Monday, January 11, 2016

My Son's Trial Separation from the NFL

A guest post by Big Cuter.

It’s not because my formerly beloved San Francisco 49ers have gone completely in the tank.  Sure that helps, but I like to think that it really just freed me to follow my head.  My heart is no longer in it. This isn’t some knee jerk reaction.  This is something that I’ve struggled with for the past 18 months.

Lets back up a bit.  Who am I and why does/should my trial separation matter to the NFL?  Well, Burrow denizens, I’m Ashleigh’s son, so there’s that.  I’m a 32 year old, single (much to my mother’s dismay), man who for most of my life defined myself by my football fandom.  Examples?  Well, I’m glad you (didn’t) ask!

  •  Shallowly, in those Facebook word-clouds of most used words in the last year, FOOTBALL easily came in first. 
  •  I’ve created 15 page PowerPoints to teach football to significant others.
  • Every Wednesday during the football season TBG  and I go through every single NFL game and pick the winner against the gambling spread – all for pride, and mostly to prove that we shouldn’t gamble.  We shouldn’t. 
  • I’ve played fantasy football for 16 consecutive years, and have been commissioner of a league with an 8 page rule sheet (written by me, of course) for the past 6 years.  
  •  A sizable portion of my wardrobe is 49ers branded.  
  •  I’ve always said that one of my two deal-breakers in accepting a potential life partner would be her not respecting the fact that, from August through the Super Bowl, Sundays are reserved for football.  
  • And, I’ve spent the past 200 words describing my fandom and probably not even scratched the surface. 

So, I’m an enfranchised fan of the NFL.  Or I was.  Why am I working on a trial separation right now, writing this blog post while a playoff game is being waged between the Green Bay Packers and  the Washington Professional Football Team?  Many, many reasons.  But let's start with the home team in that previously mentioned game.  

Outside of Our Nation’s Capitol, it is widely, and legally, recognized that the term “Redskin” is a racial slur. It might not trigger the visceral revulsion that other words do, but that’s likely because most of us don’t come across Native Americans nearly as much as we do other minority groups (and that’s a topic for a different post).  Rather than change with the times, The Washington Professional Football Team’s owner has defended this ridiculous moniker.  

Mr. Snyder is widely reviled, and for many reasons having nothing to do with football, but in my mind this is the best reason.  When you’re lumping yourself in with “SHANK THE B!T@H board games” and “RETARDIPEDIA”, maybe that’s a signal that you’re on the wrong side of the argument. 

Another reason that I am considering a trial separation from the NFL is the public funding of stadiums.  I’m fully in favor of a free market, and I think financial success should be lauded. But when St. Louis's offer of 300 million taxpayer dollars to the owner of the Rams is deemed "inadequate" by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, something is really wrong. 

Nope, this is a check of tax payers dollars that is being handed over to a .0000001%-er.  Is that “.0000001%-er” necessarily a bad person?  Not at all, although many, as Redskins fans well know, are.  

But should the public be forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to private industry when the case that the public benefits in any tangible financial way is tenuous at best?  I’d argue that there are better ways for that money to be spent.

 Do you need more reasons? 
So, right now, rather than watching the playoffs, I’m flipping through e-sports, reading a book, and then probably flipping back to the football while I chat with with Ashleigh and TBG on the phone.

It’s just so hard to quit, but I’m trying.


  1. Being that I'm from DC, I can totally relate to this post. I used to be a huge R fan, but after Snyder's refusal to change the name of the team, I just cannot support the team anymore (much to my hubby's dismay). And when I said to him and my BIL that I haven't watched or followed at all this season, they both asked me to not get involved 'cause I might ruin their playoff chances (this was before yesterday's game). Silly superstitions. And my hubby is a huge R fan, but he also agrees that Snyder is a jack ass of the highest order. MANY people in the DC area do not like him. He's a complete jerk and to not even acknowledge that the name is a racial slur is just infuriating.

    The coddling of domestic abusers is extremely upsetting too. And players who have been outspoken about it have been punished. And don't get me started on the covering-up of concussions...

    I'm with you on the separation from the NFL.

    Love the guest post too. :)


    1. The two of you can watch Netflix together with me on Sundays!
      I totally get the "don't get involved" comment. I was banned from a game b/c the 9'ers were ahead while I was in the other room. Sigh....

  2. This post should have the NFL very, very worried. I quit following the NFL for many of the reasons cited by Big Cuter - but I am a middle aged woman and not the primary demographic of the advertisers. If 30-something lifelong fans start walking away, the ad dollars won't be far behind.

  3. I find football disturbing on so many levels. The primary disturbance for me is the concussion issue. Worse, is the fact that children are allowed to play this game. To me, it's all just sick and wrong. The Giro d'Italia starts in May. I'm looking forward to bicycle racing season, that's my sport. Fortunately I married a man who is indifferent to most televised sports.

    1. I'm hopeful that my son will rub off on his father... delusional on my part, but....


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