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Nike go knee-deep: NFL 2018

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    Nike go knee-deep: NFL 2018

    Only three days to the new season and we still didn't have a thread. Has NFL gone past its peak somehow? Either way, Nike have managed to get it back in the news by putting Kap front and centre/center of their latest campaign, causing some idiot racists to chew the swooshes off their socks in rage.

    So, who's the money on?

    #2
    Packers, who else? Though I do think the Falcons may go close.

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      #3
      The NFL - and American football in general - has definitely jumped the shark. Many times by now.

      There's still a social obligation or expectation that all American men will care about football and have lots of opinions on it, but I want out of all that. I suppose I'll carry on watching some college football - well, Penn State games - for another season or so, but even there I'm losing interest and think the sport should disappear. It won't, but I suspect PSU and all other schools in the northeast will gradually find it even harder to compete nationally than they already do, because the decline in participation at the youth level will be faster here than in the south.

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        #4
        Originally posted by nmrfox View Post
        Packers, who else? Though I do think the Falcons may go close.
        I was thinking the NFC looks ripe for a resurgence of the Pack. The NFC-W, which had been so strong for several years, looks decidedly flaky now, Squawks included.

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          #5
          I'm just sick of the off-field crap, really.

          I still enjoy watching the games for the most part, but I'm totally done with the non-game aspects.

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            #6
            Kaepernick is off-field, and he's the best thing about the NFL

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              #7
              Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
              Kaepernick is off-field, and he's the best thing about the NFL
              Correct.

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                #8
                This is the season the Pats should have taken the plunge and backed a new QB. Or maybe last season.

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                  #9
                  He's in San Francisco.

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                    #10
                    Thanks for that!

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                      #11
                      I presume, given the size of his new pay packet with the 49ers, there's no way NE are ever getting Jimmy G back again?

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                        #12
                        Not unless Jimmy G turns out to be Jimmy INT.

                        *pats self on the back*

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                          #13
                          Hey Flynnie, how you doin?

                          In other news

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                            #14
                            Packers had a good result!

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                              #15
                              Iím considering if my prediction for the Bills to have a 2-14 season was a touch too optimistic. Itís bad enough seeing Taylor be at least competent but then Fitzpatrick pulling that game out of his beard is doubly miserable.

                              Iíll cling onto home games against the Jets for comfort.

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                                #16
                                Given the Raiders donít kick off until tonight it seems silly to have written the season off already but thatís my feeling, not helped one iota by the trading of Mack to Chicago.

                                What do the Raiders even want with extra first round draft picks anyway? Itís once every 20 years we actually find a keeper.

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                                  #17
                                  Two weeks in and two ties. I love it!

                                  For god's sake NFL, don't do something equitable like the OT set up for the college game.

                                  Wiki page for those who want to wade through 1974 to present NFL tied games.

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                                    #18
                                    Ties are fine. Not everybody deserves to win. I'm not a fan of the college system.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Flynnie View Post
                                      Ties are fine. Not everybody deserves to win. I'm not a fan of the college system.
                                      College football wanted to get rid of ties, not just because of America's irrational aversion to ties, but to make it easier to decide who goes to a bowl and to conference championships. I don't really mind it, but I ties are fine too.

                                      It's certainly better than shoot-outs in hockey or PKs in soccer.

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by gavc23 View Post
                                        I’m considering if my prediction for the Bills to have a 2-14 season was a touch too optimistic. It’s bad enough seeing Taylor be at least competent but then Fitzpatrick pulling that game out of his beard is doubly miserable.

                                        I’ll cling onto home games against the Jets for comfort.
                                        The Bills Votae Davis retired at half-time in a game he was playing. The general response appears to be shock and disgust, but I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
                                        http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2...geles-chargers

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                                          #21
                                          I think that the very negative reaction from his teammates is grounded in the fact that he did it at half time in a game that he only dressed for because the team was short of players at his position due to injuries, thereby forcing them to play the second half with players out of position I think that they would have been more accepting had he walked after the game was over, or given them any indication that he was thinking about it.

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                            I think that the very negative reaction from his teammates is grounded in the fact that he did it at half time in a game that he only dressed for because the team was short of players at his position due to injuries, thereby forcing them to play the second half with players out of position I think that they would have been more accepting had he walked after the game was over, or given them any indication that he was thinking about it.
                                            Right. I understand that. I'm just kinda surprised its unprecedented.

                                            That story made me think of this story - which I may have related before - of how we can deceive ourselves right up until a moment of crisis makes it all very clear. Tangent ahoy.


                                            A friend of mine went to USMA at West Point and told me this story. One summer - I think between his second and third year - his job was to help process the "plebes" who had decided to quit after only just arriving. He told me there was one guy who got as far as the initial bit on the first day where they yell at the new people and make them line-up in formation - before they have a uniform, hair-cut, etc - and just immediately marched right out of formation to where his stunned parents were watching.

                                            It's remarkable that somebody could get that far in the process and, apparently, not have really understood or been mentally prepared for what they were working so hard to get into. Of course, quitting or avoiding the military or not wanting to go to a military academy is perfectly rational, in my opinion. But its not like this was Bill Murray in Stripes who had joined out of desperation or a conscript who never wanted to be there or somebody facing the unimaginable horror of war for the first time. This was a kid who worked very hard to get into a very hard-to-get-into military academy and already couldn't handle the most basic of the discipline bullshit that make military academies what they are. And they do not conceal how hard it is, especially the first year - where "plebes" are treated like shit, etc (physical hazing is banned and heavily policed, but still happens). My understanding from people who've done it is that it is pretty much exactly like how it is described in the brochures (the experience of actually being an officer in the real service is a whole other issue).

                                            I've had a lot of experiences of "well, this isn't really what I hoped it would be" or "this isn't what I expected." Sometimes that's my fault for giving too much credence to somebody else's experience with it and naively assuming I'd have a similar experience because I failed to account for how I'm different from them or the play of chance (college). Sometimes somebody lied to me or changed the situation on me after I got there (certain jobs I've had). Sometimes circumstances outside the control of anyone in particular just shift (other jobs. Life in general). Sometimes it is all just a crap-shoot and I knew I was taking a chance and it just didn't go as well as I would have hoped (grad school). But usually that becomes apparent over weeks, months, or even years. When I have those moments of "shit, this isn't working" it doesn't come as a surprise to me or, usually, anyone else. In fact, I'm usually the last to admit that the situation needs to change even when others around me can see it clearly. But I've always given my two weeks, at least, at jobs and not burned bridges. I finished my BA and even my MA. I've never walked out mid-shift (which happens in restaurants more than you might think.) That's not because I'm a fantastic person. It is because I've never faced that level of panic. At least, I assume it feels like panic.

                                            So I suspect that kid maybe never really wanted to go to West Point (apparently there are a lot of those at the academies, just like there are at any selective school, but more because of all the yelling and uniforms and getting up early and getting shot and what not. They often quit after year two, which is the point at which the military will let you walk away without owing any money or service, or, like my friend, work there way out of the actual service a few years into the career.) Or he was having some other issues.* And I suspect Vontae Davis probably really knew he was finished before the seasons started and talked himself (with some help from others) into trying one more year. It just illustrates our astounding ability to deceive ourselves. Until suddenly we cannot. When that wave crashes, it all crashes very quickly, doesn't it?

                                            I know that's a tangent, but I think it's really fascinating. To bring it around to football, I can think of some examples of guys who were "busts" in the NFL or other sports not so much because they didn't have the physical ability but because they didn't really want to do it. The culture of football, capitalism, toxic masculinity and all that calls those guys "quitters" or "pussies" but I have as much (and occasionally more) respect for them then any of the people in the hall of fame. Because they knew themselves. Or, at least, were forced to figure out who they were apart from this game that was taking up most of their time and energy. That's a blessing. The money would be nice, but I'm happy to be a guy who never really had a great success, but was forced to try to figure out "what's it all about" rather than one of those beaten-down old men making a living signing autographs at card conventions and doing TV and living in the past. I know that sounds like a post hoc justification for being a failure in life - and maybe it is - and I know those two extremes aren't the only two options and that many
                                            of those old guys signing autographs or whatever have come to grips with it. But many don't and it's not easy.

                                            American Football, if it should exist at all (and that's debatable), should be like trying to become a film actor or a brain surgeon - "only do it if nothing else will make you happy" (I've heard that same line used by people in both professions. I'm sure it applies to others). There are players for who that is really true, but it certainly shouldn't be assumed or promoted as the greatest possible ambition of all males, which is how it is in much of America.** I realized that within the first week of playing in 7th grade.*** But some guys have a long and remunerative career in the NFL before they reach that point.****

                                            Sorry for the long posts lately. I'm just trying to practice my writing for a forgiving audience. I hope that's ok.


                                            * The post-script to that story is that the kid who just walked off the field was convinced to stay, according to my friend who relayed the story. I don't know if he lasted a year or graduated or if he could overcome the reputation of being "that guy" but then maybe nobody recognized him later on. For his sake, I like to imagine that he quit, had it out with his parents, moved to New York and now runs a successful food truck business with his business and life-partner.

                                            ** That's why I couldn't watch Friday Night Lights. It made me sad. Clear eyes, full hearts, can lose. The lose every day. Yeah, sometimes you can see that a team is just mentally not there and that the wheels have come off. But that's usually after they tried to play with clear eyes and full hearts and got their ass kicked anyway because the other team was just bigger, faster, and stronger. And the world is chock-full of guys with bad knees working in jobs they don't like and prattling on about how they almost won state. Or did win state. Either way. Our stories are written on moving water. I don't know if sports are the same way in other countries. Are kids in New Zealand who just quit rugby because they don't like it treated as unworthy of their father's love or the admiration of their peers? I don't know. I hope not, but I suspect so.

                                            ***A comedian whose name I forget said "I wanted to be a boxer, until I faced a guy who really wanted to be a boxer." That's how it was for me.

                                            ****Of course the worst scenario would be to be one of those guys who are truly in love with a sport that didn't love them back and end-up 19, 25, or 30 with not much money, lots of physical pain, and no idea of what else to do with their lives. That's one of the themes of Bull Durham.
                                            Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 17-09-2018, 17:01.

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              I know two people who walked away from military academies, which is exactly the number of people I know who graduated from them.

                                              One reason that it doesn't happen more often in football is the weird (by comparison) way that contracts work. Most players are essentially at will employees on contracts without any guarantees. Because of his seniority (as I understand it), Davis' entire salary for this season essentially vested when he was added to the Bills' active roster for yesterday.

                                              I think you are right about his feeling that he was done when the Colts cut him last season, but can understand how someone who has been playing a sport at the highest level for virtually his entire life could struggle to make that decision definitively without actually trying one last time.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                I know two people who walked away from military academies, which is exactly the number of people I know who graduated from them.
                                                I know just one, a friend who graduated from VMI in '68. He did his post grad requisite year in the military after that, but Kent State finished life in the US for him.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Actually, I think my numbers on that are about the same. As a teenager, I met a number of kids who were headed to those places or aspired to, but with the exception of my one friend, I never talked to any of them after they went. I knew one woman in college who'd transferred to W&M from the Coast Guard Academy. I don't think she lasted a semester there. And the son of my first Scoutmaster finished West Point, IIRC, but left for a while his first year after his roommate killed himself. I heard that whole story - my first exposure to the term "nervous breakdown" - when I was about 11 and it made a big impression on me.

                                                  My initial reaction in all these cases is "how could you not see that coming?" But then I shift to "oh, you probably did see it coming and just pretended not to." That especially makes sense in the case of impressionable 17-18 year-olds who are overwhelmed with the neurosis and/or parental-pressure that so many high-achieving kids suffer. Something I know something about first hand.

                                                  Likewise with Vontae Davis, my initial reaction was surprised that he did that and then, upon a bit of reflection and consideration of that money stuff, that shifted to surprise it hasn't happened frequently. There are certainly examples of guys - Clint Dempsey in MLS most recently - who were hoping to at least finish the season but realize their injuries won't allow that so they announce their retirement in the middle of a season. But I can't think of anyone else walking out "mid-shift" like that.

                                                  I think there might be some examples of baseball players being DFA'd or waived in the middle of a double-header. But that wasn't their choice. There are, I suppose, lots of examples of people being injured in a competition and knowing the second it happens that they'll never compete again. But I suspect that most professionals who suffer a career-ending injury don't accept that it's over for at least a few weeks or months. I suspect it's still very rare for high level athletes to willingly go out on their "own terms." Even when their press release tries to give that impression.

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