Not a fan of the NPFL or NPGL or whatever

This was posted on Drywall’s Facebook page yesterday:

A lot of people have been messaging me saying “Hey Drainpipe, Reebok is forcing WSOE exercisers to wear their shoes this year, pls comment, pls.”

Form letter response:

I should fucking hope so. Putting millions of dollars into a fringe event so has-beens can pretend they didn’t already wash out of their real sports and compete at exercise for money? Wear your free fucking shoes and say thank you.

First, if you don’t follow Drywall, you should. He’s funny. If you can’t laugh at yourself you live a miserable life. I know he hates on CrossFit a lot, but he is funny.

Second, he hits the nail on the head pretty often and this is one of those cases.

I love watching the CrossFit Games, Regionals and watching any/all videos related to the Open. My brother and his family will be in town the week of the CrossFit Games and I am already trying to figure out how I can spend time with my family and watch the Games.

I know many think that football players or track athletes or basketball players or whatever are more fit than the CrossFit Games athletes, and I disagree. Sure, all of those athletes are superfit, but they are also specialized. Football players are conditioned to put out a ton of energy in five or nine second bursts, then rest. Track athletes are specialized in their single event. Maybe the decathletes have a claim, but how strong are they? You can go on and on for every sport – they are specialized. What I like about CrossFit athletes is that they can not only run for long distances in respectable times, but they can also lift heavy weights. CrossFit athletes can perform gymnastic moves like the muscle-up and snatch large loads. They can deadlift 405 pounds and turn around and walk on their hands. They are not specialized, but they can do a lot of things very well.

The CrossFit Games tests endurance and power. This makes it unique, in my eyes. This isn’t to say that if Ray Rice decided to ditch football and do nothing but train in a CrossFit gym for a year or two that he wouldn’t give the best of the best in CrossFit a run for their money, but if you put Ray Rice in the CrossFit Games right now he wouldn’t compete. This is what I like about the Games, it is different.

This is what I do NOT like about the NPFL, among other things.

After watching a few of the exhibition matches it is only testing an athletes ability to red-line for a short period of time, like football. I find it hard to believe that a group of eight or 10 or however many are on a team in the NPFL from the NFL couldn’t seriously compete with any of the teams currently formed. Give me Adrian Peterson in any short sprint that also demonstrates strength over most of those who are currently signed to compete in the NPFL. Sure, maybe some of the gymnastic movements would give him trouble, but my guess is that if All Day spent a few weeks working on his muscle-up that would become pretty efficient at it. There are videos of athletes like BJ Penn on the CrossFit mainsite who do not have a muscle-up and learn them in a matter of minutes. I have seen good high school and college athletes pick up a muscle-up in less than 10 minutes. Peterson would string them together in no time.

In other words, I think the NPFL is definitely displaying “athletes” who could not compete at their first sport of choice and are just good at being in the gym. Tell me football players aren’t good in the gym. You would be wrong. The NPFL tests strength and sprinting ability, but doesn’t test long duration workouts.

And the grid is the problem. The grid is also what they chose to change their name to: National Pro Grid League. That’s a horrible name, first of all – what is “grid”? Secondly, it really, really limits what they can test. They can only test what can be confined to the grid. It seems that they will end up with a definitive set of movements and specialists in those movements will be born and now this definitely isn’t CrossFit. The team can have two gymnastics specialists, two weightlifting specialists and a few who are good at exercising and do well.

Mind you, NPGL does not attempt to sell itself as CrossFit. The NPGL wants to differentiate between the two, but let’s be honest, the only people watching the NPGL are those who CrossFit.

I think the NPGL is exactly what Drywall calls most CrossFitters: people who are good at exercising, but weren’t good enough to compete at their sport of choice (listen to the next NPGL broadcast and how many of the competitors were former soccer players, football players, etc). I think the CrossFit Games does produce a unique athlete, but the NPGL does not. The current rosters for the NPGL are filled with guys and gals who would only fill a minor league roster of the same sport, if there were one. Now that people can be professional there may be more and more athletes who did make it in professional sports (think running backs who are drafted but only last a year or two in the NFL) who end up pursuing the NPGL and will dominate the current crop of competitors.

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2 comments on “Not a fan of the NPFL or NPGL or whatever

  1. Pablo says:

    Olympic Decathlete had a squat of 580lbs, nuff said.

    And Trey Hardee has a Hang Clean PB of 140kg

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