Thursday, June 17, 2010
So today was going to be about running the football, but it's late, I need sleep and some news worthy news has actually come in. -- Domenik Hixon, WR extraordinaire for the Giants has torn his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (I'm reliably informed it's as painful as it sounds). He'll have surgery in the coming weeks and is expected to miss the entire season, which is a huge blow for a Giants team that I already didn't fancy much. Bad news for the Blue half of New York. -- Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth has formally requested a trade. The Redskins are none too pleased of course, having recently paid out some big money in order to fulfil some of the guaranteed part of Haynesworth's contract. So where do they go from here? No choice really. Haynesworth has made it clear that he wont play as a Nose Tackle in a 3-4 scheme so they might as well grab a pick for the guy. Many people are talking about the Titans, but Expect Jim Schwartz of the Lions to be interested and expect Washington to be more than happy to send Haynesworth to a team they feel is much less likely to give him a Superbowl ring as punishment. -- I have a grumble to make with NFL.com. Not long ago (at least in my head) they switched to providing all their videos in High Definition using Akamai. Now, I don't even have a high definition monitor, but even if I did, do I really need it to see guys in suits sitting around talking about football? Obvious answer: no. It wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that the new videos take longer to load, they often glitch out and stop for a few seconds for no apparent reason, and every time you click back (say, if you're trying to break down a play you've seen), the damn thing has to stop and then reload the whole section of film that you've already watched. Sort it out NFL network!! -- Last but not least, the NFL has been chatting with the players union (the NFLPA) about a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Hoping to smooth things over, the league entered with... a plan to extend the regular season by two games. Yeah, nice way to smooth things down. Actually it's being called an 'Enhanced Season' because it would strip off two pre-season games in favour of two regular season games, not actually extend the playing schedule. Now, apparently everyone hates the pre-season, and I kind of do to. But, and it's a big but, I do see the value. I see back ups getting reps. I see players off the radar trying to get on it. I see a chance to refine the wrinkles of some of the playbook. And (I think I've given up on good grammar) of course, we get the chance to see rivals play each other on a frequent basis, something they wouldn't normally (like the 49ers and the Raiders). There is however, no point in complaining. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that when Commissioner Goodell says he likes something, that's it. It's a done deal. The London games, the New York Superbowl, the new overtime rules. If the league is thinking about it, it's over. The players of course are worried about injuries and how the injured reserve system will work, to which the league has suggested a revision back to the old system, where you can put a guy on injured reserve and he has to sit at least 6 games, but then you get him back. The players are also concerned about roster size to which the league has said they'll consider a roster increase. Why, I have no idea? You gonna tell me that after 16 games teams are going to start pulling all their starters etc? Forget it, no need. The Players are also concerned, of course, with the finance issue. Their theory is that because they get paid the bulk of their money as "game checks" that they should be paid more. The reality is they will still be playing 20 games including the preseason and they still have to show up to practice. This argument, in my opinion, doesn't hold water. A more telling question is how to set up the additional two games. As it stands, each team plays their divisional opponents twice (home and away), they play all the teams in a division in the same conference once (two home, two away, division rotates annually), they play all the teams in a division in the opposite conference once (two home, two away, division rotates annually) and then they play the other two teams in their conference who finished in the same position as them within their respective divisions (e.g. 4th place plays 4th place)(one home, one away). At a guess, I'd say you just play those last two teams again, but it also opens up the realms for playing two "Rivalry" matches, with one home, one away, rotating on an annual basis. I think I like the Rivalry idea best, make those extra two games worth it. As for time scales, none of this would come into effect until 2012. But just remember, it's not an extended season, it's an "enhanced season". Which makes all the difference ;) -- Ok, so it wasn't quite the last thing. There was also talk of a feeder league, similar to the NFL Europe experiment. The twist this time is that it would take place within the confines of the USA. I don't know why, but everything about it sounds like it's going to be terrible. Now while resurrection of NFL Europe may not sound all that great either, I can firmly tell you that NFL in the UK has come along big time now. Every year the Wembley game has sold out. On TV now, you can switch on the satellite and get three live games per Sunday on SkySports, as well as the choice of alternate games if you like through the red button, and you get Monday Night Football as well (all, I might add, in one single price sports package on one channel, he he he!!). The game is taking off in the UK big time and as the Soccer season in the UK runs from late August to around May, leaving a giant sporting gap which needs to be filled right in the middle, which just happens to coincide with the NFL off season. I say, bring the feeder league to the UK. But that's not because I'm bias or anything..... (can we have a team in Colchester please?). Anyway, I promise I will post the run game article tomorrow, even if it has to go up way early to make room and make sure it's done. Till then, have a great day everyone.
Posted by Chris at 5:25 AM