Someone needs to put out an all-points bulletin on something that’s missing.
Hire Sam Spade, or Spenser, or Sherlock Holmes to see if they can possibly locate it. And if those gumshoe giants can’t crack the case, then call out the FBI or the CIA. Because something very important has disappeared. It’s vanished. It’s become part of the Witness Protection Program. It’s seemingly gone up in a puff of smoke. In short, it’s virtually gone.
And because of its absence, the most popular sport in America has been diminished and devalued. At times, pro football as played in today’s NFL, has become unrecognizable. It seems a sorry imitation of what it used to be. It’s almost as if the backbone of the game has been replaced by something nowhere near as substantial.
Pro football, at present, has an artificial and contrived feel to it. It’s rapidly getting away from its roots and essence. It’s losing its way right before our very eyes.
Specifically, playing sound and stout defense, is quickly becoming a lost art. What was once a monumental factor in any team’s success, has been marginalized and minimized.
No longer is it the top priority to stop the opposition. Rather, the main objective has morphed into basically outscoring your adversary. Just light up the scoreboard and eventually, a foe won’t be able to keep up.
To hell with emphasizing defensive prowess. That’s an antiquated notion that went out with the Dark Ages. Now, it’s all about the pyrotechnics that an offense can generate. A defense, by and large, has become 11 sacrificial lambs just there for effect, ready to be blown up and swept to the wayside.
The current NFL likes its football to be an irresistible force, not an immovable object. In this microwave world of ours, the importance of defense has lost its glamour. Nowadays, scoring points is what drives the engine, not preventing them.
By design, the NFL has adpoted what could be construed as a dismissive attitude toward the defensive side of the ball. Do you doubt that such a bias exists? Need proof? Well then, why the concerted and over-the-top efforts to give the offense every conceivable advantage?
Nearly every meaningful rule change enacted in recent years has been an ally of those who possess the ball. Insidious and nitpicking regulations have defanged and declawed defenses.
Quarterbacks are now treated like china dolls and receivers can barely be breathed on. This isn’t football, it’s more like a tea party or a cotillion. Defenders literally have one hand tied behind their backs. They’ve had their aggression muted. The NFL has done its best to mummify them.
You watch an NFL contest, and it’s no longer a give-and-take between two equal counterparts. Things have become unduly weighted. How can fairness exist when one side is the beneficiary of favoritism, while the other is treated like a stepchild?
Clearly, the deck has been stacked. And because of that reality, you need a calculator to tabulate the score. Again, this isn’t football. It’s a video game meant for an arcade. It’s pinball with a pigskin. It’s a pursuit better suited for an arena than a stadium. The NFL has become akin to a wild tennis match, where the heads of fans move feverishly from side-to-side in order to keep up with the frenzied action. Watch an NFL game today and you’re likely to develop a severe case of whiplash.
Of the 32 teams that compromise the NFL, a case can be made that only three of them are practitioners of consistent and solid defense. Once you get beyond Seattle, Carolina, and San Francisco, the drop-off is conspicuous and significant. The remaining clubs often treat defense as if it’s a disease or something that holds just a passing interest.
Heaven forbid that the league harkens back to bygone days when defenses were a crux of the game. Can’t have that! Pro football has been transformed into a politically correct pastime. Anything hardnosed has to be legislated out of the game so as to become extinct.
Yes indeed, where have all the defenses gone? Their influence is fading faster than a distant memory. Offenses are now the kings, the monarchs that rule supreme. Crazy and highly inflated numbers are being put up by even ordinary quarterbacks. Scoring points in bunches has become the rage, the accepted norm.
But with defenses on the wane and in full retreat, the game has lost much of its heart and soul. It’s no longer the compelling struggle it used to be. A bedrock of the game has been ravaged. No one can possibly dispute that defenses are currently missing in action and lost in the wilderness. If the current trend continues, they’ll soon become afterthoughts.
And if that happens, football will be distorted and damaged beyond repair. Then, it’ll be an out of control video game come to life.
Source: nfl.com/Stats/Team/Total Defense (YPG)/Scoring.