So it is a weekend in March with "
The amount of money changing hands in the next eight days is enough to finance a small country for a year. Spring training is drawing to a close with Opening Day not far away. The NBA is running it's accelerated schedule, with games being played more frequently than ever before. And what has been the dominant topic of interest in media and around the water cooler? The NFL, which does not open training camps for four months.
I was interviewed on more talk radio shows this past week than any time since the
Bounty-gate. The NFL discovered that assistant Greg Williams, who recently departed defensive coordinator duties at the
While NFL players frequently reward each other for hard hits, this was an actual coach and organization inciting its players for injuring an opponent.
Yes, the NFL is a contact game, and no we're not advocating putting quarterbacks in a rocking chair or a dress, but the game is dangerous enough without paying players to injure others. This type of team sanction to the most excessive of behavior, a license to maim, sets a horrific model that would trickle down to collegiate and high school football.
Players are in denial anyway and will play until they break down every joint in the body long-term. The recent
Commissioner Roger Goodell needed to send a strong message, and to his credit he did. He fined the team $500,000, indefinitely suspended Williams, suspended head coach
Tebow traded to the
While the Jets justify the trade by discussing a "wildcat role" for Tebow on third downs, Sanchez knows what he is facing.
Some years ago a player with a similar national following,
"We want Flutie! We want Flutie!" echoed in the stands.
Teams need to have unity and confidence in their leader, and a quarterback needs the security of knowing that his franchise is behind him through thick and thin. The Denver public virtually lobbied Tebow into a starting job. And while last season was exciting and miraculous for him, I'm still not convinced he is a franchise starting quarterback.
Does it really make sense to continue playing after 14 Hall of Fame-type seasons, having played in the Super Bowl, with lifetime financial security and multiple second career options as a father of young kids?
He hasn't asked for my advice, but it illustrates why athletes find it so hard to walk away from a game and lifestyle that they love.
On a personal note, I celebrated my second Sober Birthday on Wednesday and my chronological birthday is this Tuesday. I remember the 1960s in Berkeley when we chanted "Don't Trust Anyone Over 30" and now I have more than doubled that marker.
My daughter, Katie, finds it remarkable that I can walk and chew gum at the same time. But as we are the Baby Boomer generation with the largest population bulge in America, we can redefine age.
The best is yet to come.