the season has truly begun now
So, naturally, upset that once again we have the national attention, MSU fans have made a "Shoes TIED Like Kirk Cousins" facebook event. Oh, Sparty...
It's become clear in recent years that playing professional football is not good for you. In fact it pretty much kills you. The average NFL player will die before sixty and lose 2-3 years of life for every year in the NFL and has vastly multiplied chance at having dementia. Now we have the first evidence, albiet only anecdotal, that college football does esentially the same thing. A 21-year-old kid named Owen Thomas who played I-AA football at the University of Pennsylvania killed himself last year after what was described as a sudden change in mood and behavior. He had no prior history of depression. An autopsy now shows that he had the early stages of a type of dementia caused by trauma from playing football and which is associated with depression.
There's no way to say that "football killed him" or even contributed to his depression and suicide, but if a 21 year old kid playing second teir college football (who had never had a concussion, by the way) can have brain trauma from football (and as I understand it this is only diagnosed on autopsy, so there is no way to know whether this is the exception or the rule) it suggests to me that football is really not safe at any level past high-school. As fans who fund college football (and most of us pro football as well) what moral responsiblity do we bear in all of this?
I'm pretty sure RR commented before the season started that Gardner's red shirt wasn't going to be burned by Gardner getting a couple of plays/game. At this point though, that's what it's turning out to be. So does RR make a concerted effort the next couple of weeks to get Gardner in the game during the first half? I'd like to think he'll be getting into the game during the 4th quarters in mop up duty.
Robinson's been out of the world so there's been no reason to take him out in the first two games. However, to burn Garnder's redshirt by putting him in for one or two plays is frustrating. Once the big ten season rolls around there might not be to many games where Gardner can get meaningful snaps if Robinson doesn't get dinged and have to come out.
We all know that Denard is very difficult to game plan for. His speed and ability to break one off at any time give our offense a huge advantage. This has been discussed to death. There is, however, another advantage that Denard looks to be able to give us if he continues to perform at this level as we head into Big Ten play - a mental advantage.
This is a commen occurrence in sports - once the hype train gets going (especially on the worldwide leader), the build up to playing against the hyped player becomes so big that opposing players lose focus and over-anticipate. With Denard putting up video game numbers, his mere presence has the potential to get into opposing teams' heads.
If this continues, I can see opposing teams' defenses making stupid mistakes because the hype around Denard's unstopability gets into their heads. Not saying that good coaching cannot mitigate this, but I could see, for example, MSU's defense focusing so much on being the first team to shut down Denard that he will have a host of opportunities to find open receivers when MSU stacks the line on every play.