The NFL Scouting Combine dominated sports news this week, although training camps won't open until late July. The NFL also announced plans to push their off-season calendar back -- the combines would be pushed later, free agency would start in April, the draft would be held in May. This is primarily a public relations strategy to dominate the year-round sporting calendar.
From a news-making perspective, NFL events would essentially take center stage for the entire year. This follows a season of unprecedented television saturation. For many weeks of the regular season the Top 5 Nielsen-rated television shows were night-time NFL football. "Football in America" on NBC, which is a pre-game show, topped every other form of television. Out of hundreds of entertainment choices, Sunday, Monday and Thursday night football were the nation's obsession. No collegiate or professional sport has ever been so popular.
The looming specter of concussion consequences puts the future of the sport at risk.
The physics of collision have altered on the football field. Gil Brandt, NFL super-scout, reported Sunday that he timed a wide receiver in the 40 yard dash at 4.17 seconds. When I began representing professional football players, a receiver who broke into the 4.5 range was considered a speedster. If these differentials appear slight -- look at a 40-yard dash in slow motion and see the degree of separation and how many strides this produces. It is dramatic. Football involves bodies in motion, a traffic accident of collision on every play.