Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jul 2012

Walkthrough: The Naked Bunch

by Mike Tanier

Now that I have seen Maurice Jones-Drew naked, my life will never be the same.

MJD is starkers in The Body Issue of ESPN: The Magazine, a magazine I subscribe to so I can see my friends’ bylines, not my fantasy running back’s butt cheeks. In fact, just typing the word "fantasy" about MJD in this context made me shudder a bit, and admitting to you that I shuddered makes me worry about being misconstrued. My adolescent attitudes have steered Walkthrough into a ditch in a record 86 words. I blame tacks in the road.

ESPN: The Magazine is published by ESPN, one of the primary benefactors of this website and one of the reasons that many of my friends’ children eat something other than ramen noodles for dinner. Therefore, I refuse to say anything bad about the decision to temporarily turn the periodical into Mapplethorpe Monthly, and assume that the publisher’s decision to mail me a magazine with a gloriously nude Tyson Chandler on the cover simply proves that they know more about me than I know about myself.

Inside The Body Issue are photos of a lovely naked lady tennis player and a lovely naked lady mixed martial artist, as well as other physical marvels of various sports and genders. Aaron Schatz may have a three-page mathematical proof that the Chiefs will win the next four Super Bowls in there somewhere, but I never got that far. And I can promise that there are no naked Football Outsiders in the magazine, because it is not The Quarterly Review of Medical Curiosities.

MJD comes at the tail end of the pictorial, when the editors probably figure you are ready for just about anything. He is crouched forward in what looks like a classic Greek sprinter’s pose, his left thigh striding forward to hide the naughty stuff, his right hand nearly touching the ground. MJD is listead at 5-foot-6, which means he is about 5-foot-5, and when leaning forward he appears to be three feet tall. And with his muscles flexed, 495 pounds. He looks computer generated. Peter Jackson is working on a two-part movie version of The Hobbit, and he has given several interviews talking about how difficult it is to shoot battle sequences with 12 dwarf characters played by normal-sized actors. He should just use 12 CGI MJD’s.

Jackson is also worried about giving each dwarf a unique personality, a problem that did not bother him much during the Lord of the Rings movies, in which none of the characters had a personality except for the one annoying sidekick hobbit. MJD has had enough personality to cover all eleven Jaguars offensive starters for years. What’s one more?

MJD at least gets dignified with a classic pose. Chandler also gets to be a museum statue, looking like a cross between a classical Greek discus thrower and Michelangelo’s David, tatted-down. The ladies get tasteful poses, though the US Women’s Volleyball Team are all seated together awkwardly, as if someone kicked in the door of a large sauna and snapped their picture with no warning. Nearly everyone gets off easy except Rob Gronkowski, who gets the Magic Mike treatment: arms spread, pouty pose, puffy football piñata playing the role of fig leaf. Gronk looks like a male escort. The strategic football is comically huge, as if concealing a county fair winning eggplant, creating the impression that Gronk is over-compensating a smidge.

Poor Gronk. The folks at Outsports.com interviewed him before the ESPY awards. Gronk has Blurts Stupid Things Disease, and he knows it, and he knew speaking on the record about gay issues amounted to a Kobayashi Maru for him. Gronk tried to avoid the interview, realized that was worse than any dumb thing he could possibly say, and did his best to grunt through the NFL-approved version of Seinfeld’s "not that there’s anything wrong with it." Cyd Zeigler Jr. of Outsports.com praised Gronk for getting past his fears. I concur, though I wish Gronk worked up the courage to ask the photographer to shoot him catching a pass, or in a three-point stance, or doing anything more dignified than apparently blast-drying his genitals in front of an air conditioner vent, and loving it.

No one has asked MJD his opinion on gay issues yet. Someone from ComicCon asked him to comment on Northstar’s same-sex wedding in Marvel Comics, but only because he mistook MJD for Puck from Alpha Flight.

Reporters get to go into locker rooms, meaning that we often see players naked. It is, in every way, a humbling experience. As tasteful as the non-Gronkowski Body Issue photos are, I do wonder when butt cheek became acceptable in non-scientific, non-erotic magazines. It may be carefully shaded butt cheek, artfully arranged butt cheek, and butt-cheek-in-partial-profile, but it remains butt cheek. You can clearly see it on the fencing champion, and if you turn the photo of golfer Suzann Pettersen at the proper angle and stare at it for a good five minutes ... oh, there I go again.

Gronk and MJD were the only football players laid bare in The Body Issue. I expected to see Victor Cruz, because he is usually called upon for duties like this nowadays, but Cruz did not participate, probably because the Mara family has a strict no-nudity policy in the wake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Cruz did participate in a New York Magazine Q&A that was minimally invasive. Among other things, Cruz revealed that he always has Entenmenn’s doughnuts in the house and likes Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Sorry, Victor: wide receivers are only allowed to have one personality trait. You must either give up the salsa dancing or the junk food breakfasts.

Cruz also reveals that about the only art in his house is "a portrait of a zebra." Note that he says "portrait," so this is not just any zebra, but an important one who posed with an artist for the painting, perhaps with one hoof on its breast and its eyes gazing knowingly across the Serengeti. Cruz said that the portrait belongs to his girlfriend, providing a mental image of morning in the Cruz household, Victor scarfing down sugary cereals and doughnuts while his girlfriend makes plans to attend a gallery show dedicated to portraiture of serious-minded gazelles. Come to think of it, Gronk got off easy.

The Body Issue disappeared from my house. My wife probably hid it from the children, not because we are quite that prudish, but because of the way nine- and soon-to-be-six-year-old boys are. C.J. makes dramatic "yuck" noises at the sight of any nudity, be it male, female, or Jacksonville/Middle Earth, while Mikey is likely to run around the house shouting "Butt cheek! Butt cheek!" for a half-hour in search of a laugh. (It comes with the name.) The photos are all online, and I encourage you to seek them out for yourself, because the photos are striking, ESPN is our benevolent patron, and there may be some written content accompanying the pictures for all I know.

And of course, MJD and his Jaguars need all the exposure they can get.

Denver Broncos Top Five Running Backs

1. Terrell Davis

2. Floyd Little

The Broncos were underrepresented for so long in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that it spawned conspiracy theories. As of 2004, when John Elway got in, there were only two players who ever wore a Broncos uniform in Canton: Willie Brown and Tony Dorsett. Dorsett played one forgettable year with the Broncos, and Brown is much more famous for his Raiders accomplishments, so Elway was really the first Broncos Hall of Famer, arriving 44 years after the franchise’s inception.

Since then, the inductions of Little, Gary Zimmerman, and Shannon Sharpe have made the Broncos group more respectable, silencing suggestions that a cabal of Oakland writers were scheming to keep the Broncos out. There are franchises with more to complain about than the Broncos now. The Falcons, for example, can only point to Deion Sanders as a true representative, though there are several worthy candidates: Mike Kenn, Jeff Van Note, and Claude Humphrey, of whom only Humphrey ever reached finalist status. The Broncos still have a backlog of solid candidates, led by Randy Gradishar and Karl Mecklenberg, then Davis, Tom Nalen, Steve Atwater, and Rod Smith. You can probably list other viable candidates, depending on how big you want your Hall.

Of course, every team has a serious logjam of reasonable Hall of Fame choices, often headlined by one blatantly obvious omission like Gradishar. This is the Hall’s biggest problem right now, and the primary reason why the voters are having a hard time getting Cris Carter clocked in.

The backlog is the main reason why I don’t stamp my feet much about Davis as a Hall of Famer anymore. If I were a voter –- and I would be happy to offer my services -– I would have to get Carter through first, make prudent choices about new players as they hit the ballot, and correct the omissions of yesteryear like Gradishar and Cliff Branch. When Brian Dawkins comes up for election, I would have to put on my Eagles jersey. I think Davis is highly qualified, and I am not a big believer in most of the arguments against him, but if given five people to select every year, I would be forced to make him my fifth (or sixth or seventh) choice for many years, until the mess gets straightened out.

Little was a great player in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but we have encountered several players from his era with resumes just as good as his: Chuck Foreman, Lydell Mitchell, Larry Brown, Lawrence McCutcheon, and so on. He was a very good player. Davis was an MVP-caliber player from 1996 to 1998, playing for the best team in the NFL. He was, for three years, an all-time great. I am glad Little is in Canton, and it does not bother me that Davis will probably never make it, but there is no question in my mind which back I would rather have in his prime.

As for the lack of Broncos in the Hall of Fame, there is no mystery. They were awful for the entire AFL era, so voters had no colorful mad bomber or Bambi-like receiver to vote for from the 1960s. Their very good 1970s teams peaked by getting the living snot pummeled out of them by the Cowboys in the Super Bowl; old-guard Hall of Fame voters were very Super Bowl-driven, so that bad game probably cost Gradishar, the best player on that Broncos team. (For the most ridiculous example of a player being kept out of the Hall of Fame for a perceived bad game in a Super Bowl, check out Mick Tingelhoff). The John Elway teams were, well, John Elway teams; Karl Mecklenburg popped up on the HOF finalist list last year, a sign that voters outside of Denver are re-remembering that there was more to the 1980s Broncos than Elway, The Drive and Super Bowl losses.

Guys like Mecklenburg and Atwater are trapped in the logjam, which gets more jammed every year. Every year, the voters dip a teaspoon into the 1965-1985 era and rescue someone like Little. Davis will have to wait 20 years and hope for the teaspoon.

3. Otis Armstong

Armstrong was a little nifty back who replaced Little and amassed 1,812 scrimmage yards in 1974. That was quite a feat, and Armstrong had a solid encore season in 1976, but mid-70s football was no place for a 195-pounder. By the time the Broncos reached the Super Bowl as cowboy steaks, Armstong was toast.

4. Mike Anderson

Anderson is Exhibit B in the case against Terrell Davis as a Hall of Famer. Anderson rushed for 1,487 yards after Olandis Gary rushed for 1,159 yards after injuries began swallowing Davis’ career whole, so many began pointing to Mike Shanahan’s offense or Alex Gibbs’ blocking schemes as the reasons behind Davis’ rushing success. Gibbs is a zone-blocking maestro, of course, and guys like Zimmerman and Nalen deserve tons of credit. So does Davis, and so does Anderson, who was excellent in 2000, great in 2005 (second in DVOA and Success Rate), and a very useful fullback and role player in between.

Anderson gave up the featured role for two years to...

5. Clinton Portis

...who would rank much higher if he had more than two seasons in Denver. Portis ranked second and fifth in DVOA in his two seasons with Denver, first and third in Success Rate. In his best Redskins seasons, Portis finished eighth in DVOA.

Portis’ record can be read as an example of Gibbs-Shanahan-Gary Kubiak turning a great-to-excellent runner into an outstanding one, though there are many variables to consider besides the teams Portis played on. Anderson’s record can be read as the Gibbs Gang turning a very good role player into a great runner, Olandis Gary’s as an ordinary runner turned into a pretty good one by the system. Only one running back turned into a 2,000-yard rushing MVP, but I promised to stay off my soapbox.

Sammy Winder, you say? Winder has some of the worst statistics of anyone who was a featured runner for six full seasons in the NFL. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his best year, 3.3 in a year when he was given 240 carries. He averaged 6.6 yards per catch for his season, catching passes from a Hall of Famer. Winder had 13 carries for 25 yards in three Super Bowls. He deserves Honorable Mention for being a starter on so many great teams, but I have no problem putting Anderson or Portis above him.

Kansas City Chiefs/Dallas Texans Top Five Running Backs

1. Priest Holmes

The best running back in football, and the focal point of one of the most dynamic offenses in football, from 2001-03. Holmes has better Hall of Fame chances than Davis, and I feel he is a worthy candidate, particularly when his role in the Ravens' Super Bowl season is factored in. His chances may be hurt by the fact that he played in a small market, was a very odd duck, and of course never won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs, which is the be-all, end-all argument for far too many otherwise literate humans.

2. Abner Haynes

Haynes is the reason why this is the Chiefs-Texans list and not just the Chiefs list. Haynes was one of the first stars of the AFL, leading the league in rushing in 1960 and yards from scrimmage in 1962. He was the star of the 1962 AFL championship team, with a big assist from Len Dawson. He’s best known for the "Kick to the Clock" incident, which almost cost the Texans the championship.

The usual suspicions about early AFL stars apply to Haynes: his career numbers drop precipitously as the overall league talent level improves. But he is a legendary player, and there is no clear-cut choice for No. 2 on this list.

3. Ed Podolak

Podolak was a running quarterback at Iowa. For the Chiefs, he was an all-purpose back and return man during the latter part of the Hank Stram/Len Dawson era. The Chiefs’ 1970s business model was to ride Dawson, Otis Taylor, and other 1960s stars until they couldn’t stand up anymore. It had predictable results. Podolak kept the aging stars comfortable for a few years.

Podolak became a college broadcaster, then retired in 2009 because of a scandal that went like this: 1) Grown man has a few beers at a bar; 2) Grown man (former NFL player, well-known television personality) flirts with younger-but-over-21-year-old female; 3) Someone takes pictures of tipsy-looking grown man getting very chummy with tipsy-looking consenting adult; 4) Internet reacts to photos as if it were a community of millions of spinster aunts; 5) Grown man and his employers go into a damage control panic as if the photo shows him clubbing a harp seal.

Podolak later returned to the booth. We are past all of this nonsense, right? Every "drunken football personality" photo, with or without legal-age paramour, doesn’t instantly get seven trillion hits like they did three years ago.

Or maybe I am wrong. My college-aged former students tell me that they are now drowning in "don’t post any picture on the Internet that anyone would construe as inappropriate," advice, which can range from prudent (don’t photograph the menage-a-trois in the mall fountain with the wanted fugitive and the sea otter) to the needlessly paranoid (some future employer might mistake that diet soda for a bubbling mug of bath salts). One very bright college kid pointed out to me that she will start worrying about what future employers see on Facebook when she stops worrying that there will be no employers in the future.

I like to think that we are making peace with how little privacy we have given ourselves and each other. Still, I did not need to see MJD naked.

4. Larry Johnson

Docked two places for being a complete pain in the butt for much of his Chiefs tenure.

5. Christian Okoye

Would rank higher based on sentiment or video game production. Okoye caught just two passes during his signature 1989 season, and seven more during his productive 1990 and 1991 seasons, making him one of those rare less-than-zero players as a receiver. With his Nigerian Nightmare nickname, epic iterations on the first generation of truly playable football video games, and ready-for-highlights rushing style, Okoye is an easy player to overrate, and in fact I think he may be too high here.

Mike Garrett was a speedy all-purpose star for two Super Bowl teams. He could rank second on this list as much as anyone. Marcus Allen gave the Chiefs five productive seasons as a committee back. DVOA and DYAR love those seasons, but I have always felt Allen got an inordinate amount of credit for being a glorified role player in Kansas City.

Joe Delaney deserves Honorable Mention on any list.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 18 Jul 2012

113 comments, Last at 15 Aug 2012, 11:15am by DisplacedPackerFan

Comments

1
by Travis :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:16pm

Abner Haynes, not Hayes.

102
by horn :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:40pm

Joe Delaney should be number 1. It's your list Mike. Make him #1.

2
by nate_richards :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:38pm

Also: Olandis Gary, not Orlandis Gary

3
by PerlStalker :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:38pm

TD deserves his ranking here. He was a punishing running and a perfect fit what the Broncos were doing.

I can never think of Okoye without thinking of this hit by Steve Atwater.

4
by Drunkmonkey :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:48pm

The Panthers drafted DeShaun Foster with the second pick of the second round in 2002... 17 picks before Clinton Portis would be drafted. To this day, I can't get over this.

32
by RickD :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:37pm

Shall we talk about the five RBs drafted before Maurice Jones-Drew in 2006?

33
by Dean :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:12pm

WRs drafted before DeSean Jackson?

QBs drafted before Dan Marino?

Players at all positions drafted before Jerry Rice?

This sort of thing happens all the time.

56
by armchair journe... :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:37am

"....one of these things is not like the others..."

//AJMQB

60
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:04am

My recollection is that MJD was implicated in some kind of weird incident at a Denny's right before the draft. He was later cleared, but it probably didn't help his draft stock.

62
by CBPodge :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:44am

Was the weird incident that he had a nice meal there?

Hiyo.

For the record, the closest I've ever come to Denny's is seeing the food on adverts. It just seems like the kind of place that would be rubbish.

85
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:21pm

Good enough for 3:30 AM post drinking sober-up eating. Then again, that's probably any place that's open at that hour. God knows Pat's Steaks has lasted this long exactly because they still serve food at 0-dark-hundred hours.

99
by Jimmy :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 11:33am

You remember correctly. MJD, Ricky Manning Jnr and three of their friends got into a fight with a guy using his computer at three in the morning in a Denny's. The incident grew somewhat notorious for the claim that they had assaulted him with 'dangerous weapons', and that the weapons in question were their shoes.

5
by BroncFan07 :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 1:14pm

If he would have stayed a few years longer, Portis would have ranked at least #2. Instead, he'll have to be happy being ranked as Best 2 Year Denver RB ahead of Bobby Humphrey. Then there's the Best 1 Year competition with Olandis Gary and Gaston Green. And there should be a list of Guys I Liked That Likely Not Many Other Did like Steve Sewell and Gerald Willhite (Willhite could do a standing backflip, man). Whatever list is being presented, Sammie Smith would definitely rank last.

As far as HoF, it seems to me that Denver's next legit candidate until Champ Bailey retires would be Tom Nalen. However, it seems like it's just as hard to get centers in as WR, so it's probably not happening.

66
by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:40am

He'll never make it in, but I believe the most deserving retired Bronco is Steve Atwater. For whatever reason, he never generated media buzz proportionate to his level of play. Ask the players who played with him and against him, though, and you'll get a new perspective.

I like Mike's take on T. Davis: he was for a short time a great, great back. If career length precludes his HOF worthiness, so be it. But the argument that he was just a system back, and the likes of Olandis Gary and Derek Loville were "just as good", well, that's just plain silly.

109
by horn :: Mon, 07/23/2012 - 5:07pm

Atwater should be in. Not a Denver fan.

110
by dryheat :: Mon, 07/23/2012 - 5:19pm

And then we can put in David Fulcher, and Lawyer Milloy, and every other safety whose penchant for hard hits and subsequent ESPN highlights far outweighed their ability to play the position.

Atwater was a very good player, intimidator, but shouldn't sniff the hall of fame.

6
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 1:29pm

Sammy Winder must have had the best press team in NFL history, though. How else do you explain his 1986 Pro Bowl selection, a year in which (as Mike notes) he had 240 carries for 789 yards (3.3 avg) and only 171 more receiving yards? This must be the worst Pro Bowl selection in the post-dead ball era. He finished 17th in the NFL in rushing that year.

While the AFC only had two 1000-yard rushers in 1986 (Curt Warner and James Brooks), Winder had fewer yards than such AFC runners as Walter Abercrombie, Freeman McNeil, and Lorenzo Hampton, and all of those runners averaged at least 0.7 ypc more than Winder.

9
by Travis :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:02pm

Marcus Allen dropped out of the Pro Bowl with an ankle injury four days before the game. My guess is that Winder was the best AFC running back available on short notice.

13
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:34pm

No, Freeney's selection in 2011 is the worst Pro Bowl selection ever. Single digit sacks and his standard lack of production in the run game (13 freakin' tackles for a starting DE playing in blowout loses where the other team was trying to run out the clocke the whole game!) The best part is Mathis was better in every single category (more sacks, more forced fumbles, over double the amount of tackles & assists), so you can't even pull the "yeah, but who would have been a better choice?" because there was a guy on the same team was better by any objective measure. And unlike Winder, he wasn't even a replacement pick! Worst Pro Bow selection ever.

16
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:46pm

"Worst Pro Bow[l] selection ever."

Mike Boryla, who started five games in a 14-game season and was pretty bad in them and yet still made the Pro Bowl, says hi. As do all of the backups on the 1965 Buffalo Bills.

18
by SandyRiver :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:50pm

Pro Bowl selections often are rooted in good past performances, which Freeney had and Winder didn't. However, I'm not too interested in a race to the bottom for PB choices, as there are probably dozens of (un)worthy possibilities.

20
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:01pm

"Pro Bowl selections often are rooted in good past performances" - I don't even want to get into the whole issue of Freeney accumulating the right KIND of numbers for the Pro Bowl selectors to rate even his past performances as "good." But, yeah, we can agree that many players have gone to the Pro Bowl on the strength of what they accomplished in a previous season or seasons.

Anyway, Winder was a replacement player from a weak field of choices. That seems par for the course...

21
by Mike Tanier :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:02pm

Mike Boryla gets mentioned more on our walkthrough message boards than anywhere else on earth!

23
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:04pm

Also, isn't he a worthy selection on some level in the sense that he WON THE GAME FOR THE NFC??! Case closed.

48
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 8:43pm

John Stallworth made the Pro Bowl in 1982 with 27 catches for 441 yards. Then the next year he did it again, this time with a mindblowing 8 receptions for 100 yards. That's not a misprint. Stallworth over those 2 seasons: 35 total catches for 541 total yards and 7 total TDs, and 2 Pro Bowls. Wow.

50
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 9:59pm

Stallworth probably was not in the 1983 Pro Bowl. He is not listed on the roster and no game accounts mention him. He was first listed as in that game in the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia and has been reprinted all over since.

He also was referred to as a "three time Pro-Bowler" in newspaper accounts of his retirement, with 1983 not mentioned.

51
by dbostedo :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:00pm

1982 was also a strike shortened season - only 9 games were played. So while still bad, 27 catches isn't quite as bad as it sounds.

54
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:51pm

In the strike-shortened season of 1982, Stallworth was 32nd in the league in receiving yards and 49th in receptions. He did manage to rank 3rd in receiving TDs but I would still argue that's a pretty atrocious Pro Bowl berth. As for '83, I can only assume you're right that he did not actually make it, although you'd think that would have been corrected somewhere along the way.

63
by CBPodge :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:48am

Even the Hall of Fame website lists him as playing in the 1983 (season) Pro Bowl.

WHAT ELSE ARE THEY LYING TO US ABOUT?

65
by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:28am

I will always favor A.J. Duhe who, in 1984, was named to the Pro Bowl despite having been benched my the Miami Dolphins.

29
by BroncFan07 :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:24pm

Don't forget Denver made the Super Bowl in 1986 which likely raised Winder's profile.

7
by Dean :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 1:34pm

Nice Tour de France reference that most American readers won't even realize is a reference to anything.

8
by Dean :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 1:52pm

Also props for remembering Joe Delaney. For those who are too young, look him up. He was rookie of the year, then died trying to save three drowning kids - DESPITE NOT KNOWING HOW TO SWIM.

69
by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:45am

Yes, Joe Delaney is a very worthy inclusion.

10
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:04pm

Dear America, what's with the bath salts, isn't sniffing glue easy enough for you?

Also: Barry Word, Harvey Williams?

11
by Greg F (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:26pm

Hard to find good glue anymore. And for a long time bath salts were big with hippies and overly stressed moms, so before that guy ate the other dude's face it was pretty under the radar.

19
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:54pm
39
by Greg F (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:31pm

I had actually seen that, but the media made a huge deal about it (before it came out that he wasn't on them). I guess marijuana DOES have negative side effects.

17
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:49pm

You mean the bath salts that were first popularized in the United Kingdom?

43
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 5:39pm

But we put them in the bath!

45
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 5:52pm

No you don't (Well, you personally might, I suppose, but most who use "bath salts" don't.): http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk...

Start at page 12 for the "methods of use." Putting them in the bath does not get mentioned.

14
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:38pm

Broincs and chiwfs top 5.

Broncos
1
T. Davis
2. Little
3. Armstrong
4. Portis5. Winder

Cheisf
1. Holmes
2. Haynes
3. Okoye
4..Garrett
5. Podolak.

Mom said Delaney should not have trie d to save kids because had kids of his own. His own ids then had no father

15
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:41pm

Can see what my mom means.

Like if see 2 dumb ass strangers playing in sinkhole will not try to save them if mean divine into sinkhole myself. Have son of my own and I do not know how to swim. So to hell with you tuluse and Mike Tanker. I am not saving your dumb asses if see you floppin about in sibkhole. Sorry. Will definitely try to save you if have long stick nearby or something.

22
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:03pm

Yeah, but then if Phil Collins sees you do that, he'll end up writing a song about you and who wants that?

34
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:12pm

That is a myth. He writes songs about you if you divorce him: http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/intheair.asp

35
by Dean :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:18pm

Not only that, the song sucks.

For a long time, I would have called it the most tired, overhyped song ever, but over the past 5 years, Don't Stop Believin' has eclipsed it. Damn you, Soprano's!

37
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:28pm

Every time I hear "Don't Stop Believin'," I laugh, because this is all I think of: http://youtu.be/5pidokakU4I

47
by t.d. :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 8:01pm

Dont stop believing is awesome, and it was never used better than in the final scene of the Sopranos

58
by Dean :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:21am

Half credit. I'll agree that it was never used better than in the final scene of the Sopranos.

But it was NEVER awesome. It was a tired song that was best left forgotten and it's rebirth in popularity is absolutely nauseating. I'm embarassed for my generation. They're substituting nostalgia for quality.

83
by Mike Tanier :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:49pm

Glee, guys. Glee.

86
by Dean :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:54pm

I'm aware that there is a show of that name, but as I'm not a pedophine and I don't have children of my own, I've never seen even so much as a commercial for it, so whatever reference you're making went over my head.

89
by billsfan :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 7:40am

There was a nonzero number of commercials for it during NFL games shown on Fox.

(I also like the Eagles)

91
by Mike Tanier :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 7:51am

The revival of Don't Stop Believing has little to do with The Sopranos and most to do with a cover version by the cast of Glee, which put the song back on Top 40 radio and into Kids-choice type radio stations.

93
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 9:19am

I think the revival started with it's central role in an episode of Family Guy which predated it's appearance on Glee by a few years. I started hearing it in the UK before Glee even existed.

96
by Eddo :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 10:35am

The 2005 World Series winning White Sox also adopted it as their anthem, getting it some play on ESPN and other sports broadcasts. That was possibly a factor it getting it to be noticed enough to appear in more mainstream areas.

101
by Steve in WI :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:34pm

Yeah...for me, I will always associate the song with the '05 White Sox.

106
by Chris UK :: Sun, 07/22/2012 - 7:12am

It started getting played in a lot of clubs when that happened.

97
by Dean :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 11:12am

so that tells me those annoying FOX robots are serving a purpose if it means my brain stops paying attention as soon as they join the sensory assault that is a modern NFL broadcast.

42
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 5:23pm

My comment was meant in complete seriousness. Seriously, though, I actually knew that and was talking with a friend just last night about how little sense the myth makes. Phil Collins saw a guy watch a guy drown and neither Collins nor the guy did anything about it and Phil Collins just watched the guy watching the other guy and then wrote a song about it when he randomly saw the guy at a concert and used the song to call the dude out even though there's nothing about the song that makes you think about drowning victims? Wouldn't the dude's reaction have been "Holy shit, why was Phil Collins spying on me?!"

44
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 5:45pm

I'm betting there was supposed to be a "not" in that first sentence.

The myth really does not make any sense. I actually heard one version of the myth (And this person insisted it was true even when I showed him a list of Phil Collins quotes about the song denying the myth and even showed him a snippet of Collins on stage--I think doing VH1's Storytellers series--denying it. It was like talking to an alternative medicine believer.) that included Collins calling the guy personally and inviting him to the concert and putting a spotlight on him during the song and telling the crowd what happened. In this version, the guy then committed suicide. It was so laughably over the top that I had a difficult time believing that anyone thought it was true.

46
by chemical burn :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 6:14pm

Yeah - the whole "and then he was there at a concert!" angle definitely drives it over the top. The spotlight/suicide is a nice touch, although again I'm not sure how you're supposed to take it: "Justice has been served, Collins-style" or "Ah, poor guy, I bet Collins realized he went too far." The part that never made sense to me was why couldn't Collins just save the drowning victim himself? Like, if you're close enough to see somebody clearly enough to later identify them in a crowd at a concert and have enough time to understand the whole "he's letting that guy drown!" scenario, then why didn't Collins just run to rescue himself. Was he on the other side of a lake? Or behind a high fence? And did the guy see Collins see him not save the guy and then went to the concert? Or is it just an unfortunate coincidence that he's a big fan of the only person who saw him commit a crime?

I guess urban legends don't make any sense when you think about them is what I'm saying. Why would Judas Priest want their fans to kill themselves? Or expect them to play their records backwards?

77
by InTheBoilerRoom :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:50am

The way the myth had been told to me back in the day, the incident had supposedly occurred during Phil Collins' childhood, therefore he was unable to save the drowning victim himself, because he was too small/too young/couldn't swim. Hence, also, the person that didn't save the drowning victim wouldn't have recognized Phil. Of course, with any myth, somewhere along the line someone probably added those details, since it wouldn't have made sense otherwise.

When I was told the myth long ago, as a kid, I was gullible enough to believe it. The lyrics "If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand. I've seen your face before my friend, but I don't know if you know who I am," made it plausible enough to me that he did actually witness a person refuse to save a drowning victim. The whole idea of him tracking that person down, inviting him to a concert, and then singling him out, was all clearly far fetched, since there is absolutely no first hand account of that happening. Of course, back then, there was no Wikipedia for me to find quotes of Phil Collins explaining the song's meaning, or lack there of.

78
by chemical burn :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:33pm

Ha! That actually turns me back around to be able to believe it. I also didn't realize those were exactly the lyrices (I had them mangled in my mind enough that it didn't really register so clearly.) With any myth, I'm always curious if one dude made up the story originally or if the concept is catchy and plausible enough that like 100 people have the same idea all over the place at once...

24
by Mike Tanier :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:04pm

I cannot swim either. But I might wade into a "decorative pond" to save kids because I would not for the life of me guess it was 20 feet deep, like the one Delaney jumped into was.

The moral of the story is teach your children to be good, independent swimmers.

52
by MJK :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:46pm

I grew up on the water, so I'm definitely biased, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how people can not know how to swim. The human body naturally floats, so if you relax, go limp, and hold still, you won't sink. It does, unfortunately, tend to float face down, but it's easy enough to lift your head and breath from time to time, even if you can't figure out the motor control needed to roll yourself onto your back.

55
by rfh1001 :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:55am

Will someone please kill this pernicious and nightmarish myth! Some, maybe many, maybe even most human bodies float, but by no means all. In unscientific studies I have undertaken without scientific help and involving non-scientists, large numbers of respondents find their legs sink, dragging them down.

These people are mostly amateur-but-decent sportsmen, and therefore lean with densely muscled legs, and to a man (they are all men) they have been frustrated time and again by their inability to float when swimming teachers kept telling them they should be able to by 'just relaxing'.

It's people like you who have caused me and these people a tiny amount of totally irrelevant frustration in the grand scheme and I'm not standing for it any more, not without saying something.

There.

57
by armchair journe... :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:46am

The Navy teaches sailors *how* to float. It does not come naturally to a large portion of humanity.

//AJMQB

64
by CBPodge :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:17am

I'm quite concerned that the US Navy has about as much destructive power as the rest of the world combined, but is staffed by people who chose to pursue a career based in close proximity to water who are unaware how to survive contact with water.

71
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:27am

Think of it this way -- what man is more interested in saving his ship than a sailor who cannot swim?

72
by justanothersteve :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:28am

The US Navy doesn't allow you to get out of boot camp without learning how to float for five minutes. I don't know if they also still require you to learn to use your pants as a life preserver. When the pants got wet, the fibers swelled. You tied the legs together near the ankles, waved the pants in the air to fill them with air, then put it around your waist. It's surprisingly effective. I went through boot camp in 1980, so some of this may have changed.

As a typical white kid from the suburbs, I also knew how to swim before I started school. Not sure if everyone needs to know how to swim. But it doesn't hurt to learn how.

73
by Dean :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:42am

I can't speak for the navy, but that's required training for the Army as recently as the 90s, so I'd be awfully surprised if the Navy didn't teach it as well.

103
by drobviousso :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:44pm

I can't speak for the Army, but that was required for Boy Scout camp in the 90's.

59
by BJR :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:03am

Interesting. I have the type of build you refer to, having spent my whole childhood and early adulthood playing amateur soccer - i.e. strong, heavy legs and skinny upper body. When I try and float in water, I simply find my legs dragging me down. I'd always thought it was just poor technique.

76
by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:05am

Same here.

74
by SandyRiver :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:47am

I'm pretty sure that nearly all people float when they have their lungs full of air; nearly all (maybe just "all") people sink when they exhale. The "drownproofing" technique promoted some years ago consisted of a full-lungs, head down, legs dangling float, followed by a kick/stroke upward to exhale/inhale, then back to the head down float. This used next to no energy and was said to allow many hours survival (subject to water temperature, surface choppiness, and a person's not panicking) by people not trained in swimming, where a more active thrash trying to keep one's mouth and nose above the surface would bring exhaustion.

80
by justanothersteve :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:01pm

Yup. That's the technique they teach in Navy boot camp. Fill your lungs with air, jump in the water, lean back so you're floating, and exhale only enough to exchange air but not empty your lungs. Only use your arms and legs when you need to use them to keep afloat. You only have to do it for five or so minutes in boot camp, but they also let you know that as long as the water isn't too cold or the seas too rough (as you also stated) that you can float for several hours this way.

Really skinny and thin/muscular guys can sink to the bottom pretty quickly. Being naturally stocky (At 5'6", I weighed 162# after boot camp with a 33 in waist), I've never had that problem.

88
by rfh1001 :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 5:38am

Yup 2: it's a technique for staying alive with minimal energy despite the fact that some people don't really float. I'm all for telling people that it's easy to learn this technique and they should.

(In certain circles I could start a crazy irrational Apple vs PC-style thread by saying I learned all this stuff teaching myself the Total Immersion method of swimming freestyle, which is a lot about learning to deal with having the heavy leg issue.)

92
by Dean :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 8:51am

Well you could avoid that whole mess by just swimming butterfly instead of freestyle.

94
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 9:20am

Butterfly = organised drowning

95
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 9:55am

As a former college swimmer who specialized in Butterfly and Breastroke I endorse this. And yes the 400 IM really is as hard as announcers hype it during the Olympics.

98
by Dean :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 11:14am

I did IM, back, and fly. But I was strictly a "lane 8 guy." My fly times were faster than my free times and every IM I'd be right up with the leaders at the halfway point. But I never could figure out how to have a frog kick actually accomplish any sort of forward propulsion.

100
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 11:34am

I swam a lot of IM too and it was sadly my freestyle that tended to be the weakest link followed by the back. So I would yo-yo on them. I guess I have issues with asynchronous motions or something...

The thing with the IM is that the stroke changes do change some of the muscle group emphasis (there are some that are constantly stressed but the primary stress changes) so it feels like you can maintain sprint speeds longer, and you don't really get to settle into a pace stroke like the stroke events and so you can put demands on the cardio system that are a bit unique. For track people I always explained it as trying to run an 800 where you did the first 200 at your 200 pace, then 200 at your 400 pace, then 200 at your 200 pace, and then had to try and do the last 200 at your 100 pace. For weight lifters it's like having your legs on a stationary bike going full bore and at the same time doing 10 bench presses at the max you can handle for that, then immediately going to 10 lat pull downs (legs still pumping), then 10 rows, then back to 10 presses at that same weight no break.

I loved and hated the 400 IM (I simply loved the 200 IM because that was short enough to be able to push at your 50 pace for 200). But that 400 when you are at the point of splitting each 100 within 10% of your best 100 times for each stroke generates what feels like 8 times the lactic acid it should.

And yeah that is waaaaay too much swimming for a football site. :)

112
by bengt (not verified) :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 3:15am

My fly times were faster than my free times
Wouldn't the requirement to swim 'Free Style' allow you to swim Butterfly instead of crawl (irrespective of the question whether that would exhaust you to the point where doing it became counterproductive)?

113
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 11:15am

Yep you can, and we had a guy who did just that because he was like Dean and his fly was faster than his free in the 50 until coach finally got through him and got him to fix his stroke. But it got the team more points for a while that way.

53
by MJK :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:47pm

deleted (double post)

27
by dryheat :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:20pm

I was going to comment that it would be hard as a father to stand by idly and watch three kids drown. Then I remembered that there were plenty of people doing just that before Delaney jumped in.

Possibly the best thing Rick Reilly ever wrote: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/rick_reilly/news/2003/07/01...

87
by AnonymousBoob (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:24am

Jump to conclusions much?

The hole wasn't for swimming, so there is no evidence that others even saw the kids before he jumped in. Once he jumped in, only a seriously trained swimmer would have the skills to pull someone of that size up. It was a foolish move on his part, albeit a ridiculously heroic and unselfish one.

90
by dryheat :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 7:45am

I actually wasn't there...I'm going off what's been reported. There were hundreds of people at a public park, that Delaney ran over when he heard shouts, and that there were other people waiting for him to come up.

It's not a huge leap to the conclusion that other people could have tried to help and chose not to.

36
by Dean :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:22pm

As someone who spent a lot of years as a lifeguard, the sequence is Throw, Tow, Row, Go. Meaning if you can thorw them something so that they can help themselves, that's the best option. If you can have them grab something long (shaddup!) and tow them to safety, thats second. If you can get in a boat and row out to them, that's third. And the last choice only when all else fails is to actually get in the water with them. Even then, if you bring a towel or a shirt or something with you, you can keep some distance between you and the victim so that if they panic, you have room to escape and not become a casualty yourself.

Sadly, Delaney didn't know this. Most people don't.

So if you have a long stick, that's good (shaddup!), but you can still be tugged in. Better yet would be to throw something buoyant out to them and let them save themself (if they're not too paniced to do so).

75
by SandyRiver :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:53am

My early 1960s lifeguard training sequence was, "reach, throw, row, go" - and it included bracing oneself if reaching. Not all that different.

79
by chemical burn :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:35pm

Ah, the hidden benefits of FO: now I will feel a lot more confident about how to react if I ever find myself in a drowning rescue situation. (I still don't think I would have the wherewithall to attempt the pants/life-preserver thing.)

81
by ChicagoRaider :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:37pm

Yes, that's the order I was taught too. I was also taught that anyone can become Superman when in that much panic, and when a person is in drowning panic you are not a person to them. You are flotation. And that means they want to put you underwater for good.

38
by Joe T. :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:29pm

Wait, wait, wait...there is a Raiderjoe jnoir?

25
by Will Allen :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:05pm

Mike Kenn was a great, great, offensive tackle. Claude Humphrey should have been inducted years ago. Gradishar has the misfortune of being a linebacker, the most ridiculouly overlooked position in the HOF.

I really, really, hope Mecklenburg makes it one day (he is not obviously undeserving), because then I will then be able to say that I lined up across from a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and thoroughly dominated him. Of coure, he was 15 years old at the time, and still weighed 150 pounds, or maybe less. I suspect that if I had done so three years and eighty pounds later, the outcome may have been changed just a wee bit.

26
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:12pm

I love Christian Okoye. That is all.

41
by geoffrey g (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:35pm

As a young Seattle witness I am biased but still, at worst, Christian Okoye belongs at least at #3. This single run marked Okoye in my mind as one of the greats. He carried my whole team into the endzone from the twenty. To be fully appreciated it must be seen from multiple angles. Skip to the 1:01 mark and then see a different shot of the same run at 5:22 mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OO-w04DUv4
I realize he only had a couple great seasons but for those few seasons he was the most powerful runner in the league. He is not overrated he is underrated due to one single hit. I saw that live too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvPxzQBIafo
That was the single greatest hit I've ever seen on live television but it ruined Okoye's legacy.

70
by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:59am

I don't think any rational person underrates Okoye because of the Atwater hit. In fact, if we weren't in awe of Okoye's power, we wouldn't be so astonished by the hit.

Okoye was a beast and fun to watch, but for you and me, a scary opponent.

28
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:21pm

"he is not obviously undeserving"

High praise indeed.

31
by Will Allen :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:25pm

Hey, I can't get past that he failed to whip my ass.

30
by Will Allen :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 3:24pm

Everybody should learn to swim, no matter what age they have attained. In fact, if you wait until you are middle-aged, living on a diet of beer, buffalo wings, and nachos with cheese, it even makes more sense, given the buoyancy obtained from such efforts. Hard to sink a fat man who knows how to imitate an untethered river barge.

104
by drobviousso :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:51pm

My personal policy is that by age 13, everyone should know how to swim, disconnect a person from electrocution, operate a fire extinguisher, and unload a firearm.

107
by Joseph :: Sun, 07/22/2012 - 3:31pm

I would add some basic first aid procedures, like the Himlich (sp?) and CPR. But yeah--that's a good idea. Self-defense procedures wouldn't hurt either.

40
by theslothook :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:32pm

I wonder how many of the Fo writers would submit to a butt cheeckesque photo shoot...if say espn were to mandate it.

And which of these brave writers would happily submit even without the espn mandate

49
by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 9:24pm

And it took this long for someone to give Tanier props for his serious nerd cred for (a) remembering Northstar started out in Alpha Flight and (b) actually naming someone *else* from Alpha Flight. Kudos!

61
by CBPodge :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:37am

The MJD stuff at the top reminds me of David Akers on Fantasy Football:

"When it first started, I was a little naive on this stuff. A guy came up to me and said, 'You're my fantasy kicker,' and I'm like, 'Dude, what are you talking about? Maybe I shouldn't be hanging out with you.'"

67
by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:43am

Tecmo Bowl Okoye is easily number one on the list. In fact, he is the list.

82
by dryheat :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:37pm

Bo Jackson and I call shenanigans. As I remember, Bo could not be tackled.

Edit: Oh, you were talking exlusively about the Chiefs. In that case, Bo and I agree with you, but I imagine Barry Word makes the list as well.

84
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 2:26pm

I hated playing KC. They were the only team who could reliably beat you even when you nailed their playcall.

111
by jebmak :: Tue, 07/24/2012 - 8:45pm

Vaguely related: I just remembered that in one of the Madden games, we had to make a house rule about Deion Sanders, who, if you knew how to do it, could recover an onside kick every time. Every. Time.

68
by billsfan :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:44am

Submitted without comment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddKyp9UMWMc

(I also like the Eagles)

105
by Jordan Smith (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 3:30pm

I do love my Chiefs, so it's sad to think Holmes will never garner attention for the Hall. He's sort of sandwiched between the careers of guys like LT and Faulk while playing in a smaller market. He might've had a career year at 30 years old if it weren't for his back injury.

The Chiefs have a long history of great runners. I think Charles stands a very good chance of being high on this list if he maintains such ridiculous yard per carry numbers.

108
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Mon, 07/23/2012 - 3:32pm

Writing from another planet. I loved the article.