1. Not a good time to be a Ref
Two rather dramatic referee videos emerging from this weekend. In the first, some kid in a high school game targeted the Ref (watch the left free-safety):
In the second, from the Rams-Seakaws game, the Refs get a little revenge:
2. Why Oh Why Can't We Get a Better [Football] Press Corps?
I stole this line from economist Brad DeLong, and I plan on doing a few more of these sections to point out some of the more egregious errors sportswriters and pseudo-journalists make. This isn't the worst example, but I was watching ESPN's infamous NFL Countdown show with Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, and the revolving array of NFL cast-offs. They did a piece about injuries, which was fine and all: the moral was that NFL players all play fairly banged up throughout the season. Not a surprise. But throughout the 10 minute or so segment, they never bothered to get into the nuances (unsurprising). But one thing they were interested in was comparing some guys who were tough versus others who were not. (Keyshawn Johnson flat out said that Julius Jones spent all his time in the training room.)
In Bill Walsh's amazing book, Finding the Winning Edge, he had some really insightful points about injuries. Namely, that different positions can handle injuries different. Walsh observed that offensive and defensive linemen tend to be able to play through certain injuries with greater ease, than, say, a defensive back.
For instance, imagine if two players have a gimpy or somewhat sprained ankle. The offensive guard, though it is by no means easy, can play through it. But would you really want your press-man cornerback to play with a sprained ankle? One bad step or slow recovery and it's a touchdown. The injury is far more debilitating. Walsh made the same point regarding receivers: they have difficulty playing through injuries for the same reason that a track sprinter would. Quarterbacks provide a good example, in that they can play through a lot of injuries but certain injuries -- to the shoulder, hand, etc -- are debilitating and can often render a QB inoperable.
Runningbacks are a unique case. It often depends on the type of runner and the type of injury. An injury affecting explosiveness is significant no matter what; other bruises and various other problems might not have as much of an affect. Even hand injuries can depend on the type of running back -- is he a prominent receiver out of the backfield?
But, alas, not a mention of this. Just "this guy is tough" and "that guy spends a lot of time in the tub."