Wednesday, October 27, 2010

15 comments Instead of Worrying About Helmet Safety, Let's Make the Field Softer!

Gregg Easterbrook is still talking about concussions in the NFL. That discussion was so last week. I refuse to be somewhat nice to Gregg two weeks in a row, so I will say he is still semi-right about helmet safety. I guess he has realized when he talks about actual football he tends to sound pretty dumb at times, so he wants to stick to discussing concussions and the proper helmets that football players should wear. The title is "Concussions are a huge issue in football." Clearly the creative juices of ESPN's editors are really flowing.

If football wants to make a fundamental change in protecting players from neurological harm -- and to avoid being regulated out of business by Congress -- rules tinkering won't do. Radical change is required.

You know the real problem isn't the players or the helmets, it is the field. Football should be played on a field that consists of only marshmallows being supported by a layer of cotton candy underneath it. The players hit the ground and would only get a sugar rush. The players aren't the problem, it is the ground that is the issue. Change the playing surface before someone dies from the dangerous surface that is planet Earth!

Here's how: Put padding on the outside of the helmet, so the helmet stops being a weapon.

Here's a problem...if a football player knows he has padding outside the helmet he will definitely attempt to use this non-weapon as a weapon. After all, if the helmet doesn't seem to be a weapon there wouldn't be any harm in using it as a weapon. I'm pretty sure even with the outside shell helmets the players could learn to use them as weapons.

I've been told the padding outside the helmet doesn't hurt at all. I am assuming these people haven't been hit by a 260 pound linebacker you don't see coming. Much like how safety belts and airbags have been shown in some studies to lead to more car accidents because people believe they can drive more recklessly, putting padding on the outside of the helmet could lead to more players leading with their head. It is a possibility.

So pad the outside. It's been tried before, and it worked.

Hey maybe it will work. Or players could just accept the fact football is a violent sport. It's not like anyone trapped them into playing in the NFL under the impression there was no tackling.

Mark Kelso, a safety for the Bills from 1986 to 1993, wore an outer-padded helmet as a starter in four Super Bowls and finished with 30 career NFL interceptions. Many highly drafted, highly paid safeties wish they could say they had a career as good as Kelso did.

All because of the padded helmet. It gave him more skills!

Steve Wallace, an offensive tackle for the 49ers from 1986 to 1997, wore an outer-padded helmet and made the Pro Bowl. Many highly drafted, highly paid tackles wish they could say they played as well as Wallace did.

It is good to see an outer helmet doesn't affect a player's ability to play well. I think we have that covered. I'm a little confused. Wallace wore the outer-padded helmet, but his wikipedia page says,

"Throughout his career, Wallace endured many concussions, and was known for wearing a styrofoam helmet atop his normal helmet to reduce the impact."

Did he suffer the concussions before or after he wore the styrofoam helmet on his normal helmet? I would assume he suffered the concussions before he wore the styrofoam helmet atop his normal helmet. More importantly, Gregg does realize these styrofoam helmets can fall off when one player hits another player wearing one? It sounds like a reasonable suggestion, but the outer helmet can fall off. So the outer helmet doesn't seem to be a cure-all.

"The Bills' trainer knew an inventor who had been tinkering with padding," Kelso told me last week. "With padding, I played an additional five seasons, almost 100 more games, and sustained only one concussion, which wasn't a helmet-to-helmet hit -- someone kneed my head.

Doesn't this still count as a concussion? So the helmet helps unless a player finds another way to hit an opposing player or if the outer helmet falls off.

Do that with a standard polycarbonate shell helmet, and you'll howl in pain. If both players were wearing this in a helmet-to-helmet hit, it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad."

Oh good. So the solution isn't regulating helmet-to-helmet hits, but making it safer for players to make helmet-to-helmet hits on each other? That sounds like a great policy.

"We should worry less about violent criminals having access to guns and worry more about making sure everyone wears a bulletproof vest at all times."

So what's standing between current football helmets and far safer helmets -- safer for the wearer, safer for the person being hit -- is looks and the word "soft."

That and the fact the NFL players may not want to wear an outer shell outside of their helmet because they just don't want to. There's that too.

If everyone were required to wear an outer-padded helmet, initially all football players would complain about a geeky appearance. Within a year, the padded helmet would be perceived as normal and the appearance forgotten -- while severe injuries declined.

Gregg's got the public and player's reaction to the outer shell helmets all mapped out.

Mainstream helmet manufacturers, who have shied away from outer padding on fears that players won't wear it, will jump in with all-new, safer designs if the NFL takes the lead with a mandate.

Now Gregg has the helmet manufacturer's reaction to the outer shell helmet all mapped out. I like how Gregg is projecting what he believes will happen after the outer shell helmet is introduced as if it were fact and not pure speculation.

College hoops tip soon, too. Hope you didn't miss this important article on college basketball, showing cheating coaches prosper while the only coaching flaw that's punished is losing.

Let's see how many teams that have appeared in the National Championship game over the last five years have had coaches accused by the NCAA (really accused and not suspected...because every coach cheats in his own little way) or caught cheating:

2010: Duke/Butler- neither Coach K or Brad Stevens has been caught or accused of cheating.

2009: UNC/Michigan State- neither Roy Williams or Tom Izzo have been caught or accused of cheating.

2008: Kansas/Memphis- Bill Self has been clean and John Calipari has had a few allegations through his career but he is a guy who has had allegations directed towards him.

2007: Florida/Ohio State- neither Billy Donovan or Thad Matta have been caught or accused of cheating.

2006: Florida/UCLA- neither Billy Donovan or Ben Howland have been caught or accused of cheating.

Out of the 9 coaches who have coached in the NCAA Championship game over the last five seasons, only one of them could be labeled accurately as a cheater. So I understand what Gregg is saying, but Tim Floyd isn't taking his team to the pinnacle of college basketball. His college basketball teams have never gotten past the Sweet Sixteen. Coaches that cheat and are accused of cheating, don't normally become some of the most successful coaches in college basketball, at least not recently.

Suppose this simple rule were added to college football and men's basketball: Unless at least 80 percent of a team's players graduate, the coach is suspended for one year.

I am trying to think of a less sensible and more idiotic rule and I really can't. Should the professors at a school get suspended one year if a certain percentage of students who came through his class don't graduate or pass his/her class?

City of Tampa turned third-and-goal from the 34 into a field goal. With the Raiders facing third-and-goal from the 19, leading 24-0 in the second quarter, the Broncos' coaches called a six-man blitz. Denver's defensive call made little sense, since the best-case scenario was to hold Oakland to a field goal,

Actually, the best-case scenario is a pick-six and a touchdown for the Broncos. Another good scenario for the Broncos is any type of turnover caused by the blitz. So the best-case scenario is not a field goal by the Raiders.

Why does ESPN pay Gregg to write this column every week?

Leading 23-20, New England faced fourth-and-1 on its 49 at the two-minute warning. The host Chargers stuffed the run, despite six offensive linemen on the field for the Flying Elvii; that was sweet for San Diego. New England simply used a power set, no shifts, no man in motion. That was sour for the Patriots. On fourth-and-short, defenders are primed to charge straight ahead. The offense must do a little dance to create some uncertainty.

Defenders are not video game characters. They are primed to follow the football, not just run blindly straight ahead. So if the Patriots had put a man in motion, then run straight ahead the defenders would not have been primed to charge straight ahead? So defenders become un-primed to go straight ahead when they see movement? Why this man get to write a football column? There has to be 2.5 million more qualified candidates.

The Chicago Bulls sent their first-round draft pick and Kirk Hinrich to the Washington Wizards for a second-round choice. A first and a player for a second suggests Hinrich has negative value. Which was the case; Chicago's objective was to unload Hinrich's guaranteed contract. Chicago was so desperate to remove Hinrich from its books that it threw in $3 million to help Washington pay the contract. Miami traded a first-round choice and Daequan Cook to Oklahoma City for a second-round choice -- again the player, Cook, had negative value, and again the point was to unload his contract.

And your point? Does Gregg think this is bizarre or dumb? This is how the financial aspect of the NBA works. Both teams were opening up cap room to sign free agents.

Robert Drago of Washington, D.C., writes, "Tonight I downloaded the latest Norton security update, and it was advertised as Norton 2011. Is Norton taking a holiday for the rest of 2010?"

I wish a plague upon your family. I think Gregg keeps this "creep" shit in his column just to piss off his more intelligent readers.

I got a Sports Illustrated this week that said "October 28, 2010" on the cover, but IT WAS ONLY OCTOBER 21! How did I get this issue a week before it was even published?????? Do Sports Illustrated's editors have the ability to predict the future???

The second part of the ruling -- that review couldn't tell who recovered the ball -- reflects an officiating problem that has been driving TMQ crazy for years. In a scramble for a loose ball, if any player takes possession for even an instant, with a knee down and in contact with an opponent, the play should end. But zebras don't officiate mad scrambles this way. They let the players fight for the ball, then award possession to whoever wins the Darwinian struggle.

That's because the officials need to know who has POSSESSION of the ball, not who has touched the ball first. It's hard to award possession to a player or team that doesn't actually have possession. What happens if the officials can't see who touched the ball first with their knees on the ground or there is no replay that can help with this problem.

I'm not altogether on the NFL rulebook, but a player has to actually possess the football, rather than just look like he has possession for an instant. It seems like in many of these scrums for the football it is hard to decide possession.

On the 92-yard DeAngelo Hall interception return touchdown that provided the game's winning points, the Bears had six blockers for five rushers, yet no one touched Redskins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, who hit Jay Cutler as he released, causing the pick-six.

Gregg constantly talks about how terrible it is that a team who has six blockers can't block five pass rushers, but he fails to understand that sometimes an offensive lineman can't block a defensive lineman by himself. Say Brian Orakpo was doubled on this play because the offensive lineman responsible for him needed assistance, well then Holliday beats his man and the throw by Cutler resulted. So while it appears the Bears have plenty of offensive linemen to block the Redskins pass rushers, there are four one-on-one matchups and if one of the offensive lineman gets beat then a sack results. All pass rushers are not blocked with just one offensive lineman. I hope Gregg knows this.

The Bears now have allowed a league-worst 31 sacks and are a miserable 15-of-84 on third downs. Counting sacks and scrambles, Mike Martz has called 261 passes and 141 rushes. How's that working out for you, Bears?

They are currently 4-3 and tied for the lead in their division. It seems to be working well enough to win four games.

In the past week, a few former NFL players have endorsed the league's move to reduce vicious hits. Rodney Harrison of NBC called for suspensions, while Steve Young of ESPN said "the media must stop glorifying big hits." Yet many former players have denounced the initiative. Let's examine their arguments.

"They can't change the game:" Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder to AOL FanHouse. They change the game constantly! Once a field goal was five points. Once the forward pass was illegal. Once an incompletion was a turnover.

That's not at all was Crowder was talking about. He was saying you can't change how violently the game is played and you can't change that players are going to try to hit the opposing players hard as well. Either Gregg is playing dumb or he is actually that stupid to misunderstand what Crowder is saying.

Reader Steve Hasegawa of San Francisco proposes this fix for the one-and-done problem plaguing college basketball: "Instead of allowing each school 13 one-year basketball scholarships annually, the NCAA should allow a total of 13 four-year basketball scholarships. If a player only sticks around for a year, the school is stuck with three years when it can't use that scholarship (with an exception for players who transfer but remain in college). Schools would have an incentive to limit, though not necessarily eliminate, reliance on obvious one-and-done candidates. One-and-done players would spread out to a larger number of schools, increasing competitive balance."

This may be the dumbest idea I have ever heard of. What's the purpose of this stupid rule? To stop players from being one-and-done or to increase the competitive balance in college basketball? I have so many issues with this idea, so I can't even list all of them. Here are a few of the problems:

1. What is the purpose of this rule? Competitive balance or to stop players from being one-and-done?

2. Why should schools be punished for accepting players who leave college after one year? It is the right of the college basketball player to leave school after his first year for the NBA, the schools should not get punished for the player doing this.

3. Gregg is too stupid to know this, but the one-and-done rule isn't a college basketball rule, it is an NBA rule. So essentially a college basketball program would get punished for a rule they don't like nor did they create. If it were up to college basketball programs and coaches EVERY player would stay four years in school. Punishing a school for an NBA rule is stupid and pointless.

4. Why again should schools get punished for players leaving for the NBA after 1-3 years in college? Take a player like Gordon Hayward...Butler should not be able to use his scholarship for two more years because his game advanced to the point he could leave for the NBA and get drafted in the lottery? No one saw this coming, why should Butler be punished for Hayward leaving early in this situation? It makes no sense. This retarded-ass-stupid-fucking-rule doesn't just hurt programs who have one-and-done players, but ANY player who leaves before his four years of eligibility are up.

5. What's wrong with the competitive balance in college basketball? We just had a season where Butler almost won the national title, Northern Iowa knocked out Kansas, and Cornell and St. Mary's made the Sweet Sixteen. If anything, the competitive balance is getting better in college basketball. This scholarship rule is beyond dumb. I could not hate it more. It punishes schools for developing players who can make it to the NBA and makes colleges pay a fee in the currency of scholarships for a rule college programs HATE.

6. What teams rely so much on one-and-done players? Kentucky is the only team that seems to rely on them a lot. So we should make a rule specifically for one team? That doesn't make sense. None of the four teams in the Final Four in 2010 had a player that was a one-and-done.

Facing third-and-7 at Baltimore, seventh-round-drafted Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard threw a touchdown pass to seventh-round-drafted Stevie Johnson against a Ravens blitz. Undrafted free-agent tailback Fred Jackson of Division III Coe College blocked Ray Lewis while undrafted free-agent tackle Cord Howard blocked the NFL's highest-paid defensive player, Terrell Suggs.

So these are the same "great" undrafted players that come from a team that hasn't won a game yet this year? These are the same undrafted players that are on a team which Gregg mocks weekly for its mediocrity? So the Bills absolutely suck except when Gregg doesn't want us to focus on that and instead focus on the undrafted players they have which contribute so much to a winless team.

Now the Giants have second-and-2 on the Dallas 14. Maybe it's occurred to Dallas coaches at this point that Eli Manning, like all skilled quarterbacks, wants to be blitzed.

It is not about a skilled quarterback wanting to be blitzed. It is about having a well-disguised blitz that can confuse or throw off the timing of the quarterback. That's what it is about. Most quarterbacks want to be blitzed if they know where the blitz is coming from, but as was seen with the Saints in last year's playoffs, no matter how good the quarterback is, if he can't anticipate where the blitz is coming from, he doesn't want to get blitzed.

Martell Webster went straight from high school to the NBA as the sixth pick of the 2005 draft and since has been a marginal player, including spending time with the Fort Worth Flyers of the D-League, a club that no longer exists. Had Webster gone to college, he would have matured physically and emotionally, and might be an NBA star today.

Pure speculation. Martell Webster may have flamed out in college, not gotten drafted, and then not received a four year $20 million contract in 2008 if he had not gone straight to the NBA. The time he spent in the D-league was in 2006 when he was 19 years old. That time spent there probably helped him mature physically and emotionally and he is now a productive (albeit injured) player. Yet again, Gregg tried to mislead his readers who don't know better. Webster spent time in the D-league early in his career and is now a productive player.

This past June, J.A. Adande argued that the teens-eligible rule makes the draft nearly irrelevant to pro basketball. Most of the players picked are 19 years of age and won't become proficient for several years -- at which point they will become free agents and sign with someone else.

I urge you to read that article. Gregg is coming to a completely different conclusion that Adande came to. Adande was coming to the conclusion that the draft won't matter because players will collude with other players to choose a team. He wasn't suggesting the draft was pointless because the players don't mature until they hit other teams, he was saying the draft was pointless because players can become free agents at the same time (which is nearly impossible to stop) and then all join the same team. I can't help but wonder if Gregg is actually dumb or he just misunderstands some things intentionally.

The solution is to not allow players into the NBA until age 21. If you think that's the cranky, middle-aged, didn't-play-basketball-in-college view, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently advanced this idea.

Even if players weren't allowed in the NBA until the age of 21, James, Wade, and Bosh still could have played on the Heat team together. They could have signed contracts to guarantee this happening.

Teams seem to be taking Adande's advice, if perhaps unintentionally -- there's a clear trend of NBA clubs simply discarding high choices.

Minnesota used the sixth choice of the 2009 draft on Ricky Rubio, who won't play in the NBA until 2011, if he ever does.

This wasn't a wasted pick because Rubio will play in the United States at some point. The Timberwolves had made a lot of mistakes, but spending a pick on Rubio wasn't a waste of a pick because he has talent.

Interestingly, Rubio is 20 years old and wouldn't be able to play in the NBA until 2011 under Easterbrook's plan to only allow 21 year olds to enter the NBA Draft. Naturally, Gregg didn't think about this when criticizing how long it will take Rubio to make it to the NBA.

Last winter, the Grizzlies tried desperately to trade Thabeet, just to get rid of him, but no team wanted the player, who combines dreadful performance with an entitled attitude of stardom. Why not simply open the window and throw first-round draft choices out?

The Grizzlies were the only team that didn't know Thabust sucked. This isn't a matter of wasting 1st round picks, but not properly evaluating the talent available in the draft. It was a wasted pick because of poor talent evaluation.

Telfair is a walking billboard of the reasons teens should not be permitted in the NBA. Jumping to the NBA as a teen cost Telfair tens of millions of dollars in lifetime earnings potential.

This is all based on the false assumption that Telfair would have been a great NBA player if he had gone to college. Suppose he stunk in college and never made the NBA, then Telfair actually made himself millions of dollars he never would have had by going straight to the NBA out of high school.

I wish Bill Simmons would do a point-by-point article about how much of an idiot Gregg Easterbrook is when talking about the NBA. I don't often (if ever) wish for Simmons' help, but I would like to see it here.

By the way, Gregg Easterbrook has done what defensive coordinators can't do. He has figured out how to stop the Oregon offense:

OK. I watched tape of the Oregon-UCLA contest. Down after down, the UCLA defense hustled like mad to get back into position before the snap, to honor gaps. That meant that every time Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas looked up before the snap, he saw the same thing -- a conventional defense lined up exactly as it had been on all previous snaps. With its fast tempo, the Ducks' offense just assumes the defense will never vary. No offense could snap so quickly if the quarterback had to read the defense and then make his calls.

Which is assuming the Oregon quarterback has the autonomy to change calls or change how the offensive linemen block depending on what the defense shows. That's a fairly large assumption that Gregg doesn't think about...but he's the football expert, not me.

So defenses facing Oregon -- don't race to get back to the same spot. Jump around. Vary your positions pre-snap.

I can't see how this could end up being a disaster at all.

Allow front-seven players to move of their own volition, if that's all you can signal in quickly.

Just let the linebackers and defensive linemen move whatever way they damn well please. That should really confuse the quarterback when three defensive linemen and two linebackers move left. He will be confused as to why the defense is so stupid.

I find it hard to believe that defensive players moving on their own volition without knowing where the other defensive players are going to go will actually work. It seems like seven players freelancing could turn out to be a terrible defensive game plan.

Economist Tim Kane of the Kauffman Foundation proposes that a player who causes an injury ">must leave the game too and cannot return -- that day, that year -- until the other player heals.

So if Ray Lewis hits Jerome Harrison and injuries his knee, then Lewis couldn't come back until Harrison came back? I take back what I said earlier about the idea for college basketball teams to lose scholarships for players who leave early...this is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of.

Why wouldn't the Eagles sit Harrison the rest of the year to ensure Ray Lewis can't play? Why wouldn't a player fake an injury and spend the year on IR to make sure the guy who hurt him, who may be a crucial part of the opposing team, can't play all year either? If Cody Grimm gets blocked by Roddy White and blows knee out, then White should have to sit for the rest of the year? What a terrible idea.

Mark Asher of St. Louis proposes, "Booth review of suspect hits, initiated by the booth official not a coach's challenge. If the review booth finds there was a flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit, eject the offending player. Using replay would relieve officials on the field of making split-second judgments about body position at game speed.

More replay that stops the flow of the football game, now that's a great idea.

Next Week: Adding to its acclaimed realism, "Madden 12" will suspend virtual players for helmet-to-helmet contact.

How clever! How about next week Gregg Easterbrook sticks to writing articles about the government and how terrible NASA and the space program is?

15 comments:

Martin said...

I still think that the Steelers call on that fumble was as bad as any I've ever seen in the NFL. Every single week there are pile ups just like that, and never have I seen the call made that they made there.

In last years Super Bowl the onside kick resulted in exactly the same kind of pile up. Does the NFL even remember this shit? Do they watch the NFL Films show about the Super Bowl where Sean Payton talks about having the ball kicked to their side of the field exactly s he and the bench can yell at and try to influence the refs?

HH said...

In a scramble for a loose ball, if any player takes possession for even an instant, with a knee down and in contact with an opponent, the play should end. But zebras don't officiate mad scrambles this way.

I actually agree with Gregg on this - I've been irritated for years when a player cradles the ball on the ground and then loses it in the pile when he's clearly down by contact. Usually it's visible on replay, and it definitely was here. Alternately, the Dolphins came out with the ball at the end of the play. Either you call this immediately, or you give it to whoever leaves with the ball. You can't pick a point in between and say it's inconclusive. For both safety and fairness, this has to be called early when someone has the ball on the ground.

I really fucking hate the pile.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I don't think I understood the call initially. I do now, but it didn't make a ton of sense. Peter King's interpretation this week was basically, "What else were they going to do? Everyone was confused."

Those pile ups a problem, but I don't know if there is a good way to single out a player and say which one had possession of the ball. Maybe in some pile ups there can be.

HH, I agree there needs to be a point chosen where a player has possession of the ball. It may make sense to say whoever has the ball and gets touched is down by contact, but I think sometimes there isn't a way of telling who got the ball.

If a coach challenged possession on the fumble, I wonder if he would win it? Say the Dolphins coach challenged that his player clearly had the ball with possession and was touched...shouldn't the officials then give the ball to the Dolphins. This is a reviewable play I would think.

There has to be a consistent way to officiate the pile up, but I can where sometimes there isn't going to be anything conclusive on who was down and had possession first.

Martin said...

HH is right, sometimes on review you can see the guy is down, and while he might not have "receiver two feet in control of the ball" possession, he has enough for you me and everybody else to say "He's got the ball". Then 5 guys jump in and you have a pile.

On the other hand, plays like that, there was no way of knowing if anybody had possession till you pulled all the bodies off and saw who had the ball. A Dolphin fell on the ball first by replay, but he didn't even have his arms extended, much less around the ball. I jsut think it was amazing that a call that in my memory has never been made was made on a play we've all seen 100 times. A fumble pile up.

your favourite sun said...

They change the game constantly!

Right here he could have made a great point about how they've outlawed chop blocks, head slaps, and of course the fucking clothesline that used to be considered acceptable football violence. Ergo, they can change things again to attempt to slightly lessen the violence. Instead he talked about field goals. He was so close to a great point here and then jumped in the opposite direction for no reason.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, it does happen like that and I have to admit I am not sure how the officials know who has possession. I wouldn't be against necessarily giving possession to the team with the ball and parts of his body down. I just don't know what they would do when they can't tell. I didn't really understand the call either, but I am not sure what else the officials could do. It looks like the Dolphins player had it, but I am not sure replay would have even confirmed this.

Sun, he does come so close...but then loses it. I think that describes a lot of TMQ. He is so close to a good point, but let's his pretentious attitude get in the way so he jumps on a soapbox.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i can't stand it when gregg talks about basketball. just like with everything else he talks with a tone that implies that he knows something. except he doesn't. he doesn't know shit about basketball. he literally knows nothing.

martell webster played in the d-league early in his career - he hasn't been there in at least four years. now he's a legit starter. he started/played a significant number of minutes for a playoff team last year. he recently got a 20 million dollar guaranteed deal (which by the way is more money than any college degree would have ever made for him). marginal player my ass. and how the fuck does gregg know that webster would have become a star had he gone to college? how can he just assume that all the busts that came out of high school would have been better had they simply gone to college? is it not possible that these players were fundamentally flawed players and that those flaws simply got exposed earlier than they would have eventually had the players gone to college? what exactly is the guarantee that kwame brown or darius miles would have gone to college, became super mature, and been stars? what, do frat parties and power hours make you a more responsible person? i'm not saying the blazers were right to draft him over chris paul and deron williams, but in terms of evaluating webster in a vacuum gregg has no idea what he is talking about.

shaun livingston was the best young point guard in the nba until he blew out his kneecap. for gregg to pidgeonhole him as a bust is wrong, and if anything livingston hurts greggs argument becausee livingston was someone who came straight out of high school and was actually awesome - he benefited from not wasting time in college. gregg throws out the number of teams he's been on without mentioning that he was the clips franchise point guard and only bounced around because he had such a horrific knee injury.

to assume that there wouldn't be any legal issues if it were raised go 21 is absurd. the reason the wnba didn't have any problems is because there haven't really been women that were ready to go pro before they were eligible. that's not the case with men's basketball. i think most high school recruits can live with going to class for one semester and then preparing for the tourney/draft - but no way are they going to stand pat if they have to spend 3 full years in college. and quite frankly i don't blame them - why should players like carmelo anthony, kevin durant, john wall, et al waste their time playing college ball an extra two years when they were clearly ready for the pros? even in the best case scenario they would have just spent two years going against far inferior competion while working towards a degree that they would never use. worst case they could end up like bill walker, someone who was forced to go to college and ended up tearing his acl, thus preventing him from being the top five pick that he would have been had he been allowed to go straight to the pros. gregg ignores this issue completely and assumes that everyone who plays in college simply keeps getting better and can't possible have anything bad happen to them as a result of that decision.

im pretty sure in other fields you are allowed to get a job if you are qualified enough regardless of age. i would thin kthat basketball isn't the only industry in which exceptionally qualified individuals can get in even at a vewry young age. but don't tell gregg - he has to pretend that he knows something about basketball.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i can't stand it when gregg talks about basketball. just like with everything else he talks with a tone that implies that he knows something. except he doesn't. he doesn't know shit about basketball. he literally knows nothing.

martell webster played in the d-league early in his career - he hasn't been there in at least four years. now he's a legit starter. he started/played a significant number of minutes for a playoff team last year. he recently got a 20 million dollar guaranteed deal (which by the way is more money than any college degree would have ever made for him). marginal player my ass. and how the fuck does gregg know that webster would have become a star had he gone to college? how can he just assume that all the busts that came out of high school would have been better had they simply gone to college? is it not possible that these players were fundamentally flawed players and that those flaws simply got exposed earlier than they would have eventually had the players gone to college? what exactly is the guarantee that kwame brown or darius miles would have gone to college, became super mature, and been stars? what, do frat parties and power hours make you a more responsible person? i'm not saying the blazers were right to draft him over chris paul and deron williams, but in terms of evaluating webster in a vacuum gregg has no idea what he is talking about.

shaun livingston was the best young point guard in the nba until he blew out his kneecap. for gregg to pidgeonhole him as a bust is wrong, and if anything livingston hurts greggs argument becausee livingston was someone who came straight out of high school and was actually awesome - he benefited from not wasting time in college. gregg throws out the number of teams he's been on without mentioning that he was the clips franchise point guard and only bounced around because he had such a horrific knee injury.

to assume that there wouldn't be any legal issues if it were raised go 21 is absurd. the reason the wnba didn't have any problems is because there haven't really been women that were ready to go pro before they were eligible. that's not the case with men's basketball. i think most high school recruits can live with going to class for one semester and then preparing for the tourney/draft - but no way are they going to stand pat if they have to spend 3 full years in college. and quite frankly i don't blame them - why should players like carmelo anthony, kevin durant, john wall, et al waste their time playing college ball an extra two years when they were clearly ready for the pros? even in the best case scenario they would have just spent two years going against far inferior competion while working towards a degree that they would never use. worst case they could end up like bill walker, someone who was forced to go to college and ended up tearing his acl, thus preventing him from being the top five pick that he would have been had he been allowed to go straight to the pros. gregg ignores this issue completely and assumes that everyone who plays in college simply keeps getting better and can't possible have anything bad happen to them as a result of that decision.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i can't stand it when gregg talks about basketball. just like with everything else he talks with a tone that implies that he knows something. except he doesn't. he doesn't know shit about basketball. he literally knows nothing.

martell webster played in the d-league early in his career - he hasn't been there in at least four years. now he's a legit starter. he started/played a significant number of minutes for a playoff team last year. he recently got a 20 million dollar guaranteed deal (which by the way is more money than any college degree would have ever made for him). marginal player my ass. and how the fuck does gregg know that webster would have become a star had he gone to college? how can he just assume that all the busts that came out of high school would have been better had they simply gone to college? is it not possible that these players were fundamentally flawed players and that those flaws simply got exposed earlier than they would have eventually had the players gone to college? what exactly is the guarantee that kwame brown or darius miles would have gone to college, became super mature, and been stars? what, do frat parties and power hours make you a more responsible person? i'm not saying the blazers were right to draft him over chris paul and deron williams, but in terms of evaluating webster in a vacuum gregg has no idea what he is talking about.

shaun livingston was the best young point guard in the nba until he blew out his kneecap. for gregg to pidgeonhole him as a bust is wrong, and if anything livingston hurts greggs argument becausee livingston was someone who came straight out of high school and was actually awesome - he benefited from not wasting time in college. gregg throws out the number of teams he's been on without mentioning that he was the clips franchise point guard and only bounced around because he had such a horrific knee injury.

finally gregg totally ignores another case: bill walker. he could have been a top five pick, but instead he was forced to go to college for a year, where he blew out his knee, had to play second fiddle to michael beasley (thus preventing him from being as much of a force as he could hav been) and ended up in the second round. but according to gregg walker should have matured in college and become a HOFer.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i can't stand it when gregg talks about basketball. just like with everything else he talks with a tone that implies that he knows something. except he doesn't. he doesn't know shit about basketball. he literally knows nothing.

martell webster played in the d-league early in his career - he hasn't been there in at least four years. now he's a legit starter. he started/played a significant number of minutes for a playoff team last year. he recently got a 20 million dollar guaranteed deal . marginal player my ass. and how the fuck does gregg know that webster would have become a star had he gone to college? what, do frat parties and power hours guarantee that you become more responsible?

shaun livingston was the best young point guard in the nba until he blew out his kneecap. for gregg to pidgeonhole him as a bust is wrong, and if anything livingston hurts greggs argument becausee livingston was someone who came straight out of high school and was actually awesome - he benefited from not wasting time in college. gregg throws out the number of teams he's been on without mentioning that he was the clips franchise point guard and only bounced around because he had such a horrific knee injury.

finally gregg totally ignores another case: bill walker. he could have been a top five pick, but instead he was forced to go to college for a year, where he blew out his knee, had to play second fiddle to michael beasley (thus preventing him from being as much of a force as he could hav been) and ended up in the second round. but according to gregg walker should have matured in college and become a HOFer.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

sorry ben, my comment got posted three times. every time i submitted it told me that the comment was tooo long to process, so i kept going back and shortening it, only when i finally got it short enough to not get the error page, it showed all three versions ofthe comment. so yeah just disregard two of them.

Bengoodfella said...

Arjun, Webster was in the D-league early in his career but Gregg acts like he was there recently. Webster is a contributing player on a team (albeit a bad team). Who is to say he wouldn't have gone to college and not gotten drafted at all?

Livingston is a great example of a player who went to the pros out of HS and had injury problems. I feel terrible for him, he was so good in HS. I think he could have benefited from a year in college, but I am biased. Still, he was fairly ready for the NBA.

Josh McRoberts would have been a Top 10 pick if he had not gone to college...or at least he would have been higher than when he was taken after two years at Duke. Granted, he turned out to be a selfish player who didn't have a great skill set, but he would have made more money skipping school.

Some players are ready and others are not. Gregg needs to quit thinking of bad ideas or talking about basketball because he doesn't seem to get that sport at all. There's no guarantee going to school will make you a better player. It may expose you to suck and then you don't get drafted!

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

maybe gregg wants these players to go to college, get exposed, and end up as undrafted free agents then he'd love them even if it cost them millions of dollars!!! and yeah i love shaun livingston so much i'm still convinced that he would be the best point guard in the nba today if he hadn't gotten injured. for gregg to say he's a bust because he bounced around AFTER he had a horrific injury. moreover he calls livingston selfish - if gregg knew anything about basketball he would know that people were comparing livingston to magic johnson by his second year

Bengoodfella said...

Arjun, I was a big Livingston fan also. I wanted him to go to Duke so bad. I thought he was the guy that would at least be there one year...but it didn't turn out that way. He was compared to Magic at times, but poor guy had that injury. I thought he could bounce back from it, but I guess I was wrong.

Yeah, I think Gregg just wants a bunch of talented undrafted free agents on the market.

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