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 Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)

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jak341

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PostSubject: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyMon Sep 25, 2017 9:31 pm

Warning: this may come off of as long winded, rambling, and perhaps even opinionated. If you choose to stay with it, it may lead to some interesting discussion.

I've watched football since I was 10 or younger. Growing up at my parent's house, I can remember Sunday lunch being in front of the TV instead of the dining room table. It was tradition: a plate of pasta sitting around the living room table and Steelers Football. I can remember asking my Dad about which players were still on the team that were part of the 70's Steel Curtain. I can remember my Dad bitching at the TV at Coach Noll, yelling at why he was running it "up the gut" in every play. I can remember the passing of the torch from Coach Noll to Coach Cowher. I've been a Steelers fan, and football fan, for pretty much my entire life.

Fast forward to today. The same traditions hold: pasta at the parent's house and Steelers football. Some of the faces have changed, and there are additions to the table too, but the tradition has pretty much held up. Except, it wasn't really isn't the same. My Dad will still watch some of the games, and my Mother completely lost interest when Hines Ward "retired". So mainly, it was me watching the game. I even found myself somewhat uninterested at times (and it has nothing to do with protests or the like). I've been thinking, what has changed about the game that is causing me not to be interested anymore? Here is the list I came up with.


  1. Instant Replay. I was a HUGE fan of getting instant replay back into the game. Finally, I thought, we would be able to have a well officiated game, where even if an official makes a mistake, it could be corrected. I liked it for the longest time. However, this past Saturday night during the Penn State game, something dawned on me. There was a booth review of a Barkley run. The play was under review to see if Barkley stepped out of bounds. I realized we were looking to see if a single blade of grass was between Barkey's foot and the white chalk. Another example was on Sunday. The officials were reviewing a catch by someone (cant remember the exact play). I realized we were looking at high speed, HD camera to see if the football laces rotated in the slightest bit to determine if the WR maintained control. My thought was: this is really ruining the flow and thrill of the game. How many plays in history would have been overturned or changed due to instant replay? How many Super Bowls would have had different participants? My point is: it is taking away from the human aspect of the game. It's starting to feel robotic, and even a bit absurd. Which leads me to...

  2. Officiating. Officiating has been downright awful the past years. Maybe because we have 4k TVs with cameras and technology to boot. We're seeing things that the officiating crew cannot down on the field in real time. For example, at the end of the Bears game during the "first" RB run, there was a block in the back. That missed call completely changed OT. We're looking at laces turning in slow motion replay, but we're missing blatant blocks in the back that change the outcome of the game? Also, there are too many calls that overturn big plays. For example, one of the Bears RB had a very nice run during the midpoint of the game. Before the play was even over, I said to myself, "There is going to be a flag". And there was! It seems like every dynamic play, there is a high probably of a flag coming out. Dare I say, it seems if the officials are saying, there was a big play, there had to be a penalty somewhere to call. Perhaps the penalties are due to...

  3. Quality of play in general. I watched the PSU game on Saturday. That game was downright abysmal. The offense looked like a Techmo Bowl offense from the 90's game. Since college has [mostly] gone away from getting plays ready to the pros to an arcade game, it is nearly unwatchable. Merryl Hodge was on the local radio show last year. This discussion stuck in my head. He was saying why he sent his son to BYU. BYU is one of the few remaining colleges that teaches a QB to be a QB: how to read defenses, audible, call plays, etc. Other schools, including PSU, are simply having the QB call back to the OC and the OC is calling the play in. They are literally video game characters. The spread offense is popular in college for a reason, the defense simply cannot stop it. Perhaps it will one day, but it isn't today. This leads into another article I read somewhere. Players coming out of college are not prepared at all for a pro style offense. Rookies are needing 2 seasons before they get the fundamentals down. It seems like there is so much sloppy play in the NFL today. Is it more penalties are being called, or has the quality of play declined? Hard to say. But I know, the games are not as enjoyable as they once were.

  4. CTE. The Arron Hernandez article last week was really insightful. For those who didn't read it, Arron's brain was autopsied. His brain had degenerated from CTE to a level of a 67 year old with CTE. Yes, he was committed a crime, was sentenced, and died in jail. But what if CTE did impact his decision making and emotional centers? Is it possible that a normal person could become a killer from CTE? There was an article from Saturday I read. In that article, the author was looking for reaction to the Hernandez article. Few players that would comment on the article, but some reported anonymously that each and every person in the locker rooms were aware of the findings. Are we losing quality players to early retirement?

    So, this ties into bullet 3. I understand player safety, and how it needs to be taken seriously. However, the way it is being handled how is seriously degrading play. There is going to be contact, and some will be helmet to helmet. Players are not going to turn on a dime at full speed to avoid contact. For QBs, you can't tackle them high, you can't tackle them low. How are you supposed to hit them in full speed?

    Also related, I can attest to the fact that youth participation is way down. My sister in law pulled her sons from football due to CTE concerns. In years past at my daughter's school, the pee wee football had an A, B, and C team. There were that many kids who wanted to play football. Today? They have an A team. The kids just aren't playing it. This is going to catch up to high schools, then colleges, then the pros in the years to come.

    Player safety is paramount, but at what point does the game quality decline?

  5. Stadiums and pricing. It is me, or have ticket prices exploded? It's nearly impossible for an average family of 4 to go to a game on a Sunday. Prices of tickets, concessions, parking, etc. are simply too expensive. Not to mention, the recent relocation of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. Especially the Chargers. The S.D. fanbase was loyal to that team. Why did they move? Because the people didn't want to publicly fund a brand new stadium. It shows just how little regard the owners do have for the fans, especially when money is involved. Years of tradition were built up with those teams, and it was ripped away overnight. Same goes with the Browns and Colts of old. And yes, I do feel bad for the Browns fans. They had a solid, good team there that was ripped away. They haven't been the same since.

    What's worse is the Super Bowl. Let's face it: the average fan cannot afford to go see their team. Nuff said.



So, why am I typing this? I really wanted to see if anyone else feels the same way. I can't be the only one thinking this., Something has changed in the NFL, and it has nothing to do with protests. It has to do with the game itself. Maybe I'm getting crotchety in my old age, but something just isn't right anymore. It is starting to feel less and less like a game, and more of a big business that will do anything to increase profits and dollars at any cost.
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Wallace108

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyTue Sep 26, 2017 2:27 am

Good points, jak. Judging by your time references, I think we're about the same age. And like you, I don't view football the same way I did when I was younger. And also like you, I've put a lot of thought into why that is. What I've come up wirh is slightly different than the things you mentioned, but perhaps you can relate.

While I'm still a diehard Steelers fan, about 7 or 8 years ago I noticed my general interest in football declining. There was a time when I could name most of the starters on every team. Now, I'm lucky if I can name two or three players on most teams. I used to watch every game that was on TV. Now I usually only watch Steelers games. I attributed it to getting older and having a family and more responsibilties. I just didn't have the time to follow it like I used to. But the more I thought about it, I found another culprit ... the Internet.

Before the Internet, football wasn't a year-round sport. There wasn't a constant flow of information. After the season ended, there wasn't a whole lot of news until the draft. And then there was another dry spell until training camp started. Even during the season, information was hard to come by. I'd look in the paper every day hoping to see a Steelers story. I devoured everything I found because each story felt like opening a present on Christmas morning. Football was special because there was a small window of enjoyment every year. But now because of the Internet, there's and endless flow of information. It's now a year-round sport. And it doesn't feel as special. As an adult, I still love Christmas, but if every day was Christmas, it would lose the value of anticipation. I'm inundated with so much football information every day, even during the offseason,  that at some point I started tuning out. It's not as special anymore. The irony is that with an endless supply of information at my fingertips, I know less now than I did when information was hard to come by. I also don't care about it as much.  It's true what they say ... you can have too much of a good thing.

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Fire Arians

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyTue Sep 26, 2017 2:33 am

I agree with that it seems like a business now.

And with your points about quality of play, I don't know what it is, maybe the game was more fascinating to me as a kid, but it just seems like I'm not watching the same game anymore. I started watching football in 1990 and became a fan of the Steelers after watching a documentary on the Steel Curtain, and falling in love with the whole persona of what made the Steelers, the Steelers. (I'm from Hawaii, so we have to "pick" a team. And I didn't want to hop on the 49ers bandwagon at the time, cause cheering for the perrenial winning team seemed boring)

However, it seems like we're not even allowed to play "Steelers Football" anymore. It's a shame what's going on with CTE and I don't want to see players ending up messed up for life, but let's be real, those brutal hits and physical play is what made the Steelers what they were! And I loved it! Seeing Ryan Clark clean people out for trying to catch passes over the middle, seeing Hines Ward deck people on crackbacks made my week. Now? It's like I'm not even watching the same game anymore. As much as I love AB and respect him as a player, he'll never have the same mystique as Hines Ward ever did as a player to me. The physical play is something I absolutely craved as a fan, and it's ultimately gone from the sport.

I mean it makes me sad to think this is gone forever from the sport






To be honest, I'd never miss a game between the 1990-2005 years. But ever since the Hines Ward rule, something inside me died and less and less over time, I've been excited about the game in general. It's like they're not allowed to play the game anymore. I mean I'll be a liar if I say I'm not watching the game anymore, but let's just say I enjoyed it more when players were allowed to play. And yes I understand player safety, but these guys get paid big bucks for the risk they take playing the game. If they don't think the risk is worth it, then get out and let the real men play.
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stlrtruck

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyTue Sep 26, 2017 8:48 am

You're not alone, and while I still love to watch my Steelers, I'm not enamored with them as I once was.

Maybe it's the game I love isn't the game I watch.
Maybe it's that I have other responsibilities as a husband and father which are a higher priority to me than to a team who doesn't know I exist except for within the confines of being a fan of the team - but they still don't know me.

It certainly has to do with the things you posted above.

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IowaSteeler927

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyWed Sep 27, 2017 2:06 am

To just kind of touch on the topics of CTE and Officiating...

The way I view CTE may seem callous or insensitive but I think it's a hazard of the job. When you play football you know that running around and hitting people can get you hurt, especially when it comes to your head and brain. I had concussions, they suck, but I don't blame football for it, I blame myself for choosing to play a full contact sport in which I knew that they could happen. I don't blame my High School, or my coaches, I chose to play knowing full well what the risks were to my health and well-being. Even knowing what I do now about CTE... I'd still play football if I had the opportunity or was in the shape required to do so.

I think of it this way. When I was a fireman, I knew exactly what the job entailed. I knew the hazards that were involved. I knew I was going to be breathing in chemicals and toxins from fires that could greatly effect my health and wellbeing even years after being in the service. I knew that I always ran the risk of getting seriously hurt, or even killed. I still did the job, because I enjoyed it, and because someone has to do it. Same with my 13 year correctional career, I know the risks involved with working around the worst people society has to offer, but someone has to do it. I could do any job, but I chose these jobs. Nobody forced me into them, and I am compensated somewhat fairly for my work. Aaron Hernandez's family suing the NFL over CTE would be like me suing the Fire Department if I got cancer, or the Sheriff's Office if I got hurt and they did everything the right way in helping me. It's ridiculous. Henandez knew the difference between right and wrong and was making poor decisions well before he got into the NFL. Football and CTE simply isn't to blame for his actions in my honest opinion.

NFL Players are often compensated in such a manner that they could easily retire after playing for only a short period, even the practice squad guys make more in a week than I make in like 1-2 months time. They knew what they were getting themselves into since they started playing High School football. They make the conscious decision to play the game, and to play it for an extended period of time, and they are more than fairly compensated for doing so. They can retire at any time they see fit. Not a lot of people get a job that affords them these luxuries. So while CTE is an issue, and one that I definitely think they can continue to study and work on lessening the effects of it, I don't really see it as something that should kill the sport off or anything like that. Football can and should remain a physical sport, but I think we can definitely work on ways of making it safer. It'll never again be what it was in the 70's with guys getting clotheslined, body slammed, etc... But I still think it's fun and entertaining to watch.

As far as CTE being used as an excuse for a player committing crimes... I'm not with that. Guys like Bradshaw, and and Franco Harris played football when you could get the absolute crap beaten out of you during a game. They don't go around committing murders, or other crimes for that matter. While CTE can obviously effect one's mental state, I don't feel as though it's a viable excuse for someone doing something overtly wrong in nature. I don't believe it effects one's abilities to make a choice for themselves, or that it takes away your sense of what is right, and what is wrong. I do think it obviously effects your mental health, and I think that there needs to be services and help available for people who've played the game and have CTE. I think we're working towards that.

As for officiating, that's one thing that drives me nuts about the modern game. They over-officiate everything. They will nitpick the smallest of things, and then ignore the most blatant penalties that effect the outcome of a football game. We saw this last weekend when Haden and Burns were blatantly held on the plays that lead up to the Bears winning in overtime. These weren't ticky tack holds, they were tackles by offensive players that can and should've been called, especially considering that it was overtime, and they definitely helped determine the outcome of the game. I mean it's ridiculous that Von Miller gets flagged for faking out Tyrod Taylor on helping him up, but Joe Haden gets flat tackled which allowed Tarik Cohen to get a huge rushing gain and there's no flag for that? The officiating is ludicrously inconsistent anymore and it's frustrating to watch. It seems like it only gets worse and worse every year. The officials need to call the penalties early and set the tone for the game so that the players know what's expected. Instead you have some crews that penalize anything and everything, and other crews that let a lot of things slide. There needs to be more consistency across the board.

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SteelerFreak58

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptySat Dec 15, 2018 10:06 pm

They should simply make all the players sign a waiver stating they understand all of the risks playing tackle football can have both short term and long term and any unforeseen future damaging effects.

They also need to come clean about any future damage they find and be totally transparent. They should also provide there own long term players disability programming.

After that let the defense play defense stop the hit to the head BS or lowering the head etc etc. Stop the hand to the head shit on QBs or all the ticky tack roughing the passer bullshit as well.
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solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyThu Jan 24, 2019 10:20 am

This may not be popular but I believe in player safety. I don't think they should be allowed to pick up a QB or WR and slam him head first into the turf like Mel Blount used to do. He showed after the Blount rule was passed he could still stop both the run and the pass.

I don't believe there is a place in the game for guys like Burfict who intentionally try to end careers. I'm for defending defenseless receivers. But to what point? You call it here and not there and this has to do with piss poor officiating. There is epic inconsistency in the game today to the point where it looks fake.

I also agree these guys know what that signed up for and are making more in one year than players from the 70s made their entire career.

IMO any penalty called should fall under 3 categories.
1) Did the penalty committed give that team an unfair advantage? IE: PI,Holding,False start etc.
2) Was the penalty so that it could cause the offended to be injured and leave the game? IE: hit on an engaged player,Facemask,clip etc.
3) Was the foul flagrant with intent to cause serious long term injury or even end someone's career. IE: Vonteze Burfict.

I'm 63 and have been a diehard Steeler fan for over 45 years. The game is all but unrecognizable to what it once was. The day I heard that Mike Webster died I cried. I'll admit it. Then to find out CTE killed him,Justin Strelczik and Terry Long it hit home for me.
WHAT PISSES ME OFF TO NO END IS THE LEAGUE DECIDED TO FUCK THE GAME UP UNDER THE DISGUISE OF PLAYER SAFETY ALL WHILE LOOKING TO PROFIT EVEN MORE FROM IT.SEE "NFL'S GREATEST HITS"
If the officiating was consistent that would be different but it isn't to the point where it looks like they're fixing games. SEE THE PI NO CALL X 2 in the Rams/Saints game.
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effyou515



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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptySat Jan 26, 2019 6:01 am

I know what you mean Dave with the bad officiating and group TD celebrations the NFL is getting more like WWF wrestling, fake as hell.

hoping college football doesn't go down the tubes like the NFL is heading plus they have priced me out of the market with tickets and merchandise. it's not that I can't afford it its the owners want the taxpayer pay for their stadiums players bitching about being under paid (some even reference slavery, never read about slaves worth multi million dollars in the history books) I just watch the games now and don't buy shit with an official NFL logo. used to like pro football over college football but for me in the last 5 years I now prefer college over pro football.

also superbowl ticket prices are dropping so I guess I'm not the only person who is starting to think this way.

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyMon Feb 11, 2019 7:17 am

@effyou515 wrote:
I know what you mean Dave with the bad officiating and group TD celebrations the NFL is getting more like WWF wrestling, fake as hell.

hoping college football doesn't go down the tubes like the NFL is heading plus they have priced me out of the market with tickets and merchandise. it's not that I can't afford it its the owners want the taxpayer pay for their stadiums players bitching about being under paid (some even reference slavery, never read about slaves worth multi million dollars in the history books) I just watch the games now and don't buy shit with an official NFL logo. used to like pro football over college football but for me in the last 5 years I now prefer college over pro football.

also superbowl ticket prices are dropping so I guess I'm not the only person who is starting to think this way.

Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) 3405992308

I think they're close to pricing themselves out of the market. IMO they have exceeded market value already. When I watch the Steelers loose to inferior teams my one consolation is that it could be worse. I could have paid good money to watch a bad performance. Comparing themselves to slaves is absolutely preposterous. Just as them comparing themselves to gladiators or warriors. I mean seriously. Their cause is not life or death. Their cause stops at winning the SB. Then they rinse and try to repeat.
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kirklandrules

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptySun Mar 03, 2019 12:09 pm

Great thoughts on a very interesting topic. I believe there are several combined factors attributing to the NFL losing it's mystique, many of which have already been discussed. There are two things for me that can be added to the list.


  1. Life seems to have gotten busier. We are hooked on electronics like our parents' generation could never understand. Hell, my dad never called a friend to chat about a game currently on t.v. (just imagine a rotary phone and you'll remember the '70s and earlier). Now, I have more than one friend texting me during games, even about games they may be watching but I don't care about. In our parents' generation, watching the t.v. was a great way to bond as a family. Good luck getting your kid to actually watch the game while sitting right in front of the t.v. My son spends more time watching his fantasy stats than the game (not really, but it sometimes seems like it). It feels like we've become a society that can't sit still for the duration of a game and enjoy each other's company.

  2. Similar to #1 above, the players have found avenues to tell us all about themselves. Part of the Steelers mystique was that we only heard from them on rare occasions. Hell, Lambert would tell you the other team was made up of a bunch of sissies, and that would be it for a year. Now we get to hear Bell and Brown say things that make us wonder if they were born with CTE. It's kinda like that first crush you had as a kid. She (or he) was perfect when you first laid eyes on them. The more you got to know them, the more they slide off the pedestal (I slide down a few pedestals every time I opened my mouth on a date too). Players are no longer these mysterious guys that are studs on the grid iron. They open their mouths about so many things that we realize they aren't special beyond a few physical capabilities. Hats off to the old school players who keep their opinions to themselves. Kneeling and all the other protests find their way into this bucket. I just don't care what you think outside the sport you play fellas.


Anyways, that's my 2 cents on the matter.
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solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think)   Why The NFL, And Maybe Football In General, Is Losing Me (And It Isn't For The Reasons You Think) EmptyTue Mar 05, 2019 11:55 am

@kirklandrules wrote:
Great thoughts on a very interesting topic. I believe there are several combined factors attributing to the NFL losing it's mystique, many of which have already been discussed. There are two things for me that can be added to the list.


  1. Life seems to have gotten busier. We are hooked on electronics like our parents' generation could never understand. Hell, my dad never called a friend to chat about a game currently on t.v. (just imagine a rotary phone and you'll remember the '70s and earlier). Now, I have more than one friend texting me during games, even about games they may be watching but I don't care about. In our parents' generation, watching the t.v. was a great way to bond as a family. Good luck getting your kid to actually watch the game while sitting right in front of the t.v. My son spends more time watching his fantasy stats than the game (not really, but it sometimes seems like it). It feels like we've become a society that can't sit still for the duration of a game and enjoy each other's company.

  2. Similar to #1 above, the players have found avenues to tell us all about themselves. Part of the Steelers mystique was that we only heard from them on rare occasions. Hell, Lambert would tell you the other team was made up of a bunch of sissies, and that would be it for a year. Now we get to hear Bell and Brown say things that make us wonder if they were born with CTE. It's kinda like that first crush you had as a kid. She (or he) was perfect when you first laid eyes on them. The more you got to know them, the more they slide off the pedestal (I slide down a few pedestals every time I opened my mouth on a date too). Players are no longer these mysterious guys that are studs on the grid iron. They open their mouths about so many things that we realize they aren't special beyond a few physical capabilities. Hats off to the old school players who keep their opinions to themselves. Kneeling and all the other protests find their way into this bucket. I just don't care what you think outside the sport you play fellas.


Anyways, that's my 2 cents on the matter.

Very good points. Back in the day even though players had opinions they were almost always short and to the point. Lambert when asked about QB safety said "I think they ought to put dresses on them".
Even coaches were easy. When Noll was asked how he felt about the Steelers making their first SB he said; "it's our next game"!

Football players can use their notoriety for good but now too many use it to feed their egos.
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