Every once in awhile, some college football coach will create some hackneyed, lazy link between the sport and something happening in the greater United States or world. It usually goes poorly.
You’ll recall the time former Syracuse Orange coach Scott Shafer talked about ISIS after SU lost to Louisville back in 2014. Well, let me introduce you to North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who embraced victimhood with aplomb while chatting with media at the ACC Football Kickoff on Wednesday:
Larry Fedora: “Our game is under attack ... I fear that the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it 10 years from now. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 18, 2018
This line of thinking should sound familiar to anyone following national politics or the NFL in recent years. Football equals America, apparently, and any change to one means a change to the other. And change equals permanent damage. Fedora doubled down on that idea by adding the troops into all of it, too:
UNC coach Larry Fedora says he once spoke with a general and asked him what makes the American military the best in the world.— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) July 18, 2018
The general’s answer, per Fedora, was simple: The United States is the only football-playing nation in the world. pic.twitter.com/eCRY40gIeD
Look, I’ll walk away from the politics conversation at this point, and just move onto the point that Fedora (and many others) that believe there’s a “war” on football simply don’t care about the issues within today’s game. Fedora may concede that kids don’t need to play tackle football until middle school here, but otherwise, ignores CTE and long-term health effects of playing the game. That’s not because he’s ignorant of the potential harm. It’s because he, like many others that make a lot of money off the game, doesn’t care.
So the next time you hear Fedora or another coach/administrator talk the “war” on the sport, but offer no options to make it safer at the college and pro level (or just deny the issues altogether), know that it’s because they don’t actually care about the well-being of the players. And won’t until they no longer make money off of them (and even then, there’s no guarantee).
The rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
Speaking to reporters at ACC media day in Charlotte, Fedora pounded the drum on the notion football is under attack, possibly from a growing tide of concern about player safety and head trauma. Fedora added he recently spoke with a military member who touted the United States’ armed forces were superior because many members played football.
Eric Devendorf, heart and soul of Boeheim’s Army, wants you (Syracuse.com)
“I’m just soaking up as much knowledge as I possibly can. Obviously, being on staff with a Hall-of-Fame coach, it doesn’t happen every day. Learning how to break down film better and learning how I can implement what I see in practices to help the young guys.”
From SU’s recently released media guide: “As a result of the (linebacker) departures, Syracuse will play more nickel this season, utilizing two linebackers on most downs.” The five-defensive back approach aligns with talk of tighter coverage in the secondary and may help prepare Syracuse for spread-heavy opponents. But defending the run with two green linebackers will be tough.
Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Syracuse and Villanova are among the many schools that will attend the City Rocks/Expressions Elite Combine on Wednesday that will feature Isaiah Stewart and Joe Girard, among others.
“It’s good to be here and obviously we got until 2024, that’s a long time and that’s what we want. We want time here to really build this program, we want time to win a national championship and we are getting closer, we got some really good players coming in and we are excited about the opportunity” Hillsman told me in an interview this week.
Demetris Nichols might be in best shape of his career (Syracuse.com)
Top Five ACC Defensive Tackles To Know in 2018 (Shakin the Southland)