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JONFINEPRODUCTIONS.COM NEWSLETTER  1/15/21

GOD BLESS….Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone adversely effected by Hurricane Delta….and My heart goes out to my friends in the Lake Area who endured major destruction at the hands of Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.  We strongly urge readers of this newsletter to donate to a worthwhile Hurricane oriented charity in the Lake Area.
TODAY’S COLUMNS: ….Scott assesses the Saints…Dennis touches on a number of issues… ….Please scroll down below.
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THE WIZARDRY OF OS
By Scott Osborne

Assistant Basketball Coach at Central High School
        Well that game Sunday certainly did not help me feel any better about the Saints chances of winning the Super Bowl this year.
        First of all, a Saints playoff game is going to end with the opponent scoring on the last play.  The Minnesota Miracle, No Call in NOLA, Vikings game last year, and now the Bears game.  The opponent scores on the last play.  Thankfully, the Saints were up by more than 8 points.  Consequently, the only way I will not feel sick to my stomach at the end of the game is if the Saints somehow have a big lead. 
        Second, the optimistic side of me just hopes that the Bears game was a product of a lack of rhythm from the offense due to so many guys being out of games or out of practice.  That being said, it feels more like an offense that has spent more time being slightly off than on since the last time they played Tampa Bay.
        I am certain the receivers are going to have to have a big day for the offense to be productive.  The Bucs linebackers are too good and will be too focused on Kamara for him to lead to offense in this one. 
        Just like the last time the Saints play Tampa, the Saints biggest advantage on offense is the depth of the Saints receivers against the Tampa secondary.  If the Bucs focus on Kamara and Thomas, then Sanders, Harris, Cook, and others will have to show up big.  If not, Thomas should have a big game.
        The most popular sentiment is that Tom Brady will not lose to the same team three times in a season.  That is not the scary part to me.  The Saints are the better team.  The two regular season games and the entirety of the season showed that.  Of course, in the NFL, the playoffs are a one game season. 
The scariest part to me is that the Saints were better than the last three years and lost the game.  In the playoffs, the last three years the Saints have simply not found ways to win.  There have been opportunities to make plays and the other team has out played this team.
There are plenty of supposed playmakers on this roster.  It is the playoffs.  It is time for Lattimore, Jenkins (both of them), Onyemata, Jordan, Davenport, Thomas, Kamara, Brees and others to make plays in the big games. 
Allow me to again emphasize that I have no doubt the Saints are the better team.  That is why, as a true Saints fan, I am so worried.  We know the Drew Brees era ends this year.  If the Saints are beat by a better team, then so be it.  There is no way the better team this week is Tampa Bay.  It is a great position to be in to know you just need to play your best and the other team will not win.  The Saints are in the position this weekend and it is time for them to play their best in January.
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BY DENNIS DEARIE
       The saying goes something like “time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, I’ve got to disagree with that because these past couple of weeks that I should’ve been enjoying a much needed vacation have turned out to be two weeks of muscle cramps, cold unrelenting sweats that too soon turn into hot flashes that’ve made me understand what women go through during “The Change”! I can handle lots of pain but this is kick’n butt.
        I thought I’d be O.K. Monday night as I tried to watch the NCAA Championship game but soon reality set in and it was back to freezing with water pouring out of me. I do want to say one thing about the little bit I was able to take in. The play I remember that disgusted me was in the second quarter with Ohio State inside the Bama twenty with a third and eight. The Buckeyes threw a pass to their tight end that would’ve given them a first and goal but Tide player #6, sorry I didn’t get a name, lowered his head and was penalized for TAGETING.
         It was the right call and #6 was sent home. Then as he went to the sideline not just his teammates but several ‘Bama coaches patted him on the back as to say “great play”, “way to go”! This is just another example where we reward doing wrong. The coaches should’ve chewed on him long and hard. The entire world of football has been emphasizing that these hits will no longer be part of the game yet it continues. And we still see coaches and players celebrating with players that keep delivering these types of hits. In the biggest ballgame of the year a STARTING player is kicked out of the game yet he doesn’t receive anything close to his coaches and teammates disgusted with that play? That just tells me we have a long way to go in ridding the game of football from these types of hits. It does no good to have a rule that’s intended to try and add some safety to the game when there’s no punishment for that type of hit. A hit that could very well not only cripple the player absorbing the hit but the one delivering such a hit.
         What follows is one of the very first “Best of Hey Refs” I wrote and maybe some will understand what makes me tick by reading these few words of wisdom. I hope to be feeling better next week and until then please enjoy…….
        Probably the biggest fault I have is not being able to “sugar-coat” answers to difficult questions. For instance when I was coaching a 6th – 7th grade football team the mother of our biggest player asked after practice one day “why her son wasn’t playing more than what he was”? One of my assistants heard the question, knew what my answer was going to be, and before I could get two words out he jumped between the player’s mother and myself then answered the inquiring parent.
       I don’t believe in going around the block, so to speak, just to get across the street. Though the answer was a simple “the boy refuses to hustle and work at getting better” somehow wasn’t what my defensive coach thought I should be saying to this parent. I never claimed to be a diplomat, never will. So if you don’t like an honest, direct answer then don’t ask the question.
       With that being said here are a couple or three questions that were asked of me in the past few weeks; “Why don’t I ever include the NBA in my weekly column”? O.K., for hopefully the last time let me explain, simply put I don’t like basketball, the way it’s being played, called or financed at each and every level. This is my column and I get to pick and choose the subjects each week that I feel are of most interest to my readers.
       I don’t want to offend any basketball fans or fans of any other sport for that matter. I’m just not going to do something (cover a sport) that I can’t give 100% to and waste your time or my own. But I will do what I promised to and mention the NBA finals in this week’s space; as of tonight, 6-20-12, the Miami Heat lead the Oklahoma Thunder 3 games to one and are just a single victory away from clinching the title.
       It’s a title they’ve paid a hefty price to acquire too. That’s another subject (trying to buy a title) that I’ll leave to the “experts”. The whole circus of how LeBron came to the Heat from a very cold Cleveland along with the TV show was just another reason for me to hate the professional game. Oh, well, I DID do what I promised; mentioned the NBA!
       “Should the commissioner (Roger Goodell) be allowed to punish Saint’s players and/or hear their appeals from the so called Bounty System”? First part of that question is a huge resounding HELL YES!! What’s so outrages to me is the fact that the player’s union filed a complaint stating that since “there was no active collective bargaining agreement in place during the time that some Saint players DID attempt to injure opposing players he shouldn’t be allowed to discipline any of the players”.
       If that isn’t absurd and ridiculous, please tell me who then has the power to punish players, coaches and/or owners. My question back is just what is a union doing operating in Louisiana? The people of this state have spoken many times on the subject of unions. Unions have been outlawed in the Bayou State.
       The commissioner hasn’t, in my opinion, punished either the players or the organization hard enough! The game is brutal enough without going out and trying to purposely injure another player. Many people in our state think this is no big deal BUT this is by far the biggest deal any commissioner has ever had to deal with. The penalties for all involved must be the severest the law will allow.
       I’m not happy with the fines dealt out simply because all the monies collected came directly from the fans that bought tickets, hot dogs, meals, rooms, etc. The PROPER penalty the club should’ve been hit with is forfeiting the Super Bowl Title it won. They “won” it by playing outside the rules and allowing them to retain the trophy is simply not right.
       “Should we have a playoff for a National Champ in div.1 football”? Again, I’m 150% AGAINST any playoff for college football. Many times I’ve voiced my distain at putting these young athletes at even higher risks for in jury by playing “just one more game”. No matter what system is put in place you can bet someone will find flaws with it. Then the debate continues until another system is put in its place and on and on.
       It won’t be long before footballs start flying once again. Well before players and coaches hit the practice field game officials have been hitting the rule book. In Baton Rouge officials usually start their meetings the first part of July. I’ll be passing along details to those that wish to become game officials in the coming weeks. When I was working games I started reading up on rules as soon as the NCAA crowned its new basketball champion.
       It’s never too early to start reading the rule book because each year there are rule changes. Along with changes come the different spots they are enforced from. You’ll have the same penalty but depending on whether it’s a high school, NCAA or professional game the results (after enforcement) are as different as day and night.
                Till next week……….
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