Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NFL Offseason Arrests Prove Goodell Has No Fist In His Glove

"Calling all cars! Calling all cars! Be on the look out for several subjects of Caucasian and African American persuasions. Subjects range from 6'0" to 6'5" and 190-325 pounds. Last seen speeding in a vehicle suspected to contain drug paraphernalia and from a residence where physical assault was reported. Subjects considered armed and dangerous."

Yep, that about sums up this NFL offseason. There has just been one after the other. There have been several arrests that range from DWI/DUI to possession of marijuana to simple and aggravated assault. All we've seen is a bunch of overgrown frat boys acting like they're on Spring Break, but they haven't ever seen a woman, had a drink or smoked a blunt before. The result has been a virtual Pandora's Box.

How did Deadpool/Wade Wilson put in X-Men Origins: Wolverine? "Great. Stuck in an elevator with five guys on a high-protein diet." That's a microcosm of this offseason. Except maybe that our abs aren't as good as Ryan Reynolds'. But, I digress...

This offseason has seen 32 NFL players and one cheerleader arrested. Some are even repeat offenders (not the cheerleader). The Detroit Lions alone have had three repeat offenders this offseason with two of them being released, cornerback Aaron Berry and offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath. I refer to such guys as “The Turds of the NFL" and it's time that Roger Goodell starts flushing some of them.

Thirteen of these players have been arrested for different ranges of DUI. Inexcusable. These guys make more money than most people even dream about in their lifetime. There is no excuse for them to be out drinking and then getting behind the wheel and endangering innocent lives. These guys could easily afford to hire a driver to drive them around, or even call a cab. They chose not to, though. I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Retired NFL running back Derrick Ward released a pyroclastic barrage of tweets recently, July 21st, over what he called "dumb" and "ridiculous" behavior. Below is that barrage, which is basically one long thought over several tweets:

Derrick Ward (@DerrickWard32): "Guys that actually do right in the NFL look bad. How easy is it to call a cab to get a ride home? So what? Leave your car get it in the am!?"

"Stop being so dumb! Yes that's right dumb! I'm sitting here retired enjoyed a great career now all I want to do is become a fan and I see..."

"Numerous arrest for DWI in the past several weeks? How many has it been this week 4? Absolutely ridiculous your not only putting yourself..."

"In danger but your putting other innocent people in danger that don't deserve your stupidity. Open your eyes and do the right thing. I know..."

"What its like to get go out get drunk and debate on weather to drive home or not. Call a taxi! So what if u spend some money to take one or..."

"U get a ticket on your car in the am when u go bac 2 get it At least u won't have to pay bail and then lawyer fees and then miss game checks..."

"From being suspended for a few games. Damn this really has me furious and its so avoidable. Tighten up youngesters of the NFL because guess..."

"What it doesn't mean National Football League it really means Not For Long league..... #JustVentingSorryEveryone"

"There's no excuse to drive drunk! NONE! If all else fails WALK! NFL players are world class athletes Walking should be nothing!"

What he said.

The rules of the NFL, in the CBA, state that this falls under the substance abuse policy of the NFL. This, I feel, needs to be changed. I understand that it's been collectively bargained, but something more needs to be done. The message isn't getting through to them. Goodell NEEDS to have a heavier hand.

The players don't seem to care if they get caught because most of the time the Law lets them off too. They're celebrities and they generally get star treatment. If that was me or any other normal citizen, though, we wouldn't get our charges pleaded down. We would go to jail and lose our licenses. Why fear a glove that has no fist?

These overgrown kids simply do not care. They act like they feel they're  untouchable, so to speak, and seem to have the mentality of, “Oh, well, I’ll just get docked a game check, it's not that big of a deal.” That is the attitude that needs to change and change in a hurry. There have already been innocent lives taken because of these boys behaving badly. If the Law cannot do its job, then I feel Goodell needs to do his and bring the hammer down on these players.

If this offseason has shown anything it's that these guys have not learned anything. I guess it is ok to stain that shield that Goodell holds so highly after all. A few years back he was suspending players with no actual charges, but now that there are actual charges and he chooses to turn the other cheek. That is not the kind of message that needs to be sent.

The Penn State mess should be a good reminder what turning the other cheek causes. But this “boys will be boys” mentality and the letting things go all for the sake of the game is the culture that needs to be changed. These guys should be held to a higher standard, but, as of late, they are not being held to any kind of standard.

Goodell has put all those rules into place and then very few get punished for breaking them. It makes it all just so laughable. These players agreed to allow Goodell to keep all his power when they voted in the new CBA. Yet, outside of the Saints Bounty Scandal, Goodell has done nothing. These guys are running around like a bunch of criminals with no regard for authority or public safety. That is not the message that Goodell said he was going to send.

It's the message being received nonetheless. A message so clear that various websites, including NFL.com itself, have tracked the list of frat boys. There were 31 arrests as of the publishing of the article posted below. Since then there has been one more: defensive back Russell Stuvaints was arrested and tasered by McKeesport police for allegedly threatening a female. -  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/the-30-arrests-of-the-nfl-off-season 

That makes 32, almost twice as many as last offseason. Is that clear, Mr. Goodell? Let me make it even clearer still for you: that's one for each NFL team. You're trying so hard to keep the NFL pristine, yet the shine of "the shield" is being tarnished right underneath your nose. A similar thing happened with Michael Corleone, and we know how that ended.