When Football was Professional

January 24, 2014
By

Ladies and Gentlemen –

As you know I don’t write about “professional” football (as in ever)

But after forcing myself to watch a portion of an NFL game last weekend it occurred to me that there are millions of people out there that simply don’t know what “professional” football truly is….

It’s sad but it’s true…..

So I decided to take it upon myself to help the misguided, uninformed and yes, even the delusional.

EDITORS WARNING: The contents of this article may be too shocking and too disturbing for many younger readers and or delusional adults under the age of forty and the CFB Wizard will not be responsible for any mental breakdowns, temper tantrums or other traumas brought about by exposing “professional” football fans to the reality of the current “brand” of football played throughout the United States under the guise of the National Football League.

As I said earlier…..

I forced myself (almost at gun point) last weekend to watch a good portion of an NFL Playoff game primarily because there wasn’t anything on Turner Classic Movies that I was interested in….

But that aside…

I flipped the channel over and I heard one of the commentators of the game say…

“That guy is a Future NFL Hall of Famer…..”

“So-in-So is another Future NFL Hall of Famer…”

“Those two guys are Future NFL Hall of Famers…”

And then I said out loud for my Black Lab “Doc” and my German Sheppard “Sadie” to hear…..

”Yeah but Jack Tatum isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame”

EDITORS NOTE: I will explain the significance of that name to you Xbox kids later in the article, so please just eat your Skittles and continue reading.

I left the room for a bit and came back and watched a portion of the televised game along with nearly 22 minutes of commercials in the first thirty minutes of the game.

One of the commercials was for the NFL Network….

It proudly boasted that they would have “140 hours of continuous coverage of both teams right up until the Super Bowl”

EDITORS NOTE: I thought to myself……
What the hell do you need that much time to talk about a game that lasts only 3 hours for?

It was a short time after that I heard the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Good-Britches or whatever his name is, say “I would like to do away with extra points after a touchdown and institute something more exciting. Each play should be exciting”

I thought to myself yet again….

“I thought each play was exciting, have I missed something?”

It was then and there that I knew this article needed to be written…..

So here goes….

This is for the Xbox generation…..

For the thirty and forty something folks that are either delusional or simply unaware

For the Children….

For our future Generations of Americans everywhere

I won’t beat around the bush with you all; I believe bad news, much like medicine, should be given straight and to the point.

What you are watching (Brace Yourselves) week after week on Sundays, and on Monday and Thursday Nights…..

Isn’t really Football….

I know many of you are in shock…..

Some of you are going for the tissues….

Many are saying “But Wait!”

Let me explain and I think the picture will become clearer for you

What you are watching is “Professional” as the participants are getting paid to perform a certain task or series of tasks and that is their “occupation” so to speak, but that is were the truth ends and the myths begin.

Let’s start from the beginning shall we?

Listen closely Kids and Young Adults….

“IF” a third of your eleven players on the football field are not wearing any hip, thigh or knee pads or any protective gear below their belly buttons then it’s called “Flag Football”.

Why you may ask?

Because they aren’t afraid of being hit, just like in Flag Football.

“IF” the quarterback can run around shouting and pointing while the other ten players on the field have to be set in position before the snap of the football; then it’s called “Flag Football”.

I know what you are saying…..

“BUT the Game has changed, it’s evolved!”

Let me simply say this about that…..

“IF” the game has changed to the point that it doesn’t have the basic concept of the original game then it isn’t the same game.

In other words….

“IF” the rules have changed the game to the point that it doesn’t resemble the same game, then it’s a different game.

Might I bring your attention to the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle, although one begat the other, they are not the same other than the fact they both have two wheels.

Let us continue….

I also heard on the NFL playoff telecast that “so-in-so MAY be the greatest quarterback to EVER play the game”

Please pay attention kids and young adults…..

The quarterbacks playing in the NFL today don’t call their own plays or read defenses.

That is done high above the stadium in the respective team’s booth and is called down to the quarterback with the aid of a radio inside his football helmet.

Yes kids, it’s true

There was a time, in the days of Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw and Kenny Stabler that those quarterbacks actually had to “read” the defenses, call the plays and actually direct their offensive teams on the field.

Yes kids, it’s true

They didn’t have radios in their helmets and the only way they got a play called in to the field was by signals on the sidelines or a player that would replace another and bring the play in from the sidelines.

They didn’t run around the field shouting last minute instructions…

They had to be set just like the other ten offensive players on the field

These quarterbacks could actually be “hit” by the opposing team too, even when they didn’t have the football. Why you may ask?

Because they were on the field of “play” and they weren’t considered some sort of sacred cash cow that was immune to the rules of the game.

If they held on to the ball to long they could be tackled and during an interception or fumble they could also be blocked by an opposing defensive player.

The quarterbacks mentioned above were all “tough guys”

EDITORS NOTE: We will address that term that you may be unfamiliar with later in the article.

I know this is shocking, but please read on…..

I mentioned “Jack Tatum” earlier, remember kids?

He was a defensive back that could change the entire course of the game with his play.

Yes, I said defensive back…..

The other eleven players on offense always wanted to know where he was and would you like to know why?

Because he would “Hit” you and hit you hard…..

As in, “It would hurt a lot” and you might forget where you lived.

I know that it is hard to imagine with what you see today on television and playing your cartoon football games on your Xbox 360 or 480’s or whatever they are called but it’s true.

That was the time when players had to wear ALL their protective gear (and looked for more to wear) so they wouldn’t get killed on the football field.

Yes the game was violent, because that’s what the game is……

Violent

(Hence why you are supposed to wear all your protective gear)

What you see today is more like……

How can I say this?

It’s like a combination of the NBA and Flag Football….

Let’s move on…..

In “real” football you had dominating defensive linemen that could change the course of the game too….

Deacon Jones

Reggie White

Bob Lilly

Mean Joe Greene

Those men weren’t just behemoths to be blocked by other behemoths on a never ending string of passing plays…..

They were dominating forces that needed to be “blocked” by two and sometimes three other people to keep them from interrupting the offensive play.

The defenses actually had nicknames too……

Minnesota had the Purple People Eaters….

Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain….

The Los Angels Rams’ Fearsome Foursome

Atlanta’s Grits Blitz and Miami’s No Name Defense…..

Yes Kids, it’s really true…..

There were linebackers who directed the defenses…

Dick Butkus

Ray Nitschke

Sam Huff

Willie Lanier

They were to be feared on the football field because they would hit you.

By that I mean to say that they would hit you hard and hit you often….

They were tough guys…..

These defensive players faced off week after week in the trenches against such names as

Jerry Kramer

John Hannah

Jim Otto

Dwight Stephenson

Those offensive lineman mentioned above, and others like them slugged it out for sixty minutes against those defensive players without leaving the game because they were “tired”.

I know it’s hard to believe kids, but it’s true.

There were running backs, tight ends and wide receivers that dominated the game too.

“Yes” I said “dominated”

The game wasn’t “all about” the quarterback position

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to say that one group of athletes is better than the other or make any comparison to different eras of the game.

I am not even trying to persuade you to forgo watching this brand of NFL Football.

I’m not a progressive democrat so I don’t tell people how to live their lives or what they can or can’t do……

I just want you kids and delusional young adults to understand that this isn’t “real” football.

Much like the comparison used of the bicycle and the motorcycle the game today doesn’t resemble the foundation of the sport, other than the fact they still play with a football and wear jersey’s and helmets, ok and the cheerleaders are hotter.

Other than that there aren’t any similarities…..

So why not ditch extra points?

It isn’t football anyway….

Maybe my definition of “exciting” is just different than that of NFL Commissioner Roger Good-Britches, because I was under the impression that the game of professional football was once exciting enough for every football fan.

I guess I was wrong….

But there is no denying that that today’s Professional Football; isn’t really football at all.

But there is Hope my dear readers…..

EDITORS NOTE: “NO” not the kind of “hope” that has been peddled by snake oil salesman politicians for the past several years, I am talking about “real” hope.

Beginning this weekend on the ESPN Classic Channel they will begin programming all the Super Bowls beginning with Super Bowl I.

If you watch it you will be stunned and amazed….

You will see the changes to the game, and the evolution to whatever the hell this is today.

You will see real men playing “real” football as it was meant to be played…

You will get a chance to see the definition of “Tough Guys” for yourselves

You will see what football looked like when it was truly Professional Football

Enjoy….

RTR

THE CFB WIZARD

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