Getting ready for this NFL season is a bit different than it once was. Used to be we could handicap team’s strengths and weaknesses, latest drafts, trades in and out, schedules and trends. If you had a good feel for the information and a half smart “system” you could last well into the season and maybe even win.
No more. Now you’d better pay attention to the NFL drama queens, the players union and disruptive players on the field and in the locker rooms. Which millionaire player is holding out for a few more million, who is suspended, who is the coach this season and what are his new assistant’s leanings? What teams will allow protesters and what teams will lower the hammer on them? How ugly is it going to get and which teams are the favorites to have their season hijacked?
We still have to handicap stats, and man is there ever an overkill of stats and data. Technology has provided us with so much meaningful information and an equal amount of nonsense and fluff. Every second of training camp and through the season on to the SB halftime show till the two-day made-for-TV draft is breathtakingly hyped. It’s world changing drama if you buy into it.
We still have to overcome bad calls, really bad calls, and reviews. We still don’t know what’s a catch after 90 years. What’s holding and what’s interference? Did the QB get his butt dirty without being kissed? It’s mind boggling how all this comes down and we still lay 11-10. That hasn’t changed. There’s a moral in there. Maybe it’s all just special effects.
I miss Vince Lombardi and the purity that is gone from the NFL. This coach Lombardi story could never happen today: Coach was in his office for a meeting with All Pro center Jim Ringo on his new contract. Ringo shows up but he’s accompanied by an agent. Coach Lombardi, gracious as always, says wait a moment he’ll be right back. He does come back and announces, “You’re in the wrong city, I just traded Mr. Ringo to Philadelphia.” If he couldn’t talk for himself Lombardi didn’t need him, All Pro or not. Couldn’t happen in today’s fragile NFL atmosphere. Sad.