When I was a grade schooler, young and happy and uncaring about the world at war, I loathed Monday mornings. Not only was a weekend over, but the weekly ritual of students clamoring about the Sunday football games took place. I could not even pretend to know what they were talking about, I was never a fan. I tried to fit on on the bandwagon by pretending to be a Redskins fan like my family was, but could not really defend why. Then I switched to the Raiders because I loved their helmet emblem.
Today, years after that childhood trauma, I am still not really a fan. But now I at least am proud of that.
And getting prouder every day as more and more NFL scandals engulf the National Football League.
Today, news broke that rattled the NFL even more than it already was: Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested for a domestic violence incident. This after a play is accused of child abuse.. this after TMZ shows the world another player beating his wife in a Atlantic City elevator.. This after.. well, need I go on?
This is not the first (or first three) players to get involved with murder, mayhem, or abuse. As a matter of fact, the rates of criminals in the NFL is higher than that of the national average. Perhaps even higher than Congress!?
And now with the power of how virtual outrage pours from social media into real life, advertisers are taking notice. Unlike previous days, major sponsors are speaking out. For now the advertising continues.. but the NFL is going to have to figure out how move on..
I think, however, there is more to this story.
Just like those kids in the 1980s knew every fact, figure, and statistic about players, things today are no different. The worship of a team continues.. the players are cheered .. and some are jeered. But what does it all matter?
It is only just a game, wouldn’t you say?
And certainly not heroes. Real heroes are not celebrated.. instead we are accustomed to seeing the famous and fortunate be covered ad nauseam .. We buy the products. We have water cooler talks about the latest player plays.. and finally, it gets us no where.
Our lives don’t change.
Even the biggest fans hardly get noticed by the all seeing eyes of the camera on national telecasts. . and if you get a 15 second of fame moment, you’re typically laughed at for your appearance or people are appalled by your awfully large beer gut after a game of gluttony.
Forgive me for potentially offending new readers on a relatively new website, but I say this: Fans of football are quite frankly getting no where. Just as someone who has an intense and undying affinity for a political party, what does such an appreciation for football teams convey?
I would much rather talk to someone who just appreciates a game as opposed to worships a team or a human being running plays. Anyone who does such will eventually be disappointing .. How do you think the fans of Ariana Grande are feeling tonight? We have false idols.. They fall. We fail. And in the end, neither has anything to do with each other.
Les Moonves says that football is still the best thing on television. And he may be right looking at how awful the competition currently is..
But the sooner we give our children real adults to emulate, we will simply just continue to be shocked by the actions of the men we promote as heroes..
Real heroes are very underpaid.
And in the end, who is more important on Monday morning: The player you’ll be talking about at your job, or the garbage collector who ensured that your trash was taken away on time?
Food for thought..
As the NFL plays on.