LEFTOVERS: Inmate sues to get Steelers into playoffs


The concept of jailhouse lawyering is nothing new.

Thousands of inmates use their time behind bars to study the law, trying to find a way out.

Every once in a while, an incarcerated person tries to seek a legal remedy for the betterment of the community instead of just the individual.

The Baltimore Sun, and just about every sports website and blog, reported on one of those instances.

Daniel L. Spuck, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution in Mercer, Pa., filed a motion against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to grant a temporary emergency injunction to halt the NFL playoffs.

Spuck’s goal was to have the court force the league to delay the playoffs for one week to 10 days.

That time would allow a resolution to the unjust conclusion of the regular season when a blown call by officials on a missed field goal by the Kansas City Chiefs’ Ryan Succop led to the San Diego Chargers claiming the AFC’s sixth seed instead of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Spuck’s filing set forth three possible resolutions.

He proposed that either Succop be allowed to rekick the field goal from 5 yards closer as should have happened had the officials not botched the call, that the Steelers and Chargers play a neutral-site game to determine the sixth seed, or that Goddell declare the Chiefs the winners and put the Steelers in the playoffs.

There also was a fourth option: Spuck said he would accept damages of at least $25,000 and all legal fees.

Considering the playoffs went on as scheduled last week, the fourth option is the only one on the table.

We at Leftovers are no legal experts, but we’re guessing NFL executives aren’t putting their best lawyers on this case.

■ HIP LINGO — Brent Musburger almost universally is beloved and regarded as one of the best in the business calling college football games.

He delivered another terrific performance during Monday’s Bowl Championship Series title game.

Not everyone loved Musburger’s call, though.

New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick was bothered by what he deemed to be an effort by Musburger to sound “ESPN-hip.”

“Thus, rather than say that Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson will be an NFL draft pick, he said, ‘Robinson will play Sunday football,’ ” Mushnick wrote.

“Musburger is no less a show-boater than the kid who was called for taunting, nearly costing FSU the championship. He used to refer to linebackers as ‘linebackers,’ as did everyone else who wanted to be clearly understood. Monday, as if in the spell of ‘Herbie’ — Kirk Herbstreit, another endless code-talker — he referred to it as ‘the second level.’

“Something as simple and concise as ‘first down’? That became ‘moving the chains.’ And what for 40 years Musburger identified as a fumble, Monday became ‘he put the ball on the ground.’ ”

Mushnick then complained about the price of milk and expressed dismay that the clock on his VCR always is flashing.

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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