I don't know about you, but I miss football and we're not even missing football yet. Maybe I have an unhealthy love for the sport...I'll take that, but what I miss are the little things, the tidbits of info that get me through the off-season. Free agency, trades, mini-camps, OTA's...all are at risk of not happening due to the lockout.
And more than just the sheer entertainment value of these events are their effect on our beloved football team's ability to learn and grow into a better monster for the 2011 season, should there be one. We have an entirely (for the most part) new coaching staff, a completely different offensive system...there's plenty to learn for the players right now and going forward.
When Jim Harbaugh was hired we all were filled with hope about the step the team could take going forward: making that leap from 6-10 to whatever it takes to win the NFC West and then some. But we all know that new regimes take time to get things down to a science and start going like a well-oiled machine. That time begins immediately and continues throughout the off-season.
Well, here we are with a lockout and players cannot be in contact with team employees whatsoever. No practicing with coaches, no emails or text messages going back and forth, no player/coach film sessions or information exchanged...nothing. I guess besides jumping jacks, nothing can be done to better our football team, right?
Join me after the jump for an evil plan to circumvent the rules of this lockout.
Here's my idea, in a nutshell:
The players, most of them anyways, have already said they intend to have some organized activities of their own in order to stay in shape and be as ready as they can be for the upcoming season. The coaches will also be working at the facility studying tape, writing playbooks, evaluating the roster, etc. The gap between the two groups is communication.
The mob can't walk into the police station and talk to the dirty cops on it's payroll, can it? No, it has to use runners, guys who relay information between the parties involved. Agencies like the C.I.A. also use informants, sources, people who provide information without the concerned parties actually meeting.
Now, I don't intimately know the rules of the lockout, so I'm going to make some assumptions. If you are privvy to specific articles of the code so-to-speak and can shed light on that, great. My assumptions are as follows:
NFL team employees cannot have any direct contact or intend to communicate with players, or vice versa. They can't "work together". Players can't be present at the team facility. Shooting video is not a form of communicating with the people in which you are filming. Neither the camera or it's operator say anything or otherwise project any communication toward it's subjects.
Therefore I feel that it should be perfectly reasonable for an NFL team to hire a third-party video person who's job is simply to film players in their off-site workouts...while saying nothing to said players.
The film will then be sent back to the team HQ where it will be evaluated by coaches. The players did not request, nor direct the video to be sent to coaches, so it's not a communication by the players to coaches.
The coaches then, while watching the video with say, their cousin...we'll call him "Vinny"...will make some comments about what they see...much the same way we discuss a movie while we watch it.
Vinny, who's a football junkie and a particular fan of the 49ers, decides to go watch some players holding an off-site practice at a local high school. While there, Vinny notices some things wrong about a given play, and mentions his opinion on what needs to be corrected. It's just some guy named Vinny, not employed by, nor implored by any NFL team, giving some free advice to some dudes playing football at an open practice.
Essentially you have information arriving at each destination which was not requested to be delivered to the recipient by the other party. Heck, if you can't get over the team hiring the videographer, let cousin Vinny film the practices too.
Oh, by the way...when there's football again cousin Vinny might be recognized by the team for his community efforts and rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip to a game, complete with his own suite and a dozen tickets for his friends.
Or someone just gives him money under the table...you get the idea.