Are You Ready For Some Football?

Photo: Wallpaper Cave

BY: SAL MARINELLO

The NFL season is here…and I’m already sick of the recurring story lines.

The NFL season is only about a week old and I’m already sick and tired of most of what’s being discussed.

1) Colin Kaepernick. Oy. Enough already. The controversial former 49ers starting quarterback has been out of a job since the end of last season, in equal parts because he became an ineffective quarterback at about the same time he decided to take an unpopular political stance. Seems to be easier to rile fans up than it does to use common sense. Kaep is just one of the many 49ers who became ordinary once Coach Harbaugh was escorted off the premises in Santa Clara a few seasons ago. How many other ‘good’ players from those teams have underachieved and are out of a job?

The bigger story should be about the dereliction of duty the 49ers’ front office engaged in when they let Harbaugh go. Or how Kaepernick became an undisciplined QB without taskmaster Harbaugh being on the scene. Or how Kaep was asking for starters money during the early stages of the NFL free agency period after the 2016 season, when he really wasn’t worthy.

Photo: CBS Boston

People can scream and holler all they want about how unfair it appears to be that Kaepernick isn’t one of the 100+ quarterbacks signed and in an NFL camp right now. Despite the visible and vocal supporters of the stance taken by Kaepernick, he clearly took a hugely unpopular stance and then did a lousy job of both defending and supporting his position once he made his thoughts known. He hurt himself further and looked and sounded foolish when he wore a Fidel Castro shirt to a press conference.

He asked for too much money after becoming an undisciplined and ineffective player and appears to be a pain in the ass. Spare us the pseudo-intellectual, borderline dishonest thought pieces and brummagem (look it up) sports radio monologues.

2) Football is Dangerous/Concussion Issue/Tom Brady’s Concussion. Oh, the pearl clutching over this topic is really ridiculous. Football is dangerous?!? Players get concussions?!? Tom Brady won’t say if he had a concussion and if so, did he really hide it from the Patriots?!? Please…

People watch football because it’s dangerous and violent. Which is why MMA has become such a hot ticket, by the way. Players willingly hit other players with their heads. As I’ve written here, the players control whether or not they use their heads as a weapon. The rules have been written, the officials have been tasked with enforcement and yet there’s nary a word from the NFL Players Union or any individuals taking their fellow players to task. No pleas to show consideration for ones’ head and the heads of ones’ opponents.

Football isn’t safe. MMA isn’t safe. Boxing isn’t safe. NASCAR isn’t safe. Which is why people spend – and bet – untold billions of dollars on these sports.

Furthermore, the NFL has gone to great lengths to institute player-centered protective measures with regard for identifying and treating concussed players. When players hide their concussions or continue to use their heads as a weapon, you can no longer simply blame the sport. If the current players themselves don’t seem to be concerned, the rest of us shouldn’t get our panties in a wad.

Yet we get the same regurgitated pap.

3) Player Interviews. The least interesting things you will ever hear come out of the mouths of football players. Especially during training camp. For every interesting nugget that may be unearthed in a 12-minute segment, there’s a gigantic figurative mine filled with blather. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t nice guys, or that a few times a year you won’t hear one or two good interviews. In season interviews don’t get any better.

You have a better chance hearing a member of Congress say something of substance. Well…

Eli Manning seems like a great guy, but I’d rather hear him tell jokes or hear his thoughts on the latest edition of ‘My 600-Pound Life,’ than hear him talk about football.

4) Lionizing Coaches. Now this is something that holds for all levels of football, not just the NFL. Actually, this adulation is usually shoveled on thicker with college coaches, but I’m on a roll… Coaches are human beings. Great coaches don’t always make great people. Nor should they have to be.

I actually prefer a coach who likes to have a few drinks and knows how to tell inappropriate jokes over the pious, overly-driven, anal-retentive, humorless automaton who winds up calling escort services at 2 am on a secret cell phone. Resemblances to any character, real or fictional, is purely coincidental.

Just because a guy can work 18-hour days and win football games whilst looking spiffy in a visor and a golf-style short sleeved windbreaker doesn’t make him jake in my book.

And I can admire successful, humorless pricks like Nick Saban or Belichick, but that doesn’t mean I like them or want to listen to them. I might read their book but I don’t want to have to look at them and hear their voice. Either of them.

Does anyone remember Lou Saban, he of the famous, ‘They’re killing me, Whitey,’ NFL Films fame?

Now that’s the kind of guy I want to hear more from.

Not this putz.

Hey, the pre-season starts in full this week. Enjoy it, it’s only 4 short games.

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