Author Archives: Josh_Roeloffs

About Josh_Roeloffs

I’ve been a die-hard sports fan for as long as I can remember. I have played baseball, football, and golf; I led student sections for basketball, and have commissioned over 15 fantasy leagues, and have participated in over 30 leagues in various sports the last six years. I wrote formy high school newspaper as the head collegiate and professional sports writer. I am from Nebraska but currently attending Bowling Green State University and majoring in Sport Management.

Tom Brady Suspension Reinstated: Does Goodell Have too Much Power?

The NFL, in their battle against Tom Brady, finally got a victory with the appeals court. The Court reversed the federal judge’s ruling of nullifying Brady’s four-game suspension. As reported on CNN in an article titled “NFL wins ‘Deflategate’ appeal; Tom Brady’s suspension reinstated”, Monday’s court decision came to rule that Goodell “properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.”

Now the NFL has to decide whether they want to exercise the power to reinstate Brady’s suspension in the league. If the suspension remains is intact, Brady will miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills. A lot could happen in the next few months, as the NFLPA and Tom Brady will need to decide what action to take next against Goodell and the suspension.

In response the new of the suspension, media and personalities throughout the United States posted on social media to voice their opinions. Bill Simmons, who in the past publically spoke on Goodell’s abuse of power, tweeted “FREE TOM BRADY.” Similarly, Skip Bayless urged Brady to attempt to take the case to the supreme court. Even a presidential nominee, Donald Trump, said “leave Tom Brady alone,” at a rally. The news shook the sports world, and could change the landscape for the upcoming NFL season.

Interestingly enough, the court itself stated that Goodell “properly exercised his broad discretion.” It admits that Goodell has “broad” power when it comes to disciplinary action. The media has only been covering the reports of Brady and story between the two sides, the Patriots and the NFL. In reality, it is extremely noteworthy that the judicial system is willing to admit Goodell has excess power in disciplinary action for the league. It is unfortunate that a league with so much influence and coverage throughout the country has been so greatly challenged by the agendas of the commissioner.

At the end of the day, the NFL must address the issue of Goodell’s power. It greatly affects the league, and the players on the field. Whether it is Tom Brady, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, or Adrian Peterson, the NFLPA and the players themselves need to stand for their rights in the league.


The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: The 2016 Masters

By Josh Roeloffs

On Sunday in the middle of the afternoon, the final round of the Masters was seemingly over. Spieth had a commanding lead, with five birdies on the front nine, up multiple strokes heading into the back nine. If there was an athlete who would not choke on the biggest stage, it was Jordan Spieth. As viewers began to change the channel, Spieth began to slip. Bogies on holes 10 and  11 diminished his dominating lead, the viewers turned back. While Spieth struggled, Danny Willett shined. Spieth, -5, was up one stroke now heading into the 12th hole. He puts two shots into the water and quadruple bogies and is now down four strokes to Willett. Just a few hours later, Spieth is holding the green jacket and placing it on Danny Willett, the new Masters Champion.

Danny Willett is a story in himself. A 28-year-old whose wife gave birth just a week prior is now the defending Master’s champion. Willett is not even a current pro on the PGA tour as he plays in the European Tour. He delayed his PGA tour career to prepare for the upcoming birth of his child, but he and his wife talked it over decided it would be best if he played in the Masters even her delivery date was Sunday the 10th, championship Sunday. Even though the unknown, Danny Willett prepared himself for the Masters; and on the 18th green on Sunday night, it is inevitable that it was all worth it.

The media has covered Spieth’s collapse and Danny Willett’s rise to champion, but one aspect of the final day that was looked over was  in the way Spieth conducted himself though the evening’s events. This was one of the most awkward green jacket ceremonies to date. Not to take away from what Willett accomplished, but Spieth could have put the nail in the coffin on the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes; instead, he tallied two bogies and a quadruple bogie. At the ceremony, Spieth, the defending Masters champion, needed to place the next green jacket on the current champion. “Obviously, I’m happy for Danny and he handled it with extreme class.” Spieth, a 22-year-old, would not have been “in the wrong” for not being classy about it, but instead, Spieth was a professional and it speaks to the greatness that Spieth has in front of him in the years to come.

At the end of the day, the 2016 Masters was one of the greatest to date. The Championship Sunday was unbelievable; Spieth’s collapse, Willett’s excellence, and the ceremony cannot be written or produced. It was golf at its finest and it truly speaks to “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”




Robert Kraft Asks Goodell for Patriots’ Draft Pick

Even though Tom Brady won the “Deflategate” debate, the Patriots still lost. Last fall, the NFL stripped the Patriots of a first round and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. As first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots has asked Roger Goodell for the reinstatement of the Patriots’ first round draft pick. Goodell, in response to “Deflategate,” fined the Patriots and confiscated the Patriots’ picks. Goodell had said that he would reconsider if new evidence was brought forth. Robert Kraft was quoted saying:

“I personally wrote a letter to the commissioner responding to his comment that if any new facts came up, he would take them into consideration. I personally believe that when the league made their decision they did not factor in the Ideal Gas Law. They admitted that publicly. They had a full year of being able to observe Tom Brady play with all the rules of whatever the NFL was, and make any judgments there. We have laid it out pretty straightforward and now it’s up to them to decide.”

At this point, the Patriots first pick in the upcoming NFL draft is 60th overall. It is very difficult for teams to maintain success in the NFL without strong evaluation and execution in the NFL draft. Last fall, Robert Kraft called Goodell’s decision “the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL.” Many think though Goodell has some sort of agenda as he has been very unusually firm with the Patriots throughout the process.

It seems unlikely for change to occur from the commissioner, who Richard Sherman recently called “just a suit” when talking about the new rule changes Goodell wants to implement in the NFL. but Sherman even continued to say “it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say.” Similarly, there is a motion with the NFL and the NFLPA to lesson Goodell’s power to discipline player’s off the field incidents. It is possible that this recent public pressure at the expense of Roger Goodell could force his hand to loosen the penalty on the Patriots in hopes to recover what is a poor public image. It is difficult to predict the final outcome as Goodell has been inconsistent with the way he has handled issues, but Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization hopes things will fall their way.

Does FIFA Need to Make Changes?

By Josh Roeloffs

What is holding soccer back from being an elite sport in the United States? It’s the most popular sport in the majority of countries around the world, why hasn’t it caught on in the U.S.?

Well at first glance there are a handful of problems that prevent soccer from reaching a popular climax. There are many reasons that seem prominent in the minds of Americans when it comes to how Soccer is played; these problems include low scoring matches, draws, yellow and red cards, faked injuries, the referee having too much influence on outcome, slow pace, the clock doesn’t stop and lack of stops in action or missing the goals.

The list is almost daunting, but there are some simple tweaks to the rules and culture of the game that would immediately fix these issues. There are a few solutions that help to minimize multiple problems on the list.

First of all, FIFA could lax the off-sides rule. At this point, if any part of your body is ahead of the defender, you are off-sides. If it were to be changed that if any part of your body is behind or in line with the opponent there would be a drastic increase in the pace of play as well as the amount of goals scored throughout a match, not to mention that the more goals that are scored by the players without a referee blowing the whistle is a good thing for the game.

To help the growth of soccer in the United States, FIFA may want to re-evaluate a rule that they have rejected for years: stopping the clock. This is something, that as a fan of soccer in America, I have heard over and over.  People say things like, “Soccer is ridiculous! Why would I watch a sport that doesn’t even stop its clock for injuries?” But a problem that would be addressed if FIFA were to implement this rule is the epidemic that is faked injuries. A player will fall to the ground writhing in fake pain just to waste a minute or two in the finals moments of a game; but if the rule is in place, there is no reason for them to do this as the clock will just stop.

An alternative solution for faked injuries would be to force anyone who stays on the ground injured, real or not, to stay out of the game for about 5 minutes to help discourage the action. When it comes to the clock, the opposition to this rule change would argue that the final attacks in extra time of the half and match are important. What if the referee could still let a final attack continue? It would be fine if the referee was the final say on the game ending clocks, but it would be on a shorter leash than it currently is.

Another way to help prevent these late game injuries would be to allow for one or even two more substitutions. It has most definitely been a problem in the past when it comes to the final ten or fifteen minutes, as well as regarding the longevity of players’ seasons and careers. Another benefit of additional substitutions means that the fans as well as the coaches will be able to see a larger variety of players on the pitch. It would also benefit the young players as it would give them opportunities to grow their skills with in-game experience. It could potentially hurry the maturity of superstars, therefore getting them into the match earlier in their career.

There’s a concept that Americans struggle to accept and generally refuse to watch soccer because of it. This concept is a tie. Americans grew up with tournament style, elimination, no ties type of games. When it comes to soccer, a 0-0 draw is possible, and many Americans hate it. Unfortunately, it’s a tough problem for FIFA. FIFA’s only option is to make draws less likely. They have a few options to consider. First of all, there could be a short extra time in regular season matches, decreasing the chance for a draw.

A final reason that the sport has seen slow growth in the United States is the lack of commercial stoppages available for TV providers. With a lack of potential income comes the lack of TV coverage. With the lack of TV coverage comes a lack of attention and fan dedication, which has been a massive problem for the MLS in the United States. Say if FIFA was to rule that there would be a few minute stop at the 20th minute mark as well as say the 65th minute mark, therefore increasing advertisement profit possibly all the way up to 30%! This income could allow for cash to be put back into the sport furthermore increasing coverage specifically in the United States, but potentially around the world. It would also provide the players for a quick break to rehydrate. It could reduce the amount of late game injuries and cramps that are all too common from game to game.

In response to the proposed rule changes, FIFA has a responsibility to make changes to adapt our beloved sport to competition in the 21st century. America is slowly taking interest in soccer, but the U.S. lags way behind when it comes to national interest in comparison to countries around the globe. The adoption of any of these small changes would be a step in the right direction for the sport as a whole, and would eventually lead to an extreme increase in interest in the United States in the years to come.

Patriots 2015 Campaign: Out for Revenge?

By Josh Roeloffs

Before the Patriots preseason opener, Rob Gronkowski was asked, in response to deflategate, if he thinks Tom Brady is “more motivated and focused because of everything that is going on,” and Gronk laughed it off, making the point that Brady is always focused and motivated regardless of what’s going on.

How many times have you seen or heard the headlines, “Patriots Starting Revenge Tour” or “Patriots will be out to get their Revenge?” Obviously a Patriots’ player would have said that they were out for blood this season. The media wouldn’t just make this into an episode of the Road Runner would they?

When you take a closer look, a Patriots’ player has never even mentioned revenge once in an interview. Just like Gronk was practically asked if this would motivate Brady, he replied like it was obvious. It won’t.

Sure! The Patriots may have a little extra motivation, but is it necessary to label a season as a “season of revenge.” Possibly a more engaging story would be how Tom Brady’s start of the season could lead to an MVP and another deep push in the playoffs for his team; or if the Patriots can win another Super Bowl, how it will affect the Patriots’ relationship with the NFL or the fans.

So far this season, the Patriots have been phenomenal. Heading into their bye week, the Patriots are 3-0 and, first in the league in yards per game, second in the league in points per game, first in pass yards per game, and third in the league in interceptions. Already beating the Steelers, Bills, and Jaguars, the Patriots hope to keep this early momentum going.

Coming out of their bye-week, the Patriots will be facing the Cowboys on October 11th. The Patriots will be looking to improve their record to a perfect 4-0 in the first quarter of the regular season.

As the season comes closer to the mid-way mark and closer to a time in which the Patriots can truly make a statement, Tom Brady was asked about the whole situation by NBC sports, he replied by saying, “I need to be tough enough to overcome controversy.” It’s important when playing for a team as popular and publicized at the Patriots to keep composure like Brady mentions.

At the end of the day, the Patriots are heading into week five unbeaten and ready to play some football and compete at a high level in the NFL.