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ICYMI: Vanishing PI Aids Cowboys; Penalties Way Up Otherwise

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Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Hitchens (59) is hit in the back by a pass from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9), intended for Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew (87), during the fourth quarter of an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley)  MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Hitchens (59) is hit in the back by a pass from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9), intended for Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew (87), during the fourth quarter of an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley) 

Howard Fendrich, ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

ARLINGTON, Tx. (AP)—Officiating prompted conversation and consternation all season in the NFL, so why should the playoffs — particularly the pass interference call that was, then suddenly wasn’t, in the Cowboys’ wild-card win over the Lions — be any different?

There’s actually something ironic about such a ruckus raised by what wound up being a no-call, given that the competition committee’s extra emphasis on, and rewording of, rules governing defensive-backfield play led to an increase in flags.

There was one more penalty per game this season than a year ago and the highest rate since 2005, according to STATS. The numbers are skyrocketing in the playoffs: The first four games averaged 13.5 calls, compared to 7.8 from wild-card weekend last season, STATS said.

In the NFC, Dallas beat Detroit 24-20, and Carolina eliminated Arizona 27-16. In the AFC, Indianapolis defeated Cincinnati 26-10, and Baltimore beat Pittsburgh 30-17.

On Sunday in Dallas, Detroit was leading 20-17 and facing third-and-1 with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, when Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was flagged while covering Brandon Pettigrew.

“Pass interference,” referee Pete Morelli intoned. “Automatic first down.”

About 15 seconds later, and with no explanation, Morelli announced, “There is no foul on the play.”

On Fox’s broadcast, announcer Joe Buck said: “Boy, that was late.” Then, addressing former head of NFL officiating Mike Pereira, Buck asked, “You ever seen that call picked up that late?”

Pereira replied, “Not at all.” Later, Pereira said: “I still strongly believe that was not a good pickup of a flag.”

Afterward, Morelli said the back judge threw a flag, prompting the initial announcement, and the change came because the head linesman then said there wasn’t enough contact to warrant a penalty.

Another tidbit: Dallas’ Dez Bryant was not penalized for leaving the sideline without a helmet to approach an official and dispute the initial call.

When play resumed, the Lions shanked a punt. Then they were whistled twice for defensive penalties, gave up a 21-yard pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten on fourth-and-6, and let Dallas score the go-ahead TD.

“I don’t ever think it comes down to one call,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said, “but calls are crucial during games like this.”

In case you missed it, here are other top topics after the NFL’s wild-card weekend:

AFC: Baltimore is at New England on Saturday; Indianapolis is at Denver on Sunday. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco might only have one Super Bowl trophy to New England counterpart Tom Brady’s three, but Flacco has won at Foxborough twice in the playoffs. Plus, check out Flacco’s numbers over his past five postseason games: 13 TDs, zero interceptions. One story line will dominate the other game: Denver QB Peyton Manning against the team he led to a Super Bowl championship and the guy who replaced him in Indy, Andrew Luck. Luck was superb against the Bengals, going 31 of 44 for 376 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

NFC: Carolina is at the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks on Saturday; Dallas is at Green Bay on Sunday. Two terrific defenses will meet in Seattle, while the offenses will get attention in the Cowboys’ first postseason game at the Packers since the 1967 Ice Bowl. Romo and Dallas went 8-0 on the road in the regular season; Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home since December 2012.

KEY INJURIES: Absences were crucial to three of the four wild-card games. Arizona used third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley and produced 78 yards, the fewest in NFL postseason history; Pittsburgh was without Le’Veon Bell and its running backs gained only 43 yards; Cincinnati sorely missed its top two pass-catchers, A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham.

CHRISTIE’S A COWBOYS FAN: Whether whooping it up in celebration alongside Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during the game or bouncing along toward the home locker room afterward, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie once again got plenty of face time while showing off his fandom for America’s Team. Hmmmm, how many electoral votes is Texas worth in a presidential election?

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP_NFL.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ILWU Profile: Marcus McDade, Working on Oakland’s Waterfront

Oakland’s longshore and dock workers are the frontline essential workers for economic pandemic relief and supply-chain restoration.

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ILWU member Marcus McDade

“I was born and grew up in North Oakland and attended Washington Elementary and Claremont Jr. High School, then Oakland Tech and graduated from Berkley High. I work for ILWU, Local 10 and have been a longshoreman for 22 years.  

“Before becoming a longshoreman, I worked small, part-time jobs including as a coach for after-school youth program football, basketball and baseball for Oakland Parks and Recreation. 

“A buddy called me one morning and said that the longshoremen were hiring and to get down to Jack London Square, fill out a postcard and send it in before 5 p.m. At the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what a longshoreman did, but I knew it was a good-paying job with benefits. 

“When I arrived at Jack London, there was a line wrapped around the corner. My buddy kept saying it was a good job, so I put in for it.  It was 1999, and my name was picked from the lottery. The rest is history. 

“This is a great job. It takes care of my family, my kids and me. I started off as a dock man, unidentified with no benefits, then identified and went straight to B-man and then A-man where I still am today.” 

“I like the fact that you can start at the bottom (unidentified) and be promoted to the top as A-Man. I’ve completed numerous skill trainings that allow me to work various waterfront jobs for good pay, including but not limited to operating top picks, calamars, cranes, and transtainers. 

“Not only are the pay and benefits great, I also love the flexibility. I pick up my jobs from the Hall and if a job is available and in alignment with my number, I can choose it because I’m trained in so many skilled jobs on the waterfront.

“Currently, I have a nephew who works on the Oakland waterfront.  I’m proud I was able to help my nephew have an opportunity as a longshoreman. He is a B-man and loves his job. Working on the waterfront as a longshoreman can involve strenuous physical labor, so it is not for everyone.

“Howard Terminal is on designated port land, and it provides more work for our industry and helps the whole port run more efficiently while keeping idling and parked cargo trucks off West Oakland streets. 

“The Oakland A’s should not have a ballpark there. The A’s move to Howard Terminal with thousands of fans will affect the future of the longshore workers, truckers, residents, and businesses. It’ll be far too congested down here and unsafe for the thousands of fans and residents who would be crossing rail lines and 24/7 cargo truck traffic.

“Make no mistake: I want the A’s to stay in Oakland. I’m a huge fan. I grew up in Oakland and in the same neighborhood as Ricky Henderson and his family. However, it would be best if the A’s found a way to continue playing at the Coliseum. 

“Longshoremen are essential American workers that keep America supplied with goods.”

 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Business

A’s Owner John Fisher Port Proposal No Good for Oakland

Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 

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Howard Terminal on Port of Oakland Map

OPINION

Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 

It is such a bad idea and the costs to the public are so ridiculous that logically it shouldn’t happen.  But this right-wing, Trump-supporting Republican has a boatload of money and a few corporation-oriented politicians to help him push it through.  

So, Oaklanders need to be active, or he might get it. Here are two of the things we need to act on: 

  1. Fisher won’t spend his own money.  So, he wants Alameda County to give up spending on things like the COVID-19 pandemic, so we residents can pay for his project with taxpayer money.  The vote on this will come up to the Board of Supervisors on October 26.  If you’d prefer that the County fund health care, housing and other resident necessities, ask them to vote “No.” Call your supervisor at 510-208-4949 and/or attend the meeting.
  2. The Oakland City Council will make the ultimate decision about Fisher’s project and there are a zillion reasons they should say “No.”  Among them: a) Fisher’s project requires that thousands of people run across the tracks of a busy railroad, which killed a number of people even before there were big crowds needing to get to their condos or a stadium.   b) And  Fisher’s project would wreck Oakland’s Port.  The “Seaport Compatibility Measures” necessary to keep the Port alive would cost hundreds of millions of dollars which would not be needed if it were not for Fisher’s project.  So, Fisher, not taxpayers, should pay for them. c)  And then there are all the other ways it will hurt the waterfront, the environment, and Port workers.

You can get contact information to reach your Council member here – https://www.oaklandca.gov/officials

Personally, any public official who votes for Fisher’s project will never get my vote again.   Call me hard-headed, but the harm to  Oakland as a working-class, multi-racial city, the harm to the ILWU (the union of Port workers, perhaps the most progressive union in America)  and the opposition of the people of East Oakland are enough to make my hard head think that’s what solidarity requires.

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Business

Development Group Proposes Black Panther Film Studios at Coliseum

Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party leader and CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), has teamed up with master developer McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), to create The Coliseum Dream development project.

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Elaine Brown via Twitter

Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party leader and CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), has teamed up with master developer McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), to create The Coliseum Dream development project.

Highlights of the Dream project are: readiness to purchase the city’s 50% interest; positive discussions with the Oakland A’s; installation of Black Panther Studios as development anchor, which will be the first Black-owned film studio on the West Coast; ability to finance the entire development, estimated at $5 billion; building of hundreds of affordable housing units; development of a luxury hotel and department store; creating and supporting youth tech, arts and business training centers; construction of a supermarket in a food desert; making Oakland a tourist destination.

Vince Bennett, president and CEO of MBS, a multi-billion-dollar housing developer based in St. Louis, said: “MBS is ready to immediately enter into a purchase and sale agreement with the City of Oakland and become the master developer of the entire site.”

The Coliseum Dream Development Group (CDDG) recognizes the impossibility of developing the Coliseum site solely by purchasing the city’s 50% interest. Partnership with the other 50% interest owner, the Oakland A’s, is necessary.  

Brown says she has discussed the site with Dave Kaval, A’s president, over the last few years, and said, “Dave has stated he loves the idea of Black Panther Studios as the anchor of CDDG’s development vision.”

The problem CDDG faces is not readiness on its part but the City Council’s unwillingness to entertain proposals other than those two they hand-picked in a recent closed session.

In a closed session scheduled for Thursday, October 7, the Council considered the merits of its two preferred proposals, based on reports from the City Administrator.  This closed session meeting arose from a vote of the Council’s Rules Committee on Thursday, September 30.  

In lieu of allowing Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s request to push through a resolution at the Council’s October 19 meeting to enter into an agreement with the group she is promoting, the Council decided to consider the two proposals.  

It’s unclear what happens next.

Brown said, “There is no process regarding the sale of the city’s interest in the Coliseum, certainly not one that is transparent.”

In a statement to the Oakland Post, Brown submitted the following questions and answers:

Q:  Everybody talks about jobs and housing.  Will your group be able to deliver on the promise in your Coliseum Dream proposal to create jobs and build affordable housing for the community?

A (Elaine Brown): “Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), of which I am CEO, is presently co-developing a $72 Million, 79-unit, 100% affordable housing project in West Oakland with master housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), headed by CEO and President Vince Bennett. 

“This reflects my ongoing commitment to the ideal of the Black Panther Party, of which I was a leading member, of Black self-determination.  The track record of MBS for building affordable housing is without parallel.  Not only has MBS built thousands of affordable housing units throughout the U.S., as well as, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, MBS is currently building a $1 billion development in Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Arcade, which includes hundreds of affordable housing units and is bringing residents, jobs, and visitors back to downtown Dayton.  

“Our Coliseum Dream anchor project, Black Panther Studios, alone, will create thousands of new, high-tech jobs, and we will build an affiliated tech training center to create a new generation of Black, tech-savvy “digital carpenters” to make films and enter the tech economy at a high end.

Q:  Even if you are willing and able to purchase the City’s 50% interest in the Coliseum site, how can you develop the site without either purchasing the A’s 50% or partnering with the A’s?

A, (Elaine Brown): “Our team is prepared to purchase the City’s 50% interest outright, today.  We have not discussed purchasing the A’s 50% interest with the A’s, but, if that were an option, we would take it.  We have been in discussions with Dave Kaval, A’s president, over the last two years about our Coliseum Dream, and Dave has unequivocally stated that if we were to acquire the City’s 50%, he would work with us.  And, we have told Dave, we are willing to partner with the A’s.”

The Dream Proposal is available here: https://bit.ly/thecoliseumdream

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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