I was feeling a little bloodthirsty the other day when a friend asked me to go watch the Dallas Cowboys. Just what the demons ordered. The opponent was San Francisco and their whiny ass coach Jim Harbaugh. That morning I gargled with warm salt water and did a few exercises for my middle finger. Good to go.
When we got to the stadium we had to wade through a massive throng of beer soaked patrons who were gunning for some action. It looked like a casting call for Con-Air 2, a regular Murderer’s Row. I tried to maintain a certain decorum until the Cowboys called a play action on third and one from San Francisco’s two yard line. I know what you’re thinking already. Get a rope.
Truth be told, I gave up on the Cowboys long ago so they don’t really beckon my basest instincts as much anymore. I can still work up a pretty good fervor at the college level. I don’t wish any permanent injury for a particular opponent. A temporary maiming usually sates my bloodlust.
Watching the Ray Rice video was an eye opener of sorts. It shows Rice and his then fiancé (now wife) on an elevator. The footage is almost palpable. A forceful punch by Rice knocks his fiancé to the ground. It’s disturbing.
The NFL initially suspended Rice two games for the first video which showed Rice merely dragging his helpless wife by her hair. The NFL knew about the second video of the blow in the elevator but claimed to not have seen it.
So what did they think it showed? A neutral zone infraction?
Shortly after the second video was released Rice was indefinitely suspended. This no tolerance policy made one thing about the League crystal clear. When the NFL’s image is about to take a tarnishing, they’ll sacrifice one of their own at the altar of brand management.
Video replay is an unforgiving bastard with a long memory. For Ray Rice now there’s nowhere to hide. Only in the NFL can a man like Ray Lewis be respected enough to pass judgment on someone else.
Enough with this bullshit that Roger Goodell is “doing the right thing.” Please. This is the NFL. Violence is not only encouraged, violence is the product. And we are happy to pay billions of dollars every year to feed our voracious appetite for it.
Do you think for one second that the NFL gives a flying flip about the objectification and or exploitation of women? Look at the sidelines then call me.
It’s Bread and Circuses, entertainment as appeasement.
There’s another harsh truth in all of this. We are the unwitting participants-aiders and abettors, accessories before the fact.
We deify the players. We buy their jerseys. Hell, we want them to hurt someone. We scream for it. Then when they do we conjure up a bullshit helping of false outrage.
Where violence is sacrosanct, violence will flourish. You can go and cheer it all you want. Just do me a favor. When it spills over to society at large, don’t deny you’re an accomplice. We all are.