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WhoDat 09-22-2004 01:54 PM

Flag Football - Funny
Flag football season gets under way
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Kevin Hench /
Posted: 1 day ago

Congratulations, crybabies. You went to the principal's office and tattled and now you're getting your way. Here's a hanky — a bright yellow one — to wipe away your tears.

And congratulations to the principal — in this case the NFL competition committee — for indulging the bratty little pantywaists who fall to pieces if someone makes contact with their receivers seven yards downfield. Seven yards? Heavens, no!

Oh, wait, that's right, the tattletales and the principal are one and the same, since Colts president Bill Polian and Colts coach Tony Dungy (a former DB who has shamed himself and should be tossed out of the Man on an Island fraternity) sit on the competition committee.

How in the world can a team that just scored 41 and 38 points in back-to-back playoff wins maintain a straight face when suggesting that things need to be made a little bit easier for its offense? And who takes them seriously?

I mean, what kind of idiots would sit around a conference table discussing the best product in all of sports, look at each other and ask, "How can we get the referees more involved?"

"How can we slow down the pace of the game?"

"How can we reward more poorly thrown balls?"

"How can we make the NFL more like flag football?"

"Or more like touch football?"

"Or better yet, more like the Pro Bowl?"

Polian and Dungy's motivations are clear: They are sore losers whose lightning-quick team plays on turf. The less contact the better for the Colts, since their defense can't stop anybody anyway.

Committee member Mike Holmgren shares their view, having dedicated his entire adult life to devising ways to get the ball into the end zone. Some other dude (Ray Rhodes) can worry about stopping the other team. Same goes for Mike Martz, a subcommittee member, who might be hard-pressed to name all the starters on his defense.

But wasn't there anybody on that committee who could speak for the defense? Wasn't there one person on that committee who could jump up on the table and scream, "Are you guys out of your freakin' minds? " How about Titans coach and committee co-chair Jeff Fisher, another former DB? He might have pointed out:

"Gentlemen, Marvin Harrison has more receptions in the last three seasons than Hall of Fame inductee Lynn Swann had in his entire career."

"The Colts won a playoff game in which they could have left their punter at the hotel and no one would have noticed."

"Priest Holmes just set the single-season record for touchdowns."

"The two teams just combined for 61 points in the Super Bowl."

"Randy Moss exists."

But no, any voice of reason would have been drowned out by the "Whaaaa! Whaaaa!" bleating of the crybabies who want to make professional football a non-contact sport. And so, like a colicky newborn demanding and receiving his pacifier, those committee members seeking a kinder, gentler, higher-scoring NFL have gotten their way.

The early results are in and let me just say, fellas, mission accomplished.

The league's three most elite receivers — Moss, Harrison and Terrell Owens — combined for six touchdowns in Week 1.

Vinny Testaverde has thrown for 677 yards, but Dallas is just 1-1 because ...

The Cowboys defense, ranked No. 1 in the NFL last season, was shredded for five touchdown passes by Daunte Culpepper last week.
And perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the screw-tightening on defensive backs have been the league's running backs. With one-on-one coverage a virtual impossibility, backs will see eight men in the box much more rarely. Which might explain why:

There have been 21, count 'em 21, times a running back has rushed for more than 100 yards (12 in Week 1, nine in Week 2).

Nineteen of those ran for 114 or more yards.

And nine of those ran for more than 140 yards.

Curtis Martin has 315 yards through two games.
Another awful part of the restraining order slapped on defensive backs will be that the horribly underthrown pass will be even more rewarded. This is the most maddening play in football. A corner has perfect coverage on a wideout as they both blaze a 4.3 down the sideline, the QB comes up with the shorts and the receiver slams on the brakes. What is the defensive back supposed to do? It is a predicament with no physically possible solution.

It's just like the insurance scam where the guy darts in front of you and slams on his brakes. Contact is inevitable. But whatever you do don't punish the golden boy who just threw the duck. Nah, just pin another flag on the helpless corner who, unlike the quarterback, was actually doing his job.

The success of the underthrown pass in drawing penalties has become so widely understood that it is now an actual part of team's game plans. Soon you'll hear this at the scouting combine: "His arm is too good. We'll never get those first-and-goals at the one on terribly underthrown passes."

For 15 years the San Francisco 49ers ran variations of the same illegal pick play and nothing happened. Sure, there was the occasional lip service, but no serious mandates from the league. But God forbid the defense does something — anything — to gain an edge. Action had to be taken.

And even on one of the most outstanding plays by a cornerback through the first two weeks of the season, the competition committee had the final word.

Yep, after Champ Bailey's phenomenal leaping interception of Trent Green in Week 1, the refs — following more direct orders from the competition committee — flagged the Bronco 15 yards for celebrating. NFL defenders may make the mistake of stopping an NFL offense, but the competition committee will be damned if they'll let 'em enjoy it. Maybe the committee should send NFL defensive coordinators tapes of the Washington Generals for tips on how to behave like dutiful foils for the league's razzle-dazzle offenses.

Man, I'd like to send this competition committee over the middle against Rodney Harrison and loft a pass just a bit high. That would give them something to cry about.

SaintNik 09-23-2004 07:33 PM

Flag Football - Funny
Full contact is always more exciting!

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