Jul 25, 2008

Thoughts on Shock, Barry and football rules

I'm very conflicted when it comes to Barry Bonds. I hated him for tarnishing the game's history with his PED-enhanced record-breaking homeruns. But if I hated him, shouldn't I also hate Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte, who have admitted and apologized for PED usage? I don't hate Jason and Andy, and here's why: I'm biased toward Yankees (what can I say?), they apologized for their transgressions, they were already on the team at the time (meaning the Yanks would be bringing in a known PED user in Bonds), and didn't break any cherished records, all unlike Barry. Yeah, those are fairly shallow reasons, but reasons nonetheless. I wouldn't like the idea of bringing the Bonds-media circus to the Bronx, but hey, if he helps us win ballgames, he'll be tough to dislike.

- The Giants offense may suffer this year with the loss of Jeremy Shockey, but it was the right move in the long run - and until Jerry Reese fucks something up, I'm going to continue believing he's infallible. Shockey was one of the better tight ends in the game, and also an excellent run blocker. I still remember his first pre-season game when he bowled over some poor Houston DBs as a preview to his career. Unfortunately, he never truly lived up to the hopes of management or fans.

His incessant enthusiasm was fun to watch (usually), but got out of control at times, causing stupid penalties and demands for more passes. His refusals to work out with Eli in New York didn't help either, as the two never seemed to get into a rhythm. Eli would throw left, Shockey would break right. And the worst thing that could have happened to Shockey happened: the Giants won without him. Steve Smith and Kevin Boss proved they could make big catches with the game on the line. They discovered Ahmad Bradshaw was the most explosive player on the team. Eli Manning actually looked comfortable - no one ran back to the huddle screaming for the ball. Football is funny: the Giants lost Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey, two of the better offensive weapons over the last decade, and went on to win the Superbowl.

With a year of experience under the belts of Smith, Boss and Bradshaw, a healthy Plaxico, an O-line going into it's second year entirely intact, and with the addition of Mario Manningham, the offense might not skip a beat. I expect we'll see more four and three (with two backs) wide receiver sets.

- Speaking of football offense, this high school has the right idea. They're using six-WR sets with two quarterbacks. If only the NFL was that brave and creative. Although I'm not sure if NFL rules would restrict such creativity. I don't know why the NFL has to be such a stickler for contrived rules. If the offense wants to send nine WRs out for a pass, why shouldn't they be allowed? Where did they come up with the arbitrary rule that five men have to be on the line of scrimmage? Why five? Why not four or six? Imagine how exciting that would be to see nine WRs out there. Maybe because of that, the defense, if they wanted, could blitz just two guys (because there'd be only one blocker, the center). That kind offense would require a mobile QB; it would be perfect for Vince Young and Michael Vick. But what about making a backfield of Eli and Vick, where the defense wouldn't know whether Vick would be running or throwing, if Eli would be throwing or handing it off or throwing a short pass to Vick. And hey, if you don't want to run that crazy offense, there's always the the tried and true I-Form. But it would nice to at least have those options.

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