Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Defense Wins Championships

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
“Defense wins championships,” they used to say. For most people football has always conjured up images of sweaty men battling for three hours to the delight of 80,000 blaring fans. But the game is changing. Gone is the “rub some dirt on it and get back out there” mentality Vince Lombardi instilled throughout the league. Gone are the days of hard-nosed defenses like the Steel Curtain dominating games. Every now and again we see a glimpse of the rugged teams fighting for every inch to win games but the mentality is fading. We see fireworks and incredible touchdowns and seemingly every year the “greatest offense of all time” takes the field. We’ve seen MVP quarterback seasons develop from 24 TDs and 17 INTs to 55 TDs and 10 INTs. We’ve seen offenses consistently put up walloping score totals in the 50s. It drives ratings, excites fans, and creates massive fantasy football tallies, but it’s not the same game.

Massive head to head hits used to be seen as bone-crushing defensive statements but now simply tack on 15 yards to the offense’s drive. Arguably a result of the $765 million class action concussion lawsuit, there is no denying the effort the league is devoting to ensure player safety. It is hard to argue against reduced concussions, longer careers and $765 million. The NFL does not want parents pushing their kids towards non-contact sports because of the long-term debilitating effects of concussions regularly highlighted by the media But the League is also reaching all time highs in revenue, $9.2 billion, and Super Bowl viewership 115 million viewers. Any optimistic fan, like myself, hoping to see the league undergo a transformation to balance offense and defense will not find any support from the NFL. In a recent statement by the League’s top dog, commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL forecasts annual revenue to reach $25 billion by 2027. As far as the League is concerned safety initiatives and offense are only facilitating the colossal growth of America’s top source of entertainment.

I stepped into MetLife stadium, awestruck by the grandeur and pageantry of football’s biggest day, not only the culmination of the season but also a defining moment for the future of the sport. Another record shattering, “greatest offense of all time,” the Denver Broncos were favorite against the youthful, callous, defense-led Seattle Seahawks. Led by bruisers on both side of the ball, he Seahawks had fought for every inch all season, and were the definition of “hardnosed” football. Peyton Manning’s Broncos were the opposite, the future of the League, the highest scoring, best passing, and overtly offensive-minded team in the League. Yet after the fireworks went off, the jets flew over the field, and the coin was tossed they proved to be no match for the NFL’s past. The League may be moving towards safety, record revenues, and passing offense but the Seahawks embodied Vince Lombardi’s mantra of grit and grind and were handed the trophy that adorns his name because of it.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback