Reads Listens Views 6/11/2012

Film Study is a Dangerous Job

My life has been a whirlwind these past two months. In addition to writing the 2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio here’s the rest of the past eight weeks:

Of course this list doesn’t include the more personal elements of my life that make life a fun (sometimes) challenge.  My wife was laid off in late March, which if not for her stellar financial management and planning of our household for a year in anticipation of this potential event that became a reality, our daughter’s college education could have been in jeopardy. Fortunately, she also found a much better job in a part of the state where we actually want to live. However, it means taking a flexible approach to everyday life and making some temporary moves so it all works out.

I also had to address my health. Six years ago, I got a full-time job writing and my life became 95 percent sedentary. That’s okay if I spent 8 hours a day writing. However, I spend 12-16 hours a day at a computer and often 18-hour weeks depending on the time of the year. So my weight went from Isaac Bruce to Lendale White during these past six years and it has been a yo-yo from Frank Gore to White for the past two years (Sorry Lendale, but I’m 42 years old and I can’t carry those kinds of pounds on my 5’11” frame).

This is me at my RB/FB ‘Tweener weight with my wife Alicia this winter

While my goal is to earn a full-time living providing analysis for the RSP and RSP blog, I want to be alive long enough to enjoy it. While he doesn’t realize it, meeting Wes Bunting this fall was a wake-up call for me. Wes is still a younger guy, but he makes it a priority to stay in shape and still watch a ton of game film. Granted, it is his only full-time job.

However, it helped me realize that sitting this long every day is one of the more physically damaging occupations a human being can have. It sounds weird, but it’s true. Doing what I do is a dangerous job.

So I decided to do something about it. For the past 50 days, I have done nothing but consume fresh fruits and vegetables and water. No sugar, salt, oils, butters, or artificial or processed foods. I try to consume the rainbow of colors each day with a heavy emphasis on dark leafy greens. I haven’t done any exercise beyond making it a point to get up and walk for a half-hour twice a day.

I’ve lost 36 pounds as of today, and I’m about 8-9 pounds from weighing in at Wes Welker dimensions. This is about the heaviest I want to be for the rest of my life and I’m beginning a more intense exercise regimen tomorrow. While I’m sure I’ll eat junk when I go on vacation or take trips to the Senior Bowl and/or Combine, what I’ve been eating (with a few modifications of healthy grains and legumes) is going to be a more permanent dietary lifestyle change.

Now, as a slot receiver.

I’m sharing this with you for several reasons. One, I’m proud of the accomplishment. Two, I want to keep the weight off and stay committed to having a healthier lifestyle so I can continue to research and write the RSP for many years to come. Three, seeing people make changes inspires me and I hope I can do the same for someone else. And four, I feel somewhat guilty that I haven’t been able to do as much with the RSP blog for the past 3-4 weeks.

However, I’m working on that one. I’ve been studying games earlier than ever this year and it should continue most of the summer. This will yield more work that you’ll see here in the coming week as well as the work I do elsewhere.

Football Reads

Jerry Sandusky Child Sexual Abuse Trial Begins – Easy to put this news on the back burner, but all the more reason not to.

Doug Farrar’s commentary on Peter King’s interview with Roger Goodell and why Farrar feels the commish is whiffing on the concussion issue. Interestingly enough, I know of a device developed by kinesiologists in my neck of the woods that can diagnose a concussion on the field within a matter of minutes. What I’ll be monitoring is how receptive the NFL will be to said device once it hits the market.

I know the player reaction will be mixed because they’ll fear the league could potentially check every player before they can retake the field at the beginning of each half. Imagine the bad PR that could happen if the NFL Players Association balks at that idea or the NFL refuses to implement technology that amateurs might have available to them.

Wes Bunting’s take on Marquess Washington, Washington State’s young receiver.

An excellent primer on personnel groupings and I.D.s for offenses by Matt Bowen. Here’s a related piece on what defenses look for when the offense breaks the huddle.

Football Writers

Here are some interviews by’s David Dodds, who talks with football and fantasy football analysts that have established a heavy presence on Twitter. Good stuff:

The football writers community is filled with a fascinating cross section of skilled folks.


An oldie…This or That

The Trio of Doom

If that’s the Trio of Doom, then here’s the Trio of Divine


Thanks Peyton…funny and well done.


E.T. is (probably) out there, get ready.

9 responses to “Reads Listens Views 6/11/2012”

  1. It’s awesome that you’ve committed to living healthier, Matt. I had a similar situation a few years ago, where I went from a very physical job (delivering bottled water) to working a desk. While I watched my diet well enough to avoid gaining a lot of weight, I experienced significant muscle atrophy in my lower body from sitting all day, leading to joint pain and inflexibility. Stretching daily and exercising every other day, usually for as little as 15 minutes, have made a tremendous difference for me.

    If you’re looking to be efficient with your exercise time, I recommend two things: jump rope and kettle bell swings. You can get a full-body workout that will quickly build muscle and increase cardiovascular endurance with five minutes of jumping rope and a single set of 30-40 kettle bell swings.

    Looking forward to all the new content, too.

  2. Congratulations, Matt. I think I speak for a wide range of people when I say, “we appreciate you being open and candid, sharing your life challenges and accomplishments.” It reiterates the fact that nobody is perfect, including those who we place on a pedestal – yes, believe it or not, many people, myself included, place you on a pedestal for ALL of the quality work you do in our business. I say “ALL” because you have your hands on several different projects and assignments. What is truly amazing is that each one of them is done with such quality, it makes it look like any one particular piece is the only one that you are focused on. Your high essence of work definitely does not go unnoticed. It’s appreciated by many more than you think.

    Keep up the great work and don’t hesistate to take a breather every now and then.

    • Jeff,

      I really appreciate the kind words. Considering that you do such a great job on your end of the spectrum ( and you’re killing it in our IDP draft), it means a lot to hear that. I’m really trying to make sure I take more time to relax because I don’t want all that I’m doing to end badly when it comes to my health and well being.

      Looking forward to seeing you again at our next FBGs function.


  3. Hey Troy,

    I used to jump rope 30 minutes a day. I’m going to start with Yoga for 60-90 minutes a day and then incorporate a lot of body weight stuff that I’ve researched. I want to make sure I’m at a more optimal weight and regain my flexibility before I incorporate exercise with pounding to my joints. The body weight stuff I can do throughout the day or as a lunchtime workout. I want to start from scratch at my age so I don’t deal with injury.

    I know I need to answer you about the film swap, just been swamped. Sorry about the delay.

    Good to hear you made the adjustment during your transition of jobs.


    • Good thinkin’. I started with body weight exercises as well (push-ups, air squats, lunges and leg-lifts) before moving on to the kettle bell.

      No hurry on that film stuff, that offer doesn’t have an expiration date.

    • Thanks Reed – it’s not easy, I’ll tell you that. Certainly have my share of missteps along the way, but that’s to be expected I suppose.

  4. Hey Matt, thanks for sharing with us. I can’t even imagine how hard you work with all the balls you have to juggle on a daily basis. Despite all that, you produce a fantastic blog, as well as all your other work consistently meeting the highest standard. When I make it to the next FBG outing (and I will make it!), I’m lining you up in the slot when we play flag football. Keep it up, Matt.

    Dave Larkin

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