After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?
19 Mar 2012
by Mike Tanier
SECRETARY: Mister Ireland, your 2 p.m. appointment is in the lobby. How was your liverwurst-and-onion sandwich?
IRELAND: Not quite enough Tallegio. So who is this kid I am interviewing?
SECRETARY: Alex Smith, sir. He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. He is just about the only quarterback on the market we haven’t ... dissuaded yet, sir.
IRELAND: I remember now. Send him in.
ALEX SMITH: Good afternoon, Mr. Smith!
IRELAND: Alan! Welcome to Miami! Can I offer you a drink? Tap water?
ALEX SMITH: No thanks, sir. And it’s "Alex." Thanks for welcoming me to Miami, but I could not help noticing the song that played over and over again in the lobby.
IRELAND: The Will Smith song? It’s great, isn’t it? We have it piped through the whole building. Really reminds us of where we are. It improves morale, too. We had a few suicide threats when we first started playing it around the clock, but since we increased the volume we haven’t heard a peep from those employees. It has a great beat, and it really gets the pelvis moving when you are feeling worn down at midday. See?
ALEX SMITH: Mr. Ireland, please stop thrusting! I want to tell you about my situation. I have been an on-and-off starting quarterback for years, click click clickety-click-click, and last year I finally had the kind of season I feel represents my abilities, clickety-clickety-click click click clickety-click-click. Wait, where was I? Clickety-click Oh yeah, I had a great year, but the 49ers decided to pursue Peyton Manning, so I can’t sit on my hands and clickety-clickety-clickety click click clickety-click-click, MR. IRELAND WILL YOU PLEASE STOP CLICKING THAT PEN?
IRELAND: Oh sorry, I never notice I am doing it. So you got run over in the Manning Derby. That must have made you feel incredibly small and valueless, right? After years of working hard for one franchise, you must feel disrespected, and frankly a little desperate because most of the other teams in the NFL have solved their quarterback situations.
ALEX SMITH: Why else would I be here?
IRELAND: Well, you came to the right place. Manning turned us down, of course. He refused to meet us here at headquarters because of the mosquito infestation. You sprayed yourself, right? All over, crotch too? They can bite right through denim. Anyway, we thought we had Matt Flynn on the hook, so we offered him league minimum. After all, who would not want to make less money than he is worth to work with his own coach for a franchise that has a reputation of ruining the careers of quarterbacks for the last decade? Anyway, the greedy kid signed with Seattle. That’s the problem with you quarterbacks, always following the money and good opportunities.
So we found ourselves with no options and no plan, and after trading our best wide receiver, we said to ourselves, hey, what’s Albert Smith up to? So that’s our sales pitch. What do you think?
ALEX SMITH: I ... have to think about it.
IRELAND: Right. You have to "think about it." You "need more time." You "need to visit the Seahawks before you make a decision." You don’t think I know what that means? Is this how you treat people who invite you to Miami for the weekend? I had expectations, Alfred. Take all the time you need to "think about it." The Dolphins are moving on.
ALEX SMITH: My God, you are completely bonkers. What kind of immature, money-grubbing goof-off could thrive in an organization like this?
REGGIE BUSH: Good morning, Mister Ireland! Working hard or hardly working?
IRELAND: Reggie, you card! Show this selfish jerk his way out.
REGGIE BUSH: Sure thing, boss. But aren’t you worried that we will be stuck without a quarterback this year?
IRELAND: Nope. Somewhere, there is an overrated backup we can trade a second-round pick for. Somewhere, a noted offensive mastermind like Norv Turner or Andy Reid is grooming some unremarkable quarterback that we can sign for too much money and promote as a "finished product" in the media guide.
29 comments, Last at 22 Mar 2012, 3:13pm by Richie