I've been betrayed. Well, sort of. Most of it is my fault, of course, but it is still shattering to find out just how wrong I was about "my" NFL. I projected onto players, coaches and refs all sorts of admirable qualities like honesty, integrity, intelligence as well as phenomenal athletic ability. Yes, even refs are above average folks, right? Have you seen Ed Hochuli's arms?
I loved supporting the guys who'd faced insurmountable odds in college and now were fulfilling their "destiny" in the National Football League. Gave kids around here the idea that maybe--they might be able to overcome the odds they were facing and make it to the pros, too. They could play the game they love, entertain millions, have even more fans, get a lucrative endorsement deal--and buy that house for their mommas! Unfortunately, they have to turn pro to do it.
As a football fan, the domestic abuse survivor in me doesn't seem that interested in the pro players anymore. Owners and coaches, too for that matter. I just decided that no matter how bad the NFL might look to us in the audience, there were a number of unseen entities that ruled the NFL and its employees with an iron fist. Apparently, the only one with a fist resembling iron was Mr. Rice.
I understand "protecting the shield" but to have an owner and management conspire to downplay an assault "their guy" committed so their buddy the commissioner would just give him a two game suspension seems criminal in itself. I bet the conversation sounded like this:
"Oh, Roge, he might've shoved her or something but TO BE FAIR she spit on him and I don't know any man that could take that from anyone. Besides, he's never been violent with me or anyone I know and he is really, really, really sorry. So let's give him a break...we need him to on Sundays!"
Goodell admitted that he had no personal experience with domestic violence and hopefully, neither of his daughters will ever be abused because I doubt he'd ever think much less ask or tolerate anyone asking, "what did you do to make him hit you?"
As for the 49'ers, where I live pregnant women are 'especially protected' by the law meaning no matter what she does--or what you say she did to deserve 'it' the unborn child must be protected above everything else. YOU go to jail. Unfair? Life protecting.
If John Harbaugh really did go to the Ravens 'brass' and ask that Mr. Rice be cut, I apologize for thinking he was part of the problem. At least he tried to do the right thing without hiding behind "due process." He is more of a man than his brother is out in San Francisco.
I have narrowed down the teams I support. #18 and #10 have always been men to admire both on and off the field so they'll still get my money but overall, I'll find better things to do with my money than spend it on jerseys, game tickets and souvenirs at stadiums.