Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
The 2012 election results signal to me that America is over. Everyone knew exactly who Obama was and reelected him anyway. They knew about the $16.45 TRILLION national debt, his refusal to do anything about spending, and his promises to spend even more. He campaigned on increasing taxes even more and keeping ObamaCare.
We have the slowest economic recovery following a recession in recorded history. Many economists now say we’re heading back into a double-dip recession in 2013.
America reelected him anyway.
So it’s tough not to conclude that America is over.
I’m feeling the same way about the NFL . . . and I’m a football fanatic, have been since I was five years old.
The big problem is all the rule changes. In fact, the big problem is how many new rules there are. The teams can hardly get off a play without a flag being thrown.
Quarterbacks might as well throw a 60 yard pass on every play because there’s a near 50/50 chance pass interference will be called.
The poor defensive back can’t breathe on the receiver without being hit with a pass interference penalty.
This has rendered the passing records we’re seeing today utterly meaningless.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when I started following football, any NFL quarterback who completed more than 54 percent of his passes on a consistent basis was an automatic Hall of Famer.
The great Roger Staubach had a lifetime NFL pass completion percentage of 57 percent .
Games when the likes of Staubach and Bradshaw surpassed 200 yards passing were rare. They would average more like 170-180 yards passing per game.
The great Joe Namath completed right around 50 percent of his passes, even in his best years.
Johnny Unitas (arguably the greatest quarterback ever) completed 54.6 percent of his passes.
Completing a pass used to mean something. Not anymore.
Today’s quarterbacks are completing 65-70 percent of their passes. That’s just absurd, and no fun to watch.
Instead of the great quarterbacks of the 1960s and 1970s throwing for 170 yards a game, today’s quarterbacks routinely throw for 300 yards a game. Sometimes they throw for 500+ yards in a game.
Why is this?
It’s entirely because of all the rule changes. We’re not watching the same game anymore — not even close.
It used to be that the defensive player could hit the receiver all the way down the field until the ball was in the air. Only then would he have to stop hitting the receiver.
And officials mostly let the defensive player and receiver fight for the ball as equals. Penalty flags would mostly stay in the refs pocket unless the interference was really flagrant — like if the defensive back hit the receiver with a tire iron, or something.
Today, the defensive back can’t touch the receiver beyond five yards from the line of scrimmage. So defensive backs
are, well, defenseless against the pass. I don’t know why anyone would want to play this position anymore.
The NFL wants basketball scores, not football scores.
Defense used to matter in the NFL — Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain (led by Mean Joe Greene), Minnesota’s Purple People Eaters (led by
Alan Page and Carl Eller).
There used to be defensive backs that were truly magnificent to watch, like Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes of the Oakland Raiders.
But somehow the great receivers, like Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff, still managed to make amazing catches with a defensive back hanging on his shirt — even though Fred was considered too small and slow to be an NFL receiver.
These guys looked like warriors. I can’t imagine them wearing pink shoes and socks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I’m sure we have great defensive backs today, but you’d never know it.
Today we just see these defensive backs getting torched almost every play because they’re not allowed to touch the receiver.
And we might as well put a skirt on the quarterback. If the defensive lineman is lucky enough to reach the quarterback, he can’t hit him anymore without a penalty flag being thrown. It’s a lot easier to complete passes if you know you’re not going to get hit all that hard.
If the other players are not allowed to hit you, you’re not really a football player, in my mind. You’re more in the category of a kicker. That’s what the modern NFL quarterback has become.
They are now kicking off from the 35 yard line instead of the 30 yard line, so we get almost no kickoff retuns any more. But the kickoff and runback is arguably the most exciting play in football.
That play is now effectively gone. Now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering banning kick-offs entirely, to prevent injuries, of course.
Football is a contact sport. People watch it in large part to see the big hits by the likes of a Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Mean Joe Greene, or Ray Nitschke.
Flag football is just not as much fun to watch as real football. But this is the direction the NFL is heading.
There’s a parallel here with what is happening in our society – the proliferation of laws and rules, all in the name of safety.
Don’t get me wrong.
We certainly do need laws and rules. And there needs to be concern for safety.
I was sickened to see Darryl Stingly (the New England Patriots wide receiver in the 1970s) paralyzed for life because of a hit by Oakland Raiders Defensive Back Jack Tatum.
Reasonable steps should be taken to protect the players, absolutely. I don’t want to see people paralyzed or killed, if possible.
But you know the risks when you sign up to play the game. The risk and the big hits are big part of why some people choose to play football instead of badminton.
Why not also require NASCAR racers to drive cars that don’t go more than 40 MPH?
Then there would be no injuries. A car race would just be a test of skill.
Or, why not ban cars completely and save 30,000 lives a year?
At a certain point, this hyper-concern with safety takes all the fun out of life.
People go hang-gliding because it’s exciting — and dangerous.
At a certain point, there can be so many rules, that the game becomes impossible to play and no fun to watch.
This is happening to both America and the NFL. Almost every time you move, you commit some kind of a foul — whether on the football field or society at large.
By the way, allowing the defensive back to bump the receiver all the way up to the point the ball is released by the quarterback would make the game safer because all those bumps by the defensive back slow down the receiver. So you would have fewer full-speed collisions.
Here’s another reform for the NFL that would decrease injuries.
This would deter players from using their heads and bodies as weapons against the other player. You’d have more teeth knocked out and more broken noses, but many fewer truly crippling injuries.
If we go back to the leather helmets, we could also get rid of those idiotic speakers in the helmets of the quarterback. That’s another loathsome modern innovation.
The coach should not be calling the plays. That used to be the quarterback’s job.
Then there’s the mind-numbing “political correctness” that dominates the NFL today.
This is probably why John Madden quit broadcasting. He just couldn’t take it anymore.
Not that there’s really anything wrong with the players wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
There are, of course, many diseases we should be concerned about. Why not prostate cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer’s?
I hope we cure breast cancer along with all deadly and debilitating diseases. I just don’t think an NFL Football game is where we need to be talking about all that — to show how broadminded we are.
Maybe the NFL can raise some money for breast cancer research. That’s fine. I just don’t think the NFL’s primary motivation here is charity. This is purely a marketing ploy. They think this will somehow attract more women to want to watch the game.
Do you really think dressing up these NFL players in pink is going to make more women want to watch this game?
And then there’s the week where NBC for “Football Night in America” uses almost no lights in its broadcast to show solidarity with Obama’s green energy programs. Puleeease!
Then you have Bob Costas going on his anti-Second Amendment rant after that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend dead, then shot himself dead — as if this 260 pound linebacker could not have found some other way to kill his 110 pound girlfriend, then himself.
The weak thinking at the top of NFLdom sure seems to parallel the lazy thinking we see in America as a whole.
But I’ll probably watch the NFL playoffs anyway — just not as intensely as I used to watch the games in the old days, when it was football we were watching, not this new game it’s morphed into that more resembles pinball.
And now for my all time favorite commercial: The “Mean Joe Greene” Coke Ad from 1979 . . .
What a great player he was.
So does this make God incompetent when Tebow loses?
I’m a huge fan of both Tim Tebow and God. But this is just a ridiculous idea. Brady and the Patriots will very likely beat Tebow and the Broncos this weekend. But I doubt very much that Tom Brady is more powerful than God. My guess is God will enjoy the game like the rest of us. But does God tailgate?
CBS DENVER: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is not the only one who thinks God helps him on the football field.
According to a national telephone survey conducted by Poll Position, 43 percent of people believe that “divine intervention” is responsible for his success compared to 42 percent of people surveyed who think that God has nothing to do with Tebow winning.