Thursday, December 29, 2011

Too Easy for Drew Breesy

Who dat say that record was a "brees" to break? 

Disclaimer: This is not an attempt to minimize the great accomplishment of Drew Brees in breaking Dan Marinos record for passing yards. It is, instead, an attempt to put in perspective on why so many offensive records will continue to be broken and none will last as long as they have in prior years. Dan Marino’s record stood for 27 years…..Drew Brees record will not.

Did you know: If Brees sits out in Week 17….all Tom Brady has to do is pass for 191 yards and the passing record would be broken ….again?!

Opening week of the 2011 NFL season saw five games where both QB’s on each team pass for more than 300 yards. This is all no surprise because the game has changed drastically over the decades, and those changes have accelerated in recent years, making it much easier to pass the ball and easier than ever for new quarterbacks to have immediate impacts on their teams (see Andy Dalton and Cam Newton).
This decade has been led by two NFL commissioners who never played the game of football beyond high school. Paul Tagliabue, who retired in 2006, was a lawyer whose athletic “expertise” came from playing college basketball. Current commish, Roger Goodell, was a three sport star in high school. Other than that, these are business men, not athletes. Yet these are the men who have overseen the rules for the NFL.

The rule changes from 1978 (the way in which offensive lineman could block with their arms straight out and the 10 yard chuck rule being lessened to a measly five yards) created an offensive explosion in the NFL, basically turning QB’s into the face of the game because these rules benefit them most. NFL rules today has turned the QB into anything but a football player. The defender can’t tackle the QB too hard, hit him too high or too low,. If he lands on (not HIT….LAND on) a QB, a penalty and fine are on their way!  The role of a great defense has been lessened (not eliminated, just minimized) by these rules. If a team wants to play defense the way NFL Films often pay tribute to, they will be fined, suspended, and labeled “dirty” (see Detroit Lions, James Harrison). The defense really has no “fair” chance to compete anymore. What rules have been implemented to protect or benefit the defense? I’ll give you some time to think about it. At this rate there will be a one-hand touch rule and eventually the QB will have a red flag on him! With receivers running around untouched, pass interference coming from breathing on the neck of a receiver, and QB’s sitting back untouched, timing on pass patterns has greatly increased thus you get increase in pass/receiving yards. TD catches/passes.
It’s all parallel to when the NBA got rid of the hand check, implemented defensive 3 seconds, beefed up on the flagrant fouls (a hard foul by Dennis “The Worm” Rodman was just that…a foul), and the way the game is called so tightly. It’s gotten to the point that if a player goes to the basket and gets touched….they throw their hands in the air automatically looking for a foul to be called.  If Michael Jordan had all these NBA friendly offensive player benefits that NBA  players have today (I laugh in wow as I think about it), he would have averaged and scored a lot more points. The fact that he got it done when it was ok to put an elbow to the chest of another player HARD to send a message. When it was ok to actually aggressively defend without being told “ok you’re defending too closely” by the ref when he blows his whistle.  I said all that to say These high-scoring, record setting players (NFL, NBA, MLB etc) aren’t better than players of the past. They just have advantages their predecessors never enjoyed.
If a basic fan is watching a football game and the score is 13-6….that game is “boring”. The NFL knows this ($$$$$$$$). They have to continue to manipulate the game so that games result in the, ball slinging,  47-42 shoot outs. I’m not that old, but in my time of watching football and via conversations with the “old heads”, there was a time when football was a truly a hard sport to play for ALL players. Nowadays we have stats boosted and helped by rules. Stats that diminish predecessors who had to actually earn their praise without being helped out by neither the league’s front office nor rules to carry them into the record books. 
While some may say that the athletes today are superior that may be true, but only in athleticism. In regards to ability, that can be debated more because the fundamentals of the game were much more important to posses back then. I say bring back the 10-yard chuck rule and let’s see how well the players do when they are actually earning those stats while being fairly defended.
Passing leaders 2011 (as of Week 16)
Drew Brees 5,087
Tom Brady 4,897 (-190)
Aaron Rodgers 4,643 (-444)
Eli Manning 4,587 (-500)
Matthew Stafford 4,518 (569)
<ⷐ㳪 > 

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