All things sporting [3]

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:19 pm

Wait wait wait, American Football in London?!

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:23 pm

Forest! Good to see you back (and not a cyberman).

The NFL have a UK wing - http://www.nfluk.com/

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:26 pm

That's just strange.

But, yes, thanks!

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:46 pm

The NFL actually used to have a developmental league in Europe, but that closed down a few years ago due to (IIRC) poor attendance and revenue.  But they've been ramping up the number of regular season games played at Wembley and there are discussions of a team, most likely Jacksonville, possibly relocating to London in the not-too-distant future.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Thats a bit of a commute for games! Shocked

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:37 am

I just checked and it's only about an hour longer by plane to fly from Boston to London than it is to fly from Boston to San Diego.

Flying from London to San Diego, though... No
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Any teams in Hawaii? That would be quite the trek. Razz

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:30 pm

Nope, no Alaska or Hawaii teams in any of the North American major leagues, mainly because of distance I suspect.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:01 pm

Hm, a bit odd of them setting one up in London then.

It'll be like the Bolivian national football team. They play their home games at about 3000 meters above sea level, and since no one not used to it can cope with that altitude combined with great physical exhertion, wins almost all of their home games. Razz

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:59 pm

Well Alaska and Hawaii are already steady NFL markets, but the league is eager to expand internationally. Although I'm not sure why they aren't focusing more on Mexico.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by chris63 on Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:02 am


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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:50 pm

lol!

I wish they still allowed elaborate end zone celebrations.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:54 am

This has gotta be one of the best catches I've ever seen.  It's up there with David Tyree's helmet catch from Super Bowl XLII. Beckham had just been fouled but he arched his body backward and got the ball with the tips of just three fingers. Those NFL regulation-size balls are huge, too. Just amazing.



http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/11/23/7273357/odell-beckham-jr-makes-incredible-1-handed-td-catch-vs-cowboys
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by bungobaggins on Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:58 am

Shocked Cheerleader Cheerleader Cheerleader Thumbs Up

Impressive, most impressive.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:26 am

Whats the foul? It doesnt look like the other player impedes him.

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:00 am

It's against the rules for the defender to be grabbing or interlocking arms with the receiver before the ball gets there. Honestly, I think the rules they put on defenders are too strict (the NFL is known to be biased in favor of offense, probably because it's considered more exciting and glamorous). That was definitely a fairly minor violation in any event.

Spoiler:
Also, I'm glad that the Cowboys pulled out a win in the end, even though the Giants played well and it would be fun to see Beckham fireworks in the postseason, which isn't gonna happen this season.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:10 am

Does the grab or interlocking happen before the gif starts? All I see there is the defender falling backwards and brushing the other players arm, which in no way seems to interfere with play.

Something similar happened in football here. Tackles that were commonplace in the 70's and 80's are now illegal in the game.


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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:27 pm

No, the arm bump at the start of the GIF is what got the foul called. The refs (or rather the rulemakers higher up) are really touchy about contact between receivers and defenders once they're more than (I think) five yards from the line of scrimmage.

A lot of recent-ish rule changes, like making it illegal for defenders to lead with their helmet when tackling, were done in the name of safety, which I totally get because American football has a lot of intolerable safety issues. But there have been a lot of incremental rule changes that make it easier to pass (particularly rules about touching quarterbacks and receivers) that have taken place over the course of decades, and made the forward pass more and more the centerpiece of the game.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:42 pm

The refs (or rather the rulemakers higher up) are really touchy about contact between receivers and defenders- Eldo

Maybe they should wear a whole load of ridiculous padding to protect themselves.. oh wait!

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:21 pm

The padding started in the early 20th century because football players kept killing each other on the field, so by that measure the pads have been a success. Unfortunately they haven't stopped concussions or other serious injuries, in part because the pads have let players to hit harder.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:54 pm

Joking aside Ive never really understood why American Football needs all the padding (or had all the killings you talk of) when rugby doesn't. Rugby doesn't seem any less full on in tackling to me-




And rugby players are like brick walls, huge and solid mass of flesh hitting you at speed.
Youve got to admit in comparison it does make your lot look like a bunch of big jessies with 80's padded shoulders (I'm surprised they dont require players to have a perm too).  Wink

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:21 am

I'm not sure why this is still confusing for you when we've had this discussion numerous times before.

What it looks like on TV aside,  who do you think is more likely to hit harder: the guys in shirts who feel the full force of every blow, or the guys in pads, many of whom are full of opiates and other painkillers before the game even begins? Who is more likely to ram their opponent with their head, opening up even more possibilities for injuries? Which sporting culture begins indoctrinating it's children with a mantra of "hit the other guy as hard as humanly possible" continuously from the age of six until retirement?


Last edited by Eldorion on Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed spelling now that I'm not on a phone keyboard)
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:26 am

But thats why it makes no sense- you are giving players armour supposedly to protect them which only makes them heavier and hit harder. Wheres the sense in that?
And above you were telling me that refs call foul for brushing a players arm, but you can ram people with your helmeted head?
Why not have a rule where you cant do it because its bloody dangerous and stupid to everyone involved, and then players don't need to have a big silly helmet at all?

I know we have discussed this before but every time we do its seem to make less sense not more!

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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:50 am

They did ban helmet-to-helmet collisions in 2010, but it's proven extremely hard to stamp out because that style of aggressive play is deeply embedded in the culture of the sport.  There isn't really sufficient will to reform the sport from the league, the owners, the players, the media, or the fans.  This is despite the string of scientific studies and high-profile player suicides in the past several years that have drawn attention to the medical issues that come along with football.  The NFL tried to downplay these cover up these issues for years if not decades, but even now that they're getting attention, most people aren't all that bothered by them once the season starts.

I freely admit that I am part of the problem here; I've tried to take a step back from the NFL this year, but I still watch it with friends and family.  But a big part of me thinks I should have called it quits when Junior Seau died.  He was one of my favorite players growing up (in part due to his licensed appearance in Backyard Football 2002).  He played in the league for 20 years and greatly influenced the way the linebacker position is played.  And in 2012, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest, so that his brain could be studied after his death.  And when they looked at it, they found that he was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease that leads to depression, as a result of head trauma from playing the game.  And Junior Seau was neither the first nor the last NFL player to die like this.

I don't think that anyone intended for helmets to exacerbate this problem back when they were introduced.  I don't think anyone really understood this problem at that point; it was decades ago.  But everyone involved is complicit in encouraging more violent play that kept getting worse as the sport evolved.  Fans loved it, and most still do.  It's somewhat fashionable to complain that the NFL is now the "No Fun League" because it's not quite as violent (though there are other reasons people throw that phrase around too).  Players who were trained to lead with the head have struggled to adapt, but now they tend to go for the legs instead, which has increased the number of season and career-ending ACL injuries.  A lot of players would rather get concussed and be able to play again the next week (or at most two or three weeks later) rather than miss the an entire year due to leg surgery.

So anyway, that's part of the reason why I get kinda touchy about the whole "lol wimpy Americans, rugby players don't need helmets" thing.  It's a serious issue that has literally destroyed lives, and it's not at all clear that it can be solved without ending the game as we know it.  It took the threat of the sport being banned to force major reforms 100 years ago, but the NFL is far too powerful for that kind of threat to be made today.  But one of the likelier scenarios at the moment is that the game will contract in the long run because parents are less likely to let their kids play football, which will decrease the number of available players for high school and college teams, which are the main feeder system for the NFL.
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Re: All things sporting [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:07 pm

'The NFL tried to downplay these cover up these issues for years if not decades, but even now that they're getting attention, most people aren't all that bothered by them once the season starts.'= Eldo

Something similar happens in football and has happened.
I still know people who lament the loss of the hard tackling of the 70's, despite it put players out of the game every week.
Lots of rules got changed, two footed tackles were banned, tackling from behind was banned, the dangerous play rule, often ignored by referees in the past was enforced.
There was a fair bit of fan resistance to all of it, but it didnt ruin the game after all because the game at the end of the day is about skill not who can scythe down their opponent quickest.
And those rule changes had to be implemented globally- the NFL just have to change the rules in one country.

But there are other trickier aspects. There are studies which show that brain damage can be caused by a life time of heading the ball. And there has been some movement on this to do with altering the weight of the ball itself (its much lighter than it used to be, even compared to when I used to play as a teenager). But there is huge resistance to any sort of total ban on such an integral part of the game.

'It's a serious issue that has literally destroyed lives, and it's not at all clear that it can be solved without ending the game as we know it.'

It depends what you value in the game, the violence or the skill.

'But everyone involved is complicit in encouraging more violent play that kept getting worse as the sport evolved.  Fans loved it, and most still do.'

Fans would still be cheering gladiatorial arena deaths too if they were given the chance. You cant make safety decisions based on what fans want, it has to be evidence led and to protect the well being of employees, the players.
But loyalty to team, and shifting the focus onto the skill of the game, the tactics will keep fans coming. It can still be competitive and entertainment without the need to be unnecessarily violent. If American football cant survive without being so violent players risk severe injury or death, and the game refuses to accept or reform any of that, maybe it shouldn't survive as a modern sport. Or as you say it will simply slowly die away from a lack of parents willing to let their kids play.
But I am certain that, just like in football, the fans wont go anywhere. They will just moan for a few seasons then get used to the new rules of the game.

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