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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

OT: NFL/NHL thread

i estimate that absolutely noone gives a damn about the NHL, so by folding that thread into this one, we won’t distract from what this thread is really about: boner pills, blood doping (is it low t?), and…jesus christ did mike vick just throw another ####### interception?

steagles Posted: November 06, 2012 at 12:03 AM | 8432 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, nhl

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   3001. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 23, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4353147)
Flip
   3002. zack Posted: January 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4353170)
QB isn't really the Bills problem. Fitzpatrick isn't a great QB, but neither is Alex Smith. The problem has been keeping playmakers healthy, and literally everything about the defense.

One question I was thinking of recently: what's the point of the eligible receivers rule? I get most rules, you need PI in order for there to be a passing game, etc, but what's the point of making it so only some guys can catch the ball?
   3003. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4353201)
One question I was thinking of recently: what's the point of the eligible receivers rule? I get most rules, you need PI in order for there to be a passing game, etc, but what's the point of making it so only some guys can catch the ball?

It would be nearly impossible to play defense if anyone on the O-Line could be a receiver. It would be chaos! It would be like when you're a kid at the playground and you have a designated QB and everyone goes out for a pass.

Hmm, would that be so bad? I think instead of a pro bowl game the NFL should give this kind of game a shot. A QB, 5 receivers against 5 DB's, no rushing, and you get 6 seconds to get off the pass. Let's do it!
   3004. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4353338)
Six man high school football (still played by a lot of rural schools in Texas, originated in Nebraska where it was first developed during the depression) allows all players to be eligible receivers. They also play on a 40 x 80 yard field and 15 yards is the 1st down mesasure. The player who receives the snap cannot advance the ball across the line of scrimmage, in other words there needs to be some exchange first, handoff, pitch, pass before that can happen, then the player receiving the snap can advance down the field.

It is a novelty to watch. Generally the rosters are about 10-15 kids at most.

A handful of other states still have six man ball, NE, MT, Florida, CO, Alabama even has a few schools that play w/six. I'm guessing I'm forgetting a couple of other states.

Eight Man ball is more well know and still alive and well in many states. Reciever eligibility is a little more complicated at that level, Guards and Tackles are eligible in certain formations if I recall from watching 8 man ball in Nebraska.
   3005. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4353351)
Jamarcus Russell preps for comeback


Hey look a Jamarcus sighting!
   3006. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4353357)
Jamarcus Russell preps for comeback


Dude, he's been there for years.
   3007. JJ1986 Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4353359)
Jamarcus Russell preps for comeback


Which teams need a nose tackle?
   3008. steagles Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4353366)
Which teams need a nose tackle?
however big he is, the eagles could probably find a spot for him in training camp. NT? yeah, they could use one. TE? sure. OL? yep. QB? uh-huh.

   3009. zenbitz Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4353369)
The 49ers leverage is that once he's released you're in a war with the other teams that need QBs. Whereas if you make a deal for him he's yours, and at a reasonable contract.


Yes, in fact the only reason they even get a 5th rounder is because >1 team wants him. If it's 3 or 4 teams they might go up a round.

Either way the value of marginal to decent upgrades (which Smith would be for a lot of teams) shouldn't be overlooked in the NFL - there's a lot of value in sneaking into the playoffs, even to just get blown out by the 1st or 2nd seed. Teams on the bubble will make moves to sneak in at 9-7, even while they're developing their young guy.


But this list is actually quite small. It's the Cardinals, Vikings, and Jets. And all the have questions (how much do the Vikes like Ponder, can the Cards rebuild their line-- plus they are in the division, do the Jets have the cap room and the cojones to cut Sanchez loose)

If you expand it to terrible teams, it's the Raiders (who have Palmer), Titans (who have Locker), Jaguars (who have Gabbert), Chiefs. These teams have high draft picks and no short term future. They are not an Alex Smith away from 9-7.

Right between these groups are the Browns. And the (new) Browns do have have long standing 49er ties, and are in the AFC.

Oh, and Philly. My guess is with a new HC, new system, (presumably) a long term plan, and possibly promising guy in Foles, they will stand pat or draft a project.

Remember, Smith was a free agent last year and didn't get a lot of action. He was a little better in 8.5 games this year than last.
   3010. JJ1986 Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4353374)
I think Smith ends up on the Browns or Bills. They both have new coaches in place and will probably draft QBs, but none of the QBs after Smith (Geno) in this draft class are ready to play. Flynn will probably wind up in KC since he's a perfect fit for Reid's system. The Vikings probably want someone better than any of them if they're going to replace Ponder.
   3011. DA Baracus Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4353375)
Can't see the Jags keeping Gabbert. He's now on his third coach and second GM, they will walk away from that disaster.

Smith is fortunate that this is a really bad year to need a QB.
   3012. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4353411)
"Either way the value of marginal to decent upgrades (which Smith would be for a lot of teams) shouldn't be overlooked in the NFL - there's a lot of value in sneaking into the playoffs, even to just get blown out by the 1st or 2nd seed."

plus the NFL is getting more like the NHL - a decade since the team with the best record won the Super Bowl, too (adding this year to that streak already). The Giants were 9-7 last year and won. They won a few years before that at 10-6. The Packers won at 10-6. The Cardinals were 9-7 and 3-7 outside of the worst division ever - and came within a toenail or two of beating the Steelers in a recent Super Bowl. The Ravens were 10-6 this year and may win it.

just get in, and lots of surprises can happen in the new NFL.

   3013. Squash Posted: January 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4353423)
But this list is actually quite small. It's the Cardinals, Vikings, and Jets. And all the have questions (how much do the Vikes like Ponder, can the Cards rebuild their line-- plus they are in the division, do the Jets have the cap room and the cojones to cut Sanchez loose)

If you expand it to terrible teams, it's the Raiders (who have Palmer), Titans (who have Locker), Jaguars (who have Gabbert), Chiefs. These teams have high draft picks and no short term future. They are not an Alex Smith away from 9-7.


This is obviously a completely different subject, but just about every team in the NFL could finish 9-7 next year, even the terrible ones. Scheduling, coaching changes, quantum leaps, and attrition change the entire equation. Teams know that. But yes I agree there aren't a ton of teams that could use Alex Smith, but that's the same as every year for pretty much every available player. You don't need a bunch of teams to be interested though, you need two. In the end we're saying more or less the same thing - I'm saying the 49ers should accept a 4th rounder, you say they'll get a 5th with the potential to go higher depending on teams interested.

The reason there wasn't a ton of interest in Smith last year is because everyone knew it was going to be the 49ers unless if they signed Manning. There was no point in even talking to Smith until after those negotiations were completed - a few teams did as I recall, but everyone knew it was all just waiting until Manning made his choice. Plus there was the fear that Smith was a one-year fluke, even under Harbaugh. He performed very well this year again, so at least we know last year wasn't a fluke - whether he can do it under someone other than Harbaugh is the question that remains.
   3014. baudib Posted: January 23, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4353427)
Alex Smith should be worth a second-rounder at worst, IMO. Someone gave up a second rounder for A.J. Feeley FFS.
   3015. Kurt Posted: January 23, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4353443)
I agree with Howie and Squash - a year or two ago the Redskins were as bereft of talent as anyone in the league, and they just went 10-6.

Also, Alex Smith is 28. Why can't he be a reasonable mid-tier quarterback for the next five years? I don't agree that the team that acquires him needs to go at least 9-7 RIGHT NOW to make giving up a 3rd or 4th for Smith worthwhile.

*Also*, it's a business. The Jaguars in particular are hanging by a thread. I disagree with the premise that there's no difference between, say, 7-9 and 2-14.
   3016. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4353484)
re Redskins: and even last year they pretty easily handled the eventual Super Bowl champs twice in two regular season, double-digit wins while going 5-11. the talent levels simply aren't that great anymore between teams, thanks in part to the salary cap.

   3017. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4353485)
If you expand it to terrible teams, it's the Raiders (who have Palmer),


And Terrelle Pryor.
   3018. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4353487)
I think teams are far more interested in trying their luck in the draft as opposed to acquiring mid-tier QBs. It's hard to think of guys who have been full season starters for more than one club. I can think of: Manning, Vick, McNabb, Orton, Cutler and Brees. That's a great QB who missed a season due to injury and his club had first pick with Andrew Luck in the draft, a guy who lost his first job via prison, McNabb is an example of a mid tier guy signed as an FA but he was almost immediately replaced, Orton was traded because Cutler forced Denver to do so - and Denver immediately drafted Tebow, and Brees was let loose because SD already had Rivers under contract and looking promising.

Known commodities who aren't stars don't seem to generate that much interest. On the other hand, good starting QBs basically never hit the market.

EDIT: Matt Cassell is another one. Also Carson Palmer.

I realize the exceptions are piling up but I think it is only exceptional circumstances that made Cassell a starter in NE and the Bengals did almost everything they could to hold on to Palmer.
   3019. JJ1986 Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4353493)
Cassel was basically a full season starter for two clubs. Ditto Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jason Campebll was supposed to be. Chad Henne probably will end up as one.
   3020. DA Baracus Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4353495)
Alex Smith should be worth a second-rounder at worst, IMO. Someone gave up a second rounder for A.J. Feeley FFS.


That was 9 years ago and Feeley wasn't making $8M. Contract is a huge part of trade value. It's why Asante Samuel was traded for a 7th rounder instead of a higher pick that he is worth not considering contract.
   3021. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4353496)
Let's see, QBs who were starters for more than one team, and got the 2nd (or later) team to a Super Bowl...

Kurt Warner
Drew Brees
Brad Johnson
Rich Gannon
Trent Dilfer
Kerry Collins
Chris Chandler

Maybe you need a less elderly and immobile guy now than in the Chris Chandler era, but adding the equivalent of a 28-year-old Trent Dilfer could still work.
   3022. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4353499)
Alex Smith is better than Trent Dilfer was.
   3023. DA Baracus Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4353503)
Let's see, QBs who were starters for more than one team, and got the 2nd (or later) team to a Super Bowl...


Add Steve Young, Doug Williams, Craig Morton, Jim Plunkett, Billy Kilmer, Fran Tarkenton, Earl Morrall if you want and if you want to get really technical, Jim Kelly.
   3024. DA Baracus Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4353505)
Alex Smith is better than Trent Dilfer was.


Alex Smith before Harbaugh was basically Trent Dilfer.
   3025. bunyon Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4353508)
If Smith can't swing a deal to be a starter, he should just stay in SF. Decent chance Kapernick gets his bell rung next year and Smith can return the favor of stealing a job.
   3026. Kurt Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4353519)
*Tons* of quarterbacks from all over the ability spectrum have started for more than one team. Favre, Montana, Bledsoe, Everett, Moon, Young, Krieg, Jeff George, Boomer Esiason, Brunell, Vinny, Jon Kitna, Tony Banks, Erik Kramer...
   3027. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 23, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4353526)
Grbac, DeBerg, Beuerlein, Lomax, Peete, Frerotte...
   3028. sardonic Posted: January 23, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4353536)
... McNair...
   3029. Kurt Posted: January 23, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4353554)
Hasselbeck, Pennington, Plummer, Hebert, Chris Miller, O'Donnell, Hostetler, Stabler...
   3030. zenbitz Posted: January 23, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4353591)
If Smith can't swing a deal to be a starter, he should just stay in SF. Decent chance Kapernick gets his bell rung next year and Smith can return the favor of stealing a job.


Alex Smith is a *fantastic* backup. Almost certainly the best backup QB in the league.

Their are only 2 reasons why the Niners would trade Alex Smith:
1) They are super nice and want him to start somewhere (ha)
2) They need to clear his cap room

(2) becomes an either/or. Would you rather have the best backup QB in the league or resign Dashon Goldson? Or Issac Sopaoaga? Or sign a star corner or wr? They cannot do all 3, I don't think. But if they think they can replace the 2-3 FAs on defense with draft picks or cheap FAs, then they will probably keep Smith.
   3031. Ron J2 Posted: January 23, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4353613)
Not sure if this is the right place for this (or whether it's already been covered) but I saw a piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates called "The Impending Death Of Pro Football"

Somewhat tied to Junior Seau's death. Brain scans of 5 (still living) former players have shown images of the protein that causes football-related brain damage. First time anything like this has been done.

It's not a long piece and here's the wrap up:

There's something more; presumably, if they really learn how to diagnose this, they will be able to say exactly how common it is for football players--and maybe athletes at large--to develop CTE. This is when you start thinking about football and an existential crisis. I don't know what the adults will do. But you tell a parent that their kid has a five percent chance of developing crippling brain damage through playing a sport, and you will see the end of Pop Warner and probably the end of high school football. Colleges would likely follow. (How common are college boxing teams these days?)

After that, I don't know how pro football can stand for long.

I think he's wrong on the last point. In the first place, professional athles are not what you'd call risk adverse. I mean one of the documentable side effects of EPO is death and athletes were still using it. And if it's 5% chance of brain damage a player can tell himself it's 19-1 that it's some other guy.

But the point about parents is a good one I think.
   3032. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 23, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4353636)
I watch and enjoy football. I have actively discouraged my younger from playing it in school and really did not like watching the kids play and crash into each other (even when he wasn't on the field). Adults doing terrible things to their bodies is one thing, but I really didn't like watching kids do it.

So yeah if pro football dies it will be from the bottom up. So long as my Vikings win at leats one Superbowl first (and my 49ers win a couple more, including this year) then I could see it happening and it not being the end of the world (I think we discussed this a while back in the College FB thread, but I could be wrong).
   3033. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 23, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4353668)
Seau's family sues NFL

Honestly I don't know how much of a leg that they have to stand on because its not like someone forced him to play football.
   3034. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 23, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4353699)
Honestly I don't know how much of a leg that they have to stand on because its not like someone forced him to play football.

It might not be about the money. The discovery could be interesting...
   3035. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 23, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4353711)
But you tell a parent that their kid has a five percent chance of developing crippling brain damage through playing a sport, and you will see the end of Pop Warner and probably the end of high school football.


I don't think this is right. There's a huge difference between getting popped by a 260-pound linebacker who can run a 4.8 40, and getting popped by a 95-pound linebacker who is still getting used to running in pads. It's not so much that playing the game of football that is dangerous, as it is getting repeatedly smacked in the head by incredibly large, well-muscled, heavily armored world-class athletes.

My guess is that the danger increases exponentially as you move up through the football-playing ranks. I really doubt that many nine-year-olds are coming away from Pop Warner with lifelong brain damage.
   3036. steagles Posted: January 23, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4353725)
I really doubt that many nine-year-olds are coming away from Pop Warner with lifelong brain damage.
have you ever taken a high-school level math or science class with football players? it really shouldn't be that difficult to think there's a good amount of brain damage there.
   3037. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 23, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4353743)
If my son wanted to play football, I would never let him play until at least the high school level just because of the possibility of getting the start of some sort of brain damage.
   3038. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 23, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4353751)
If my son wanted to play football, I would never let him play until at least the high school level just because of the possibility of getting the start of some sort of brain damage.
And what if 3035 is right about there being no long term effect from dinky Pop Warner, but HS is where kids start hitting hard enough to create that kind of damage? Not trying to be snarky, it's just an incredibly tough decision to make based on the current knowledge.
   3039. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 23, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4353778)
There already is fallout at the HS level, and not just football. One of my babysitters suffered a concussion in soccer, and she's done, moved on to golf. This stuff is happening.

I played football from 5th grade through HS (at a pretty high level) and the game gets pretty physical by the 7th grade. I'm dabbling with officiating now too and there's a kid a week being escorted off the field as precautionary measures for head injuries.
   3040. Ron J2 Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4353926)
#3035 I believe that Coates' point is that by letting the kid play Pop Warner you're putting him on the track to eventual serious brain damage, not that it starts there.

Besides, an awful lot of people are going to parse the message as football=brain damage no matter how carefully the researchers speak (and frankly I don't see a lot of care in the way the messages are going out right now)

With the mix of those two factors -- plus probably some incredible insurance costs -- I think youth contact football is in trouble. Flag or touch with no blocking is probably a better game for kids anyhow.
   3041. zack Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4353963)
We played plenty of tackle football growing up, and nobody ever rang their bells. Funny how you avoid hitting people with your head when you're not wearing a helmet.

High-stepping runners become a serious problem though.
   3042. zenbitz Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4353999)
What about abaltive helmets? If your helmet breaks or you break someones helmet you sit out for X plays (depending on severity and "intent")
   3043. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4354041)
We played plenty of tackle football growing up, and nobody ever rang their bells. Funny how you avoid hitting people with your head when you're not wearing a helmet.


Yeah its amazing how make an effort to try to tackle properly when you are wearing no helmet.
   3044. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 24, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4354100)
Tim Brown softens remarks


You know I really didnt say what I said I said.
   3045. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4354152)
With the mix of those two factors -- plus probably some incredible insurance costs -- I think youth contact football is in trouble. Flag or touch with no blocking is probably a better game for kids anyhow.

The counter to this, though (and I'm just acknowledging it; I'm not sure where my prediction comes out), is that there isn't as much of a connection between playing a sport and watching/spending money on a sport.

We might as well be as blunt as possible about how the "football is on its way to dying" narrative proceeds, as it's almost entirely class and race-based. In its most simple form, the logic goes, well-off white people will watch guys from the ghetto play football the way it's played, but only if there remains some cultural tie for whitey to latch onto. If the sport is no longer played by the Archie and Eli Mannings of the world, even though the Archie and Eli Mannings of the world are a small and unrepresentative demographic in 2013, whitey will no longer support the NFL and the NFL will wither away. The game can be ghetto, as it is now, but it can't be completely and thoroughly ghetto.

I don't know ... color me skeptical. The sport is really modern-day gladiator combat and I'm not sure I can see the thirst for that drying up based on something so relatively trivial as demographics.

Of course, it's always possible that the lawsuits will become so overwhelmingly expensive that the game will die in the way that the asbestos industry has.
   3046. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4354161)
I don't know ... color me skeptical. The sport is really modern-day gladiator combat and I'm not sure I can see the thirst for that drying up based on something so relatively trivial as demographics.

People used to care about boxing...
   3047. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4354172)
People used to care about boxing...

And they still do. It's not as popular with mainstream writers as it was in its heyday, and there's a bigger segment of people who sniff it away as infra dig, but it's still quite popular by any serious measurement.

And, as the UFC nonsense shows, it's becoming more popular in its more extreme guises.
   3048. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4354175)
I think the "football is dying" predictions are as accurate as the "baseball is dying" predictions we see from time to time. In a day and age when MMA is blossoming I think the idea that a sport is becoming "too violent" is wrong. I think society will demand changes that try to mitigate the risk (or at least give the appearance of same) but I don't think football is in any sort of trouble.
   3049. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4354183)
And they still do. It's not as popular with mainstream writers as it was in its heyday, and there's a bigger segment of people who sniff it away as infra dig, but it's still quite popular by any serious measurement.

Sorry, but no way is it as popular with the mainstream as it used to be. Not even close.
   3050. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4354193)
Boxing screwed itself by the complete lack of organization in the sport. The early-80s expansion to add the WBO, IBF, etc...made it impossible to keep track of champions and divisions. Add to that the ridiculous levels of corruption in the sport and the self-scheduling, too much B.S. required just to get a meaningful fight to happen and an overreliance on pay-per-view or pay-cable viewing I think hurt the sport badly.

If the NFL were to break into four independent leagues that sometimes played each other and sometimes didn't and you could only watch games if you had HBO THEN it would be in trouble.
   3051. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4354197)
The problem with boxing is that it has a completely random event schedule, and the only way to watch is via 60 dollar ppv. Football has a huge advantage, in that it is easy to plan into your weekly schedule, and have family/friend events built around it.
   3052. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4354198)
Boxing screwed itself by the complete lack of organization in the sport. The early-80s expansion to add the WBO, IBF, etc...made it impossible to keep track of champions and divisions. Add to that the ridiculous levels of corruption in the sport and the self-scheduling, too much B.S. required just to get a meaningful fight to happen and an overreliance on pay-per-view or pay-cable viewing I think hurt the sport badly.

I agree with all of this.
   3053. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4354199)
Sorry, but no way is it as popular with the mainstream as it used to be. Not even close.

I'm not even sure how one would measure that. Stipulated that it isn't written about in Sports Illustrated, or by the Plimptons and Mailers of 2013, as much or as lovingly as it used to be.

But boxing isn't close to "dead." As virtually every form of entertainment has become a niche fashion, boxing has more than maintained a dedicated and profitable niche. Celebrities and high rollers pay big money to sit ringside at the big fights, purses continue to grow, and PPV at $50 a pop still attracts hundreds of thousands if not millions of buys. It isn't the cultural phenomenon it was in Louis's or Ali's heyday, but I'm not sure that's what we're measuring here.
   3054. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4354221)
But boxing isn't close to "dead." As virtually every form of entertainment has become a niche fashion, boxing has more than maintained a dedicated and profitable niche. Celebrities and high rollers pay big money to sit ringside at the big fights, purses continue to grow, and PPV at $50 a pop still attracts hundreds of thousands if not millions of buys. It isn't the cultural phenomenon it was in Louis's or Ali's heyday, but I'm not sure that's what we're measuring here.

If you want to deny that boxing in America hasn't declined in popularity, then we're just going to have to agree to disagree. To me it's just an obvious fact of life.

   3055. smileyy Posted: January 24, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4354266)
In a day and age when MMA is blossoming I think the idea that a sport is becoming "too violent" is wrong.


The UFC is much less about repeated head trauma than boxing is.
   3056. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4354277)
If you want to deny that boxing in America hasn't declined in popularity, then we're just going to have to agree to disagree. To me it's just an obvious fact of life.

I'm not sure I'm "denying" it as opposed to wondering about the measurements being used to prove it.

Every year around World Series time, we hear baseball's declining TV ratings being hand-waved away because of the multiplicity of new entertaiment vehicles we have today. Isn't that basically the same thing that's happened to boxing? It's not as though no one watches or goes to boxing matches anymore; it's just that the fights and the fighters have become buried under the cacophony of modern entertainment options.

Boxing isn't the everyday content provider you need for shelf space on ESPN and talk radio or, for that matter, Sports Illustrated. So it looks like it's lost a huge chunk of "mainstream" appeal because it isn't being blabbed about constantly by the blabbermouths of 2013. But that could be just an illusion. De La Hoya/Mayweather did 2.5M PPV buys at $50 a pop. What other sporting event could do that?
   3057. Topher Posted: January 24, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4354287)
De La Hoya/Mayweather did 2.5M PPV buys at $50 a pop. What other sporting event could do that?


Asking, not arguing ...

What else would even be eligible to compare to something like that? Obviously the Super Bowl would destroy the PPV number if it was allowed to be sold as a stand-alone affair and not part of a greater TV package. It seems like your contenders to breaking those PPV numbers have the rights bundled as part of a greater rights deal. Boxing is rather unique in that you have two "independent contractors" that face off against one another, mostly outside any construct of a league, tournament, etc.

That's not to argue your point; there might not be a big list of events that could do more than 2.5M buys. At the same time, I have no idea how to compare that to other sporting events.

My guess would be that the demographics of boxing fans has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. But that might not necessarily mean that the profitability of the sport has changed at all.
   3058. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4354323)
I don't know ... color me skeptical. The sport is really modern-day gladiator combat and I'm not sure I can see the thirst for that drying up based on something so relatively trivial as demographics.

I agree with this. There may be individuals whose latent racism (or whatever) causes a reduction in interest, but overall? I, too, am skeptical.

On the boxing front, I do think the audience has changed from a more general one to a more niche one, though I can't begin to tell you how I'd demonstrate that empirically. But Jose may have hit on the root causes: poor organization of the sport as a whole. When I was a kid, it was easy for me to follow: everyone seemed to consider the Heavyweight division to be the "premier" division, and (at the time) Ali was the champ.

But even then, there were issues with different organizations holding contests for different belts, weren't there? (Genuinely asking; I just remember Ali mentioning it in Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.) There seem to be a bazillion different weight classes, and having all the big fights be on pay-per-view doesn't help, either.

That's not to say boxing should change to suit me, you understand. If boxing is financially healthy -- and it sure sounds like it is -- then they'd be nuts to adjust to my whims. But in my single, solitary case the move away from boxing coincided pretty much with the move to expensive pay-per-view fights.
   3059. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 24, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4354330)
On the boxing front, I do think the audience has changed from a more general one to a more niche one, though I can't begin to tell you how I'd demonstrate that empirically.


It's pretty easy to demonstrate: NBC aired a weekly prime time boxing show for 14 years, from 1946 to 1960. According to Wikipedia, at one point there were six boxing shows on in prime time.
   3060. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4354343)
I think the "football is dying" predictions are as accurate as the "baseball is dying" predictions we see from time to time. In a day and age when MMA is blossoming I think the idea that a sport is becoming "too violent" is wrong. I think society will demand changes that try to mitigate the risk (or at least give the appearance of same) but I don't think football is in any sort of trouble.

Football will always connect to the vast middle and upper class public through the college game, and the less white the NFL has become the more popular it's become. There have been so many teams with all-black starting units for so long now that nobody even pays attention to it. Compare that to the fuss when such lineups first appeared in baseball and basketball.

But boxing is different. Tom points out the number of prime time boxing shows that were being shown in television's early years, and television was actually the factor that initiated boxing's decline, as it killed off the live audience for the nearly infinite number of local and club matches that served as the minor leagues for the big events at Gardens and the Stadiums. Even being the state or local champ was once considered a big deal, but the combination of TV and changing demographics has pretty much killed boxing in the U.S. as anything but a niche sport, MMA ratings and PPV sales aside. The many ethnic groups that once saw boxing as a way of escape from poverty and dead end jobs have been mostly replaced by foreign boxers, whose connections to the U.S. audience are strictly limited.
   3061. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4354359)
Even being the state or local champ was once considered a big deal, but the combination of TV and changing demographics has pretty much killed boxing in the U.S. as anything but a niche sport, MMA ratings and PPV sales aside.

This begs the question of what sports aren't niche sports today. Baseball certainly is. About the only one that isn't is football.
   3062. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4354375)
On the boxing front, I do think the audience has changed from a more general one to a more niche one, though I can't begin to tell you how I'd demonstrate that empirically.


Ask a hundred people on the street to name a current heavyweight boxer, and cross off all the people who say "Muhammad Ali" or "George Foreman" or whatever.
   3063. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4354378)
Ask a hundred people on the street to name a current heavyweight boxer, and cross off all the people who say "Muhammad Ali" or "George Foreman" or whatever.

And they all would have said Mike Tyson five years ago and been right. The heavyweight champ today is a boring foreigner -- a white Eastern Euro, no less. How many times has he fought in the US? Five?
   3064. JJ1986 Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4354381)
Ask a hundred people on the street to name a current heavyweight boxer, and cross off all the people who say "Muhammad Ali" or "George Foreman" or whatever.


Unless Roy Jones Jr. is still a thing then I can't do it.
   3065. DA Baracus Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4354384)
Is one of the Klitschkos still around?
   3066. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 24, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4354389)
I thought the Klitchkos held the major heavyweight belts.
   3067. jobu Posted: January 24, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4354424)
I think youth contact football is in trouble. Flag or touch with no blocking is probably a better game for kids anyhow.

I think there is some truth to this. What I think will happen is that flag football will be a viable option for longer than it is today, and contact football will be increasingly marginalized.

In Texas, I see a certain segment of upper-middle-class+ parents steering their kids to lacrosse vs. football. Similar skill sets required to excel, with less violent contact. We are a long, long way away from middle-class or lower-class families not letting their kids play football in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, etc.

My own older son plays flag football and loves it--it will be a battle with him once he is old enough to play contact football. He'll want to do it. He has the size and speed to excel, but a) there is too much not known about long-term effects for us to be comfortable allowing him to play and b) even if Pop Warner-type football is not where the injuries occur on average, I'm not worried about averages--I am worried about my own kid. Clearly, there is a bigger extreme trauma downside risk in football than in most other activities we could put him in.
   3068. Every Inge Counts Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4356914)
Well with Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend story dying out...perhaps it can be replaced with:
Kwame Harris being outed after an arrest for domestic violence against an ex-boyfriend.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/kwame-harris-former-49ers-raiders-offensive-lineman-arrested-213622387--nfl.html
   3069. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 28, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4356936)
Who would have thunk that Soy sauce would be such a point of contention?
   3070. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4357383)
This just in, from WFAN's Mike Francesa:

"These two Super Bowl teams are playing very, very well right now."

Two teams who have survived a sudden death tournament to play for the championship are playing very, very well? You don't say...
   3071. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4357395)
It's Mike Francesa, what did you expect? Actual in-depth analysis?
   3072. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4357404)
Well with Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend story dying out...perhaps it can be replaced with:
Kwame Harris being outed after an arrest for domestic violence against an ex-boyfriend.


The lack of a video for the Mekons' "He Beat Up His Boyfriend" troubles me.
   3073. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4357407)
I've lost the Te'o story for the past 10 days or so and haven't checked in here. I think it's looking like Te'o actually is the biggest dupe on the planet? He's released the phone records which show he spoke on the phone for hours and hours with someone. I had said that while I didn't believe Te'o, the phone records would be a game changer for me.

Is this about where people on this board have ended up? That he was duped, told some lies throughout to hide the fact that he hadn't met her, and then lied at the end out of embarrassment?
   3074. jobu Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4357414)
Is this about where people on this board have ended up? That he was duped, told some lies throughout to hide the fact that he hadn't met her, and then lied at the end out of embarrassment?

Yes, but I also pretty much started there. I think he told some lies along the way (clearly including lying to his father--I'm sure he's the first son to ever do that!), but much of what he did publicly was fail to correct misperceptions. E.g., when asked by SI when he met Lennay, he answered, "She saw me at [whatever game it was]."
   3075. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4357417)
Pretty much. Looks like the question of "Are you the biggest idiot ever?" can now be placed in mothballs.
   3076. JJ1986 Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4357419)
I think Te'o was definitely the victim of a hoax, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't also deceiving the public. The fact that he not only lied to make his relationship seem more real, but also continued to lie about it after "she" was revealed to be "alive" makes it clear that he wasn't just doing this out of embarrassment, but to generate publicity.
   3077. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4357420)
   3078. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4357425)
I think Te'o was definitely the victim of a hoax, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't also deceiving the public. The fact that he not only lied to make his relationship seem more real, but also continued to lie about it after "she" was revealed to be "alive" makes it clear that he wasn't just doing this out of embarrassment, but to generate publicity.


Yes, I can go along with something like this.
   3079. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4357516)
Randy Moss says he's the best WR to ever play the game.

The money quote:

Moss acknowledged that this season with the San Francisco 49ers "has been a down year for me statistically" as was his 2010 season before he retired for a year and his last season with the Oakland Raiders (2006) before his trade to the New England Patriots. He said, however, that he doesn't think statistics should determine greatness.

"I don't really live on numbers, I really live on impact and what you're able to do out on the field," he said Tuesday. "I really think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
   3080. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4357528)
Well, Moss is in the running, isn't he? It's not an outlandish statement.

Depends which era we're talking about, I guess, and what specific aspect of "greatness" is at play.
   3081. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4357531)
Randy Moss was pretty frickin' great. He has an argument as the greatest WR ever on peak value, although not a strong one. I would put Jerry Rice a bit ahead of him on peak value, and miles ahead on career value.
   3082. McCoy Posted: January 29, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4357534)
De La Hoya/Mayweather did 2.5M PPV buys at $50 a pop. What other sporting event could do that?

How many people have the baseball package or the football package?
   3083. Tripon Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4357543)

De La Hoya/Mayweather did 2.5M PPV buys at $50 a pop. What other sporting event could do that?


If boxing could get a prime time slot on a major network, they would jump at the chance.
   3084. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4357549)
For the record, Comcast lets you order Red Zone the day before the first Sunday game of Week 1 and cancel it the day after Sunday of Week 17. I think they even pro-rated the monthly subscription fee for me.
   3085. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4357563)
Well, Moss is in the running, isn't he? It's not an outlandish statement.


He's not even the best WR that's played for the 49ers.
   3086. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4357569)
He's not even the best WR that's played for the 49ers.


I'm not seeing why playing for the same team as Rice did means Moss is not in the running.
   3087. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4357578)
It doesn't. I'm saying Jerry Rice was better.
   3088. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4357595)
It doesn't. I'm saying Jerry Rice was better.


Yes. Moss is not in the discussion because there is no discussion. In the same way that if we asked who was the best position player of the last 25 years, the debate would begin and end with Barry Bonds.

Moss is in the conversation for No. 2. It's his on talent (and probably peak), though his spotty year-to-year performance record pushes him down into the mix.
   3089. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4357608)
Additionally, their raw stats are skewed a little because Moss's peak years came in an era where teams threw the ball more than Rice's peak years. You can say the same thing with any two players separated by roughly ten years. For example Calvin Johnson is a hell of a player but him breaking Rice's yards record* isn't as impressive as it seems on face value. Arbitrary end points but half of the top 50 receiving yards in a season totals happened in the past 13 years.

It's near impossible to top Jerry Rice in length. He was an excellent player in his 19th season. That's absurd in any sport but golf (and even then difficult).

*Interesting piece of trivia to me about that record. The #2 (at the time) receiving yards in a season total was set by Isaac Bruce in the same year that Rice set the record. So for Bruce it was "congratulations, you are #2 in the all-time record book, but not #1 this season." That's got to sting a little.
   3090. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4357626)
So for Bruce it was "congratulations, you are #2 in the all-time record book, but not #1 this season." That's got to sting a little.


I believe there's a famous baseballer familar with this phenomenon.
   3091. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4357630)
espn seems as bothered by having to report SI's Ray Lewis PED story as Ray Lewis himself. "let's move on", was what i just heard.
   3092. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4357631)
I believe there's a famous baseballer familar with this phenomenon.


Yeah, but we all remember that one. Football records are largely forgotten.
   3093. Danny Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4357632)
I believe there's a famous baseballer familar with this phenomenon.

Yep, poor Dennis Eckersley.
   3094. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4357638)
The NFL does not test for the PED that Lewis is accused of using, even though they have known about it for years because they told Hue Jackson to cease using products by the company that makes it. Good job by them.
   3095. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4357641)
Ross told SI he prescribed a program to help Lewis' recovery that included multiple components, including holographic stickers for the elbow, sleeping in front of a beam-ray light, drinking negatively charged water and taking a regiment of deer-antler pills and spraying deer-antler extract under the tongue every two hours.


Maybe Lewis requested these simply to enhance his dance.
   3096. Nasty Nate Posted: January 29, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4357674)
So for Bruce it was "congratulations, you are #2 in the all-time record book, but not #1 this season." That's got to sting a little.


The same thing happened to Brady with the passing yards record.
   3097. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4357696)
The same thing happened to Brady with the passing yards record.


And he needs only a few more games to break Drew Brees' recently set consecutive TD record.
   3098. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4357712)
Even being the state or local champ was once considered a big deal, but the combination of TV and changing demographics has pretty much killed boxing in the U.S. as anything but a niche sport, MMA ratings and PPV sales aside.

This begs the question of what sports aren't niche sports today. Baseball certainly is. About the only one that isn't is football.


A sport is not a "niche" sport if its championship games are telecast on broadcast networks; if a local team's entire schedule is available on the lowest non-basic tier of cable or satellite TV; and if the league's entire schedule is available at a small extra fee to fans anywhere in the country; or if in the case of individual sports, its tournaments and showcase events are telecast by a broadcast network.

A sport is a "niche" sport if its showcase events are available on PPV or HBO-level only; or if less than 10% of the population can name its current champion(s) or its most storied legends of the past 5 or 10 years.

Football is the most popular spectator sport by many measures, but that doesn't mean that baseball or basketball or golf or NASCAR are "niche" sports. They're broadly popular with a large segment of the population in a way** that boxing hasn't been since the 1950's, and in a way MMA has never been.

**In a way that also includes participation
   3099. Every Inge Counts Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4357720)
Joe Flacco also wants to get paid more than Peyton Manning and is looking for 20 Million a year. This is after he said before the season that he was the best QB in football. Is it just me or does Joe Flacco have an inflated value of himself....
   3100. zenbitz Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4357971)
Isn't Bree's streak still going... Oh, I see it was broken in the Falcons's game.

Moss's QBs were:
Ancient Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Dante Culpepper (4 years), 2 lost Raider Years, 3 years with Brady, 1 lost year, and 1 with Kaeper-Smith.

Rice's QBs were: 6 years Montana, 7 years Young, 2 years Jeff Garcia, and then 4 years lost Raider+etc. years.

That sort of has to be the crux of Moss' argument. But he's still 7K total yards and 5 YPG short of Rice.

We don't have targets (or catch rate) or DVOA (success rate) or EPA or anything going back past 2000 so there's only so much you can say, statistically.

Flacco has no argument. Well, maybe he could argue that he was hamstrung by a conservative Raven offense scheme his whole career. In which case he should in no way resign with Baltimore.
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