clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tending to explode is a valuable NFL trait

I've never thought of combustibility as particularly descriptive of any player's ability as a professional athlete, but I'm probably alone in that. If you're looking for a Washington Redskins post, scroll to the bottom for relevance. Really this is just a brief rant against NFL cliches.

Honestly with no tongue in cheek do I acknowledge the descriptive element of "explosiveness" to characterize NFL players. It implies a certain amount of speed and strength and awareness for the ball; or something like that, right? However, as with most things, words like "explosiveness" are best served moderately. With this in mind, I read (Hat tip: Blogging the Boys) this Bucky Brooks piece at SI on the Draft and couldn't help but question if this is an article without a single worthwhile observation. The entire thing is so plastered with cliches that they all lose meaning. No offense to Brooks, who for all I know might be an insightful NFL commenter; I just thought this particular piece was a bit uninspired. Emphasis added:

Adrian Peterson is an explosive and dynamic runner with outstanding speed and quickness.
Adams is a smooth, fluid athlete with explosive rush skills.
Note: Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. Plus Jason Campbell is like the only guy at school who has a mustache.
Adams is the better pick based on his explosiveness, production and game experience.
[Calvin Johnson] shows surprising explosiveness and polish as a route runner.
[Ted] Ginn is an explosive playmaker with outstanding speed and quickness. He is raw as a receiver, but his explosiveness gives him the chance to score from anywhere on the field.
After closely analyzing these prospects, Ginn is the pick because of his edge in speed and explosiveness and return skills.
[Darvelle Revis] lacks explosive top-end speed, but his instincts, awareness and ball skills keep him in great position down the field. Both players are best suited for zone heavy schemes, but Hall gets the nod because of his speed and explosiveness.
[Lawrence] Timmons is an explosive athlete with all of the physical tools to be an impact player on the next level.
[Paul Posluszny is n]ot an explosive athlete, he has the instincts, awareness and toughness that make him stand out on tape.
[Greg Olson] has all of the tools to be a difference maker in the passing game and his explosiveness makes him the pick over Miller.
As a general rule I like to operate with the Double D Literary Philosophy on "Explosiveness" (although I encourage Hogs Haven reader(s) to call me to task when I wane from this) -- the term is most illuminating when used merely to describe D.ynamite and D.iarrhea.

Repeating: No insult meant to Brooks (who again, for all I know, could be a great analysist. Better than yours truly, no doubt) but I just find vague adjectives to be little more than boring platitudes used to fill space. Wouldn't we be better served by intriguing similes? Examples:

1. He is raw as a receiver, but his explosiveness gives him the chance to score from anywhere on the field.
2. He is raw as a receiver, but his combination of speed and strength and maybe some other stuff -- which is as acute as an undeniable surprise bowel movement -- gives him the chance to score from anywhere in the field.

Doesn't that leap off the page for you? Can't you just feel the words? I can, and I'll be right back.

Oh yes, Redskins related quotient... I think Sean Taylor is an explosive player with a combination of speed, athleticism, and ferociousness that makes him a threat to make big plays anywhere on the field. Even on the sidelines like, after the whistle is blown.

Update [2007-3-15 19:18:57 by Skin Patrol]: I double checked my archives and on three (!!!) separate occasions I referred to players or teams as "explosive". I'm ashamed of myself.