Mac the Knife

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Everything posted by Mac the Knife

  1. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    The HitMen averaged 28,309 back in 2001. How much do you want to lose wager that the 2020 version, presuming it's in the New York area, draws an average of 2,500 in its first season. I'll give you 20:1 odds at an average of 2,500 on any amount you want to wager. I'll give you 5:1 odds on a 10,000 over/under, and even money on a 25,000 over/under for any bet up to $100.
  2. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    It depends entirely on what you're definition of "treated seriously" means. I think anyone who's approaching it from any direct mindset comparative to the NFL - in terms of gate attendance, media coverage, television revenue or any typically tangible metric - is not going to view either as "serious." And by those types of metrics, they'd be right. But it brings up a bigger question: What constitutes success for each of these ventures? If it's averaging 25,000 fans at each game in year one? I think both are capable of that - in the case of the AAF based on some of the markets they've chosen, an in the case of the XFL because they did it the first time around, as did the USFL back in 1983. Now if success is growing beyond that base and into a league that has teams regularly bringing in 40,000 for home games, or landing a TV deal that broadcasts games every week, or both? That's another matter because the landscape has changed so much, and those are targets that the (fourth) AFL didn't even start hitting until 1965. To get noticed, and stay noticed, they're going to have to do something extraordinary from the outset, then put out a continually decent football product over an extended period of time.
  3. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    An AAF (or XFL) team won't be treated seriously in the NYC market unless they play at the Meadowlands, Shea or Yankee Stadia (sorry, they're not paying me to mention their corporate names, so I don't use them). Red Bull's stadium (whatever it's called) would be a possibility if they couldn't land the others, but that FXFL field layout is literally the worst thing I could imagine having to deal with logistically and from a ticket sales perspective - There's not a seat within 100 feet of the 50 yard line any way you look at that layout. Simply awful.
  4. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    But... is it? Is it that much of an outlier? We don't know, likely because if it happens at pre-professional levels to that degree, the playing days of the player suffering the trauma (hopefully) come to an immediate end. I was diagnosed with one concussion playing high school football; the next day, my parents made me turn in my pads and helmet. I had headaches for weeks but was otherwise fine. Did I want to play? Yeah. But my parents were smart enough to forbid it from that point forward. And on the other hand, even presuming it's a freak accident as you put it, why put people in a position where such freak accidents are any more likely than the proverbial lightning strike? But the truth is, these aren't freak accidents or lightning strikes. Darryl Stingley was not an accident. Dennis Byrd was not an accident. Mike Webster was not an accident. Dwight Clark was not an accident. Lou Creekmur was not an accident. Dave Duerson was not an accident. Frank Gifford was not an accident. Cookie Gilchrist was not an accident. Aaron Hernandez was not an accident. Jovan Belcher was not an accident. Rob Lytle was not an accident. John Mackey was not an accident. Ollie Matson was not an accident. Earl Morrall was not an accident. Junior Seau was not an accident. Ken Stabler was not an accident. Bubba Smith was not an accident. Justin Strzelczyk was not an accident. Andre Waters was not an accident. Mosi Tatupu was not an accident. They were 20 players who, either due to one-time hits or a lifetime of suffering head traumas directly related to playing football, had their lives either seriously compromised or cut short. Two of those people took innocent lives with them along the way before meeting their own demise. How much lightning has to strike?
  5. Mac the Knife

    Logo For Me

    Thought #1: Pick a case with the "JF." All upper or all lower, but pick one. Thought #2: Consider slanting the "JF" to the right to give a sense of forward motion. Thought #3: I'm not sure what the symbolism of the feather is intended to convey. If it isn't obvious it needs to be ditched - or made obvious. Thought #4: What is "Imagery" as you see it? When I think "imagery," the first thought that comes to my mind, honestly, is bull****."
  6. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    Fair enough. I wasn't aware of that but I'll concede it as fact. But what does it mean? That you can play until you have two diagnosed concussions and then you're done? Where does that line get drawn? The point still remains - this poor bastard's brains are scrambled like my morning eggs, and he was a kicker, who I'm sure you'll concede had nominal contact compared to players at any other position (including punters). What does that say about the overall safety of the sport as a whole, then or now?
  7. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    Woah, woah, woah... hold up a minute. Let's back up a minute here. Have you ever actually listened to a collegiate or professional football player, current or former, give an interview? Because if you have, you can clearly (and I mean clearly) tell which among them either (i) have received significant media relations training, (ii) have suffered significant brain trauma during the course of their careers, or (iii) neither. The first group usually wind up as part of the jockocracy or otherwise want to be in the broadcasting field once they're playing days are over (and kudos to them if they can get such gigs). The third group you don't hear much about because they spend their post-playing days doing things like managing beer distributorships, selling insurance or opening up car dealerships - none of which are that hard to excel at if you have a little bit of drive and initiative; but c'mon, there aren't any guys who've played in the NFL currently working at Sloan-Kettering. The middle group? That's the wider swath of professional players if they've played long enough. When you interview them they sound like Evander Holyfield and/or Riddick Bowe - guys whom you can easily document the progress of their brain trauma-induced dementia based solely on their ability to speak. In short, you're trying to paint with a very, very wide brush in an effort to put a coat over the flaws in the fine strokes here. As I've said before, I don't have a magic wand-like answer to what would make football safer as a sport, nor will I ever claim to. I don't think the 'safety hurdle' can be managed, in large part because we're not at all sure just how high that hurdle is yet. And evidently, you've no issue with risking the safety of children until the height of that hurdle can be clearly defined. I'm sorry, but I don't fall into that camp. I also notice that you've conveniently neglected to rebut my mention of Bjorn Nittmo. His story is, at absolute minimum, exceptionally strong circumstantial evidence that the game shouldn't be regulated - but outlawed, period - as he took ONE shot to the head in a game 30 years ago, and has been completely messed up since. Any such sport that puts you at such risk (and I'll include auto racing in this) should be considered for elimination. At minimum, others outside the parameters of the game's "family" need to step in, do a thorough and objective assessment of it, and determine how the game can be made safer - just as Theodore Roosevelt did 110 or so years ago. If that means the end of the kickoff? I'm fine by that. If that means players playing without pads and helmets so they realize how vulnerable they are rather than feeling invincible? I'm for that. But someone needs to step in, and to argue otherwise is folly.
  8. Mac the Knife

    Logo For Me

    Is it a stylized "H," an "HF, or maybe an "If?" Not to be critical, but I honestly cannot tell.
  9. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    I was going to refer you generally to CTE studies in high school and collegiate players, but Gothamite (the passionate one on the subject) as I see has beaten me to it an cited it. "Studies aren't conclusive" are the exact same three words you hear from climate change deniers. And yet, you can measure, and feel whenever you go outside, the results of what those "inconclusive" studies put forth. I don't think anyone here disputes there are life lessons (apparently spelling lessons aren't among them, but I digress ) to be learned from the sport. I didn't play at any level beyond high school, but I can agree with you on the point. But I can also argue that there's not a single one of them that couldn't be taught in the environment of another sport; most of the lessons I learned from football proved easily translatable to baseball, for example - strategy, determination, focus, teamwork, the need for physical conditioning. But not one of those necessitated my crashing into another person deliberately; in fact, in baseball the opposite was emphasized, because if you did that in the outfield, you'd ****ed up. If you want to argue that there are life lessons that football teaches but other sports cannot? Please, make a specific case. So far no one's disputing the point with you; only that those lessons can be taught by other means, in other sports. Not necessarily an emotional narrative, @Gothamite , but one based on personal experience vs. those of others. It's simply being subjective vs. objective, and for anyone who encounters anything first-hand, it's a hard separation to make.
  10. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    No disagreement here, except that I'm going to disagree with two-thirds of it. Players are going to do whatever they have to in order to play, in order to keep collecting paychecks for as long as they possibly can. And no matter what, if a team thinks a player's going to help them win, that player is going to play. Here's an example: Bjorn Nittmo. Nittmo was a journeyman kicker who came to America having never played contact football. He made the Giants roster, literally not really knowing what to do until he was on the field. Nittmo figured it out, but bounced around from team to team and league to league. In total, the guy suited up for 13 different teams in five different leagues ranging from the NFL to the Arena League. Over the course of his entire career, the total extent of his physical contact with an opposing player consisted of one tackle - one - made of a ball carrier in a preseason game while trying to make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad. By all accounts, that one hit meanwhile had scrambled his brains for life. Amazingly, he'd go on to play for five more teams over eight years, throughout which he suffered severe memory loss and other issues caused by brain trauma. His teammates just thought he was forgetful when he'd kickoff, run off the field, then 3-4 minutes later ask a teammate if he was going to get into the game. His coaches thought him just another kicker when he behaved oddly. But he'd suffered permanent brain damage. Today, Bjorn Nittmo is a 52 year old vagabond, living somewhere in Arizona - no one's sure where, because he has a tendency to simply wander off for days, sometimes weeks on end. His wife divorced him over a decade ago after they went bankrupt due to his medical bills. On the rare occasions he sees his kids, he barely recognizes them and doesn't acknowledge his youngest is even his - because he doesn't remember the child being born. He barely remembers playing football at all. And his entire head trauma profile, related to football or anything else, came from one... single... hit. It can't be attributed to car accidents, playing soccer, or any meaningful football-related contact than that... one... hit. I agree that embracing technology is a good idea. But the other two suggestions are simply impractical without two other, significant changes, neither of which the NFL would go for: First - forget about the 53 man roster. Allow a 90 man Active List through a team's 4th regular season game, and a 75-man Active List and 15-player Inactive List (simply an "Inactive" designation, without the necessity of a reason - no "Injured Reserve," "Reserve - NFI" and what-not) from that point forward. Second (and frankly, one which I think DeMaurice Smith should go to the mattresses for, period) - fully guaranteed contracts. If you sign a guy? You pay him his full salary. If he's hurt playing for you? He deserves to be paid. If he's released? It's not his fault you signed him; pay him - or at least guarantee 50% of it in event of a release. If he retires? Okay, the team's off the hook for the salary. If I'm an injured player on a 90-man overall roster who's secure enough to know I'm going to collect a check? I may want to play, but the spectre of losing my job doesn't loom so large that I'm going to risk permanent injury, be it brain trauma or a torn meniscus or whatever. And my coaches, having a significantly larger depth chart to work with, aren't going to worry nearly as much about my sitting out a week or even a month due to concussion symptoms. And if as a result of my injury someone else takes my starting spot? I'm still getting paid, though I'm likely to be traded somewhere down the road or perhaps even released. But so what? Better that than to someday be a Mike Webster, Dave Duerson, Junior Seau or Bjorn Nittmo.
  11. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    I don't disagree; but what I'm saying is that if they either don't self-impose some serious corrections to the game, or if Congress doesn't jump in and regulate it for them? By the late 21st century professional football could have all the collective heft and interest level as professional boxing. Regulation needs to be imposed, by someone at some level, for sake of safety. And those saying it isn't necessary, regardless of their reason or perceived good intention, are flat-out wrong. It's not going to self-correct; any evidence of that went out the window with the way the NFL has handled the concussion issue as a whole. And when something doesn't self-correct, it either gets corrected by an outside force (e.g., Congress), or it starts dying as a business.
  12. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    Yeah? Well, you're a dooty-head.
  13. Mac the Knife

    Football and CTE

    First off: guys? Stopping mocking Danny for his opinions. He makes some legitimate points in this thread that can't simply be waved away in the same fashion that we can with everything that comes out of the mouth of a Sarah Sanders or Donald Trump as bull**** based solely on the source. But any profession that makes you three times as susceptible to Alzheimer's than the normal population is not a profession that in any other industry wouldn't be under some intense federal scrutiny. A parallel to this could be made to the coal industry, where those in the mines (among them at one point or another, my father, both my grandfathers, several uncles, and countless family friends) were susceptible to various respiratory issues, including cancer, 'black lung,' etc., which ultimately took their lives. They knew the risks they took going into that mine every day, but they also saw it as the only means of adequately providing for their families, and saw themselves as having no other skills that could translate into a job that paid a similar wage. Kind of like an NFL player having the option of making $25,000 a year in an office vs. $2,500,000 playing football. It's a decision in theory - but it's not really a decision. Once the problem was seen for what it was, the federal government stepped in and mandated working conditions. They didn't let the coal companies decide to conduct their own research. They didn't allow them to arbitrarily fix shift lengths or whether employees could continue to hand-shovel coal into transport cars that went to the surface (as my grandfather had done). They stepped in and said "this is the way this is going to operate from this point forward, period." In the interest of worker safety, they took the decision-making authority out of the hands of the mining industry's equivalent of pro football - team owners - and implemented their own regulations. It didn't solve every problem, but it put mechanisms in place that saved countless lives since - and forced an automation of the coal industry to a point where the number of miners that have to risk their lives every day is nominal compared to what was needed a century ago. Perhaps football needs similar outside regulation. Perhaps for the sake of the safety of its participants overall, those people who purport to know best about the sport need to be removed from the decision-making equation, in favor of people who specialize in safety to the exclusion of all else, and have no concern for preserving the game's traditions. Bring in people with completely fresh perspectives. People with no axes to grind. People unafraid to say, "This is how it must be done going forward," and empowered to enforce it by administering massive fines, or even shutting down teams or entire leagues that don't adhere to those safety standards. Imagine some of the courses... "Bullet-Bras 101." "Introduction to Whoredom."
  14. Mac the Knife

    MLB Relocation? Naw...

    Mariners won't sign long-term lease extension without $180,000,000 in public funds for improvements Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks and Maricopa County have been going round and round with respect to the stadium situation there, with the parties recently agreeing to a termination of the lease if I recall. Honestly if I were a government official with unilateral control over the situation in either of these markets? I'd not only be unwilling to commit public funding to upgrades to stadia that are only 20-25 years old and leased to these teams for nothing or next to nothing? I'd wait until the last possible minute allowable under the terms of the lease agreements, and then I'd advise them that the municipality will be terminating the lease at the earliest effective date permissible. Good luck building a new stadium in the area on what probably would be about a year's notice. Good luck on finding a new market that'd be capable of supporting a Major League Baseball team with that little build-up. And if you find one? Good luck with the veritable cluster that will transpire with any relocation scenario thanks to professional baseball's incredibly specific, and often cryptic, territorial rights provisions, which literally break the entirety of Canada and the United States down by county and assign them to different Major or Minor League teams. Because you're going to be spending at least $60-100 million just to buy out the market rights held in whatever city you're moving to. Of course, the advisory would be a negotiation tactic, but I think that'd put them in their place vis-a-vis public subsidization of stadia.
  15. Mac the Knife

    "(Insert Team Name) Shoots Twice"

    In looking at various NHL/AHL/ECHL season ticket plans this week, I keep seeing the same thing on the seating diagrams: a phrase on the ice of "(Insert Name Here) Shoot(s) Twice." I'm obviously not getting it. What is this supposed to imply/mean? Can some puckhead educate me?
  16. Mac the Knife

    Let's help the AAF

    Not Explorers. If it were Columbus, yeah, but not Orlando. Orlando would need a more modern word. Orlando Voyagers.
  17. Mac the Knife

    Let's help the AAF

    Well, we know Joe does good work. Hopefully he has enough input to talk them out of really bad naming ideas. Unfortunately some suggestions present trademark conflicts of one type of another, which is why you're seeing more Brandiose-like "Jumbo Shrimp" type names in sports. That hurdle overcome however, I'd go with names that open the door to mass appeal marketing opportunities... Birmingham: "Birmingham Blitz." It has alliteration and sounds menacing. Plus it has no local-specific meaning, so when you have to abandon the market and put the team somewhere else, you can save some money and take the brand to the new market if you want. Memphis: "Memphis River Kings." Once used by a minor league hockey team, this name could conjure up any number of different sets of iconography, because, "What is a River King?" Is it a boat's skipper? Is it a high stakes old timey gambler that reminds you of Brett Maverick? Lots of ways you could go with it. Orlando: "Florida Flamingos." It was very nearly used in 1991 instead of Florida Marlins. The flamingo is an iconic image of the state even if it's not necessarily prevalent in Orlando, it has alliteration, and affords you a wild neon color palette to work from. Phoenix: "Arizona Sidewinders." Another one that offers you two different sets of iconography. Do you go with the actual snake, as did the Tucson Sidewinders minor league baseball team? Or do you go with a Yosemite Sam like "two-timin', four-flushing sidewinder?" San Antonio: I'd use "Texas Oilers" until the NFL sued for alleged trademark infringement, then use "Texas Drillers" after generating the publicity from the suit, a la the Baltimore "CFL Colts." Either way, I'd use the old Houston Oilers color scheme. San Diego: This one has the greatest potential for a number of reasons. One could go with the obvious naval angle with "San Diego Destroyers" or "San Diego Submariners" or whatever, or one could poke the NFL a little and go with the "San Diego Lightning," "San Diego Flash," or something similar, using the Chargers color scheme. Ironically, I'm not a fan of regional names. In AAF's case however they're going to need to cast their net out as wide as they possibly can for fans, and in some cases use of a regional name makes for a better overall branding profile. For Atlanta and Salt Lake City? Honestly, I've got nothing.
  18. Mac the Knife

    Panthers to Replace NFL Shield with Logo at Mid-Field

    1. No. Not "One Carolina." Two, very separate, very distinct Carolinas, and honestly there should be three. There's one North. One South. And if someone someday decides to split North Carolina at a point just west of Greensboro? I'd vote for that in a minute. 2. That panther looks like it's squatting to take a giant **** on western North Carolina, which meets with my general approval. No. There's nothing in the NFL's bylaws, operations manual or playing rules that mandates that teams use any specific markings other than those lines and markings required in the playing rules (hash marks, lines every five yards, numerals every ten yards, the arrows, etc.) When it's a postseason game however, the league governs the game and in those cases, it imposes its own guidelines. Teams are "requested" to do things such as the "Opening Weekend" or "Thanksgiving" graphics, and all do, but that's not mandated.
  19. Mac the Knife

    New Honey Comb Branding

    The reason for this change was explained today by the folks at Post... apparently, guerrillas temporarily invaded the Honeycomb Hideout and took over the production line. The Post police were able to repel the invaders, but not before they could get at least some of their sub-standard project onto shelves.
  20. The "squares over circles" reminds me not of a bus, but the old Westinghouse logo for some reason. Purple's not a bad color choice; it's distinctive at least. And as for names, "WeGo" could've just as easily been "YouGo," which would've prompted all sorts of unintentional fun.
  21. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    ALLEGEDLY, per Bill Polian yesterday, Orlando... 1. Was the league's "top priority" market, whatever that meant (and judging by your comment, it apparently means damned little), and 2. Will have a team name "sometime in September, I think," giving you an idea just how on the ball these guys really are.
  22. Mac the Knife

    Popular Defunct Teams

    Technically not defunct as the team still exists under new branding. But to this day, in my mind, these guys had the coolest color combination in the history of the NFL.
  23. Mac the Knife

    2018 CFL Season: The March for 106

    Toronto-Ottawa was the game to watch this weekend. Wow, what a comeback.
  24. Mac the Knife

    "(Insert Team Name) Shoots Twice"

    Thanks to the Cincinnati Cyclones, I found my answer to this. I've attended hundreds of hockey games in my life. I was a PA announcer in the ECHL for a year and a half. And I swear to God, it never registered to me that because they play three periods rather than four, there was a dissimilarity there. 31 years of following hockey, and today I got my mind blown by something that I should've been able to figure out by the time I'd attended my... fifth or sixth game. <smacks forehead>
  25. If you're among the 12 or so people who watch CBS Sports Network, tonight you should watch and root ardently for the Washington Valor to defeat the Albany Firebirds Conquest Empire by two or more points tonight. Should they do so, the Valor will advance to the 31st edition of the ArenaBowl against their Monumental Sports-owned brethren, the Baltimore Brigade. And should it occur, this will mark two distinct firsts in the history of American sports: First - It will mark the first time in American history, and possibly North American history, where teams owned by the same ownership group would compete against one another for a league's championship. Second, and in my opinion far more appealing - It will mark the first time in American history where a team completed a regular season of ten or more games, won only two of them, then proceeded to advance to a league's championship game. You read that right. The Washington Valor went 2-10 in regular season competition. Thanks to the AFL's "everybody makes the playoffs" format, and this year's "home-and-home aggregate score" divisional playoff round, if the Valor win by 2 or more points tonight? A team which including playoffs will have gone 3-11 will be appearing in a championship game. And in all likelihood due to arena issues - they'll likely be hosting it. I love to watch potential trainwrecks.