Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Backs; Bein' Big

Watching the NFL this weekend I paid special attention to one of my favorite subjects - some people are bigger than others.  I tend to file myself in the bigger class so I'm always interested in the implications of bein' big. 

Big isn't a matter of choice.  People are born with a genetic disposition to be whatever size they become.  Oh, we influence our weight to some extent but height and skeletal frame are pretty much given to us at birth and we have to live with it.  I'm even skeptical about how much we can manage our weight.  I've seen studies that suggest all kinds of genetic influences interfere with our attempts to lose weight.

I've commented in the blog that football is a great sport because is has place for bigger players.  I believe this is especially fortunate for women because society seems to have a negative attitude toward large ladies.  Football teams love them.   

If you have thoughts on this, please share them with me.  Either using the comment option in the blog or my email address:

A stream in recent posts has been using bigger players as running backs.  A couple posts talked about an experiment a couple years ago where coach Soho used two big strong linewomen in the backfield with a fair amount of success.  More recently the Outlaws have tried linebacker Bridgette Brown in the backfield.  You'll recall I featured Bridgett in some posts because of her outstanding play at linebacker.  At about 220 pounds, Bridgette isn't all that big. She carries her weight really well.  But she is definitely not your classic running back.

One player isn't going to bring Bridgette down.  But help is coming.

I picked up one series of photos of her running and it does a good job of showing why it is tempting to hand the ball to big strong players.

Even when the tacklers come from the side away from her blockers, Bridgette proved difficult to take down.

Three tacklers.  Bridgette is big and strong.  It took three to get her down.

Soft landing?
She was much too strong to be brought down by a single tackler.  But when a second and then a third joined the contest, she finally went down. I've commented that I couldn't be a coach and I'm reluctant to offer coaching advice.  But I believe Bridgett belongs at the linebacker spot.  She was formidable as a runner but she was born to be a linebacker.


I thought of her as I watched the NFL linemen.  I thought we're born to be what we are.  NFL linemen were born for the line.  When they occasionally are given the ball for a short-yardage situation, it is a fluke.  Not natural.

I have believed the line players earn substantially less than backs and receivers.  Big body, little paycheck.  Little body, big paycheck.  Well, I was kind of right and kind of wrong.  I did a little googling and discovered on average linemen aren't all that short-changed.  One source revealed some linemen actually are paid more than some so-called "skill" players - the average for defensive ends is $1,583,784 while wide receivers average a measly $1,054,437.  The average for quarterbacks ($1,970,982) is only $389,198 more than for defensive ends.  But the really serious money goes to the glamour players, not the big guys.  The glory goes to the glamour players, runners, QBs, receivers.  Not to the draft horses doing battle on the line. 

Doesn't seem fair, does it? 

Life isn't fair. 

An underlying theme in this blog is "bein' big" in a small world.  Big isn't in.  Not for men or women.   In this blog from time to time we'll comment the problems we big folks have. 

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