If you have ever watched the show Inside The Actor’s Studio (and really who hasn’t), you know that each episode ends with the creepy slow-talking, bearded host asking that night’s guest a series of questions.
One of my favorite questions isn’t the one about favorite curse word (though obviously my answer to that would be “F***ing Tim Tebow”), it is the one about what your least favorite word is.
For years, my answer to that was ‘intolerance’ (I know, all Tea Partiers are free to throw up in their mouths a little bit) but this week I think I am changing it.
Now I am going with: hypocrisy.
Because that is the only word that comes to mind when I think about the NFL’s current head injury crisis.
The NFL can levy fines and issue press releases all they want but until they stop selling pictures of big hits and have announcers on their broadcasts gush lovingly over 20 year old clips of Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil in which he blatantly launches his helmet at other players, then it is hard to take anything they say seriously.
Personally, I am torn about the issue. I like big hits as much as anyone (heck, look at my Twitter avatar) but I recognize the incredible physical price players can take.
I respect the game and the players that played before but it rings a little hollow when they talk about how tough they were when they played. They played when players were smaller and slower. As any physicist knows, mass x acceleration = force. The players today play with a lot more force than anyone from the 70’s or 80’s.
Of course, I doubt many of those guys took physics. And those that did probably don’t remember it.
Combine the frightening physical prowess of the players today and the advanced knowledge we have about the impact of these hits, and I understand the concerns.
The NFL needs to pick a path. They either save these young, aggressive, physically gifted men from themselves and institute more rules or they take the shackles off and let anything go. I don’t care which way they go.
The NFL just needs to be honest with themselves, the players and the public on what they are selling.
In other hypocrisy news, we are going with theme week for the Hierarchy of Hate. So we will be using completely random reasons for deciding who we should cheer for in each game, though will probably not think about these rules again once the games actually start.
Don’t blame us, we are just learning from the biggest sport in the country.
Turner: SuperDave…Thank you for theme week, this is so much better and entertaining to create real hate. I’m sorry for my week absence. I’m back and better than ever with an inspired group of match-up categories this week. Sitting here watching SuperDave’s man-crush Buster Posey slap around doubles like Brett Favre sends Jenn Sterger pictures of his junk, just reminds me of all of the different folks that should be considered “The Man, The Myth, and the Legend” status.
Shadow: I have decided that work trips without Turner are lame. Trapped here in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by more bright orange and blue than I can stand, and my Yankees are finding a way to not make it to back to back World Series. Not a good week. Luckily, that just means all the more hate to go around. Super Dave even rolled out the Toddler Version of THH, so I don’t have to strain my brain coming up with a theme for my answers. This THH brought to you by Fry Sauce.
College (each of these schools has had at least 1 great running back, pick the game on which RB you liked more):
LSU @ Auburn
SD: Billy Cannon vs. Bo Jackson. Yes, Billy Cannon played 20 years before I was born and Bo was one of the greatest athletes and biggest stars of my youth but I am going with Billy here. Also when I was young, a semi-biographical movie was produced about Billy that introduced me to the twin wonders of a young Jessica Lange (yes, I know that pic isn’t from the movie but I don’t care) and southern football night games at Death Valley. Bo don’t know either of these things. Geaux Tigers.
Turner: Of the few things I don’t like, one of them is people who have more vowels in their name than consonants, aka Joseph Addai. While nothing against Mr. Addai personally other than his last name, he did play against the Oklahoma Sooners I believe in destroying Jason White’s hope of a lasting NFL legacy and relegated him to the local cement company in Kingfisher Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Who Knows BO? Yeah, he was greatness. The only issue I have was when he was with Oakland Raiders and super abused the man, the myth, the legend (not f******* Buster Posey) Brian Bosworth in the old Kingdome. While that hurt, it did not destroy a man like it did the Heisman winner, Jason White. He could have been the man, myth, and legend himself, but now he is one hell of a bricklayer and it is all Addai’s fault. Come On Tigers, not the geaux kind….
Shadow: Bo knows THH. Well, actually he doesn’t, but that is beside the point. Who is LSU going to try and trot out to top it? Kevin Faulk? Joseph Addai? Charles Alexander? Doesn’t matter. Bo was a freak of nature, and one of the greatest pure athletes of all time. No contest. Fly on War Eagle.
Nebraska @ Oklahoma State
SD: Mike Rozier vs. Barry Sanders. Barry is going to go down as one of the greatest running backs of all time and one of the first people to try and bring the afro back in fashion in the late 90’s. After Rozier’s Heisman winning career with Turner Gil and Irving Fryar at Nebraska he had a fairly uneventful 6 year NFL career (though he somehow made two Pro Bowls). In my front running youth, I loved that Nebraska team. It seems only fitting that they would be the first of many of my teams to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the University of Miami. Apparently from an early age I was destined to hate the Canes. For being a trendsetter in my life, without even realizing it Rozier gets the nod here.
Turner: Barry Sanders was the best and he was bigger than a Myth, bigger than a Man (even though he was small), and forever a Legend. Mike Rozier –he might be one of the first editions of my THH that I can recall as an 8 year old. I remember HATING his Cornhusker teams back in the early 80’s. My boy Marcus Dupree did his best to destroy him in Lincoln but failed, them winning the Big 8 those years… That just burns. Meanwhile, Barry dominated the Sooners but he did that to everyone and it never really cost OU anything significant. He was great. You pair him up with Hart Lee Dykes and that tandem might have been one of the best ever. So I’m going to have to go against Lincoln Nation (not to mention they could have buried TX for me last week and failed) and root for the Pokes.
Shadow: Now, this is a showdown of showdowns. The immortal Mike Rozier. Who can forget his 230 yards against Kansas in one half! And then there is Barry Sanders, who I swear was the hardest person to catch and tackle that I have ever seen. I think sometimes the fact that Rozier didn’t have a very memorable pro career diminishes his college accomplishments for some. But this is THH, so I don’t care about what either of them went on to do. Barry had pretty much the best college year ever by a running back…but that was it. Then he was off to the NFL. So I am going with Rozier for his overall body of work.
NFL (Each of these cities’ NBA team has had one of the best players in the NBA on it over the last few years. Pick the team with the player you like more)
Cleveland @ New Orleans
SD: In honor of the NBA tipping off (and the fact that I may or may not have bought a 10-game package to the Nuggets for this season which means I may be at more Nuggets games than Melo), we are mixing up themes this week and looking beyond the gridiron. So this matches up Rasual Butler and Craig Ehlo. Ok, it isn’t because that would be such a blowout (Rasual can’t compete with Craig’s mullet) I guess instead we will weigh LeBron and Chris Paul. While it is easy to mock LeBron and his tortuous Decision this summer, I will pick him over Paul. As far as I know LeBron never racked a guy like Paul did. Kicked an entire region in the balls? Sure. But not another player. That is just dirty pool. Go Cleveland.
Turner: Mo William’s Mom vs Darryl Strawberry’s son? This is a tough call. It is one thing to get your mom hooked up with your team’s star player, but to produce an NBA player through snorting coke? That is impressive too. Chris Paul is the NBA equivalent of Warrick Dunn. Undersized, but great player who seems to be a very good, high character person. (I’m looking for Buster Posey type love from Super Dave with this analogy). Meanwhile ‘Witness’ is the opposite. Can’t stand him except he did do his ‘decision’ for the children of the greater Connecticut Boys and Girls Club. I’ll take Chris in this one with a Beignet from Café Du Monde with extra powder sugar to go please.
Shadow: It makes perfect sense to pick THH based on sports other than football. Sadly, the NBA is one of those leagues where I have very little rooting interest. The Nuggets (plus cushy free tickets in the Club Level via Turner) had some success over the past couple of years and made me actually care a little about pro basketball…but with Carmelo on his way out (and possibly to the most hated of Turner’s locales) I find it hard to care again. I never really bought into the whole Lebron thing, and I think he is a pussy for abandoning Cleveland. My boyhood idol, Don Mattingly, suffered through the longest World Series drought of the modern Yankees organization and did so with character and class…never once even considering going somewhere else for a better chance at a title. His best chances at making it to the World Series were snuffed out by the strike in 1994 and then when the Mariner’s cheated and let Randy Johnson pitch in relief for the Mariners as they beat the Yankees (a feat he would repeat in the 2001 World Series for the Diamondbacks…the big doofus…all this prior to basically sucking when the Yankees paid him big money to come to New York). But….I digress. Give me Chris Paul and the Charlotte/New Orleans/Oklahoma City/New Orleans Hornets…and thus, the Saints over the Browns.
Arizona @ Seattle
SD: You may have forgotten by now, but the Oklahoma City Thunder and their best young line-up in the league should be the Seattle SuperSonics. Instead my friends in the northwest got the same treatment from Clay Bennett that Julius Hodge got from Chris Paul. So now when I compare Kevin Durant to Steve Nash in this match-up it is with sadness. Paradoxically, by not cheering for Durant in protest of him now playing in OKC, I therefore have to cheer against the Seahawks in this match-up. Of course, after the last couple years Seattle sports fans would expect nothing less.
Turner: The only player in the NBA that could be the Man, The Myth, and the Legend. Yes, that is Kevin Durant. The Phenom, the golden child, the freak. He is greatness. While SuperDave will likely bitch about the fact that Seattle lost their team to the greatness of the Thunder he can’t argue greatness. Steve Nash is almost to this same level but unfortunately Thunder comes before Lightening.
Shadow: Steven Nash and Kevin Durant. This one is a tough call. What I think most of when I see Nash play is, “Was he too tall for hockey?” Durant may not have the longevity yet, but he is really fun to watch. Okay, I am lying. I don’t watch the NBA really at all. I could tell Durant and Nash apart, because I am not dumb (Nash is white, right?), but I honestly probably have never seen much more than a handful of minutes of Durant in the NBA, and most of the Nash stuff I see is just when they have played Denver. So, I will just flip a coin. Heads. That means I like Nash more. Go Cardinals.