The NFL Schedule is Out and Why Does Pine Tar Fascinate Us So Much?

Manning Brady
The NFL schedule is out and week nine features yet another match-up of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

The National Football League schedule was released on Wednesday night and although I haven’t seen the television ratings from ESPN or the NFL Network, I can’t help but wonder how far ahead of the NBA Playoffs they were.

This is where we cue up Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban screaming like a petulant child…

While I personally think the release of the schedule is really nothing major, I understand why it garners so much attention. Basically what it is, is a sign. It’s a sign that football is getting closer and this country loves its’ football.

Breaking down the schedule gives the talking heads time to discuss yet another Manning vs Brady or Niners trip to Seattle. It’s intriguing, I admit, but we have to take these things with a tremendously large grain of salt.

Why? Because we haven’t gotten to the draft yet and already we are predicting a team’s record for the 2014 season. Slow down people… How many injuries are waiting in the wings? How many suspensions? How many contract holdouts or just flat-out terrible performances?

Let’s enjoy the schedule release for the celebration that it offers us as I mentioned; it gets us a step closer to the real thing. Next step? The NFL Draft.

Oh No! It’s Pine Tar!

Pineda's pine tar use had gotten out of control and Manager John Farrell needed to act.

Michael Pineda gave Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell plenty of opportunities to have him tossed from a game in New York about two weeks ago. It would have taken a complete moron to not know that what Pineda had on his hand was pine tar. By the middle innings, the smudge of brown goo was gone.

Pineda had obviously been given the head’s up that television had spotted it so he removed it. Fast forward to Wednesday night and there again was Pineda on the hill against the Red Sox but this time in Boston. It was evident that Pineda had learned his lesson because there was no pine tar anywhere on his hands.

That’s because it was on his neck…

Farrell had seen enough and decided it was time to take action. Despite the fact that he really didn’t seem all that crazy about doing it, Farrell still decided to call out Pineda. Farrell showed almost a bit of remorse over having had Pineda kicked out during his post-game press conference. This seems odd considering the fact these two teams are fierce rivals, but it was much more than that.

What many baseball people know is that Pineda is far from the only one who uses pine tar or other foreign substances. This more than likely explains Farrell’s reluctance to have the umpire check Pineda. Pine tar has been around the game for decades and is only allowed for batters to use.

It does have its’ limits there though in terms of how far a player can put the pine tar up on his bat for example. If you’re old enough to remember George Brett going ballistic at Yankee Stadium in the early 80’s then you know what I’m talking about.

Pine tar is used for grip and for a pitcher, it only takes a small amount in order to get a much tighter grip on the ball. Usually the colder it is the more apt pitchers are to dabble with it. In Boston the other night it was 54 degrees but the wind was howling to about 30mph. This would have been a perfect scenario for a pitcher to use pine tar.

What always strikes me as odd is how fans and the media go crazy over a player cheating in this format versus the ho-hum attitude of the steroid era. I guess it really shouldn’t surprise me though and I’m sure it doesn’t faze you either.