Missing Reels examines overlooked, unappreciated or unfairly maligned movies. Sometimes these films haven’t been seen by anyone, and sometimes they’ve been seen by everyone… who loathed them. Sometimes they’ve simply been forgotten. But in any case, Missing Reels argues that they deserve to be seen and admired by more people.
It will come as a shock to no one that I’m not much of an athlete or sports nut. Sidelined by asthma and an almost comical lack of coordination, I’ve always been an indoor kid who preferred his comic books and movies to getting out in the field and playing a game. And yet, even with that propensity for introversion and solitary activities, there’s one sport that I do follow: football. The season has just begun and already injuries are piling up, with the shadow of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) looming over the proceedings. Much like football is a battle of strategy and toughness, so too is the dichotomy for passionately loving the sport with the all too real thought that we’re watching men destroy their bodies and lives for our pleasure.
We ask a lot of our athletes, putting their health at risk on the field while maintaining some semblance of “role model” actions off it. But why? And for what? In the end, it’s a moral struggle about expectations, bloodthirsty crowds and entertainment that leaves us all with some serious questions. These questions don’t just extend to the (very real) possibility of CTE but also of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). If we want our professional sports players to be at their best, then why do we chastise them for taking something that helps them reach that goal we (unfairly) demand?
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. On any given Sunday, one in seven men watching an NFL game will be diagnosed with this disease, but the odds increase to one in five if they are African-American and one in three if they have a family history. These are stats that no one wants to see up on a scoreboard.
I spoke to pro football Hall of Famer and prostate cancer survivor Michael Haynes about his partnership with an early detection campaign called Know Your Stats and his career as one of the best defensive backs in NFL history. Listen to the full interview here.
On the last NFL rule change to benefit the defense:
I don’t think they even take the defense into consideration when they make rule changes – they take you guys, the fans! You guys are the ones they are considering. It’s like, how can we make our game more exciting? How many fans love a 7-3 football game? I know how important that is. I feel the anxiety and the energy in those 7-3 battles. But today, if a team can’t score 21 or 28 points, something is wrong with that offense. The coach may be fired, his job may be in jeopardy. Anyway, it’s a different game, but I still love the game.
I guess. The rule changes have changed the game so much. A lot of people are not aware of the importance of the rules and how they affect the game. There was a time when the hashes were wider. And when the hash marks were wider, it was very rare that a running back would rush for 1,000 yards. Floyd Little of the Denver Broncos, I recently had a conversation with him about this, and he shared the story that he was the 13th running back in history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season – it was a huge, huge milestone. Today, it’s not a huge milestone. Now, it’s almost commonplace for a guy to rush for 1,000 yards as a running back. So, that created a huge difference in the running game.
Since you retired, you’ve started several different businesses – a trucking company, a real estate and housing company – and this is your latest entrepreneurial effort. Why have you been able to keep all your money when so many professional athletes go broke?
“Really, I look at needs. When I got into transportation, I looked at that as a fail-safe business. When I got into housing, the need was obvious. I’ve been very fortunate to have good partners. People that are trustworthy and know what they are talking about. I’ve got a lot of good ideas, but you’ve got to get with good people. Whatever is new and coming up, I’ve always tried to stay on top of that. And MVP Collections is an extension of that – I think there’s a need and a market for this. I go out and I look at certain styles – denim style, coded jeans – and they really weren’t there for big guys. And I was just thinking about how guys who need a two, three, four or five x jeans – 38 to 50 sized waist – had nowhere to go. So I was able to price point this thing: $58 bucks for a premium T, $208 for premium denim. It’s a lifestyle brand that’s affordable for the average guy.”
When Odell Beckham Jr. says he made 2015 NFL All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman “relevant” thanks to their battle during week 15 of the 2015 season, he sounds like a jilted ex-lover.
To watch the footage now, coupled with Beckham’s endless quotes since then (a sign in itself that he was bested that day, like an ex-girlfriend who can’t move on with her life), it becomes obvious what happened: Beckham, for possibly the first time in his life as an athlete, ran into a player that was better than him, and he didn’t know how to handle it.
As Troy Aikman said during the broadcast, “Norman has owned [Beckham] in this game.”
“People have been underestimating me since high school. And I don’t mean that in the cliched way. I had to walk-on to even play in college,” Norman told me in an interview for DiscoverBoating.com.”That by itself was so much work. And I have just continued to work from then on.”
Norman was an All-State football player in South Carolina but received zero scholarship offers and eventually walked on at Coastal Carolina, a school that boasted only two prior NFL draft picks in its history.