Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Down for the Count

Once again, the NFL (read: Roger Goodell) got it wrong. 

I went to the gym yesterday, which every TV (well, all 4) are always on an ESPN, most likely not the Ocho. 

I barely follow football for the teams in my home state or home town. Cincinnati is pretty much Kentucky so I don't really count them.  n

Since I get to the gym well before the sun rises, I rarely see any news before arriving, so I missed the Buffalo - Cincinnati game news where a young player up and had a cardiac arrest during the game. Tragic on any level, right? 

I don't think it's know if an actual play in which he made a tackle spurred the MI or if he had an (un)knowng underlying heart condition. And for this next part: it doesn't really matter. 

Medical teams did CPR on Damar Hamlin for nine minutes! That is not a short amount of time. From what I could tell, no commercials were taken so hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people watch this unfold in real time - including the powers that be in the NFL. 

I get the NFL is a business. A big one. Billions of dollars riding on just about any and every thing. This is why Goodell & Co have turned a blind eye to players (and owners) domestic violence, rape, murder, attempted murder, sex trafficking, dog fighting / killing and deadly brain injuries.

Players play a game that brings in tons of revenue. Any disruption causes the league and owners money - and lord fucking knows - you cannot have that. 

Ironically, the turned a different kind of blind eye to Black Lives Matter. They really didn't think (read:care) it's an issue.  And let's face it, a majority of players are black or mixed race and only a handful followed the Colin Kaepernick to take a knee for a silent protest. Clearly, their paychecks were more important than the lives of their own gender and race. 

There is a reason when you Gooooooogle Kaepernick, the first thing that comes up is "American civil rights activist".  Not former football player. 

But here's where the NFL failed: again. 

They had every fucking intention of finishing the game at hand. Advertising slots were sold, money had already (I'm guessing) exchanged hands. Dead air.  ....and worse, One Day at a Time reruns to fill the air time. While I'm sure Bonnie Franklin's estate needs the $$$$, really?  Finish the game? 

Yes, an hour after the player collapsed, the NFL postponed the game. Don't thank Goodell for that.  Players and Coaches not only refused to go back on the field, they contacted their unions, who supported their action. Goodell's hand was forced. He had no choice. 

Men are brutalizing other men on the field - and in this case (maybe) almost to death. For sport. For cash. It's a modern day Glad-He-Ate-Her.......minus the lions and Russell Crowe in a harness and breast plate. 

Goodell is great for business and the owners. Not so great for the folks on the field. Unless you're a rapist, sex traffiker, murder, attempted murder, dog fight owner, domestic abuser who gets away with your actions, where any other profession would have fired your fucking ass for those things. 

But for the non-felons, the NFL doesn't really give a fuck about you. Not all of you are a Rob Gronkowski getting national endorsements that eclipse your actual salary. I've seen the numbers, and after taxes and your agent fees - you're not making much of anything for the short time you're in the sport. Most of you are in debt after your signing bonus. Mostly because  you're really really bad with money. 

I hear people for Goodell to go, but why would he?  Players aren't pushing for anything. They're protected even from the law. Owners?  Hand over fist in $$$$.   But their employment practices are abhorrent. 

Maybe the union will step in for better conditions for the players and coaches. But it's the almighty dollar we are talking about here.  Much like Mr. Hamlin, I won't be holding my breath. 

Song by: OK Go


Old Lurker said...

Where would I get my sportsball news if I didn't read your blog?

What a sad story. I don't know about the inner workings. ESPN has a quote: "Vincent said that there was no discussion between him and commissioner Roger Goodell about a five-minute period for players to get warmed up and that resuming play did not cross their minds" so who knows what happened? It can be simultaneously true that the NFL is willing to let all kinds of terrible things go, but eventually did the right thing in this case.

Travel said...

A lot of closed head brain injuries in the name of entertainment.

James Dwight Williamson said...

Anything over 4 minutes isn’t usually good , hope he was intubated or had some oxygen instead of just compressions.