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The Pros and Cons of NFL Pre-Season

September 2, 2009

I was hoping to get out of thinking tonight after a long day and just do my Night Cap but Last Call was hosted at our blog and it looks like Daddy is coming home to a trashed house. You bastards put the cat in the microwave? Well I did have an idea of something to post so I might prematurely run with it but it seems like I prematurely do everything these days. Ask your mother. BOOSH!

So, the big talk of the preseason of the NFL is always a trendy topic to discuss. I can see why. It has valid arguments for each side. I’d like to take a quick look at it and see which would be the more beneficial to the NFL. God knows that mein fuhrer Goodell will not stray from his original thinking because if he second guesses himself once, well then the Axis loses.

I think the cons are easy to point out. The #4 hitter in the line up being that guys get injured. It’s going to happen. And every year people think it’s “The Worst Pre-Season EVER!!!1!” That’s probably b.s. but guys do get injured. Even if it is just a minor injury or “hurt” as us athletes would call it, it still usually nags a player for a bit. Here’s a quick list off the top of my head of impact players that have been “hurt”: Aaron Ross, Matt Cassel, Nnamdi Asomugha, Andre Smith, Knowshon Moreno, Chris Wells, Kyle Orton, Tom Brady, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Matt Schaub, (ok now checking a source) Anquan Boldin, Terrell Suggs, DeAngelo Williams, Carson Palmer, Roy E. Williams, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker, Bernard Berrian, Reggie Bush, Brandon Jacobs, Stewart Bradley, Willie Parker, Santanio Holmes, Antonio Gates, Marc Bulger, Albert Haynesworth and Clinton Portis have all been on an injury report or rumored to have been injured at some point of the preseason.

I typed out all those names for effect. Ya dig? That’s a shit load of impact players. Mostly all skill players. I think Andre Smith is the only lineman I got. Mostly because lineman don’t exist in my mind because I’m a fantasy football guru/genius. But that’s a different story. I digress, the real point of all that is deciphering the real injuries from the fake outs for the press that coaches make to rattle the other team’s cage a bit. Did I just sound like a Canadian? Damn. Too much Maple Syrup today, eh Gally?

The only injuries that really seem like they are going to affect their team is Matt Cassel’s, Kyle Orton’s, Knowshon Moreno’s, Andre Smith’s, Stewart Bradley’s and maybe one or two others. The other guys are most likely going to start week 1 of that regular season when it counts.

Another negative of the preseason (which really just stems fromt he first) is that from all these injuries, the starters don’t play. This makes some rusty. Like Peyton Manning last year. He missed the 4 pointless games last year and he really didn’t turn on that special Peyton magic until the last few games of the season. Some well respected writers (read: I) believe that Peyton would have turned on that magic 4 games earlier if he was able to get the dust out.

And the last branch of the injury tree is that since these players aren’t playing all 4 games the games are basically played by rookies and back ups. Why in God’s name are the tickets full price? Can’t they slash the cost of that 4th preseason and call it rookie day? If I was to catch the Giants last preseason game I probably wouldn’t even see Brandon Jacobs. Eli Manning would probably play a series… Why would I want to do that? It’s as pointless as the game itself.

Now that might seem like a whole heap of negative. However, the counterpoint to all of that is just as sane. For example, if the pre season was cut down to 2 games, the injuries might actually increase during the regular season. Tom Brady’s injury was a freak accident, but let’s use it as an example. Just the injury, not the situation. Get off my case. So, say your star player goes down in Week 1. It’s probably because he wasn’t used to going full speed against guys who are trying to kill him. In practice, Justin Tuck is not going to hit Eli Manning. Ever. He doesn’t want to lose his QB because it would lower his chance to win. In preseason, Albert Haynesworth was trying to kill Tom Brady. Because Albert Haynesworth is a bad person. Hell, even Brett Favre tried to ruin a career. With the additional two games it gives the guys who don’t have nagging training camp issues a chance to go full speed in game-like situations. Even if they don’t take it seriously, at least they have the option to.

It’s kind of like if you have 4 weeks to study for a test. Some people might only study for 2 weeks. Some might only study for 1. Some people just have that test down. But others need to take their ADD medication and go at it for all 4 weeks. And it’s actually unfair to take away 2 weeks just because some people are ahead of the curve.

Not to mention that would really hinder the impact a rookie would have in his first year. Let’s take Michael Crabtree for example. He is most likely not going to play in the preseason. He is most likely not going to be in football shape for Week 1. He isn’t going to know the offense. He isn’t going to be used to the step up in speed and aggression from college. There’s plenty that is going to keep from helping the 49ers win. Other than Shaun Hill’s noodle arm.

Or take Andre Smith’s injury as part of the argument. He came into camp (after his hold out) about 40 lbs. over weight. He wasn’t doing anything during contract negotiations other than getting balls deep in a sack of 10 from White Castle. And I don’t mean Matt. Or do i? Whatever. If he would have signed and been in camp, playing all 4 pre-season games he most likely would have won the starting job and Carson Palmer would have been a better player. Who are Bengals tackles now? Exactly. You don’t know.

So we got “getting the rust out of the veterans”, “(re)adjusting to the speed of the game”, “rookie impact”, “ticket sales and fan participation” and lastly, “it can actually mean something!” I promise. If the starter played in every single game of the preseason, you would actually be able to gauge how your team would do in the real season! Shocker right? Does it make sense that NFC Super Bowl representative Arizona is 0-3 right now? Maybe. Maybe Jake Plummer has a voodoo doll somewhere. I don’t know. I’m not Columbo. But what I do know is that Aaron Rodgers has been throwing the shit out of the ball in the pre-season and Green Bay is 3-0. Does that tell you anything?

And that’s all I have to say about that. /forrestgump.

I don’t know. I can’t really force anyone into believing that the pre-season is good for the NFL. I just buy the groceries. It’s your job to cook. /billparcells.

My impressions are dead on tonight. But anyway, the pre-season is good for the NFL. I promise. If you take away 2 games, the starters are still going to play their 3-7 quarters. Instead of it being like a 1-2-3-1 format, it’d just be 4-3. Or less. The only thing it’s going to do is have a carry-over effect on the first few regular season play and increase sloppy play. It’s going to also hurt rookie participation. You won’t see a DeSean Jackson like performance again without a pre-season. Plus, this is football. Can we all stop being such pussies?

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