Sidelines: Controversial football games

January 25, 2019

Next week’s Super Bowl will be the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams won in controversial fashion.

The New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, advancing to an amazing 9th Super Bowl in the last 17 years. Having a game at this level end in "sudden death" fashion has to change.

Of course, it's only after the game is over that fans become vocal and want the rules changed. I am a fan of this change only if the fans and players stop complaining about the length of playoff games. If you want a "fair" win, the length of the game is of no importance.

The other game with the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints was even more controversial because of a terrible missed call by the referees. The Saints should have gotten a pass interference call in the 4th quarter that would have been the true outcome of that game. Instead, the Rams won in overtime. I am in favor of a rule change here as well. There needs to be a rule that would allow both teams to challenge pass interference calls in the fourth quarter.

Regardless of all of the controversy leading into the Super Bowl, the teams are in place and hopefully it will be a good game.

The baseball Hall of Fame announcements were made this week. Phillies pitcher Roy Hallady got in on the first ballot. I was somewhat surprised he was elected on the first ballot. He only won 203 games, which is lower than usual for a first ballot Hall of Famer. Along with Hallady, New York Yankees Mariano Rivera became the first player ever to receive a 100 percent vote. I am quite happy for him and I am happy that the glass ceiling has been broken.

The Australian Open tennis tournament is coming to an end and the Americans have done quite well. On the men’s side in the first Grand Slam for 2019, a new name, Frances Tiafoe, made it to the quarterfinals. I hope he continues his good play for the rest of the year and that we see him do well in the other three grand slams. He is only 21 years old, so it would be great to watch him have a breakout year. On the women's side, Danielle Collins came out of nowhere to make it to the semi-finals. Serena Williams lost in the quarterfinals after having a 5 to 1 lead in the third set. She had an ankle injury which affected her level of play. I hope she recovers in time to play in the French Open.

See you on the sidelines!


  • A 2002 Cape grad and 2007 UD grad, Lewes resident Sumner Spence is one of the Cape area's biggest sports fans. Wheelchair-bound his entire life, he has lived vicariously through his sports-playing father, brother, and friends, who gave him his love of sports. He hopes to provide new and interesting perspectives on the sports stories and issues of the day. Email Sumner at