Is it possible for an organization to have a worse P.R. week and a half than the NFL has? Multiple NFL players have committed or are accused of committing horrid abuse upon defenseless woman and children.
Should we football fans feel guilty for watching the NFL, despite the actions of the players and the league’s handling of these actions? Should we shrug and say we’re simply out of control fanatics who need our fix of football? I say no.
And that is not only because the team I root for – the Philadelphia Eagles – have begun the season 2-0 despite falling behind by 14 or more points in their first two games. This, by the way, is the first time that has ever occurred.
No, that is not the reason the NFL doesn’t suck. The NFL is a huge organization which includes nearly 1,700 players plus owners, coaches, trainers, and other personnel. As has been brought to light, some of those associated with the NFL have conducted themselves in ways that they should be ashamed of. However, as everyone has heard many times, don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Devon Still reminds us that not all NFL players are uncontrolled brutes.
Across the NFL, teams are beginning training camp. Endless analysis is available about every imaginable aspect of the game. However, the biggest story is only marginally related to the game itself. That story, of course, is the controversy related to Tony Dungy.
Here’s some background for those of you who are not football fans or don’t know who Tony Dungy is. Dungy played briefly in the NFL before becoming a coach in the league. Eventually, he became a head coach. His first head coaching job in the NFL was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is most famous for his second head coaching job which came with the Indianapolis Colts. It was with the Colts that he led a team to a Super Bowl victory. Dungy has since retired and is now a football analyst for NBC.
While I don’t know Dungy personally, the sense I get from listening to him and hearing others talk about him is overwhelmingly positive. He comes off as decent, respectable, and graceful. To be clear, Tony Dungy has been a stand-up guy.
Recently, my family and I were visiting my mother for the weekend. Other family members came over to visit and to chat. It was all very pleasant. During one such conversation that included my cousins, BR and HR, I was a non-participant. It wasn’t by choice. I didn’t want to be muted, silenced. Unfortunately, I was like an actor without any lines – I simply had nothing to say.
The topic of the conversation: television.
As I’ve mentioned before I am a regular, well semi regular, watcher of Modern Family. I also watch sports – other than the World Cup. I don’t care about the World Cup. I also watch news programs. However, in reality, I am a consistent watcher of nothing.
Anyway, as my cousins and others were going on about shows they liked and watched regularly, I sat there dumbly smiling and nodding occasionally trying to be social (that in and of itself can be a challenge for me). Terms were going back and forth which I had never heard. BR said she could watch HGTV all day. Huh?
What channel is that?
During the conversation, my cousin, BR, turned to me and casually said, “You really need to watch some television. I know you’re busy. We’re all busy. Just find some time to sit down and watch television.” I muttered meekly, still smiling though, “Well, uh okay.” What was I to say?
It was a big sports weekend. The NHL season ended with the Los Angeles Kings taking home the Stanley Cup. The NBA season ended with the San Antonio Spurs winning the championship. Martin Kaymer won the US Open of golf. The World Cup began (actually, it started Thursday).
And the championship was played in BR’s Little League. Unfortunately, our team lost last week, despite twice coming back from multiple run deficits. So ends BR’s first season of Little League and my first season as a coach.
Originally, it was not my plan to coach, but when the manager of the team, who is a friend of mine, asked me to help, I was intrigued. I asked BR about 10 times if he was okay with it. He said “Yes” each time, so I finally did also.
Over our seven game season (not exactly a grind there), I learned some things. Continue reading →