How does a man announce to the world that a titan was in error?
Why in an SBNation FanPost, thats how!
Back in 2011 when the NFL de-certified the players' union (or the players' union de-certified the NFL, or something, and that year's season was threatened with cancellation or foreclosure or arbitration [to my shame, I'm not real good with NFL related legal jargon) and the NFL players (the scary lummoxes to the association football fans among us) just didn't know what to do, a small handful announced plans to BOX! These players, I assume, figured that a couple of four rounders against sub-entry level cans would be a slick way to make up for all that Football income they were expecting to lose. Pretty resourceful. These guys do have College (University to you foreigners) educations, you know.
Scott Christ, to his credit, riposted these efforts with customary wit and humor in his trenchant column datelined May 23, 2011(A link should be here, but I don't know how). As a pretty solid rule of North American sports, Football players suck at Boxing. Mark Gastineau, Alonzo Highsmith, William Perry, Laurence Taylor are examples of very good NFL Football players who tried their hand in some way or another at Boxing, and they all sucked hard, even Highsmith, who was coddled to a 27-1-2 pro record. Seth Mitchell could be used as a counter example of sorts, but he never did make it to the NFL, and, above a certain level, he still pretty much sucks at Boxing.
I submit that a body conditioned to play NFL Football is pretty much an unnaturally specialized and freakish thing, and just won't do the kind of fluid movement requisite to boxing. Also, American Football is so over-coached and regimented that the spontaneity and sudden shifts in tempo of the sweet science are too much for these super specialized monsters to adjust to. Mr Christ was correct to lampoon the concept of Pro Football players attempting to box. He erred however, by painting with too broad a brush, and failing to recognize an exception to the otherwise ironclad law of NFL pugilistic ineptitude. The fact is that amid the steaming pile of poop that was the boxing brothers of the NFL 2011, there was one nugget of golden corn. Golden domed corn*, if you will: one Tom Zbikowski.
Tommy Z , as he is known to most fans due to the unpronounceability of those god-damned ethnic names, (I mean, why couldn't they have issued real American names like Smith, Johnson, Harris etc. to the foreigners at Ellis Island anyway [hey, this could be a future fanpost topic!]) unlike almost every other NFL boxing conversion project, had a long and solid amateur career. Not spectacular, not Cuban Olympic team shit, but several dozen sanctioned amateur fights at the golden gloves/ park district level. In his four pro fights he has looked about like a reasonably legit prospect should against the low end opposition he has faced. He didn't lumber awkwardly and paw with his chin up like Ray Edwards or Gastineau. He moved with the efficiency of a trained fighter and his punches came off like a trained fighter's punches should, crisp and snappy. He even used some decent ducking and slipping to avoid the flailing of his opponents. Of course, many question marks remain, even for a believer such as me. Those questions (like what happens when he gets punched in the face by a guy who is like really fuckin' good at it) may be answered definitively in the coming years because on Sunday, August 25, Tom Zbikowski, age 28, was cut by the Chicago Bears (there should be a link here, but, again, I don't know how ).
Now he may likely get picked up for the Bears' scout team and accept the chicken feed he would be paid for this, or even land with a different team at veteran minimum salary, but I have a sneaky, naively hopeful suspicion that Tommy Z is gonna pack up the shoulder pads, work off about 15 pounds of Football meat and have a real, committed go at his true sports love- Boxing, fighting as a lean, athletic and hard punching Light Heavyweight.
LET THE HYPE TRAIN BEGIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!!!!
*For the Foreigners or the shut-ins with no TV or radio or internet who are somehow reading this, Tom Zbikowski played football at the University of Notre Dame, at which the large golden dome of the cathedral is a famous landmark which is paid tribute to by the golden helmets worn by the football team.