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NFL fans can’t be critical of both the preseason and the

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:45 am    Post subject: NFL fans can’t be critical of both the preseason and the Reply with quote

When I was a little kid in the ‘80s , NFL preseason games were like professional wrestling matches — I basically knew they were both fake, but I still wanted to suspend my disbelief. I’d watch Steelers’ exhibition games (excuse me, Mr. Commissioner, preseason games) with the same fervor I reserved for the regular season. It didn’t matter that backups, has-beens and never-weres were doing most of the heavy lifting, I was all-in for August football.In fact, my favorite preseason game of all time was the fourth and final one of the 1988 exhibition campaign, when Chuck Noll played every single one of his A-list superstars —we’re talking Bubby Brister, David Little and the whole lot of them for the entirety of regulation and overtime — in a thrilling victory over the Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The win pushed the Steelers’ preseason record to 3-1 which, as it turned out, would represent 60 percent of their actual win-total during the regular season (that probably should have been a clue to the 16-year-old me that NFL preseason action was the exact opposite of NBA action—not fantastic). By the ‘90s, with the help of age and wisdom — not to mention, the advent of NFL free agency, a salary cap and restrictions on stashing players on IR — I began to realize just how meaningless NFL preseason action really was. It didn’t help that the superstars played less and less, and that the (say it with me) all-important fourth preseason game slowly morphed into the all-important first half of the third preseason game. Thanks to the very vocal social media, along with the sleepless 24/7 news-cycle, recent summers have been filled with an endless number of voices “exposing” preseason football as a farce. And those exposed seats at stadiums all across the NFL, including those yellow ones atHeinz Field, don’t help either. People complain about the expense of attending preseason football games (totally true), and what can be done about it. There’s only one thing that can be done about it:Decrease the preseason by one or two games. After all, with most key starters seeing just limited action, how valuable is preseason football? If you eliminate those two games, you can make up for it by adding an extra week to the training camp schedule, thus allowing the veterans and youngsters to hone their tackling techniques and their route-running skills. And, to that, I say Chris Boswell Jersey , “yeah — right.” Sure, you can eliminate two preseason games, but it will come at the price of two more regular-season games. Say what? You hate that too? You say the 16-game schedule is perfect as is because you can divide it up into four little quarters of the season? I agree totally but neither of us is an NFL owner, and NFL owners look at things a little differently than we do. While we see preseason football as the farce that it totally is, NFL owners see preseason football as a way to line their coffers with that all-important revenue. There might be a huge difference between Tevin Jones and Antonio Brown, but August revenue spends just the same as January revenue. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones made news recently by suggesting the league adopt an 18-game regular season as a means to shorten the preseason farce — oh, and to cut down on things like concussions to its players — this despite them being exposed to two more games worth of hitting and tackling per year. That second part is totally ludicrous, right? Of course, it is. But it’s equally ludicrous to think the NFL will ever give up two games’ worth of revenue. The league has been using a 20-game model since at least the 1960’s, when there were six preseason games, followed by 14 regular season games. Then, in 1978, the current 16-game regular season was implemented, along with a four-game preseason.That 20-game model ain’t going anywhere, ever. We can cry — we can threaten to boycott stuff — we can cite head injuries until we’re blue in the face but nothing is going to get the owners to move away from a 20-game revenue model. Therefore, you can either accept the current format of four preseason games — games that aren’t worth much to you beyond an unofficial tax for the right to own season tickets — or you’ll have to eventually accept an 18-game regular season. Either way, the NFL’s 20-game revenue model (and “revenue” is the most important word here) is here to stay.10 Things I Think I Thought: Steelers Victory Formation Edition Same article title, different result. I’ve had ten thoughts on a tie, ten on a loss, and am happy to finally be able to share the ten things I think I thought during a Steelers’ victory on Monday night.It’s complicated. There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who do not. That said, we all tend to think in binary patterns- good and bad, strong and weak, plus and minus. Coming into this game we had one good team that was supposed to be bad, the Buccaneers, and one bad team that was supposed to be good Authentic Xavier Grimble Jersey , the Steelers. But the bad team beat the good team. Before the season started no one was worried about Chris Boswell, everyone worried about Bud Dupree. But so far Dupree is giving Boswell a run for his money on points scored. More on Dupree. I, and others, have not been shy about pointing out his weaknesses the first two weeks. A silver-platter delivered pick-six doesn’t undo those weaknesses, but it was part of a good game on Bud’s part. I’m hoping for more. Dilly dilly.My hot Italian sausage sandwiches are far superior to anything on the menu at Ruffalo Child Sings. Just ask my hot Irish-Cherokee wife.Whether with Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, the Bucs will make shipwreck of their season. Write it down, and they will finish once again dead last in their division.Anybody else have an onslaught of deja-vu watching Terrell Edmunds return his pick? He looked just as slippery as he did when he picked one off in the preseason. I don’t know how it can be done, but boy would I love to see more of him with the ball in space. Keep your eye on this one.Did I mention it’s complicated? I’m still unclear how after ramming the ball down the throat of the Browns for three quarters the Steelers suddenly became an immovable wall in the fourth, and then the opposite happened Monday night. Connor went nowhere in the early stages of the game, but when everyone, and everyone’s brother, knew we would run it, holes open up, Connor runs through them and Pittsburgh ends up in victory formation.Turnovers are the stolen bases of football — potential game changers, whatever else might be going on. They changed this game. As Bob Labriola opined, for every worrisome stat for our defense, there is this corresponding stat in their favor — four turnovers.For those of you who are newbies, here’s the secret for making it happen. You hold your Terrible Towel with the letters facing the TV, like you want the players to read it. You shake the towel a little bit and say, “Splash play. SPLASH PLAY.” It’s like playing Renegade, except you can do it at home.As a Steeler fan I’m looking forward to the day when we are done talking about Le’Veon Bell. As a fellow Hodgkins survivor, I’m looking forward to the day when James Conner is simply James Connor, star tailback of the Super Bowl champion Steelers.Winning may fix some things, but it doesn’t fix everything. The Steelers were good enough to win Monday night against a decent team. Which is well short of where this team needs to be to compete for a championship. I came away from this game not at all convinced they will get there, but at least believing it’s possible. Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.
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