Thursday, November 07, 2013

The NFL column I've been waiting for

And it's probably not surprising that it appears on Grantland, which over the past year become the one web site that I have to read on a daily basis.  I mean, seriously - it's like this site was invented just for me.  One day the lead story will be on sports, the next day it will be about a movie, and then the day after that you'll read a great piece about music.  I know that some people think Bill Simmons is too clever for his own good, but I'm not one them - for me, he's close to genius (we'll give him a little room to improve).

Titled "Man Up," the column is by Brian Phillips, and it does a fantastic job of eviscerating the mindset that I decried in the piece that I wrote yesterday - the mindset that defends "the code" within the NFL that is apparently more important to some than actually abiding by the law and the standards of human decency.

Please read the whole thing, but in the meantime, here is an excerpt:

There will always be locker-room assholes. They should be curtailed. And when a player says he needs time off for mental reasons — again: in a sport with a suicide problem — it shouldn't spark a national conversation on whether he's soft.

I am here to hurt you, so I'll also say this: You're a warrior, cool. What the hell are you a warrior for? I'm sorry if this makes it sound like I have emotions other than anger — I assure you that I don't — but tell me this: What's the point of being strong if all you stand for is abusing a suffering teammate? Those guys who taught me that when you see a problem, you step up and solve it, all those anonymous sources foaming on about how to be a man — is that what they think "being a man" is? I mean, nothing about protecting someone who's struggling in your big gender equation, then? Nothing about, like, knowing right from wrong?

Here's what I can't stop thinking: There were so many tough men in that Dolphins locker room. The unwritten code of football is that you handle your business in-house. Any one of these men could have said something to stop Incognito and help Martin. Any one of them could have handled it. They're warriors, right? They're paragons of strength. And yeah, there are complex reasons why they didn't. But they didn't.

I know I'm repeating myself, but please go read the whole thing.

1 comment:

le0pard13 said...

Thanks for bringing attention to this article, and Grantland, Jeff.