Monday, August 30, 2010

I vote "NO!" on 18

I think my "girly" side is kicking in again - trumping my love of the game.

It looks like, inevitably, the regular NFL season is going to be extended to 18 games. I hate this idea. Hate it.

Sounds crazy, right? Here I am, sitting on the couch, writing a blog about football and saying "no more football" - but hear me out.

Adding two more games to the regular season means that my favorite players will be subjected to two more punishing and dangerous battles each year. I think it's reasonable to think that this could very well shorten their careers, and even worse, impact the quality of their lives after football.

As it is now, the average player only lasts in the NFL for about 3 seasons. Think of that...everything you've worked for your whole life used up in 3 years.

I know...I know, "Don't feel sorry for them! They make more in those 3-4 years than I will make in my lifetime!"

Here in middle-class-ville, it's easy to imagine that the money would make it worth it. But does it?

Most of these guys start their careers in the NFL still so young that they believe they are invincible, immortal - with pockets full of cash. They can barely see past tomorrow, much less 10, 20, 30 years into the future. Could you at 22?

But does the fact that they get paid obscene amounts of money to "play a game" make it right to capitalize on their talents for our entertainment until their bodies are pulverized?

Something about that just seems "off" to me.

Am I the only one?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One snap, your season's over.

You're 21 years old. You've played football for more than half your life. You had one dream: to play in the NFL.

And you've worked hard to get good - really good - good enough to make it to the NFL draft. This is something that thousands of little boys dream of, but something few ever achieve.

But you, you've made it.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine the excitement, the anticipation of being one phone call away from having all your dreams come true? And not just for you, but for your friends, your family, the people who love you, the people who got you there.

Ben Tate was the Houston Texans' second-round draft pick this year. When he got "the call", shouts of celebration and tears of joy erupted from him and his friends and family.

Ben's season is over. On Aug. 15th, his ankle was broken during a pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals. His first NFL game.

Now, being the fan that I am, I can't deny that there is something about the brutal , physical battles between these modern day gladiators that I love. But, Ben's story - one of many that make the pre-season headlines - makes my heart ache for him, and for all the others.

I just imagine the shock and the crushing disappointment of having the dream you've worked so hard for, and just barely got to taste, stolen from you in a moment. When I see these things happen, I feel sick. Is this just my "girl" showing?

Of course, I'm sure that the Texans plan to "get value" from this "pick" next year. Coach Gary Kubiak said, "The surgery should be fine, he should be back playing next year. But it's a big blow. We were counting on him a great deal. He's a dang good-looking young player."

But, in the "win-now" NFL with coaches' jobs at stake, a lock-out looming and other talented young men fighting to take his place, I would imagine Ben Tate had a hard time choking down his birthday cake on Saturday.

I bet I know what he wished for when he blew out those 22 candles...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"What about Brett Faverer?"

Ok, I am SO SICK of this story line.

To me, he has completely tarnished what was an incredible reputation and fan following with his self-indulgent, attention seeking, dramatic "will-he-won't-he" production.

And the worst part: If he is coming back to the league this year (Magic 8-ball says, "It is decidedly so"), then we will have to go through this all over again at the end of this season! Unless of course, his 41-year old body takes a beating he can't recover from at some point during the season.

Maybe the 2011 lock-out over the collective bargaining agreement will give him the "closure" he needs to retire. Do I think there'll be a lock-out? Magic 8-ball says, "Signs point to yes."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pretty Pigskin: For women who love football. Welcome!

You know, I can't even put my finger on it. Why I love the NFL so much...

I know that these guys inspire me. Really. When you think of how many kids step on to a football field each year, how many play Pop Warner, then on to high school and college, there is a lot of competition and a lot of talent out there.

So, what's different about the guys who win the "fight for 53" to be on an NFL roster. For some, it has mostly to do with physical gifts.

But, if you are a true fan, you know that most of the time for a man to rise to stardom in the league, it has more to do with heart, determination, and hard work - not just physical talent.

Watching football always make me want to try harder - at everything.

What about you? Why do you love football? What do you love about it?