Tag Archives: NFL

Another Reason for Dropping the NFL from my Life

Eric Decker

Life in these Politically Correct times is becoming a constant stream of: Who-comes-up-with-this-stuff?

Shortly after Veterans Day, Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker paid tribute to America’s service men and woman after scoring a touchdown in Denver’s victory over Kansas City on Sunday. The act earned the player a yellow flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Really? 

Next thing you know they be throwing the golden handkerchiefs for smiling at cheerleaders.

Frankly it’s an embarrassment to the league and an affront to every soldier who loves (or doesn’t love) the game. What was the ref thinking?

Now, in defense of the idiotic flag tosser, he was holding to the letter of the rule. When Decker took a knee in the process of his honoring the troops he violated the “Excessive celebration” rule.

Excessive celebration…

Just the phrase itself sounds somewhat moronic. Isn’t the whole point of team sports to celebrate the great play. To stand and cheer your team mates on a job well done; to applaud a talent that rises above the norm and brings the fans to their feet. Oh, we wouldn’t want to excessively celebrate that.

Think of it this way…

For honoring the troops the player received the same penalty a player would get for blowing through the line before the snap, driving a quarterback to the ground and breaking his collarbone, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.” Of course the ref would have the discretion to remove the player from the game as well.

How about next time ref use that discretion wisely and don’t mess with a well-meaning act, absent of malice and meanness.

I saw enough unsportsmanlike conduct back during the lock-out to last a lifetime.

Legal in the NFL: Scoring a touchdown and then running 100 yards down the sideline to give the ball to your girlfriend who’s a cheerleader for the opposing team.

Not legal in the NFL: Scoring a touchdown and saluting the troops on Veterans Day weekend.

Life Without the NFL

NFLThis is week whatever in pro football. Somebody’s playing somebody else. Somebody’s going to get hurt. Somebody’s going to drop a ball. Somebody’s going to make a touchdown. Somebody in the stands is going to spill an $8 cup of beer. It’s going to get their $200 seat wet.

Another Sunday in the NFL is here. “Whatever.”

I’m still on football boycott. Football is locked out at my house.

Back in the spring when I sat back and watched grown men, millionaires already, bicker about money that didn’t really belong to them, I decided I was not going to invest my time or dollars supporting these childish, self-serving figures.

In all the months I watched the drama play out over collective bargaining, free agents, player salaries, team salary caps larger than most small town budgets, and how the money is divided up, I never once heard them talk about the most important person on the team — The Fan.

Without the fan there is no money to split up. No Fans would mean no football. The player attitude seemed to be ‘You can’t play football without us.’ That may be true. It’s be hard to have a game without players.

Football could be played without the fans. But for how long? It’s the fan that buys that $8 beer and the $200 seat that puts that $150 million in the teams pocketbook. Try paying your quarterback $10 million dollars a year without the fan.

So maybe I’m not a fan. You could make the argument that a true fan would look past the selfish nature of the players and the league. A true fan would forgive and forget and embrace the game they love. I figured out the game I love is played on Friday nights in small towns across this country where the game is not about the dollar. It’s about what really matters – family, team, community, and the simple love for the game.

Even college ball has that same spirit. Money and greed ruined pro football. I’ve hung up my fan cleats and truthfully… I don’t even miss it. (I hope I can still say that when NASCAR season is over.) I hope I’m strong enough to continue the lockout come Feb 5th when the super-dollar bowl is played in Indianapolis.  I hope.

It’s official – The NFL is Dead to Me

It’s like a perpetual dead zone has been removed from that sports locker I call a brain. I don’t know why I didn’t see it year ago. Greed is very patient and subtle. I remember going to see the Titans and I would watch those guys buying $8 beers and $6 hot dogs. You could spend the national debt of a small Caribbean Island shopping in the NFL store.

Then it occurred to me. The game is not about the fan. Maybe it never was. The game is not even about the rivalry that develops between certain teams, certain communities. Like so many other things in our capitalist society it’s all about the money!

During the recent lockout where the players and owners kept watching the calendar, knowing full well the drop dead date for the season. They got serious about a week before. What do you think they were talking about?

They were talking about the money that we put in their pockets. They were talking about how to slice up that pie so that everybody gets their fair share. I don’t recall seeing any fans sitting in those meetings. Perhaps it’ll take a few Sundays of no fans sitting in those multi-million dollar playgrounds built from the pockets of the working man and the communities they live in, for the players and the owners to get the message.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the people who gave it to you.

I have seen my last Super Bowl. I’m okay with that.

I’m officially making Super Bowl Sunday movie night – not “The Longest yard.”

If they keep raising prices this could be Super Bowl Sunday some day.

 

 

NFL Player vs. Jimmie Johnson

It seems Seattle Seahawks player Golden Nate has an issue with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. A recent twitter exchange between the two went as follows:

Jimmy johnson up for best athlete???? Um nooo ..
Driving a car does not show athleticism. via Twitter for iPhone

 
Golden Tate
ShowtimeTate

 

Jimmie Johnson’s response…

@showetimetate Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge).
Lucky 4 you, this can be fixed. Come to a race and be informed.


Jimmie Johnson

Ignorance is bliss. NFL players have plenty of time to be blissful these days.

NFL in Freefall

What was once the crowning achievement in U.S. sports is rapidly becoming a laughing stock of embarrassment for fans and other onlookers across the world stage.

At issue is the inability of the players, represented by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and the owners to come to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

I remember back in 1982 and 1987 when the players went on strike. Remember the “Replacement Player” games where owners put hastily hired replacements on the field in place of striking regular players? If it was a game of chicken on the gridiron, the players blinked. Support for the strike faltered and within days collapsed in the face of dwindling player support.  Bewildered and angry fans of pro football took their ticket dollars elsewhere. It took a good three years for the league to recover from that nastiness.

Those were tumultuous times for the NFL and the NFLPA who suffered humiliating defeat in the courts in the aftermath of the 1987 strike. For more details see: 1987 strike and decertification at wiki.

So here we are twenty some years later revisiting old wounds and tailspinning off a players lockout. On April 25th, Federal Judge Susan Nelson sided with the players and ruled the lockout illegal, weakening the owners position. This sets up a battle that will be played out in Federal Court as the league tries to secure its position within the communities they operate in. In her ruling the judge effectively deemed the NFL — too big to fail.

League commissioner Roger Goodell, in an April 26th Wall Street Journal article, gave us a view of the NFL without a CBA.

Goodell wrote:

Under this vision, players and fans would have none of the protections or benefits that only a union (through a collective-bargaining agreement) can deliver. What are the potential ramifications for players, teams, and fans? Here are some examples:

• No draft. “Why should there even be a draft?” said player agent Brian Ayrault. “Players should be able to choose who they work for. Markets should determine the value of all contracts. Competitive balance is a fallacy.”

• No minimum team payroll. Some teams could have $200 million payrolls while others spend $50 million or less.

• No minimum player salary. Many players could earn substantially less than today’s minimums.

• No standard guarantee to compensate players who suffer season- or career-ending injuries.Players would instead negotiate whatever compensation they could.

• No league-wide agreements on benefits. The generous benefit programs now available to players throughout the league would become a matter of individual club choice and individual player negotiation.

• No limits on free agency. Players and agents would team up to direct top players to a handful of elite teams. Other teams, perpetually out of the running for the playoffs, would serve essentially as farm teams for the elites.

• No league-wide rule limiting the length of training camp or required off-season workout obligations. Each club would have its own policies.

• No league-wide testing program for drugs of abuse or performance enhancing substances.Each club could have its own program—or not.

Unlike days of old there are way too many options in the sports world to waste my time on the NFL as they continue to shoot themselves in the cleats. Between NASCAR, NCAA Football and Basketball, and The Food Network, my weekends can be easily shifted away from the greed and ugliness now entrenched in the players and the owners.

I’m convinced the arrogance of the NFL will be their downfall as fans depart en masse for other entertainment options. The Super Bowl could easily become the Super Dud and I wouldn’t shed a tear.

They brought it on themselves.

Brett Favre officially retires – again!

USA Today Image - Favre Vikings

I contemplated going down this path for a few minutes before putting together this post. More than one reporter has been embarrassed since 2007 with the headline: “Brett Favre Retiring from the NFL.” The guy has retired more times than Johnny Olson shouted, “Come on down, you’re our next contestant…”

Favre set record after record as he played for Green Bay from 1992-2007. He ‘officially’ retired the first time on March 4, 2008, and in a teary press conference said, “I know I can play, but I don’t think I want to. And that’s really what it comes down to.”

Four months after throwing in the towel, Favre yanked that sucker back, only to be told by the Packers front office, “Thanks, but no thanks.”  The soap-opera between Favre, the Packers, and the Green Bay fans, culminated in his trade to the New York Jets for a 2009 draft pick. New York haven’t seen this kind of quarterback hoopla since Broadway Joe Namath guaranteed a win in the 1969 Super Bowl against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.  The Jets front office took the  keys to the Jets offense from Chad Pennington. Chad got the boot and Favre got the keys.

He had a better than average season with the Jets, including a solid win in the last game of the season against Pennington and the Miami Dolphins. Nearly two months later, Brett Favre again announced his intention to retire from football.

And then it was… “Oops, my bad!” In June of 2009, Favre announced that he was looking at several opportunities to return to the NFL and would likely join the Vikings organization, only to inform the Minnesota team on July 28, that he would remain retired. Perhaps money talks louder than aching bones, because on August the 18th, the Vikings announced that Brett Favre would be their starting quarterback for the 2009 season.

And what a season it was. When the Vikes met the Packers for the Monday night game on October 5th, Brett Favre became the only quarterback in NFL history to have defeated all 32 teams in the league. That game was the most-viewed television program, sports or otherwise, in the history of cable television. It drew an unheard of 15.3 rating and had 21.8 million viewers. The Vikings would go on to the playoffs and rout the Dallas Cowboys in a 34-3 embarrassment, the first time Favre defeated The Cowboys in the playoffs after three previous losing efforts as the Packers QB. The Vikings would lose to a solid New Orleans Saints team in the conference championship game.

Amid speculation of Favre’s retirement after the stellar performance in his first season with the Vikes, Favre’s ankle injury in the playoff game continued to fuel rumors and innuendo about his plans for 2010. That gossip was squashed when the organization announced on August 17, 2010, that Brett Favre would return as the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. His performance for the season was mediocre, at best, and marked by a couple of injuries late in the schedule. On Dec 2nd, he sprained his shoulder in the Buffalo Bills game. For this injury he was benched for the Monday night game on Dec 13th, ending his consecutive regular season start streak at 297.

With his list of accomplishments in the NFL, you could make an argument that this future Hall-of-Famer is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. (I would pick Joe Montana, but that’s another blog.) I don’t know, there have been some great ones. I’m afraid his legacy is not going to be how many TDs he’s thrown, or how many career starts he’s had, but how many times he said “I’m retiring.”

But then… there’s always next season.

 



“Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck.” ~Don Shula