Jul 29

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Today's guest post is by Greg Schmalz, President, Schmalz Communications

National Football League training camps open this week and six weeks from tomorrow 
(Thursday,  Sept. 9) Minnesota and the Saints square off in New Orleans in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game won by the eventual Super Bowl champion Black & Gold.

All eyes will be on Minnesota as there are a lot of questions surrounding the Vikings. Will running back Adrian Peterson hold out in a contract dispute? Will veteran quarterback Brett Favre return for yet another season?

Methinks that Peterson will report to training camp and Favre will play once again. He hasn’t ruled it out to this point and I doubt he would leave the team hanging. Then, again, it’s Brett Favre. He could show up in camp in late August and still be ready for the regular season opener.

The oppressive heat will once again be a major concern during training camps. It was nine years ago that Minnesota All-Pro offensive tackle Korey Stringer collapsed on the field and subsequently died from complications brought on by heat stroke. Athletic trainers will be tasked with keeping players and all personnel properly hydrated.

Then, of course, you have the RepMan’s beloved New York Jets. Despite finishing 9-7 during the regular season, the Jets showed some spark in the playoffs with road wins at Cincinnati and San Diego before losing to Indianapolis in the AFC Championship game.

A new coach and a new quarterback helped the Jets make some strides last season. Rex Ryan built an aggressive defense and limited rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez’ passing attempts. Rather conservative, but it worked.

What’s on the horizon for 2010? A new stadium that the Jets will again share with the Giants. But they’ll face a tougher schedule this season and they will have to open up the passing game that ranked next to last a year ago if they are going to be successful.

May want to enjoy it while you can, RepMan, because there’s a better than even chance that the players will strike next season as they struggle to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The issues between the players union and the owners aren’t about money. It’s all about greed.

Sep 11

The 12th man should be cut

NFL teams like to think the home field crowd makes a big difference in determining a game’s outcome. InJets_3
fact, some teams refer to the value-add a raucous crowd provides as being the equivalent of a ’12th man’ on the squad.

The Jets are no exception. Except that their stadium fans are god-awful, and quick to pounce on mistakes by ‘Gang Green.’ Case in point: on Sunday the entire stadium booed as injured Jets Quarterback Chad Pennington hobbled off the field (this despite a 16-21 performance with two touchdown passes). They also mercilessly heckled a halftime entertainment show that included fellow fans randomly selected to attempt field goal kicks. After one particularly gruesome attempt, thousands of fans began chanting, ‘You suck.’

The Jets are a weak team with lots of needs. One thing they don’t need, however, is a disloyal stadium crowd. It’s time to ‘boot’ the long-term season ticket holders and bring in actual supporters. The Jets need to cut their 12th man.

Thanks to Repman, Jr. for the idea.