The NFL can be a lot like Congress. Everyone hates the changes that are made, nobody can think of a better one, and the interests of the elite are considered exponentially more than those of the average fan. These similarities alone would be enough to make some sort of comparison, but the ties go much deeper.
With the recent penalty and fining of Ahmad Brooks for what appeared, to my eyes, to be a clean hit—and, for all intensive purposes, was not considered “malicious” by the recipient, Drew Brees—the NFL Competition Committee has hit a new low. How can a hit to the chest be considered a fine? As Mike Golic said on Tuesday’s “Mike and Mike” on ESPN, Drew Brees’ neck hit Brooks’ arm, not the other way around. What is the rule, exactly? No one knows—not even the enforcers! Obamacare, anyone?
Though, personally, I did not view Brooks’ hit to be deserving of a flag, I admit I am biased. That he was fined, however, shows just how far the NFL will go to defend its name and its legitimacy. They’ll gladly throw a lowly defender under the bus to defend the status quo and big investment—a big-salaried QB.
In addition, what’s going on with PSLs? How many season ticket holders have been conned out of an exciting event due to prices that make all but the richest—or most intoxicated—cringe? Then there is the whole issue with increasing Flex scheduling. Flexing games sounds great, but can severely damage the worth of a ticket to its owner if the time gets switched to one he/she can no longer attend (i.e. bringing a young child to a late game, having to work, etc.)
What is the solution? Well, as the owners do, in effect, own the league, they can make whatever rules they want to make. It is their game. As much as I, or anyone, might complain, very few will stop watching the product out of simple frustration. Thus, the owners have little to worry about presently. Maybe, someday, this will change, but that day is far off. In the meantime, Atlanta loves the (losing) Falcons enough to pay for a new stadium, but has no problem letting the (fairly good) Braves move out of town. An NFL owner could very well respond to all complaints by pulling out a pocketbook and asking what, exactly, is the matter. To him, probably nothing. I guess, in this respect, the federal government could use a lesson.