I love football. Everything about the game is exciting to me. I grew up in a household where Sunday was about church and football—and certainly as a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan that partnership made sense. The meatballs would be cooking on the stove and by the 1:00 kick off we were all positioned on the couch with our Sunday meal on snack tables and it would begin.
As I got older, I only dated guys who liked football and would be willing to sit all day on a Sunday and watch the games with me. I hit the lottery when I found my husband who turned out to be even more passionate about the sport. He played in high school and college and knew more about the game than anyone I had ever know. So, of course, I married him. It was not unheard of that throughout our 30 years together that most Sundays you would find us on the couch watching all three consecutive games. It was Sunday. It was game day.
Over the years, I have become a bit disenchanted with the NFL as a business. I, like many fans, have felt irritated with the childish antics on the field by grown men and the hero status that our athletes have been afforded. But still I would continue to watch and enjoy the sport I love. But in the last year, we have witnessed violent and vile acts committed by our athletes in their personal lives. These acts in their own right should be intolerable but worse is the seemingly covert sanctioning because they are our heroes. After all, we need them on the field. We need to win.
The NFL is a billion dollar business but somehow can’t seem to figure out how to run the business. They employee only part- time referees, there is seemingly rules identified for the business but no strategic plan in place on how to enforce those rules. What we as fans are left with is a business that is corrupt and sport that has lost the essence of integrity.
It appears that the old adage of “may the best team win” has been replaced with “may the team with the most money and the most unethical leadership win”. Perhaps the most efficient business strategy would be to simply buy the ring and not even bother putting the players on the field.
It saddens me to say that the NFL has lost a fan. As I sit down to enjoy my Sunday meatballs in front of the TV, I will be looking for something else to watch.