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Farley's Football Fodder

Greetings fellow Giants fans, and welcome to my football fodder column that will no longer be on Friday. Since the regular season is starting, my Mikey's Crystal Ball will be starting up again on Fridays, so this column will likely be on Saturdays. Okay, let's get to it. The NFL season kicks off in four days with our Super Bowl champion G-men hosting the arch rival Dallas Cowboys with most of the whole world watching. It will be exactly seven months to the day that the Giants played a game that counted, and we've all been chomping at the bit. Then, we get a full slate of Sunday games a few days later. Life is good!

Roger Goodell: There is 'no place for bounties in football' -
Let me be clear: there is no place for bounties in football. No exceptions. No excuses. Bounties are an affront to everything that competitive sports should represent. Everyone in the NFL is responsible for adhering to these rules and we are all accountable for protecting the safety of our players - present and future.

You go, Roger. Now go fix this problem with the refs. Oh, wait.....

NFL to use replacement officials for Week 1 as the league and the officials’ union remain at a standstill - NY Daily News
Coaches, ready your challenge flags. The National Football League sent a memorandum to its 32 teams Wednesday, informing them that replacement officials will be employed in next week’s season openers and for as long as necessary as the NFL and officials remain apart on negotiations. The regular season commences Wednesday night as the Giants play host to the Dallas Cowboys. That fact has not escaped the Super Bowl champs.

You know, I think the preseason is one thing. But when these games start to count, the pressure on these replacement refs will be taken to a crazy new level. I may have to cover one eye--how about you guys?

With Referees Out, N.F.L. Players Throw Flag on Novice Fill-Ins -
In one National Football League preseason game, the referee announced a penalty with his back to the television camera. In another, an official twice referred to a team from Atlanta as Arizona. That referee, whose previous experience included a stint in the Lingerie Football League, also mixed up which team had won the coin toss. These preseason games usually carry little meaning beyond an excuse for fans to tailgate, but this year’s batch has presented something different: an unintentional comedy routine from a roster of replacement officials, many of whom might have had trouble even dreaming about working at the game’s highest level just a few months ago.

The NFL Has Officially Run Out of Good Ideas -
From the deep passing game to the blitz, football has benefited from decades of fresh, brilliant advancements. Until now. NFL observers say a new trend has emerged: There are no more great ideas. Enlarge Image image image Getty Images Dick LeBeau Due to a confluence of factors, many within the league say that the league's Xs and Os have stalled in their evolution. A handful of tweaks and fads have run their course—the brief rise of the "Wildcat" offense, where running backs play quarterback, was both borrowed from college and appears to have faded from playbooks (despite the continued existence of Tim Tebow).

Call me old school, but I don't care about bells and whistles. Just play the freaking game--run the ball, pass the ball, block, score, defend, tackle. Are you fired up? I sure am. Is it Wednesday yet?

Eagles cut Kafka, Hanson, Atogwe - NFL -
Trent Edwards beat out Mike Kafka for the third-string quarterback job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kafka was released Friday afternoon, leaving Edwards and rookie Nick Foles behind Michael Vick on the depth chart.

Ah, whatever. I don't really like that team.

Madden NFL 13 900,000 sales: record first day
Electronic Arts (EA) has apparently succeeded in convincing gamers that the newest version of its popular Madden franchise is more than just another roster update. EA on Thursday announced that it sold 900,000 copies of Madden NFL 13 during its first day of availability, representing a franchise record for the current console generation.

Army, NFL team up to spotlight head injuries |
Now, concussions and head injuries are a hot topic at all levels of football. Parents question whether their children are at risk playing in the contact sport. What's the proper recovery time from a head injury? How many players, like Ellerson, walk off the field unaware they suffered a concussion? The Army and NFL joined forces Thursday at West Point, announcing a partnership to increase traumatic head injury awareness and look for solutions.

DeMaurice Smith says NFL cares more about money than using regular refs for player safety - Jim Trotter -
During a break between training camp visits, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sat down with recently in San Diego to discuss the state of the game and the major issues confronting it. In a 45-minute conversation, Smith said, among other things, the players "reserve the right to seek any relief that we believe is appropriate" if it's shown that the owners have created an unsafe working environment by using replacement referees, and that long-term chronic pain could be the next major issue on the horizon.

Oh man, that is taking things a bit too far, isn't it?

Seattle names Russell Wilson starting QB
Pete Carroll and John Schneider were overjoyed during the April NFL draft when the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Russell Wilson in the third round. Even they couldn't anticipate that Wilson would be the Seahawks' Week 1 starter. Carroll announced Sunday night that the undersized, but highly successful rookie quarterback from Wisconsin will be the starter when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Arizona. Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson _ in the process of being traded to Buffalo _ for the starting gig.

Wow, I wonder if Matt Flynn wishes he had signed with the Dolphins now.

Equalizer: NFL Music Draft - Weekender
With the National Football League’s season set to start in about a week, and fantasy football players the world over spending their hard-earned time drafting fictional football teams, it’s important not to lose sight of what makes a truly great NFL player: a questionable foray into the music business. As a service to you, I will don my black plastic Mel Kiper Jr.-brand hair helmet and mock-draft the NFL’s all-time music team. If you intend to defeat your co-workers in your NFL music league this year, do not deviate from this list.

This is classic! Terry Bradshaw singing?? Terry Bradshaw with some hair??? The Rams rapping in 1986? This is just too good. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!