Thursday, July 9, 2015

An explosive situation

So maybe the solution is this: More minicamps.

More minicamps would equal more supervised activity would equal less time for that perennial non-favorite of NFL teams, Players Behaving Dumbly. You just can't leave these guys on their own, apparently. Stuff happens.

In just the last week, last week being Fourth of July and all, two NFL players tried to blow themselves up, with varying degrees of success. Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants shattered his thumb and had to have his right index finger amputated after a fireworks accident. C.J. Wilson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to have two fingers amputated, same reason. Maybe the next big thing in NFL offensive schemes is not the Chip Kelly spread, but the Bursting Bubble Screen featuring M-80s and Silver Salutes.

(A brief aside here: When did it become permissible to report a player's medical condition, complete with photos of his medical records, without contacting the player first? I thought this was a massive no-no under HIPPA, but ESPN did it anyway in its reporting of the Pierre-Paul case. I smell lawyers in Adam Schefter's future).

At any rate, you really do have to wonder if NFL teams will start coming up with more OTAs and the like, superfluous though they might be. A s'mores minicamp, perhaps. A wiffleball minicamp. A Zumba minicamp followed by an embroidery minicamp followed by a poetry-reading minicamp.

Anything to protect these guys from themselves. Idle hands may or may not be the devil's workshop, but the idleness clearly isn't good for those hands. They tend to lose pieces of themselves.

You might wonder why two reasonably well-off NFL players (and I can't think of any who aren't) would be messing with fireworks less than a month before training camp -- especially if there are clauses in their contracts that would cost them a pile of they engaged in such activities. I mean, really, if you're Jason Pierre-Paul, and you stand to make at least $14 million this year, why don't you just hire a professional to shoot off your fireworks for you? Why take the risk?

But then, that's failing to take into  account the power of the athletic illusion -- i.e., there's nothing I can't do, because I'm bulletproof. It's not just a football thing. Rory McIlroy -- a professional golfer, for heaven's sake -- just took himself out of the British Open by rupturing a tendon in his ankle while playing soccer. You might ask yourself why he was playing soccer two weeks before the British Open. The correct answer: Because he's Rory McIlroy. What could happen?

Well, we saw. Saw with Wilson and Pierre-Paul, the latter of whom might be gone from New York before this all plays out because he's actually between contracts. These guys never learn.

Or perhaps they learn too well things that should best be unlearned,

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