NFL Hypocrisy

The hypocrisy in the NFL has hit an all time high. All we the fans have heard about for the past 2 plus years was PLAYER SAFETY. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been fining people at an alarming rate and suspending players for where people have been getting hit. Defenders literally have a smaller hit zone than MLB players have a strike zone.

So what does good ol’ Goodell want to do to remedy the situation?

Adding two more regular season games.

Expand the number of playoff teams (Water down the playoffs)

Now he wants to add more Thursday night games.

All 3 of these things will only hurt the game and the product of the game.

It’s a ludicrous thought to think by doing these things player’s will not be hurt more. Come playoff time do you really want to see your team playing a good majority of 2nd stringers and guys off the streets?

Injuries are inevitable in this game but doing these proposed things will CERTAINLY mean more injuries and high profiled players being on Injured Reserve.

If you’re an NFL fan you can’t like what Goodell is looking to do to the game.

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Roger Goodell- Has Too Much Power

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is far too powerful than what is best for the league and the players in it. His ability to suspend players for any amount of time is ridiculous. The discrepancies in the suspensions he has handed down is far and wide. He keeps pushing for the league to go to an 18 game regular season schedule which is absolute bull. It will water down the season and make having even a remotely healthy team next to impossible. Then he keeps pushing for a franchise in London. There are a million reasons that’s a terrible idea but the most obvious one is no player born and bred in the United States of America dreamed of playing NFL football in the United Kingdom.

Both the 18 game schedule and the London franchise is all about one thing, more money. I just hate to hear these things because I have seen first hand how a league can get too big for itself and ultimately wind up not generating the money they once did. Heck it’s already happening people much rather watch the game on their HD television where they can buy a 12 pack for roughly the same cost as 1 beer at the actual stadium.

I have to blame the NFLPA though when it comes to how much power Goodell has, they should have fought for an independent third-party to review all suspensions and fines but they backed down because the players didn’t want to lose any game checks. Now Goodell and the NFLPA are in a fight over HGH testing. They seemingly had a deal until Goodell decided he did not want an independent third-party to go over the hows. whens, and the punishments if a player is caught using human growth hormones.

I understand Goodell is the owner’s puppet but I believe his ego is highly involved in everything that comes up in the league.

If he knows what’s best for the NFL and himself he will look to get Los Angeles a team or two and finally end the 18 game garbage. If not he may become the man who ruined the NFL.

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NFL Training Camp- Shattered Dreams (Literally)

If you seen tonight’s episode of ‘Hard Knocks‘, you seen what happened to undrafted free agent defensive tackle Larry Black. On a play in practice he was being blocked his cleat got caught, he got leg whipped on accident by a teammate and broke his leg and dislocated his ankle all at once. Now he may be able to come back from the injury but it’s a long shot at best.

I’m writing this piece because it brings me back to training camp last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. A young man from my hometown was on the team WR Ronald Johnson. He had this exact same injury last year, as Black did this year.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Ronald-Johnson-carted-off-practice-field-with-apparent-ankle-injury.html

This was probably the most talent kid to come from Muskegon, Michigan since Curtis Adams. Ronald, also known as, RoJo was recruited by EVERYBODY. Michigan, Michigan State, LSU, Florida, Alabama, ect. RoJo ended up playing for the University of Southern California. Played his full 4 years for the Trojans and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011. They cut him and he was picked up by Philadelphia almost immediately, He spent the season on the practice squad and really put in the work to make the 53 man roster in 2012. Sadly I doubt he’ll ever fulfill his NFL dreams. Being a wide receiver your legs are your livelihood. I don’t know as a fact but I’m guessing football is no longer an option for Ronald but he’s a good young man and got his degree and I’m sure he’ll be a great asset to whatever community he chooses to live in.  It’s the tough reality of the NFL and the injuries that come along from it.

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NFL’s 5 Brightest Stars (Non QB’s)

 
Both Wr’s are extremely talented play-makers who can simply take over games. These two guys are so similar its uncanny. Both are team guys, both play on bad teams, neither has a DIVA BONE IN THEIR BODIES, both are very humble and prefer to stay out of the spotlight. As a Lions fan I’m partial to Johnson but I can’t honestly rank one higher than the other.

 
Simply the best running back to come along since LaDanian Tomlinson in his prime. Seems like a nice kid and most definitely one of the hardest working professional athletes in all of sports.
3. J. J. Watt
Since his last season at the University of Wisconsin Watt has continued to get better in all aspects of his game. Last year he led the league with 20.5 QB sacks. 16 passes defended and an astounding 23 tackles for loss. To play the pass and run so very well is uniquely rare. Entering only his 3rd season what he may be able to accomplish is mind-boggling.

Peterson may not have the numbers of a Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman but he is 5 times as valuable. This kid can literally do it all. Defense, Special Teams, and Offense. He has improved tremendously from year on to year two. This season new coach Bruce Arians is going to install a package on offense to get this play-maker on the field.  Last year he was matched up on the oppositions best WR and more than held his own. He’s a threat every time he lines up to return a punt too.

Willis the most complete and best linebacker since Ray Lewis is the heart and soul of the 49ers defense and probably the team overall. He tackles, defends passes, intercepts passes, forces fumbles. He was a one man wrecking crew until San Francisco started surrounding him with talent like NaVarro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Dashon Goldson, etc.

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How The Patriots Went Wrong

The New England Patriots for about the last decade have been the organization everybody else in the NFL looked up to. Well that has changed and dramatically but there’s a key turning point the Patriots took that led them to this road where they are today.

Starting in 2004 the Patriots brought in Corey Dillon who had a reputation in the league as a bad guy,bad teammate . Now he was never in trouble with the law, he was seen as a bad guy mainly because the team he played for his entire career until the trade to New England was the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals sucked and he was really their only true star player and the losing took a toll on him.

While a member of the Patriots he helped lead the team to a Championship and did well there because even if they didn’t win multiple Championships with him there, they were competitive more than the Bengals could say.

Then three years later the Patriots brought in Randy Moss. While Moss had one issue with a traffic cop, like Dillon, he was looked at as just a bad guy, bad teammate in NFL circles. Unlike he previous teams Moss was professional as a member of the Patriots and productive too. While he never did win a Championship as a Patriot this began the mantra, “The Patriot Way”.

Also included in “The Patriot Way”, was trading guys in their prime or not re-signing guys who had been very good players for them. Richard Seymour, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, are all examples of this. The Patriots always did one thing right though, they drafted the right guys. They drafted football players who really cared about nothing else but the game.

In 2010 their draft approach took a different turn. Instead of taking solid players who loved the game, they started taking risks. They drafted 3 Florida Gators all with plenty of talent and a lot of warnings and red flags as well. They drafted Jermaine Cunningham, Aaron Hernandez, and Brandon Spikes.

In 2012, Cunningham was suspended for violating the NFL performance enhancing substances policy. In 2010, Spikes was suspended four games (the remainder of the 2010 regular season) for a violation of the NFL’s banned substances policy. Brandon Spikes reputation in New England is not very good, according to Tom Curran, Patriots beat writer.

In the 2012 draft the Patriots took another guy many teams had removed from their draft boards because of his trouble with the law. Alfonzo Dennard was a highly ranked cornerback going into the 2012 draft but his talent was overlooked by most because 3 days before the draft he allegedly punched an officer at a bar. He was ultimately found guilty of doing so and was sentenced to 30 days in jail in 2013 to be served in 2014. On July 11, 2o13 he was arrested for suspicion on DUI, a whole three months into his 24 month probation.

It’s one thing to bring in a guy who is thought of as a “bad teammate”, it’s entirely different to bring in guys with extensive criminal pasts and expect them to continue “The Patriot Way”.

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Aaron Hernandez- The Picture Gets Clearer

Seemingly every day that passes the news for, the former New England Patriots Tight End, Aaron Hernandez just keeps getting worse.

How does it get worse than 1st degree murder charges? Being the prime suspect in a double homicide, that’s how.

Hernandez is now under investigation for a double murder in July of 2012, in Boston. According to reports the double homicide happened when an SUV,with Rhode Island plates, pulled up alongside the car both were stopped at a stoplight. Then gunfire from the SUV riddled the car killing both the driver and passenger and wounding another passenger.

It all stems from a brawl that the two men killed were involved in with a group Hernandez was with. Apparently Odin Lloyd, the man Hernandez is charged with killing in “execution style”, knew about the 2012 killings and was talking with people Hernandez did not like. Thus giving the Prosecution a clear motive for Lloyd’s killing.

The amount of involvement Hernandez had, if any, in the 2012 double homicide case is still very unknown. Was he the driver? The gunman? Or just a passenger?

One thing is certain. Aaron Hernandez is going to have his hands full to ever see the freedom he once had.

Is Hernandez a cold-blooded psychopathic killer? Is he just a dumb ass?  I don’t know for sure.

What I do know is people like Geraldo Rivera need to shut their mouths. Rivera on FOX News went on about the NFL having a “gang culture”. That’s pure bull. He didn’t paint with a broad brush, he opened the paint can and just threw it against the wall. There are roughly 1.600 NFL players. How many Aaron Hernandez’ have we had? One. It’s just like any other profession you have some bad people but even the bad one’s aren’t killers.

I didn’t hear Rivera on this soapbox when O.J. Simpson was on trial. MOST athletes are from inner cities and crime and gang ridden places. Most of the time the kids who have good athletic prospects weed themselves out by either going all in, in the gang life or just letting sports fall by the wayside altogether far before they start receiving any letters or calls from college’s.

So there is no “gang culture” in the NFL and Rivera and other media types are simply flapping their jaws with zero facts to back up their claims and off the cuff comments.

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NFL in London

So according to  numerous reports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is dead set on London having an actual franchise. Sure they sell out the game or two they host now but will they do it 8 times a season for years to come? What would entice a free agent to live and play in London? How would the logistics work? These are just a few of many questions surrounding this topic.

Oh by the way we still have no team in Los Angeles. L.A. is and has been the NFL’s power play to teams “needing” new stadiums or stadium upgrades. They don’t want a team in L.A. they want the just continue to dangle that carrot, Minnesota anyone?

I just don’t see an NFL franchise in London working for several reasons but the main one is interest. American football is called “American Football” for a reason, soccer, or football to the rest of the world is THE SPORT. The NFL will find this out if in fact they do start a London franchise. The NFL is not a global sport, never has been and never will be. So improve the product you already have instead of looking to expand to a place that really nobody wants you to.