…and Richard Sherman is your 2013 Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-QB Non-RB MVP.
Mike the Musicologist made a good point to us last night, in reference to TMQ’s (and, we think, specifically Tony Dungy’s) comments about America needing more time away from football: the NFL is a profession. They call it “pro football” for a reason.
Our bosses would never say to us, “you need some time away from security. Take three or six months and go do something else.” And if we did decide we needed some time away from security, we wouldn’t expect to get paid – or for that matter to have a job when we came back. (Yes, there are some professions where you can take a sabbatical or a leave of absence, but not every year.)
So why do football players need “time away from football”, other than the usual rest, recuperation, and vacation you get in most other professions? What’s special about the NFL? Maybe the physical demands of the job, but we suspect that’s built into the training and off-season expectations of NFL teams.
As far as needing “time off from football” as a society, we already feel there’s a pretty long gap from February to August. The attention of society during those months is pretty much devoted to basketball and baseball; we don’t see a lot of football coverage during this period (major events excepted). Indeed, if we wanted “time off a sport”, our pick would be basketball: the 2012 NBA season ended on June 20th, 2013. The first preseason game of the 2013 season was October 5th. So that’s basically what, three months with no basketball compared to the NFL’s six months with no football?
“But don’t you agree college players need time away?” No, we pretty much agree with MtM’s other point: college is just the minor leagues for the NFL, and college players are every bit as much professionals as NFL players.
When you get down to high school and lower levels, yes, we’d agree that time away is needed. But we’re not sure that kids aren’t getting that; we’re still trying to figure out the UIL regulations, but so far we’ve determined that junior high kids can’t start practicing before the first day of school. (When do they have to stop? Good question. Any UIL rulebook experts out there? Feel free to comment.)