In the NFL, schemes are constantly evolving. Plays can become outdated in the span of a quarter. But a handful of teams are adjusting to life in the modern game by borrowing strategies from a most unlikely source: the boring offenses of the 1970s Big Ten.
The NFL has spent the past few years getting smaller and faster, with speedy wide receivers who are as light as 170 pounds. Knowing that, NFL linebackers and defensive linemen also shed weight, creating a league of (relative) Smurfs.
But, NFL observers say, the league is now experiencing a backlash from a cabal of coaches with heavy Big Ten influences who prefer, well, heavy players. Their idea? Find the biggest players you can find and run simple, powerful schemes. It is a trend that former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, now an analyst for the NFL Network, said was the story of the off-season—the explosion of bigger players to counter the shifty speedsters.
Maybe it was the rats, squeaking, and waiting to pounce. Maybe it was the gurgle of some unspeakably horrible, probably biologic fluid being illegally dumped (allegedly) in some nearby corridor. Something woke me. It wasn’t the daylight, because this godforsaken place seemed unfamiliar with direct sunlight.
I looked around.
“OK, I’m stumped.” Glasses: gone.
I checked my pockets. A matchbook.
I checked my wallet. No cash, no cards. No emergency Durex.
Karma: ribbed, for her pleasure. as if you’d notice.
I found the Durex. It was stuck to my foot. I noticed, because there were no shoes to distract me. Also, no pants.
And, as near as I could tell, I had a gonad tattoo I don’t remember asking for.
Maybe I should ask the dead hooker that seemed to be bent over that railing looking thing nearby.
And I thought to myself. “GODDAMMIT! NOT AGAIN”
Dave Brandon woke up in a cold sweat. Was it real? Did it really happen? Yes, he had ignored Sailboat Bill‘s crowning moment of stupid heresy and scheduled Appalachian State for a redux. Yes, he too went for the seemingly easy dollars of a 1-AA cupcake school as a 2014 home opponent, without even looking at whether the cupcake was made from glass shards and live piranhas – like Appy State last time (2007).
But that was for sure in real life. This felt different. Dave felt like he was seeing glorious Michigan Stadium through the eyes of some random fan. It looked different, too – there was a crescent tier of upper deck seating down one side line and around one end zone, like a larger, less ugly Soldier Field. The tier entirely shaded the original bowl underneath; the luxury sky boxes were gone. Dave’s heart skipped a beat at seeing that, then he somehow realized that the preferred seat licenses fees must have been increased to compensate for those lost dollars. The new upper tier seats undoubtedly included a solar premium surcharge on both the PSLs and the dynamically priced single game tickets.
Now Dave would have an extra 50,000 screaming Michigan fans to fleece, their pockets bursting with $. Time to bump water up to $10 a bottle, and re-ban seat cushions (in favor of selling a 6″ x 9″ sheet of anti terrorist bubble wrap seat cushion – $12 each when you buy two). All these dollars coming in. Dave started to feel stirrings, uh, down there. It’s was the strip club business model***, legitimized by the Michigan “Wow” factor.
***If a customer leaves with even $1 in their pocket, you failed, and heads will roll. As it were.
The surging suddenly died, like he had accidentally imagined his ex-wife naked and slathered in flour. The game was underway, but there was no TV coverage.
“Oh heavens! How can I maximize brand penetration by monopolizing the media footprint to oversaturation minus 1 without at least BTN coverage,” he thought, while trying to drown out the piped-in generic RAWK music the focus groups had settled on.
Then, it got worse. Dave (as this generic fan) surveyed the stands. There were probably 10 or 20 thousand people there watching the game.
Karma: Even worse Dave, they’re trying to move to better seats without paying the $100 relocation convenience fee.
Dave: The Horror, the horror.
MGoBlog: No, Appy State is the Horror.
Dave: WTF? Did we finally reach “peak
0ilsurcharge”? Did greed force a move on the demand curve from Supply minus 1 to Supply+130,000? Did we accidentally switch the regular turkey legs with golden goose legs and not notice we killed it? Naah, must just be MDOT fucking up the roads to get here and not telling anybody. Or the finale of “Pants off Dance off” or something and TiVo is offline.
Dave was suddenly relieved that there were no TV cameras after all. Officially, Michigan had filled the stadium for EVERY home game since 1975 or so. (Just pretend that 1987 Minnesota did not happen. Or the Rich Rodriguez years.) For his own use with Mistress Wanda and her rods of obedience, he wanted to document this low attendance phenomenon. He reached for his camera, but it wasn’t there, thanks to the new 0.1″ or shorter limit on camera lenses.
He reached for his phone and snuck down to the lower bowl. The aisle doors were locked. And, he did not have the right ticket to even look through the glass if security noticed him.
“Dammit. I wish I was me in this vision. Rules are for customers; I am a visionary.”
So, it was off to the end zone seats, slinking along the rows, jumping from section to section, rather than walking the concourse and risking a confrontation with a ticket checker. Once there, he pulled out his Michigan (R) branded special edition Samsung BFG9000, the official phone of the Wolverines, and the only phone immune to the EMP emitters placed throughout the stadium to discourage bloggers and other fee-avoiding criminals.
“Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the AD’s consent, is prohibited. ” We take that shit seriously. - Dave Brandon
Dave whipped out the bfg and logged into @DollarDave on Instagram. He clicked the shutter. Instead of a realtime picture of the nearly empty stadium, the phone opened up a googlemaps bird’s-eye view of an empty stadium in winter. Dave pounded the camera on a bench to teach it to respect the process. The image updated to a google map shot of a full stadium. Instead of this sunny August day, with the team beating down a weaker opponent, it was some gray november rainy slopfest of a game.
No matter. Dave had seized control of all the images broadcast from the stadium with haterware and electronic hobgoblins. He had managed the brand messaging like Gene Simmons on Celebrity Apprentice. He could defeat those goddamn bloggers, and preserve the lie of full stadiums and happy, if penniless, fans. After all, without “(officially licensed) pics, it didn’t happen.”
Then Dave woke up, and started brainstorming the next “Wow” factor. Dancing robot wolverines? A M-shaped ferris wheel? How much could we charge? Fantasizing about the dollar bills pouring into the vault, Dave was now Scrooge McDuck. He dove into the treasure, as he again drifted off to sleep, grateful that the horrific vision of fan revolt and empty stadiums was probably just the bad dream aftereffects of too many official Michigan corn dogs last night.
Or was it…
Can football season come. Meanwhile, the greatest:
Watching that video, I felt the same anticipative stirring of the Michigan Stadium crowd — or, on the road, the same petrified silence — when AC touched the ball that I’ve only experienced at Michigan with Denard Robinson; there’s greatness, and then there’s pure electricity, and each had them in abundance. That feeling alone captures more than numbers are capable, but the numbers still speak volumes:
- In Carter’s final three seasons, Michigan completed 366 passes as a team for 5,383 yards. Carter caught 124 of them, covering 2,219 yards. Of the Wolverines’s 51 passing touchdowns in that span, Carter hauled in 26, more than half of the team’s total. He was an All-American in each of those seasons.
- Despite playing in a remarkably different era from those around him in the Michigan record book, Carter still ranks fourth in school history in receptions and second in both receiving yards and touchdowns. Of the top five players on each of those lists, only one played any part of his career before the 1990s: Desmond Howard, a freshman in 1989.
- He also ranks as Michigan’s second-most prolific kickoff and punt returner, trailing only Steve Breaston in both categories.
- Carter recorded 14 100-yard receiving games in his career, a mark surpassed only by Braylon Edwards. Jack Clancy, the previous record-holder, set the mark in 1966 — at four.
- AC still — still — holds the NCAA career record for average all-purpose yards gained per play: 17.4, with 5,197 career yards on 298 touches.
I could go on. Needless to say, my opinion on Michigan’s greatest receiver has changed. From a pure football perspective, there’s so much about his game to love…
Looking back at USFL and how Donald Trump ruined league. Oompa Loompa Donny boy strikes again.
a Michigan Panthers receiver named Anthony Carter proved to be one of the most dynamic pass catchers in the sport. The league’s first championship game saw Michigan edge Philadelphia in a 24-22 classic that should go down as one of the most exciting sports title games of alltime.
Yeah, we knew that about AC.
Summer conditioning letters from
Mike Barwis Fritz Crisler, for one…
The back story (via 8 Barrel):
To those of you who bleed Maize and Blue, know someone who does or just might find it interesting, attached is a letter from Fritz Crisler to an incoming player. It was forwarded to me by an acquaintance of a descendant of the addressee, who found it while going through the man’s personal effects. Interesting training regimen in ’41.
Chewbacca – Johnny Cochran
Basically, We love Joe so you’re misreading the evidence, mr. report. The emails to Joe didn’t mean Paterno, they meant Piscopo. Or the Plumber. Somebody said something different, so your argument is invalid.
I have a few thoughts:
- HE’S FUCKING DEAD.
- This is about the Paterno heirs, not Joe. SMH.
- Money. How much for this propaganda? For sure 6 figures and probably 7. A report on the report? Why not spend that money starting from scratch with the evidence and see where it goes? But that’s not really the point of the exercise…
- Jesus, the arrogance of these fucks. A dottering old fool of a
Tookcoach got fired because he didn’t shitcan a creep. Who gives a shit about his legacy?
- Maybe he had a financial incentive to bury the Sandusky story in 2002. Maybe incontinence clouded his judgment.
- The victims were the kids, not the enablers, not the coach where the buck stops. Too bad the Paterno empire doesn’t believe that. Sure there’s lip service, but making Joe the victim pisses on their trauma.
- Too bad the Paterno gang can’t just bow their heads, say a little prayer, and spend their energies helping the needy out of this horror story instead of whitewashing the Zombie king.
We are Penn State
The sanctions handed down this morning by the NCAA are not all there is for Penn State. The Big Ten has now tacked on its own penalties: Penn State will not be getting any of the conference’s bowl revenue for the next four years, an amount estimated to total $13 million. That money will instead go to “established charitable organizations in Big Ten communities dedicated to the protection of children.” Also, Penn State will be ineligible for the Big Ten championship game for the next four seasons.
More fittingly, Joe Paterno’s puppet coachhood from 1998 to 2011 no longer exists. I guess he was “retroactively retired.”
Paterno Family backspin was immediate and delusional as always:
The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.
Hey Paterno family: That is exactly the point. YOU (and your PR firm) do not get to define his legacy. He fucked up. Vacating his wins since 1998? That is karmic justice, because he has not been a real coach since then. For the last 10 years at least, PSU has blatantly protected the falsehood of Joe as coach, or indulged him in doing so, because 409 was withing reach. Guess what, bitches. Joe is back to no. 12 and Eddie Robinson is No. 1, right about where things shoud be.
In today’s bit of Irony, the PSU president said this:
I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.
In other words, the moral failing of turning a blind eye to horrific crimes for the good of the image, the legend and the program will be publicly punished by hiding this visible reminder in a closet in the bowels of a dank stadium, out of sight and out of mind, for the good of the program.
I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.
This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.
The amended contract, which was reported on by The Associated Press in April, included a $3 million career bonus if Paterno retired at the end of the 2011 season.