanlike conduct, or unnecessary roughness - all certainly qualified here.

Now, before you whinegangsters get going, I'm not suggesting that this non-call affected the outcome of the game - there are plenty of those to deal with. Sure there's something to be said about starting from the 32 instead of the 17. Perhaps it wouldn't have been a three and out because of that. That's something we'll never know.

No, what's important about thinking about this play is: Did Michael Boulware play well enough to 'win' on this play? There isn't any question about that. He did affect a change in possession and so he 'won' in that context. Did he win in the context of the rules of football? No, he didn't. He was fouled in one of the most egregious ways possible. He could have been terribly injured because of the foul. The league and the officials are obligated to penalize the offender for these infractions. But they didn't.

Something we can be certain of is this: Officials observed, in real time, both the amazing athleticism and the egregious foul on this play. No penalty was called. The NFL has publically stated that no mistakes were made by the game officials. We have the right to ask and the right to expect an answer to "Didn't Michael Boulware play well enough to win on this play? How and why was something like this allowed to happen?"

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People Pulling

Dude, you need some OCD meds. Seriously. :)

EMCEE: You ain't seen nothin' yet :)

Posted by: jan at Feb 18, 2006 8:28:49 PM

Lord help us. Don't you have any more Japanese garden pictures to play with?
Nice calming and soothing garden pictures......... :)

Posted by: jan at Feb 19, 2006 3:41:00 PM

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