Peak Sports Mailbag: Week 4

Ask and answer SFU and non-SFU related sports questions. This week: Football

Photo credit / 123rf

By: Grant Simms, SFU student

Hey Peak sports readers,

My name is Grant Simms, and I am your maitre d’ for the football themed Peak Sports Mailbag. Thanks so much to all of our readers for submitting their football-related questions, and my apologies if your question didn’t make it into this week’s edition. Usually, the Mailbag host will only answer three or four questions. Don’t worry though, as all questions submitted count for an entry into the raffle draw whether or not they are addressed in the Mailbag. Now, onto the questions!

Question 1: “Since Canadian and American football have different rules, how do players adapt to the NCAA?” – Gab

Answer: The short answer is: most don’t have to. Although football requires an extreme level of Herculean strength to play, as well as a significant amount of discipline and endurance, it, for most players, does not require them to have mastery of the rules of the game. The skills necessary to catch, to rush the quarterback, or break ankles as a running back, don’t change from league to league. Although the field may be different, and in the NCAA there are more downs, most guys play a position that is relatively unaffected and/or they adjust pretty quickly. 

That being said, the schemes in each league do change. American football is like watching a battle between two cautious WWI sides employing trench warfare, while Canadian football is like watching Scotland and England fight in Braveheart. In other words, Canadian football is a way more offensive style.  Even though the American game has been changing, it’s still, by far, the more defensive of the two. This alters quarterback play, and changes how it’s coached.  Unless a player is just an athletic God, in football, most are only as good as their coaching. If the coach isn’t employing the correct gameplan, the players are pretty much screwed. 

Question 2: “What does the SFU football team need to fix? Can this be the year they finally take a step forward?” – Kyle 

Answer: Not gonna happen mate. At least not while we’re at SFU. That’s coming from a bunch of stories I’ve heard about SFU football; which are usually followed with laughter because they’re frankly pathetic. As much as I’d like to say all we need are some awesome players or our own Vince Lombardi, it’s not gonna happen. Bill Belichik himself could start coaching here and it wouldn’t change a thing. In this case, it all comes down to economics. 

Good sports programs get that way because they can attract the best coaches and players. To do that you have to drop money like Drake at a nightclub. You’ve gotta have ballin’ weight rooms and stadiums fit for kings. Now, SFU has started to put a little more into athletics, with the new stadium being built, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what other programs are investing. All you have to do is take a tour of our gym to know our facilities aren’t exactly state-of-the-art. 

Compounding that is the fact that SFU has basically no party culture. Last I checked, that’s the kind of thing athletes enjoy. Now, you may say, “What about soccer? We get good players there.” This is true, but that’s because soccer is a far more popular sport, at least to play, in Canada than in the states – and in Vancouver especially. This makes it easier to find talent close to SFU. Also, nobody’s dropping fat stacks on soccer, so there’s not as much competition there. All in all, unless SFU starts putting more money into the football program, expect losing forecasts to continue.

Question 3: “Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?” – Jacob

Answer: This isn’t actually as easy as I thought it would be to answer. For years, I would have said Russell Wilson, but now, I’m thinking Dak Prescott. Dak was a fourth round pick, he doesn’t have the natural arm talent of a Mahomes, and he doesn’t have the natural athleticism of a Watson. Yet, “All I Do is Win” could be his personal anthem. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, people began to believe Dak had hit his ceiling. But, during that time, there were three key factors that contributed to his subpar play: the first being the suspensions to Zeke and the injuries to the offensive line; the second was a lack of wide receiver talent, (Dez had caught a dose of “Wideout Delusion”); the third being the lack of a good offensive coordinator.  Despite all that, Dak still managed to have a winning record in both seasons, and even won the division and a playoff game last year. Even Brady needs some weapons, and, with his, Dak has been incredible. We’re now seeing just how precise of a passer he is; he makes great decisions with the football, and he is a superb leader. However, the stigma he picked up will probably stay with him until he wins a Superbowl, which, this year, seems like a strong possibility.

If you would like to participate in future editions of the Peak Sports Mailbag and be entered in a raffle for an end-of-semester prize, here’s what you can send to sports@the-peak.ca

  • Sports-related questions that our weekly host will answer
  • Weekly theme ideas to guide our questions

Or: sign up to host the Mailbag (and get paid)!

Thanks to all of you SFU sports fans for blowing up my inbox!

Next week’s theme is: NBA Basketball

Next week’s host is: Brandon Braich

Send in your questions to sports@the-peak.ca

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