Monday, January 19, 2009

Can We Nitpick Blogs?

Is that allowed here at FireJay? I know we can nitpick the shit out of people who claim to be real journalists, but what about normal bloggers like us? If they say something stupid, should we be allowed to point it out? In most cases, I'd lean towards no, but in the case of Deadspin, I think they're fair game. Those guys must be millionaires with all their page hits and ad revenue! Well, I was joyfully reading about the football matches this weekend when I came across this.

Before I say anything else, just watch that video a couple times. So good. Anyways, we can have a debate all day on whether or not this was a "clean" hit, but Dashiell throws this out:

And Clark nearly did as much damage to himself as he did to McGahee. So, yes, it was a "clean" hit, but it was horrible form and not very smart. Stop throwing yourself around like guided missiles out there, because it's scary and rarely does any good.

If by "rarely does any good", you wanted to say "forced a 4th quarter turnover in the AFC Championship game and ended whatever slim hopes Baltimore had of a comeback", you'd be much more accurate. These type of hits do all sorts of good-- for the league, the players, the fans, basically everyone except Willis McGahee. Part of why the NFL is so popular is that the game is so fast, collisions like this are bound to occur. If you took these collisions away, I would argue that part of the game's integrity would also be comprimised. Ryan Clark just got tons of free press, and a step towards a nice big contract. Just ask John Lynch what a couple big hits can do $$$$$$$$$$$ for your career. Also, if you want to say that the game was out of reach, I'd point you to this game and the Broncos not making the playoffs.

A sidenote: This wasn't even the dirtiest hit in the game, if you ask me. The crackback block that Limas Sweed threw down at the end of the 1st half was insanely violent. Flacco and McGahee have to know that a safety is gonna be there to deliver a hit on a play over the middle, but the guy that Sweed blew up was in a very vulnerable position and not expecting it at all.


Martin said...

The thought is at least partially right. Too many times safeties and linebackers go for the big hit instead of making the play. I think of it as Steve Atwater Syndrome. Here was a guy who had lost about 3 1/2 steps the last couple years of his carreer, but because he could still deliver a great hit, he had fame. Atwater however usually tackled the other player, where as if Clark gets sidestepped or only partially connects, Willis is running down the field some more, and Clark is eating turf.

I love it when a Ward or Sweed hits the defensive player with a similarly cheap shot. Nothing quite as hypocritical as a defensive player whining about "dirty hits">

CHart said...

Steve Atwater was an amazing player, best Safety of all-time.

It's true that a lot of the time a guy will go for a big hit and miss, but you could say the same thing about a DB gambling for a pick. I guess my main point was saying that it "rarely does any good" is the type of overstatement that only gets made when someone gets carted off the field.

Andy said...

Hines Ward hitting someone who isn't paying attention to him 50 yards away from the ball isn't anywhere close to this. Hitting someone with the ball serves a purpose. Throwing a block on someone not involved in the play is bullshit.

Larry B said...

We don't enjoy Deadspin all that much. We feel that their contribution to sports blogging has obviously been substantial, but that their perspectives are uninteresting (or wrong, like in this case) and that their commenters are a bunch of cunts. We also find Leitch to be annoying, even if he's not editor anymore. And by we I mean I.

Jack M said...

Can we nitpick successful blogs?


Jack M said...

Can we nitpick blogs?

Yes, we can!

/shows self out

Martin said...

Atwater was great, but too many players as not as good as Atwater try to imitate him, and they aren't up to it.

You will see a couple dozen hits far worse then this one, other then the obvious injury result. it's not like Willis was coming down with the ball, he was running up field. Just an unfortunate result to a crushing hit.

Tonus said...

I don't understand how the fact that Clark was also hurt is a factor in whether or not the hit was clean (or "clean" as Dashiell wrote). Clark lowered his head because he was getting ready to lead with his shoulder, and when McGahee saw him at the last moment, he instinctively ducked. So in that sense the hit was clean, there was no malicious intent on Clark's part and circumstances just worked out badly.

It's not horrible form and it's not a player just throwing himself around. He had an opportunity to deliver a good, hard hit and it went badly when the target suddenly ducked and turned it into a helmet-to-helmet hit.

CitizenX said...

It was my understanding that they were playing two hand touch.

Martin said...

The problem is that it's not a guy trying to make a tackle, it's a guy just looking to hit someone, intimidate them, and lay some hurt (not injure, just make them feel pain) on them. It's bad form because if Willis dips and slides, or spin moves, then the hit glances off and he picks up another 5, 10, 40 yards. It was clean, since he was obviously trying to lower his shoulder and lead in with that, and the helmets hit inadvertently, but it was bad form.

Hell I'm still pissed from high school football where the coach kept playing "big hitters" instead of the d-backs who could actually tackle. Felt like every game we had a safety miss or get shrugged off for a score. I may have issues that need to be addressed here. I blame Bush and Pelosi.

Bengoodfella said...

I think it is fine to nitpick a blog. I think that was a clean hit and unfortunately Willis got the worst of it. Being known as a big hitter is nothing if not lucrative for a safety. All it takes is a couple of big hits and then you have guys alligator arming passes over the middle or dropping a ball waiting to be hit.

Big hitting is the reason Chuck Cecil was on the cover of SI a decade and a half ago and is the reason we know Ryan Clark's name. If I am not wrong he blew up Wes Welker earlier this year also. Players remember things like that I would think.

Anonymous said...

Of course a receiver delivering a blindside on a DB away from a play serves a purpose. It could get in his head and have him being more cautious instead of, you know, knocking the fuck out of running back and causing a fumble.