Z Mail (cont.)
Ted of the Dartmouth Medical School, Ski Slope Trauma Unit (just kidding ... "some joke," says wife) gets thanks for the nice thing he wrote, and a puzzled look for the "make your own rankings on the side." I guess this is a promotion we run and which I am oblivious to ... uh, to which I am oblivious. Is this kind of playing with modeling clay or Tinker Toys? Forgive my ignorance. "It's unforgivable," says someone nearby, which leads me to the next query, this time from Randy of K.C.
"Does the Flaming Redhead really banter or are you writing both sides?"
Who can supplant her?
A very serious, technical question from Brian of Bowling Green, Ky. "Why do so many teams stick slavishly to these zone blocking schemes in almost all circumstances?" He goes on to groan at the sight of an unblocked Ray Lewis raising hell (and getting spectacular TV accolades), whereas when the Chiefs turned him over to Brian Waters one night, he was invisible.
First of all, I echo your feelings. Everything is pass blocking now, creating a comfortable situation for the QB. And I think a dedicated adherence to the kind of run blocking rules we learned often are given lesser attention. This is lame, I know, and I'm sorry. I am as puzzled as you are.
From Dino of Monterey, Mexico, formerly of Buffalo -- "What is your opinion of the current use of throwback uniforms? I don't like it all when one team is wearing the throwback and another team is wearing the normal uniform."
From Z of Denville and Mountain Lakes, N.J., formerly of The Apple -- Sounds like a competitive disadvantage to me. I think it depends on how far back you want to throw them. I think it might be fun seeing both teams come out in tiny leather helmets and those heavy cloth pants. OK, Dino, I've had my fun. From an aesthetic sense, I like some, don't like some. I never got a sense of artistic unfairness because only one side is theme-outfitted and the other wasn't. Personally, I like those padded, puffy things they wear in gladiator-type shows, you know, where they flail at each other with giant toilet-plungers.
Phil of Colorado Springs asks a question he knows and I know is not serious, but he wants to provoke a colorful response from your faithful narrator, and just try this with Peter King's mailbag and see how far you get. OK, here it is. What if the NFL added eight more teams, maybe from the CFL, and then bumped the worst 12 teams down a notch to the B-Division next season, just as the British soccer leagues do. Then they'd have to work themselves up and everyone would be scurrying like mad not to fall into the swamp. I've got a better idea. Send the owner of the worst team to the Continental League the following season, and let him wheel and deal with a salary cap of around $250. Ask me another one, Phil. We can get a lot sillier, you know.
From Steve of Scarsdale.
"Hello Dr. Z."
"Let's say you are an average NFL player today."
You are an average NFL player today. Why aren't you joining in with me?
OK, OK, signals off. What organization would I want to play for, basing my decision solely on strength of the organization. If you count the coach in there, probably the Carolina Panthers. Moneywise, I'd probably do very well if I somehow got into Dannyboy's comfort zone in Washington. Yeah, I know, too many probablies. Steelers, Giants, Titans, Jaguars, Colts, there are some fairly strong organizations. I think I'd do pretty well with Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum on the Jets. Colts, too, except that Tony Dungy's retiring. Emotionally, I'd be very well suited for the Raiders ... or at least the Redhead would. Just kidding, Steve, just kidding. OK, send me to the Colts and promise me that Tony will stay on.
The Tuck Rule was called in Dallas-Arizona, but when the abortive effort was ruled a pass, why wasn't the play then penalized for grounding? This comes from Eric of Miami, and don't I know you? Are you the same guy who's a wine distributor in NYC? You're not? OK, same name. What you said certainly makes sense. I have this game on tape ... caught the end of it, but not the play you mentioned. The ref, Pete Morelli, seemed a bit fuzzled, in general, from what I saw. My son used to call the Tuck Rule the Schmuck Rule.
Under normal circumstances Scott D. of Sewickley, Pa., home of Chuck Knox, would be my E-mailer of the Week because with typical Sewickley passion he attacks the idiot repetition of a word, in this case, "football." (But, as you guessed, the award has gone to the cause of true love this week, so we can't mess around). Oh my God, the color commentators -- "He's a heckuva FOOTBALL player ... up and down the FOOTBALL field ... they can run the FOOTBALL," etc. "I know what freakin' sport they're playing already!" he hollers.
Yeah, we all have our hangup words, phrases, idiocies. My favorites are the modifiers of Speed.
"Foot speed." (arm speed?)
"Raw speed." (Cooked speed?)
"Flat out speed." (Flat in speed?)
And so on.