This may be the ultimate bidness decision pitch to use on the recruiting trail.
Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.
I’m sure I’ll get some grief for linking to this, but it’s a perfect story as to why I’m so cynical about the whole uproar over players taking knees during the playing of the national anthem.
In the years following 9/11, professional sports took a healing gesture and transformed it into a way to make money. In 2015, Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake released the report “Tackling Paid Patriotism,” which criticized the deceptive, taxpayer-funded contracts between the Pentagon and virtually every pro sports league. In 2012, the New York Army National Guard paid the Buffalo Bills $250,000 to conduct on-field re-enlistment ceremonies. In 2014, the Georgia National Guard paid the Atlanta Falcons $114,000 to sing the national anthem. In 2015, the Air Force paid NASCAR $1.5 million in part for veterans to shake hands with racing legend Richard Petty. Your tax dollars. At work.
“Yeah I hate to say it, but I wasn’t completely surprised,” Astore says. “But I was disgusted by it. Patriotic displays, they mean a lot more to me when they’re spontaneous. But to learn that these had been paid for — that corporate teams, teams owned by billionaires, basically, were collecting money from the military. Paid for, obviously, by you and me, by the American taxpayer. Well, it was sad.”
American flags are the ultimate Good Housekeeping seal. And thanking veterans for their service disconnects the public from what has been nearly two decades of war. The ballpark ceremony obscures the realities of war and, by focusing on soldiers, inoculates the government from antiwar criticism.
I have no sympathy for the NFL’s current dilemma. It’s a problem those greedheads happily brought on themselves because the money was good, and now that they’ve reaped the whirlwind, they’re frozen on how to escape.
At least nobody’s tried to bribe their way into making college football players appear on the field for the anthem. Hopefully, that’s one “be more like the NFL” tack even the morons running college football are able to resist.
How about this as the opening paragraph on a story about why the writer prefers the NFL over college football?
For the past six years I have watched almost every NFL game and, aside from a few pre-draft projects, zero college football games. This is partly because covering the NFL is my job, but mostly because I enjoy pro football infinitely more than college.
It only gets better.
I realize many fans watch football mainly for that glitzy presentation. They love the pageantry of football. The tradition. The sense of community. Most people say that in this regard, college beats pro. To those people, I say: you’re right. In fact, it’s really not that close. But there are those of us who like football’s pageantry but love its strategy. We see the game as a chess match, only where everyone’s pieces are not the same, those pieces are not confined to individual squares, they move not one at a time but all at once, and that movement usually doesn’t stop until someone scores or gets hit.
I guess that explains why the pros keep stealing all kinds of college offensive strategies.
Look, it’s fine not to like the college game. I don’t watch the NFL because its soulless uniformity tends to bore me. However, I’m not going to wear my attitude proudly like a badge. Instead, I’ll simply settle for quietly cringing every time I hear someone suggest how college football would be better if it would only follow the NFL in some way.
At least I follow the sport that hasn’t tied itself in knots over the national anthem.
Grab a plate, campers!
- “In the past 10 years, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville has seen the termination or resignation of two athletic directors, four football or basketball coaches and two chancellors, and buyouts totaling more than $24 million.” Oh, and “The $24 million total does not include buyouts for assistant coaching staffs.”
- Athlon looks at which SEC East team is most likely to challenge Georgia this season. They try hard, but don’t sound very convincing.
- John Infante argues that the impetus behind the NCAA’s transfer rule change that just benefited Shea Patterson was to avoid negative media attention.
- “I have a bone to pick with Georgia.“
- Ugh: “Larry Nassar sexually assaulted at least 25 MSU student-athletes, but there were no NCAA violations, the university has told the college athletics governing body.”
- Ian Boyd looks at switching on defense and sees similarities with… the NBA?
- Bill Belichick picked two Georgia players in the first round of the draft. That’s not unusual for him.
- Mark Emmert’s gonna Mark Emmert.
- It’s never too early to arrange your bowl season schedule.
Some of y’all have mentioned Trent Thompson leaving school early for the NFL draft, only to go undrafted. For us, he’s the face of this statistic:
Thompson was one of 37 of a record 106 underclassmen who declared to go undrafted, according to NFL.com.
So if you’re a kid who leaves early, you’ve got roughly a one-in-three chance of not being drafted. With that kind of percentage, someone needs to explain why it’s a bad thing for kids like Thompson — and note that he has signed a pro contract post-draft — not to have the option of returning to school if his dreams aren’t met.
Would it lead to some potentially messy roster management issues? Perhaps. But I’m guessing if Kirby has his druthers, he’s rather have that problem than losing a talented, experienced kid for good.
For the reader who suggested the other day that it was time for the NCAA to crack down on those kids who were skipping bowl games to protect their health for the NFL draft, I have some bad news: the NCAA is taking steps to coddle the ungrateful bastids.
Thanks to a proposal from the SEC, the NCAA is paving the way for full-fledged football pro days in which NFL personnel evaluate underclassmen considering entering the next year’s draft.
Earlier this week the NCAA Division I Council adopted proposal 2017-80, legislation from the SEC, which will help up to five underclassmen per school to be evaluated by NFL personnel during a separate pro day each year.
“Our proposal would make it easier to facilitate our student-athletes being observed under the revised NFL rules,” an SEC spokesman said. “Our motivation is to help young people receive the best information possible on which they base decisions about their future.”
The change will allow each school to conduct a the pro day practice and specify that both the college team’s coaches and NFL personnel can be present and conduct the practice and that the practice won’t count towards the college team’s practice limit (i.e., 15 spring practices).
See, if you’re chasing the top recruits (the SEC pushing this proposal should be a giant tell in that regard) with a message that your program will do everything it can to get them ready to play on Sundays, it would be beyond stupid to undercut that by threatening them with punishment if they actually made a decision to look out for their pro futures.
How does it feel to argue in favor of something too dumb for the NCAA to consider?
Well, at least Herm Edwards is dispensing with subtlety.
Arizona State football is trying to become more NFL-like, and first-year head coach Herm Edwards sent a harsh NFL-style message to his team Tuesday.
Edwards told his players before they began the fourth week of spring practice that cuts likely are coming, including to some with scholarships if performance dictates after the spring game April 13.
Edwards, an NFL head coach for eight years, then repeated that message to the media after practice, saying any scholarship players who are cut would retain their financial aid if they opt to stay at ASU as a student.
But, Herm, you’re not in the NFL. These are student-athletes. Are you sure you’re supposed to be using the word “cut” here?
When Edwards was hired, ASU created a new leadership model patterned after an NFL front office that brings athletic administrators into roles with players development, personnel and recruiting.
“You’re accountable to compete every day,” Edwards said. “You don’t lose your scholarship, you lose the ability to play. It’s always worked that way in football. That’s how you become a competitive team. You want to get in the two-deep. You should want to play. You don’t want to sit four years and sit the bench.”
Edwards said having fewer players short term due to cuts would not hurt because, typically, 45 players are used in a game.
It’s going to be an interesting season, to say the least.
Really, if, you want to play for Edwards, what can you say? This, I guess, if you’re buying in.
“Being at Arizona State, I’ve seen people come and go. Coaches, players. It’s not a big deal any more. That’s what you’ve got to expect in the NFL. Guys come and go, they get cut.”
But, kid, you’re not in the NFL. You’re an amateur, right?
“It’s professionalism at its finest,” Wilkins said. “It’s going to be a rude awakening when they go from student-athlete to student. I think that’s how it has to be. There’s got to be competition at every single point. When there’s not competition is when people get stagnant, and being complacent is when things start going bad.”
I bet Larry Scott is having a shit fit right now.