I'm getting too old for this shit...
I am a man of simple tastes. I work hard, and I play harder. And at the end of the day, after slaving my hands to the bone, I just want to enjoy some classic ballgames with some men who work equally hard...
These days, I look around THE National Football League of America, and all I see are babies.
The Players: Babies. Me, me, me. Poke and prod at the well-earned fruits of upstanding Men of Business like Jerry Jones, Mike Brown, and Saint Rooney. Everywhere my gaze falls, it lands on the petulant, mewling face of a "football" player who has had every single thing in life handed to them on a platinum platter. As if free education were not enough, THESE PEOPLE feast at the teet of THE League, grasping for any handout our struggling owners are generous enough to give them.
The Fans: Babies. No, no rules for us! Throw the ball, air it out, 75 points a game is too low! Fans these days no longer care about Defense and pounding the Rock. They want fireworks and aerial dances of unmatched grace. Fans no longer want to see heavy-weight bouts between two supremely skilled fighters; so evenly matched, that the fight comes down to tactics, skills,and the ability to take a wallop. No, fans want the instant gratification of a "Hippity-Hop" dance. Just jive music and rattle-skattle, with flips and jigs. Granted, it is graceful (and fun to watch!), but where is the REAL football? The REAL skill? I do not dislike Fans, but are they misguided? Does their "Moral Diet" lack some form of basic nutrition?
America was founded upon grit, determination, and elbow-grease.
The sport of football is a microcosm of that relationship.
Real men, brothers-in-battle, born in the frozen Midwest mud of the trenches. Hand clasping hand, these heroes worked on The Gridiron, and worked for nothing. Peanuts! All so that they could provide for their families, and build a better future for the players of tomorrow, and the years to come. Real heroes like Johnny Unitas, Vince Lombardi, and Bart Starr. Upstanding men of character, who represented all that should be worshiped in the country of America. What do these American heroes have in common?
They knew how to hand the ball off.
I have spent the last fortnight breaking down film; critiquing and analyzing every single play in the history of football. Do you know what I have seen? Whether it was their pristine arm-reaching mechanics, or their ability to diagnose the perfect angle at which to jam the ball into a stomach, the best quarterbacks all have an unmatched ability to hand the football off to a running back.
Now, I am not saying you should never throw the football. I am just saying you should never throw the football forward.
Every team needs to spice up the play calling with a lateral, or a pitch every now and again, but that's just modern football! I do not understand this need to hike the ball, take five-to-seven steps back, and then throw the ball...most likely for an incompletion! What does an incompletion achieve? Nothing! What does it risk? EVERYTHING! Do you want to give the ball back to the other team, just like that? Just for the hope, the prayer, of a few extra yards?
No. A good team will never retreat. They will never "drop back". They will never go into "Shotgun" or "Pistol" or "Bazooka", or any other violent name! A good team, like the Seahawks have the potential to be, will have their QB take the ball, and jam it into Marshawn Lynch's gut. Jam it in there like a shiv, and he stole the last pack of cigarettes from under your bunk.
Honestly, your Wide "Receivers" should just be small offensive linemen.
If this is rush hour, then we need to be in the carpool lane.
My grandaddy was fond of a saying. He would sit me on his knee, point to the flag he wore on the brim of his 10-gallon hat, and say "boy, these colors don't run". That is true grandaddy, but Seahawk Blue should. Seahawks Green should. Those colors SHOULD run!
Why have the Colts never won a Superbowl? They don't run the ball.
Why have the Packers never won a Superbowl? They don't run. The. Damn. Ball.
This isn't Rocket Physics, people. If you hand the ball off, your running back will run forward with it. According to my statistics, he will then get between two and four yards. Here is the outcome (it is simple): he either gets a first down, or he doesn't. If he does, you rinse and repeat. If he does not, you simply punt, let the other team throw like this is the Arena Football League, and then you get the ball back and go again.
This is a tried and true method. Running the ball is like hickory handles on a hatchet, or a real good Buick (King of the Road). It is a lasting formula, so why tamper with perfection?
The Seahawks have been passing, what, three...four times a game? Are you insane, Carroll!? Are you the kind of coach that wings it all over the field, Bill Walsh style? Madness, but what do you expect from a cheater? Pete Carroll is ruining Russell Wilson by having him "drop back" so often. He is treating him like Steve Young. Why don't you save that young man's career, Cheat Carroll, and treat him like Brad Johnson, or Trent Dilfer? Now THOSE were some ballplayers!
Unlike DMC, this is not tricky. Just Run!
Like John Cougar Mellencamp said "Oh the times, they are a-changing", and I will NOT allow these troubled times to change our team. I will pound my fists on the pulpit of anti-pass until the good Lord takes me to that big ol' Superbowl in the sky!
Like a Flock of FieldGulls, we need to run so far...away.
The Sports Guy was born and bred on American athletics, and has written award-winning articles on some of the greatest athletes of our time. Athletes like W.C. O'Callahan, Roy Cockerill, and Ray "Ringside" Koslowski, to name just a few.
The Sports Guy managed his own column ("Somebody Had to Say It") at The Duluth Post-Intelligencer for over thirty-eight years, and only recently left after creative disagreement with his Senior Editor over the use of Electronic Mail.
Field Gulls has asked The Sports Guy to act as a recurring guest writer, in an attempt to bring some MUCH NEEDED editorial balance to the site. The Sports Guy is the perfect man's man to tell it like it is, to crack open the hard truths, and to act as a moral mirror for fans and athletes alike.
Fans understand wins and losses, but do they understand right and wrong? The Sports Guy is here to tell you.