Thursday, September 18, 2014

Open Letter to the NFL

What the fuck?

No really. What in the fuck are you people doing? Do you have any semblance of a clue how to handle yourselves?


Let's recap your stupendous fuckery from my point of view, shall we:

Ray Rice gets a 2 game suspension for knocking out his wife. Roll those words around on your tongue for a few months just like we did. Knocked out his wife. Admitted it. And gets the civilian equivalent of a five minute timeout. Then video comes out confirming the words 'knocked out his wife' and because the world can see what we already knew, now you're forced to act. You, the NFL would not have done shit had that video not been released to the public. Admit it. There would have been no further punishment. Why? Ray Rice means big money in your pockets. Fans aren't stupid. Male or female we can see that your loyalty lies within your wallet.

Greg Hardy beats a woman bloody and throws her on a bed full of rifles, gets convicted and the Panthers wait until the very last minute to deactivate him. Had Ray Rice's video not come out, Hardy would have played. Don't think we don't see through the veil of idiocy. Not only was it stupid to wait so long but it felt like a standoff between the Panthers and the fans. With the Panthers not realizing the intelligence of the fan and taking the stance "Well I think they haven't noticed us yet, maybe we can get away with playing him.... oh shit they noticed, guess we gotta bench him." It felt very disingenuous and almost insulting.

Adrian Peterson: Running away from the point for a second here, but I'm going to make this very clear. If you took a stick and started hitting an adult, you would be brought up on assault charges. No pass go. Straight to jail. How the hell is it okay to do this to a child? Being a parent does NOT place you above the law. No one can tell you how to raise your child, but your method of discipline is subject to the confines of the law. I don't care if mommy and daddy did it to you. You have a choice to either perpetuate that behavior or come up with your own form of discipline. Just because mom and dad did it, doesn't mean it's right. They were wrong. They didn't know any better. Don't beat your kids with sticks to justify what happened to you. It is barbaric and has no positive results. This does not prepare you for the real world, because in the real world adults don't whip each other with sticks. It's 2014. With all of the parenting resources available today it isn't hard to come up with at least a few ideas other than corporal punishment. Your hands were made to support these kids, not cause them pain. All of this said... Adrian Peterson is not a child abuser. Neither is anyone else who has commenced a well-intended whoopin upon their child. (Well-intended whoopin is an oxymoron, but I use it to illustrate the parent's objective) I believe this case opens up a conversation that should be had about respecting your child. Step back a minute from the 'Adrian Peterson hit his kid' headline. Adrian Peterson has a lot of kids. I honestly lost count. We'll just say he has Less Than Cromartie amount of kids. He's also one of the top 3 RBs in the league. He's a pretty busy guy, but he made the time to be involved in his children's lives. He may have royally fucked up by perpetuating an antiquated form of child rearing on his son, but he was there. He was involved rather than just being the guy that sends child support. There's something to be said for that. Adrian Peterson was wrong in his method but his intent was to teach his child. Obviously it didn't work and I offer no apologies for him, but I think the media has portrayed him unfairly. The word 'abuse' grabs more readers than 'parental discipline'. I've strayed far enough, but that particular subject gets me fired up so pardon me.

The Adrian Peterson situation was handled wrong and unfortunately has spun out of control. Minnesota played into the media's fascination with the NFL's fuckery. The NFL once again has insulted our intelligence and responded with creating a new list for Peterson. A special circumstances list? What the hell is that? Sounds to me like the 'AP makes us a ton of dough we CANNOT lose this guy' list. Oh let's throw Hardy on that list too, see if he sticks.

Then we bring in a Mom Posse to handle the misbehavior of the players. Okay, I get putting some women on front street and I know they are qualified for the jobs, but again we the fans are being insulted. Why? Because why all women? There are no men available to hold men accountable for their actions? Seriously. A player screws up and he has to deal with punishment from women? To be clear these women are extremely qualified for their jobs, but you need a man as well. A man needs to tell a man that what he has done is wrong. A man needs a man to guide him through controversy. There is no sexism in this statement. Like it or not, you need a man on that panel to set a standard for the other men in the league. The women chosen for the job are great, but get a man in there too. Not Goodell. Yes, he should be fired. Like yesterday. No excuses.

Now just because there are a few bad apples in the league it doesn't mean it's a plague upon the NFL. Most and I do mean MOST of these players are fantastic members of their community, involved with charities, able to conduct themselves appropriately in public situations and all around classy guys. The Ray Rices and Greg Hardys are the mice among men. Most of the athletes in the professional sphere of sports are grateful enough for the opportunities they've earned that they are humbled enough to know how to mind their manners. They deserve more credit than being lumped in as a whole with a few bad guys.

Here's a thought: When women took over baseball for the men during the war, they endured etiquette training. It wasn't just a scene in a movie, they were really forced to enter charm school. If they were to represent their team and the league they were damned sure going to behave themselves, take care of themselves and support each other. I see no better opportunity than now to revisit this idea for the athletes of today. Men and women. Why not? Nip that shit in the bud from the very beginning. Set a standard as to how your athletes on your teams conduct themselves. You bought them. You paid for them. You own them. They are games pieces to be traded, used, benched played whatever you choose. They represent your brand. They wear your logo. The very least to expect from them is that they maintain a level of dignity in keeping with a clear set of standards. Maybe the least they could learn is to leave more than a 20 cent tip in a restaurant. Maybe they can learn that DUIs are stupid and avoidable. Maybe, just maybe they might think twice before acting out. A little bit of humbling never hurt anyone. These athletes play a child's game for a king's ransom, the very least they can do is mind their manners while in the presence of the commoners.

As for the NFL as a whole. Put your big boy pants on. Rip off the bandaid. Solve the problem. Admit fully to fostering an environment that sweeps problems under the rug. Stop letting the inmates run the asylum. Take control of the situation and act like the professionals we expect you to be. And let's get back to the game.

A Female Fan

Go Football.