MichaelJacksonLean Move

Michael Jackson’s “Lean Move” would blow away an NFL defense…

Maybe I'm just star-struck right now, but I have watched over 8 hours of video on Michael Jackson's infamous "Lean Move" over the past few days…and I'm still trying to figure it out.

All I know for sure is, if you could translate that move to the football field, your wide receivers would be "Dangerous"…

Imagine setting up a target on the sideline for your QB with those geometrics?

Two feet in? No problema…

Wow. How the $#&* did he do that?

Some say he used wires. I'm not buying into that. At least not "live". I don't see any effing wires in the video of his concert at Bucharest in 1992.

The effect in the original video when Jackson and the dancers lean forward a seemingly impossible distance was achieved using special harnesses with wires and magnets. It was desired to replicate this effect for Jackson's stage show, but it would have been more obvious and cumbersome to use wire harnesses in a live performance. Jackson and his team devised an alternative way to achieve the effect on stage. The props needed for their technique were patented in the United States by Jackson in 1993, and consist of pegs that rise from the stage at the appropriate moment, and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be thereby attached to the stage temporarily. These allow the performers to lean without needing to keep their centers of gravity directly over their feet. According to Patent Storm, the patent expired on June 29, 2012.

Yep, it was the stage crew that created the magic of that move. But it still took a helluva athlete to pull it off.

Here's another look at Michael Jackson's "Lean Move" invention for stage shows:

Man, that is wild stuff. The incredible part is MJ and his fellow dancers had to hit those stage cleats at the exact perfect moment of the song. No time to miss, no exuses for missing. Kinda like the ultimate pass pattern!

I know my man card is currently in doubt due to pink and daffodil colors, but I have got to give a shout out to Michael Jackson's athleticism in the execution (and invention) of this move. In the bigger picture, this cat would have been an excellent route-runner and wide-receiver in the NFL if he had been blessed with Jermaine's body type. Wait a minute— now, I'm realizing MJ was basically the same build and frame of our own DeSean Jackson! So it could have worked out that way, too! Plus, MJ had bigger hands than DJax. 

Michael Jackson was in fabulous athletic shape in his prime. He could run and dance non-stop for two hours straight in his live shows. No sign of fatigue except for an occasional need for an oxygen blow… He was in football shape. His footwork was the best in the biz, taking the ultimate moves of James Brown and Jackie Wilson and making them his own.

Teach him how to take a hit, and you had yourself the original "Peanut" in all of DeSean's imagined wannabe glory.

Well, the King of Pop declined football glory. But there I was, scouting him as a potential wideout for the Eagles…

Meh, back to business— let's look at the Eagles' D-Linemen for a short review—

Defensive linemen: Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan, Daryell Walker, David King, Damion Squire, Vinny Curry, Joe Kruger, Clifton Geathers, Isaac Remington, Isaac Sopoaga, Antonio Dixon…

Chip Kelly said he's looking for "long arms, long levers. … big bodies." Preferably with versatility… He seems to have much more of that after an offseason roster purge that saw Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Derek Landri land in other destinations.

The Eagles brought in six rookies (Logan, Walker, King, Kruger, Remington) for their new-look defensive line. There's only four returnees (Cox, Thornton, Curry and Dixon), and Curry played a much different position last year.

It's a totally new group, with a much different appearance and skill set. The main concern, though, is will they be better?

Verdict (Better, Worse or Same?): Worse, says Jordan Raanan of the New Jersey Times—The interior of the Eagles defensive line wasn't very good last season. They were pushed around (finished 23rd against the run) and didn't get much production from anyone outside of rookie Fletcher Cox and Cullen Jenkins. Now in his second season, Cox should be even better. But outside of him? The Eagles have a lot of question marks. Isaac Sopoaga is 31 and coming off a down year (ranked 82nd of 85 defensive linemen in 2012 by Pro Football Focus despite playing on a strong defense), Cedric Thornton hasn't played much in his first two seasons and all the rookies are mid-to-late-round picks or undrafted free agents who aren't expected to contribute much this season. And, personally, I'm not sure if Curry fits as 3-4 defensive end. From the look of things right now, this could be a problem area for the Eagles once again unless one of the rookies greatly exceeds expectations.

It's a darker picture than you want to hear, but I get it.  I expect the best, but am prepared for some setbacks on the DL.

But I am encouraged by the competiveness and athleticism of Michael Jackson in his prime. He found a way to bring The Lean onto the stage. That's playmaking ability.  And I feel the real potential of the Eagles' improvement on the defensive line will be the combined ingenuity of players and coaches to hit their marks on the stage to create illusions of attention and pressure—kinda like "The Lean"…

Timing is everything.



Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.