Before the Hall of Fame game was cancelled due to Roger Goodell’s menstrual cycle (I think that was it at least), I found myself sitting on the couch waiting for the kickoff of the 2016/2017 NFL season with a cold beer and a great deal of confusion.
Yes, I realize it’s football, which even on its worst day is vastly superior to the nap-inducing Euro-trash that is soccer, but why am I waiting for undrafted free agents versus one series of actual NFL talent? Even on my laziest of Sundays with an insatiable thirst for non-baseball wagers, I can’t justify it.
The NFL preseason is a joke and needs to be abolished. Yes, I realize the NFL Players Association is without question run by mongoloids that have successfully negotiated the worst collective bargaining agreement in the history of major professional sports, paradoxically for the players that comprise the world’s most popular, and dangerous, league.
But the preseason simply takes it too far. A vast majority of the actual participants are playing under fully non-guaranteed deals, training camp invites that come with paltry five digit compensation that has even us degenerate TFM freelancers wondering who the fuck could live on that. These kids risk their life and limb for literal peanuts, competing in a sort of modern gladiator’s coliseum for the fleeting hope of a one-year deal, or a practice squad contract making well below six figures while being the human tackling dummy of the millionaire starters. Broken leg? Sorry. Concussion? That’s expected. ACL? Good luck with your recovery. It’s fucking sickening.
The tangible benefits of this four-game idiocy are nearly null. Gambling on FCS players fumbling and stumbling their way towards the ER is insanity. College football manages to finish fall camp prepared for the regular slate without a single preseason matchup. TV ratings lag behind Tuesday night MACtion for most games, and decisions on rosters (at least based on Hard Knocks) are typically made on the practice field anyway.
So why do it? Because the big bad NFL can, and the desperate athletes praying for hope and a singular opportunity cannot say no. The NFLPA has to remedy this. For the first time in their lives taking a meaningful stand against a “not for profit” league generating more revenue than any sports league in the history of mankind. If we’re going to keep these idiotic scrimmages, at least make all contracts guarantee against injury, with a full rookie minimum wage scale (not even half a million bucks) so these kids at least have hope if disaster strikes.
If I have to watch Dan Orlovsky throw another pick six intended for an unknown caucasian receiver, I might have to actually consider watching the non-USA related Olympics. I’m serious. This level of football makes MACtion look like Super Bowl XLIX (you know, the good one), all while putting completely financially unsecured roster additions in danger of life altering injury.
I’m a self-professed capitalist pig and proud of it. Good for the NFL, squeezing every possible dime out of America’s beloved game before the PC Commies “regulate” it into oblivion, but the trickle down effect must come to fruition: guarantee these contracts, pay these fucking players, Roger..
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