Mr. Sports: Football, Stars, and Havoc

All players in all levels of football are now in full pads and the hits are happening. The 2012 football season is now upon us. I love it!

The new season also gives us a diverse list of changes, exciting anticipation and new rules.

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In the NFL, all eyes will be on Denver and New York as Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow are gearing up for first action for new teams. In Denver, Manning, who left Indianapolis after 14 years with the Colts for the mile high city of Denver, seems to look right at home with the Broncos. Although his pre-season debut was not up to what many had hoped, folks close to the team indicate Manning looks sharp. Only time will tell.

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For Tebow, his move from Denver to the New York Jets is meeting with high anxiety levels as the former University of Florida superstar and NFL star in waiting suits up with the team that has a solid starter in Mark Sanchez. Tebow already looked good in one pre-season outing, but there is allot of football to be played and Sanchez is the proven signal caller.

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It’s looking like replacement officials will carry over to the regular season in the NFL. The league is currently in talks with the NFL Referees Association, but no progress is being reported, which means replacement refs, who have been handling all of pre-season, will make it to the regular season. Game assignments are being made now with the first three weeks of the season being filled with replacements refs.

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The NFL passed two key rule changes for 2012. The first was to change regular-season overtime rules to reflect the rules used in postseason. That rule includes a team cannot win on its first possession simply by kicking a field goal; so, instead of just in post-season games, that rule is now used in all games. Second, all turnovers will be reviewed. Challenges will not be used for any turnovers or scoring plays.

Huntsville Stars

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With Car Survivor 3 now complete with Steven Hudson of Decatur outlasting fellow Decatur Resident Gabrielle Guthrie, the Huntsville Stars now are in the midst of its next-to-last home stand of the 2012 season.

Our boys of summer will entertain the Montgomery Biscuits in a five-game series, which runs through Saturday at Joe Davis Stadium. As always, Thirst-Aid Thursday highlights that night with $2 beer from Turner Beverage throughout the evening. On Friday, it is Candidates Night as Huntsville mayoral candidates will be on hand to meet those attending the game and will address the crowd prior to first pitch, which is set for 6:43 p.m. On Saturday, it’s another in the season-long McDonald’s Youth Sports Saturday with youth wearing their team uniform admitted free of charge, courtesy of McDonald’s.

The Stars will return home for one last home stand beginning on the 24th.

Huntsville Havoc

The local professional hockey team will get its season underway on the road for four matches beginning Oct. 26. The boys on ice return to the confines of the Von Braun Center for home opener on Saturday, Nov. 10. Individual tickets range from $11-19.

Jack’s Family Restaurants has teamed up with the hockey team to present “Biscuit in the Basket” promotion in the upcoming season. If the Havoc scores a goal during a pre-selected period, fans in a chosen section will win a food coupon from Jack’s, who have been in business for over 50-years here in Alabama.

The team’s head coach, Glenn Detulleo, too over that spot in the last week of the 2011-2012 season and returns to lead the Havoc for the upcoming campaign of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Detulleo and his family live in Madison. I featured him in one of my writings here in the Madison Weekly News earlier this year. He is a great family man, outstanding hockey player-turned-coach and just an all-round good guy.