Bubble-wrapping the modern athlete
My, a lot of folks are hot under the horse collar about the NFL's new Brady Rule, which continues the trend of making it costly to take the shortest or even longest route to the quarterback and arrive in ill humor.
The bubble-wrap boom is all part of an ongoing safety debate in a number of sports where the modern athlete, for all the advanced year-round training and performance-enhancers, is looking like more and more like a world-class wussbunny compared to those rugged predecessors of yore.
In the NHL, there's an ongoing effort to crack down on hits from behind and shots to the head, and there's some sentiment to curtail or eliminate fighting for safety's sake. Like the NFL's latest don't-blow-on-the-QB rule, hockey's no-knuckles movement hasn't been particularly well-received by fans who like a little hair, and blood, on their sports. In the Major Leagues, pitchers used to routinely toss 300 or more innings a year without being carted off on stretchers while trainers followed with their freshly-detached throwing arms packed in coolers of ice. For the last decade or so, managers, coaches, GMs and broadcasters have been hyperventilating when a hurler tosses more than 11 pitches over two consecutive days.
But with athletes -- and most significantly, their paychecks -- bigger, strong and faster than ever -- it's necessary to protect these pricey investments. That wasn't the case when athletes needed winter gigs at car dealerships to make ends meet. Thus they had no qualms about rubbing some soil on a compound fracture and getting back out there to avoid losing their place on a team. But if the NFL goes to an 18-game sked, as is being contemplated, it will have to encase star players in mattresses or balloons. Players of every skill level are already dropping like flies during the brutal marathon of the current 16-game sked, but in our age of too much of a good thing is never enough, more games for the halt and the lame is what we're likely to get.
Speaking of too much of a good thing, New Jersey state Senator
That's true -- if you're a bookie or a state lottery. If you're
Speaking of luck, or lack thereof, the Phoenix of North Lawndale College Prep
Turns out that Champaign converted one of its two free throws and went on to win . . . by one point. This space figures that if players and teams must pay dearly for confusing and offending the eyes, then
If you're of a betting mind, your thoughts are likely turning to ponies with spring here and the Kentucky Derby only five weeks away. Herewith, another reminder of the wisdom of scoping out the nags first-hand before you lay your piasters. You might want to clutch your wallet to your heaving bosom if your intended bet comes out on the track
You've surely heard the expression "a little bird told me" -- it's a staple of journalism in a world where "sources" are increasingly reluctant to speak on the record about anything. Well, this space is proud to declare that Pinkie the Parrot, who makes his perch above this space's desk, is never afraid to speak his mind. Today Pinkie told us that
Fancy yourself a man or woman (or both) of letters? Perhaps you have a few p's and q's lying around that you don't know what to do with. Well, why not stick 'em in the handy space-time portal on your right and send 'em our way. This space appreciates getting thought-provoking stuff, like this from reader
There certainly isn't. So grab your quill and join the vowel movement.