Why the NFL sucks

Tales of the No Fun League; judging the judges; parsing the Pamphlet of Record
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  January 5, 2011

Oh, we meant to say "Why the NFL sucks . . . except for the Patriots." Sorry. And prepare yourself for a sporting screed.

This season the No Fun League, led by the over-officious and hypocritical empty suit Commissioner Roger Goodell, has gotten completely out of hand. The steam emerging from the noggins of P+J while we watch games at Casa Diablo and follow the off-field antics during the week is enough to power Casey Jones's train.

The tipping point came when Goodell dove under the bed on the Brett Favre sexual harassment case, fining the league's dry drunk only $50,000 for purportedly sending unsolicited pictures of his NFL official logo-bearing Johnson bar to a New York Jets in-house reporter while he was with the team three years ago. Goodell used the fatuous claim that he didn't have enough "forensic" evidence to rule against Favre, which left the victim's lawyer's aghast, since she supposedly has the offending images at hand. Maybe Goodell, the Inspector Clouseau of commissioners, just couldn't get enough volunteers to fill out a police lineup for her to view.

But one must remember that Favre is a league-sanctioned golden boy, whose offending member has always and continues to be sucked by everyone from the NFL executive office to the network broadcasters, much in the way those folks also fawn over Peyton Manning and, for some ungodly reason, his B-list QB brother Eli. (Tom Brady is too metrosexual for these corporate jock sniffers to fully understand or appreciate, hence he tends to get less than the full spotlight showcasing from the league or its advertisers.)

Contrast Favre's wrist slap with the treatment of James Harrison, the Steelers' All-Pro linebacker who was responsible for perhaps the most spectacular game-deciding play in Super Bowl history, when he ran back an interception 100 yards for a TD just as the clock expired for halftime in the 2009 Soop, which Pittsburgh eventually won, 27-23. Always a heat-seeking missile on the field, Harrison has been fined $100,000 this year for the sort of helmet-to-helmet collisions the NFL used to celebrate before the concussion police got on their case this year.

Harrison and the Steelers have been obviously scapegoated for these helmet-first launches and head-hunting hits, despite Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger having his nose broken in a play that didn't even draw a penalty flag. While Harrison gets his pocket picked every week for doing what he is encouraged and paid to do, Favre essentially skates for doing things that are not encouraged or paid for, and are reprehensible. But campaigning about sexual assault or domestic violence has never been high up the NFL's priority list.

P+J could go on and on about the hypocrisy of the clueless, two-faced Goodell plumping for a move to an 18-game regular season, which even highly regarded hard-asses like the Chicago Bears' ferocious middle linebacker Brian Urlacher say will increase injuries to players, including the merchandise sales-generating stars.

Or we could mention the absolute debacle of an idiot circus put on by referees this year, from bias in calls on the helmet-to-helmet hits to blatant mistakes on such mundane things as marking where the ball is spotted.

As we said, the NFL sucks — and only Brett Favre and the Mannings get the benefit of it.

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