So, what was the best division in football in 2013?
Most probably would say the NFC West, which put two teams in the playoffs and had one other which just missed.
I’ll propose another theory that the old AFC West was the most powerful division this season. It’s the only division which can claim the Super Bowl winner and loser.
For those who don’t remember, the Seattle Seahawks were in the AFC West (along with Denver, Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego) from 1977 to 2001.
Remember how everyone was so concerned about the weather for Super Bowl XLVIII? Turns out, it was a great night for football. The league should have been more concerned about the AFC representative actually showing up. The Broncos were bad enough that they should apologize to their fans personally for that performance. CJ Steiger, let me know when you get that call from Peyton Manning, John Fox or John Elway.
Honestly, the NFL should be concerned with how many folks decided to skip out on watching the game. Many tuned away at halftime. More left after the opening kickoff of the second half was returned for a touchdown.
The weekend also featured the NFL awards and Hall of Fame announcement.
While our favorite Ram, Robert Quinn, got pushed to fourth in the final “official” Defensive Player of the Year voting (after winning the players’ vote), many would consider that a slight. If Quinn keeps improving, it won’t be long until he does win that award, as well as the Deacon Jones Player of the Year (for most sacks).
Quinn is an exciting, but humble, young man who has excelled in every role he’s been given with the Rams. During his rookie season, he blocked multiple punts on special teams. He’s a very good end against the run.
For those of you who attended home games (and by attendance numbers, it wasn’t that many), you might remember during one spot where players were asked if they had a starring role in a movie who their leading lady would be. Most of the players interviewed picked famous starlets. Quinn picked his wife. That’s devotion.
The Hall of Fame class of seven featured two of note to me.
Ray Guy finally made it to Canton after being a finalist many times. Guy is the first modern era punter to make the Hall of Fame (in the old days, players played both ways and on special teams and there were no specialists). It’s about time that a punter has gotten into the Hall of Fame.
It was great to see a player I covered with the Rams, Aeneas Williams, make the Hall of Fame as well. Williams was an amazing cornerback who played most of his career with the dreadful Arizona Cardinals. Traded to the Rams in 2001, he got to play in one Super Bowl with the Rams and was a key member of the defense before his retirement after the 2004 season.
Williams still is a productive member of the St. Louis community and he’s often seen on the sidelines prior to Rams games. My opinion is that he’s another individual of class who is very deserving of this honor.
The NFL got lucky with the weather Sunday. It was snowing heavily Monday in the New York area.
However, there are many other things the league’s got to worry about. The concussion settlement may be overturned, sending everything back to the bargaining table.
The league needs to make sure that it addresses the situation about head trauma without losing the game’s identity. You don’t want to soften it too much (and make every game look like the Pro Bowl), but you don’t want to cripple your athletes. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell faces some tough decisions at this point. If he decides correctly, the NFL will flourish. If he picks wrong, the NFL faces the possibility of falling off like NASCAR (its latest messes could make an entire column) or the NHL.
We’re still waiting for official word on the Kansas City Chiefs special teams coaching situation. The Kansas City Chiefs beat reporter for the Kansas City Star last week stated former Borgia standout Brock Olivo would be hired to be the assistant special teams coordinator for the Chiefs.
Terez A. Paylor reported Olivo has left his coaching position at Coastal Carolina. The Chiefs have not announced anything official yet and we’re waiting for confirmation from the club before running anything.
Paylor assures me it’s happening, but there has been no official announcement. As a beat writer, Paylor is in a position to have access to this information. However, if it can’t be confirmed by the club, there’s still a chance it might not happen.
We had another situation recently where social media reported something within the NFL and a local individual as being news, but it didn’t happen. I’m glad we didn’t jump in with the folks who reported that. It wouldn’t have helped anybody.
That’s the problem with today’s “new” media. A lot of times, reports get thrown out over the Internet (and picked up by every blogger from here to Shanghai) as being gospel without confirming facts. In journalism, it’s still better to be correct than fast, and best to be both.
Speaking of Olivo, you might find it interesting that even though his number has been retired at the University of Missouri that he still is not in the school’s Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. When the school retired his number, it was presumed that Olivo also would be inducted into the Mizzou Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.
Chad Moller (MollerC@missouri.edu) is the person who takes nominations for the hall of fame if you feel Olivo needs to be honored. Olivo is the only football player who has his number retired by the school who is not in that hall of fame.