In the week before the 2014 NFL season kicked off, I noticed three different blogs of fairly high profile folks who state that they are quitting the NFL.
Why, yes. And guess what? Most of it is not even because of the Ray Rice debacle.
Jason Kotte is quitting the NFL.
Steve Almond is quitting football.
And even Pittsburgh’s own Virginia Montanez is breaking up with America’s game.
I admit, after doing a little reading, it might be easy to climb onboard and declare that, in light of the arguments made by those above, yes, I too, am quitting football. Comments like, “it is immoral to watch a sport that causes brain damage” (Almond) are fairly difficult to argue against. But something less atomic, such as, “I’m tired of having to explain to my kid what NFL player was arrested on any particular week and how it might affect his fantasy team” (Montanez) still raises the cackles of anyone who has been unexpectedly forced to explain to a child the world’s moral “gray” ground.
Cool. I’m game.
But what was I doing last Thursday? I was watching the Steelers-Ravens game on TV. Sure, I missed most of it (because: kids). But I had it on; I wanted to watch; I intended to be a witness to the smash-mouth spectacle presented by our modern day gladiators.
The Steelers lost. They were not just beaten, but tarred and feathered by the Ravens. The Black & Gold’s defense had more holes in it than Penn Ave. And you know, that might be the single thing, the one thing that helps me to quit the NFL. Not the abusive culture towards women that pops up every season; not the “slave-auction feel” to the NFL Combine (minute 9:24 in the audio); not the basic raping of local municipalities of land and tax revenue that the non-profit NFL garners when it plunders low income communities for shiny new tax-payer-purchased stadiums. I might quit the NFL simply because the team I like stinks. At least this season.
If that isn’t a good old fashioned brain washing, I don’t know what is. I think, America, we’ve been suckered. We should snap out of it.