Yet Another Opinion on #Dolphins Linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin

Standard

A random thought; maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin could’ve been “best friends”, while Martin also found that Incognito was an abusive prick.

 

In a word where black and white hot takes and opinions are insanely easy to come by, where sometimes people will take the unpopular opinion just to row against the tide, where political leanings and social issues tend to foul up and disrupt honest discussions just like this one, maybe, just maybe, there’s more shades of gray here than anyone would like to admit.

 

Maybe, when Jonathan Martin was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and as Lydon Murtha says in his take on this issue on The MMQB,Jonathan Martin came into the league as standoff-ish and reserved. He didn’t immediately bond with his fellow offensive lineman, which the teams leadership viewed as an issue.

 

Football teams can become very cliquish, and nowhere is there a bigger clique than with the offensive linemen. Coaches preach that continuity and trust are the key to success with offensive linemen, and so the offensive line because a miniature team within the team. The o-linemen do everything together. They eat together, they work out together, they hang out together. You’re forced to be in a group with 7-8 people, all with varying backgrounds, personalities and eccentricities, almost every day, almost all the time. Because that’s how you build a cohesive unit.

 

Maybe it’s possible that the veterans and the coaches took affront to Martin’s standoffish nature. And so they tasked Richie Incognito with trying to bring him out of his shell.

 

And maybe it’s possible that, over the course of two years, Incognito took that role a bit too far, at least in the mind of Martin.

 

It’s entirely possible that Richie Incognito tried to take Jon Martin under his wing. That they hung out. It’s entirely possibly that Incognito came to Martin’s defense when he got in a fight with Dion Jordan. It’s entirely possible that Martin would get down on himself when he had a bad practice, and that Incognito offered up some sort of encouragement. When Martin loafed, Incognito gave him shit.

 

It’s possible that Incognito thought he was doing the right thing, and all Martin saw was a dude that was supposed to be a friend and a mentor constantly bagging on him. It also seems likely that Martin wasn’t exactly well liked in the Dolphins locker room, by anyone. And so putting up with Incognito’s ribbing and his teammates attempts to “toughen him up” was just part of what Martin had to go through if he wanted to play football.

 

Maybe Joe Philbin and the other coaches did encourage Incognito to chide Jon Martin and to get him to show up to voluntary-mandatory minicamp. Oh, make no mistake, “voluntary” work outs in the NFL are always mandatory, and Martin being standoffish and not wanting to be with his teammates 24/7 is yet again looks bad.

 

And maybe Incognito had a little too much to drink, and drunk dialed Jonathan Martin, and left that voicemail. And maybe that’s the point where “Martin said “Hey, maybe this guy isn’t my best friend. Maybe this guys is kind of a dick.”
And maybe Martin later shared that voicemail, and other voicemails, less because he was fine being called a half-nigger and having another man say he was going to “slap his real mother”, and more because he felt he sort of had to. Because if he complained, he’d be accused of not being able to take a joke.

 

Maybe Jon Martin felt like he didn’t have an ally in the locker room that he could talk to. No one he could turn to and say “hey, I feel taken advantage.” Maybe Martin wasn’t okay with the fact that in his second year, he was still being summarily hazed by his teammates.

 

Meanwhile, Incognito and others in Miami’s lockerroom thought they were doing exactly what their job as teammates was, and coaches were fine with the job they were doing, because that’s how it’s supposed to be done. In the NFL, players are told that they have to “weed out weakness”, that this a “grown man’s” sport … because apparently being a “grown man” means “learning to eat shit and love the taste of it”.

 

And maybe the only way for it to end in a “manly” way would’ve been for Martin to haul off and knock Incognito out. Of course, given how unpopular Martin is, and how popular Incognito is, Martin knocking out his “best friend” could’ve just alienated him further, and “Big Weirdo” would’ve just looked weirder for not just accepting his teammates and coaches repeated attempts to toughen him up.

 

And so maybe, when Martin sat down at the table, and his teammates stood up and left because “he was becoming an illness”, as Murtha put it, Martin snapped. And then he couldn’t handle it anymore. And maybe Incognito did try to comfort him, but maybe Martin couldn’t feel comforted by a guy he didn’t feel respect him. And so Martin decided to leave.

 

Martin told the only people he felt he could tell was going on; his parents and his agent. And when his agent called Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, Ireland suggested Martin physically confront Incognito. Because, you know, Jeff Ireland’s a frakking moron.

 

And then the whole damn thing snowballed. It leaked, and Incognito got implicated, and since Incognito has an approval rating slightly worse than Original Sin in the NFL, people piled on him. The Dolphins players, who didn’t like Martin, piled on him instead. Joe Philbin lost control of the message, and Jeff Ireland is still an asshole.

 

Maybe this whole issue isn’t black and white. I’ve been in situations similiar to Martin, trapped between calling a guy or a girl my “best friend”, while also feeling like they treated me like shit, just to fit in and not be ostracized and not be lonely. I was no less a “man” for feeling that way. I was human. Unlike Martin, a few times I did snap, either physically or verbally, and didn’t just wind up losing my ” best friend”, but mutual friends, who couldn’t understand why the hell I cracked on my buddy, and pal. And those friends likely didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, but because I couldn’t speak up, in fear of given shit for not being able to “man up”, friendships get severed.

 

Maybe Jon Martin doesn’t really want to play football, and maybe Incognito needs to re-evaulate what he can and can’t say to teammates, because just about every other lockerroom in the league would’ve dealt with him from the start.

 

Maybe there’s a not a right person and a wrong person. Maybe these are just two people who couldn’t get a long and had a messy break-up, implicating several others.

 

Maybe, ya know, people are human, and make mistakes, and feel even if they do play THE MANLIEST OF MAN SPORTS.

 

Maybe it’s not black and white…but that won’t stop people from treating it like it is.

Advertisements

#Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Hurt, Seneca Wallace Sucks, Packers May Be Boned

Standard

It seemed like a fairly innocuous hit when Bears defensive end Shea McClellin slammed Aaron Rodgers none throwing shoulder into the ground, the kind that quarterbacks like Rodgers and others shake off and move on to the next play. But when Packers back-up quarterback Seneca Wallace trotted onto the field and Aaron Rodgers trotted into the locker room, that impending sense of doom set in. And when he re-appeared on the sidelines wearing sweats, the Packers season seemed to flash before everyone’s eyes.

 

The tentative diagnosis for Aaron Rodgers is that he has a small fracture in his collarbone, and that he’ll be out about 3 weeks, but all have been quick to point out that that is just the initial diagnosis. It could actually be much longer. The Packers face the prospect of having Seneca Wallace, or some other jobber off the street having to guide their football team while the Lions get hot and the Bears probably get their star quarterback back next week.

 

The Packers knew they had an issue at back-up quarterback. They knew that 2009 undrafted free agent Graham Harrell wasn’t any good. They knew that 2012 7th round draft pick B.J Coleman wasn’t much better. But they bought Vince Young into the fold too late. They then cut Harrell, and then cut B.J Coleman, and then cut Vince Young and replaced him with Seneca Wallace, a 33 year old quarterback with only 21 starts, and a record of 6-15. That’s the guy who has to lead the Packers for at least 3 weeks, if not more.

 

The importance of finding a solid, dependable back-up in the NFL should be stressed again and again and again, and then, oh yeah, again. The Packers solution to their back-up quarterback woes wasn’t to go out and entice a guy like Matt Hasselbeck to come home, or to sign a Ryan Fitzpatrick. It wasn’t to draft another quarterback. It was, essentially, to stumble bewildered into the season with a below average and pray that nothing happened to Rodgers.

 

Now something has. And the Packers may be well and truly boned if Seneca Wallace doesn’t morph into Russell Wilson or Doug Flutie.

 

Joe Gibbs once said that the most important player on your football team was the quarterback, and the second most important player was the back-up quarterback. Great seasons by great teams are too often derailed because front offices take the “wait and pray” approach. Mike Holmgren turned Green Bay into a quarterback factory, even with the seemingly indestructible Brett Favre playing there. You have to have a solid back up. It’s not a perk, it’s a necessity. 

 

When a guy like Josh Freeman becomes a free agent, why not sign him? (Besides the fact that he may or may not suck.) Do you really need that third string jabroni? Could he be any worse than Seneca Wallace? Because Seneca Wallace isn’t any good. The last time Seneca Wallace played in the league, they were having him catch passes from Colt friggin’ McCoy. CATCH passes. Not throw them.

 

The Packers best hope to save their season if Rodgers is out for an extended period might be Matt Flynn, who has now lost two starting jobs, AND two back-up quarterback jobs. Matt Flynn couldn’t even beat out Jeff Tuel for a back-up job. And the Packers might have to re-sign him.

 

Here’s hoping Aaron Rodgers comes back, because who knows how long the injury-ravaged can survive without him.

#Eagles Riley Cooper Is Still An Asshole, Hasn’t Overcome Anything

Standard

After Nick Foles decided to do his best Peyton Manning impression and throw a record-tying 7 touchdown passes, he was asked about Riley Cooper. This is what Nick Foles said.

 

Uh…what? I’m sorry, Nick, made you’ve got too much adrenaline pumping and it’s temporarily shut off the sense-making part of your brain, but what exactly did Riley Cooper overcome?

 

Being mediocre? Because Cooper has been pretty mediocre. In the first 5 games of the season, he averaged 2 catches a game for 19.2 yards, with one touchdown, and one game where he didn’t catch anything. He then “broke out” against the currently 0-8 Buccaneers, had a nice game versus the Cowboys, who are currently the 31st ranked pass defense, had 2 catches versus the Giants, and then went to town on a Raiders teams that didn’t seem to understand that if you play press coverage on Riley Cooper, he’s as useless as a redneck at a Kenny Chesney screaming that he’ll fight “every nigger in here”.

 

Riley Cooper overcame nothing. He had a good game against a mediocre football team. That’s just happens. Every once in a while a guy goes off.

 

But Peter King just had to defend Riley Cooper, against the mean old people who thought that Cooper playing a decent game against a mediocre team wasn’t akin to being forgiven for throwing a horrendous racial slur. You know why Riley Cooper is still with the Eagles? Because they had no one else. If Jeremy Maclin were healthy, Riley Cooper would be a street free agent, or he’d be the same guy he’s always been in his career; AVERAGE. A spot starter, a special teams guy.

 

He did not “overcome” using the n-word, and I’m sorry, Peter King, that the world has no sufficiently forgiven him for that. He overcame nothing. He struggled through no sort of adversity. To date, not a single player has hit him after the whistle, tried to fight him, no one’s torn his helmet off, people barely even remember it happened. He went through a couple days of sensitivity training, a few athletes talking down to him, then came back to the team and went right back to making about $500,000 to be average-ish at playing football.

 

In a league where we’re still talking about Dez Bryant getting fired up on the sideline in a mostly positive way because he’s an “unhealthy distraction” and trying to tell Dez to keep his passion under wraps, and wherein they had a camera carefully trained on Dez Bryant the whole day to catch him if he so much as farted angrily, in a world where black athletes are told to stay in line and not put themselves out there anymore than they have to, lest they be ridiculued, harranged and catcalled and labeled “divas”,  the fact that Riley Cooper can get drunk, drop the n-word, apologize, have a little sensitivity training, and then go right back to be persona non-grata until Nick Foles throws him a few touchdowns sort of perfectly illustrates the difference between the way black athletes are treated in the media, and the way white guys are.

 

The NFL is the place where a guy can ask if your mom was a prostitute and keep his job with no discipline, but if you get a little demonstrative on the sideline “OH NOES HE’S A DISTRACTION CHILL OUT DEZ!”

 

Look what you made me do, Peter King. You made me defend a fucking Cowboy!

The #Buccaneers Keep Playing Hard, Even Though Schiano’s a Dick

Standard

There’s nothing outwardly surprising about the Bucs blowing a 21 point second half lead and allowing the completely overrated Seahawks to get back in the game, except for the fact that despite Schiano patently being a jackass, the Bucs players don’t seem to be too concerned with him and put on a good show versus a team that’ll surely make it to the second round of the playoffs before getting bounced out by a better team.

 

I don’t think they’re fighting for Schiano or anything. At 0-8, and with his playoff hopes squashed, it’ll be surprising if he makes it through the rest of the season, much less turns it around. But for all the talk of how players “quit” on teams, the Bucs players seem to have enough faith in themselves, if not their coaches, that they can play pretty damn well. They’re professionals. I dig that.

 

It was weird watching the Bucs-Seahawks game, as I seemed to both want Schiano to get blown out and the Seahawks to actually lose so I can stop hearing how awesome they are. But the Bucs lost, despite a decent game. And that decent game probably saved Schiano for another week.

 

The thing gets me is that we’re constantly told that playing in the NFL is a privilege, that shouldn’t be taken for granted by the players, and you’re lucky to even be there, blah blah blah…but what the fuck did Schiano ever do to earn an NFL head coaching job? Sort of kind of making Rutgets okay-ish?

 

Schiano had a record of 68 wins and 67 losses as Rutgers head coach. The team never finished in the top 25. In Big East play, he had a record of 24-48, including going 8-13 in Big East play in his last three years there. His greatest feat was getting graduation rates amongst his athletes up and getting better facilities for the team, and while those are commendable things, none of them have fuck all to do with being and NFL coach and dealing with grown men.

 

The Bucs interviewed the entire planet before they settled on Schiano. They tried to drag Marty Schotteheimer back into the NFL. They tried to woo Chip Kelly away from Oregon. They tried to give Brad Childress another head coaching job. BRAD CHILDRESS! Joe Philbin, Tom Clements, Rod Chudzinsky, Mike Sherman, and Jerry Gray, and Mike Zimmer and Wade Phillips. They went through all those guys, and somehow, someway, the guy the settled on was Greg fuggin’ Schiano, a head coach one game over .500 overall, with a losing record in his conference, and who’s only bowl wins came against 7-6 Kansas State, (ironically enough, with Josh Freeman as the quarterback), 7-6 Ball State (BALL FUCKING STATE!?), 6-7 NC State, 8-5 UCF, and 6-7 Iowa State. The Bucs picked THAT guy.

 

Media types are quick to point out that Schiano’s at a natural disadvantage because of the mess he inherited from Raheem Morris. But Raheem Morris took the youngest team in the league, with a bunch of names you’ve never heard of, and guide that team to a 10-6 record. Raheem Morris did not have Vincent Jackson or Darelle Revis or Dashon Goldson or anyone else. Not to mention Raheem had zero organizational support, as the Bucs (allegedly) spent WAY beneath the cap floor in free agency, in what was then called an effort to be “YOUNGRY”, but in reality was just an effort by the Glazer family to be cheap and buy a soccer team.

 

Of the 53-men that were on the Buccaneers final roster in 2011, there are only 15 currently on the Schiano-led Bucs team. He got rid of guys like Josh Freeman and Aqib Talib and Legarette Blount and Dezmon Briscoe and Arrelious Benn and Kellen Winslow, Jr, and he got rid of all of them in loud and sometimes messy ways. There are 38 other players on the Bucs that have just been added since Schiano got there. It’s time to quit classifying the Bucs as a remnant of Raheem Morris’ mess. The mess has been cleaned up. And disinfected. And then cleaned and disinfected again, and the floor has been waxed, buffed, mopped, cleaned and disinfected time again just for good measure.

 

It was good to say that even though the Bucs have a underqualified prick as their head coach, and even though they have assistants who will bitch out Pro Bowl players for simple acts like helping a guy off the field after he just kicked their ass, that they’re still playing hard, if not for him, than for themselves. Hopefully they’ll continue to play this hard when they get a new coach.

 

 

The Miami #Dolphins Are A Glorious, Cerrato-Esque Mess

Standard

One of my favorite activities during the offseason was watching Miami Dolphins fans lay into Rotoworld writer and fantasy football guru Evan Silva. Ya see, Silva had a less than glowing outlook on the Dolphins season afer they went cray spending in free agency. He has an even less glowing outlook on Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland, he of the “Hey, 21-year-old kid, is your mom a prostitute” fame.

Dolphins fans may not like it, but Silva has every reason to not like Ireland. Since completely taking over as general manager after Bill Parcells decided he’d had enough of football for the 20th time, the Miami Dolphins have posted a record of 24-32 through this season. In that time frame, Ireland’s drafts without the aid of Parcells (Parcells stepped back from day to day operations sometime in October 2010) have been dreadful. Ireland’s tough guy persona and general dickery have made Miami, Florida — MIAMI, FLORIDA — a place where no one wants to play. After being pegged to be a shoe-in for Peyton Manning and even trading away their best receiver to try and woo him (presumably Peyton had some sort of problem with having a huge, 6’5″ target who can not be tackled and who had actually changed a great deal of personal life), Peyton barely paid the Dolphins any mind.

Jeff Fisher had a choice between the Dolphins and St. Louis, and he chose St. Louis. Personnel people have no idea why Ireland still has a job.

No more was it apparent what a bag of dicks Ireland was than in Hard Knocks, where he repeatedly tried to play hardball with the Indianapolis Colts for a player that they probably would’ve cut in Vonte Davis.

Ireland again tried to play hardball this offseason. With the Chiefs and Brandon Albert seemingly on the midst of a messy break up, the Dolphins tried to trade for Albert to protect Ryan Tannehill from the evils of having to be protected by Jonathan Martin, another bad Ireland pick that they tried to force to be a left tackle. More on that later. You see, Miami had gotten two second round picks thanks to the aforementioned “trade Brandon Marshall because you apparently hate offense” thing. The Chiefs wanted the first of the second round picks.

Ireland balked.

Remember, this is the same guy who was in the building when the Bill Parcells drafted Jake Long instead of Matt Ryan. Ireland would then turn around and lowball Long while spending squillions of dollars on big names like Mike Wallace and Dannell Ellerbee, because who gives a fuck about paying your own, right? And then pretended that Jonathan Martin was a great blindside protector, even though, when playing for an injured Long, Martin sucked. Hard.

But Ireland balked. Repeatedly. He refused to part with a second round pick for one of the better left tackles in the NFL. And the longer Ireland balked, the more Brandon Albert and the Andy Reid led Chiefs talked.

And then, the Dolphins spent that second round pick to move up in the draft. And with one of the better left tackle prospects to come out in recent years (if not a little rough around the edges), instead of drafting Lane Johnson, thereby negating the need to trade picks to get an aging veteran they’d have to pay next year … they drafted Dion Jordan. A situational pass rusher that pretty much everyone agreed didn’t fit the Dolphins defense, and at this point has 1 sack and 6 tackles in 8 NFL games.

And then, since they spent the second round pick the Chiefs wanted getting a player who didn’t fit their scheme, the Chiefs (understandably) got pissed and ended trade negotiations. And then Dolphins had to try and sign re-treads like Eric Winston and Bryan McKinnie, who ultimately decided to go back to Baltimore instead of play for Miami. McKinnie would then proceed to play so poorly than the Ravens traded him to Miami anyway.

Jeff Ireland is the guy who tried to play hardball, lost out on one of the best left tackles in the game today, lost out on one of the better left tackle prospects to come out recently in the draft, got rebuffed by pretty much everyone he tried to sign, got turned down by Bryan McKinnie … and then had to spend a draft pick on Byran McKinnie anyway, after McKinnie played his way out of a job in Baltimore.

And as for Jonathan Martin? Well, that’s where it gets even funnier. Because the locker room culture that Miami has cultivated — fucking over the players who play well for you, overpaying free agents, having a GM who’s a dick and possibly having an unqualified coach — has resulted in a culture of bullying. Richie Incognito (because who else) was apparenty such a tool that Jonathan Martin doesn’t feel safe, and likely won’t come back to the team until either Incognito is gone or the situation is handled.

The veterans of the Dolphins locker room forced Jonathan Martin to pay $15,000 for a trip Las Vegas that Martin didn’t even attend. Veterans are forcing rookie to pay $30,000 for dinner. Adam Schefter broke the news, and then was immediately accosted by Richie Incognito. Now, to save face, the Dolphins have suspended Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team. That means the team is now without two of it’s starting offensive linemen. And Ryan Tannehill, the franchise quarterback that Ireland only drafted because Dolphins fans would’ve burnt down the building if he didn’t, who is getting hit at an astounding rate, looks like he’ll get hit even more, while Mike Wallace can’t get open and most of Tannehill’s weapons are on IR.

Oh, and by the way, the Dolphins just gave Jeff Ireland a 3-year extension.

How is it that the 0-8 Jaguars are the least dysfunctional team in Florida?

Josh Freeman Keeps Getting Screwed

Standard

Josh Freeman is inactive for Minnesota today, a biting indictment of the fact that Minnesota signed him with promises of giving his an opportunity to compete for a job, and then threw him to the wolves on Monday Night Football after only having about a week to learn a completely new system with completely new players and having him throw it 53 times with, perhaps, the last legitimate every down bell cow running back in the modern day NFL only getting a measly 18 touches.

 

But it was all Josh Freeman’s fault that ownership and the general manager for the Vikings signed this kid, then shoved him onto the field unprepared, with a gameplan that only makes sense until you consider that Adrian Peterson seeing 8 man fronts to stop him has, ya know, never fucking stopped him. But they threw Josh Freeman to the wolves anyway, he threw 53 times in a game that was maddeningly winnable against a shambolic Giants team that seemed incapable of stopping the run and or pass.

 

Instead, the Vikings turn back to the guy that they were trying to replace in the first place in Christian Ponder, who, even though I like him, isn’t as talented as Josh Freeman on his best day. Otherwise they wouldn’t have tried to replace him. And Josh Freeman is inactive instead of the other guy they tried to replace, Matt Cassel. Matt Cassel, i.e., “the first guy we tried this plan to replace Christian Ponder with.”

 

Maybe I’m giving Josh Freeman too much credit, but it does seem that this is twice in as many weeks that a team has tried to screw the guy by pinning the teams failings on him. Of course it’s not as bad as Greg Schiano screwing Josh, but Schiano has taken football coach douchebaggery to obsessive compulsive new heights.

 

But if it wasn’t their intention to give Freeman a legit shot at winning the job by being demonstrably better than either Ponder or Cassel, why shove an unprepared quarterback who’s confidence has been reduced to microscopic dust out on a national stage, give the best player on your team only 18 touches, and then watch as he repeatedly fails.

 

Shit like this is why assholes like Albert Haynesworth figure than can scooch by doing the bare minumum; if the NFL isn’t going to look out for you and is going to trade you like a cheap commodity, what exactly is the point of giving it your all? Just half-ass it, make your money, then get out. Haynesworth is wrong, but it’s not so crazy to see why someone would become jaded.

 

Josh Freeman hasn’t played well, and he hasn’t proved Schiano was wrong about him. (Yet.) But as an organization, you should do your best to put every player in a position to win. They sure as fuck didn’t do that by shoving him out there for the world to see him fail. And now they’re stuck playing the guy who they clearly don’t want at all.

 

Whenever I think about how bad the Redskins are, I can always remember that shit could be so much worse.

NFL’s New Helmet Rule is Pointless, Stupid

Standard

This season, the NFL entered a brave new world in the realm of “not-getting-our-asses-sued” when it’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee introduced a new rule, that basically ended the throwback uniform in their current incarnation.

The rule states that after a player selects a helmet that fits him well, that is the helmet he must wear for the entirety of the season. Introducing a new helmet midseason, they suggest, could lead to an unproperly fitted helmet, which could, in theory, lead to more injuries.

This, in a word, is stupid.

The week before games in which throwback uniforms are typically worn, the players usually wear those helmets. That gives you a whole week (unless you’re playing a Thursday Night game, which the NFL certainly doesn’t want to get rid of despite it being the rough equivalent of getting in a violent car wreck, having no rehab or recovery, and then getting in another car wreck four days later) to try on your new helmet, see if it fits, and then get it adjusted by the equipment staff.

It’s also a bit hypocritical for the NFL to continue to push the narrative that helmets are safer and built to protect players versus concussions (there’s zero proof that this is true), while also saying “hey, if you wear a new helmet you might be more likely to get a concussion!”. Well which fucking thing is it? If helmets are safer, and if most people in equipment departments are trained veterans of their particular “craft”, as it were, how are newer helmets — that haven’t seen the wear and tear of an NFL season — less effective than older ones?

An interview conducted by Paul Lukas of Uni Watch by a veteran equipment manager suggests that the NFL is trying to guard itself against new allegations, should a player wear a new helmet and get hurt. But the most surprising part to me is that it seems a lot of players are wearing older, obsolete helmets that aren’t even made anymore.

The logic on display here is all sorts of bass-ackwads. The NFL (allegedly) is trying to guard itself against a player getting hurt in a game, then saying that the NFL made them wear a new helmet … but, the NFL has done nothing to say “hey, maybe wearing old, obsolete equipment that’s not being made anymore is a bad fucking idea too!”. I guess they’d meet resistance from the NFLPA, but one imagines it’d be hard to lose the PR battle of “No, seriously, wearing old obsolete equipment is a really bad idea.” This isn’t forcing players to wear knee and thigh pads for “safety purposes” and then watching as ACL’s tear and leg injuries skyrocketed because you suck at defining the strike zone, because if you so much as sneeze in the general vicinity of an offensive player’;s head-or-neck area, you get a flag and a fine.

So, instead of taking an actual stand in a case wear that’d have near unanimous support from just about everyone on the planet, the NFL decided to half ass it in a way that does nothing to address an actual problem, pisses off fans, loses money, and keeps players wearing old equipment that protects them even less than new equipment does … while also condemning said new equipment for not being as safe as the old, obsolete equipment.

Perfect illustration of why football is stupid.