I am mindful that football players could not physically sustain healthy lasting careers by playing extended playoff series and the structure currently has too many injuries as it is. The average NFL career currently is around three years. It certainly is so much more exciting watching NBA and NHL playoffs as you have one bad night and can come back and recapture control of the series. Seven game series are so very intense. The rivalry built up during a playoff run is second to none. I know many people, some famous radio show hosts, that will not touch the sport of hockey in the fall. Some say that the NHL starts after the Super Bowl. Others say it starts after the NFL draft. Clearly there are some that only view the NHL during the playoffs and swear by it being the best product available. That same person who would not watch Pittsburgh play Boston in December.
I am a hockey guy, so I would watch the Hershey Bears play the Rochester Americans in pre-season. I grew up on skates but would watch younger and older kids both before and after my ice time just because it was hockey. I watch the Hamilton Mustangs play the Thunder Bay Bombers any time I happen to see the movie ‘Youngblood’ on TV even with commercials. I can not tell you how many times I have watched ‘Miracle’. I love the sport. I do not watch basketball all season, but when a great story takes place…I am right into the drama come playoff times. You can say Lebron James to me in the NBA is what Tiger Woods did for pro golf in the 1990’s. I watched a little bit of Michael Jordon and even a bit more of during the Kobe Bryant and Shaq days. When Cleveland went to the finals the first time prior to the Miami days was really when I became a true full time, playoff only fan. I genially like to watch King James play ball due to his pure athleticism, talent for the game, tenacity, will power, work ethic and desire to lead and be the very best. As he has matured he says the right things often as well.
The NFL is an exquisite product. The playoffs are extravagant football weekends up to and including the Super Bowl. A regular season game has so much impact due to the low number of games increasing the importance of each one. Some great rivalries do exist such as the famous Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady battling for years. The Bills/Dolphins rivalry was solid, but the teams need to be relevant for fans to get vested in the rivalry. The Bills and the Dolphins have not been relevant really since the QB class of 83 retired. Unless you want to count Jimmy Johnson coaching the Dolphins calling out the Flutie Flake’s comeback kid.
Best of three would be insane playoffs in the NFL. Unfortunately, they could never physically endure the pure pounding on their bodies playing games close together. The player association already has issues with the Thursday or Monday night games making the weeks of healing and preparation shorter than normal. The games across the pond at Wembley cause concerns about fatigue or injury as well. I know I was beat when we went to the Jacksonville game in 2015. I believe they were not concerned of I personally was tired or not.
Professional football played as a contact sport the way it has been even with changes over the decades, will never have three games in five nights. The action and rivalry would be sick, but it would need to be an extreme sport or closer to one that is run by Vince McMahon and not Roger Goodell. It would be so exciting, and the rivalries could get violent. The early days of Ultimate Fighting meets the XFL.
Things We Know About The Bills This Week:
- The defensive coaching was promoting how important it is having systems and procedures in place as opposed to a year ago where everyone was getting an entire new system thrown at them. This year, the returning players can help the defense take a step forward and can help the new players, young and old, struggle to a lesser degree. One captain, Lorenzo Alexander is never afraid to chime in. “I was just telling our coach now that I feel light years ahead of where I was last year at this time,” said Alexander. “I almost feel like I’m in midseason form as far as my eyes with recognition and now I can just worry about the scheme and everyone else’s role and how I can make more plays.”
- Everyone knows how tough Jim Kelly is. That is overall as a player, a teammate, but even more so in life. Thurman Thomas is having his jersey retired this season and Chris Berman was in town this weekend for a couple events, one of them being the annual Kelly golf tournament. When discussing the big announcement about Thurman Thomas day this season, Berman made sure to add his two cents about another Hall of Fame Bill who is “Kelly Tough”. “I don’t think Thurman or gets the acclaim nationally about how tough he was,” Berman said Tuesday on One Bills Live. “We can read statistics and he ranks with so many of the greats. But how tough and how willing to just, ‘Give it to me again, send me out for another pass, let me throw a block.’ I don’t think the nation knows how tough he was.”
- “I’m still shaking from meeting him,” Allen said. This is the quarterback that does not get rattled by 350-pound men trying to knock him down or after tossing a pick. Meeting Jim Kelly was an honor for him as he was just shocked and giddy that Kelly thinks that highly of the Bills that while recovering from cancer, he comes out to show support of the team at OTA’s. Now let us just hope that #17 will be mentoring a young Bills QB someday. If that is the case, lacking details, I would guess if Allen is around mentoring anyone twenty years from now, that means things went very well for the first round QB for a number of years.
–Scott Bryk is a contributing writer for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @skotbrick1970 and @FPC_Bills for Bills coverage.