Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Phil Simms has new side job as Showtime analyst
I wrote my Sunday newspaper column about Showtime's version of the venerable "Inside the NFL," with a focus on new cast member Phil Simms.
There are some interesting quotes from interesting people about how opinionated Simms is on the show compared to his game analysis work. But as any Journalism 101 student could tell you, the gaping flaw in the story is the lack of actual examples of said opinions.
As partial penance, I have posted comments sent by Showtime from last week's show, some regarding the notion of cutting back on preseason games, and some regarding concussions and the possible conflicts of interest among NFL team doctors.
Click below for all that.On Pittsburghs Troy Polamalu being cleared to play this week after suffering a concussion last week:
COWHER: This is something that is not being taken lightly. Lets understand the procedures that are being done. When he had the concussion on Sunday, he was in (being) tested on Monday. Every player in the National Football League, since 2006, has been given a baseline test a test that tests for memory and for reaction. He passed that test on Monday. The next thing the doctors and trainers are looking for are reactions to that during the course of the week. So any kind of symptoms he may have during the course of the week, whether that be dizziness, imbalance, headaches, anything of that nature, that will set him back. If there are any kinds of symptoms, he will not play in that game against the New York Giants.
BROWN: With that process in place, youre okay with the decision to play?
COWHER: Absolutely. I think as we speak today, hes ready to play.
COLLINSWORTH: First of all, lets say this, the players always want to play. And the coaches always want them to play. So now its up to the doctors to put up a stop sign if in fact they should not play a team doctor. I do not believe that there is one bad team doctor in the NFL. But there is a built-in conflict of interest because if Im your doctor, Im supposed to only think about what is in your best interest. However, the way it is set up, Im hired by the team, (pointing to co-analysts) for us three, to figure out what is in our best interest. So there is an unusual circumstance built into this thing.
SIMMS: I disagree so much. You think of these team doctors, theyve gone their whole lives to get educated. They are some of the best in the world at what they do. That is why the clubs of the National Football League hire them because they have the reputation, the experience and everything that says theyre the best. Are they going to jeopardize all that just to satisfy a coach because he needs one guy to come onto the field who may be able to do what he is supposed to do? My answer is, no. There is no way, the oath that they took. They became doctors for all the right reasons.
COLLINSWORTH: Understand this, the ultimate marketing tool for any physician group is to be the New York Giants, or the Cincinnati Bengals, or the Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor. What are you going to do? Youre going to read in the paper that Dr. So-and-So looked at Carson Palmers elbow. Now, my son has to have elbow surgery. Well, I want the same one that Carson Palmer has. So it is a difficult spot.
COWHER: When I went to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992 we switched team doctors because there was no confidence in the doctors we had. So Im just telling you, its in the teams best interest to make sure that they get a guy who is good, who is reputable, because their reputation is also at stake.
SIMMS: You have to trust the doctor. Theyve been trained to do this. I dont know if you trusted your team doctors when you played in the NFL, but I trusted ours. If they said to me, you can play, you wont do further damage, youre safe I believed them.
BROWN: The decision today, to play Troy Polamalu Sunday, youre okay with it?
SIMMS: Absolutely. I have no reservations about it at all. Especially since concussions have been a major issue over the last few years.
COLLINSWORTH: I do have an issue because we dont understand enough about concussions. I had a doctor one time tell me, I cannot believe we have yet to see somebody die in the NFL from a second concussion. When you have the first, the likelihood of death or serious injury from a second, close-proximity concussion is so great, that I cant believe we havent seen it. I know the NFL is studying and working this issue, I just worry about it.
On expanding the schedule
COLLINSWORTH: Its awful. Its all about money. No one who has ever played in a 16-game schedule would ever advocate going to 18 games. Youre going to end up with nothing but back-up players playing in the playoffs. Youre going to have all these second-string quarterbacks, who cant play, at the end of the season. Its a horrible idea.
COWHER: In the National Football League every game has a significant importance. It has impact upon the postseason. Youre bringing it every week. You talk about back-up players playing, now where are they going to get their development? Youre only going to have two preseason games. Where are these guys going to get a chance to play? My concern is the quality of play will go down because youre going to have less-experienced players playing.
SIMMS: Yes, I think its a terrible idea. If you expand the season, then youre automatically going to shorten the preseason If youre going into the championship bout, youre going to spar a few rounds before you go out there and try to win the fight. You cut these pre-season games down from four to two, like theyre talking about, the games, you wont be able to get them off of TV because theyre going to be stopping them every five minutes to help a player off the field because I think the injury rate will go up dramatically.