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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time for NFL Coaches to Cut the Crap

Such as:

filming other teams' practices;

having players lineup on the sideline to force th opponent's gunners on punt returns to take detours.

It's one thing to run creative plays -- flea flickers, tackle eligible plays, fake field goals, unique blitzes and the like. But it's quite another when you try off-the-field stuff such as the filming of practices or sidelines-hijinx that is blatantly unethical if not against the rules. The press writes as to how hard these coaches work, but then we all have to ask ourselves the question -- are they efficient, are they working "smart", or are they just trying to conjure up ways to get an edge, and that winning justifies any tactic?

The pressure on these coaches is tremendous. They are paid to win, and, if they don't, they get fired. They also have every play scrutinized heavily in the national and local media. Think that's easy? How would you like it if every decision you make at your job gets analyzed in public by a bunch of guys who did your job or who worked in your industry? You wouldn't, so you might get tempted to do anything so that all that those talking heads do is praise you.

Even if it means clandestinely filming your opponent's practice or having players line up on the sideline to disrupt punt coverage, perhaps under the theory that these are relatively small transgressions and that they're okay if you don't get caught. To me, these transgressions compel the question -- what else have these guys done or are these guys doing that enables them to get an unfair -- if not unethical or illegal -- edge in a game?

How do you stop it? Impose strict liability for a team -- get caught, and the transgressors get suspended for a season. Get caught, and you pay a whopping fine. Get caught, and you might forfeit a game. Or two or three.

Then it will stop.

Of course, the punishment must fit the transgression, so I'm not advocating the death penalty for a misdemeanor. But the NFL should be careful on the discipline here, so as to send a message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.

Good sportsmanship should count for something.


Anonymous Emma said...

Happy new year, and a successful 2011 to everyone!

1:16 AM  

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