You no doubt have heard of the current mess in the NFL over violence. Not violence on the field. The violence of some players off the field. They have been caught beating their wives. And thumping their kids.
My question is: Who cares?
Do the NFL team owners care? Well, sure, if this violence affects the TV ratings. If sponsors pull out. If it hits their pocketbooks, yeah, they care. But only then. After all, this violence is hardly new. They did little about it until it threatened their fortunes.
Do the sponsors care about the violence? Only if this is comic opera. They care about their brands.
Do the colleges care? The ones that act as minor leagues for the NFL. Nah. They donít care. They recruit kids who often cannot read and write. Kids who have police records. Kids they know are violent. They make millions off them. They donít give a damn if they even attend classes. They donít expect them to learn much beyond football.
Their mission is to win games, to take in millions. And to shunt a few kids onto the NFL. The colleges donít care about the violence.
Do the high schools care? The really big schools, the football factories that send players off to the big football colleges? Nah. They love the prestige. They play around with academic records. Anything to win games. Anything to pick up perks and pats on the back from NFL coaches. High schools donít care if their top footballers are violent.
Do the fans care? Nah. They just want entertainment. They want bragging rights. They donít care who these goons are. They donít care what their histories are. They can all be ex-cons. As long as they score touchdowns and win games.
These guys are todayís gladiators. You might like to research the subject. Gladiators were low-lifes. Slaves. Barbarians. Degenerates. They were despised and often segregated. Hell, they were often kept in cages.
But, hey! They were terrific entertainers. Sounds like the hulks who will bash each other around this Sunday afternoon.
Do I exaggerate? NFL players have racked up 750 charges from police in 14 years. These include murder. Also 38 gun charges, 21 burglaries, 82 drug charges, 85 domestic violence charges. These are only the crimes that led to arrest.
There are about 3,000 players. Imagine you owned a company with 3,000 employees who committed crimes in such numbers. You would take armed bodyguards to your staff Christmas party.
In other words the NFLís ranks are filled with thugs.
Well, did you expect a bunch of pansies? These guys are hired to perform violence on a field. They risk their limbs, their necks. They risk their sanity. (DuhhÖ Caution. Repeated assaults with this helmet may cause serious mental difficulties in the future.) Some make big bucks. But their careers are desperately short. Average may be as low as 4 years. Many are nearly illiterate. Many have no money four years after playing.
But, hey! They are terrific entertainers. Indeed, they are todayís gladiators.
In the last few weeks we have all taken notice. We have all pretended to care. I say pretended because this violence is not new.
Now there are calls to boot Roger Goodell from his commissionerís job. Replace him with Condi Rice. Or with any other gentle woman who wants to make big bucks. Goodell is reportedly worth $65 million.
I would be surprised if team owners put someone like Condi in the job. Why? They need a business exec. They need a guy or gal who can help them make gigundus amounts of money. Via sound business thinking Ė especially marketing savvy.
But, butÖher appointment would send a signal. A signal that the NFL owners want to end the violence. Ahh, but they donít. They want to end the furor over the violence. They want to end the bad publicity.
Meanwhile, women celebrities work to make hay with this issue. Politicians try to win a few votes by waving anti-violence flags. The fans want the games to go on.
Nobody really cares about the violence. Except the victims. Who?
From Tom...as in Morgan.