There’s a conundrum in professional football. I don’t know the source, and I don’t know the solution, so this article won’t be very productive in fixing the issue. But it will highlight it, and raise the general question, “What the fuck, man?”
Here’s the conundrum.
Football players are tough. They’re mean. They feed off of aggression. It’s not only found on the field. It’s in vicious hits. It’s in interviews. There is an overwhelming impression that football players are meatheads who only delight in physical violence and sour demeanors. And the urge to find a vicious hit to link to every word of this paragraph was almost too strong to ignore. Even four seems too few. The point is, there’s a lot of evidence that football players are tough.
But then there’s the other side to that. And on the side is a soft underbelly of a baby whining for milk. Because when they’re not being tough, football players cry a whole lot. They cry about contracts. They cry about dirty players. They cry about officiating. And now, in the face of a record-breaking performance by Drew Brees on Monday Night Football, an unnamed Falcons player is crying about running up the score.
I mean, I guess we should be happy, because the football players are showing they are round people (most of them figuratively, BJ Raji literally) with complex emotions and wants and needs. So I guess that makes sense. But when you have a mean linebacker who is the most fined person in recent era for vicious hits, who says he wouldn’t pee on the commissioner if he was on fire, and then he complains about a fine from that same commissioner, it just seems odd.
How can these people be mean, angry monsters and babies at the same time? How can we take a stomping Ndamakong Suh seriously when he complains about why he stomped, then tries to sell us a 5 dollar foot long?
It seems like football players are coming from both sides of the spectrum. So many times we hear about the sensitivity of players. This week on Mike and Mike in the morning, Kordell Stewart blasted Rex Ryan for hypothetically choosing Peyton Manning over Mark Sanchez in a draft. His reasons? Sanchez is “fragile,” and he doesn’t want to hurt his quarterback’s feelings.
Are you kidding me?
Look, that whole hypothetical situation was ridiculous for several reasons. Firstly, no draft would have both Manning and Sanchez, because Manning is like 47 years older. Secondly, OF COURSE YOU DRAFT MANNING FIRST! What moron wouldn’t? Rex Ryan would be accused of lying if he said otherwise. Thirdly, if Mark Sanchez gets upset at a situation that doesn’t have any chance of ever happening because he’s sensitive, then maybe he shouldn’t be a starting quarterback.
Because at the end of the day, despite this conundrum, the NFL is a man’s league. It’s a league for people who are mentally tough. And if you’re going to cry about running up the score, maybe you should work on your defensive stops. If you’re going to cry about being hypothetically replaced by a player without a neck, maybe you should put in a few extra reps at practice (or learn how to hit your wide open receivers). If you’re going to play a sport that is renowned for its hard hits, physical nature, and Ray Lewis-inspired off-the-wall insanity, you need to concentrate more on your job and less on letting the world know your feelings are hurt.
But if you’re going to continue to complain, NFL players, you should write for our blog! After all, we do have “bawl” in the title. I eagerly await the guest piece from Chris Kluwe on how terrible it is that punters aren’t respected!