Letting the Players Play

John Madden is an all-time great when it comes to pro football. He’s in the Hall-of-Fame. It comes as a huge surprise that the video game bearing his name … the Madden video game … is bastardizing the sport.

Unfortunately, to compete for entertainment dollars, the NFL has decided to emphasize scoring rather than balance. For instance, it used to be where you could reasonably expect for a defense to get a stop.

Today, that’s no longer possible. The NFL has tilted rules in favor of offenses to such a degree, there’s no expectation a defense can get a stop. Having a decent defense no longer has the meaning it once did. We see repeatedly teams like the Cowboys … who in the second half of this season have 1) given up the most yards in a game they ever had 2) followed that game with a second game where they gave up the most yards they ever had 3) Went a second half without getting a single stop except on kneel-downs 4) Followed it up with a second half they didn’t get a single stop except on kneel-downs. They’ve been horrible on defense this season. Over their last five, they are giving up an average of nearly 36 points a game.

And … they are in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. If they win their last two games, they are in.

But the Cowboys, I’m picking on them. I’ve just seen an outrage in the Baltimore – Detroit game … hitting a poor, defenseless receiver. Delmas hit Brown. Yes, let’s make the game more exciting by helping out offenses with these incredibly bad, game-shaping calls. You can’t have your free safety coming over for help because he’ll hurt the poor, defenseless receiver.

I don’t think we’ll ever retreat back to the days where men were men, and teams played on sloppy fields that in themselves presented risk. Part of the NFL is the fact there’s a risk. You could see a player get knocked out of the game. Right now, you see quarterbacks lobbing the ball up hoping for a flag. Hoping for contact, that the receiver helps create. Shades of basketball, a sport that sucks, along with its arbitrary, name player rules.

At some point, unless you feel its okay for defense to be a complete joke, you are going to have to allow hitting back into the game.

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About bittersportspills

I love sports. I don't love the hype, homerism, ratings talk, self-important egomaniacs, bias or any of the other nonsense you get with the national media. Nor will you get the two clowns on sports talk radio who stage phony arguments. It doesn't make it entertaining. It makes it time to turn on your iPod and jam instead of listening to white noise generators. This is the sports blog for you, the ones who don't like everything Los Angeles or New York. Just because the sporting media is based there doesn't mean we have to like their teams. We do treat them fairly, though. That means if one of those cities has an average QB who plays particularly well...we'll note it. If they're garbage, we'll say so. Instead of crying "why, why, why" like a certain sports media homer did in his radio broadcast. This isn't my job...I have a real one. Nevertheless, I'll post here when I make an observation. Common sense in sports is nearly dead. Now we're attempting to bring it back.
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