The NFL (No Fun League) Tries To Clean Its Image

Nice to see that the National Football League is concerned about the safety of its players, and thinking about a rule change to prohibit players from leaping over linemen while trying to block field-goal and extra-point attempts. The league now feels the player is too dangerous.

“The issue, we’ve looked at a lot of tape on the jumper, is how it’s being defended at this point; whether it’s the snapper or the guard raising up and attempting to make contact with the jump, we’ve seen several examples where players have been flipped over, land on their head, their neck, and the potential for a serious injury certainly increases when you have a player in a vulnerable position who is now going to be knocked off balance and really can’t control the way they land. So I think that’s probably the biggest thing, and we have seen that on tape as to why the proposal will be voted on,” NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said during a conference call last week as reported by ESPN.

Now what exactly is the NFL’s stance on injuries to the head and links to diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”?

Here’s Bears great Gale Sayers six years ago:

Here’s Bears great Gale Sayers two years ago:

Now read this gripping piece by Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star:
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/vahe-gregorian/article139455608.html

Remember “The Catch”? Joe Montana to Dwight Clark? Just the other day, Clark announced he’s suffering from ALS and he believes playing football may have contributed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8DyLdj654c

MEANWHILE, AT THE OWNERS MEETING IN PHOENIX …

Don’t expect NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to make too many visits to Oakland as the Raiders play out their lease before moving to Las Vegas.

Tell the truth now: When you saw that the NFL owners had voted 31-1 to allow the Oakland Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas, didn’t you think the lone negative vote belonged to late Raiders owner Al Davis?

KRAFT: BRADY WANTS TO PLAY 6-7 MORE YEARS
Robert Kraft of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, one of 31 owners to vote in favor of the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, says he has been assured by quarterback Tom Brady that he plans to play six to seven more years. That means Brady, who turns 40 in August, wants to play through the 2022 or 2023 season.

“As recently as 2-3 days ago, he assured me he’d be willing to play six to seven more years and at the level he performed,” Kraft told Sports Illustrated’s King.

Which makes me wonder three things:

1. Has Brady told backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo, rumored to be on the trading block before the NFL Draft, the same thing?

2. Has Brady told Mrs. Brady – supermodel Gisele Bündchen – the same thing?

3. Is the NFL thinking about hiring extra security for any jerseys Brady may wear at future Super Bowls the Patriots may play in?

GOOD THING THAT WALL WASN’T BUILD YET
At least Tom Brady’s game jersey from Super Bowl LI didn’t get far after it was stolen from the Patriots’ locker room in Houston’s NRG Stadium. It was found across the Rio Grande in Mexico.

I wonder if the alleged thief Martin Mauricio Ortega, the credentialed newspaper executive, was a fan of Blake Edwards’ 1963 movie, “The Pink Panther,” because that gives me an excuse to run this video starring Peter Sellers, David Nivens and Robert Wagner with music by Henry Mancini.

WHICH OWNER VOTED AGAINST THE RAIDERS’ MOVE?
That would be current Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. His reasoning? “My position today was that we as owners and as a league owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted,” Ross’ statement said. “I want to wish Mark Davis and the Raiders organization the best in Las Vegas.”

Which may explain why the stadium in Miami Gardens that the Dolphins play at has changed names so many times since it opened in 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium to honor its former owner. For one season (1996) it was Pro Player Park. Then it became Pro Player Stadium through 2005. It was Dolphins Stadium in 2005-06, Dolphin Stadium in 2006-09, Land Shark Stadium 2009-10, Sun Life Stadium 2010-16 and now is Hard Rock Stadium.

It’s all about naming rights. When cities and counties make deals to build new stadiums or arenas for their professional sports franchises, teams usually foot their part of the bill by selling the stadium’s naming rights. Gillette, the folks who make razor blades and shaving cream, among other personal care products, pays the Patriots $8 million a season through 2031 to call the Patriots’ home in Foxborough, Mass., Gillette Stadium.

That $8 million is chicken feed compared to the $20 million that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gets annually to give “Jerry’s World” its far classier moniker of AT&T Stadium, according to a story at therichest.com.

AT&T is giving $20 million annually to the Dallas Cowboys for the naming rights to “Jerry’s World.”

A TRIP DOWN MADISON AVENUE MEMORY LANE

WITH APOLOGIES TO GILLETTE, I’LL TAKE NOXEMA ANY DAY:

BEN DAVIDSON AND TED HENDRICKS NEVER CREAMED JOE NAMATH LIKE FARRAH FAWCETT DID:

IF NOTRE DAME EVER SELLS NAMING RIGHTS TO ITS STADIUM, THIS WOULD BE A NATURAL:
Recognize the young lady in the commercial? It’s Cindy Morgan, who played Lacey Underall in “Caddyshack.” (Personal aside: I was privileged to hear Lindsey Nelson do promos for this product that ran on those old Notre Dame Sunday morning replays because I spotted for him and Paul Hornung my senior year at Notre Dame.)

OLD-TIME BASEBALL: OOOOOH, THOSE NEW YORK METS
Here’s something many of us never thought we’d hear at the beginning of a Major League Baseball season: The World Series champion Chicago Cubs. The Cubs open the 2017 season Sunday, April 2 at 8:30 p.m. against the St. Louis Cardinals on ESPN.

Time to jump into the Mr. Peabody’s WABAC Machine and watch this piece from Ken Burns’ wonderful PBS documentary, Baseball. We give you Lindsey Nelson, Casey Stengel and Marvelous Marv Throneberry, among others …

SO YOU THINK THERE ISN’T GOLD AT THE END OF RAINBOWS?
Think again. A picture sometimes is worth a thousand words.

Some early spring showers later helped to produce this double rainbow over Notre Dame’s Golden Dome.