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When gag rules NFL what will fans say?

The last time I talked to Bill Parcells he said to me, proudly I might add, "we've got things locked up pretty tight over here ..."

And he's right.

As the father of keeping assistants from talking to the media whenever possible, the founder of the modern era One Voice concept, the person who pioneered keeping the media at arms-distance because, as he once said, "you guys are subversives," Parcells has started something that is expanding throughout the NFL.

Obviously, the Dolphins are under lockdown. The Patriots have been that way for some time under Bill Belichick, who learned it from Parcells. And with the Belichick coaching tree, rooted in Parcells, expanding, the One Voice concept is also expanding.

It went from the Jets to the Browns because Eric Mangini took it with him to Cleveland. It is likely to remain in New York because new coach Rex Ryan is something of a Parcells fan. It is likely to go to Denver, as former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the new coach there.

It definitely has taken root in Kansas City, where former New England personnel boss Scott Pioli, who happens to be Parcells' son-in-law, is now the football czar.

Now comes the latest duplication of the One Voice policy as Dallas owner Jerry Jones has put a gag order on his coaches -- including, temporarily at least, head coach Wade Phillips. This one, by the way is a head-scratcher because unnamed sourced stories in Dallas often come from Jones himself.

But I digress.

The point is from Miami and New England in the east, to Kansas City and Cleveland in the midwest, and reaching as far west as Dallas and Denver, an iron curtain has descended across the NFL continent. By the way, check out Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech if you want to better understand the depth of a great statesman and defender of freedom. 

And what does that mean to you?

That's the question. I perceive most of you don't care. I get the feeling the same folks that have turned blogs like this into money machines for newspapers, the same group that have given this blog a record-breaking month so far, are not that upset information is being squelched.

Am I right?

Tell me, do you really think keeping assistants from talking helps the Dolphins win? Do you think having teams say it's a leg injury instead of specifying it as a calf or knee is good? Do you believe your team is better every Sunday because players are told, under threat of fine, not to discuss their health?

And do you think your team is better because the team tells agents not to speak with the media? [Yeah, agents have told me the Dolphins tell them not to talk. Funny ain't it?]

Frankly, I expect most of you to line up like sheep and say, "Baaaa, whatever the powers-that-be say is fine by me." In which case, why are you here? Just tune in on Sunday and forget information about what's happening the rest of the year.

Hopefully some of you would like ito hear from the special teams coach on why his unit was terrible last season. Hopefully some of you would like to hear from general manager Jeff Ireland more than three times a year. Nah, I'm dreaming again.

So have your say in the comments section.

But let me share a couple of things first: I was born in a country where speech was silenced and information was restricted so I guess I'm sensitive about this subject. I take it personally because my folks risked much and sacrificed much to bring me to a place where gag orders are not the society's norm.  

Secondly, did you happen to catch the Super Bowl? The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the most open organizations in football. And the Arizona Cardinals, while not exactly an open book, are also relatively transparent.

Didn't seem to hurt their competitive advantage too much.


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