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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The tarnished NFL image

    For most NFL fans tomorrow's opening season games comes amid a number of controversies that cloud the image of the NFL.  For Raven fans the controversy over Ray Rice's penalty not showing sensitivity to the problem of domestic abuse has caused the Commissioner to implement a more severe penalty for domestic abuse.   Ray Rice was one of our community's "good guys."  I was a Facebook friend of his because of his involvement in Howard County and especially his involvement with the anti-bullying campaign.  Ray has had to keep his head down and try to get back in the good graces of the Baltimore community.
     As troubling as the controversy around Ray Rice has been the toll that concussions, injuries to retired players,  performance enhancing drugs  and gun violence may have an even more pronounced impact on how the game is viewed.  Just at a time when the NFL has been trying to market its product to women these controversies couldn't have come at a worse time.  When you turn off women you have a major image problem.  It is becoming more common to hear mothers saying they won't let their sons play football.
     We have always known that football had a certain level of violence and that was one reason why it has become such a popular sport.  Do you know anyone that has a fantasy baseball team?  Football is our gladiator sport.  They may not die quickly as was the case with Roman gladiators but the price pro football player pay is substantial.  Much of the price is paid out of our view.  The image below is of the hand of Chuck Bednarik who played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

     So with all the hype of the start of a new Raven's season tomorrow I plan to take a hike in DC and skip the game.  And the Orioles give us something amazing to watch this year even though baseball has some image problems too.

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