Thursday, December 25, 2014

Eagles-Jets, Summer Sham

The summer injury dilemma in the NFL.

Eagles-Jets, Summer Sham




What does it say about your league that you are so afraid to play your players in an exhibition game? What does it say about the state of the NFL that people would label you as crazy for even thinking about using a real player in the last preseason game of the summer? Which is the state we are all in tonight as the Eagles and Jets prepare to play.

What it says, among other things, is that there is no way the NFL can increase the season from 16 games to 18 games -- as many important people are now suggesting -- without increasing its roster sizes by a similar percentage. Teams barely hang on now because of injuries. Players are bigger and faster than ever, too big and too fast for their bodies' own good, and the use of the really good vitamins remains largely undetected -- which means that they are going to get even bigger and faster.

You cannot stress NFL bodies with more games without some kind of fallback plan  -- that is, more players. And that doesn't even get into the  notion that the players will  want to see their salaries and signing bonuses rise, too, if the number of real games rise.

I'd love to see more real football but I just don't know how they can pull it off. How many more backup quarterbacks would have to play if you increased the length of the season by 12.5 percent? How many more carries could a guy like Brian Westbrook take without breaking down -- or, for that matter, breaking in half?

They are all already drunk with money, both owners and players, absolutely cash-faced. Despite how unpalatable these final exhibition games are, does the NFL really need to run this kind of injury risk for more money?

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That said, do you think if  the Eagles had truthfully printed up the tickets for tonight's game -- if, instead of "Eagles vs. Jets," they had said, "Nothing Much Except Tony Hunt Trying to Learn How to Be a Fullback" -- would anybody outside of the Hunt family show up?

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So Taguchi: 5-foot-10, 170 pounds.
DeSean Jackson: 5-foot-10 (maybe), 167 pounds

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Over-under on Brett Favre not being able to get up off of the stool: Week 11.

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Who could have predicted that Michael Strahan would have enough integrity not just to take the Giants' $8 million and fraud his way through the season? Because that is what it would have been. You cannot just step off of a beach and onto an NFL defensive line. Jon Runyan would have killed him.

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Finally, does anybody care what language she speaks?

Didn't think so.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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