These are thoughts on the NFL from last week, which I’d either verbalized with others or texted them about. I only have time now to sit down and semi-organize those thoughts. (No, I don’t go 24/7 on Twitter or anything like that; I’m busy and don’t have a lot of time posting these things.)
Given the sad story that came out earlier in the week regarding Aaron Hernandez having an advanced stage of CTE at his young age, it was completely irresponsible of the Seahawks allowing Russell Wilson to go back onto the field without being examined for a possible concussion on Thursday Night Football and then the Colts doing the same with Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. Irresponsible.
My comment about the NFL players’ actions during the national anthems has been clear since Day One – I’ve told everybody that I’ve talked to that players shouldn’t be using a football game as their forum for political stances. I can’t speak for others, but when I tune in to a football game, I don’t care to see political stuff. Many American fans have opined that the players’ actions are offensive, and it doesn’t matter what the players’ agenda is, the public sees it as offensive and players should realize – and respect – that. It’s the fans who are paying to watch them perform on the field, and it’s very shortsighted of players to turn fans away from their sport. Hey, if fans stop watching or caring about your sport, your TV ratings go down, and perhaps your paycheques too? Ever stop to think about that? Bottom line: They don’t want to care what their fans think, so why would we care about them either?
As I was telling my boss, the only active players I do care about are Tom Brady and Drew Brees. I’ve always wanted to see both Brady’s Patriots and Brees’s Saints do well. I’m surprised that many “experts” on ESPN.com or Fox Sports Radio picked against the Saints in Buffalo last Sunday. Maybe people aren’t sold on the Saints this year. But I’ll never be sold on the Bills in a meaningful game. They haven’t made the playoffs since 1999, when Wade Phillips benched Doug Flutie for backup Rob Johnson for a playoff game. They’ve never been back to the playoffs since, not even when Drew Bledsoe was there in the 2000s. Sure, a few years they started the season well, but you know when the games get more meaningful in the second half of the season, Buffalo has always choked since 1999.
I was also surprised the experts picked the Giants to lose in winless San Francisco – but as it turned out, the experts were right there. Now, all this talk of the Giants having quit on their coach… Hello? You’re professional football players – you go out there to play your heart out no matter who’s your coach. You’re really going to just go through the motions when your next contract or job could be affected and there’s film on your play? Wow…. That’s dumb. I mean, don’t you have any pride at all when you go out on the field? To have critics say that a player has quit on his team would probably be the biggest insult a professional athlete could hear. But then again, what do I know.