Why We Don’t Care
The 2014 season will come to an end by later this evening as a Super Bowl Champion is crowned. Two weeks ago, each team played the penultimate game in their conference and now they have a chance to win it all. To be sure, there is a lot of excitement from fans of both teams today and each side is hoping for the ultimate bragging rights over the next several months. A parade in downtown Boston or Seattle will take place in the coming days and it is certain to be a festive occasion. Deep down though, there is a huge set of problems lurking.
If the NFL wanted a set of nightmare scenarios for this particular game, then they have more than enough to digest. Both teams enter today’s contest with huge moral question marks including (but not limited to) excessive drug usage, thuggish behavior, team cheating (massively so), poor leadership qualities (read, coaches), fan behavior, sexual innuendos, childish attitudes, and one team has a former player that is currently on trial for murder. Yes, you read that last part correctly. Murder! How did we get to this juncture?
Good leadership or lack thereof, starts at the very top. Many point a finger at the league commissioner and while there is quite a bit of truth to this thinking, he can’t be held fully responsible for the antics of each team. A clear set of rules and guidelines is obviously needed, but they need to be enforced fairly and without any hint of preferential treatment.
For the two teams in today’s game, it is not the most appealing matchup. The league probably wanted a Peyton Manning/Aaron Rodgers battle, but the Broncos didn’t come close and a Green Bay meltdown in the last three minutes of their conference championship game doomed their chances. Instead, the NFL has a game that features the worst of today’s league in terms of everything that you don’t want hear about or see.
First, what’s so bad about Seattle? Their running back is nothing but a spoiled eight year old in an adult body. From grabbing his privates to acting like a child during interviews is pathetic. The coach left his college team in shambles as he jumped to the NFL. It had to vacate numerous wins, a national championship, and a Heisman Trophy (first and only time ever). He carried these “traits” to Seattle as the team has been cited and fined for breaking NFL rules. Surprised? Thuggish behavior is rampant with this organization and is on display in most games. It’s simply not needed as they are a good team with solid depth. A number of fans have given this team a black eye. Undoubtedly, many are good fans with great sportsmanship. However, a substantial number of fans have caused mayhem to fans of other teams with destroyed tailgates, a burned rental car, serious bodily harm, and threatening young children. It’s sad that they must have police officers present with the opposing team’s gear on for all games. To be sure, this is now true of several venues and the NFL needs to see that all fans can safely attend a game without the fear of threats and attacks. A personal note: I have many family members and several friends who live in the Seattle-Tacoma region and I love them dearly. All are good people who support/love the Seahawks and I am proud to say that they are the exact opposite of the aforementioned fans. They should not be yoked with these bad apples and I will gladly defend their support, but I can’t turn a blind eye to those who demean the fanhood experience.
What’s so bad about New England? Is it unfair to peg the Patriots for the murder trial of a former player? Not really, but Aaron Hernandez came with a huge list of uncertainties before he was drafted. After becoming a member of the team, he was beyond belligerent. From yelling and threatening teammates from day one to the current set of circumstances, Hernandez had no friends in the locker room. However, the head coach was supportive and that was a huge mistake – more on the coach in a moment. A few years ago the Patriots were embroiled in a significant spying scandal and the team/coach faced a fine of $750,000 and forfeiture of their first draft choice. Did they learn a lesson? No need to go into the details as you have probably heard of their latest scandal. Let’s talk about cronyism. Where is the league on this latest episode? Are they putting this incident off until after the Super Bowl? Are they sweeping it under the rug? Why wait until after today’s game to address the issue? It’s sad that the league appears to be putting ratings over rules. The head coach has never accepted any kind of responsibility for these scandals other than to offer the usual “it happened and we’re moving on” lip service. Another personal note: I have friends who are from New England and they cheerfully support their team, but many are very uncomfortable with these scandals. Let’s hope they can cheer for a team that is free of these mistakes in the future.
So many negatives. So much to be upset about as the game is going to be decided by later this evening. It’s too much for me and I will not be watching this evening. I have a busy Monday ahead anyway and it needs my undivided attention. Enjoy the game.