Calling all HGL fans! This weekly column is your one stop shop to get in the know about everything going on around the league. From injury updates, to news off the field, your football knowledge will surely grow week after week. Don’t believe me? Put your knowledge to the test with friends and that certain someone. You’ll surely be able to hold your own and them some in the conversation.
1. Goodell to Fans: ‘You deserve better’
It was the play that was heard around the world. A game winning intertouchdownception. The call took a win away from the Green Bay Packers, and made them the sacrificial lamb for the NFL. Goodell had seen enough. It was time to end the brutal referee lockout that had left fans with blown calls, missed calls, and longer games. A deal was made between the two sides and the “real” referees were back at work in last nights game.
In an open letter released by the league today, Goodell says fans, “deserve better” than games worked by replacement officials. Goodell goes on to say, “I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game.”
On Thursday nights game the veteran referees received a standing ovation by fans. Players walked up to the officials and greeted them with open arms. If Goodell was unsure on how the fans felt about the replacement referees, all he would have to do is listen to a couple of the nearly 70,000 voicemails that were left by fans expressing their feelings about the replacements at an NFL office.
The Commissioner finished the open letter by saying the new contract between the referees and the NFL will improve officiating and commends the replacements for their dedication.
2. Torrey Smith Honors Brother with Scholarship Fund
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith took to the field last Sunday against the Patriots and played in the name of his late
younger brother Tevin Jones. 19-year-old Jones died late Saturday night in Virginia. Officials said he ran off the side of the road and struck a utility pole. He was wearing a helmet and alcohol was not a factor. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Smith had an emotional game and a career performance. A moment of silence was held at M&T Bank Stadium, followed by a sensational display of strength and integrity by Smith. The wide receiver had 6 receptions for 127 yards and scored two touchdowns. After the game, Smith told reporters that this is the hardest thing he has ever gone through. On his decision to play, he explained that he texted his mom when he returned to the team. She told him that of course his little brother would want him to play, and added that he admired (Smith) so much.
Smith and his family have been enamored with support and kind words from the public. In lieu of flowers, the Smith family and the Baltimore Ravens are asking for donations to a scholarship fund in honor of Jones.
Funeral services for Jones will be held tomorrow at noon at King George High School in Virginia.
Donations can be mailed to Baltimore Ravens c/o Torrey Smith 1 Winning Drive Owings Mills, Md. 21117 .
3. Football Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Nominees
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced 13 first-year eligible players. Of those 13, safety John Lynch, defensive end Michael Strahan, quarterback Steve McNair and kicker Morten Andersen are some notables. There are a total of 121 nominees for induction, but the list will be cut down to 25 semifinalists in late November.
Elections will take place the day before the Super Bowl, on February 2, 2013. Between four and seven new members will be selected, and then inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 2013.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has honored the games most prestigious players since 1920. The Hall of Fame can be visited by the public, and holds countless record breaking game day jerseys, balls and other memorabilia. For a complete list of nominees visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
4. Man Pleads Guilty on RGIII Blackmail Case
A former Baylor basketball player pleaded guilty yesterday to trying to extort $1 million dollars from RGIII.
Prosecutors said Richard Khamir Hurd was threatening to expose damaging information about the Redskins quarterback.
Sentencing for Hurd will take place on November 21 and he faces two to three years in prison.
The U.S attorney’s office said Hurd contacted one of Griffin’s agents in June with a demand of $1 million or else he would release information that would damage the quarterback’s reputation.
Griffin’s agent contacted the authorities and was instructed by the FBI to pay Hurd $120,000 for the information and for his signature on a non-disclosure agreement.
Right after Hurd signed the contract and collected his check, the FBI arrested him.
It remains unclear what information, if any, Hurd had on the quarterback.
5. Injury Tracker
|Beanie Wells, RB|
|Comment: Wells (toe) is out for at least the next eight weeks and cannot return until November 25th, according to the Arizona Republic|
|Michael Palmer, TE|
|Comment: Palmer (shoulder) will not play Week 4, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.|
|Ruvell Martin, WR|
|Comment: Martin has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots due to a high ankle sprain, the Bills’ official site reports.|
|Lestar Jean, WR|
|Comment: Jean underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reports.|
|Austin Collie, WR||Ir|
|Riley Cooper, WR||Out|