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O, NOBLE NECK ROLL: WE MISS YOUR IVORY CARESSES

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via blog.cleveland.com

Where did thou go, O Neck Roll? If 70s Big is for weightlifting, the comparable football movement would involve guys wearing mustaches and neck rolls, the neck protection that said "Yes, I hit people so hard whiplash is a possibility, but I exhibit so little care for the necessity of protection that I simply ripped the foam guard off the squat bar and stuck it to my pads at the last second."  

A neck roll said you not only expected violence: you prepared for it, even if it required accessories and the sacrifice of brain cells flying out of your ears on every hit. The neck roll all but implied the presence of hand wraps (because you were going to get bloody,) a mustache (because you were having sex and above 18,) and a tearaway jersey. The neck roll was a signifier: I don't even care about touching the ball. I don't even care about stats. All I want is to hit someone and then hit them again and then again and someone blows a whistle and I pick your teeth out of my arm like candy from a Halloween treat bowl. 

Come back to us, neck roll. The Ghost of Chris Spielman 1988 demands it.