The Stories I Don’t Want To Write About
Once you get to late May no NFL News is good news. From Jim Irsay’s cocktail of drugs, to over the top Michael Sam coverage, to Ray Rice’s legal troubles, to Josh Gordon and Robert Mathis being suspended it all stinks. There are no games to talk about this year & covering the league starts to seem like covering the principal’s office. It puts me in quite the pickle. On one hand I have to write about all of this mess that has wrapped around the NFL like a plague; but I don’t want to talk about it and I think many of the readers are sick of it. I have been trying to discuss football- its more fun to read about I would think, but its definitely more fun to write about. It looks like it will be a long offseason.
While we are on the subject of bad news lets get it all of the way. We will start with Indianapolis Colts owner, Jim Irsay. To be fair it does not take much for a Baltimore boy like myself to badmouth an Irsay. However he brought this one on himself. To drive under the influence of alcohol, OxyContin and other drugs is inexcusable.
All it takes to kick out an NBA owner is a slip of the tongue; all it would have taken for Irsay to kill someone was a slip of the wheel. For the NFL to only give him a month of rehab is an absolute joke. Roger Goodell is known for laying the hammer down on players for any incident large or small. It comes off as hypocritical to go so easy on Irsay.
The problem is this, Roger Goodell works for the owners. To lay the hammer down on Irsay would be bold. Irsay is not an enemy the commissioner wants to make. Self preservation will always trump doing the right thing. In the end the NFL is enabling and condoning the actions of the Colts owner.
The NFL suspended Josh Gordon for an entire season for smoking marijuana. There is public outcry about this. Marijuana is being decriminalized in many states. The suspension seems ridiculous but its not. Gordon is not a first time offender & was already suspended for two games. He gets the escalated punishment because he is a repeat offender. Its not the fact that he smoked pot, its the fact that he broke the rules and gets the standard punishment for his offense. It may not be fair but it does follow the established player conduct policy to the letter.
Keeping on the drug train, I have to go on a written rant. The National Football League is being sued by former players for illegally giving them drugs. I am sorry but I was not born yesterday. Players took pain killers and other drugs willingly. They depend on them to stay on the field. I cannot take this lawsuit seriously. Everyone knows the league’s drug practices are wrong. The problem is that the players play along. What a ridiculous money/relevance grab this lawsuit is…it’s beyond stupid.
The Ray Rice situation is an entirely different animal. He did something you just cannot do. He hit a woman and knocked he unconscious. This is an awful incident its just that simple. There is no good that we can take from Ray Rice’s actions.
I do however feel sorry for Ray Rice. Sometimes good people do bad things. Rice was a pillar in the community before the incident. His anti-bullying campaign is something that is truly important to him. Rice screwed up big time, but its a shame that people think of him as an awful person. There is no defending his mistake, but I will defend the man that he is. I believe in him and think this was a one time lapse of judgment.
There are a ton of stories that are not fun to write about in the offseason. I cannot ignore them, but I refuse to over blow them for selfish reasons. Think of this article as NFL spring cleaning. We have talked about it and gotten it over with. There is nothing else I can say that will change anything. These issues are not going away quietly but I will not indulge the point-and-blame masses. Here on Common Sense Football we will talk football first and nonsense second.