Most of you know how much I love the NFL. I wrote about it a couple of years ago in this post. Each weekend I catch a couple of games from Thursday night to Monday. I subscribed to NFL Now. I have a fantasy team. I have been a fan since I watched John Elway and the Denver Broncos blow the biggest lead in Monday Night Football history against the hated Los Angeles Raiders. Somehow I became a life long Denver Broncos fan and if I saw Raiders quarterback Jay Schroeder on the street, I’d boo him in real life.
All through the 80s I’d rage at The StarPhoenix sports desk for never posting the west coast scores of key Broncos games and would have to go downtown to the main library to find a “real paper” to find out the score (real paper was always the New York Times who hated their sports desk and make them stay up late so they could publish the west coast scores or USA Today who probably felt the same way). I hated the sports broadcasting of first 650 CKOM and then C95 for only occasionally mentioning the occasional NFL score which ignoring the important AFC West games. (important as in Broncos scores)
Yet for some reason this year, I’ve had enough for a few years now, the cons have been piling up:
- The response to head injuries (read the entire feature on what concussions did to former Steeler great Mike Webster to see what playing in the NFL does to players)
- The league pressuring cities in the middle of bad economic times to spend to build new buildings for owners or their franchise will move to Los Angeles (see Oakland, Minnesota, New Orleans (before the Hurricane) and Jacksonville)
- The league’s nonprofit status and how they manipulate and abuse local cities to pay for insane things for the Super Bowl (don’t click on that link, it will just make you angry)
- Turning a blind eye to the reliance on drugs (PEDs and otherwise) which going crazy over pot. (the NFL is soft on HGH but is ten times tougher on pot then the IOC)
- Finally it was the Ray Rice incident and the reality for me that the NFL condones violence against women. 21 of 32 NFL teams employed a player with a domestic or sexual violence charge on their record last year. Commissioner Roger Goodell said back in 2012 that he wanted to get serious about domestic violence. In 2014 he gave a two game suspension to Ray Rice while victimizing his fiancee (and now wife) by having her tell her version of events in front of the man that abused her.
The worst part of the Ray Rice thing was that well respected GM of the Baltimore Ravens suggested that Rice’s wife was to blame and the Ravens Twitter account even tweeted out her apology. An apology apparently for being violently hit? The NFL could have also demanded to see the video (“umm, Ray you are suspended until we see all of the sealed evidence”) and it isn’t as if the first videos of Janay Rice laying on the floor of the elevator and Ray Rice kicking her lifeless body to the side wasn’t horrible enough. If you haven’t seen it, it made me sick to watch it.
No, something is wrong at the NFL. Roger Goodell is a big part of the problem. He was going to be the new sheriff that was going to clean up the league and protect the “shield”. Instead he became obsessed over pot (which is not a performance enhancing drug) which ignoring the bigger issue why so many NFL players are violent towards women, in a league that is trying to aggressively market itself towards women.
In fact, a lower percentage of NFL players are violent towards women than in the general population but because of wealth, status and a stable of high priced lawyers most of those charged, get away without penalty (the worst example of all time is boxer Floyd Mayweather – don’t read this link unless you have some time to get angry). The other issue is for a NFL player, what constitutes a jury of their peers. Many people on that jury cheered for him, wore his jersey, and was a fan of the team he was on. The league is stuck trying to penalize it’s players. Of course by handing out ridiculous penalties for pot use or for dog violence, you would expect them to give out severe penalties for violently hitting a women. Nope, those are the lenient penalties which both reflect a problem with the league and society in general.
So yeah, I am fed up with the NFL. I still love football. Mark is trying out as a linebacker for the Bedford Road
Redmen err RedBlacks err Red Hawks. There is the NCAA, the CIS, or if forced to watch it, the CFL. I’ll still have football but unless there are some serious reforms in the NFL, I am done. How do I say to Mark and Oliver that it is never ever okay to hit a women and then sit down and turn on the NFL which condones violence against women.
It’s been a great 26 years of being a diehard Denver Broncos fan but enough is enough. Roger Goodell has to go and until something changes, I’m out of here.