Sunday, January 15, 2006

WETBOAT'S DIVISIONAL WEEKEND MUSINGS

CONGRATULATIONS, PLANNB23, ON WINNING THE FIRST SQUISHYSCHOONER CHALLENGE!

For being the first person on the Fanball boards to spell "Kimo Von Oelhoffen" correctly, Plannb23 receives an all-expenses paid round trip to the nearest local supermarket.* To honor Kimo Von Oelhoffen's Hawaiian-German-Portuguese heritage, PlannB also receives a dinner of Jagerschnitzel with chorizo sausages and macadamia nuts.**

*All costs incurred during the trip are the responsibility of the Squishyschooner Challenge winner.
**LOCKERROOM cannot guarantee the prompt delivery and/or freshness of the food to be delivered.



ACL! PART I


The Cincinnati Bengals are used to early offseasons anyway.

Speaking of Von Oelhoffen and Carson Palmer, oooooooof! Anyone think Kimo, with that roll into Carson's leg, singlehandedly gave the Steelers two guaranteed wins in the AFC North next year?

It useta be that, 30 years ago, an ACL injury was never called an ACL injury, or just "ACL!" It was a “serious knee injury” and that was all people needed to know. In this information age, football fans are so starved for little details about players' injuries that a simply termed "injury to a body part" isn't enough to placate the voracious appetites of their beer-besotted brains. It must be "anterior cruciate ligament," "medial collateral ligament," "posterior cruciate ligament", "acromioclavicular joint," or whatever medical term brainy sports trainers could come up with. A Bill Belichick-type injury announcement, or lack of it, wouldn't have raised eyebrows 30 years ago.

The first time I ever heard the name "vertebrae" was when I was a kid on vacation in Cape Cod with my family in August of 1978, and the medical analysis of Darryl Stingley's injury was splashed across the sports pages of the Boston Globe. The headline said, in large letters: Stingley prognosis: 'Ominous.'

Yes, it was also when I learned those two words: "prognosis" and "ominous." I took every opportunity to tell my parents what I thought of everything that week: "The weather is ominous!" "The prognosis of the ocean is not good!"

But anyway...

Today, when we hear "ACL!" we know exactly what it is. Not simply “knee injury” or even “ACL injury.” When Chris Berman screams “ACL!” this sets off alarm bells everywhere. When a star football player goes down, his injury gets about as much coverage as the injury President Reagan suffered during an assassination attempt.

*Sigh*. This stuff is a real posterior hematoma.


ACL! PART 2


Bill Gramatica's dance rates a 2.9.

I did some rather unscientific research on football players who suffered ACL injuries in the past, and came up with an interesting pattern about their recoveries. Here's what I came up with:

RUNNING BACKS
Jamal Anderson: Did reasonably fine for 1-2 years, before he was replaced by Duckett.
Jamal Lewis: Back to his old self. Prison may have done him worse.
Willis McGahee: Back to his old self, so far.
Edgerrin James: Back to his old self.
Terrell Davis: Was never the same.
Robert Edwards: Done. He's the perfect example of why the Pro Bowl shouldn't be played.
Ki-Jana Carter: Was serviceable as a 2nd or 3rd backup, but has since retired.
Correll Buckhalter: Showed promise after his ACL injury, but another injury may have done him in.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Sylvester Morris: Done, after a promising rookie season with the Chiefs.
Cliff Russell: Redskins' 3rd round pick in Spurrier's first year, he had the fastest times of any WR in the draft. He's not showing much since the injury, and is probably done.
Michael Westbrook: Done.
Wendell Davis: Done. He singlehandedly started the demise of the Vet.

QUARTERBACKS
Trent Green: Back to old self, and can run just fine.

Among running backs, the rate of recovery from an ACL injury is roughly 50/50. As far as I know about wide receiver ACL injuries (and please correct me if I’m missing any other WR’s), the rate of recovery among WR’s is just terrible. Are you listening, Javon Walker and Braylon Edwards?

The jury is still out on quarterbacks. I only know of just one QB who suffered an ACL injury and that was Trent Green. (Again, fill me in on any other QB's I missed.) It's very hard to say how well, or how completely, quarterbacks can recover from ACL's. Compared to RB's and WR's, quarterbacks have other tangible physical assets and are less reliant on their legs. This season has been quite unusual with two star quarterbacks going down with ACL injuries: Daunte Culpepper and Carson Palmer. Before their injuries, Culpepper and Palmer had fairly equal production levels during their best years. Culpepper's production, unlike Palmer's, was due in a greater part to his legs, so his chances of returning to his old self after an injury like this is far less likely.

But, whether you're a QB, RB, or WR, it all comes down to attitude, discipline, and motivation when rehabbing from a devastating ACL injury. If what they say about ACL rehabs is more mental than physical, then those who possess more mental courage and fortitude will be the ones who are most successful at recovering from their injuries. That's why I like Palmer's chances, but am not so sure about the chances of the following players who suffered ACL injuries this season: Walker, Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Deuce McAllister. Out of those four, McAllister can recover well if his mind is into it. Given the record of WR's recovering from ACL injuries, there's great reason for pessimism, no matter how hard Walker and Edwards can try to rehab their way to their pre-ACL level. As for Kellen Winslow, his name spells B-U-S-T. Anyone who takes daredevil spins on a motorcycle and yells "It's war out there, motherfucker" can't be trusted to be mentally disciplined about rehabbing from an ACL injury.

No, I don’t cover kicker ACL injuries. But, as anyone knows, there are two, and only two, ways that kickers sustain an ACL injury: a bold play, or just plain stupidity. Joe Nedney, as a kicker for the Tennessee Titans two years ago, made a daring tackle on a kickoff return, and paid for it with a torn ACL that ended his season. On the other hand, Bill Gramatica of the Arizona Cardinals enthusiastically celebrated a meaningless field goal by doing the Argentine version of the typical touchdown celebration, which I believe entails a lot of jumping up and down. Tore his ACL and, just like that, the Dancing Gramaticas were history.

4 comments:

skurlock said...

Technically PLANNB23 did not spell the name correctly because it is:

Kimo von Oelhoffen

not

Kimo Von Oelhoffen

The 'V' is not capitalized.

Professor Ellis D Trails said...

Wet,

this is some info I found or knew to add to your knee injury column...


Daunte Culpepper, Javon Walker, Michael Lewis, Rodney Harrison, etc. – this year


Jerry Rice – tore his ACL in ’97 had six good seasons after coming back
Robert Brooks – tore ACL, mid way through ’96. He had pretty good season in ’97, but never the same player.
Fred Taylor – tore MCL, PCL. Last season, he looked good at times, but not a full time guy anymore.
Terrell Davis – never the same
Ernie Conwell – tore ACL, MCL, PCL in ‘98, took 3 years to get back to form when he caught 4 td’s in 2001 for the Rams
N.D Kalu – He tore ACL during last season training camp and played sparingly this year, missing three games.
Stoutmire – missed 15 games last season for the giants because of torn ACL, played well this season for the skins.

Mark Brunell – He had a partial tear of ACL and MCL at the beginning of the ‘97 preseason, came back in week 4 – averaged 250 yards/ game and 18 td’s to 7 int’s
Rex Grossman – tore ACL last season. He looked good in preseason this year before another injury, but looked ok upon return



This is a good article about ACL tears:

http://espn.go.com/trainingroom/s/1999/1004/96611.html

This is almost like a brochure for ACL, MCL, PCL tears:

http://www.orthspec.com/graphics/pdf/freeman/ACL-injuries.pdf#search='nfl%20acl%20pcl%20mcl%20tears

Watership2 said...

not bad, professor. that more than makes up for your mathematical shortcomings. :D

forgot about rice and grossman. you could say rice's ethic and attitude got him back after his acl tear.

the jury's still out on grossman. on top of his acl, he's a florida product.

still...the rate of recoveries among WR's is quite worrisome.

Watership2 said...

PLANNB23, you don't get the prizes. they wll go unclaimed.

LOCKERROOM sincerely apologizes for the error.

-The Management