Saturday, February 5, 2005
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I've been happy as a clam not paying that much attention to the Super Bowl hype. It's not that I'm not interested in the game -- it's just that I'm interested in the game and not the two weeks of media overkill preceding the game.
That said, there is one brand of story I always find interesting -- interviews with retired football players who bemoan how the game has changed. A classic example of this genre is legendary Eagle Chuck Bednarik. The Associated Press' Dan Gelston reports that Badnarik doesn't want the current incarnation of the team to win:
Read the whole thing -- I think it's safe to say the Bednarik doesn't pull any punches. He also sounds like the last person with whome you'd want to be stuck in an elevator. [Yeah... think of him as the anti-Salma--ed.]
If Bednarik seems a bit too "old school" for modern fans, SI's Peter King looks at former Los Angeles Ram Jack Youngblood -- whose comeback from injury makes Terrell Owens look like a complete wuss:
Definitely read the whole thing. As someone who has suffered the exact same injury that Youngblood did, let me just say that I'm very impressed with Youngblood's threshhold for pain.posted by Dan on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM
“To be honest,'' Youngblood said, "it's hard to compare my injury to [Owens']. He's been out of the game for what, five weeks? He's been convalescing. After four weeks, an amputation should be healed. Shouldn't it?''
Jack Youngblood played in an era when blinding speed was of secondary importance. Defensive players could just about beat the hell out of a receiver and get away with it. No longer is this true. One had better not even think about touching the receiver past the five yard line in today’s game. Terrell Owens is mostly useless to his team if he loses even a relatively small fraction of his great speed.posted by: David Thomson on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Good use of the gratuitous Salma Hayek linking!
David, Jack Youngblood was a defensive lineman.posted by: Norman Pfyster on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Youngblood needs a beatdown about a kid from the suburbs of Chi-Town, whom plays quarterback and beat Brady when he was in Michigan whom played a game for the Birds with a broken leg. Look in the Chicago papers about a man named McNabb.posted by: Robert M on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Wow, I snapped my left tibia and fibula in two six years ago and I was on my back for six weeks in addition to another six with the cast up to my knee. My left leg still has slightly lesss mass than the right. Nothing like reading a story like Youngblood's ro make you feel like a complete wuss.posted by: Brian H on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
I'm sooooooo tired of pro football. I haven't watched any of the pregame stuff. I might not even go to a party this year.posted by: Chad on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
How lousy a backup do you have to be to lose the starting job to a guy with a broken leg? I don't have varsity level football skills, but I pride myself on the thought that I could win a starting job if I competed against a guy with a broken limb.posted by: Carl on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
“How lousy a backup do you have to be to lose the starting job to a guy with a broken leg? I don't have varsity level football skills, but I pride myself on the thought that I could win a starting job if I competed against a guy with a broken limb.”
Exactly. Terrell Owens’ backup may very well be far more effective. Speed is incredibly important in the NFL. Emmitt Smith retired over the weekend. He is only slightly slower today than he was when began his Hall of Fame career. A star receiver or running back may be able to run a 100 yard dash in 4.35 seconds. The backup is able to it in 4.5 seconds---a mere fraction of a second slower. A cynic once said “You can’t teach speed.” You either have it, or you don’t. Life isn't fair. Don't blame me. Take your complaint to John Rawls.posted by: David Thomson on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Wow, I snapped my left tibia and fibula in two six years ago
That's the main difference; you broke the tibia as well, which is the main weight bearing bone in the lower leg. I suspect that the main thing that's been holding Owens back, and what makes his injury different from Youngblood's, is the ligament damage. That is what I think has held him out so long, and I don't think that Youngblood had a comparable injury.posted by: J. Michael Neal on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Youngblood himself admits in the King article that he was too slow to make crucial plays in the 1979 Super Bowl, which makes his decision to keep playing seem a bit more like the triumph of ego over team needs. Moreover, Youngblood never made the Pro Bowl again after 1979. Who knows how much he damaged his future career (and future value to his team) by focusing on the short term?posted by: Tom T. on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Look folks, there are broken legs and broken bones in the leg. One of the commenters above refers to a fractured tibia. Although I don't know for certain, I'd be willing to bet that Jack Youngblood was NOT playing with a fully fractured tibia.posted by: Dr. Fager on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
Owens isn't that fast. I'd wager that David Patten is a good deal faster than Owens. Owens's primary advantage isn't his speed so much as his size and strength. Defensive backs sometimes play bump and run at the line, to disrupt the receiver's route so he won't get open in time. Owens is too strong for this to be effective. He's also tall enough to outjump a lot of defensive backs, and he's hard to bring down after the catch. He's definitely more effective as a possession receiver than a deep threat (and indeed, was used as such during the Super Bowl).
That being said, and as sorry as the Niners are, I don't miss him one bit.posted by: fling93 on 02.05.05 at 12:02 AM [permalink]
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