Allow me to take a minute to say a few kind words about Epic Realty LLC. You can click on the website from my home page www.epicmauirealty.com, and I couldn’t be more proud to have this organization as a sponsor.
Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about the Maui vacations we’ve had through Eric Realty. My wife and I have used Epic Realty four times on trips to the island and it was a 5-star experience every time.
Each condo we’ve rented has been everything we hoped it would be _ spotlessly cleaned upon arrival, ocean-front breathtaking views, great in-room conveniences and easy access to other activities in Maui. It has become our home away from home.
Blount SportsTalk built a relationship with the company a couple of years ago because of the top-of-the-line service and the personal care we’ve always received with Epic Realty.
We have stayed in resort hotels in the past, but this is such a better value for your vacations dollars. It’s also incredibly easy to book a vacation spot with Epic Realty, directly through their website.
What you see is what you get, and that’s a lot. The web photos give a wonderful representation of each property. But the best part of the entire process is the friendly and caring attention everyone on Epic Realty’s team gives us each time we’re there.
I would highly recommend using Epic Realty on your next vacation to the stunningly beautiful island of Maui. And if you’re consider purchasing property in Maui, as we are, I can’t imagine a better person to help you find the perfect property than Cimi Morgan (Owner, Broker of Epic Realty LLC). She is one of the most respected realtors in Hawaii. She is truly the best in the business!
Golf is losing an outstanding TV analyst in Johnny Miller, who is retiring after this weekend's tournament in Phoenix.
In a sport with a hoity-toity and pretentious image, Miller was the first commentator to tell it like it is and not fear criticizing golfers in his commentary. It was a brave stance for a former competitor who knew and played against many of the men he was talking about on the broadcasts.
He angered some golfers who weren't used to broadcasters actually telling the truth, being candid and having an opinion instead of milquetoast and disingenuous butt-kissing.
Miller is what all TV sports analysts should be, but fewer and fewer are in today's coverage.
The wrong team is going to the Super Bowl. It’s that simple. No matter who you root for or root against, the New Orleans Saints should be in the Super Bowl.
A missed call, the worst in NFL playoff history, kept the Saints from winning the game and gave the Los Angeles Rams a chance they wouldn’t have received had the proper call been made.
One sportsbook _ PointsBet in New Jersey _ refunded the money to everyone who bet on the Saints. When a bookie appears to have more integrity than the NFL, the league has a big problem.
I’m normally not one to get in the weekly debate of fans who feel a bad call kept their team from winning. Too bad. Every game has calls that could have gone the other way. Teams have to overcome it.
But this one was so egregious, the clear pass interference on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman (even he admitted it afterward) that something has to change in the name of fairness.
No matter what happens in the Super Bowl between the Rams and the New England Patriots, this season will be remembered as the year the Saints were robbed.
This can’t happen. The league cannot maintain its respect when such an obvious mistake kept a team from reaching the Super Bowl.
Yes, many other calls were missed in the two championship games, including a ridiculous roughing the passer call on Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (waving his arm by Tom Brady’s face) that kept a New England drive alive.
It was a bad decision by the official, but nothing compared to the Robey-Coleman play where he ran over Tommylee Lewis on the sideline (along with initiating a helmet-to-helmet hit) long before the pass arrived.
The correct call would have resulted in the Saints running most of the remaining time off the clock and kicking a chip-shot field goal to win. Sure, they could have missed the kick, but that’s beside the point.
In all likelihood, the game was decided on a call that seemed impossible to miss.
So how do they fix it moving forward? Easy. Make all plays reviewable. Critics of that idea say that’s not practical because it would add more time to games that already are too long.
I say baloney, and even if it does occasionally add time, it’s better to correct an obvious error than have fans question the outcome.
On plays that are not available for coaches to challenge, a replay-booth official must have final say about reviewing a play. Not every play needs to be reviewed. In fact, few plays need review that are not challenged.
The NFL never has reviewed plays that weren’t flagged. That also must change in rare situations like the one Sunday.
And no call in the game decides more games than pass interference. PI calls have an impact in almost every game. The Washington Post reported that the NFL will consider making PI reviewable.
However, I’m not talking about a review of every PI call. Most of those involve a receiver and defensive back grabbing each other in some fashion. Those calls often can go either way.
There was no debate on the play Sunday. Robey-Coleman deserved two penalties on one play. Someone in a replay booth back should have said, “We have to look at that play again. It’s just too egregious to ignore.”
Maybe there is one of those a game. Maybe two. Maybe none.
But something has to change. The Super Bowl was on the line and the wrong team won. That can’t happen again.
The college football playoff format has one giant flaw. It’s 100 percent subjective.
It’s strictly a guess by a panel of voters on which four teams deserve the honor.
And that’s wrong, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the schools selected.
There is an easy solution… an eight-team playoff where the majority of teams earn their spot based on winning a conference title.
It would have worked almost to perfection this season. Take the Power-5 conference champs _ Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington.
That leaves three other spots as so-called wildcards. In this case, one would be Central Florida for going undefeated. An unbeaten team should get an automatic bid despite being a Group-of-5 conference school, especially one that hasn’t lost a game in two years and beat Auburn in a bowl game one year ago.
If you really want to put a qualifier on it, say the unbeaten team has to have at least one victory over a Power-5 team. UCF doesn’t have that this season, but I think the team hasn’t proven its worth.
That leaves two other spots. One would go to Notre Dame, the other unbeaten team. Obviously, the Fighting Irish going undefeated is an automatic qualifier. The other spot this year is subjective. I can live with some subjectivity as long as most the spots are earned. Georgia likely would get the other playoff berth this year.
There you have it. Seed them however you want. Yes, that’s subjective, but you still have to beat the best to be the best at some point.
If I were doing the seeding, it would go like this:
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 UCF
No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 7 Washington
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 Georgia
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Oklahoma
That also would increase interest in four more bowl games that become part of the playoff. I would have five bowls – Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Fiesta – be part of the playoff every year. Three others would rotate in. Some to consider might be Peach, Gator (Taxslayer), Citrus, Outback, Holiday, Liberty and or Sun Bowl.
Is it perfect? Of course not. Arguments will continue over the wildcard entries. That’s fine, and sometimes fun. At least most of the teams in the playoff make it by on-the-field play, not by people around a big table decided they are worthy.
This week’s Walk of Shame goes to the NFL for its not-so-random drug testing harassment of Carolina safety Eric Reid.
When Reid returned to his locker after the loss to New Orleans Monday night, he found the above notice to get tested again, his seventh time in the 11 weeks since being signed by the Panthers.
Reid knelt during the anthem, with Colin Kaepernick, while they both played for the 49ers. Kaepernick, as I’m sure everyone reading this knows, still doesn’t have a job in the NFL. And he probably isn’t getting one, despite being better than most of the backup quarterbacks in the league, along with some of the starters.
The purpose here isn’t to rehash all those arguments of the protests by the players. It is to show how disingenuous the NFL drug-testing policy is when it wants to make a point.
Reid wore shoes Monday with drawings that honored civil activism and the right to protest. Reid also is standing with Kaepernick in a photo on his Twitter page. They are wearing T-shirts that read: I Know My Rights.
So now the NFL is performing its own little protest, leaving a note for Reid to take another pee test, No. 7 in 11 weeks.
“That has to be statistically impossible,’’ Reid said after the game. “I’m no mathematician, but there’s no way that’s random.”
USA Today did the math using the Cumulative Binomial Probability Calculator. The odds for Reid being randomly selected for seven drug tests in 11 weeks is 0.138 percent. Reid might have a better chance of winning the lottery.
It’s obvious at this point Reid doesn’t have a substance-abuse problem of any kind. This is strictly the NFL being the big-bad bully because they don’t like him.
It probably has less to do with protests during the anthem and more to do with Reid’s ongoing lawsuit against the league for collusion and questionable on-field fines.
It would seem the NFL is adding to Reid’s case by forcing him to take endless drug tests. Frankly, it looks petty and laughable at this point.
Asked if the “random tests’’ would become part of his case, Reid simply smiled and said, “Duly noted.”