THE NFL: FOREVER BACKWARD
Suppose you work for Phillip Morris. Er, Altria. Whatever. And suppose you’re making a commercial, highlighting advances in cigarette filter technology. The theme is forever nicotine. The target audience is moms, kids, potential customers, anyone with a sneaking suspicion that smoking might be, you know, bad for them. Crazy, right?
Anyway, you need celebrities. Familiar faces. Names viewers can trust. Like Walt Disney. He was a smoker. As was Paul Newman. And Peter Jennings. Thing is, all three men died of lung cancer. With that in mind, would you still include them—well, actors portraying them, touched up with a little digital magic—in your spot? No? Congratulations. You’re officially less cynical than the NFL…
....When Deion Sanders says on NFL Network that he doesn’t “buy all these guys coming back with these concussions … half these guys are trying to make money off the deal … I wish they’d be honest and tell the truth because it’s keeping kids away from our game,” Goodell could levy a fine. Or maybe pretend to be as upset as he was with BountyGate. When CBS announcer Jim Nantz cites an imaginary statistic that women’s soccer players are 2.5 times more likely to get a concussion than college football players, the NFL’s new-and-improved concussion committee could provide accurate numbers…When concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu—a senior advisor to the NFL’s new committee—says that children under age 14 shouldn’t play tackle football because their immature bodies and developing brains are particularly vulnerable to injury, the league could concur, and perhaps even lead the way, signaling to concerned parents and a confused public that a multibillion-dollar industry cares about something beyond its public image and publicly-subsidized bottom line.
Whatever your view on the NFL and concussions, can you imagine if Cantu's advice was heeded, and kids didn't play football until they reached the 9th grade?
I think you can safely assume Roger Goodell and the NFL want no part of that nightmare. Kids would gravitate to other sports, NFL jersey sales would plummet, and MMA (or I suppose baseball, in another universe) might become America's national pastime.
Recovery remedies worth a look
What struck me, though, was the idea that some banned substances might actually be re-evaluated if indeed they do help with recovery. Commissioner Roger Goodell stresses safety, and he’s right in doing so. Safety is a major topic in the NFL, but shouldn’t recovery be a priority too?
If deer antler spray can make a player recover quicker, should the NFL allow trainers to apply it? As physical as the game of football is, protecting the player is one thing, but getting him back on the field should also be a priority.
Deer antler fuzz as a topical preparation has some benefits - it helps speed muscle repair, and that’s going to draw interest from athletes, both pro and amateur. However, deer antler fuzz has an uncomfortable side effect - it’s a carcinogen.
There is somewhat less absorption into the bloodstream when used topically as opposed to orally, but you still have the same problem, just slightly lessened. It’s still going to get into the bloodstream, and you’re going to see higher rates of cancer among those using it.
Pro athletes are notorious for being willing to accept health issues down the road as a tradeoff for short-term outcomes, but that doesn’t make it an intelligent choice. This is a substance that cries out for further investigation, especially if it’s going to be the next ‘big’ thing in athletic rehabilitation.
A Heart-Warming Tale of Jay Cutler Romance
“It was so silly. I was in the airport, leaving Chicago,” Cavallari said. “We had just spent however many days together and we were texting and somehow it came up, like, ‘Oh, shall we get married?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, OK.’ And then he sent my ring in the mail. So I actually had my ring sitting at home for a couple of weeks before I put it on.”
I could totally see Cutler dropping a wedding ring in a small empty envelope, slapping a stamp on it and dropping it in a mailbox. “Will it get there? Whatevs, I could get another. No big whoop.” To Cutty’s credit, at least he knew the woman wanted to marry him before sending her a ring in the mail. Take notes, Roy Williams.
NFL will have independent neurological consultants on sidelines next season
According to Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network and sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the NFL will have unaffiliated neurological consultants on the sidelines during games beginning next season.
This move stands in stark contrast to the inane comments made last November by Richard Ellenbogen, the co-chair of the NFL's concussion committee. We heartily applaud the league for taking an important step toward better handling of head injuries.
Civil suit against Demaryius Thomas dismissed
A lawsuit filed against Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas case has been dismissed.
Although Thomas was never charged of any wrongdoing, he was considered a witness in the alleged incident involving Cox and the accuser. Cox’s accuser had filed eight complaints in a lawsuit against Thomas. However, Denver District Court Judge Martin Egelhoff signed an order on Jan. 10 dismissing all claims with prejudice against Thomas. (With prejudice means claims cannot be asserted again.)
This is great news for Demaryius and the Broncos. While 2012 was a breakout season for the wideout, and the first in which he did not miss time due to injury, one has to figure the removal of this burden can only help his 2013 performance.
“My only purpose in life is to find different ways to help people and encourage people and make our world a better place,” Lewis said on Tuesday…
...He was asked about his lowest point during his “last ride,” the time that tested him the most. He said it was when a doctor told him would be out for the season with the triceps injury. “She was like, ‘Ray, you know, nobody’s never came back from this,’” Lewis said. “I said, ‘Well, you know, nobody’s ever been Ray Lewis either.’”
I'm not sure what's worse, having to bear witness to Ray Lewis's narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or knowing that the only reason Ray Ray gets to prattle on this week is because Rahim Moore can't play prevent defense properly.
One final chart, extracted from the data. If you’re a fan of one team, who are your friends most likely to be fans of? Here are the top five most common allegiances for Facebook friends of fans of each team. Once again, geography rules—except for the large numbers of Cowboys, Steelers, and Patriots fans on everybody’s list. I’d say that’s accurate—nearly all of us know fans of those three teams.
These are some pretty neat graphics, except for the part where Broncos fans apparently have something of an unrequited fondness for Raiders fans.
According to Facebook's data, Broncos fans count a larger percentage of Raiders fans as their friends, than Oakland followers do in return.
What's up with that, Broncos Land?
Schlereth: But I’m going to tell you. I talked to a bunch of Broncos coaches who said ‘I just don’t know if he’s a fluid enough athlete to go over and play tight end ... they say he doesn’t catch the ball naturally either
Oh, those dastardly anonymous sources. Clearly it was Mike McCoy, who would have been nothing without the Ultimate Teammate™. He should be thanking Timmy. Ingrate.
The zany story of two self ordained sports science entrepreneurs
Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will “rebuild your brain via your small intestines” (and which Lewis said he hadn’t been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.
“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked.
“No,” Ross said, “under your tongue.”
Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”
As pointed out by Mike Florio, it's a little late for Lewis to face any repercussions from the league, if they even bother to investigate.
If you're unfamiliar with deer antler fuzz, be sure to check out Doc's in-depth article on it from almost exactly two years ago.
The Lions hired former Broncos general manager Brian Xanders as a senior personnel executive. Xanders will assist with pro and college scouting, while Mayhew retains final say over the roster.
“As I indicated following the season, we are re-evaluating all aspects of our football operation,” Mayhew said in a statement. “Brian’s addition, given his diverse background, positively impacts all aspects of our team’s football operations. He brings experience as a general manager and has worked in both pro and college scouting. In addition to his personnel background, he has experience in contract negotiations and expertise in the development and use of technological resources in player personnel. Brian will effectively improve on the structure we have in place and will add another set of eyes to the evaluation process.”
The guy that might have drafted Clay Matthews over Robert Ayers just found a new home in Detroit. Any job is better than no job at all, right? If you don't believe us, just ask Ted Sundquist, who has gone so long without work, he finally gave himself a title: "The Football Educator."
General Manager still sounds better. Perhaps someday.
This does give us a chance to bring out everyone's beloved toy, The Brian Xanders Random Quote Generator. This is our personal favorite:
We are going to have our college scouts start cross-checking the players in February, instead of later in the process in January.
Tear it up in Detroit, X-Man.