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Thursday, November 7, 2013

The No Fun League

The NFL has had a rough go of it lately.  Off the top of my head I can think of more than a handful of recent black eyes-

Aaron Hernandez murder story

Former pro Tony Dorsett and others dealing with memory loss.

Same with Brett Favre

Not to mention the NFL's reluctance to act on concussions far sooner.

It is a very flawed system/league/entity, unless you are talking about money.  In case you were wondering the NFL's projected revenue in 2014 will be approximately $7 billion.   That ain't too shabby, especially when you consider the overall economic landscape.

It is without question America's game and fuels millions of dollars in related income and business.  We could discuss sports betting (legal and illegal), Fantasy football, and the bar businesses that thrive on televised games.  Monday Night football is but one of the primetime events the NFL broadcasts each week.  Sunday nights and (gasp!) Thursdays are also in the mix- and very unwanted if you ask me.

But no one is asking me and frankly, the NFL does not care.  Their model is making money and as they say, money talks, bullshi*t walks.

What strikes me this week is just how much the NFL is a microcosm of today's America.  There are but a handful of superstars/players making amazing salaries.  The owners and media tycoons are all making way more and calling all the shots.  They are all, essentially, the 1%.  The rest of us drink, fight in parking lots and use each game as catharsis for the mundane worlds we desperately want to forget.

Which brings us to the sordid fish tale that emerged from Miami over the past week.  By now you have all heard that one Dolphins player left the team because another player was bullying him.  I prefer not to name names or share links here because quite frankly, at this point it is nothing but misinformation.

Happier times?  Or a precursor to impending race riots?

Other than the player leaving the team and alleged bullied being suspended there are NO other facts.  But the press will have you believe otherwise.

What is known is we do not know how to communicate anymore.  One should not be subjected to harassing calls and abusive (maybe even racist) taunts and language.  But one should also be able to a) stand up for his or herself or act through the proper channels to ensure the behavior is stopped.

These are grown men we are talking about.  And I mean grown!  Both of them are over 6' tall and 300 pounds.  The "victim" is a Stanford graduate with Harvard educated parents.  If he was too "soft" to handle the physical and mental abuse what does that say of his upbringing and ability to cope with adversity?

The "assailant" is a known thug with a checkered past, including being voted the dirtiest NFL player by his peers a few years back.  Yet, for 8 years he has collected a hefty paycheck, made All Pro teams, and was a member of the Dolphins Leadership team.

Both scenarios are wildly messed up.  The thug is a role model and the victim is now ostracized.  No.  Freaking.  Win.

Not to mention what this does to the team itself.  Miami is currently 4-4 and very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.  In a matter of 5 days they lost 2/5 of their offensive line.

Dolphins veteran players have further complicated matters coming to the defense of the suspended player.  They have asserted the two were friends and this whole mess has been taken out of context.

Don't tell that to the press.  They need a black versus white story- literally and figuratively.

But as we all know these days, its all a shade of gray.  Save for one exception though…  green, like money.

Which is why when Sunday rolls around we will all be glued to the set watching violent people commit violent acts.  Nothing will ever change.

Wait, that is not quite true.  The 1% will get richer.

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