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MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

Peter King discusses all the horrible news of the past week and wonders if there's a tipping point for the NFL.

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19 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2014, 7:40pm

3 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

Now [the Broncos] buzz to Seattle for a game with two more answers than they had in the Super Bowl—DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib...

Wait, what? He thinks the questions in the Super Bowl were about the Denver defense?

16 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

True enough. By VOA, the blame goes about equally to offense and defense, with special teams "contributing" an unusually large effect, but still less than the other two units.

It comes down to expectations and the actual results.

Giving up 27 points to the Seattle offense is not good. But given the great field position Seattle had all day, it isn't outlandishly bad. Seattle averaged around 24 offensive points per game in the regular season.

To be sure, Seattle had a low number of meaningful drives. That balances out the field position. Denver's defense did a bad job all things considered.

On the other hand...

Scoring -1 point on offense is a whole lot worse. Seattle averaged giving up around 13 net points per game to opposing offenses. So, not only was Denver's result negative, it was two TDs worse than an average team.

The question for the Denver defense was "Why did an average defense get a slightly worse than average result?"

The question for the offense is "Why did an apparently stacked offense get less than nothing, and much less than an average team?"

Those two questions are not at the same level.

12 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

It's a weirdly common opinion... to me it seemed the defense played pretty well overall, and that the problem was with Denver's offensive line... a problem that had probably been there all year long but covered up by Manning's quick release which was quick enough to beat pass rushes that weren't as good as Seattle's.

6 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

Well, I do. Should I?
Should a scorpion sting a frog?

Also... Shut up.
It's a job. Or a past time that gets paid really well.
Yes, we know a lot more about players nowadays. Should I stop liking football because some dude hit his girlfriend? No. Of course not. I don't like people who hit women... and if Rice plays football ever again, I'll not cheer for him and hope they hit him twice as hard. But i'll love the game he plays.
These 'athletes' are human too. Just like you and me. They are not heroes. They are not special, other than that they are really good at football. Some handle it really well. Some don't. It's a lesson to be learned.

Has all this behavior anything to do with the game? No.

As for the injuries... everyone how has ever played a down of football that it's dangerous. These are people getting payed real well. Some more than others. But you take a risk. It's what makes it fun to do also and why it pays so well. Everyone who plays, one day will hear he can't play anymore. NFL players know this.
It's a give and take.
Should I not like football because of the injuries? To be honest, paradoxically... I like it more. It's a dangerous sport; that's why we do it. It's a test.

PK saying that he didn't like it one moment, and then when he watched it, he liked it again, is like an addict who hates his addiction until he gets his fix. It's pathetic really.
It just means he hasn't understood what makes football likable. That he can't see the players apart from the game.

5 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

I think a couple of the things he mentioned are begging for some statistics, since he thinks this is the worst set of off-field incidents and on-field injuries we've ever had.

And that just smacks of emotional bias and recency effect.

8 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

You want statistics for what?

This is a question of emotional impact. Criticizing it for "emotional bias" seems odd.

You could certainly criticize him for recency bias, but statistics wouldn't be the answer there. Not unless you had a statistic like "in 1973, 75 NFL players were arrested for beating women and children."

Combining off-field injuries and off-field criminal activities serves little purpose.

9 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

You're right. I should have separated the injuries part from the off-field part. But King tied them together under a "reasons he questions whether he should like football".

We could certainly have statistics for the injury piece of it, though there could be lots of innaccuracy given diagnostic method and reporting differences over the years.

And for the off-field part, I guess I have a suspicion - a guess, really - that the number of terrible things NFL players do now is probably darn close to the same amount it's always been. Possibly less if the NFL follows societal trends on a per capita basis. I guess I was wishful-thinking about some actual statistics to bear that out.

Of course, coverage an scrutiny has greatly changed, and societal attitudes toward some of these things have definitely changed (for the better), so even if the numbers are the same, it's still a net negative.

11 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

But we do have statistics on NFL players arrested / accused of for Murder, Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI, Assault, Weapons charges, domestic abuse, torturing animals, etc.

Is Ray Rice a worse person than Hernandez? Hell no!

This is way way overblown if these recent events somehow are perceived worse than what has happened in the past. They are not.

I'll certainly scream and yell "emotional recency bias" here. The actual acts here are disgusting, but don't even compare with what we have seen in the past. These are troubled individuals, not menaces to society. The main difference is that we have pictures / video. If we had video of Hernandez' shooting... Or a drunken NFL player killing a pedestrian accidentally, or torturing dogs...

Now the NFL's actions and cover-up are a different story. That is bigger than what we have seen in the past.

7 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

I really don't care about off the field stuff so I still like football. (One notable exception is Aaron Hernandez. I'm a Pats fan, and even if he wasn't an NFL/Pats player it's kind of a crazy story.)

I tune in on Sundays and occasionally on Thursday & Monday for the games. I also read FO and Mike Reiss on ESPN Boston and that's it. I tuned out of talk radio and the talking heads (should say nonstop talking heads) over five years without a single regret. Now I just enjoy the sport and not the soap opera.

14 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

I actually skipped this week's games, not so much out of wanting to make a point to myself or go on strike, but just because the news of the week was too discouraging and I needed a break and just wanted to go to the farmer's market instead.

15 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

I think injuries are a reason to like the NFL less.

But I think the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations are reasons to like the NFL more. This amount of exposure *will* reduce cases of domestic abuse. And without the NFL Ray Rice wouldn't be punished for his actions at all.

I just don't see where the NFL is culpable for those two things.

18 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

Should we still like sex? Or participate in it? God knows a lot of horrible things have been done to others in the name of sexual gratification/power/etc. Point is, it's not about football. Football is a great sport. It's not about the NFL either. Maybe there are some dolts in charge at the moment, but the NFL is a great league. It's really about people. And I don't care where you look - sports, work, church, school, etc. - there are bad people doing bad things. There are also a lot of great people doing great things. Am I going to let a few morons keep me from liking football? Hell no. I love the sport and there is no reason not to. I may not buy so and so's jersey, but I'm gonna love the heck out of football, just like I always have.

19 Re: MMQB: Should We Still Like Football?

This is a joke, right? Aside from the kneel down at halftime, the Denver defense didn't get a stop until midway through the 3rd quarter. It's tough for a struggling yet accomplished offense to get on track when they hardly see the ball.