Word around town is that various players and coaches for the New Orleans Saints face “lengthy and unprecedented suspensions” after NFL security uncovered a team bounty system that rewarded players for delivering game-ending hits. The fact that the NFL is willing to make an example out of one of their model franchises by forgoing the garden variety 4 game suspension in favor of stiff punishment lets us know that they’re aiming to set an example. During a press release on the issue at hand, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained his gripe with the situation:
“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”
The NFL would love for everyone to believe they’re about to drop the hammer on Sean Payton, Gregg Williams, Mickey Loomis and a bunch of New Orleans Saints players because their actions were a detriment to the health of opposing NFL players. As we all know, the NFL has taken an increased interest in player safety over the last few seasons with rule changes to protect quarterbacks, receivers, and kick returners. The problem is, ending violence and injuries in the NFL is like trying to end piracy on the internet…… it’s a pipe dream. You cannot end serious bodily harm in football without irrevocably breaking the game, and you cannot end piracy on the internet without irrevocably destroying the world wide web.
So what do you do?
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Possibly one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.
Chad Ochocinco had a kick ass, environment killing, black instrument of mechanical death built for his 32nd birthday. Check it out.
… he makes up with textbook german suplexing ability.
Jamal Charles has been the best second half running back in the NFL not named Chris Johnson, and sometimes that can push defensive players over the edge. During his franchise record breaking 259 yard rushing performance, Jamal Charles was dropped on his head by a frustrated Robert Ayers… check it out.
But of course…. at the end of the day Jamal Charles and the Chiefs had the last laugh. Get on the good foot….
Everyone knew Michael Vick was going to use his interview with James Brown on 60 Minutes to say how sorry he was, how much he’s changed, and how he’s going to make a difference in the future. So it’s safe to say that part went in one ear and out the other as far as I’m concerned, what did catch my attention is how Michael Vick admitted that he was a lazy player. If you follow the NFL closely, you knew about the rumors that Vick didn’t commit to his craft and was more interested in partying than studying.
He used to deny this constantly, but tonight he finally confirmed that he was always the last guy in the building and the first guy to leave, and he didn’t spend much time studying and working on technique.
So if Michael Vick made it to the NFC Championship game, 3 or 4 Pro Bowls, and rushed for 1,000 yards in his last season based on raw talent alone, can you imagine how good he’s going to be if he actually dedicates himself to the sport now? It’s almost sickening when you really think about how much untapped potential there is when it comes to Vick as a player, knowing the most exciting quarterback in the game was only giving 50% of what he was capable of.
There are a good number of fans who always say “He’s a running back with an arm, he should just play that position, or maybe he can convert to a wide receiver.” That quote is usually followed by them saying he has a 55% completion rating and a 75% quarterback rating. I’ve always thought those stats were a little misleading in the case of Michael Vick because he didn’t play like a traditional QB. A quarterback rating on a “normal” player usually gives you a pretty good picture of how they contribute to the team, but in Vick’s case it doesn’t account for the ton of rushing yards (and rushing TDs) that Vick gives the team.
When you think about guys like Peyton Manning who are legendary for studying and putting in countless hours of preparation, what kind of success could Vick have if he committed to the same habits? I don’t think guys like Manning or Brady have half the athletic talent that Vick does but they’ve always been better football players, so the next few years will be really interesting to see if he’s serious about turning things around.
It’s a BIG if…. but it’s something to get excited about if you’re a football fan.
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