The Football Job Interview

The pressure cooker of coaches, scouts and GMs

It is always interesting to see the differing personalities of the players at the Senior Bowl.  At tonight’s opening event hosted by the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, these distinctions were easy to see. Some guys hopped up on the stage and danced with the band, while others stood in the back corner and spent most of their time on their phones.  Some walked thru the room talking to Mobile’s nobility, while other gathered with their new teammates and stood around in groups of players unless they were asked for a photo or an autograph.

But perhaps this picture best demonstrates the attitudes of the players.  Two guys sitting on their phones texting or playing games, while the other two are spending their time studying their new assignments for the upcoming week of practice.

For those that have never been here, it is hard to understand the pressure cooker environment that Mobile represents for the players.  While it may not be quite as bad as the NFL Combine, they are on display 24/7 and every move is being watched and scrutinized by someone.  The challenge for the players is that they often can’t tell who is watching them. In the frenzy that is the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel, they truly have no idea who most of the people are as they walk through, unless it is a coach, scout or media member that they have already dealt with.  

The practices the next three days go a long way to determining the rise and fall in their draft stocks.  As you get the chance to meet most of these kids, you can see that this represents a long-time dream of playing in the NFL.

Are you ready…for OT football?

Should this really decide a playoff game?

Imagine a battle.  Back and forth. Two of the best QBs in the game today.  A dull first half turns into a wild second half, with both QBs making play after play to bring their team back into the lead.  This goes on an on over the course of the fourth quarter and as time runs out, Patrick Mahomes leads his team down the field to set up a tying FG.

So with neither defense able to stop the opposing team, how do we end up settling the game?  essentially, we settle it with a coin flip. Because whoever won the coin flip was likely to walk down the field and put up the winning TD.  

Sports talk radio today was filled with a plethora of ideas that could be used as a better alternative to the current overtime format.  Play a full quarter, use the college OT rules, give each team a chance to score. But there is no clear answer. The outrage was probably higher because it was the Patriots who won.  Again. Would the reaction have been as loud if Patrick Mahomes had first crack and was able to lead his team down the field? I doubt it. Patriot hate is loud and clear and most fans do not like artificial endings.  I think most true football fans would like to see it played out until there is a legitimate winner. What that means is unclear in the current context.

But at least it is better than soccer where you have a penalty kick shootout to decide World Cup matches, including the final.  Imagine if a Super Bowl was decided by having the kickers take turns and move progressively back a few yards at a time until one of the missed.  Or if they each took alternate kicks from 45 yards and see who made the most of in five kicks. And if still tied, then we would go to sudden death.  You can only imagine the pressure on a kicker on the 7th or 8th kick if they were all square. And how many kicks would they have to make before one of them really injured their leg on the kicks?

So football is already not THE worst process.  But it is certainly in need of great improvement.  

How do you suggest  OT is handled? Leave us your comments below and tell us what you think would be an equitable way to resolve the games.

12 Important Lessons from the Penn State and Syracuse fiascos

With the passing of Joe Paterno, there is a lot of debate about his legacy and how he will be remembered? It is a shame that a historic coach with over 400 victories even has doubts that his main accomplishments were in mentoring athletes, helping them graduate and teaching them to become better people. Yet, due to a variety of factors (some of his own doing and some outside of his control), Paterno’s reputation will bear a permanent tarnish.