FanDuel - WFBC

November 30, 2006

Jim Brown speaks about some of the things wrong with the NFL today.: It's trying to protect the players, but you know, I think it's also an attempt to try to add to the offensive excitement of the game. It's over-legislated and it's not fair to defensive players. It doesn't represent what football is supposed to be.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to football at 10:38 AM - 34 comments

Jim Brown FTA on today's NFL players and the "embiggening" of the league: Bigger, fatter, more out of condition and getting hurt a lot. You can quote me on that. I've never seen more fat guys in my life. Awesome.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:27 AM on November 30

Jim Brown is one of those guys you like to listen to when he speaks. His comments about the players' social consiousness these days speak volumes. Basically, the players have become part of the elite part of society. And I mean regardless of their color or anything like that. They are part of the elite part of our society because of money and status. So there's not discrimination based on black and white; it's more of a discrimination based on the rich and the poor. The poor get little consideration. That's something everyone needs to think about. Brown says racial discrimination obviously still exists, but it's more subtle nowadays. As for the comments on the protection of players, especially quarterbacks, I don't see that ever changing. Look at the Eagles with McNabb, for example. Nothing takes the wind out of an entire organization, out of the entire city, and out of every town that particular team goes to play their away games, than losing a marquee player (QB, especially) like McNabb. It's that type of thing the league wants to make sure it avoids. They'll gladly keep answering the questions about limiting any physical punishment dealt out to QBs, as long as it means those players are around from week to week.

posted by dyams at 11:49 AM on November 30

Previously, I've thought as Brown as a bit of a wierdow. But, I was really impressed by this interview. I may not agree with everything he said but he's doing a lot of good and is representing his cause quite well. His points about the need for better education as opposed to more punitive actions by the league are well-taken. I for one think both needs to take place (more preventative behavior education as well as steeper punishments). He also spoke in an appropriately passionate way about the poor pension of older players. That's an easy and temporary fix. Players before a certain date, prior to onslaught of free agency and mega-contracts, could be directly benefited. There is however no valid reason to extend pensions for players since then. Even the league minimum salary for a single season well-planned can build the beginnings of a very nice IRA or the like.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 12:08 PM on November 30

1000% correct

posted by msusportsguy at 12:30 PM on November 30

You know I saw Joe Namath on 60 minutes a few weeks back and they showed some old highlight of the golden age boy did he take some hits You know it was fun to watch when it wasn't your team's qb but now a days why don't they just put a skirt on the QB I've seen some awfully bad calls this year when the defender hits the QB as far as Brown I would rather listen to him than Jesse Jackson

posted by luther70 at 12:54 PM on November 30

Namath wasn't getting hit by 400 pound dudes. He wasn't even getting hit by 300 pound dudes. Jim Brown is a smart man.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:04 PM on November 30

Glad someone realizes the growing divide isn't so much about race as it is about class. This was a good interview. I don't see a lot of things changing, but it does raise some issues. One thing that needs to change is the pension plan. I've heard stories of some of the really older players just showing up at public autograph signings with a coffee can set out all but begging for money. Then you flip on cribs. It wouldn't take much. I disagree about the horse collar though. People probably thought the clothesline rule was a sissification. You don't need to grab the collar like that. There are other ways to tackle from behind. As for QB's, there was a play recently with the Steelers where a defensive player had Roethlisberger, he gave him a bump but didn't wrap him up and drive him to the ground for fear of a penalty. Roethlisberger regained his balance, threw the ball away and instead of a sack it was an incomplete pass. Call the late hits, call head-to-head, but let them tackle. That Roethlisberger play's just a bit too far.

posted by SummersEve at 01:21 PM on November 30

This was a really good interview and I got a perspactive on Jim Brown's point of view that I was mistaken about. I think a lot of what he has to say is dead on. I also think that perhaps it is time for the fortunate young players to perhaps financially consider those who came before them in the game. Of course not to the point of making it mandatory, or having an automatic payment taken out of their contracts. Just something that would help a former player who maybe wasn't a star or didn't get in on the lucrative pay that makes it a bit easier for the current players to retire on. Maybe I'm off base here, or maybe it's just that time of year. And Luther, I love ya, but if you don't ask Santa for a period button, well, I don't know what.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:48 PM on November 30

Luther, I thought from a previous thread you had found your period button. Elusive little bugger, no?

posted by hawkguy at 02:37 PM on November 30

You know I saw Joe Namath on 60 minutes a few weeks back and they showed some old highlight of the golden age boy did he take some hits You know it was fun to watch when it wasn't your team's qb but now a days why don't they just put a skirt on the QB I've seen some awfully bad calls this year when the defender hits the QB as far as Brown I would rather listen to him than Jesse Jackson Period.

posted by tommytrump at 02:40 PM on November 30

Lots of rerpect for Jim Brown(except his acting), QBs should be protected a bit, if only so they can help put butts in seats. I am going to this mondays game, without McNabb, I wouldnt have paid to see Jeff Garcia or AJ Feeley for that matter. However the tix were a gift and I will only be in the city of my birth for a week, so I am going. Will drink a lot of beer and probably lose my voice, who wouldnt want to see a guy like McNabb play? Yo tommy, you needed more periods than that last one ya know.

posted by GoBirds at 02:49 PM on November 30

Jim Brown is one of those guys you like to listen to when he speaks. Dyams, you are correct. The guy has always been worth listening to, even when his remarks may be controversial. My question is, "Why do we not hear more from him?" This interview should have been feature material in SI or on ESPN. Instead it is buried in the Yahoo.com sports section. True enough, the internet enjoys a wide distribution, but something in the major media outlets would command a lot more attention. As an aside, the often "ticky-tacky" interference calls on defensive backs are the result of the Colts whining about the rules in order to somehow get Peyton Manning a meaningful win. (Ok, OK, before you start, yes I am NOT a Colts fan)

posted by Howard_T at 03:07 PM on November 30

My question is, "Why do we not hear more from him?" I think he scares/intimidates a lot of the lily-white network TV honchos. He's a powerful speaker, but sometimes saying what's on your mind isn't always appealing to people running television stations. That, plus he's had some other issues in his own past, such as knocking around females, that probably cause him to lose a lot of publicity he would otherwise receive. I believe his biggest attributes to the game, other than his storied past as a player, are his social awareness and his ability to speak and relate to, as well as impact black (not just black, but mainly) players.

posted by dyams at 04:22 PM on November 30

The Jim Brown interview I thought was a real good one. Especially the part about the pension program. I knew that some of the older retired players were'nt getting much,but had no idea some were getting as little as $120.00 per month. That's one issue that must be taken care of .As far as a cap being put into place on rookies,absolutely. These guys coming out of college and getting huge signing bonuses without ever playing a game I was never in favor of. Coming into the NFL and playing at that level is totally different than at the college level. Just like Brown said they're already multi millionaires and they never played a down of pro football. An all around good interview that somehow got swept under the rug. Alot of things that the NFL must take a good look at.

posted by Ghastly1 at 04:28 PM on November 30

Yo tommy, you needed more periods than that last one ya know. Baby steps, my man, baby steps.

posted by tommytrump at 04:52 PM on November 30

As for QB's, there was a play recently with the Steelers where a defensive player had Roethlisberger, he gave him a bump but didn't wrap him up and drive him to the ground for fear of a penalty. Roethlisberger regained his balance, threw the ball away and instead of a sack it was an incomplete pass. Call the late hits, call head-to-head, but let them tackle. That Roethlisberger play's just a bit too far. That was a mild case...look to the Giants/Titans game this past weekend where a defender had Young sacked on 4th and 10 which would have killed their comeback, yet threw his hands up to avoid the penalty. Result: Young runs for the 1st down and leads them to a win. FWIW, my favorite Jim Brown reference was actually by Arsenio Hall...he was talking with the Cosby show cast about how they were ending their series while they were still on top. He said "Jim Brown retired on top and was throwing people out of windows!" :-) (actually it was a balcony) Great player, but what a checkered past

posted by bdaddy at 04:52 PM on November 30

The issue I have about the league protecting quarterbacks is that they're becoming increasingly more mobile. Once a quarterback crosses the line of the scrimmage with the ball in his hand, he has become a ball carrier and should be treated like any other wide reciever, tight end, fullback, or running back. I understand the theory behind the "protection rules" and I don't have a problem with them as long as they only apply behind the line of scrimmage (or possibly only the pocket). With players like Vince Young and Michael Vick, they are dual threats. However, if they choose to run, they should be treated as fair game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:19 PM on November 30

All this protecting of players, particularly QBs is due to the advanced protection the equiptment provides the players. The are so well padded and guarded, taped,masked,helmeted and gloved that they fancy themselves as human projectiles as the hurtle themselves into one another. They believe they are impregnable. Consequently injuries occur in spite of all this protection. If you want to cut down on the injuries and still have a rock'um,sock'um game, allyou have to do is take away halfof the protective gear they have and they will be alittle more careful how they toss themselves about.

posted by The Woj at 05:26 PM on November 30

With players like Vince Young and Michael Vick, they are dual threats. However, if they choose to run, they should be treated as fair game. I agree with this statment. Once they cross the line of scrimmage they are a ball-carrier. They shouldn't be able to "slide" safely. I thought quarterbacks where the highest paid players because we expected more out of them. Part of the more includes standing in the pocket and taking shots. If they aren't required to do that anymore, teams should get some of their money back. Pretty soon QB's and Kickers will be on the same level. One is an arm and one is a leg. You can't touch either one without a penalty. Now when "old timers" talk about how they were so much tougher back in the day, they will be right!

posted by yay-yo at 05:41 PM on November 30

as far as Brown I would rather listen to him than Jesse Jackson Jesse Jackson use to play football?

posted by Bishop at 06:10 PM on November 30

What about Jackson Browne?

posted by MrFrisby at 07:38 PM on November 30

I think Jim Brown is Running on Empty.

posted by hawkguy at 08:37 PM on November 30

I think a lot of people are running on empty if they don't think Jim Brown is wise and passionate about his beliefs, and not just his views about football. This is a man who was basically the only offensive weapon that Cleveland had when he played for them, and despite facing 8 or more in the box most of the time, still holds the career record for yards per carry, never missed a game in 9 years, and is still widely regarded as the most fearsome and punishing back to play football. Not only that, but he was athletic enough to letter in basketball and be named All-America in football and lacrosse at Syracuse University. Once, when asked if he thought a young Bo Jackson was comparable to himself, he replied, "Don't ask me to compare myself to a half-season guy who doesn't have to play in the snow, or with blood in his nose, or every 3rd-and-1." Great words from the man SI named greatest football player of all-time.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:27 AM on December 01

What about Jackson Browne? A good comparison as they both smacked around blond women who lived with them.

posted by yerfatma at 05:59 AM on December 01

I like lots of this interview, but I really disagree with capping rookie contracts, and I was very surprised to see him advocate it. NFL players have it worse off, career-wise, than in baseball or basketball. The salary cap is so low and you need such so many players that teams are always on the lookout for the next cheap bargain. You really can't afford to pay for a prospect to see if they'll develop (unless they're a quarterback) like in basketball, or just pay everyone (like in baseball). Then once you do get a fatty contract, they're not even guaranteed! I can't fault a guy for wanting to get paid, and that extends to rookie contracts.

posted by chmurray at 08:25 AM on December 01

Jim Brown was a great player in his day, and a very sharp guy. Even if he has a violent streak. OJ just took the same personality a step further. With that said I think he makes a lot of good points but I do disagree with his assessment of the league today. He was great in his day and would be great today but like all old guys its easy to knock the current players and talk about how tough you had to be in the old days. It's really jealousy of the money modern players are getting. Unfortunately he doesn't realize that even if the players look fat to him, the NFL today has some of the worlds biggest, fastest and strongest athletes that have ever played the game. Modern advances in equipment make it lighter and stronger which enables players to literally become human missles. Today's defenses are more specialized, faster and far more complicated than they were in Brown's day. The league is trying to keep up with the number injuries and the cost of the players. I once had a discussion with an English friend who thought rugby was more dangerous than American football because the players did not wear padding. When I forced him to watch an NFL game he quickly realized that the helmets and pads were enabling the players to become heavyweight highspeed weapons. A rugby player will never put his head down an run at full speed into another player running full speed in the opposite direction. As a matter of fact can anyone name a player paralized for life from a hit in Browns day? It's hard to criticize the leagues treatment of players and then in the same breath blame the league for trying to protect them and reduce injury. For what is worth Jim Brown would not have been as dominate in todays game. The teams throw the ball more. The defensive players are bigger and faster, the schemes are more complicated, the season is much longer, the turf is faster, the players are much more specialized in their positions, and the game has just evolved to a much higher level. In Browns day he was a huge running back, today just average size and slow by comparisson. I am not taking away for his accomplishments just trying to put some perspective on it. If Brown was on the field today, I am sure he could still be a good player but he would have to face defenses that would substitute on running downs with the kind of personel would match up much better against him.

posted by Atheist at 12:44 PM on December 01

Hey Jim Brown......Have a nice cup of SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!!!

posted by vito938 at 12:48 PM on December 01

Hey, vito, you post two comments to this site since October and this is one of them? Try to be a little more creative. Or, as you would put it, Have a nice cup of WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING!!!!!

posted by dyams at 01:35 PM on December 01

Why must you soil the name of vito90? Why? OJ just took the same personality a step further. Ok, thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 02:19 PM on December 01

Unfortunately he doesn't realize that even if the players look fat to him, the NFL today has some of the worlds biggest, fastest and strongest athletes that have ever played the game. I agree with him about the fat players. There are exceptions like TO(usually skill position guys), who are just yoked-up body-builder types...but from my limited college football experience, the others really are mostly fat. They just happened to be fat guys who can run really, really fast and jump really, really high....but they're still fat when they take their shirts off. Our LB weighed 225 and had a big beer belly, but the man could move like a reciever. Shows like Any Given Sunday where every guy is shredded with a 6 pack and every hit is this decapitating collision...that just doesn't jive with real football to me. I always liked North Dallas Forty for that reason, as the body-types they showed in the lockerroom were what I saw day-to-day in my lockerroom (and it wasn't pretty :-)

posted by bdaddy at 04:19 PM on December 01

I have a hard time worrying about the pension of a guy making 15 million a year. You want to talk about the amount of homeless people in a given proffession, talk to me about the military, not the NFL. If you cant take a couple million off the top to set aside for a rainy day, I cant help you. Some of these guys piss away more cash in a season than my entire pension will ever be.... Get a grip... The duke said " Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid" Truer words were never spoken....

posted by firecop at 10:40 AM on December 02

I have a hard time worrying about the pension of a guy making 15 million a year. You want to talk about the amount of homeless people in a given proffession, talk to me about the military, not the NFL. If you cant take a couple million off the top to set aside for a rainy day, I cant help you. Some of these guys piss away more cash in a season than my entire pension will ever be.... Get a grip... The duke said " Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid" Truer words were never spoken.... a) Jim Brown and his other colleagues did not make 15 million a year. b) The average NFL player does not make even remotely close to 15 million a year. I think it's like $400k c) The average NFL career is just under 4 years, so the average NFL player would then have made roughly 1.6 million total and be retired at age of 27. Now me and you, given 1.6 million today in a landfall, would be able to make that last. But economics 101 teaches you that people spend what they make, so by age 28 or 29, the average athlete would have a nice home to show for it (which is actually a good start), but no real other assets, no career, and no real other income (since athletics takes up most of your time in college so their degrees are generally things like PE or General Business). Oh and add to it that the NFL takes 20 years off of your average life expectancy, and the shortened life he has left will most likely be filled with pain and surgeries...oh and lets not forget that his EMPLOYER is making money hand-over-fist during this entire time. So yes, these people do deserve a very good pension regardless of your personal biases.

posted by bdaddy at 09:30 AM on December 03

OK big Daddy, since you chose to discuss only certain parts of my statement then filled your comment with inaccurate data i shall refrain fron engauging in a personal arguement. #1- I never said they didnt deserve a good pension, my point is that it pales in comparison to some IMPORTANT occupations like our armed forces. Another point is that the players union works hardest on getting salaries raised and fighting salary caps that they dont see how important life AFTER football is. #2- The average salary is more than twice what you quoted at over 1.6 MILLION a season, for 16 games. You can make excuses for them on their spending if you want but after the 4 seasons (which i believe is not correct either but i havent found the info yet) they made more in those 4 years than any enlisted man or woman makes their entire career. #3- I dont know what economics class you went to but mine didnt teach the theory that you "spend what you make" like it is predisposed to do so. regardless of what the athletes college major, they still went to college. They had more opportunities than I did so i'm sorry if I cant feel bad for them. heres a tip.."How about making better decisions regarding life after football?" I know this may upset the bleeding hearts but I know lots of people who raise families on alot less and still squirrel away enough for retirement. #4- If they indeed retire at 26 years old (which I would like to do with my established 4 X 1.6 million) then why not TAKE ON ANOTHER CAREER? Theres a novel concept... You could have another awesome career with your college degree and some smart marketing (even in general business). #5- " The NFL takes 20 years off your life expectancy" is perhaps the most assinine statement I have ever heard. Unless YOU took alot of steroids all throughout your football career I doubt that 20 years is a viable figure (even if you did, that is hardly the NFL's doing). I, as a proponent of personal "responsibilty" will never see your point of view on this. Life is a big long list of decisions you make. If you make bad one after bad one you will undoubtably lose. If you look to someone else to secure your financial future and it doesnt pan out you have no one to blame but yourself. Sorry...

posted by firecop at 08:00 PM on December 04

Oh, and while Jim Brown didnt make 15 million a year, he made loads of money given the time he lived in. When gas is 5 cents a gallon and your house cost you a whopping 20 thousand dollars, it is very much relevant. It is just as easy to NOT piss away $40,000 a year in 1945 as it is to NOT piss away 1.6 million in 2006... and the link to the actual average salary for NFL players is this: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/nfl/salaries/average.htm

posted by firecop at 08:10 PM on December 04

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