Oh, National Football League. You make it hard to forgive you, although I keep doing so.
I think I said I was done with you last year. Then I came back because, well, just because you were there and I couldn't resist you. But . . .
1) Aldon Smith and the 49ers. He crashed his car into a tree at 7 in the morning. I don't so much care that he was drinking, but he drove while intoxicated, endangering other people. The 49ers say they care about his well-being as a person, but they are not deactivating him for this game. He is apparently going to play today, THEN maybe go to rehab. My love for the Niners will be tarnished if they do play him.
2) If rumors are true, the NFL exerted pressure on ESPN to back out of developing a documentary with PBS on concussions. I don't know if those rumors are true, but they fit with the general pattern of issues we have seen regarding concussions recently and a growing discontent over how the league has addressed the matter.
3) Our nation's capital's football team continues to use a racist nickname straight out of Manifest Destiny. Although I suppose someone with a dark sense of humor might find that fitting, I don't like the fact that the Commissioner continues to support the name. The reason why no one in the league wants to change it, of course, has to do with money and merchandising, in the guise of "tradition." I don't accept that as sufficient reason.
So, these reasons are making me consider boycotting the NFL, by which I mean I would not watch another game and I will continue to never buy football merchandise. It isn't like it was a realistic option for me to actually attend a game live, due to expense, so my "boycott" would be little more than poking a hole in a river.
As I say this, of course, Green Bay versus Cincinnati is on the TV, but at least it is on mute.
Okay, so maybe I'm just a hypocrite, talking big about being done without doing anything. I know I talked about breaking up with the NFL last year. But this year, with NBC Sports giving me fantastically improved access to Premier League Soccer, well, that gives me a more than adequate substitute in terms of weekend sports.
NFL, time to clean up your act, or I really will be done for good.
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