Jay Cronley: Super dilemma to unfold Sunday
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1/29/13 at 4:30 AM
This Super Bowl Sunday will be different from most.
The best commercials will still be about the animals, the worst about sex, with most of the innuendo having been left on the editing floor.
The announcing and analyzing of the football game itself on CBS will be so terrible that a planetary record will be set for the muting of the network sounds. The announcing is so bad because the people on the microphones make two fundamental mistakes. They think that a quiet moment is a sign of weakness. And they think that they know more about the game of football than we do.
This Super Bowl will be different on the field.
President Barack Obama has issued a warning to America's greatest game, using a tone reserved for somebody like the Republicans or the North Koreans. He said that if he had sons, he wasn't sure that he would let them play football because of all the head injuries that have become such a predictable part of the gridiron landscape.
This was no small talk, as the NFL's pitiful Pro Bowl game, where the league's best play in hula skirts and push instead of tackle, just outdrew baseball's World Series.
Game in transition: You hear former players denounce the trend toward legislating the violence out of football - it's a 15-yard penalty almost every time you think about knocking somebody's head off.
These guys, some sounding more like former boxers with each passing interview, say football players know exactly what they're signing on for.
The 10-year-olds know of the possible brain trauma to come when somebody's dad is telling them to put their head down and run through a brick wall?
Football used to be played by linemen who weighed 200 pounds and used helmets with one bar across the front.
Now, 200 pounds is considered frail for a quarterback.
Linemen weigh 350. Linebackers weigh 260. Defensive backs weigh 220. They have the body fat of a ballerina, the muscles of a super hero. Who knows what they ingest out behind the goal posts.
Collisions are frightful. Football has always been a violent sport; but never this violent. Receivers running a pattern across the middle of the field look like deer on a busy airport runway.
Players get bigger, stronger, faster. Skulls and brains stay the same.
Starting with this Super Bowl Sunday, the game of pro football will trend toward technique or brute force. Rip apart their heads or their knees; that is the dilemma.
Original Print Headline: Super dilemma to unfold Sunday