The NFL Is Sociopathic And Racist Trash. But Keep Watching, And Just Know You’re Watching Trash » VSB

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The NFL Is Sociopathic And Racist Trash. But Keep Watching, And Just Know You’re Watching Trash

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The worst part about the Colin Kaepernick protest situation isn’t the flagrant hypocrisy, colorism, or the stifling of freedom of speech. It’s something a little more matter of fact. Something that I wasn’t truly aware of until this situation garnered mainstream media attention. Apparently, Colin is not a great football player anymore. Who knew? In 2013, Colin was representing the Nupes well and competing against the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. In 2016, Colin is representing the Nupes well and competing with J.Cole for the 47th annual Murray’s Pomade Wokest hair award. Now, I’m sure Colin’s play hasn’t been immaculate but there’s no way a man who did this can be one protest away from irrelevancy. But, I don’t blame Colin. I blame the NFL, because it’s trash too, and if it continues on this path, I may have to take a knee.

Cam Newton, in the midst of a masterful heel turn against Black America, leads the Carolina Panthers against boring ass Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos to kick off the 2016 season tonight and I simply can not will myself to care. I say this with a heavy heart, because there was once a time when Madden graced me with a knowledge so intimate of NFL rosters and playbooks that I couldn’t imagine turning away from my golden colt. But I’m stepping outside the warm comfort of devout adherence and settling into a life as an NFL agnostic. The NFL is like eating crawfish. You have to wade through too many discarded bodies, and maybe a little shit to get to the content.

First, and foremost, the NFL’s inability to take a stance on violence in the game is ruining the league. But it’s also stuck between a rock and a hard place. Football itself is a barbaric game that has made an effort to become safer over the years. But the problem isn’t the actual gameplay violence but the cultural violence, the lionization of the league. Football is a gladiator sport, not an actual gladiator competition. It’s only a game, but the culture around the game is imbued with too many grandiose concepts like nationalism, honor, and humility — all fabrications invented to mask the scent of CTE and the ATM Jerry Jones keeps tucked behind his fangs — which are imposed upon the players and fans.  

The league’s moralism has leaked into policies which have ultimately hurt its product. There aren’t too many ways you can sanction 22 dudes bashing their heads into each other and you don’t come across as a hypocrite. Even with multiple suicides and a bad Nigerian accent bringing attention to concussions, I doubt there will be a Netflix doc on how many people have torn their ACLs by just having a fat guy fall on them. Nevertheless, NBC still has the nerve to trot out kind pinto bean Tony Dungy to pull on our heartstrings. Straddling the fence into faux morality degrades the quality of the game and a fan’s ability to remain interested because, in reality, if the players don’t matter to the league, how can there be morality?

Everyone’s heard of the stat about the average length of an NFL career being short. Especially, running backs. But it’s getting worse. The league is getting younger and younger because no one wants to pay veteran contracts. Plus, even the players know that’s it’s just not worth it. In recent years all-time greats like Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, and Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch retired prematurely. An NFL pension must include Atlantic City weekend Suites at the Tropicana and $500 in free slot play in lieu of dental and vision coverage. If the quality players don’t want to stick around why should I? To enjoy players not break records? And not win Superbowls? In addition to the medical discardure of players, these inane moral clauses are enforced poorly as well, which ultimately hurts the players. Josh Gordon and Le’Veon Bell have been suspended longer than I’ve known either of their names or realized why I should care about them.   

The media has also alley-ooped the NFL a couple of wadded up tissues to slam into the trash bin. Unlike other major American team sports, the NFL is completely domestic, so there are no foreign leagues to watch, or international competitions, or even amateur competitions like the Drew League to keep your beak wet during the offseason. So we’re forced to neverending media coverage of nothing. When ESPN had a stranglehold on sports fans’ attention through the 2000s it was easier to get actual information through the entertainment because they had you captive like a Virgin America pre flight safety video. Sadly, cable cutting has forced many sports media enterprises into sensationalism but unlike the NBA, NFL offseason drama is nearly entirely about irrelevant basura. Especially basura that pits the player vs the policies of the omniscient and all-powerful shield in some fashion. This “entertainment” choice was born when Terrell Owens did sit ups in driveway during his free agent negotiations, but it’s quickly moved away from anything to do with actual player transactions. From Brett Favre’s dick pics, to Tim Tebow, to Brady and Kaepernick. The NFL offseason story is moving further and further away from the game. Unless it can be swept under the rug, like Ray Rice. If it’s any consolation, the NFL did manage to snag a best miniseries Emmy nom alongside the People vs OJ Simpson when the feds finally caught Teflon Tom with the RICO in the series finale of “Deflategate.”

This accelerated revolving door of players has left me a bit melancholic. The machine is bolder and less concerned about how it’s policies appear. The overall decline in quality has left me with one final option that I’m not sure I’m willing to accept: “Casual fandom” aka “total divestment from actually knowing what you’re talking about” aka “being a Cowboys fan.” Ultimately, the NFL wants casual fans more than Drake wants Rihanna’s last name. People who don’t know what slant routes are, and will buy $7 nachos instead of jamming little Debbie cakes in their coat pockets because they have “low blood sugar.” People who will cheer for a team just because they’re red or blue because it’s easier replace a template than genuine craftsmanship. But, I’d rather cheer for a bloodsport than half-hearted moralizing masquerading as the true essence of Americana. Save me some flats at the Super Bowl party. I’ll be in the back with a Kaepernick jersey.

Brandon Harrison

Brandon lives in LA and has Hollywood stories that rival those of Rick James. He prides himself on staying righteous and knowing more about basketball than you.

  • NonyaB

    Hmm. How much good could come out of a game featuring dudes in spandex running around, occasionally grabbing each others’ butts while following some oval-shaped “ball”?.

    -Non sporty who doesn’t know what it is they do on that field, anyway.

    • cyanic

      The good thing that came out of football is the jockstrap.

  • thutch24

    football means everything to me. it gave me an identity when I was an awkward teenager trying to figure myself out, it instilled in me a mental toughness, it paid the way for college, I love the game of football, especially my Miami Hurricanes (if I could only watch one sporting event/team for the rest of my life it would be the Canes)

    the ups and downs of a football season, really prepares you for life. some of my former teammates are friends for life, LORD knows my football teammates and the social circle they provided were the only thing that made my PWI tolerable on a lot of nights. with that said:

    I’ll NEVER…..EVER…..EVER, EVER, EVER allow my son to play football. EVER! It hurts me to say that, but my son is not putting himself in harms way to entertain the masses, to work for a non-guranteed contract, and to participate in a culture that is stuck in the 1950’s

    but damn I love football…..I know, I know….I’m so confused! lmao

    • Brandon Allen

      Cognitive dissonance. It happens. I mean the game is great but the leagues are f-d up.

      • Miriamanordstrom1

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    • Trill Mickelson

      I don’t care too much for Miami, but I like the Richt hire and I’m rooting for him to do well there.

      • thutch24

        Richt is gonna kill it at Miami….we’ll be back terrorizing all of college football soon

        • Trill Mickelson

          Probably not but I don’t wanna kill your vibe tho, lol. Keeping the big recruits from South Florida would go a long way though.

          • thutch24

            That’s a bet I’ll take any day

  • I don’t deny any of this and I don’t deny that I’m an active participant in it.

    That being said, GO PANTHERS!!!!!

    • Brandon Allen

      I respect it.

      • Is there a way I can be a fan of the sport without the messy politics/business side of it?? These men are amazing

        • Hugh Akston

          Hmmm I would this question on certain topics…but ehh carry on lol

        • Brandon Allen

          Yeah just be a hyocrite. Just own up to it.

  • PinkRose

    So the image for this post is the most racist NFL team name in history? Not to mention that I’ve HATED that team since they dissed Doug Williams back in the day! URGH!!!

    • Chaud_et_Froid

      Yes! It’s always nice to see a fellow Dallas fan!

    • Mochasister

      I thought that too when I saw the picture. I wish they would change it.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    “NFL’s inability to take a stance on violence in the game is ruining the league. ”

    Like when they fined James Harrison for the hit on Muhammad Massaquoi but was selling pictures of the hit on NFL.Com

  • Canadian Football League is a foreign league. Just FYI. And it’s fairly popular. Not to mention Arena Football is pretty popular too. No, they’re not as popular as the NFL, but American Football is really only popular in America.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “but American Football is really only popular in America.”

      Lies

      They sell out Mexico City every time they play there and they play every year in the UK

      • Selling out a game doesn’t qualify as popularity to me. Popularity is being able to sustain a franchise there whilst competing with other sports. American Football in Europe or maybe even Mexico would have the same affect as soccer does here. The MLS is nowhere near the popularity of soccer in other parts of the world. Not to mention the talent is subpar.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          You don’t think the league has global expansion plans??? Those owners are miffed the NBA, NHL, and MLB beat them to it.

          • They expanded to Canada – basically American North. I can possibly see the NFL encroaching on the CFL’s market up there. They’re already taking some of their coaches and players.

            NBA can easily go global because basketball has been a popular world sport for quite some time. Baseball too. Not really sure as far as NHL. But I don’t think Football can really compete with Futbol or Rugby. that’s just my opinion.

            • Conrad Bess

              Toronto is the only viable city to expand to, and we got nowhere to put this team. We don’t have 2B for a stadium, and the league’s not going to allow the erosion of the Bills fanbase. The new owner is the 5th richest in the league and dropped a bil and change like it was nothing buying the team. The NFL won’t risk his wrath.

          • miss t-lee

            Bingo.

          • Digital_Underground

            Unless the league plans on setting up farm systems I don’t see it happening. The game requires lots of equipment and has a lot of nuanced rules that has to be picked up on. Here they are fortunate to have the NCAA function as their de facto development league. Lastly, we Americans overstate the culture of NFL fandom. I’m not sure it travels very well.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Diego, “The ticket said futbol, this is not futbol! Ay Dios mio”

        • Brass Tacks

          #iLaugh

        • Jajajaja

          • brothaskeeper

            *stealing this one, too*

            • LADRON!!!

              • brothaskeeper

                ¡No me juzgues!

              • Mochasister

                ¡Y viejo asqueroso!

          • Mochasister

            ¡Maldita lisiada!

        • Diego Duarte

          You called?

        • Hugh Akston
          • Lea Thrace

            years later this video still gives me giggle fits.

        • MsSula

          *Cackles loud*

      • Val

        Is there still an NFL Europe league?

        • Hugh Akston

          I may be wrong but I don’t think so anymore…now they just go to England to play one game…during the season and try to get people to come out…other than that..not much else that I’m aware

        • miss t-lee

          No.

      • Hugh Akston

        Lol but that’s mostly true though…the sport maybe known and not be popular…when you talk about actual futbol there is not a place that it’s not popular…even in atartica

      • Brandon Allen

        They are basically attempting to move into those markets. How many Mexicans have been scouted to play in the NFL? Or British People…NFL Europe didn’t pop….the rare Australian rules punter comes over on occasion tho.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          You don;t need locals to have a team. Yeah it may help but not necessarily needed. Crime, infrastructure dollars, taxes, and currency disparities are keeping the NFL out or Mexico. You hear stories about how the NBA players hate playing in Canada when it comes to taxes. They would REALLY hate playing in Mexico

      • It sells out because it’s a novelty event. There’s a reason there aren’t permanent circuses.

        • miss t-lee

          There will be teams there soon. Pretty much the reason they’re starting with the games.

      • miss t-lee

        Facts on facts.

      • That Texans/ Raiders game in Mexico may be live as heII.

        • B-Dot Willz

          Definitely

    • CFL = lame

      • Conrad Bess

        Hate runs deep eh? Ochocinco when he came up said he was astonished at the speed and skill of the players. CFL players are NFL players who aren’t as big. We got very few 300 lbs. linemen. Plus we let our players celebrate TDs

        https://youtu.be/UeF8hsTebmE

        • Congrats. Still just as lame with your low-fat football :-)

          • Conrad Bess

            Colder than a polar bear’s toenails you is Ms Ruby (-:

      • C’mon, Ruby…CFL is not lame. The games are pretty good actually. More scoring.

        • Trill Mickelson

          Plus it gets kinda lit when teams score rouges.

      • miss t-lee

        Basically…lol

      • It is pretty trash.

    • Trill Mickelson

      Pour one out for the 95 Baltimore Stallions, the greatest CFL team ever and the only American team to win the Grey Cup. They’re a big reason we ended up getting the Ravens.

    • Brandon Allen

      Shout out to the CFL. The Arena league is more a minor league than comparative league

  • Dee

    After watching Rugby sevens in the Olympics. I may have found an alternative for the NFL. Not a complete handover but enough to have me looking into other sports to watch. I’m still on a few fantasy teams this season.

    • Hugh Akston

      Got into rugby for a lil while given that I was in the land of down under and one of my roommates was a rugby player in college…I do enjoy how they pump up the crowds with their unique routines

    • DM.

      Rugby is too low-stakes and low budget to be ever be interesting to folks outside Ireland and South Africa.
      Football, basketball and soccer (internationally) are where the dollars’ at.

      • Tambra

        Ahmm, England, Wales, New Zealand, Austrailia, Argentina, France and on and on…

        • Epsilonicus

          The All Blacks are coming to Chicago in November!!

      • MsSula

        Err…. it’s pretty popular in Europe. France is actually a big rugby country.

      • Emmie

        There’s a decent rugby following here in the US. It’s just not a televised sport. We have the USA Rugby league and in every state I’ve moved to I’ve been able to find a women’s team to play with and there are enough women’s teams within the state and in bordering states to have planned seasons with games, socials, and fundraisers. Rugby is a def a big thing…it just doesn’t get the attention that football or basketball or whatever gets showcased on ESPN has. To me it’s like hockey…the people that are dedicated to play or watch it do and are there in strong enough numbers to make it a thing here in the US but the larger nation dgaf.

        • Cleojonz

          There was a feature on Real Sports I think. Rugby is actually even without the pads much safer than football because of the way they tackle. It’s more of a roll I guess? And always with the legs. They mentioned how big it’s getting in California in particular. All ages and both genders. I think it will continue to grow in popularity because parents are more reluctant to have their kids participate in American Football any longer.

    • miss t-lee

      I only watch rugby for the shorts.

      • Cleojonz

        Those All Blacks though. Woo!

        • miss t-lee

          Hallelu.

    • Cleojonz

      Rugby is really fun to watch but I still can’t get a handle on the scoring.

  • Kas

    Nicely said and well written

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    To quote my man Mike Vick,

    “I ain’t got no dog in this fight”

    • Kas

      Was just fighting about Vick with a friend over FB yesterday.

      • Brass Tacks

        Pertaining to what exactly?

        • Kas

          Number of games suspended for dogfighting vs Roethlisberger for accusations of rape. The article was about race with this as a small piece of it. My friend (big Steelers fan) felt the need to defend Roethlisberger and highjacked the thread.

          • Val

            Did you slam him?

            • Kas

              No. He’s a Steelers fan. Isn’t that punishment enough?

              • kingpinenut

                Hold up dawg…. you done crossed the line now

                • Kas

                  So, how do you feel about your team’s chances this year? I don’t have anything against the team.

                  • kingpinenut

                    I’m Steelers fan from the 70’s so I don’t even know the current crop

                    *ye shrug*

      • Hugh Akston

        Vick?

        • Kas

          Michael Vick, quarterback

          • Hugh Akston

            lol i know who he is…just wasn’t sure why anyone would be arguing about him…

            • Kas

              You follow my commenting style. Is there anything I won’t argue about for the sheer joy of arguing?

              • Mochasister

                Ole contentious Negro!

      • Underachiever.

        • Kas

          For his level of talent, yes.

        • Blueberry01

          They weren’t going to let him be great.

          • They? He never studied an NFL playbook in his life. He put the absolute minimum in.

            • Blueberry01

              But what about room for growth? I’m sure every great quarterback had an period at the beginning of their career when they were mediocre.

              After the dog-fighting incident, it was like he was regarded as damaged goods.

          • Mike never let Mike be great. Love the dude but we mythologize him a tad too much. Gotta do the work.

  • Brass Tacks

    Very well written, Brandon. But I just saw Cam Newtons Under Armour commercial and they have the Brotha running THROUGH trees like they were made of paper mache. Its seriously dope.

    Also, ’cause football is life. I cant ever see myself quitting the pigskin. But ill save ya some wings doe. Cause we sorta like fam and ish.

    • Love that commercial. UA makes hideous clothes and shoes but they know how to make great commercials.

      • Brass Tacks

        I really like their workout shirts. I’m eyeing the sleeveless Cassius Clay one to add to my collection.

        The UA commercials are getting better with each passing year. Which is dope because Nike has pretty much been the standard since foreva. But Cam, Curry, and the rest have UA stock rising rapidly.

        • UA getting Cam was a major move. Cam, despite his reluctance to back the “Power to the People” movement, is a PR dream!!!

          He’s at the top of his game as well so that’s a huge help.

          • Brass Tacks

            I remember when he was coming out of high school, a lot of colleges thought he would be better suited at TE. People forget that Jimmy Clausen, Tyrod Taylor, and Ryan Mallet were all ranked ahead of him in terms of pure QB ability. Laughable now but people really wanted to lump Cam into the same group as Jamarcus Russell.

            While it has been difficult to stomach some of his more recent interviews, I do believe Cam is all about “The Cause”. If only because the B.S.( read racism) he had to deal with during the scouting and draft evaluations.

            I personally believe he’s going to pull some CB4 (Im Black Y’all!) level hijinks on the league once he gets that ring doe

            • B-Dot Willz

              A special shoutout for the simple mention of Jamarcus Russell. He is from my hometown and the biggest dope ever. He was destined to fail because he was told that he didn’t need to work. #bigfishsmallpond

              • Brass Tacks

                He thought he could coast off his enormous talent. I mean, it did keep him afloat all the way through college. But while he had talent for days, he lacked the maturity needed to be the leader of any professional football club.

                • B-Dot Willz

                  I’ve met him and he lacks the maturity needed to be the leader of a professional car wash.

        • QueenRaven23

          I remember the “We Must Protect This House” commercials. I was 18 and editing my resumes and cover letters to try to get 1st least an internship there based on those commercials alone.

          • Brass Tacks

            I remember those!

            Random*

            We might be around the same age then.

    • Brandon Allen

      I mean….I’m a watch football…I just wish they’d stop flexing like they’re good. Just be evil and corporate. Plus I can’t just can’t keep up with all these random players.

      • Brass Tacks

        The league has ALWAYS been a Good ol’ boy network. They have always been half arsed, slow footed, and lackadaisical in their approach to upholding themselves to the same standards they desire from their players.

        I have multiple gripes with their protect the shield rhetoric when they do shady ish like turning a blind eye for years at the consumption of PEDs such as HGH.

        They basically collectively bargained for the drugs to be phased out of the league by the time they started testing for it, but are now colluding to get the players to speak publicly on their usage of it.

        I like not nan one of them 1 percenters, but I do have a love of football that goes deep. It has gifted me some of my favorite Athletes ever: D. Sanders, M. Vick, Bo Jackson, Cam..etc. So I will begrudgingly gripe at the league while wearing my teams colors because it has always been deeper than the people in the owners box.

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