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Ask PFW: Angry Andy fires back (Part II)

Let us hope that the NFL won't become "entertainment" like the NBA and lose all credibility as a sport due to poor officiating. At least I can still watch the Patriots play. They only had one game lost to the officials and they made enough of their own mistakes in that loss (Your Welcome for the gift and game plan Pittsburgh!) to leave a small amount of doubt. And Thanks for keeping an open forum for the greatest team in Modern times.Brent Levesque

Just a clarification. The NBA didn't lose credibility because of its officiating. It had more to do with inability to pass the ball, shoot or do much of anything other than dunk and flex. The NBA is supposed to be the best basketball on the planet, only it isn't. The league is filled with players that are too young and too unskilled to compete at the highest level. It's almost said. It's become a glorified version of the street ball. I don't think that will happen in the NFL. But we appreciate your opinions. At least you don't have the know-it-all air that a lot of the emailers had this week.
Andy Hart

Dear You Guys: I have noticed that the best way to get a question answered in your column is to start with the big suck up, so here's mine: You guys are absolutely the brainiest, cleverest, most informed group of Football Sages on the planet and your column has no rival now or ever in the annals of sports analysis. Do I get in the door? Now the annual question about Troy Brown. What's the likelihood that the Grand Old Man will make another appearance at WR next year? I realize he barely squeezed onto the roster last year, but can we hope for a swan song? Sure hope so because he seemed hopelessly bummed after his splotch in the Denver game. I would hate to have that be his last moment as a Patriot. Any chance for one more year?Miranda Gppd

You have the right to remain silent…Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. OK, that was lame. But thanks for the kind words. I am glad you feel so passionately about Ask PFW that you felt comfortable voicing your all-out praise. As for Brown, I think there is a good chance he will be back. He had a good year in 2005 and still clearly has something left in the tank as a WR. Couple that with the lack of depth at the spot for the Patriots and Brown's overall versatility and leadership value and I think it's a no-brainer. Plus, I agree with you. I would hate to have a costly fumble be the lasting memory from an otherwise incredible NFL career. By the way, I'd like to buy a vowel for you for your last name.
Andy Hart

Does a player being placed on Injured reserve effect the salary Cap calculation. I assume that the prorated bonus for each player counts against the cap no matter what, but I would think when a player gets injured and is out for the year, the player's full salary should not count against the cap because another player is usually added to the roster.John Heisman

A player placed on injured reserve counts fully toward the salary cap. That's why teams have to leave a buffer under the cap to deal with injuries throughout the season and sign replacements. All active players, IR players and practice squad players count toward a team's salary cap.
Andy Hart

Hey guys! Just had a couple of quick questions. First-Should I have taken offense to the Steelers fans booing Tom Brady when he was announced for the coin toss. I realize I might be a little touchy about him because he is my HERO and I love him more than I love myself....but I thought it was totally classless (not surprising from a bunch of Steelers fans). And second, do you think that Rodney Harrison has a chance to make the Hall of Fame after he retires? Just curious!
Nicole H.

What did you expect Steelers fans to do? What would Patriots fans do? OK, bad example because Patriots fans probably would just remain silent as they always do. In Pittsburgh Brady is the enemy and should be treated as such. That's the way things work in sports. Ever hear of a little rivalry between he Red Sox and the Yankees? I understand you are a little defensive about your golden boy, but you need to lighten up a little. That doesn't even address the fact that I thought it was inappropriate for Brady to be tossing the coin. But that's an argument for a different answer. As for Harrison, I don't think he has enough to earn a HOF slot right now. That could change if he returns from injury and maybe even wins another Super Bowl. There are only 16 defensive backs in the Hall right now. That's tough company to crack. As much as I like Harrison and think he's a very good player, I'm just not sure he has the resume to break into Canton.
Andy Hart

Subject: Gambling playersWhat effect on the NFL games do you think NFL players and refs have on the game itself? Same question, but on the fans? Will it hurt the gate receipts? The TV viewing audience/ All I know is that I was sick at my stomach after those 2 bad calls.
Lee Johnson

As a former Patriots punter you might know more about players gambling that I do. I tend to think there are very few players in the league that would risk things by gambling on the NFL. That's just my opinion. But fans? That's a different story. I think gambling is one of the underlying factors in the NFL's overall popularity. It might be an ugly fact, but it's true. And your being sick wouldn't have anything to do with losing a bet, would it? Gambling has been around forever and on some level will always be a part of all sports. But I think the NFL does a good job of trying to distance itself, for the most part, from it.
Andy Hart

Subject: Rodney HarrisonWill he return for the 2006-2007 football season?James Coffey

Harrison has said many times that he's focused on and on track for a return to the football field. He's been quick to point out that there is no real timeline for his return. I personally feel it is going to be difficult for the 33-year-old safety to return from the severe (3 ligaments) knee injury. But if anyone is motivated and determined enough to do it, Harrison is the man. I think the earliest he could possibly return would be late next season. But who knows. By the way, are we talking about the NBA or NHL? I understand that the NFL season gets longer and longer every year, but it's still considered the 2006 season that we are preparing for.
Andy Hart

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