NFL offensive linemen: America’s true unsung heroes



Illustration by

Ethan Logue, Contributing writer

I’ve kept this bottled up for a while, but it’s something that I believe needs to be said: NFL offensive linemen are the real heroes of football.

Now I know what you may be thinking, how can this be true? When has an offensive lineman ever taken home an award like “Most Valuable Player,” “Offensive Player of the Year” or “Offensive Rookie of the Year?” OK, the answer is never, but that’s not the point.

The point is, we fail to shine a light on the men in the trenches who have been doing the dirty work and carrying our favorite teams to victory ever since the game’s creation back in the 19th century.

Offensive linemen are often compared to air conditioning. You only notice it when it isn’t working. Think on that for a minute, – when you’re watching your favorite team play you never sit back on a play and say, “Wow, what a great play by the left guard.” No, you only look at the great pass, run or catch by those stuck-up skill-position players.

However, when there’s a holding penalty, a false start or a hands-to-the-face penalty by an offensive lineman, you call for his head and you want him out of the game no questions asked. When the air conditioning is on during a hot summer day you think nothing of it. It’s doing what it’s supposed to, so why does it deserve any attention? But as soon as the air conditioning breaks, all hell breaks loose.

It’s the same way we treat offensive linemen. We as a country need to be better.

This Super Bowl Sunday, whenever there is a great run, throw or catch instead of looking at the quarterback, running back or receiver, look at the offensive line. Take a gander at the pocket they created to allow that catch or the lane they created for the ball carrier. Think of the physical pain and stress they endure as well.

For 60 minutes the men in the trenches are helmet-to-helmet fighting to gain a few yards and putting their bodies on the line, only to receive none of the credit.

With new rule changes created every offseason designed to protect the skill position players, offensive linemen are becoming more obsolete and forgotten with each new year. Because of this, it is crucial to recognize and appreciate the offensive linemen in our lives.

Do yourself a favor and forget about the prima donna quarterbacks who draw flags with the faintest forms of contact and focus on those sexy beasts in the trenches, doing the dirty work so your favorite team can prosper.

I hope we can all realize at the end of the day that offensive linemen are the true beauties of football, (seriously, Google pictures of your favorite team’s linemen and appreciate for a few minutes how stunning they all are), and please, do yourself a favor and hug your favorite linemen and let them know how much they mean to you.