This post isn’t about running or fitness here in NYC. It’s about my other love- football. I’ve debated whether or not I wanted to comment on these playoff games, but then I was talking to my mom today and she said, “I just love this sport so much, I hate to see it becoming this,” and so I decided I should share my thoughts.
I didn’t become a fan of the NFL until 2009 when I lived in Charlotte. I always found it a bit over the top and very much favored college football (which I still do). However, living in Charlotte the city loved the Panthers so I started to too. I also watched the Jets on Hard Knocks in 2010 and fell in love with Rex Ryan- seriously. I think he’s hilarious. So anyways, that began my relationship with the NFL that has grown each year.
This is the first regular season NFL game I ever attended. I was in Philly watching the Jets play and it was freezing! I must say it was a blast. Like my Revis jersey? The first, and only, jersey I’ve ever owned.
Anyways, back to the playoffs. Read this first if you have no idea what I’m talking about. I was cheering for the Bengals yesterday because A) I don’t like the Steelers and B) A.J. Green. (UGA players 10,000% affect what NFL teams I like). I was so excited when Green got a touchdown near the end of the game. He’s an incredible player, and I think a pretty stand up guy, so it’s been really fun to see him succeed in the NFL. As the game continued things got nasty. So nasty. The hit Burfict gave Brown was straight up scary. It was like it almost snapped Antonio’s neck- just terrifying. I’ve long dreamed of having a son who plays football. I’d be the most intense mom with a huge button photo of my son. I’ll admit it, I’d probably get some evil looks from other parents with my obnoxious cheering. But the more and more I watch this sport the more I fear for the future of it and those who play it. Maybe I’ll settle with being a golf mom and clap really loudly when my kid makes a putt. That sounds like a blast.
Back to the Bengals/Steelers game- not a few seconds after the nasty hit, Pacman Jones (though I guess he’s back to being called Adam) got penalized for yelling at the other teams coach. What?! How disrespetful can you get?! I understand maybe the coach was somewhat in the wrong too. I understand the stakes were high in this game, and with that the emotions were high, but you have to be smart. These guys are so hot-headed they don’t think at all before they’re being so dumb and yelling at everyone and letting the other team get 15 yards closer to a game winning field goal. What a disgrace. Imagine if you were about to close a multi-million dollar deal at work but you started yelling at your client. Not only would the deal not go through, but also I’m pretty sure you’d be fired, right? While I was watching this game I looked up Pacman’s history. What a rap sheet. It’s a wonder this guy isn’t in jail. (Of course this is a pattern for NFL players- that’s for a whole other post). When I was a teacher I had so many 12 year old students who wanted to be NBA or NFL football players when they grew up. What awful role models some of these players are to these kids! Then there’s the coaches. What kind of coach lets his team get so out of control and then doesn’t bench the guys? Again with the work analogy- I’m pretty sure if you were managing a team that performed/behaved in an equivalent manner you’d be out of a job. It’s totally shocking that Marvin Lewis may not get fired (especially with his record). It just doesn’t make sense. It really made my heart hurt as I watched this unfold last night. It hurt that a sport I love so much could be so disappointing, classless, and disgraceful.
Thank goodness for guys like Calvin Johnson. Sure he’s a former Yellow Jacket but he also makes quite a pair with my pal Stafford, so while I really don’t want him to retire I respect him. He sees the big picture. He sees that he’s a dad and has responsibility to his family. Maybe finishing his education is the way to go. He also has done what many haven’t and managed his finances well enough to be able to potenially retire at 30. So props to him. Now that’s the kind of guy I’d want my kid to admire.
I must see UGA win a National Championship in my lifetime. I’d love to see the Panthers win the Super Bowl (maybe this year)! No matter what, I can’t imagine an August-February without watching College Gameday and college games Saturday, and NFL games Thursday, Sunday and Monday. It would just stink. So I sure hope someone can figure out this mess that has become of the NFL before it trickles down and the whole sport becomes extinct.