Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

We think we’re an adaptive species.

Why Athletes Keep Chasing Head Injuries
deadspin.com

He was so comfortable, in fact, that, according to the release, “(James) Harrison called…to thank him for putting (Kevlar) in his helmet, proclaiming it was the first time he did not experience post-game head pain or ringing in his ears.” In seven years.

Polamalu took the field against the Cincinnati Bengals just seven days after sustaining his not-quite-acknowledged concussion. His fear of not being a man, of looking like a wuss in front of his teammates, trumped his fear of looking at his son at age 50 and seeing a stranger; of uncontrollably sobbing and not knowing why, like the departed NFL great Dave Duerson, or, more recently, the late 28-year-old NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard; of not remembering what he ate for breakfast that morning, like the late NHL tough guy Bob Probert.

The NFL is good—astonishingly so, to the point where it’s tough to ever quite notice it doing it—at pushing its stark-raving, trembling, broken-down old soldiers to the margins. They are kept away from public view and trotted out briefly when the occasion arises. We see them only as their younger, beautiful selves in living eulogies produced by NFL Films.

Not my words, that title above. Rather, they belong to Sean Conboy, the author of the excellent column originally posted on The Classical and republished on Deadspin. As if the Ben Utecht story weren't enough to give one pause...

Would Tebow Nation care if Orton beats the Broncos?

Rankings: Orton move could bite Elway, Broncos
sports.yahoo.com

So yes, he is acutely aware of the public pummeling that awaits him if Kyle Orton – the former starter the Broncos’ executive vice president nobly set free a few weeks ago – returns to Denver 11 days from now as the Chiefs’ quarterback and squashes his old team’s playoff dreams. Should that scenario play out, Elway knows he will be slammed for having made a gratuitous transaction that ultimately came back to bite his team.

I disagree with Silver. Tim Tebow is too big a phenomenon at this point for his supporters to care what happens to Kyle Orton.  Tim Tebow is the answer; Kyle Orton is just another name Tebow gets to ghostwrite in his next autobiography.  I'm telling you right now, the Chiefs could run the table with Kyle Orton (it won't happen), beat the Patriots in the conference playoffs, and destroy the Packers in the Super Bowl, and it wouldn't change the feelings of Tebow Nation in the slightest.  

Tebow takes praise the same as the criticism

Tebow pleased to hear Broncos exec Elway believes in him
www.nfl.com

“Mr. Elway is obviously one of the best to ever play the game,” Tebow said of the Hall of Fame quarterback who now runs the Broncos’ football operations. “To get any compliment from him is extremely nice. He’s been around this game a long time. That’s nice to hear.”

Robertson disgusted by Tebow skit on Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live's Tim Tebow Satire Raises Ire Of Pro-Christianity Voices
www.thepostgame.com

Pat Robertson claimed the SNL skit was “anti-Christrian bigotry that’s just disgusting.” Robertson, 81, told viewers on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club that had the skit been about another religion, things would have been much different.  “If this had been a Muslim country and they had done that, and had Muhammad doing that stuff, you would have found bombs being thrown off, and bodies on the street,” Robertson said.

Okay, okay, I'll take the bait, Pat. It's a slow news night.  First, while I won't deny that anti-Christian bigotry does exist in America, and I understand the religious right can be a little sensitive to this sort of thing, I think Roberston is completely wrong in the case of SNL.  SNL, by its very nature, satirizes that which is mainstream in American society.  They've been doing it for decades. Do they lean to the left?  Probably so.  But bigotry?  Come on.  His second point about the Muslim country, while potentially correct, misses the point entirely.  America is neither a theocracy, nor is Islam the dominant/mainstream religion. Oh, and Tebow isn't a Muslim.

If Roberton's point is to suggest that satirizing a Muslim version of Tim Tebow in Saudi Arabia would result in bombing, then okay, so what?  If, on the other hand, his point is to suggest that the same would happen if Tebow were a Muslim athlete in America is really stretching it.  To consider this is to engage in a lot of hypothetical gymnastics, all of which require another dimension of space and time.  It assumes some mythical reality in which Tebow is a Muslim quarterback who praises Allah to a mainstream audience of Muslims while inspiring other guys like Wesley Woodyard and Brian Dawkins to also praise Allah. In short, it's just a context that doesn't exist in American society.  And as a thought experiment, it requires us to bend the context to an alternate reality.  It's like when people ask me what would happen if Tim Tebow were a Muslim in America, and I say to them that the phenomenon that is Tim Tebow wouldn't exist if he were (there aren't enough Muslims in the United States to support the staggering jersey sales, for starters).  I suspect Robertson can find lower-hanging fruit than the SNL skit.

Whither the customizable eye black?!

Gifts For People Who Have An Opinion About Tim Tebow
deadspin.com

Nobody puts the “Christ” in “Christmas” like America’s greatest football phenomenon. Don’t stop with Denver Broncos gear—Tim Tebow is much more than just an athlete, as the bio of “Timmy” on the Tebow family ministry’s website makes clear. Here are a few ideas to help your favorite Tebower get closer to Him this holiday season.

Elway: Do I think (Tebow)‘ll get there? Yeah, I do

John Elway endorses Tim Tebow
espn.go.com

“Tim Tebow’s not going anywhere. I mean, he’s going to be a Bronco and we’re going to do everything we can and hopefully he’s that guy…The best way for Tim to develop was to be good on the defensive side and take our time with him on the offensive side. And that wouldn’t dump all the pressure on him and say, ‘Here you go, in your second year you need to go out and score 35 points a game.’...I think the big picture with Tim is we’ve got to see the whole body of work. And so really what you want to see with him is the improvement that’s going to happen over time.”

“We want it to happen because of the competitor he is and what type of person he is and how he represents not only himself but represents the Broncos and the city. People have been watching him, so he’s a draw. But that’s where some time in the offseason (helps) and it comes down to timing and throwing…Do I think he’ll get there? Yeah, I do.”

Elway hedges his words with the typical hopefully but this is undoubtedly John's most emphatic statement in support of Tim Tebow's future as the Denver QB. And in the end it will all come down to his actions rather than his words, but this is still a far cry from saying he hadn't seen improvement out of Tim only weeks earlier.

Wilson: Tebow improving; did Pats provide executable blueprint on how to stop him?

Tracking Tebow, Week 15: Learning experiences
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

Unlike the Lions game in Week 8 (the last time the Broncos lost, by the way), where Tebow looked thoroughly confused (and, incidentally, a week before the Broncos went all in on read-option football), the second-year quarterback continues to get better.

But there are also signs that opposing defenses are beginning to get a bead on the offense that made Tebow a Heisman trophy winner in college. The question now, with two games left in the regular season and the Broncos trying to old onto the AFC West lead: Can Tebow’s mastery of option football be enough to overcome its potential flaws? It’s one thing for an opponent to know how to stop Tebow, it’s something else entirely to actually pull it off.

PFF: Keys to loss were poor tackling in secondary and pass protection; Tebow improving

Re-Focused: Patriots @ Broncos, Week 15
www.profootballfocus.com

Coverage was certainly an issue, but the tackling was even worse. The secondary missed seven tackles as a unit, led by CB Champ Bailey (-1.8) who missed three. For the game, the Patriots picked up 203 of their 320 passing yards after the catch, all due to the poor tackling or defenders being out of position…Like Vick, Tebow tends to hold the ball for quite a while as he waits for plays to develop downfield and on a few plays, Tebow scrambled wildly with nowhere to go as the Patriots did a decent job of keeping him bottled up. There were still a number of plays where Clady got beaten right off the snap by Anderson and Moore so it was not a good day, as Tebow was pressured on 19 of his 32 dropbacks…Like most analysts, I haven’t been impressed with Tebow’s throwing of the football, but he appears to be improving every week and as long as teams have to respect him as a runner, he will have some open windows in which to throw.

At least it’s not a centaur

Fan Gets Bill Belichick Tattoo After Losing Bet (Video)
larrybrownsports.com

Broncos fan Brady Wagner was so sure his team would beat the Patriots Sunday, he wagered a tattoo with a childhood friend. If Denver won, Wagner’s friend would have to get a Tim Tebow tattoo. If the Patriots won, Wagner agreed to get a Bill Belichick tattoo.

Why anyone would ever bet on something they have zero control over, with the stakes being a tattoo, is beyond my comprehension. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

John Fox - coward of the county?

Bill Belichick accurately predicted John Fox would chicken out
sports.yahoo.com

Belichick plays to his opponent like no other coach in the league. If he was facing a gambler like a Mike Smith or a Sean Payton, there’s no way Belichick leaves a potential fourth-and-1 conversion, and potential 20-7 lead, for the taking. Instead, he seemed to anticipate that Fox would cave, kick the field goal and get away with a nine-point lead. No guts, no glory. Following the field goal, New England scored the next 27 points, en route to an easy 41-23 victory.

I think all of us here at IAOFM have written about this before, most recently in the Gut Reaction from Sunday.

John Fox, we repeat: grow a pair.