A lot has been written about the pink accessories the NFL players have been wearing. If you are a prostate cancer advocate, you have got to be jealous of how the league permitted and how the players embraced wearing pink. I easily get the cheerleaders and maybe a pink ribbon on the back of a helmet, but gloves (if you are a receiver) and shoes ( if you are a punter or a place kicker). Everybody knows that these particular specialty players are quirky in general and superstitious in particular. So, I am watching a game on this past Sunday and the game comes down to the place kicker making a 40 yard or so field goal. What! Pink shoes? On a quirky place kicker? Surely the coach knows the mental make-up of these guy. Why would the coach allow it?
So you have the kicker there. He is going through his superstitious ritual. He twists his head. He looks at the goal. He adjusts his shoulders. He steps back three paces and then over one. He looks up again at the goal, the holder and the snapper. He is ready to nod his head for the snap. The crowd roars in anticipation and the kick. The game is on the line. The opposing coach calls an ” icing timeout.” The kicker walks around and repeats the entire ritual. It is something he must do, it’s like the ritual that a pitcher (they are no different, particularly late inning ace relief closers) goes through before each pitch. The kicker is now ready, “the second time.” He nods, the snap is perfect, the hold is perfect and the kicker moves toward the ball. He plants the plant food and as he does, he sees a pink foot. How could you not? What is this his mind says to his subconscious in milliseconds? Pink? My shoe is usually black. Oh, yea breast cancer awareness month. All of this mental machinations results in just a slight bit of a change in the timing of the plant foot and the angle of the kicking foot and viola…the ball drifts slowly to the left…wide left…just a small wide left, but left never the less and the resultant missed field goal. No one said anything in the broadcast booth, nobody says nothing, they don’t have the courage to say it….it would be politically incorrect. But we all knew. The kicker, the coach, the offensive coordinator, the kicking coach, the holder, and of course I knew. Breast cancer awareness month was responsible for that missed field goal.
If I were a coach I would not allow receivers to (think Randy Moss, or a Terrell Owens) wear pink gloves, and I would not let punters or kickers wear pink shoes. Those guys cannot tolerate a distraction like that.
Keep it to the pink ribbon on the back of the helmet for speciality players. Now….baby blue is another thing. That color is already in use and accepted.
For football…baby blue would be a safer color.
NFL and The American Urological Association ” Know your Stats” Not a bad program but they “dropped the ball” not getting baby blue this and that for the players. In recent memory, there has not been such a dramatic awareness program as the NFL players wearing pink accessories and all of the other accoutrements of the game participating (i.e. the cheerleaders) as well. Search youtube for NFL pink and you’ll see what I mean. Brilliant!
The article below is just the start. Trust me…you’ll begin to see commentary about the color pink affecting the performance of the players…particularly the specialty players.
Tim Hasselbeck: NFL Quarterbacks Not Fans of Pink Ribbon Football
10/13/2010 2:36 PM ET By Chris Burke
“They’re playing with these breast cancer awareness balls. These balls are brand new, right out of the bag,” Hasselbeck said on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio show, according to HuffingtonPost.com. “Now they get slick — I texted a couple quarterbacks during the game. They all said, ‘These balls have been a disaster.’ So I think that’s something to note.”
The league quickly shot down Hasselbeck’s claims.
The issue of slick footballs has come up in the past — most notably in 2007, after Cowboysquarterback Tony Romo fumbled the snap on a last-second field attempt, costing Dallas a playoff game against the Seahawks. The Cowboys complained that the ball used on that play — a “K-ball,” saved specifically for kicking situations — was too slick to handle. The NFL slightly altered its rules surrounding K-balls during the subsequent offseason, to prevent the use of a brand-new football on every kick.
Complaints about game balls aren’t exclusive to the NFL, either.
In 2006, the NBA briefly experimented with a synthetic basketball, only to switch back to the traditional leather ball after players complained that the synthetic version became hard to handle when it came in contact with sweat.
And just this past summer at the 2010 World Cup, there was a stream of controversy surrounding the “Jabulani” ball designed by Adidas for the event, mainly from goalkeepers, who complained that the new ball did not travel through the air in the same way as other designs.
The NFL is expected to continue using the pink ribbon footballs through the month of October.