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Itís March and Iím Mad

Between the collapse of the CBA talks and the fact that Jim Tressel knew about his beloved Buckeye teamís transgressions almost a year ago, Iím not really happy with football right now. Thank goodness for NCAA March Madness, even though my bracket is practically busted!

As expected, the NFLPA decertified as a union. Also, as expected, the NFL Owners locked out the players. A ruling on the lockout comes on April 6th. I expect that the players will prevail. Iím so mad about this whole situation that I rarely watch NFL Network for old Super Bowl programming or draft coverage like in the past. Yeah, this makes me mad. Just get the deal done people!

As far as Ohio State is concerned, I think itís pathetic that Jim Tressel seemingly allowed his players to accept a five game suspension and state that they would not turn pro because of their lapse in judgment. When it was determined that Tressel knew about the situation, he only asked for and received a two game suspension. I know the world is not fair, but, Tressel should have received at least the same punishment as his players right off the bat, not after the fact. I think he should be in more trouble than the players for attempting to cover up the issue. Yeah, this too makes me mad. I guess I shouldnít write articles while my favorite college team is losing in the NCAA tourney.

On a lighter, more positive note, Arena Football started last week, so, I am tuning in to the Friday night games on NFL Network. Arena Football is fun to watch, but, I still need to learn the teams and players. When I think of Arena Football, my mind goes directly to names Iím familiar with...Jon Bon Jovi and Ron Jaworski of the Philadelphia Soul and Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Power as part of their respective ownership teams.

In case you havenít watched Arena Football, hereís a rules recap:

There are 20 active players on the roster, along with four (4) inactive players. Players may play on both offense and defense. The game is divided into four (4) 15 minute quarters. If necessary, there is a 15 minute overtime period.

The field is only 50 yards long, with the end zone 8 yards wide. The field is comprised of artificial turf and is surrounded by padding. Goal posts are narrower with a higher crossbar. There are also ďrebound netsĒ where the ball can bounce off and go back into the field of play.

When a team is on offense, there are eight (8) players on the field with four (4) players on the line of scrimmage. A receiver starts running often from behind the quarterback and runs forward full speed ahead as the ball is snapped. A legal catch occurs when an offensive player has one (1) foot inbounds/in the field of play. If a quarterback throws a forward pass and it bounces off the rebound net, the ball continues to be in play until it touches the ground. No punts are allowed, thus on fourth down, the offense can go for a first down, field goal or touchdown. Defense also has eight (8) players, with three (3) lineman.

Scoring can occur several ways. A touchdown is worth six (6) points. After the touchdown, an extra point conversion (where the kicker uses a tee) is worth one (1) point. Alternatively, a run or pass or drop kick conversion is worth two (2) points. If the offense fails to convert and the defense returns the conversion, the defense is awarded two (2) points. A field goal is worth three (3) points when a kicker uses a tee or four (4) points if the kicker drop-kicks. A safety is worth two (2) points.

Kickoffs occur from the goal line. If the kickoff goes out of bounds untouched, the ball is placed either at the place where the ball went out of bounds or at the 20 yard line, whichever spot benefits the offense the most.

New teams this year are the San Jose SaberCats, Pittsburgh Power, Kansas City Command, Georgia Force, New Orleans VooDoo, and Milwaukee Mustangs (formerly Milwaukee Iron). Teams now defunct are the Alabama Vipers, Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings, and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz.

Hopefully by the time March ends, I wonít be mad anymore!

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