Monday, September 14, 2009

Meet The New Tommy Hearns

Tommy Hearns is one of my favorite boxers of all time. You knew when you were watching a Hearns fight, that you would see a lot of action. That you would not see a lot of clutching and grabbing. A big part of the reason why you would not see a lot of clutching and grabbing is because Tommy did not know how to do it. He never learned the skills boxers must have to clear their heads after they've been hit.

So while Tommy was great enough to beat 99% of the boxers of his generation, he had a fatal flaw: he had a glass chin. When he got hit hard, the eyes glazed, the legs buckled, and that was that. His brain was unable to send a vital message to the rest of his body: hold on, clear your head, get to the end of the round, and comeback without cobwebs.

As great as Tommy was, he could not beat Leonard. Or Hagler. Or Barkley. Each man got to Tommy's glass chin.

Which brings me to Tony Romo. He has a lot of Tommy Hearns in him. When he gets protection, he can throw the football as well as anyone. He can stay in the pocket, and he can move around, and throw with accuracy and strength.

But watch him when he does not get protection. Watch him when he starts getting hit. Not even sacked, just hit. First, he gets this goofy look on his face. Next, his accuracy goes out the window, as he starts to rush throws, to avoid being hit. His foot work gets amateurish, and he starts to throw off the wrong foot. You will see him start to yell at his offensive linemen, in utter frustration. He will even start to bump into his own linemen in the pocket, like he is a rat in a maze trying to break free. Trying to break free from getting hit.

Once you hit Romo repeatedly, he becomes Tommy Hearns in trouble. And it is over.

None of this is a secret. The Giants know what they need to do to beat the Cowboys next week in that gaudy-awful Stadium debut next Sunday night.

Tom Coughlin should put the following statement in each defensive player's locker: "We break the glass chin-we win".

And when all is said and done, when you crunch the numbers and the match-ups, it still all comes down to Romo's glass chin. If it is intact, they win. If it is shattered, we win.

Simple stuff.

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