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me in a big way," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "Ever

in Share With Other Members Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:07 pm
by sakura698 • 1.170 Posts

A quick look in the rearview mirror at the 2013 CFL season and we see a year that the league head offices can use as a springboard to an even bigger and better future, with the exception of one pressing question that just doesnt seem to ever go away: How will the league improve the officiating? After a very successful expansion draft in December, the Ottawa Redblacks will kick it off for real in a brand new facility this season. Vapormax Plus Cheap . Hamilton will also be playing in a new stadium this year, and the Bombers Investors Group Field still has that new stadium smell. Jon Cornish, who won the Lou Marsh Award as Canadas top male athlete of the year, headlines a group of Canadian football players in the CFL that continue to get better and are proving that Canadians are, not only capable of playing the skilled positions, but can be impact players. Young quarterbacks excelled in 2013 and showed football fans across the country that the future is bright at the most important position on the field. And, discussions regarding a tenth franchise in the Maritimes has moved from the "dream stage" to the "serious talks" stage with the signing of a new, game-changing television agreement with TSN. There is no question the future looks bright for the CFL, with one issue yet to be tackled. Ask the average football fan in our country what is the one area that the league must improve on moving forward and they will say officiating ninety-nine per cent of the time. Now, inconsistencies with the refs is not a problem unique to the CFL, as evidence by some of the recent games in the NFL, and it is not unique to the sport of football. However, in a world where perception is reality, the perception for most of the fans is that officiating is lagging behind in the Canadian Football League and it needs to improve. Interestingly enough, the league office has a plan. It is in its infancy and has not been talked about very much but the blueprint to improving this area of the game is being drafted right now. Prior to the end of the 2013 calendar year, the league quietly made a change at the top with regards to officials. Head of officiating, Tom Higgins, was not offered a contract extension and just a few days later the league announced the hiring of veteran head referee, Glen Johnson. Higgins should be proud of his time in the big chair, despite the perception that officiating is the CFLs weak link. The highlights of his tenure included streamlining the command centre, improving the use of technology as a learning tool and maybe most importantly, opening a line of communication between the leagues head office and its coaches, players and partners. However, in this performance-based business, where if youre not moving forward and improving you are moving backwards, it seemed that when it came to officiating, the CFL was in a holding pattern. Enter Glen Johnson, a veteran of twenty four years as a head ref, who has been in the trenches in 416 games and 11 Grey Cups. Johnson has also been on the leagues rules committee for more than ten years, so he is very familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of that process. Obviously, Johnson is not new to the CFL. However, he does have a new role and if it is true about the value of first impressions, then the league is in very good hands as they move forward in the area of officiating. In a recent phone conversation, Johnson wanted to emphasis that he is still moving into his new office and his game plan is in the first draft stage, but immediately stated that, "there are three areas that I would like to work on." He also wanted to make it clear off the top that all discussions would of course include the CFL Officials Association, the CFL Players Association, and the board of governors, because changes cannot be made without their input and cooperation. First on Johnsons, to do list was improving consistency. He stated, "despite the perception, the leagues officials do a very good job but it is very important to improve the consistency from one game to another and one crew to another." He admitted that is not exactly a news flash, but went on to explain just how he would want to attack the issue of inconsistency. First, once the standards are agreed upon, it is incumbent on the league office to make sure everyone is, as he put it, "speaking the same language." In other words, to be consistent there has to be consistency in the message. Johnson stated, "the language used to instruct our officials has to be the same language we use when explaining those rules to coaches, players and the fans of the game." Johnson, who has spent the last twenty-seven years as a technology executive, also thinks that the league can continue to use technology not only as a teaching tool but also as a way of communicating with fans, and would like to see greater transparency in the process. Johnson explained, "if we are all speaking the same language, then there will be an overall better understanding as to how rules are assessed and applied." The second item on the agenda for Johnson is to look at ways to expand replay. As he put it, "we need to continue to protect the integrity of the game, but maybe it is time to become innovators and further examine all aspects of the command centre." Johnson will meet with the heads of officiating in the NHL, NFL and MLB in early February to go over ways to improve upon the use of instant replay. He also mentioned that he would like to initiate the discussions on all things replay, including how and when coaches can challenge a call on the field and to even examine, and possibly expand, the plays that can be challenged. That could include, again in a very preliminary way, talks on pass interference and whether or not that penalty could be a play that could be reviewed. Johnson understands the frustration when it comes to this penalty and isnt making any guarantees that drastic changes are on their way, but said that on the agenda is, "how we get better at that rule." He wanted to be clear that the goal is not to take what is a judgment call out of the hands of one individual and put it in the hands of another, but that maybe there are other ways to look at this penalty. He suggested that he would like to explore the possibilities of using technology within the stadium to assist the refs on the field when it comes to the game changing PI call. Finally, he referenced again the fact that professional football is a performance based business for everyone involved including the officials, and wants to make his third priority making sure that week in and week out the best refs available are on the field. He explained by saying, "that means evaluating how the league recruits its officials, develops them, and how they evaluate them." Johnson feels that it may be time for a shift in thinking in the area of officiating that moves closer to how a team GMs or coach evaluates a player, saying, "We need to start thinking more like the clubs, when it comes to recognizing and evaluating talent." He went on to say that he is looking for new and innovative ways to create opportunities for the refs to actually practice. "Its hard for a ref to practice, we train them and prepare them, but we cant actually evaluate their talent level until they are actually in games." An interesting point when you consider a coach evaluates a player from the moment, he hits the first practice at training camp to game one of the regular season, which is a lot of plays at close to game speed to see if the athlete has what it takes. In comparison, new officials get a couple of preseason games at best. If you read between the lines, it sounds like the new head of officiating wants to see refs working in practice with the teams on a regular basis, which is again an excellent idea. As an example, the Argos run and passing skeleton 8-on-8 drill in practice with real officials on the field looking for and calling offensive and defensive pass interference. The players work on their game and so do the refs. It would also allow players to better understand where the boundaries are long before they cost their team by taking a bad penalty in a real game. The call was made to Glen Johnson before 2013 was officially in the books, and his three point priority list was already being formulated. He couldnt give a lot of details before meeting with all the groups involved in the process but didnt hesitate to outline his three points of focus. Put together a game plan so that the league can find more consistency from game to game and crew to crew. Take a good hard look and become innovators when it comes to instant replay and the command centre. And make sure that the best talent available is always on the field. The officials, like the players, coaches and the colour analysts in the game, will never be perfect. As long as human beings are involved, there is going to be human error which fans understand. However, as the CFL sling shots into the future with improved play on the field and a much better business model off the field, fans have to also see that there is a plan in place to improve the area of the game that is the number one topic of discussion every year - officiating. Its early in the process and a lot of work has got to be done but after a conversation in late December with Glen Johnson, it sounds like there is a new and "innovative" game plan being formulated as we speak. Air Max Plus Miami Vice . It will be their 15th head-to-head meeting and fourth in the post-season (Sunday at 2pm et/11am pt on CTV) and for his part, Brady isnt downplaying just how big the game is for him. "Im excited - Its everything you could ask for as an athlete," the New England Patriots quarterback told WEEI Radio in Boston on Monday. Vapormax Plus Clearance . Here are some of the best from Week One and some to watch in Week Two: TOP PERFORMERS Anthony Allen, RB, Saskatchewan (176 YDS, 2 TD, 30 touches vs. Hamilton) - Powerfully-built back burst onto the scene in his CFL debut, after a couple of years in the NFL, playing 21 games with the Baltimore Ravens. http://www.airmaxplusstoresale.com/ . 1 status and was unable to prevent a late season collapse, James Reimer said he wants to put the past behind him and is looking forward to spending the next two years in a Maple Leaf uniform.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors will wrap up their whirlwind series Saturday night with Game 7 at the Staples Center. This series has been mostly about the Clippers and the horrid situation with owner Donald Sterling. Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the NBA for life on Tuesday, then the Clips won Game 5 to take the series lead. You can catch all the action live on TSN2 at 10pm et/7pm pt. On Thursday, the Warriors staved off elimination with a 100-99 home victory. "Im fighting for my life. My guys are fighting for their basketball lives this year. One thing I told the guys this morning, this group will never be together again, our group. So weve got to do whatever it takes to find a way to prolong this thing, to find a way to advance. Dont rob ourselves," said Golden State coach Mark Jackson. He explained further that the team would be different based on draft picks, players leaving and new players coming into the fold. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding Jacksons job security should the Warriors lose in the first round. But those sideline stories paled in comparison to whats gone on with the Clippers. After silent protests and lifetime bans, the Clippers now have one game to extend their championship hopes. "We let one slip away, but we fought hard all season to have a Game 7 at home," said Clippers forward Matt Barnes. "Now, weve just got to take care of business." Stephen Curry poured in 24 points and handed out nine assists to lead the Warriors to victory in Game 6. Andre Iguodala added 15 points and Draymond Green finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and four assists for the Warriors, who shot just 39.3 percent from the field (35-of-89). Jamal Crawford scored 19 points off the bench and Barnes added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers. Chris Paul struggled to post just nine points and eight assists and DeAndre Jordan added nine points and 19 boards in the setback. Blake Griffin scored 17 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists before fouling out. After three Crawford free throws to start the fourth tied the game at 70-70, the Warriors opened a 15-7 burst to go up 85-77. Klay Thompson capped the surge with a transition layup. The Clippers shot their way back into it as Crawfords 3-pointer had LA within 899-86 with just over 5 1/2 minutes to go. Vapormax Plus Mens Sale. Iguodala and Green made back-to-back baskets to open a 93-86 edge moments later. J.J. Redick, who had just missed back-to-back wide open 3-pointers, buried a contested try to get the Clippers back within two possessions with 3:18 left. Iguodala had a shot at a four-point play after Griffin was whistled for a controversial foul on Iguodalas trey from the corner, but he missed the free throw and the Warriors lead stayed at 96-89. Crawford buried a deep 3, and after Curry missed a step-back jumper, he found Barnes cutting to the basket for an easy layup that made it 96-94 with 1:43 to go. Green grabbed an offensive rebound on the other end and was knocked to the floor by Jordan. Green made both free throws to make it a four-point game with 1:19 left, but Crawford found Jordan for a quick alley-oop slam to make it 98-96 at the 1:10 mark. Harrison Barnes drove to the hoop on the next possession and drew a foul on Redick before sinking both shots from the charity stripe to open a 100-96 lead with 55.6 seconds left. Paul couldnt cash in on an opportunity to cut the Clippers deficit to two. After blowing by a defender, Paul had his layup swatted away by Thompson. Curry turned it over on the other end with 20.9 seconds left, but the Clippers missed two open 3-point attempts before Matt Barnes desperation heave with 2.5 seconds left made it 100-99. The Clippers immediately fouled Curry on the inbounds pass and sent him to the line with 0.4 seconds left. Curry missed the first free throw before intentionally missing the second. The ball bounced off the rim and was swatted to half court as time expired. "It wasnt a very well played game by either team, but I felt both teams played extremely hard. I honestly thought they played, I dont know if it was harder than us -- we played hard -- but they won the 50-50 game in a big way," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "Every big rebound they got. They made the big plays." Jermaine ONeal was injured in the victory on a play many Warriors believed was dirty when LAs Glen Davis hit him in the knee. ONeal underwent an MRI on Friday that revealed a bone bruise of his right knee cap and he is listed as questionable. The Warriors havent played a Game 7 since the 1977 Western Conference semifinals, while the Clippers are 1-1 in their last two Game 7s. ' ' '

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