"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
There is a good piece at the Chicago Tribune about the many benefits for youth of playing football. (LINK: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-x-0912-keilman-column-20120912,0,5928127.story.)
I really liked the article. It addresses the debate on the potential dangers of football which has been discussed here on several occasions. The author, a writer with the Trib whose 9 year old son is playing ball, ends up in a slightly different place. While the danger of serious injury and concussions is real, he ends up seeing significant benefits. These can be summed up in three areas:
- Teamwork. Unlike youth basketball and baseball, which can be dominated by a single great athlete, football demands teamwork. If everyone doesn't contribute, you'll lose. But there is a place for everyone to contribute.
- Confidence. Putting on pads and working with your teammates can do wonders in building confidence in a young boy.
Modern life can offer kids a pretty soft existence: parents who never pick up a paddle, snacks by the boxful, nonstop entertainment streaming through smartphones. It's easy to float through life untroubled by challenge.
These characteristics build resilience, one of the most important things a child can do.
What really matters, he says, is learning to overcome adversity.
On the football field, adversity comes with every snap. The game teaches kids that when they get knocked down, the only response is to get up.
If you're one of the ones debating whether or not to let your kids play football, I'd strongly encourage you to read the article. I have seen these benefits in my own son, and they outweigh the dangers, from my perspective.
The offensive UFR for the Air Force game is now viewable with the enhanced viewer web app. The link to the launch page is (as it shall remain from here on out):
New feature: I added a minor new feature. If you click the "Show Drives" button, you can now choose between the navigable tree of drives and plays, or a graph of all the drives. The graph is just from the NCAA stats site.
As if this team wasn't bad enough already, they just got even worse. When do we play Penn State again? Like 3 more years?
*EDIT* Thanks Wolverine Devotee, we play them next year on the road.
Another article well worth reading by Burgeoning Wolverine Star on Mattison's zone blitz packages. Here is the blitz, drawn up:
EDIT: and here's the video:
It's funny how the Borges pressers used to get half as many views as Mattison's and now it's the other way around. What's the over/under on Norfleet MGoQuestions next Tuesday? I guess it doesn't matter since they'll all be cut out of the video.