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Around the Cooler 6/8/14: African American Studies

McCantsHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • Rashad McCants and educating college athletes
  • The Phillies draft, Ken Giles, and the basement of the MLB
  • A Fan Question, the Cup, the NBA Finals, and team dynamics.

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The “crown of the helmet” rule doesn’t make it flag football

Crown of the HelmetJust shut up, Emmitt Smith. You’re standing in the way of safety and progress. You’re being an ass.

Despite my begrudging respect for the Hall-of-Fame worthy career of the man who holds the record for most rushing yards in league history, Emmitt Smith’s tirade following the announcement of the new “crown of the helmet” rule is playing havoc with the insecurities of fans and players. It’s also ignorant and shortsighted.

For those who missed it, the NFL Competition Committee passed a rule change prohibiting players from executing a “forcible blow with the crown of the helmet” while outside of the tackle box. (Video explanation of the rule here.)

Of course, before the full verbiage of the rule even became public (my case for calling him ignorant), Emmitt Smith was already spouting his misguided concerns in a very public way to the Dallas Morning News. He called the rule ‘ridiculous.’ “You’ve been taught since you were a little kid to get behind your shoulder pads to protect yourself and lower your shoulder,” said Smith in a phone interview on Monday. “The first thing you do is lower your shoulder but attached to your shoulder is your head. It’s not like you’re trying to go in there and really trying to deliver a blow but your head is part of protecting yourself.”

Sure, that sounds reasonable enough. Until you consider the specifics of the rule. Which won’t do very much to change the game at all.

Let’s break it all down:

1) What is the crown of the helmet?

The crown of the helmet is the top of the helmet (see graphic above). It’s not the whole helmet, as many fear it to be. Rams coach Jeff Fisher, one of the most outspoken proponents of the rule change, specifically indicated that the runner still has the opportunity to initiate contact with the face mask or forehead. So essentially this rule amounts to not “dipping your head” while you try to run through somebody. Dipping your head is how people get compression fractures in their vertebrae. Dipping your head is how you get bulging discs. Sure, you can break a tackle by doing it, but you run the risk of knocking yourself out (or worse) in the process.  Read the rest of this entry

Around the Cooler 02/19/13 – Discussion: NBA and NFL draft eligibility rules (are garbage)

Freshman C Nerlens Noel grimaces in pain after tearing his ACL on Feb. 12, 2013. Noel could have been a top pick in last year’s NBA draft if the current rules did not limit his eligibility

Did the NBA’s eligibility rules cost Nerlens Noel his shot at being the #1 overall pick? Should Jadeveon Clowney be playing in the NFL this year? In response to an excellent article by ESPN’s Tim Keown, Ransom and Hank discuss whether the NCAA’s amateur athlete designation and the rules that accompany it are fair, or even based in reality.


Right Click for Download: Around the Cooler 02/19/13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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