Last weekend, NFL Countdown on ESPN spent more than 45 minutes on Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. 45 minutes! All I could think was, "can you guys just start talking about football?" I really just wanted to see why the Broncos should beat the Chiefs, or if San Diego had a shot at beating the Seahawks. 45 minutes of a 2-hour show wasted on personal thoughts about criminal acts that have nothing to do with football. Fine, it's NFL news because it involves an NFL player, so touch on it and move on - quickly!
Personal thoughts from Ray Lewis, of all people, are a complete joke. This man who was involved somehow in a murder, should not be free to speak on TV about ANYTHING, let alone give his opinion on football players in legal trouble. The guy threw his friends under the bus and pleaded down to a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge - in a murder trial. People are dead here, so let's idolize him and put him in a suit to talk about football! If we try to forget the fact that he was involved in this appalling act and just judge him by his ability to breakdown games and strategies, he has nothing to add. He's horrible. At least the other former players and coaches can tell you SOMETHING about the teams and give a strategic opinion as to why they will succeed or fail in their game of the week. Plus, every time I look them in the eye, I don't think they are murderers. Then again, none of them have larger-than-life statues of themselves outside their former teams' stadiums. The only thing I can think of is he must have pictures or something of a big wig at ESPN. Otherwise, ESPN needs to do the right thing and boot him off TV. I can't take it.
Anyone remember Aaron Hernandez? No?
My personal thoughts: remember when Adrian Peterson lost a child last year? Was it just me, or did he not seem nearly as upset as a parent should be? I know everyone grieves differently, but I took his reaction as if he felt like it was one less child support check he had to write. Wow, that was harsh, but was it off by much?
The NFL as a whole needs to get their shit together. Here are some of my suggestions for fixes. Feel free to argue or add to them as you see fit:
- Get Ray Lewis off the air. As stated above, he sets a bad example and has no credibility other than being a former player. He's horrible at his job and has a shady background.
- While we're at it, you might as well fire 90% of the color (not colored) announcers currently assigned to call games on TV. These former NFLers are all pretty incompetent and add nothing, not like the play-by-play guys are much better. These guys miss just about every detail that happens on the field, and then act shocked when they hear what happened through the ref's microphone. You're right there! PAY ATTENTION! We really need average fan announcers, complete with alcohol and cursing. I'd watch that. Hell, I'd DO that. Who's with me? I'll call the play-by-play, and someone else can jump in with random goofy comments. If we could crack the legal red tape of the NFL, I'd totally do a webcast like this. Maybe we can start with classic games? Any of them public domain yet? Doubt it...
- How much money is the NFL actually spending on the NFL Network? Because it's atrocious. Seriously. Is Rich Eisen being punished for something? How did he end up on this pathetic network? Their shows are just awful, and their "talent" of former players are so uncomfortable doing things like, well, speaking that it's completely unwatchable. The games on this channel are impossible to watch as well! Put aside the terrible announcers, because the camera work is pathetic. There are local high school games with better camera men - in Wyoming! (Nothing personal against Wyoming, it's just the least populated state so they have the least amount of talent to choose from. Chill out.) It just needs to go away. Cut the funding and donate it to research for pediatric cancer or something else useful.
- I'm not going to go as far as saying the commissioner needs to be fired, but they really need to police themselves. Roger Dodger needs to admit he made a mockery of the current situations with Ray and Adrian and suspend himself for half the season, fine himself (donate to pediatric cancer research!), and install a committee (with half of them being women) to reside over any kind of domestic violence issues that come up. Let's keep it all behind the scenes until a decision is made, announce the decision/punishment, move on.
- Thursday Night Football needs to go. I'm sure the NFL makes a ton of money off this, but it's got to be hard on the players. There are 2 teams (Broncos and Saints) that have to play a Sunday NIGHT game, and then follow it up with a Thursday night game. Bet against them that week, because this is totally unfair. If they keep the Thursday night game, there should be a rule that the teams playing in it have a morning game the week before. My suggestion? Move it to Friday! There's nothing else on Friday night on TV anyways. On Thursday, I've got Big Bang Theory and Scandal to watch.
I realize I sound like an old man with this "Back in MY day" post, but I really just want to watch football again.