Sunday, May 6, 2012

football notes

For some fans of the Seattle Seahawks, the quarterback situation is more “controversy” than “competition.” On Brock and Salk recently, a black male caller frustrated the pair by angrily insisting that Russell Wilson should be designated immediately as the starting quarterback over Matt Flynn because his “resume” is better. The fact that Flynn has two starts where he shined, whereas Wilson hasn’t even snapped a ball on an NFL practice field, had zero import to his thought process. I suspect that if Wilson was not drafted by the Seahawks, this caller would probably be using the same terms to describe Tarvaris Jackson. Such playing of politics was bound to happen when there are three black quarterbacks in camp and one white guy who isn’t unarguably one of the league’s elites. Some people will say that if Flynn is picked, it will be a "racial" thing; if someone other than Flynn is the starter, some people will say that Pete Carroll caved-in to politics.

It is to be noted that Wilson's college statistics were indeed more impressive than Flynn's, but in efficiency that only applies to Wilson’s senior year with Wisconsin, whose potent offensive line established the powerful running game that allowed the same passing efficiency for Wilson as it did for Scott “Where Is He Now” Tolzien the season before. This stands in contrast to Wilson’s junior year at NC State, when he threw 218 more passes for only 392 yards—and a 25 percent less in completion percentage. Matt Flynn's only full season was not that inspiring, but his former offensive coordinator has stated that Flynn played with an injured shoulder most of the season, and yet still led the team to the national championship. One other thing. Remember the name Colt Brennan? How about Shawn King? These guys have the third and fourth best passer ratings in college football history, behind Wilson and RG3. Do they have NFL futures? It doesn't seem likely; Brennan in particular put-up huge numbers that apparently do not translate in the NFL. Kellen Moore had the fifth highest rating all-time; it remains to be seen if he has any future. The difference seems to be that people want to see Wilson succeed in the NFL, and that perhaps is the best thing going for him right now.

One more item: A sports observer in Miami admitted that there was doubt in some quarters that Matt Flynn had the arm strength to “consistently” throw out-routes and the like, and that he may play a few good games before defenses “figured him out,” which seems like it could apply to most quarterbacks in the league. Together with the idea that because Ryan Tannehill is a better physical specimen which would suggest a better career, this conversation was reminiscent of the suggestions that Ryan Leaf was “better” than Peyton Manning.


I have to say that are many annoying personalities in the media business who seem to get a pass simply because they have a boundless capacity to annoy. Pick a name on Fox News, and CNN’s Jack Cafferty, Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell come to my mind. The sports media is not immune; I’ve made plain my dislike of ESPN’s egotistical Steven A. Smith, but even worse is Merril Hoge, whose opinions vary not necessarily according to fact, but petty personal issues or whether he had too much coffee. I realize that he isn’t the only commentator who thinks very little of Tim Tebow, but essentially calling him a football retard is going too far. I suppose in calling Tebow incompetent and suggesting that he has the IQ of a gnat might come from knowing what that means from personal experience. For example, Hoge somehow managed to spend 8 years in the NFL as a running back, but whose Idaho State credentials didn’t impress Steelers’ coach Bill Cowher as much as they did Chuck Noll, and the former college stripper was removed to the bench where he belonged Cowher’s first season. “I’ve never seen someone so overrated” Hoge said of Tebow. But at least Tebow doesn’t overrate himself, as the conceited blowhard Hoge does of himself.

Hoge also raised eyebrows this past offseason when he claimed that after watching 120 hours tape, he concluded the Robert Griffin III was a better quarterback than Andrew Luck. That may or may not be true, but is hard to believe that Hoge was so not torn by personal bias that he would actually watch so many hours of tape to come to a notion that was probably preconceived. But now Hoge has gone too far in his criticism of Kurt Warner and his comments about whether he would want his children to play football, because of the violent nature of the game. I think it was clear that Warner was taking a swipe at “bountygate,” in which he was a prime target. Frankly, I’m surprised that the NFL Players Association doesn’t take this more seriously than it does, since it allegedly acts in the best “interests” of its members—which presumably also includes trying to stop targeted activities meant to cripple players for life. Hoge again questioned Warner’s mental capacity, and again more than a little hypocrisy creeped into Hoge’s on-going credibility issues.

Hoge’s NFL career ended when, after having previously suffered a serious concussion in 1994, he suffered another on the field that caused respiratory failure; only immediate resuscitation enabled Hoge to avoid the vegetative state that he quite seriously accuses other players of being in. Hoge should count his blessings, although frankly, I'm not certain--considering his often ill-considered opinions--that his judgment was not effected in some way.

No comments:

Post a Comment