Skip to comments.Winnipeg fans short-changed by NFL pre-season game (80 yard field)
Posted on 08/24/2019 7:46:29 PM PDT by 11th_VA
After the bottom fell out of ticket sales, after the failure of promoters to actually promote the game and after neither team bothered to show up for a practice, the belief was everything had gone wrong for Winnipegs NFL pre-season game that could go wrong.
Then the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers took to the turf for their pre-game rituals at the home of the Blue Bombers, Thursday night.
And what had been a bit of a gong show became an all-out comedy of errors.
The lasting image of a night that was supposed to be about welcoming the planets best football players to our little house on the prairie might be the men in suits standing around and looking at holes in the ground in the end zones.
Actually, the holes in the ground were covered with turf. These were the patches left when they had to remove the goal posts used by the Bombers and replace them with NFL-appropriate posts deeper in the end zones.
The Packers didnt think the patch jobs looked solid enough, and werent prepared to play on them.
TV audiences in the U.S. were told there was a problem even as fans whod paid as much as $439 a pop were starting to file into their seats.
Were still in the process of determining what to do, Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy told Fox-TV, about an hour before kickoff.
The Packers made one decision quickly, announcing around half an hour before kickoff the 33 players being scratched from the lineup included star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, receiver Davante Adams, running back Aaron Jones and pretty much all of their projected starters.
With that, yet another promise from the promoter was left emptier than one of those goal-post holes.
When this game was announced back in early June, fans were told the exorbitant prices were worth it because both teams would likely be using their starters for at least part of the game.
To be fair, Week 3 of the NFL pre-season is generally when that does happen.
Through no fault of the organizers, the Raiders had already decided coming into the game they would not be using starters.
But when the Packers balked at the quality of the field, any possible remaining marquee attraction had evaporated.
We were going to have all our starters play, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed after the game.
Instead, they sat, Rodgers replaced by quarterback Tim Boyle, who found out during the chaos of the pre-game.
That whole debacle with the field was going on, Boyle said. Decisions were made that we were going to hold our starters out. The plan was for me to play after, so this moved me up and I was able to start, which was fun.
That pre-game fumble gets credited directly to promoter John Graham of On Ice Entertainment.
As one Green Bay staff member noted up in the press box, how an issue that large could be left to the last minute defies explanation.
Graham tried to revoke my credentials for what Id written going into the game, which would have been a first for me.
Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and among the first things I heard entering the stadium nicely summed up the sentiments of the gouged public.
Theyre dressing the worst players ever, one fan said during the first play.
And were paying for this, said the other.
But there would be more.
Green Bay refused to play on the full 100-yard field, and officials shrunk it to 80 yards so they could avoid those unstable patches in the end zones.
Yeah, concerned about player safety, Green Bay linebacker Ty Summers said. We dont want guys running in the end zone and rolling an ankle, or worse.
So the 10-yard lines were suddenly the goal lines. A field goal from what looked like the 20 was really from the 10, but it was still 37 yards away from the goal posts.
It was definitely a little awkward, Boyle said. It was almost fun. Kind of back-yard football, and go play with the boys and have some fun.
Oh, and there were no kickoffs.
Funny thing is, Raiders coach Jon Gruden had no problem with the problem.
I dont know what that was all about, Gruden said. We thought the field was perfectly fine.
Still, 80 yards it would be.
After the first-quarter stats were handed out, we were told the statistics for the next three quarters were no longer going to take the shortened field into account.
I still have no idea what that means.
Taking it all in was a paltry crowd better suited for a run-of-the-mill CFL pre-season affair, on a gorgeous night for football.
With ticket prices through the roof, the promotional machine needed to be in high gear in the weeks leading in.
Yet, Grahams promise of a festival atmosphere during the week fizzled, too.
The Bombers set up a viewing party at The Forks, and that was about it.
But this wasnt a blue and gold debacle.
The Bombers rented the place out and did everything asked of them to convert the place from 110-yard, three-down football to Canadian Premier League soccer to the four-down game all in less than a week.
This was a bad idea from the start, executed poorly.
The Raiders, the home team, needed a place to play because their lame-duck home was devoted to baseball this week.
A franchise thats been chasing the money from Oakland to L.A., back to Oakland and next to Las Vegas didnt wring many silver pieces out of Manitoba.
Slashed ticket prices and giveaways bolstered what would have been an even more embarrassing crowd, announced at 21,992.
This was billed as a once-in-a-lifetime event. I heard it compared to seeing a Rolling Stones concert.
Only this was the Stones at a sound-check, with a roadie filling in for Mick and your annoying, guitar-playing neighbour sitting in for Keith. With wonky amplifiers.
The players who did suit up, god love em, did their best. Jobs were at stake, after all.
Boyle tossed some balls Rodgers would have been proud of. Receivers made some nice catches, dropped others.
The skill players seemed to be moving quicker than what were used to. Then again, the field was small. REALLY small.
Oh, and the Raiders produced a thrilling finish, winning 22-21 on a field goal with eight seconds left.
On what will be one of the more forgettable once-in-a-lifetime events youll ever see.
The ONLY reason I watched this was because my (CLUELESS) step-son is visiting for the weekend.
It was the most retarded thing I’ve ever seen in my 56 years of being a Packer fan.
The NFL is a total cock-up. Just within the past week....
That guy who refuses to wear the new helmet...
The Jay-Z kerfuffle.....
Kicking StevecRoss off of some kind of social justice committee because he hosted a fundraiser for Trump....and Ross is the founder of the committee..
The screw-up in Winnepeg....
But the stupid owners think the sun rises and sets on Roger God-ell.
Hard to give up the NFL, but Ive done it. Still look through the windows.
Did anyone kneel for the Canadian National Anthem?
Roger Goodell is quickly and single handedly destroying the NFL, but the dumb ass owners ended up giving him a 5-Year $200 million extension anyway.
YouTube has 6-11 minute highlights so you get the flavor of the game, ,I did not catch the reasons for the shortened field and wondered what in the world.
I'd rather give out 439 McDonald's $1 cheeseburgers to strangers.
Of course there could still be low-tax on food so another $22.
But hey, I don't have $439 for a seat at a game and I sure wouldn't spend it on the NFL.
I guess only the chicken sandwich is a $1 now. (went thru the drive thru last night).
Tomorrow I make tacos. Got my 80/20 (not on a great sale but hey). Fresh tomato, diced white onion in the meat, some picante for flavor. It's all good. Top with shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. Oh yeah baby.
And I've got a package kale salad which I'll toss with mayo and a bit of ranch. Just for fun, a few squeezes of the lime and I'm gonna dice a Goldencrisp apple in there. Yes, I'm experimenting.
I'd much rather do that tomorrow. /rant
If they shortened the field by 20% shouldn’t that also have applied to the penalties?
The field was torn up at the ends (holes covered with turf) and the coaches didnt want their players getting hurt
Man, what sort of Chinese arithmetic did they use to come up with that? Or did a Canadian goose fly overhead and crap it into the rule book?
Then you see the Texans’ starting halfback, an All-Pro last year, tear his ACL on the first play from scrimmage and you begin to understand why teams are getting scared to play their starters.
17-minutes of play
They should have converted a 110 yard field into a 100 yard surface. But the idiocy is that they really didn’t have to move the goal post anyway. By shortening the field 10 yards which is the size of an NFL end zone, and that the Canadian posts are on the goal line and not the back line, they just had to leave one alone and reline the field. The other could have been posted but as it is preseason, they could have remarked the ball in the red zone of the other end when they needed to. And they never would have been playing in the Canadian end zone where the holes were.
Funny thing is there was never anything said about the difference in the width of the field. Canadian in 65 yards, NFL is fifty. So they would have had to reline the side lines and hash marks also if this was a legitimate game. But it’s preseason and they don’t care who wins. They just want to lie to the public and sponge money.
Well, at least we still have Bart, Paul, Jimmy, Ray, Kramer, Fuzzy and of course Vince! (Not enough room to list ‘em all!) and the rest of the REAL Packers! Greatest overall team ever! Otto’s 1950’s came close tho.
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