Sunday Recap: 5 Things I Think
Many sports fans are aware of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) section of SI.com. It’s a terrific resource with thoughtful, quality writing. One feature that has become wildly popular is “10 Things I Think I Think” which King himself publishes every week of the NFL season. The thing that makes this recurring post so good, in my opinion, is that he gives you talking points that, even if you don’t agree with his take on, are unarguably well conceived. In a “hot take” world, Peter King writes on the internet the way newspapers used to write. It’s old-fashioned but refreshing. I can’t explain how that’s possible.
Anyway, what I want to do here is something of an homage to the aforementioned forum. I owe you my AAR explanations for the picks I made last week, and that will be up tomorrow for sure. But this is a spot for me to simply give you a few of my bigger picture thoughts from the weekend that was:
1- Injuries are the worst part of any NFL season. Luck can’t get on the field at all and Mariota couldn’t play yesterday. Watt and Beckham, Jr. (2 of the 10 most marketable players in the entire damn sport?!!?!) went down with season-ending injuries yesterday. It just sucks. Every team deals with injuries and we all get that it’s part of a physical, violent game, but, damn.
2- The narrative that “September is the new preseason” is gaining momentum in print media and with me. Nobody wants to go 0-4 in the first month of the season, but I also don’t think that teams care much about winning these games. Win if you can, live to fight another day if you don’t. Not sure what I mean with this? Here’s an example: New England limped through the early part of the schedule and sits at 3-2. Do you think they’re worried? Do you think this is the Patriot team we’ll see in December? C’mon. Older players care less and less about these early games because they know the season is long. We need to take a page out of their playbook.
3- Football is good and it’s not going anywhere. Nothing is more popular to talk about than the death of the NFL. Mom’s won’t let their kids play. Fans are sick of concussions, off-field behavior, and anthem protests. Ratings are down. Attendance is abysmal. The media is clamoring to write the NFL’s obituary these days. Kick dirt on the NFL if you will, but I believe that it’s a powerful organization capable of doing some serious good. Players raise money for various social causes from hurricane relief to medical ailments. Many players are phenomenal role models, despite what press negativity delivers into our living rooms. Seek out the positive and you’ll find it because it does exist.
4- In the sphere of quality football commentary, the bench is not deep. In case you haven’t been paying attention, football has eeked its way into a space where it has more nationally broadcast games than ever. In a broader sense, this means that we are always going to need more and more tandems of commentators to call games. Most of them suck. Everybody is talking about how good Romo is with Nantz on CBS and I think that’s a PERFECT barometer for just how shitty it is overall. Tony Romo is annoying, guys. I know a ton of people you can invite over to your viewing party if you just want someone to guess every play before the snap and then scream like a fan girl when something happens. This is what goes for quality commentary these days? I admit to being a hater of . . . well essentially all color analysts, but I think we hit an all-time low this season. Having said that, I am truly grateful that we are done with Phil Simms.
5- Finally, I want to address QB play. It’s become the most important position in sports. Not in the NFL, in American professional sports. There are 32 NFL teams and there are about 10-12 good QBs. It’s just crazy. I can find you 12,000 people who are elite as surgeons, chefs, CEOs, janitors, etc. But QB is super difficult. To those fan bases that have the answer, buy season tickets NOW. To those fan bases that don’t have the answer, pray harder. To the Redskins, sign the kid to a long term deal!!