On opening day of the upcoming NFL season, check out the Philadelphia Eagles sideline. Ten players will be standing side by side holding two-foot-by-three-foot poster boards with white backgrounds.
One board will a picture of an Oregon Duck football helmet, the classic forest green one with the yellow O. Bless Phil Knight's creativity. The second portrays a mug shot of Marlon Brando in "The Godfather." A third inscribes the famous math formula pie r squared. The fourth has three mug shots of The Three Stooges: Mo, Curly and Larry. The fourth looks like a landscape painting of the Arizona desert with a golf course in the foreground. The fifth has nothing on it. The sixth has nothing on it. The seventh looks like a Picasso Impressionist painting. The eighth has a picture of Chip Kelly and his family on a family vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The ninth shows some squiggly lines that look a bit like something created on an Etch-A-Sketch. The tenth has nothing on it but is the not white but the color of spinach.
Scan all this really fast. You will get this view of all ten poster boards for only a few seconds. Then the guy holding the second one throws his over his head and stands there motion-less. The fourth guy flips his over so you can't see it. The tenth guy tries to twirl his on his index finger like Pistol Pete spun a basketball. Then rest of the guys do the wave with their boards, with the first guy raising his up and down, then the third guy, and on and on until the ninth guy finishes the tired sequence.
All these happen in three seconds.
This will be the Philadelphia Eagles offense this season under Chip "Speed Racer" Kelly's offensive. He master-minded such frenetic shenanigans for several years as head coach at Oregon-to the tune of 497 offensive yards per game last season--before signing with the Eagles for bigger cash. Kelly, who looks rather mainstream for a free-minded football pioneer, will continue this marvelous mayhem with the Eagles. The NFL will be awe-struck by how fast the Eagles play offense. Kelly's obsession is obviously to run offensive players faster than any team in football history. At Oregon they got plays off typically in under 15 seconds, rendering defenses exhausted and stymied.
Kelly should take this acceleration tactic to the extreme with the Eagles because it will be intriguing to watch NFL defenses try to adjust to something most have never dealt with, certainly not the way Kelly pushes tempo. It will be interesting to see if it works as well in the big leagues as it did in college. But most importantly, it will be entertaining and, frankly, hard to figure out. This will raise curiosity and wonderment and stimulate contemplation and reflection-all good things.
I crave craziness on the Eagles sidelines when they have the ball. In addition to 10 guys holding poster boards, wouldn't it be novel to see other oddball flabbergasting antics going on to confuse defenses? Say the kicker standing next to Kelly doing the jitterbug every third play?
Mayhem, confusion, and misdirection will proliferate. After week 1's set of 10 posters, the Twitter verse would explode with speculation about what the Eagles would be doing in Week 2 on the sidelines. Would they have the same posterboards as Week 1? Would they change things up? Would they have no signs? Was it fair? Was it right? Should all teams copy them?
In week 2 the same 10 players would each hold up a mug shot of Eli Manning in his New York Giants uniform. All would have him clean shaven except the second guy who would have him with a goat-tee and the tenth guy will reveal him sporting an Eagle Green tuxedo with an Oregon Ducks helmet on his noggin.
Giant management would demand the Eagles stop doing this, citing classless behavior and creating an unfair psychological advantage. League Commissioner Roger Goddell would weigh in, saying there was nothing in the rulebook outlawing a team having players holding up posterboards of an opposing team's quarterback.
Twitter verse would explode again. What are the Eagles going to do in Week 3? How many posterboard guys this time? And what will they do? Who or what will they have pictures of? Does it matter? Is it fair?
All this will be debated. TV ratings will skyrocket. The NFL will have never seen such shenanigans and hoopla, at least not since the Brett Favre "will he return?" saga. In Week 3 there would be no posterboard guys. Talk about bizarre. All would be quiet on the sideline. Kelly would be calling plays and the offense would continue to rack up unprecedented yards per game paving the way to a third straight victory. The Eagles would be averaging 68 points and 769 yards per game.
"Coach," you can hear the defensive captain yelling to his sidelines. "Where are the poster boards? We practiced all week to counteract the posterboards and there aren't any."
Reports would start circulating about several defensive coordinators checking themselves into psychiatric wards for cognitive therapy because they have no idea what the Eagles are doing on offensive nor how to stop them. They will have never seen anything so baffling. Complicating matters, it happened at the pace of an Insane Bolt 60-meter dash.
The poster board tactic would be so devastating to opponents that the Eagles would not lose a game, shattering the league's all-time single season records for total number of points, yards, and plays run from scrimmage. A football revolution will have erupted.
At the Super Bowl the poster board phenomenon would go stratospheric. Throughout the stadium Eagles fans would have their poster boards with all kinds of different images, words, and scribbles. None of it would make any sense though some college professors would claim they understood the patterns. It would be impossible to connect the dots, though, as to what message was being delivered. It would lack cohesion, rhyme or reason. There would be speculation the fans were helping Kelly call offensive plays via the poster boards.
For this mega-game the 10 poster-boys would each have various newfangled images, messages and signs. The first would just have the word "Wednesday" on it; the second a shot of Marvin Gaye dancing on stage in front of a microphone; the third a line from a poem by T.S. Eliot "Do I dare to eat a peach?"; the fourth the Ryan Braun apology manifesto for taking performance enhancing drugs in 8-point San Serif font; the fifth, six and seventh each with the same sentence diagrammed which read "Call Me Maybe"; the eighth a picture of A-Rod eating popcorn with Cameron Diaz. And the tenth a mug shot of Chip Kelly grinning.