Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Trip Around the NFL

Still no articles about the NFL? How could that happen after doing this blogging thing for a week now? Don’t worry football fans, today is your day. There are a lot of stories right now, such as contract disputes between players and organizations. Andre and Chris Johnson both want to be paid more money, as do Rashean Mathis and Darrelle Revis. On top of these problems, there are some interesting players remaining free agents and a certain place in pursuit of a Super Bowl. Let’s get right to it.

Just Say N.O. to T.O.

He is one of the greatest receivers of all time, but Terrell Owens still cannot find anywhere to play next season. The reason, of course, is that nobody wants a receiver who is far past his prime athletically and a possible distraction of monumental proportions. If I’m a general manager of a NFL team, there would be no way, I repeat, no way, that I even contemplate signing TO.

When Owens was in his prime, he dominated defenses because of a tremendous combination of size, speed, and strength. When Owens was in his prime, he destroyed entire teams with a combination of egotism, lying, hostility, attitude, and depression. Notice, I did not say that Owens dominated defenses because of his catching abilities. Only once in his career did TO record 100 receptions in a single season, and that was in 2002. Given his decline in athletic abilities, what value does he actually have? Some receivers can hang around in the league, despite being inferior athletically than they used to be, because they still have great hands, are great route runners, or offer tremendous leadership. TO does not have any of these features. Forget all his off-field issues, I still don’t want a receiver that offers as little ability as Owens. When you throw in the fact that he has the uncanny ability to cause dissent on anything from a football team, to an office, to a dog sled team (why not?), I’m going to avoid Mr. Owens like the black plague.

JaMarcus “The Disaster They Never Saw Coming” Russell

He’s built like a linebacker. Can throw the football 80 yards, off his back foot. He’s was a first overall pick. He’s even got the cool “Capital Letter, lowercase letter, capital letter” first name format typically seen in elite athletes (DeMarcus Ware, LaMarr Woodley, DeMeco Ryans, DeAngelo Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson just to name a few. Spell-check did not recognize any of their first names). Yet, over the last 3 seasons, JaMarcus Russell has left little doubt as to who is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL.

In 19 career games, JaMarcus had a QB rating of 65.2, passed for 4083 yards, completed 52.1% of his passes, and, now here comes the killer, threw just 18 touchdowns compared to 23 interceptions AND 22 fumbles! JaMarcus produced more turnovers than Marie-Antoine Carême, the first famous pastry chef of France(that was without a doubt the first time he has been used in the context of sports, or in anything I have ever said or written, for that matter).

The Oakland Raiders made what may have been their smartest move of the last 5 years when they dropped Russel, thus finally admitting that their pick was nothing short of a total failure. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, many of the recent decisions of Al Davis probably fall into the same category of total failure.

So why would anybody want to pick up Russell? Well, like the TO situation, it appears that nobody does. Maybe JaMarcus never got a chance because he’s surrounded by the who’s who of busts and poor decisions. In either case, I can’t really see why a team would want Russell. He may have a wide array of physical tools, but in order to be a quarterback in the NFL, you need a whole lot more than Russell has to offer.

Super Bowl in New Jersey

Traditionally, the Super Bowl takes place in a warm weather city or a stadium with a roof. However, it is beginning to look as though the 2014 Super Bowl will be held in the new Meadowlands stadium that houses the Jets and Giants. On Tuesday, the 32 NFL owners will vote on the proposition, of which 17 favorable votes are needed to approve the location.

Why, after all these years of tradition regarding the Super Bowl location, would owners suddenly approve the cold, outdoor location? Well for one, the decision would bring in several hundred million dollars of revenue to the New York/New Jersey area. In the struggling economy, this could be highly beneficial to the country since there would be a large influx of tourists into the nations largest city. Second, both New York teams are struggling selling some tickets, especially the Jets, who, according to, still have close to 10,000 high priced seats left to sell. There are far more details involved in the decision and future arrangements, but what I find most interesting is the change in setting.

I have always had a problem with the Super Bowl location format. Perfect conditions? Are you kidding me? This is football, a game about getting dirty. It’s played under any and all conditions. This Super Bowl policy must have been decided on by a bunch of inaccurate kickers, or should I simply say, kickers. Speaking of kickers, I have a total lack of respect for their position. Maybe I don’t understand the intricacies of kicking a football, but if kickers are paid exclusively for the purpose of booting a football through the uprights, how in world do so many of them struggle from within 40 yards. I just don’t understand. It defines all logic. Can you imagine if the failure rate of kicking was transferred to another job?

“Mrs. Miller, you could bring your son in to see the dentist, or, you could go for it and hope that he doesn’t have cavities. It’s your risk.”

“Risk? Isn’t it just a routine checkup?”

“Well, Mrs. Miller, you would think so, but Dr. Brown has a history of inexplicably making mistakes when dealing with the ‘routine.’”

“Oh… maybe I should see another dentist then.”

“Nope, that wouldn’t be a solution. They’re basically all like that.”

Anyways, back to my problem with the Super Bowl. By attempting to play the game with near perfect conditions, any team that has a pass-oriented offense immediately gains an advantage. They don’t need to worry about wind, rain, or (gasp!) snow (in February!), even though they most likely needed to handle the conditions during the end of the regular season and/or the playoffs. On the other hand, run first teams and defensively oriented teams are at a major disadvantage. Even if a run first team is able to obtain a number one seed, they will always have a disadvantage come the Super Bowl. Let’s just say that next season, the Steelers, a traditionally run first team, and Saints, who love to air it out and make defense optional, are both the number one seeds in the playoffs. The Saints would have an obvious advantage.

“So then, Adam,” you say, “What exactly do you propose as a solution to this unjust situation?” Well, I now present “Adam Weinberger’s Simple Solution for Super Bowl Satisfaction.”

The team with the best record at the end of the regular season earns a Super Bowl to be played in their stadium three years later.

This proposition would solve a few problems. The most obvious one is how the host city is decided. You want the Super Bowl to be played in an environment that benefits your team? Well then, earn it. Secondly, this rule may actually force teams that have locked up home field advantage continue to play their starters at the end of the season. If the Colts were under strong criticism for bringing in a painter to play quarterback rather than go for the undefeated season, can you image how much the fans would have disliked that decision if they also lost the opportunity to have the Super Bowl played in their backyard?

(Time to Imagine)

Yeah, that’s what I thought. They’d be pissed.

That’s all for today. I’ve got some visitors coming to Union for the weekend, including my wonderful girlfriend, Sam, (this is a test to see if you read my blog today) so this is going to be my last article until Monday.


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