While Mr. Florio works up an item with more details based on the civil complaint against Ben Roethlisberger, let’s switch gears to a much lighter side of football: reality shows.
I was probably one of the few people in the country looking forward to the finale of Michael Irvin’s Fourth and Long show on Spike TV Monday.
The Roethlisberger story got in the way, and the show remains sitting on Tivo, so consider this a spoiler alert warning for the six people that don’t want to know the ending.
Wideout Jesse Holley won the 10-week competition in a four man finale that included two receivers and two defensive backs. He will go to training camp with the Cowboys.
Holley, a member of the 2005 UNC national championship basketball team, certainly looks like a pro.
He’s listed at 6-3, 215 pounds, and he runs a 4.5 forty.
Holley wasn’t always the most impressive player on the show. Wideout Andrew Hawkins, who played at Toledo and in the CFL, made scintillating plays on a weekly basis.
In the end, Hawkins’ size (5-8, 165) probably ended his chances of winning Dallas’ 80th roster spot.
Irvin thinks Holley can compete in training camp.
“Outside of Roy Williams, I’m not looking at a guy that is head and shoulders above Jesse,” Irvin said.
Former Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano, who worked on the show, said Holley can be better than some of the backups the Cowboys have right now.
That remains to be seen. Holley will be one of eleven receivers in camp and most spots are accounted for. He will have to be a special teams demon.
The odds on Holley actually make the Cowboys roster or practice squad seem slim at best, but that was part of the show’s charm.
Despite the grandstanding and over the top reality show production, the competition was essentially about ten men fighting to keep their professional dreams alive, if only for a few more weeks.
The odds look depressingly long from an outsider’s perspective, but the players fought like crazy just to get a chance.
The show highlighted the huge subset of professional players on the fringe of the NFL, fighting to be camp fodder or get paid to play elsewhere.
They don’t play for the love of money or fame, but for the love of football. And it’s hard not to appreciate that.