SPORTS w/The Jock 8-4-11

by Tom Weppel
We knew this was going to happen. To what extent, and how, was ‘a whole ‘nother thing‘!
I’m talking, of course, about the opening of training camps for NFL clubs. What has essentially happened is that about four months of normal work for all the teams is now being squeezed into about two- to three weeks. From the cutting and releasing of veteran players who were stuck on the roster from last season, to the signings of both rookies (draft picks and free agents), to the courting and signing of veteran free agents, the whole thing has been nothing but a complete mess to keep up with for all parties involved, including fans, coaches, and team personnel!
And I’m totally serious about every one of those parties/groups I just mentioned. For instance, crazy as it seems, I’m sure most team Head Coaches don’t even KNOW all the players on their roster and in their various camps right now! If you hang around most team practices, you will see all the coaches with roster sheets in their hands, just to make sure they know who all the guys are, practicing with what number, and at what position!
A lot of the players in NFL Camps right now are rookies. Past seasons would’ve allowed them to have been signed a couple of months ago, then given playbooks, and gone through OTA practices, so that they currently would be much more prepped for the routines that are ongoing. Instead, we have a situation where there is a lot of learning on the run, which makes for a very unsettled situation, for sure. While Head Coaches always talk about enjoying teaching, this is certainly not the most ideal situation for any of them to be in, and they seem to make that clear.
And yet, as we talk about all of this for the first eight days or so of practices, there are veterans who are being held out of on-field practices and any physical activity until the new CBA got signed on Thursday! That has made for an even more disjointed debacle for all the teams and their coaches to be dealing with. The bottom line here is that teams FINALLY have all their guys available to be on the field for full practices on Thursday, and I’m sure it has felt like an eternity for this to finally be the case!
Teams now have only about a week or so until the preseason games begin. There has been an absolute flurry of deals done to sign and cut guys, while also getting all the rookies to up speed. It will be interesting to see how everyone will play, both from a team standpoint, and from an individual standpoint. We’ll be here to keenly observe! Should be fun…

The last athlete that received this much attention…at least in MY opinion…for even the slightest moves he made, on or off the playing field, was Michael Jordan. Its almost ridiculous how much media and fan coverage Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods is receiving, in coming back from being out of commission for a while due to his leg injuries. I’m sure he has not enjoyed the scrutiny and observation, as his personality doesn’t match up to the lifestyle.
Whether that is a good or a bad thing is a matter of opinion, and of course, discussion, all of which is ongoing right now, as Woods plays in Ohio at the Firestone Country Club. I wasn’t a member of the media when Jack Nicklaus was in his hey day, but people are comparing Woods to Nicklaus in various ways. Again, whether that is good or bad is up for debate.
Seems there are all sorts of angles generating this situation, at least from my perspective! There are some fans who are still into Tiger, wanting him to win and succeed and get back to being the golfer we all saw before, when he was winning Majors. Those fans are…and were, still…simply amazed and impressed by his golfing abilities and playing, and they want to see it re-emerge.
Then there are others who have a distinct animosity towards Woods, wanting him to fail and lose out, for various reasons, it seems. Some don’t like him because he WAS such a good player! They are wanting him to get beat, as if he was a superhero going up against typical, normal cadre of everyday guys!
And then there is another group who don’t like him because he was busted red-handed, cheating against his wife and family (and everyone else!), after painting such a great picture of being a clean kid, then young adult…all then to have it go up in flames!
With all that said, there’s no question Woods is going to attract a ton of coverage this weekend during his playing, whether he plays well or not! He will no doubt generate the hype! It’ll be interesting to see how everyone will react from Tiger’s performance. There is no cut line…all players will play all four rounds.
One final line for everyone to ponder…is the PGA Tour better or worse having Woods back in the mix? Will they be a better, stronger entity if he wins?
Think about it…


april, 2022