The NFL could ban National Anthem protests if they wanted to

We’re currently in Week 9 of the National Football League 2017 schedule. It’s the ninth week in a row the league is allowing players to protest during the National Anthem. The only question at this point is why the NFL is allowing this stupid spectacle to continue.

The idea the league doesn’t have total control of what players can and cannot do while standing on the sidelines is a joke. The NFL expects us to believe there’s nothing they can do about players sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist in the air during the National Anthem?

I do not believe the NFL

The NFL bans players from wearing Beats headphones anywhere in the stadium. If a player wants to wear headphones before or after a game, they have to wear only Bose headphones. The NFL also specifies what kind of tablet device teams and players can use. They have to use a specific kind of fake iPad, the Microsoft Surface Pro, not a real iPad made by Apple.

The list of products players aren’t allowed to use on the field or the sidelines are extensive. It’s one of the things that makes the decision of the NFL not to stop players from protesting during the National Anthem so weird.

The NFL will only fine a player protesting the National Anthem if he’s wearing Beats headphones or using an iPad while doing it.

Why is it the National Basketball Association can require players to stand during the national anthem, but the NFL can not?

The NBA rulebook states:

2) Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.

The NFL doesn’t have such a rule because it doesn’t want it. The question is why?

Is the NFL trying to lose money?

If I was a conspiracy theory guy, I’d think the NFL was purposely trying to damage its own product so it can then leverage the damage to its advantage. The amount of money the owners pay the players is based on how much revenue the league and teams make. The less money the NFL makes, the less money it will have to share with players.

Are they trying to decrease revenue so they can play players less?

My name is John Schnatter, but you can call me Papa.

TV ratings of NFL games are down compared to last year. Sponsors are threatening to pull their ads if the protests don’t stop. Papa John’s, the official crappy chain pizza sponsor of the NFL, posted lower than expected earnings for North America this past quarter. Papa John Schnatter, the founder, and CEO of Papa John’s is blaming National Anthem protests for weaker sales.  Schnatter said the following:

NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.

If he thinks this is true, how long until he decides Papa John’s needs to end its partnership with the NFL? It could happen sooner rather than later. Once the first big-time sponsor leaves, more will follow.

Almost all players in the NFL represent the privileged 1%

This whole National Anthem protest thing is so stupid. Maybe I’d feel differently if the people doing the protesting weren’t privileged members of the 1% and living large compared to the rest of us, the other 99%. When I was 19-years-old I had to join the Air Force, not because I wanted to, but because I had no other options. I couldn’t find a real job. I couldn’t afford to go to college. If I was going to make anything of my life, I had to enlist in the military.

In the military, you must respect the flag and the National Anthem

While in the military, I learned to respect the flag and the National Anthem. It was ingrained into my core. Every day, on every Air Force base I was ever at, the base flag was lowered before sunset. Before it was lowered, a bugle call was played over a loudspeaker. It alerted everyone to prepare for retreat, the lowering of the flag.

After the bugle call was complete, the National Anthem was played and the flag was lowered, removed, and folded up. While the National Anthem played, you were to stop whatever you were doing, turn to face the music, and stand at attention. You were required to salute if you were in uniform. You were required to salute or put your hand on your heart if you were in civilian clothes. You were required to pull off to the side of the when driving a motor vehicle.

The Air Force could court marshall someone for not standing at attention during retreat. You could go to jail for not honoring the flag and the National Anthem.

I think this is why I find these National Anthem protests so disgusting. They not only disrespect our country, they disrespect anyone who served in the military. It’s not about freedom of speech. When players are on the sideline before a game, they’re at work. Your employer puts expectations on you when you are on the job. Respecting the National Anthem should be one of those expectations.

NFL players can disrespect the country on their own time

If players want to disrespect the National Anthem on their own time, I have no problem with that. They can burn the American flag on their own time and I would not complain. My problem is when they protest while everyone in attendance is standing and showing respect to our country. Standing for the National Anthem is a something all Americans share together. The National Anthem protests shit all over that.

There is a time and place for everything. Before a game when everyone else is standing in respect is not the right time or the right place. It’s the wrong time and the wrong place.



The Ezekiel Elliott six-game suspension

According to My Top Sportsbooks, the Dallas Cowboys are going to have to step up their game this season while their brightest star player is suspended. If the suspension stands, second year running back Ezekiel Elliott will miss the first six games of the season. This is a long suspension, especially considering the police thoroughly investigated and found no credible evidence substantiating it. Supposedly Elliot put his hands on an ex-girlfriend with enough force to leave bruises.

The NFL investigated things themselves. Unlike the police, the NFL concluded Ezekiel Elliott committed a crime. The crime? Violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

How is it the NFL is better than the police at determining if a crime took place? Since when is it the NFL’s business to investigate crimes?

If the six-game suspension stands, it means the Dallas Cowboys will be without the Ezekiel Elliott for the following games:

  • New York Giants
  • @Denver Broncos
  • @Arizona Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Green Bay Packers
  • @San Francisco 49ers

That’s three home games, three road games, and a bye week between the fifth and sixth game. These six teams had a combined record of 43-52 last season, with the Rams and the 49ers contributing heavily to the loosing side of things.

You know who’s the happiest about Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension? The Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, Rams, Packers, and 49ers. They now get to play the Cowboys without their best running back on the field.

Roger Goodell is judge and executioner

This is one of the many problems with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell being judge and executioner for players and the misdeeds they may or may not have committed. Goodell works for the 32 team owners in the NFL. Goodell doesn’t work for the players, nor does he work for the fans. Goodell is biased. This six-game suspension made one owner angry, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but it probably pleased the 31 other owners.

For their sake, I hope none of their star players have ex-girlfriends with photos of bruises. It doesn’t mater if a crime took place. If a woman has bruises, it must be because of her ex-boyfriend, especially when that ex-boyfriend averages 5.1 yards per rushing attempt and averages over 100 yards per game.

Looks like Colin Kaepernick's NFL career is over

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without a job. Considering the long list of mediocre quarterbacks signed by teams to fill backup quarterback  positions, chances are Kaepernick’s days sitting on the bench in the NFL are over. This would mean having to watch him sit, kneel, squat, or put his body in some other position of disrespect while everyone else stands for the national anthem is over too.

Good on both counts.

Although I’ve never considered myself to be overly patriotic, I do try to be polite. When everyone else is standing for the national anthem and you refuse to do it too, you’re being rude. That’s what Colin Kaepernick is: a rude, racially divisive asshole.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told the NFL shortly after people noticed he wasn’t standing for the national anthem. Kaepernick then wore a t-shirt honoring former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, a man responsible for the murder of thousands of people of color.

When you wear a t-shirt honoring Fidel Castro or any other communist, you’ve lost all credibility on the subject of oppression. Colin Kaepernick is not a man of principle, he’s just a wannabe race-baiting edgelord.

When this controversy first started a year ago, I followed Colin Kaepernick on Twitter. Hardly anything the man tweeted was original. He mostly retweeted the words of other divisive assholes. It was as though he couldn’t formulate his own opinions in his own words on the things he claimed to care about. Colin Kaepernick’s not a leader, he’s a follower. One look at his Twitter feed only confirms that.

Playing in the NFL isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. I hope it’s a privilege Colin Kaepernick never gets again.


Ravens release tight end Dennis Pitta

The Baltimore Ravens released veteran tight end Dennis Pitta today. Five days ago Pitta re-injured his right hip in practice. Because he broke his hip in 2013 and in 2014, Pitta signed a waiver after that allowing the Ravens to release him if he injured his hip again.

Normally an NFL team would not be allowed to cut an injured player without paying them.

Pitta made 86 catches last year.

The NFL is a nasty business. The guy gets hurt on the job, a non-contact practice, and is cut without financial compensation. He signed a waiver so it’s legal. It just doesn’t seem all that moral. It’s not the right thing, waiver or not. The man gave his hips in service to the Baltimore Ravens and this is what he has to show for it.

I’m sure Pitta has enough money squirreled away so that he never has to work again a day in his life. If he shows up working as a commentator on MASN, I guess we know that’s not true.

Hopefully he can call it a career and concentrate on not breaking his hips, something he normally wouldn’t have to worry for another 40 years.

I think what bothers me the most is that it’s not like the Ravens can’t afford to pay him his salary. They have the money. What this does is free up $2.5 million in salary cap money for this season. The salary cap is an artificial number protecting billionaires from spending too much money. It’s from the money men like Dennis Pitta generate by willingly breaking their bodies for our entertainment.


I was completely wrong about Tom Brady

In the past, I’ve said some not-so-nice things about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. I’ve called him a cheater. I’ve compared him to Sammy Sosa. I’ve called him a spoiled baby.

Tom Brady didn’t deserve any of my criticism.

Everything I’ve ever said about Tom Brady was wrong. If I could manipulate time, I would go back and not write negative things about Tom Brady. In all honesty though, I would first go back and kill baby Hitler, but as soon as I completed my act of justifiable infanticide, I’d go back and not blog hostile things about Tom Brady.

I’ve been thinking about the whole deflategate controversy since the beginning of the 2015-16 NFL season. I’ve looked at it with fresh eyes. If the footballs used by the Patriots in the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated, why didn’t any of the officials on the field notice? The officials handled the footballs every play. The Colts had their own footballs. The Patriots had their own footballs. If something was different between the two, the officials would have noticed.

If, after the game, the NFL determined the footballs were under-inflated, why then weren’t any of the officials disciplined for allowing the game to be played with squishy footballs?

The officials weren’t disciplined because there wasn’t a noticeable difference in the footballs.

Also, if the exact air pressure of a football is so important and sacred to the integrity of the game, why does the NFL allow each team to provide their own footballs? If the amount of air in a football was important, the NFL would provide the footballs. The teams would not be allowed to provide their own footballs. The air pressure in the footballs would be checked constantly throughout the game. There would be sideline laboratories staffed with expert scientists using state-of-the-art pneumatic pressure instruments, ensuring the footballs were properly inflated.

In retrospect, the whole deflategate thing was stupid. It’s the worst kind of controversy: a non-controversy. I think I allowed my own personal biases against Boston sports teams and their insufferable fans to cloud and contaminate my opinion. Like most people, I associate Boston sports teams with obnoxious, blowhards like Bill Simmons and Sarah Silverman. I shouldn’t have done that.

I’ll try to be a better man in the future.

Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator

The guys who are NFL strength coaches crack me up. They usually look like the type of guys who need to ask for help opening a pickle jar.

The Washington Redskins season officially ended Sunday with a loss to the New York Giants. They celebrated the start of the off-season by firing defensive coordinator Joe Barry. This is the third defensive coordinator to be fired by the Redskins in four years.

When I first heard this news, I was surprised that the Redskins even had a defensive coordinator. Who knew?

Not only did the Skins fire Barry, they fired defensive line coach Robb Akey, defensive backs coach Perry Fewell and strength coach Mike Clark.

Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator - Bent Corner
Former Washington Redskins strength coach Mike Clark blows a special whistle to make players stronger.
Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator - Bent Corner
Hey, you look strong, can you open this for me?

Why fire Clark? Did the Skins have a bad season because their players weren’t strong? The guys who are NFL strength coaches crack me up. They never look all that strong. They tend to look like guys who have to ask for help opening a pickle jar. I’m not saying Clark can’t open a pickle jar, but a lot of his peers look like they can’t.

The Redskins defense did suck a lot this past season. One way of solving that issue would have been to try to keep the defense off the field. They should have run the ball a lot more than they did. In 2016, the Redskins threw the ball 607 times and ran the ball 379 times. That’s ridiculous. Running the ball takes time off the clock. That’s not the case with passing the ball. The clock stops with every incomplete pass or any time the receiver steps out-of-bounds.

A lot of the defensive problems the Redskins had this season were caused by poor play calling on offense. Was Joe Kelly responsible for that? Nope. Plus, he looks like the type of guy who’s always ready to open a jar of pickles.