14
Sep
14

The NFL; An American Horror Story

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The ink has barely dried on fantasy league sheets throughout the country and already we have been bombarded with stories of indiscretion from gridiron performers. The Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice from their team when public outcry over video released that showed him cold coking his wife emerged on the internet. Most people were appalled over this incident and shocked to hear his wife come back days later in support of her husband but in spite her pleas, a ban on playing in the NFL is Rice’s set punishment. Early Saturday morning Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to authorities for charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The list of felonies and bad judgment continues to grow leaving many to believe we need to crack down and do something about this 300 lb. gorilla in the room known as the National Football League.
The most concerned people I speak to seem to be those left trying to explain to the youth of our nation why it is that the honored profession of being a professional athlete is tainted with oozing pus. Kids are encouraged to join in team sports to help build their character yet what can they learn from watching some pro player get criminal charges leveled at him? I remind these concerned folks that football is not the only sport laced with problems. We spend a good portion of the summer engrossed with stories of substance abuse from our baseball teams, winter holds continued coverage of NBA players pegged for street thug violations of the law…a frightening group of role models making more money than I will ever see in my lifetime.
We need to compare this to other occupations in order to keep a true perspective on things; sports aren’t the only tribe out there with problems in their ranks. Politicians, police and preachers have their fair share of monsters as well. I’ll never forget watching that defamed preaching huckster, Jimmy Swaggert, standing there on national television blubbering like a baby confessing to the Lord that he had sinned. Yeah, no shit Jimmy. You plooked some girl and before someone else could release the whole story to the press you beat them to the punch in order to (hopefully) maintain hold on the multi-million industry you built. Politicians continually find themselves in hot water yet manage to hold on to their jobs. Hell, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught – and admitted – smoking crack but managed to hold onto his position for some time. I know he’s not an American politician (seemed like the best recent candidate to highlight…other than maybe Rick Perry) but we have had our share of drug abusers and crime demons as well….lest we forget Marion Berry.
I think we’ll have to cope with the societal arrangement we have with our pro sports teams and players. There is no way we can stop the problem before it happens and as long as the league is willing to follow up with repercussions for those who are caught punching their wife or shooting someone or hurting a child, I feel that’s about the best we can do. I’ve said before in a past post that I feel the NFL could do wonders running our country. Rather than bury their dirty secrets, like our politicians do, they air them out in the open and say ‘we don’t tolerate this behavior’ and quickly oust those convicted; then a new batch of thugs come in and the circle of life continues….welcome to the Church.
In reality these shining stars that fall from grace may be the perfect examples to hold up to our kids. They are proof that money and power can corrupt you if you’re not careful. It also shows that no one is above the law (or at least they are the best example we have for that….our politicians certainly don’t prove that). So today I salute you NFL as that continued horror story of our nation that brings so much joy and pain in equal doses to those who watch or participate. Keep the game going, and don’t stop playing ‘the game’.

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