The Monthly Pessimist: The NFL has become a big embarrassment to America

Feb. 1, 2020

By Joe Arino-Sandomenico

‘Twas a beautiful Sunday afternoon for Wildcard Weekend, and I was sitting on the couch with my mom, uncle and grandma watching the first playoff game of the day on Jan. 5. Throughout the game, we were yelling and screaming at the TV, hoping our words would get through to the players.

The Minnesota Vikings were up against the New Orleans Saints, and the game went into overtime. On the Vikings’ second drive, quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a dot to receiver Adam Thielen down to the Saints’ goal line.

After stopping them twice, the Saints gave up a touchdown on third down, sealing a Vikings win. However, on the play, the receiver clearly pushed off, which would usually cause an offensive pass interference. However, it was just the same old story in the NFL with the referees making yet another blown call against the Saints. 

Football has gone downhill for multiple reasons, and the terrible referees are partly to blame. 

First of all, Stevie Wonder could probably call a better game than these trash referees… and he’s blind. Second, there are seven referees on the field at any given time. I can understand a missed call here and there, but they miss multiple calls every damn game. It’s completely outrageous.

Since I am the biggest sports fan ever, it’s typical for me to blame the referees for terrible football, but that isn’t the only problem. The NFL also likes to make the dumbest rules anyone could possibly think of to keep the players “safe.”

Football is an aggressive game, and people are going to get hurt, but that’s a part of the sport. Yeah, I get the whole debacle revolving around the fatal effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which causes severe head trauma that often leads to suicide. Nonetheless, I blame the new generations for softening up these players too much. 

“I’m a firm believer in the motto ‘Defense wins championships,’ and I love the ground-and-pound running game of the 90s, but I guess I won’t be seeing that anymore. “

For example, at the beginning of the 2018-2019 NFL season, a new rule pertaining to roughing the passer was implemented. The rule says that a player cannot sack the quarterback using his full body weight, which was unheard of in the history of the NFL. 

Now, not only do coaches have to teach their players to sack differently—even that sentence sounds so ignorant to me—but if the player does not do it correctly, it’ll cost his team 15 yards. 

Many people say, “It’s to keep the quarterback safe from his head slamming into the ground.” No, you’re wrong. It is to keep star quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers on the field so the NFL can make more cash. This is the real reason why the rule was created after Rodgers was out for half the 2017-2018 season because he got hurt on a sack.

You’re not slick, Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

Football is heading in a bad direction because of these rules. As a result, teams are moving to a pass-heavy style of play and an offense-heavy style of football in general. Not only that, but these run-first quarterbacks are really messing up football. I miss the precision pocket passers of the past. 

I’m a firm believer in the motto “Defense wins championships,” and I love the ground-and-pound running game of the 90s, but I guess I won’t be seeing that anymore. 

Nowadays, teams are dropping 30 points per game and giving up 20 per game too. I miss the days when the scores were 10-3, and not because of bad offense but because of great defense. I loved hard-hitting defense, not this flag football crap.

I have been watching football since I was around four years old. I always enjoyed the thrill of the game and the strategic play of it. With the new fixes to the game that speed it up and make it “safer,” it just isn’t fun to watch or be a fan anymore.

I love football as much as the next super fan. Heck, I even aspired to be a coach in the NFL someday, but with the way football is going, don’t expect to catch me on the sideline coaching in the near future. It would probably be better if I became commissioner because I could make more of a difference than Goodell ever could.

I have to thank Father Time that the Super Bowl won’t feature New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady this year. Now, that’s a touchdown in my book. 

Even so, this Super Bowl is going to be a guaranteed miss, just like kicker Cody Parkey. Yeah, we’ve got some new teams playing, but I’d rather watch these teams play backyard football than witness the referees and the NFL screw them over.

I am ecstatic about Feb. 2. No, not because of the Super Bowl but because of Groundhog Day. I’m so looking forward to hearing that there will be an early spring because that means we will be one step closer to the end of football season. And, oh yeah, that groundhog would probably be a better referee than the ones the NFL hires, too.

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