|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
SABAN CALLS FOR RULES TO SLOW UP-TEMPO OFFENSES
“It’s a safety issue,” says Alabama football coach Nick Saban, “How can you expect defenses to keep up If they run off plays before we have a chance to substitute.”
How can the speed of play harm the players?
“Well, didn’t you hear me? These fast break offenses will sometimes run fifteen plays in a row and my 325 pound defensive tackle is begging for air. I have to waste a time out to replace him.”
So, doesn’t the offense have players of equal weight? You don’t see them whining for blows. Where’s the safety issue?
“Heart attacks, man! Fans don’t want to see these pinball game scores. They want good-ol’ grind ‘em out, hard-hitting, smash mouth football.”
And, somehow, that’s safer for the players? I thought studies showed the more times players slam their helmets into other players, the more head and neck injuries and the more concussions.
“No, it’s the whales having heart attacks and the excessive number of plays which leads to injuries.”
So you contend the fans would like to see less plays? With possibly less collisions? Maybe you can enact rules that prevents tackling… like having the receivers or the running backs wear little flags on their belts.
“Now, you’re just being silly. Studies were made showing the more plays you run, the greater your chances for injury.”
What if you played less games? Wouldn’t that limit the amount of collisions players had during a year?
“That’s not going to happen. We recruit to stop the big S.E.C. running backs and I don’t feel I need to change just because Johnny Manziel or Missouri or some other punk school wants to no-huddle us off the field. We should be allowed a fifteen second pause to allow for substitutions after every first down,” says Saban. “That’s only fair. I’m not alone in this. Bret Bielema of Wisconsin agrees there should be rule changes.”
I guess your right about a few things, Nick. You and Bret only average about 65 plays a game. Teams like A & M, Texas Tech, Oregon, Oklahoma and La Tech are clipping out in the mid to high eighty plays a game. More hits, more fatigue, I can see that. What about safer uniforms and helmets with foam padding on the outside?
“Fans don’t want that. They want to hear the smack. And if we flak jacket the entire uniform the players will get so hot they couldn’t last ten plays. No, the answer is new rules to slow down the spread offenses. Outlaw the no huddle. Make everyone huddle up and allow us time to sub.”
Didn’t you just win three of the last four national titles? You must be doing something right. I guess then we’ll see these new rules. After all, we’re certain most coaches and most fans agree with you. Nick, don’t walk off. I just said how much everyone always agrees with you. Nick? Nick…. Don’t leave.
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|Silliman On Sports
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