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

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.

  • HoobaStankyLeg

    The other day I was thinking: Why haven’t we invented a new sport yet? And why aren’t we getting stupid paid for inventing said sport.

    Cam Newton has the tiniest little butt. I think it’s the definition of what a ‘hiney’ is. (SP?)

    That’s all I got.

  • Negro Libre

    Eh, blaming the NFL is easy, it’s also feudalistic – an American Dilemma.

    NFL’s job is their product; the numbers and viewers say they’re doing their part. The enforcement of moral standards is and will always be on consumers. In America, consumers never do their jobs, thus we hope for the forces of congress or shaming advertisers, (appealing to a hire authority in the power hierarchy aka feudalism) so that we can eat our cakes and have it to. Since we want something massive, the idea of independently taking action, without media support, makes efforts seem worthless and pointless.

    Welp, the drama continues.

    • Blueberry01

      How did I know that you were going to bring up feudalism, NL?….

      • Negro Libre

        It is what it is…when you see symptoms, you gotta point out what’s going on.

  • If the Panthers lose tonight I swear on everything that I love, that I will drive down to Charlotte tomorrow and slap everyone coming off the bus. Everyone. Back ups. Coaches. Water boys. Trainers. EVERYONE!

    • thutch24

      Carolina is my fantasy D, Luke is my fantasy defensive player…..I need y’all to show up and show out tonight or I might be there in Charlotte with you

      • Listen, they gotta put in work tonight so I can come through tomorrow in the comments section like…

        http://i.imgur.com/biDFHU0.gif

        • thutch24

          ?????, I’m just looking forward to more letters to the editor….make ’em mad Cam

    • Val

      I’m going to hold you to that, AP.

      • I’ll post a video if it should come to pass.

    • brothaskeeper

      Ruby finna be like:

    • miss t-lee

      Please get video.

    • B-Dot Willz

      You make it to Charlotte yet? lol

    • Kas

      You on the road yet?

  • I was a pretty big fan of football, use to plan my Sundays around games. Then, Ray Rice and stories on HBO Real Sports about concussions/injuries and tax payers footing the bill for new stadiums happened. It took a couple seasons, but I walked away and am alright with just not caring anymore. Friends still try and get me into a debate about the cheating Patriots – I just shrug my shoulders and say that I haven’t paid attention in years.

    • Val

      Wow, I’m impressed with your willpower. I bet that first autumn without football was tough though.

      • Thank you! Actually, it was the realization of how much I can get done those Sundays and Thursday nights that made it that much easier. Also, truth be told, those stories about the retired players and their health problems just left a really bad taste in my mouth.

  • This right here is everything I’ve thought about football the last few years! Salute.

    It’s all about dollars now & not actually caring about your players and they’re families like the football of yesteryear. Trust just as the SEC keeps turning out these physical players the NFL will keep getting younger and more players retiring prematurely. To not only preserve bodies but most of all their minds.

  • Hugh Akston

    Wait, what did you think Playmakers was about?

    • Dekedog

      I hated that the NFL made ESPN cancel that show.

      • Hugh Akston

        you and i both

      • miss t-lee

        Also.

    • Brandon Allen

      And the NFL swooped and shut it down. I actually wrote a little oral history about it a couple years ago.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        But my dude shined on the show and is still in the league ECU STAND UP!!

      • brothaskeeper

        I useta LOVE that show!

      • Hugh Akston

        I think that was probably the only show that I ever got mad about for being shut down…so many great moments…and seeing what happens behind the scenes was an eye opener

  • Trill Mickelson

    I hate the NFL on moral grounds. And also because literally every single thing about it bores me to tears. I’m amazed at how it continues to put out the most unwatchable garbage week after week — I guarantee the Notre Dame-Texas game will be the best football game you see on Sunday all year. BY FAR. I also guarantee that it will not be the best college football game this season.

    That being said, I’ll continue to go through the mental gymnastics necessary for me to enjoy every college football game I can while ignoring its own set of issues.

    • Brandon Allen

      Good addendum. Cuz this entire article applies to college football but worse.

      • I can’t wait for the alma mater to finally have a decent hoops team. This football stuff is overrated.

        • Trill Mickelson

          If we’re being real though, there’s nothing more shady in sports than the whole AAU circuit. Basketball isn’t any better as far as ethics goes (or entertainment, personally).

    • QueenRaven23

      Yes. I almost fell of the teadmill watching the game on Sunday. I paid $100 for a ticket to see the ravens play the jags. I’m not happy with the schedule but no NFL game will beat that game.

  • Val

    I think football, in the very long run, will be the new boxing. Its popularity will wane and the only people who will play are kids who are poor enough to ignore the risks for a chance at getting rich. But, as I said this is in the long run. Like 30 years from now. There’s just too much money tied up in football at all levels for it to go away any time soon.

    Go Giants!

    • HouseOfBonnets

      S/o to OBJ

      • who?

        • HouseOfBonnets

          O’Dell Beckham Jr.

          • O okay. I wasn’t sure which nickname we settled on.

          • Mochasister

            Off topic but did you read how butt hurt Lena Dunham was when he ignored her at some event? Basic Becky got all in her feelings because he didn’t seem to be impressed with her and her tuxedo.

            • HouseOfBonnets

              Oh yes plus his I don’t know her when asked about it was the icing on the cake.

              • Mochasister

                Oh snap!

            • Blueberry01

              I think she was suffering from WGCS (White Girl Commodity Syndrome). According to her account of the story, they never conversed. Thus, everything she said about him was simply her projecting her insecurities.

              • Mochasister

                How old is this child molester? Isn’t she too old to be acting like a reject from an eighties After School Special? If he had talked to her, she would have been equally irritated. “God, these Black men are always trying to talk to and objectify us white women. Why can’t they just leave us alone?!” I guess she learned the hard way that being the owner of a white vagina doesn’t automatically ensure one lap dog devotion of all non white men. I think a lot of white people believe their own hype about how great they are. They’re genuinely surprised when some poc are not into them.

                • KNeale

                  True. And not just in their alleged “desirability” but just in their everyday life they think black folks should be so amazed at how special they are.

                • Blueberry01

                  Please say those last two lines again!!!!

            • Kas

              You late. We covered this depth on a different post.

              • Mochasister

                Where? How did I miss it? As a Black man, were you insulted by her comments?

                • Kas

                  I wasn’t insulted, but I found her projections of her own insecurities quite foul.

                  • Mochasister

                    I found her weird and trifling.

    • Hugh Akston
  • We should all be watching this exciting AL Wildcard race

    • Val

      Baseball? Nope. I’ll watch the World Series if the Yankees, Dodgers or Giants are playing but other than that, nope.

      • The MLB would be perfect if they got rid of commercials. Like just 2hours of baseball would be heaven. If they can figure it out without logos on the uniform I’d be ecstatic.

        • Val

          Perfect for nap time.

          • We are going to the DR to watch some baseball. The crowd is lit

            • Val

              I’ll go to Cuba, but not the DR. They play in Cuba right?

              • That’s where ghe MLB keeps getting all the Young Gods

              • cedriclathan

                Yep! Was there a few years ago.

              • Epsilonicus

                Cuba is baseball heaven

        • Brandon Allen

          Please just get rid of the the intentional walk. Why throw it 4 times?

        • The NL needs to adopt the DH.

      • cedriclathan

        I work near the Giants ballpark. I work nights often. Not a baseball fan but wanted to see what a World Series atmosphere was like. On break, went to walk around the ballpark and got sucker punched because I was wearing a blue cap. They were playing the Texas Rangers and I didn’t even think about what I was wearing. It was a Tiger Woids cap. I don’t like golf either….

    • Brandon Allen

      Baseball? Where’s the meme with the dude in glasses?

    • Trill Mickelson

      I have little faith that the O’s will hang on. And because the Yankees won’t ever die since they sold their soul to the devil, I’m pretty sure they’re somehow gonna end up getting the second WC, and MLB will make their postseason logo a picture of me getting Crying Jordan’d. I wish more Black people liked baseball.

      • I can’t see the Yanks doing it because they’ve been a terrible road team all year. Them as the underdogs would be hilarious and lovely though. I’m just excited to see all the young prospects playing.

        • Val

          Mets fan?

          • Yankees fan since 96

        • Trill Mickelson

          They’re only a couple games back. I always just assume the teams I hate will win. Except for Michigan.

      • Val

        More Black people would like it if more Black people played.

        • Brandon Allen

          More black people would play if it was fun. Baseball is a step above bowling in activity level.

          • Kas

            Hey, I once dreamed of being a professional bowler. Feel free to slander away.

            • Brandon Allen

              Just like baseball you can play that in a dress belt and full pants.

            • Val

              Wait, there are professional bowlers?

              • Trill Mickelson

                I only knew that because of that Fresh Prince episode where Carlton wanted to be a professional bowler.

                • brothaskeeper

                  “Pins”!

              • Kas
                • Mochasister

                  Aww, what a cute fur baby! Is this your dog?

                  • Kas

                    No. I love dogs, but hate cleaning up after them.

                    • Mochasister

                      I hear you. I wish I could rent a dog for a couple of hours and then take it back to its owner.

                    • Kas

                      Have at least one friend with a dog. You don’t even have to pay that way.

              • HouseOfBonnets

                Yes, yes there are… I wanted to be one for about 3 months as a kid.

                • Kas

                  I picked my college because it had a club bowling team.

              • miss t-lee

                Plenty.

              • Mochasister

                Yep. My grandmother used to watch bowlers on tv.

          • Val

            Actually it’s fun to play, just not to watch.

            • Brandon Allen

              It’s to hit a baseball. It’s not fun spending literally half or the game waiting to hit and the other half standing in the sun.

          • It’s fun as f***!

          • miss t-lee

            Clearly you’ve never played baseball if you’re comparing it to bowling.

            • Brandon Allen

              Ive played and they have a lot of similarities. Including spending over half of the time not doing anything.

              • miss t-lee

                Um…Ok.

          • Epsilonicus

            It is definitely fun to play

        • Kas

          More Black people would watch it if it wasn’t boring AF!

          • Mochasister

            Here! Here! Baseball makes me want to cry from sheer boredom. I’d rather watch a soccer match and I hate soccer!

          • Blueberry01

            I think it’s only boring on TV. I went to my first baseball game last year (Nationals and Braves) and it was so much fun to watch!

            Maybe the TV networks should air the “walk up” music for the batters.

            • Emmie

              Baseball is really fun to watch in person! Something gets lost in translation via television…

            • Cleojonz

              Yeah but when you’re actually at the game you are barely watching. The food and the people are WAY more entertaining than the actual game.

              • Blueberry01

                I love the walk up music the best!

        • Trill Mickelson

          I don’t disagree, although I will say MLB is pretty terrible at marketing itself, partly because it’s such a regionalized sport. There are a lot of good Black players that people don’t know about because they play for the Orioles, Pirates, and Devil Rays rather than the Yankees and Cardinals (although to be fair, the Red Sox have some too, much to my chagrin).

          • Yanks got the rookie Starlin Castro, CC, Didi Gregorius (who’s Dutch, like a Black Dutch person), Dellin Betances, Luis, Aaron Hicks, etc.

          • QueenRaven23

            Yep, like Adam Jones. Plus he comes out to bat on either Jeezy, or Tupac. It makes it super cool to see the players’ choice in music.

        • American baseball is so boring due to the lingering “good old days” theme and unwritten rules and that scares many American p.o.c away. They’ve destroyed all of the athleticism in baseball by forcing specialization at a young age. With a few exceptions highly athletic white kids don’t play either.

          • I don’t think baseball is boring. There are plenty of Black people in baseball. They just happen to have Spanish as a first language. MLB has almost double the revenue of the NBA and is second only to the NFL in total revenue among professional sports leagues. MLB is setting revenue records each year. Since there were more American blacks playing in the “good old days” than there are now there is probably another explanation for the lack of current American black involvement.

      • QueenRaven23

        Jeez, I don’t know what to do with the O’s. We get to this point and just call apart.

        Oh and I love going to the games.

        • Trill Mickelson

          All we can do is pray that the rotation doesn’t give up 5+ runs every game. And that the lineup just doesn’t randomly just go 1-for-10 with RISP as they are wont to do occasionally.

          • Epsilonicus

            True. The Orioles will score 7 runs but the pitching gives up 8. Smh

      • Well, just let me walk around random hoods in Baltimore with my Yankees fitted. Fun for the whole family!

      • Epsilonicus

        Look, I got faith in the O’s to the end!!

      • cedriclathan

        Baseball is like golf, with running.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Ain’t nobody checking for you and beisbol Otis!

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Go Yankees.

    • I’m just glad Billy Beane did something reasonable for once and didn’t fall for that Tim Tebow side-show.

  • thasamiam

    Football as a culture is a sport that preaches and demands obedience, conformity, worship, and groupthink. For the most part the business and culture of football frowns upon and often punishes individual expression or thought. The NFL only tolerates individual expression because they realize it’s an entertainment product and needs those casual fans to maximize its product – something Major League Baseball continually fails to realize and/or too clueless and inept on how to incorporate those things to make it more popular. Ultimately, the NFL and football in general is much like America itself in that it likes Black folks as long as their performing for them, dancing, entertaining, and towing the company line. The second the players have opinions and take agency in a way the league is uncomfortable with, they are strongly rebuked. And like you Brandon, I’ve come to care much less about the NFL than I did when I was younger and I’m quite comfortable with that.

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