What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Since we are past the Super Bowl, now is a great time for me to say after a nearly half-century, my relationship as a fan of the National Football League is in serious trouble. Much like the acrimony which generally precedes the end of matrimony, here’s a few reasons why you, Roger Goodell, can take the NFL and shove it up your soulless, ginger ass.
I’m not delusional. I doubt seriously this message will ever get to whomever reads these sorts of things to you, Kommissar Goodell. Even if it did, you are obviously far too fucking stupid to understand you are finding a way to kill the goose which lays the golden eggs. It’s easy to dismiss what I’m about to say as the prototypical ramblings of a “grumpy old man,” but you do so at your own peril, Kommissar. There’s a far larger number of people who agree with me than you want to believe, but it’s true.
The NFL has been broadcasting games nationally for over fifty years, and you have yet to figure out how time zones work. As a west coast guy who now lives in the Eastern time zone, I’ve seen both sides of this screw-job. The problem is you can’t take an event you’ve made four hours long and keep it in prime-time for everybody in America. Living in the east, I can speak for all of us who have jobs to get to in the morning. Games that don’t end until midnight or later don’t work for us. Conversely, if you think anybody in Los Angeles gets through traffic to get home from work before 5:30, you’re nuts. Don’t tell me you can’t ditch that shit-fest known as Thursday Night Football and follow the model you use for the first Monday Night of each season. If you want to keep the pipe dream of a franchise in London alive, figuring out the time zone problem is crucial, which is exactly why you won’t do it. Fuck you.
Speaking of having teams in London or anywhere else, when you talk about such nonsense you are telling American fans who pay the freight for your goddamned league in the first place you have more interest in what foreigners want than you do for theirs. It’s one thing to be putting a crap product on the field; it’s completely another to do so while making sure I know all you care about is money and you don’t care where you make it. Fuck you.
That’s leads to another point. You’re pricing yourself out of the market. You put shit games on network television in the hopes I will spend $500 for the Direct Ticket package. You own a network dedicated to the NFL, put it on an extended-tier subscription service, and for those extra dollars, you give me little more than an electronic sewage pump into my living room. Your licensing practices mean I can’t even buy a cheap NFL t-shirt made in some sweat shop in Where-ever-istan for less than $35. Don’t even ask about the soak-job anybody wanting to take a family of four to an NFL game can expect. Fuck you.
Having said that, let’s talk about who you really care about, Kommissar. Nothings matters more to you and your league than your public image. We all know that’s the strongest motivation you have for action short of little green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them. That’s also why you play both sides of the widening cultural divide in this country. This latest Super Bowl is all the evidence of that I need. In that spectacle, America was treated to a brazenly over-the-top “Patrio-gasm” followed at half time by a “Hypocrit-acular” provided by a moderately-talented purveyor of minimally listenable pop noise shitting all over the same cops who provided her security while she did it. Not only does that detract from the game itself, but your obviously duplicitous nature obviates any message you are trying to send. The “ooh and aah” factor of cruising jets over a football stadium is as empty of a gesture as is the plight of the allegedly-oppresed being sung by an alleged revolutionary in a $1,000 manicure. Taking both sides is taking none. Fuck you.
You’ve taken a league with salaried officials with multi-million dollar technology at their disposal, and have instilled a system in which they can’t figure out the most basic of calls (catch/not a catch, anyone?). Sixth-graders playing touch football have a better grasp of the rules of this game now. Fuck you.
Speaking of that, you’ve turned this into the National Flag League. Pass defense is now illegal, which means pass interference might as well be in team’s playbook, which means NFL drama queens bawl for calls so much they might as well be French soccer players. All punts and kick-offs should now just be called “block in the back,” and holding (both offensively and defensively) is now to the NFL what traveling is to the NBA. It’s time to get back to basics as far as officiating in concerned, but you’re running this league like a bunch of lawyers, so you won’t do it. Fuck you.
Speaking of running this league like a bunch of lawyers, you can stop your sanctimonious, self-serving, and oh-so-bullshit illusion when it comes to caring about player safety. While you are busy enacting arbitrarily enforced-rules about who you can hit and where you can hit them, all while you are pushing for an 18-game schedule and completely ignoring mental health and addiction issues amongst those players until they create public relations problems for the league. NFL players can get more lines in a police report than all coke Lindsay Lohan could snort in a year or leave a trail of unconscious female bodies across the entire country, and nobody cares. But if they storm out of a press conference, they are worse than Hitler. Fuck you.
Finally, Kommissar Goodell will dismiss this out of hand because you are convinced you are selling crack to crack addicts, but judging by the way you handle your players, it’s pretty obvious you don’t understand the mechanics of addiction. Ask any addict, and they will tell there’s such a thing as a “moment of clarity;” a window in time in which the addict realizes the decision is change or death.
While the NFL is far from having the ability to kill me, it does make me realize that in it’s current configuration, continuing to consume the product it can no longer provides the sporting enjoyment it once did. Sometimes good things go bad. Sometimes, a great romance becomes a bad marriage. Sometimes, that glass of wine with dinner becomes a fifth of Kentucky’s finest for breakfast. But there’s a big difference between those examples and ones where what was good was deliberately cheapened for a few dollars or an empty agenda. That’s exactly what you’ve done, Mr. Goodell, and for that, you deserve the heartiest “Fuck You” I can offer.