National Football League

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Or, he could end up the next Todd Marinovich.

Seriously, how many people at that age can anyone say with any certainty how their future career will turn out? Still, food for thought I guess.

In other news, the Alliance of American Football debut is just over a week away, and one game will be on CBS, with lots of web streaming. It looks like this league is trying to place itself above any of the semi-pro or developmental leagues, or indoor leagues, but not compete with the NFL in any way. So, you'll see players like Christian Hackenberg, They see a void there, insatiable football fans who don't get enough, and they might be right. This void was also somewhat left by the XFL. At issue is the XFL returns in 2020 (probably), as does the Freedom Football League, which has similar roots - lots of backing by ex-pros and some ex-NFL execs.

What's most interesting to me is the very progressive rule changes, and that I think there's a very good chance one of these leagues will survive beyond 2021, or swallow the others, merge with them, and a potential legit "minor league" football that enough fans pay attention to may survive out of this. The biggest mistakes that the USFL, WFL, and even XFL made were that they tried to compete with the NFL, or present themselves as an alternative to the NFL, and each of them died trying. Usually because they simply didn't have deep enough pockets to handle a loss leader, were too risk averse, or didn't have enough sustained broadcast numbers. The latter may not be as big of issue due to the web and streaming.

There's a lot more to comment on this, and I'll try next week.
 
If DNA were that much of a factor, Joe Montana’s sons Nate and Nick, at least one of them would have made it in the NFL. Both did play football in college, Nate at a few different schools, and Nick played fairly well in two seasons at Tulane. Neither were drafted or played a down in the NFL. I can't find a link but I seem to recall hearing Nate made no attempt to get into the NFL, and after getting into trouble as a teenager, basically focused on completing college and moved on with his life. Not sure if Nick even attempted to walk on to an NFL team.

Some people may recall Jack Elway playing college at ASU, following in the footsteps of his father, and grandfather. He did okay, but he too had some issues in his young adulthood getting arrested once, didn't have what it took, or that much interest, and left football. He has completely moved on now, running a high end hat making company and not having much of anything to do with football.

I recall hearing something once about baseball pitchers. A manager or scout of an MLB franchise once said that who you were, who you were related to, who you knew, even who coached you growing up, all didn't make a lick of difference. If you were a young player in even an obscure college, even a tiny independent minor league, and you could throw a 90mph fastball with any accuracy at all, they'd find you. And it wouldn't take years to do so. I imagine the same applies to football. If you are a QB in high school and have a strong arm that's fairly accurate, and show a real interest in learning and growing, you've got a chance, regardless of who your parents were.

Final story. When I went to high school there was a super athlete named Derrick Glenn (I may have gotten his name wrong). He ran track, and played football, mostly as a wide receiver or tight end. But he was big, and fast with great hands. A men among boys. We thought he was the next Jerry Rice (showing my age here!). Well, he got out of school and went to the University of Nevada, mostly because of their coach, Chris Ault a hall of famer who developed the pistol, and he knew he'd get a real chance there. Well, he got to Nevada, and joined the squad with all the other "next Jerry Rices". He played some, did okay, never bad, never great. Didn't get drafted. Tried to walk on with I think the 49ers, didn't get anywhere, and that was it.

As Stan Brock told me, the difference between the best and worst players in the NFL is "this much" holding up a tiny gap between his massive thumb and forefinger.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
If DNA were that much of a factor, Joe Montana’s sons Nate and Nick, at least one of them would have made it in the NFL. Both did play football in college, Nate at a few different schools, and Nick played fairly well in two seasons at Tulane. Neither were drafted or played a down in the NFL. I can't find a link but I seem to recall hearing Nate made no attempt to get into the NFL, and after getting into trouble as a teenager, basically focused on completing college and moved on with his life. Not sure if Nick even attempted to walk on to an NFL team.

Some people may recall Jack Elway playing college at ASU, following in the footsteps of his father, and grandfather. He did okay, but he too had some issues in his young adulthood getting arrested once, didn't have what it took, or that much interest, and left football. He has completely moved on now, running a high end hat making company and not having much of anything to do with football.

I recall hearing something once about baseball pitchers. A manager or scout of an MLB franchise once said that who you were, who you were related to, who you knew, even who coached you growing up, all didn't make a lick of difference. If you were a young player in even an obscure college, even a tiny independent minor league, and you could throw a 90mph fastball with any accuracy at all, they'd find you. And it wouldn't take years to do so. I imagine the same applies to football. If you are a QB in high school and have a strong arm that's fairly accurate, and show a real interest in learning and growing, you've got a chance, regardless of who your parents were.

Final story. When I went to high school there was a super athlete named Derrick Glenn (I may have gotten his name wrong). He ran track, and played football, mostly as a wide receiver or tight end. But he was big, and fast with great hands. A men among boys. We thought he was the next Jerry Rice (showing my age here!). Well, he got out of school and went to the University of Nevada, mostly because of their coach, Chris Ault a hall of famer who developed the pistol, and he knew he'd get a real chance there. Well, he got to Nevada, and joined the squad with all the other "next Jerry Rices". He played some, did okay, never bad, never great. Didn't get drafted. Tried to walk on with I think the 49ers, didn't get anywhere, and that was it.

As Stan Brock told me, the difference between the best and worst players in the NFL is "this much" holding up a tiny gap between his massive thumb and forefinger.
Sometimes it's probably just down to marginal amounts of superior eye hand coordination. Enough to make or break a champion. Relatives can often reach a reasonable standard but it's very rare in any sport for a champion to nurture another one in the immediate family. Superior sportsmen are probably a bit like savants that have incredible memories or mathematical ability. Even without great coaching they probably would have been good enough but maybe not great.

The whole nature/nurture debate........it's also interesting how many superior junior athletes never make it as professionals which gives just muddies the waters even more. maybe some of these have been getting by on their physical gifts but the pressures and scrutiny of professional sport not to mention being more flexible with the social side is something they can't adapt to or realize they don't want. The jump between high school/college/pro sports is big enough for most people it also shows it's possible to be identified at a young age and pampered for years and reach adulthood without good social skills. The expectations for young men in sports to behave themselves is at odds with the treatment they have received from adults for many years. No wonder the best coaches often become father figures to their players.
 
It looks like the entire country, outside of a pocket in New England, and parts of Michigan, will be rooting for the Chiefs tomorrow, including yours truly, a diehard Raider fan. Granted, while the Chiefs are a primary rival of the Raiders, there's still a bitterness about the "tuck game" that will never go away.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/01/17/america-rooting-against-patriots-in-afc-championship-chiefs/

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/map-proves-america-still-hates-patriots-fitting-exception

As one who lives in Connecticut, I can assure you that despite being New England, there are plenty of people here who are not Patriots fans.

 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
It looks like the entire country, outside of a pocket in New England, and parts of Michigan, will be rooting for the Chiefs tomorrow, including yours truly, a diehard Raider fan. Granted, while the Chiefs are a primary rival of the Raiders, there's still a bitterness about the "tuck game" that will never go away.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/01/17/america-rooting-against-patriots-in-afc-championship-chiefs/

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/map-proves-america-still-hates-patriots-fitting-exception

As one who lives in Connecticut, I can assure you that despite being New England, there are plenty of people here who are not Patriots fans.


Not really surprised by this map. More surprised that many in Michigan are cheering for the Patriots. Die hard Steeler fan who will be cheering for KC this weekend. As for the NFC, either team is acceptable to me.
 
Sorry for the broken record, but I'm not one who wants the Pats to lose just because they've won so much. Its absolutely amazing in this era of the NFL to be this good for this long. I applaud that. That being said, I do want KC to win, just not because I'm sick of seeing NE win.

I'm still picking: KC and LA.

Should I start my broken record rant about the NFL still being played outside in this era?
 
I would be happy to see the end of the Patriots era and it's getting closer. They have had plenty of success. Variety in sports is always good. Needless to say I am hoping for a Rams/Chiefs SB but it could quite easily be the opposite. All four teams are fairly close. Maybe Kansas and the Rams are more dynamic on offense and the Patriots on defense. As long as Mahomes doesn't start forcing throws and Kansas play with discipline, I think they can get the job done. The other game is harder to evaluate. I thought the Rams played better last week and only have to repeat that to win. The Saints won't want to repeat the first quarter they had against the Eagles.
 
Usually when you get to this point in the season, teams with better coaches, and more experienced quarterbacks win games. By that measure we should see New England and New Orleans win. Weather also tends to equalize games some, so the cold weather in Kansas City could help New England. But the latest forecast is that it shouldn't be quite as cold as once thought, about 15 degrees with light winds. That's plenty cold, but not a huge factor.

LAR@NO - My initial thought is if the Saints can run the ball at all, or don't give up on the run if they struggle with it early, they'll score enough to win. The Rams have been poor stopping the run all season, and the Saints are one of the most diverse running teams in the league. Also, if they play like they did last week, and most of the season, they'll win. They're also playing at home, in one of the best home field advantages in sports. But it's almost impossible to flip a switch and be great in this league, and the Rams have been more consistent over the last several weeks, and quietly gotten here, with most people expecting they'll lose. They too need to run the ball. I think if they get caught up in short passing and expecting Gurley to carry them, that won't be enough. But the real question is still the Saints. Can they run? Can they play consistent on both sides of the ball? If they can't, and are pushed to have Brees save them, they could fall short.

NE@KC - I said the other day I favored New England, but I'm going to flip that here. Maybe I'm hopeful, I don't know. Even with the cold weather, I expect plenty of scoring, and the team that can drive the ball late, or just has it last, may win, one of those 30-27 games. My biggest concern is that Belicheck will scheme just enough to slow Mahomes, with help from the cold weather. I don't expect Mahomes to get too rattled though. I have no doubt on offense the Patriots will design enough plays to move the ball consistently enough, and get in the end zone. It's just a matter how much, and how well the Chiefs move themselves. As great as Belicheck is, as in, best coach ever, Andy Reid is also one of the top coaches in the NFL, arguably 2nd best. He's also an inventive coach, an adaptive coach, and unafraid to take risks, and I think that kind of thinking wins games this time of the season.
 
I haven't harped on this for a while (maybe since foxxy left because we went round-n-round about it), but if you win the coin toss TAKE THE FN BALL! Giving the ball to DB/NOLA gave them the momentum or if you don't like that term, the mental/emotional edge for most of the first half. LAR had a fantastic drive and will attempt what they were going for by deferring: a twofer. Alp and/or Merckx might be able to provide data for how often the deferring team actually gets a twofer.

What is up with TG? Nice run for the TD, but something is up?

EDIT: Having just watched LAR win the game after deferring, I still yelled at KC for deferring...why would you want TB/NE to get rolling first?! You have the most dynamic QB in the league this year, give him the ball first!
 
Re:

jmdirt said:
I haven't harped on this for a while (maybe since foxxy left because we went round-n-round about it), but if you win the coin toss TAKE THE FN BALL! Giving the ball to DB/NOLA gave them the momentum or if you don't like that term, the mental/emotional edge for most of the first half. LAR had a fantastic drive and will attempt what they were going for by deferring: a twofer. Alp and/or Merckx might be able to provide data for how often the deferring team actually gets a twofer.

What is up with TG? Nice run for the TD, but something is up?
i just assumed that the Gurley not injured comment was BS.
 
What a great day of football. The NFL has got a boost from these four teams and some extraordinary play..well done by all.

Now the NFL needs to learn from major league baseball and the NBA..either let the human factor be part of the game or get rid of the referees entirely. Today is another example that officiating technologies don't work.it all looks at first that more is better..not.
 
I can't decide if KC just didn't have the manpower to cover, or if it was just poor strategy on NE's last drive in regulation and their drive in OT. If you 'give' the receivers 8-10 yards every pass they won't beat you deep, but it only takes eight 10 yard plays to get a TD (from where they started). I won't go as far as to say they were playing prevent, but that was pretty soft coverage.

I will never understand guys on the line lining up in the neutral zone.

NE clearly knows how to win.

The Super Bowl has the potential to be a good game. Goff has to be sharper and the run game must be better than it was today, and the DBs have to have a solid plan to stop NE, not just slow them down. NE will look pretty much like they did today because it works.
 
I missed most of both games due to power outages, but that non-call just killed the Saints. And watching it today, it could be both PI and a personal foul, with obvious helmet to helmet. If the NFL isn’t going to call this, can they really be taken seriously?

Great furious comeback by the Chiefs. I can only guess Reid thought they had momentum in OT and could hold the Pats to a FG, then drive down the field and score a TD to win.

I’ll take the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Not by a big margin, maybe just 3-4 points, but it will be seen they are the better team. I’m going to have a hard time cheering for either team though. I don’t like the way the Rams won. But I’m sick of the Patriots winning. However, Brady and Belicheck are both the GOAT, and this is an amazing run and dynasty we’ll likely never again see in our lifetimes.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
I missed most of both games due to power outages, but that non-call just killed the Saints. And watching it today, it could be both PI and a personal foul, with obvious helmet to helmet. If the NFL isn’t going to call this, can they really be taken seriously?

Great furious comeback by the Chiefs. I can only guess Reid thought they had momentum in OT and could hold the Pats to a FG, then drive down the field and score a TD to win.

I’ll take the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Not by a big margin, maybe just 3-4 points, but it will be seen they are the better team. I’m going to have a hard time cheering for either team though. I don’t like the way the Rams won. But I’m sick of the Patriots winning. However, Brady and Belicheck are both the GOAT, and this is an amazing run and dynasty we’ll likely never again see in our lifetimes.
Terrible missed call! I've been questioning the officiating more this year than maybe ever. BUT, there is no guarantee that they would have scored even if the call is made, plus NO had several chances after the missed call and still didn't get into the end zone (and had some questionable play calling/clock management). Then the NO D let the Rams roll down the field for a field goal (in what 45 seconds) and just lucked out that it wasn't a touchdown. The Saints got the ball first in OT and didn't do much, but the Rams completed a few passes and Z kicked a long one.
Disclaimer: that was the first game so maybe I'm not 100% accurate :lol: !
 
You’re right about a few things. Mostly that games don’t come down to one call, one play. I mentioned this the other week with the Bears loss. Bree’s late pick hurt. I haven’t seen the entire game, but it still looked to me like the Saints weren’t running enough in the second half, which is something I expressed concern about in my prediction.
 

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