What do Jack Lambert, Ronnie Lott, Jack Tatum and Dick Butkus have in common?
Well they are Hall of Famers, NFL legends, defensive greats and now players who would not survive in today's NFL. The NFL's newest rule favoring offensive performance is embarrassing and goes against what the sport is all about.
As many are aware, the NFL has instituted a new rule resulting in suspensions for players who deliver any hit deemed to be devastating or violent. Granted, helmet-to-helmet collisions on defenseless players are things to be careful about, but what constitutes a devastating hit? Who is to decide what is devastating or not?
Throughout NFL history, from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Chicago Bears, defenses have won championships. It is an intimidating defense that sets the tone for the game and can win or lose the turnover battle.
Sadly, with the new rule, the days of great defenses could come to an end. It is an honor for players to play in an NFL. Injuries are expected, devastating hits are expected, and it has always been considered a part of the game.
It is a chance the players take, one that comes with getting paid millions to strap up the pads and step foot onto the field.
Youngsters just learning the game are always taught to give 100 percent each play. When going 100 percent, chances are collisions will happen and devastating hits will occur.
They have been occurring in the NFL forever, and just now the NFL wants to crack down. You cannot tell a defensive player to lighten up on their game. It is ridiculous that playing hard can result in a suspension.
Ever since the questionable roughing the passer penalties and the stricter pass interference calls, the league has been favoring more offensive numbers. This rule is no different and is one that will change the face of the game.
It is a change that should be embarrassing for the NFL.
Pirates need passion
Another pennant race is upon us.
Once again, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the same spot they have been in for the past 18 consecutive years - last in their division.
I have always considered myself a Pirates fan through good times and more often the bad times, but I find myself questioning the management of this team.
Why isn't the Pirates management concerned that they have played yet another losing season?
One reason may be that they have made it possible to win despite losing on the field.
The Pirates are making money while having losing seasons, an indication that management is winning in what really matters to the owners. According to financial documents, the Pirates made almost $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, they made $5.4 million, according to USA Today. They have made $34,422,355 on gate receipts alone.
If you include other revenue, such as media rights, the Pirates almost triple their player costs. If the fans ever want to see another winning team play in PNC Park, a park the taxpayers paid $262 million to build, then they have to stop paying to see the Pirates lose.
I have seen fan favorites such a Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth get traded to other teams due to the fact that the Pirates could not retain them.
Pirates management says the money from MLB revenue is going to scouting for the future. It is disappointing that a baseball team so rich in tradition now has the tradition of losing.
As for me I want to ask the management: Where is the pride and passion?