It is always reported, how much better the athlete of today is versus those of 1967.
The player of today is bigger. he is faster. he is stronger. he is better coached. he follows a better training regimen. he wears much better equipment. he is coddled by the coaches. his practices are easier. but is todays football player a better football player?
Absolutely not. Lets discuss the reasons the player of 1967, was at least his equal.
- He wasn’t soliciting the players association to limit practices, and tackling time.
- He handled wisecracks and insults himself, he didn’t have his posse take care of it.
- He liked 3 a-days in August.
- The highest paid players were in the $100,000 range. Average probably $20,000.
- The trainer was the bartender at the local pub.
- If he didn’t get the number of passes he wanted, he didn’t tweet how dumb the coaches were.
- He wasn’t a short yardage back, or a third down back. He was a “back”.
- He didn’t play the nickel, he played all the time.
- Player stayed with one team their entire career. No free agency.
- He talked to the press after games because he was told to do so.
- In summary, he let the coach, coach, and he did what the coach told him to do.
- The players made less than the coach. Necessary to get the discipline. Not today.
- It was a team game in 1967. Now its a way, for an athlete, to showcase his talents.
The old guys had heart and desire, I remember a game between the Raiders and the 49ers. Nobody knew where Kenny Stabler was at 10:00am Sunday morning. They found him at a friends, just before noon, the start of the game. The 49ers had raced to a 27-0 lead at the half. They hustled him to the stadium, put him in the sweatbox, and brought him out to start the 2nd half. The players across the line, said they could almost get drunk, on the fumes given off, by Stabler. All Stabler did was throw 5 touchdown passes to win the game.
So maybe I’m a little off center, on this article, but there is a lot of truth to these facts. It would be fun to ask Bud Grant if he would rather have Carl Eller or Brian Robison; Ahmad Rashad or Stephon Diggs? You Choose.