NFL Exhibition Games…

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that there was far too much media coverage of NFL Training Camps simply because there is not enough actual news emanating from those camps. Ergo, we get way too many formulaic reports and wishful thinking reporting. Well, this week’s pronouncements from a variety of training camps proves my point. This week, we heard players lament the number of serious/season-ending injuries incurred in “meaningless games”. Think about that for a moment; has there ever been a pre-season where that was not the case?

There is no news value in reports that say there are too many injuries in the exhibition season. Of course there are; this is NFL football and NFL football incurs player injuries. Of course, players do not want to be injured under any circumstances; but if it is fated to happen, they want it to happen in a game that matters.

I need to interrupt my narrative here for a moment to point out one report this week on the subject that was indeed new and different. Detroit Lions’ safety, Glover Quin said this regarding the non-contact injury sustained by Jordy Nelson of the Packers that will keep Nelson out for the entire season:

“I feel like injuries are going to happen, same way Jordy got hurt. I hate that Jordy got hurt, but in my belief and the way that I believe, it was God had meant for Jordy to get hurt. If he wouldn’t have got hurt today, if he wouldn’t have played in that game, if he wouldn’t have practiced anymore and the next time he walked on the field would have been Opening Day, I feel like he would have got hurt Opening Day.”

That is why I used the phrase “fated to happen” a couple of paragraphs above. I have no interest in a theological or religious discussion at this point, but it does seem to me that Quin’s statement of belief has a lot of predestination contained in it. Now, if that is the case, it would make no sense to go out every Sunday and hustle and play hard and all that stuff because the end result of that particular game and the whole season is beyond control. Like I said, I do not want this to get theological…

I do agree with folks who suggest that the exhibition season be cut to two games. Training camps can remain as lengthy as they are but the real NFL players who will actually play on Sundays only play one full game in the exhibition season so the argument that they need the practice is silly. Here is what I would do with some of the “extra time” generated by cutting out two exhibition games:

    Give each team 2 Bye Weeks during the real season. That will extend the regular season by an extra weekend meaning another weekend of televised games to generate revenue,

    To keep the Super Bowl where it has become a fixture on the first Sunday of February, get rid of the useless “dark weekend” between the Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl.

That idea embraces “player safety” by giving players’ bodies more time to heal during the season and it enhances revenue from TV partners offsetting the loss of revenue from ticket sales for two meaningless exhibition games.

You want to know who will be the most vocal opponents of that idea? The millions of NFL fanboys who drool over any kind of NFL activity including seven-on-seven drills where players only have helmets on will screech because they want to see “action”. By worshiping at the altar of the NFL for 364 days a year – the off day is the day after the Super Bowl when many of those fanboys are sleeping one off – they encourage the league to keep force feeding itself to the media and the fans. What those fanboys actually tell the league is to give them games anytime and anywhere and if the league does that then the fanboys will herd up like sheep and fill the leagues coffers with money. Therein lies the obstacle to serious discussion here and a change in the exhibition season.

Safeway has to pay Michael Jordan $8.9M as a result of a lawsuit filed by Jordan against a Chicago supermarket chain – Dominick’s – that Safeway bought for $1.2B in 1998. It seems that back in 2009, Dominick’s put an ad in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated that used Jordan’s picture without his permission and without compensation. Contained in the ad was a coupon that readers could cut out to get a $2 discount on steak at Dominick’s. There are lots of strange twists in this story:

    1. Safeway bought Dominick’s and has subsequently closed all of the stores. That was not a good expenditure of $1.2B.

    2. According to information brought out at trial, the ad placed in the magazine was not particularly effective. Testimony revealed that only 2 people cut out the coupon and got the $2 discount on steak at Dominick’s.

    3. The trial was in Chicago. The case was tried before a jury. Michael Jordan was the plaintiff. Safeway’s lawyers said that Jordan might be entitled to about $125K; Jordan’s lawyers said his image was worth $10M. Safeway thought that a Chicago jury was going to lowball Michael Jordan…?

Before anyone points out that Jordan does not need the money from this case – which he surely does not – he has stated that he will donate the entire $8.9M to charity.

Finally, here is all you need to know about a happening in the sports world courtesy of Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“On its trip to Italy, Creighton’s basketball team visited the Vatican and met Carrot Top on a flight to Milan. If the point of the trip was an eclectic experience, mission accomplished.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

6 thoughts on “NFL Exhibition Games…”

  1. Why is it that, in talking about the ACL injury suffered by Jordy Nelson, nobody points to the fact that he caught 98 passes the season before. Perhaps Nelson’s body was just worn out from the previous season. Maybe Green Bay threw too much to Nelson in 2014?

  2. and this is before one of the more serious preseason games – the third one is always Jets-Giants, who share a stadium and play hard… still recall when the Giant starting CB, Jason Sehorn, blew out his knee returning a kick and was never the same. Your starting corner, a good one, returning a kick…. dumb. Who else gets hurt this year?

    1. Rich:

      Somehow, I doubt that.

      I also wonder if the law firm representing Safeway will give the company a discount on the fees given that they took the case to a courtroom where they were destined to lose rather than settle the matter. Somehow, I doubt that too…

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