Hello friends. I just want to say thank you for all the support I have been getting. I really appreciate it and any comments or criticism would be greatly appreciated as well. I have never really written like this and could use all the impute I can get. Thanks again and whiskey days part 2 will be out tomorrow so be ready for that shit.
This year in the NFL things are a little weird. It is conceivable if not down right probable that three rookie quarterbacks will be in the playoffs. All of which have turned around pretty sad franchises. Luck has reinvigorated, in one record breaking season, a team in Indy that was worst in the league last year. RG3 has given new hope to a Redskins fan base that has been at the bottom of the NFC for nearly a decade. And Russell Wilson has made the people in charge of the Seahawks look like goddam football gurus. The Saints bounty scandal has become less of open and close case on how bounties are bad and more of a open book diatribe about how Roger Goodell is a money gabbing head hunter. Manning has come back from the dead and everyone has forgotten about Tebow (thank you God). The Ravens are an offensive team and its not working out. Things are never what the seem except the Pat’s are still good, the Steelers still play defense and the Raiders are still garbage. All of the sudden young mobile quarterback are more valuable then veteran leaders. Ask your Alex Smiths and Cason Palmers about that one. The linebackers are becoming a more pass oriented defensive player while the safeties are playing more and more in the box. Running backs are dime a dozen and the most powerful passing game in the NFL relies on a slot receiver and tight end to make plays. What?
The reason is two fold. The primary one being the rule changes to help the passing offense. Like how the NBA got rid of hand checking to make small guards viable again, the NFL has opened up the game and protected offensive player to the extent that defenses have to play a different style. The Jerome Bettis’s of the world are turning into distant memories.The ground and pound of yesteryear is all but extinct making the tough nose linebacker less of a commodity. Everything is predicated on getting to the quarterback. Gigantic pass catching tight ends are making one receiver sets nickel situations. The defensive player can no longer play in the NFL the way his brain has been trained to since he was a kid. Separate the receiver from the ball. But don’t try to hard. Fifty years of defensive strategy and know how has been subverted. That is like walking into an Irish Christmas and saying no more whiskey, or an Italian wedding and saying no more pasta. It’s down right cruel and sure as hell going to take a while to change. This isn’t something the NFL can fix with one or two new rules. This is going to take institutional changes starting with pop warner coaches. Therefor it may take a lot of seasons possibly a decade to see the effect on the product these new rules are eventually going to have.
Ten years from now when the Luck, RG3, and Wilson are approaching the twilight of their career like Manning, Brady, and Brees are now. I believe we will see a much different NFL. Will it be better, I don’t know. But that change is inevitable and although the offensive change is apparent now eventually the defense will catch up. One day we will be seeing a middle-line backer/safety hybrid that can play coverage, rush the passer, and get in the face of a 300 pound guard and do it all well. Think Brain Urlacher mixed with Champ Bailey. Or Ed Reed genetically enhanced with Demarcus Ware. Right now we have specialists but the offensive game has become to diverse and the need for a new super solider defensive player has arrived. I personally cant wait.
The NFL has become a drama league the same way the NBA is. It has become a off field league much like baseball is. Players are becoming coddled. I know no one wants to hear this but once you put into a players head the term player protection their mindset is totally changed. Maybe not on the football field because the danger is still apparent but when it comes to court cases, when it comes to dealing with coaches and writing contracts. When greed starts at the top it tends to trickle down.
So although things are changing don’t be sad my friends. Life will go on. Basketball is in its prime and baseball is never going to get instant replay. So if your looking for consistency or nostalgia you always have the other sports. You can always watch golf and burn through a fifth of bourbon on a wednesday afternoon. If your really desperate for traditional sports I hear soccer is pretty big in some places. Get ready for a crazy playoffs.