Tuesday, October 04, 2005

NFL say's, "SHOW ME THE $$$!"

[That green background ain't no coincidence.]


October 2, 2005


As the NFL prepares to tightly embrace (i.e., make a lot of pesos off of) the burgeoning Spanish-speaking population, players throughout the league are pissed that they are being required to don ugly-ass decals that read "Futbol Americano" on their helmets this weekend.

The concern isn't that the league is going a bit too far (it is) with its efforts to sell a few urban sombreros emblazoned with the NFL shield, but that the NFL is requiring these decals to be worn not long after it utilized half-hearted, in comparison, efforts to memorialize guys like Johnny Unitas and Pat Tillman.

A year ago, the powers-that-be threatened to fine Jake Plummer 30 large if he dared to wear a decal in honor of Tillman, an American solider who died in a hail of friendly fire after giving up his NFL career to do his part to preserve freedom. In 2002, the NFL refused to let Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to wear black high tops after Unitas died of a heart attack.

So let's hope that, the next time a high-profile NFL player passes, the league will keep its cabeza out of its culata and permit the guy to be properly honored. If helmets can be used to curry favor with our muchachos in Mexico, they can and should be used to pay tribute to the guys who have made the game what it is.


NFL says Nolan cannot 'suit' up

Kevin Lynch
Sunday, May 8, 2005

Coach Mike Nolan recently petitioned the NFL to allow him to wear a suit on the sidelines during game days.

"To me, it's professional. I think it's respectful," Nolan said. "There was certainly no deal, no one came to me, there was nothing to gain. I wasn't trying to put the spotlight on me. But what I was trying to say, there's somebody in charge and this is what they look like."

The league turned Nolan down. Head coaches must wear the NFL-sanctioned team garb.

"There were marketing issues and sales issues, all that stuff," Nolan lamented. Beyond wanting to look the part of a man in charge, Nolan also viewed it as a tribute to his father, Dick, who was the coach of the 49ers from 1968-75.

"I must say looking at the pictures of my dad -- they are all around my office -- I thought, 'I'm going to do that.' But they are not going to let me."

Coaching the hard way: One difference from the staff of Dennis Erickson is the level of coaching involvement. Assistants are often vociferous and critical during practice.

Running backs coach Bishop Harris, for example, bellowed at his group when he didn't see the intensity he wanted during a drill.

"That's B.S.," Bishop railed. He then told his running backs he would hold them after practice to run the drill again, which he did.

"I tell the coaches if you are yelling at your guys, you are just trying to love them up," Nolan said. "Of course, you have to treat your players as individuals."

Rice out: Receiver Jerry Rice has made known his desire to return to his former team for his 20th season before retiring. Nolan reiterated that Rice could return to be a 49er, but only for a day, and then retire.

"Our focus is going to be on our young players and developing those guys, and we don't want to take anything away from those guys we've got on the roster," Nolan said. "He's been the greatest wide receiver ever. I'd feel pretty good about that if I was him."

1 comment:

B2 said...

POSTED 5:03 p.m. EDT, October 4, 2005


Profootballtalk.com has learned that Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer will not be fined by the NFL for failing to wear the "Futbol Americano" decal on his helmet this weekend.

We reported on Sunday morning that many players were not happy with the requirement that they don the decal, especially since the NFL has in the past curtailed efforts to memorialize former players who have died.

Case in point -- the NFL smacked Plummer with a fine for wearing a decal honoring the late Pat Tillman, who was a teammate of Plummer's at Arizona State and with the Cardinals. The league then threatened to fine Plummer a whopping $30,000 if he wore the decal again.

Greg Aiello, the NFL's Vice President of Public Relations, advised us of the league's stance on the matter.

But the decision doesn't mesh with the league's policy on fines for uniform irregularities, which imposes a $5,000 charge for a first violation. The decision also doesn't make sense to us in light of the league's reputation for making like Rain Man at Wapner time when it comes to player attire.

Our guess is that the powers-that-be decided against smacking Jake this time around because the imposition of a fine would have resulted in an Associated Press story regarding the fact that Plummer had given the league office the figurative middle finger in connection with the NFL's efforts to embrace the Spanish-speaking population.

It's far better, in other words, for the Mexicans not to know that Jake gave them an el disso, and the Mexicans won't know about it if the story dies a quiet death.

Of course, we don't think that this means Jake will get a pass. If/when Jake runs afoul of the rules in another way (by, for example, shooting the literal middle finger -- again -- at a fan or two), we think that the league office will treat him like a pinata in a room full of fat boys with Billy clubs.