July 27, 2004

A Fond Farewell...

Aw, hell. I knew it had to happen someday. Looks like my favorite NFL player for the past 15 or so years--15? Has it been that long?--Looks like he's finally being put out to pasture. (And I mean no disrespect with that term...he's earned a relaxing retirement.)

Rod Woodson was let go by the Oakland Raiders today, apparently for failing a physical. For those non-football fans out there, Woodson was one of the greatest defensive backs in the history of football. He wasn't as flashy as Deion, but he was nearly as fast (Woodson was a world-class hurdler) and covered just as well. He wasn't as big as "Night Train" Lane, but he hit as hard. Hell, take Woodson and Lane in their prime at your corners, throw in Ronnie Lott and Ken Houston in the safety positions, and you could shut down just about any air attack that came down the pike.

It's hard not to like Woodson. He's what's known as a stand-up guy. No flash, no scandal...a true leader on and off the field. Like all best of the best, he not only played with his body, he played with his heart.

I'm sad to see him go, but I thank him for the greatness he brought to the game, and I wish him well in the future.


  1. Anonymous12:06 AM

    I hear you brother. He's got a lot of great football behind him to be proud of. He was also in one of the best Dennis Hopper commercials (was it Nike he was advertising?). The ole, "hear the footsteps", on explaining why receivers could never catch a ball when they knew they were being covered by Woodson. Of course with all these new rules in place protecting receivers this season, who wants to be a defensive back anymore? It's like a 15 yard penalty for looking at a wide-receiver the wrong way on the line of scrimmage (25 yards if you're looking at Jerry Rice the wrong way, 50 yards if you're not only looking at him the wrong way, but are actually going to cover him).

    Doug P.

  2. Nice...

    I had forgotten that commercial. What a great series of ads that was. "Hardy Nickerson...the Dragon...El Drag-on." Too bad they had to can them.

    You're right, too, about the new rules sissifying the game. First it was protecting the quarterbacks, now it's the receivers.

    "Hey, ref! Keep an eye on number 26, will ya?"

    "What's he doing?"

    "He's running real close to me, and it's keeping me from catching the ball. How am I supposed to renegotiate my contract when he's out here making me look bad?"

  3. Anonymous7:25 AM

    Nice tribute to one of the best D-Backs to play the game. You're right he wasn't as flashy as Deion, but at least he could tackle and did not shy away from a hit.