The 100-Yard Spin aims to provide random insight into the uniquely American institution of football - one of the most complex and diverse team sports in the world.

In essence, this blog is dedicated to the millions of athletes of various ages, from various backgrounds, and of various talents, who have participated and competed in American football over the years. You have put forth great effort and dedication to push the limits of human ability and achievement. For all that I am forever grateful.

Thanks and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On Vacation

You may have noticed that this blog hasn't been updated in a long time, and it is not without good reason. To be frank, I have just become a bit bored of the NFL at the moment, and would rather spend the limited amount of computer time I can muster up these days on talking about the college game.

There are no real story lines that intrigue me right now. As a fan, I will enthusiastically wait to see how a couple teams fare this season, most notably the Bucs and the Lions, but I do not need to actually watch the games to get all I need out of it. I am just fine watching highlights and perusing the stat sheet on Mondays.

At any rate, here is a list of things that I HATE about the NFL right now but make me love the college game even more:

  • Too Many Flags! - For as long as I can remember, even as far back as my high school playing days (Go Canes Go!), I hated it when guys would bitch and moan about "no-calls". There is nothing worse than a game decided by the refs. Although some of the most high-profile college teams have been aided by penalties at key moments in the past (see '03 Buckeyes), the sheer number of penalties thrown in any given game, as well as the amount of yards a team can rack up do to them, pales in comparison to the NFL. Coincidentally, the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks were the most penalized team in the league last year, with nearly eight (7.9 to be exact) per game. That equates to one flag being thrown on them for every 7:30 that ticks off the game clock. If the 'Hawks were playing the Bucs (7.6 penalties per game in 2013) you would be seeing a flag every four minutes or less, or about 15-17 flags per game. Simply un-watchable! No top 25 college team in 2013 had more than 6.9 per game, and the ACC Champ and current BCS Title-Holding Florida State Seminoles only accumulated 5.7, as did Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State Spartans. So in effect, you are seeing nearly five less flags being thrown per game at the college level, as opposed to the NFL. By the way, Navy was the best in the country with only 2.8 flags per game! See Team Rankings
  • Too Many Commercials! - I don't think I need to explain myself on this one. If you don't understand what I am talking about, try watching an NFL game with somebody from Europe. They just can't believe the number of ads that get played throughout the course of a game. If the league really wants to expand into Europe they might have to find a way to shorten the length of the broadcast and the amount of air-time that is taken up by commercials. I, as a natural-born U.S. citizen, believe it is a problem and truly help make Sunday games un-watchable. And let's not even get into the Super Bowl -Commerical Shit Show! Yes, college games do have commercials too, but there are not as frequent as they are in the NFL.
  • Lack of Loyalty - In the age of free agency you don't see much team loyalty among the players any more. I understand why and I am really not complaining here. It just makes me want to root more for those guys that do stick it out for the majority of their career with a franchise, whether it's for better or for the worse. You just don't see as much transferring in college and the roots and blood-lines of the fans run much deeper than they do in the NFL, where you will find a higher percentage of fair-weather fans. Hell, I didn't even go to school in Ann Arbor, but I freaking love those Wolverines! 
  • Outdated Policies - I definitely believe there needs to be a line that players shouldn't cross in terms of conduct as a representative of their respective schools or franchise, but there seems to be a lot of inconsistencies as far as rule enforcement and penalties go at both the college and pro levels. At the very least, they both have their problems with being more progressive and forward-thinking, particularly when it comes to the interest of the players. Things are changing slowly. I would just like to see more administrators and owners thinking outside of their respective boxes. Let's stop taking advantage of these kids less, and start paying more attention to the long-term health of the individuals.
Am I making any sense here?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Positives and Negatives of the 2013 NFL Draft

Which teams mixed it up, got better, and made things more interesting for the upcoming season and which teams did not?


1. Jacksonville Jaguars: I loved the stay at home and take the best player available approach. Taking Texas A&M OT Luke Joekel with the second pick and not biting on any of the QB's in this year's class were the right moves that automatically makes this draft a success in my mind. Safety Johnathan Cyprien, who some had considered taking in the first, was a pleasant surprise in the second round and offensive weapons Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson could turn out to be steals in the fourth and fifth. Altogether, the Jaguars became a better, more explosive football team over the weekend.

2. Carolina Panthers: This wasn't a real sexy draft for the Panthers but it is one that could go a long way towards making this team a playoff contender once again. They had a need along the interior of the front line of their defense, and they got two of the best in the entire draft in tackles Star Lotululei (1st) and Kawann Short (2nd). Honestly, anything after those two picks would be just a bonus, although LB A.J. Klein and RB Kenjon Barner were very nice bonuses to nab on day three of the draft.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Out of the ten picks the Bengals made over the weekend, I see four guys that would've been immediate starters on this team several years ago. However, the Bungals are no longering bungaling and they seemingly improved their depth and overall play-making ability at several key positions. TE Tyler Eifert, RB Giovanni Bernard, and DL Margus Hunt are all prospects the could quickly pay dividends on the team's investment in the them, even if they aren't the starters at their respective positions. Safety Shawn Williams (3rd) and LB Sean Porter (4th) should get a lot of action on special teams this fall.

4. Kansas City Chiefs: Like the Jaguars, the Chiefs made strides as an organization this past weekend with a draft strategy that didn't try to get too cute with the high picks they had in their posession. In Eric Fisher the Chiefs get a tough, hard-nosed football player that will most-likely be fine playing on the right side if the team decides not to move Brendan Albert. That would possibly give the team it's best tackle tandem in years. Several other guys should add quality depth and special teams play as soon as they hit the field.

5. Minnesota Vikings: Any time a team drafts a player at #23 that some scouts and writers had as high as #2 on their draft boards tells you they probably got a steal with that pick. Any time a team makes three picks in the first round on highly regarded prospects that happen to all fill big needs, then you can already say that this year's draft for Purple Pride was a success before the first night was even over. However, I am most impressed with the team taking LB's Gerald Hodges (4th) and Michael Mauti (7th). Both guys were Penn State products that really stepped up and helped save a doomed season for the Nittany Lions last year. One of them will eventually be a starter and both will be good additions in terms of depth.

6. San Diego Chargers: Again, it's not the type of group of draft prospects that jump off the page at you, but I see three brick and mortar type guys, in OT D.J. Fluker, LB Manti Te'o, and WR Keenan Allen, that will be huge contributors as soon as the regular season begins on September 9th. Getting Allen in the third is an absolute steal because he has first round talent.

7. Seattle Seahawks: I give credit to the 'Hawks for trading away their first round pick to Minnesota for WR Percy Harvin a few months back. The talent at the top of this draft was nothing to get too excited about anyway, and Harvin brings a lot more to the table than any other player that was available at #25. Besides, the team ended up making 11 picks in all during the course of the draft and got some real deals in DT's Jordan Hill (3rd) and Jesse Williams (5th). If anything, this draft added tons of depth to the roster and besides Tampa, the SeaChickens are the only other team that can legitimately say they got a pro-bowl caliber player with their first round pick.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Say what you want about Darrelle Revis, his knee, or the $16 million per year the Bucs are paying him, the guy is arguably among the top 10 players in the league and none of that contract is guaranteed to him. No matter how you look at it there was no player available at #13 that can yet be fairly compared to Revis and I'm willing to bet that all 32 contracts that will be dished out to the first round picks will include some guaranteed money. It was a solid move by the Bucs that could go a long way toward making another run at a Super Bowl very soon. The rest of their draft picks may not have been quite as solid, especially the taking of QB Mike Glennon in the third over some better players that were available, such as receivers Keenan Allen and Terrence Williams, but the Pewter Pirates did walk away with a few real nice additions. CB Johnthan Banks isn't flashy or super fast, but he is a tall, rangy defender (6'2" 185 lbs.) that has consistently shown the ability to take down ball-carriers on the perimeter in the SEC. DT Akeem Spence might end up being the best pick overall for the Bucs. He isn't very tall (6'1") but he is a quick, active defender that looks like a mix somewhere between "Booger" McFarland and Chidi Ahanotu.


1. Minnesota Vikings: Yes, I still think the Vikings did a great job overall throughout the draft, but trading up to get WR Cordarelle Patterson was something the team really didn't need to do. There were plenty of talented pass-catchers that were still available two rounds later and the guy they got is nothing more than a workout warrior that flashed one big year in college at this point. The fact that he forgot to show up and disappeard in the big games over SEC rivals tells me he is not NFL material. At the very least he has a lot to prove to justify this move. Good thing for the Vikings they had two other very solid first round picks to overshadow this little blunder.

2. Atlanta Falcons: Of course it is too early to tell if this is a failure or not, but as far as I can tell this team at best got a good nickel back that could eventually start in the NFL along with a dumpster full of training camp fodder. Nothing really stands out to me here and I wouldn't be surprised if five of the eight guys drafted aren't even on the team once the regulars season begins.

3. San Francisco 49ers: This seemed like a weak effort by the 49ers altogether. The team had a bunch of picks going into the weekend and they really looked like they were unprepared for it. First they reached in the first round by trading up to get safety Eric Reid, who many believed was well on his way to the second round. They then reached again in the second for TE Vance McDonald and again in the fourth on RB Marcus Lattimore. Now I love Lattimore as much as the next guy but to use a fourth rounder on him would be hard for me to swallow if I were a San Fran fan.

4. New England Patriots: This organization gets way too much credit for being draft geniuses that know how to work it when in actuality they generally miss on prospects more than people think. Although the team did a lot of wheeling and dealing to replenish a depleted number of picks going into the draft, I am willing to bet that only two of the seven guys taken by the Patriots this past weekend will still even be on the roster in two years.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Questioning Sexual Orientation is Not Okay!

Well, I cannot put it any simpler than the headline of his post. With all this talk of NFL organizations possibly questioning player sexual orientation, something has to be said as I for one consider it ludicrous. As far as I am concerned the topic of sexual orientation has absolutely zero value when weighing any body's potential, especially a professional football prospect.

Now, I may not have ever stepped foot on a professional football field but I have been part of a few different locker rooms at the high school and college levels, and never have I personally been concerned with what the guy at the locker next to me was looking at, thinking about, or doing on his own time in terms of sexual desires and activities. From my perspective, I simply was to busy to have the time to care, nor did I really have anything to fear.

I learned at a very young age that everybody is different, whether it's the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or whether or not they eat meat. None of the things they choose to do in their own time reflects what type of teammate they are going to be. Superficial stereotypes and unwarranted prejudices like that have done nothing but cause ripples in the framework of the team concept and often lead to a breakdown in communication and critical thinking. Overall, this type of ignorance simply impedes the forward progress of a society, nevertheless a football team.

I remember the uproar over the issue of female reporters being allowed in the locker rooms for interviews some 20 years ago. That died down as people got over it very quickly. Now can we get over this? I mean, can we move on from the idea that our personal lives and choices we make as free-thinking, responsible, law-abiding adults has any bearing on whether or not we can score touchdowns or tackler ballcarriers when its game time? The whole idea is neanderthalic and oppressive. It doesn't matter if homosexuality is genetic or a choice either, as American citizens have the freedom to engage in "the pursuit of happiness" as they see fit.

Do NFL teams think gay players would be bad teammates or are these NFL executives "just curious"? I'd hate to think that the former was true, but either way this is just as unprofessional as it gets and is most-likely illegal. To question homosexuality in terms of it being a negative thing is about as low as asking whether or not black people are capable of working alongside white people, or whether or not women can work alongside men. I have been coworkers and friends with a number of individuals that were openly gay and I have, on more than one occasion, been told that I was very attractive by openly gay men. I know this because they told me and I never felt embarrassed, ashamed, or even slightly offended by any of these open display of affections shown to me by a member of the same sex. If anything, I was flattered. Once they realized that I was comfortable with my heterosexuality and was keeping it that way they never pursued it again. It would be no different than if a woman I was not attracted to came on to me. All I had to say was "Sorry, I'm not really interested in pursuing a relationship of any kind outside the extent of our current one". Enough said. End of story. It's not that difficult.

The only rule that NFL teams need to apply here is a "no relationship" clause within the organization to prevent any personal disruptions within the fabric of the franchise. Many companies in other industries apply that concept and seek to keep it professional. This goes for everybody and whether or not you are gay does not matter as in-house sexual relationships would simply be forbidden. Nobody is excluded and the problem is solved. If a person is gay and is comfortable sharing it with the world then good for them. If others want to keep it quiet that is their choice that should be respected as well. How hard is this?

The culture of football drastically needs to change on a number of levels in regards to the ethical treatment of players. Their safety on the field has been recently spotlighted in lieu of scientific data confirming what we already know about head trauma and concussions, and their freedom of choice in their personal lives are seemingly also at stake. Team executives and their elitist community continue to treat their players as nothing more than subordinates with no feelings or needs as people. But these are people. We should not forget that.

As it is the NFL have lost my respect as a brand over the years and they continue to find ways to take the fun out of the game for me. Believe it or not, I am losing interest. For a die-hard fan like myself that is hard to say but it is something that is naturally occurring due the state of the game in relation to where I believe we should be as a society. If the people at the top keep taking things in the direction that they are then I will eventually stop watching altogether. I will not support it.

My wife and I are expecting our first child in a month. I promised her that I would never ridicule our child or "disown" them for who they are or what choices they might make in life as long as they weren't hurting anybody else. I said this with tears in my eyes because I never would want a child of mine to feel that he or she was all alone in a world that looked at them as being unfit to perform professional responsibilities or unable to be a valuable member of society for something they should never, ever be ashamed of. I will always have their back.

Wouldn't it be nice if the NFL treated its talent the same way?

Monday, February 11, 2013

POV: Change IS Good

Six Things I Would Change in the National Football League:

  1. Allow blockers to hold more in the pocket - This one is purely on the refs, considering the fact that they could easily call holding on just about any play on any given Sunday, thus continuously altering the flow and momentum of games. If NFL officials are so worried about protecting players from serious injury, particularly concussions, then why not allow the in-game protectors and regulators to get away with a little more. I would much rather see a left tackle get away with a quick hold than to see any starting QB get hauled off on a stretcher. 99% of people watching would probably never know the difference anyway.
  2. Allow kickoff returners the option of waving off dangerous returns - This is a complex one but with all the talk of even eliminating kickoffs completely from the game it seems logical to at least give teams the option of opting out on a return. Similar to waving for a "fair catch", the return man can signal for a "no return" and the team automatically gets it at the 20 no matter if it reaches the end zone or not. It may cut down on a lot of dangerous returns and silly mistakes that get people hurt on kickoffs but still allow teams the opportunity for returns if they can and want to. If we're going to start coaching the game differently and teaching how we play it differently then maybe it's time to start looking at how the game sets people up for injury as well. If we can reduce the number of dangerous plays then we will therefore reduce the number of on-field injuries. 
  3. Cut down on commercial breaks - If you want to know what I'm talking about just watch an NFL game with anybody from Europe or Australia. No doubt they will complain about the constant barrage of commercials and the game stoppage that comes with it. From a pure spectators standpoint as a person that truly loves the game I have to agree with them. The commercials suck. It disrupts the flow of games and often leaves opportunities for half-interested viewers to get up and do something else. If the league could some how lessen the amount of actual game stoppage and commercial distractions it would make it much easier for us at home to enjoy the product. However, in order to do this there obviously must be a way for the networks and the league to continue selling ad space. I'd prefer to see a continuous stream of sponsors on display at the bottom of the screen than pausing every couple of minutes to get force-fed a dose of Bud Light, Tide, or Prescription Drug promos. I'm not going to buy any of that crap anyway so just stop. There are plenty of realistic ad-placement options out there and I seriously doubt anybody will change the current format anytime soon. But if the industry wants to continue improving it should seriously consider how people view the game. If you didn't know already, I don't watch the Super Bowl for the ads and loathe the very notion that people do.
  4. Increase the roster sizes - It's really simple folks. The more players you have the more guys you can rotate in and play regularly. With more guys playing there will be less players being tired at the end of games. This should help lessen the risk of injury considering many of them happen when athletes are fatigued. 
  5. Give two bye weeks per season - This would extend the season one more week, which should make everybody involved happier (minus the wives). The networks will get an extra week of NFL markets collectively tuning in and the athletes will be able to rest their bodies and heal from injuries.
  6. Widen the field - There has definitely been talk about this already and I for one think it's a great idea. With a wider field there will be more room for offenses to operate. This would allow for more separation between receivers and would-be pass defenders, which should result in less big hits on what the league calls "defenseless" players. Of course, the overall offensive production of the entire league would also increase, thus attracting more people that like to watch big plays. Yes, I would miss the big hits too, as I am more of a fan of the defensive side of the ball. However, I'd be just fine giving up more points for less injuries. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Living Up to Expecatations

You have got to hand it to the Ravens. They exceeded the entire country's expectations but lived up to their own. They battled through injuries all season-long and, like all the great teams are suppose to do, they came together when they needed each other most.

Say what you want about the individuals on that football team. Personally, I'm a bit tired of bitter fans spouting witless Ray Lewis homocide jokes and Joe Flacco IQ banter. It's unoriginal. It's truthful. And it's just sad.

The truth is that the joke is on YOU.

The Ravens and the city of Baltimore get it. They had their own set of expectations to live up to instead of yours or mine and they did it. If they hadn't won the Super Bowl they would've considered any efforts as a failure.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So Long Good Friend

Gettin' in it was Nick's passion in life
and he got in it as often as possible.
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

One of the most diversely-skilled and naturally-gifted people that I have ever known was a fellow Grand Teton National Park Trail Crew member named Nick Gillespie. The guy was a natural in every sense of the word. He was the Leatherman multi-tool of human beings, tackling elite-level challenges he continuously set forth before himself. He was one person that I found to be truly living for the moment and never took life for granted.

Nick's name is synonymous
with the mountains in my mind.
I had the pleasure of being neighbors with Nick in the Highlands cabins area of the park. We quickly became friends. He had a way of making lots of friends. It was another one of his fine-tuned skills. I for one instantly trusted him and found him to be a world class adventuring partner. Every time he was doing something it was something extremely cool. And he was often just glad to share the moment with you.

We definitely lost a great one when Nick passed on during a ski trip on January 27th in a place he would not have traded for anything.

So long good friend!
We shall miss you.
My condolences go out to his family and friends, and my thoughts and prayers are with our entire extended Jackson Hole family. You all are a blessing in my life and I will honor Nick every time I carve my skis through the snow, lay may hands on some rock, or cast a line in the water. No fireside meal or back-country drink will go without a thanks to the universe for bringing him into my life.

See you all soon. Be safe and take care of each other.

Cheers and Love to All!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FBS Updates

Recruiting News:,, and have been putting a lot of resources into recruiting news pages these days with National Signing Day coming up on February 6th, just three days after the Super Bowl. Some big-time prospects have recently made verbal commitments, including such notable ones as:

  • Wide Receiver Laquan Treadwell (Crete, IL) - Ole Miss - The rebels nabbed one of the best overall prospects with the size and speed to compete right away.
  • Running Back Derrick Green (Richmond, VA) - Michigan - The Wolverines got what many believe is a guy that can come in and take over at running back this fall. 
  • Outside Linebacker Jaylon Smith (Fort Wayne, IN) - Notre Dame - Might be the best defensive prospect in the country that could help Irish fans quickly get over this whole Te'o thing that we won't talk about here.
  • Safety Leon McQuay (Seffner, FL) - USC - The Trojans got a kid that could be on the cover of a lot of magazines in the future, whether its for football or because of his dreams and goals of being a hip-hop recording artist.
  • Defensive Back Priest Willis (Tempe, AZ) - UCLA - Built like a pro corner and could be a high draft choice in three years.
  • Linebacker Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA) - Florida - Another great building block to help construct another great defense in the near future.

New Big Ten Alignment: How hard could this be?

There has been some recent debate over the new Big Ten Divisional lineup with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland into the conference starting in 2014. The league is also changing the names of the divisions from the corny Legends and Leaders monikers to something a little more generic like East and West, which could then look something like this:

Big Ten East:

  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Purdue
  • Rutgers
Big Ten West:
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern
  • Wisconsin
It's also apparent that the league will go to nine or ten conference games per team as opposed to the current eight. We may see teams playing longer schedules to feed the demand for the sport because there is no doubt that the Big Ten wants to expand its already massive market. Hey, we're all for it.

Imagine the college football season running from mid-August through the first week of December with the conference championship games being played by December 8th. Then bowl games and the newly installed "playoff" system that will dominate headlines for two weeks leading up to New Year's Day, with the final being played the following week. In the end, we are talking five months of college football being played. That's almost half the year!

Mark my words, pay for play will soon be an even bigger issue than it is now. That's the only way they will be able to contain this growing monster. And with the billions of dollars being generated I am one that believes it should be an issue.

Let them eat pizza!