There are a few topics that I wanted to comment on earlier in the week but somehow I haven’t had time to put anything together until now, so my apologies in advance if these subjects are a bit stale.
Earlier this week esteemed Pats Fan PatsWickedPissah posted some commentary in regards to the NFL apparently deciding that at this point in time the NFL is not going make public the “All-22″ film that is available to coaches that is shot from a high enough angle that one can see all 22 players on the field, and allows for a better understanding of what happens during a play. We see a very limited amount of this game film on network pre- and post-game analysis over the course of the week, but never more than a two or three plays from any one game.
When asked about access to the coaches film – which also includes ground level film from the end zone, so coaches can better assess the performance of the offensive and defensive lines – the response from NFL spokespersons was that “no one gets that”, and that it “is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL information.”
Okay, we get that. But that does not answer the question as to WHY the NFL refuses to make it public – either for free, or for a fee.
One of the very few to ever publicly comment about the NFL’s reasoning behind this decision is Charlie Casserly, the former GM that served on the NFL’s Competition Committee (and has since gone on to verbally spar with Bill Belichick as a network analyst). Casserly’s rationale for voting against making this film public was because he “was concerned about misinformation being spread about coaches and players and their ability to do their job” as it “becomes a distraction that you have to deal with,”
The first thought that came to my mind was WTF are you saying? People might second guess coaches and player? There might be ‘misinformation’ written, spoken and repeated about these coaches and players? Unless you don’t follow the NFL at all, how could you possibly not notice the amount of ‘misinformation’ on reputable sites by well-paid writers? How could somebody who works as a network analyst not notice the current state of sports talk radio? And what’s with the condescending attitude that us peons couldn’t possibly understand the rocket-science equivalent of a football play, without some former player explaining to us what we just saw with our own eyes?
You seriously want me to believe that BS? How freaking dumb and gullible do you think we are?
So what’s the real reason why the NFL doesn’t want to make this available?
The NFL wants to protect its own: it would become more obvious about players that were dogging it, coaches that made bad play calls, and – most importantly – referees that totally missed obvious penalties, or threw the flag for no reason. This could in turn lead into speculation about point-shaving, and even games being fixed. But if that’s not the case, then what is the NFL worried about? Is it possible that perhaps they uncovered this happening, but were able to keep it quiet?
A second possible explanation is that the NFL fears that this could have an affect on attendance. The all-22 film would appeal mostly to the biggest diehard fanatics out there; this group is also the same that will pay exorbitant prices for tickets to a game. But there’s an easy solution to this: make the all-22 film available only later on, whether it be during the week or during off-season and not live during the game.
The league also commissioned a survey to see what fans would be willing to pay for access to this film, so I do think there are some within the NFL that feel the potential profits could trump any negative criticism of the coaches, players and officials. My guess is that the survey did not deliver the level of interest they desired in terms of the amount of money respondents said they would be willing to pay – or everything was done simply as step one in a larger scale marketing plan to develop a groundswell of interest. I don’t think we have heard the last of this yet.
For more on the subject, check out The Footage the NFL Won’t Show You by Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal, The NFL doesn’t want you to have access to the “All 22″ film by Chris Brown of Smart Football, and NFL won’t let fans see Pats et. al. All 22 Video on PatsFans.com.
Everyone at this point is well aware of the sordid happening in Penn State. Many have called for the accused Jerry Sandusky to be castrated, executed, or at minimum spend the rest of his life behind bars. I’m not here to argue any of those options. I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I actually have less of a problem with Sandusky than I do with all of the others that knew what was happening – including Joe Paterno – and did nothing to insure that it stopped immediately.
A person does not just wake up one day and decide he is going to go out and do something he has never done before, molest little boys. This is learned behavior, and it is almost guaranteed that Sandusky himself was molested when he was young. That experience causes varying reactions in different victims, many of which will not manifest themselves for decades. Some may suffer from severe depression or even suicide; other become alcoholics; some are utterly incapable of maintaing a loving relationship because of their now screwed up attitude about their emotional feelings towards anyone once they have had sex with that person.
Sandusky was inflicted with a sickness, and in his case he performed the same act on others that I am presuming he had done to him. If a person cannot control themselves due to a mental deficiency it is up to us as a society to first remove him from any situation where he could possibly harm others, and secondly to attempt to rehabilitate him if at all possible so that he can become a productive citizen in the community.
If I ever reached a point where I cannot see straight and make rational decisions, where I was a danger to society, I would hope that others would intervene to insure that I could not inflict any pain and havoc. Those at Penn State that knew what was going on – and rest assured, many knew exactly what was happening – put their misplaced loyalty to one another and their school above the public interest. Â These are the people who should be held more accountable, and be more severely punished than the individual who was deranged due to his own childhood trauma.
Lastly, I wanted to share an article that was brought to my attention by Pats fan DropKickFlutie in regards to an Article on Chris Polian’s Role in Colts’ Franchise Decline, which is based on an column in the Indy Star by Bob Kravitz, Who’s To Blame For 0-8 Colts? Chris Polian, For Sure. Far too many in the media, as well as many NFL fans are under the misguided thought that the only reason the Colts are so bad this year is because they don’t have Peyton Manning at quarterback. Obviously they would be better with the four-time MVP at the helm, but the reality is this franchise has gone from the model of how to scout and draft effectively to one of the league’s worst in that department in just a few years.
Did Bill Polian suddenly become stupid? As much as I may wish that was the case, that’s only semi-accurate. He too has suffered from too much loyalty – in this case to his son. Take a look at the article and see how many scouts and personnel men in the Colts organization have been run off over the last few years, and then look at the abrupt change in how well they have drafted. Even with an injury-free Manning at quarterback they would have had major issues this year – and it looks they are headed for much more of the same next year and beyond as well.