One of the downfalls of the NFL becoming the behemoth it’s become is that every former NFL player or coach now has a job as an analyst. No shit, I heard Mike Ditka, who I’m positive was either asleep or half in the bag (because it was 8:00 a.m.) give this piece of sage wisdom yesterday morning on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show:
“When the special teams receiver catches a punt or a kickoff, the goal of the defense, is to tackle him to the ground.”
Whoa, really? I had no idea. I thought the goal was to verbally demean the player until he takes a knee. Seriously, this is the kind of hard-hitting “insight” we get from most analysts these days. So to help separate the “MEN FROM THE BOYS” I give you the first official NFL Analyst Power Rankings:
Pros: Truly gives a shit about the integrity of the game. Called Roger Goodell out on national TV.
Cons: Quite sure he’s had multiple strokes trying to produce a coherent sentence. Consistently looks like Nick Nolte’s mug shot despite a team of professional hair and makeup people.
Pros: One of the few guys you feel like you know more after listening to him. Was one missed call by a replacement ref away from saying, ‘This is BULLSHIT’ on air.
Cons: “Back in MY day.” “When I was playing. “If I was out there.” Cris, you were a poor man’s Ed McCaffery and that’s being polite. Plus, you’re 107 lbs. Ed Reed would decapitate you over the middle if you were playing. Slow your roll on the “Me” stuff, Collinsworth.
Pros: Extreme levels of cred. One of the few truly elite-level players that contributes in an insightful, “here’s how a player views it” kind of way.
Cons: Looks ready to slash any one of his fellow analysts or co-hosts throats at any given moment. Likely carries a weapon at all times.
Pros: Former Raiders GM, gives an inside look at how a franchise operates, how players are judged, etc.
Cons: Was the GM of what was consistently the laughing stock franchise of the last 20 years.
Merril Hoge’s necktie
Pros: Holy shit look at that thing. I mean, the width. The girth. The assortment of colors.
Cons: Absolutely none.