NFL: Reality TV?

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By Craig Cook

Ah yes, the NFL season is upon us. (I have just now realized this post is going to be on one of those ‘good ol days’ posts, so I apologize now.) Once upon a time, there would be discussions about football. The game. Defense. Offense. Yardage, rankings, player stats, and all the nitty gritty details like that. But these days, I hear very little about the game. We get served the drama.

This guy beat his wife (allegedly). That owner drove drunk. That guy got drunk, doesn’t remember eating pills, threw a bunch of money around at a horse race, and got suspended. I hear more about Goodell and the fines he administers before any analyst is ever asked about which quarterback is starting. Fines are too high for this guy, but too low for the other. As a matter of fact, when he announced his retirement, James Harrison was fined ten grand… or maybe not, but my internal Steeler fan digresses.

And this year, there is a new wrinkle. We GOTTA know where the gay guy is! Oh yeah! Drafted. Played. Got cut. Took a physical. Got signed to a practice squad. And you want to know something? You would have never heard a damn thing if that guy never announced he was gay. *And please don’t take this as some gay-bash post, because it’s actually quite the contrary. 

I once was quite the homophobe. I was an ignorant stupid kid- I thought it was ‘icky’. But I grew up, educated myself, opened my mind, and took time to understand. I also wasn’t running a media outlet… Heck, even these days, there was a local Miami news talking head (a decorated former player, nonetheless) who called this young man, through some sort of Freudian slip- “Michael GAY”. What the F?

These days? Here is my take. Let TMZ discuss what Micheal Sam is wearing, who he is dating, and if he gets his own shower stall. Because if you really like sports, or football for that matter- you want to know the stats first. As a matter of fact, I could really give a flying banana crap about which guy did what, and I could give even less of a crap who is doing what to whom behind closed doors. Just give me the data. How is MY team going to do. Do we have a CHANCE at the trophy?

So let the talking heads do their talking  (like some big circle jerk of internal football drama, each one fluffing the other). I’ll watch the games, and cheer my team. But I certainly won’t be making mental notes as to who is gay, who drove drunk, who ate a pill and didn’t remember. I’ll be bitching about the bad coaching, and the terrible officiating.

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