National Football League of "Merica: Week 1

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If people want to call Denver dirty for these hits, it's hard to argue otherwise (The label is definitely earned by Marshall's hit and to an extent Stewart's). Hopefully they'll adjust and dial it down a notch going forward.
All of those hits on the loop were egregious and should have been penalized. I'd go as far as to start calling for ejections around the league for these types of hits. The Marshall one was textbook headhunting and has no place in the game today.

Honestly, considering they did it so often and so clearly it looked to me to be a game strategy for them. Hit Cam in the head, win game. They know they won the SB on the basis of their defense last year and not via the sentient chair they had at QB; hell, the extensive Von Miller interview in SI a couple of weeks ago had all sorts of boasting about how they had Brady running for his life. So maybe they've gotten it into their heads that their team identity is to have a terrifying defense. The deliberate head hits they delivered to Newton last night certainly dovetail with that identity nicely, and if the refs and the league won't stop it from happening why should the Broncos stop doing it?

I should add, just to be clear: IMO the onus is on the league to clean up this stuff. Any team is going to try its utmost to win, and while the hits last night were dirty I can't find fault with the Broncos continuing to deliver them since they weren't getting penalties. The blame is on the league and the officials for not putting a stop to them.
 
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Rook05

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Good points from Kliq and 86. I totally agree that for all to Cam's talent, he's got terrible habits and body language. Olsen was losing his mind after several plays in the forth quarter--he was shaking Ward consistently but Cam would rarely hit him unless it was the first read.

The Broncos' O-line was far more dominant than I had them pegged for. Siemian got hit a few times but was largely clean, and the run game looks like it could be bringing back the early 2000s Broncos offenses.

Generally excellent play calling from Kubiak. The offense isn't complex but it kept CAR off balance. And they weren't super conservative either--I think they came out throwing on seven or eight of their first few plays, and I was surprised they threw on first down when trying to ice it in the fourth.

Von Miller is still really, really good at football. He was getting wrapped up on every play and was still getting there.

More broadly, I thought it was pretty shitty of the Bronco fans to be booing Siemian in the third quarter. You just won the Super Bowl and this kid is a 7th rounder playing in his first game. Simeon responded well getting a score and generally looked servicable. I know all fan bases are rabid but the box I was in was like acting in the very worst depths of a heated SoSH game thread. One dude alternated between shouting how bad their defense was, chanting "fourth place, fourth place!", and screaming to re-sign Sanchez. Another guy kept yelling "Yeah, monkey!" after Siemian did something good; pro tip: not a great look with the entire Emmanuel Sanders clan next door. Another woman spent five minutes after the game yelling at fans wearing Panther jerseys outside of the box--"Hey, Stewart! You want this towel to wipe off your losers' tears?" I imagine Foxborough ain't a picnic either, but man, there's some cold blooded fandom right there.
 

86spike

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All of those hits on the loop were egregious and should have been penalized. I'd go as far as to start calling for ejections around the league for these types of hits. The Marshall one was textbook headhunting and has no place in the game today.

Honestly, considering they did it so often and so clearly it looked to me to be a game strategy for them. Hit Cam in the head, win game. They know they won the SB on the basis of their defense last year and not via the sentient chair they had at QB; hell, the extensive Von Miller interview in SI a couple of weeks ago had all sorts of boasting about how they had Brady running for his life. So maybe they've gotten it into their heads that their team identity is to have a terrifying defense. The deliberate head hits they delivered to Newton last night certainly dovetail with that identity nicely, and if the refs and the league won't stop it from happening why should the Broncos stop doing it?

I should add, just to be clear: IMO the onus is on the league to clean up this stuff. Any team is going to try its utmost to win, and while the hits last night were dirty I can't find fault with the Broncos continuing to deliver them since they weren't getting penalties. The blame is on the league and the officials for not putting a stop to them.
Completely agree.

And as a Denver fan, I don't want to root for a dirty squad. Yeah, in the heat of battle a player will go too far from time to time, but I don't want to see my team injuring the opposition. I want to see them dominate them cleanly. I'd rather not play Indy next week without Marshall out there, but if suspending him results in the entire team dialing back the dangerous shit, I'm good with it.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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I may actually have meant it when I said I was done with the NFL after TB12 and BB are done. I see every concussive hit as a suicide in the wings. Just not fun.
At the rate the watchability of the league is declining, I may not even make it to Brady and Belichick's retirement. I'll watch highlights of their games and the playoffs or something. There are just too many things that make watching a frustrating, exasperating experience. If it's not the league office, it's the refs, or the dirty hits, or the CTE, or the dumbing-down of announcing, or the commercials density, or the way they dominate all sports coverage from two weeks before training camp to after the SB winner's parade.

Watching great feats of athleticism to make a play, watching plays build into a drive, and the tactical back-and-forth between sides, are all great fun. But it's so damned hard to actually get that fun out of it - the cognitive dissonance feels like work.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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That highlight reel also doesn't include one time when a Denver rusher ran by Newton and after he let go of the ball hit him in the head with his forearm.

Of the severity of the hits last night, it was the most minor but (1) we've seen pass rushers get called just for grazing the QB's helmet after a pass, and the idea is that you need to control your rush so it doesn't happen, and (2) of all the hits it is the one that confirms to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was a deliberate strategy by the Broncos.

Part of their game plan, whether from the coach or just at the level of individual players, was to hit Newton in the head whenever the opportunity presented itself. And when they weren't flagged, they kept doing it. And it may very well have won the game for them.

It is absolutely fucking repulsive. If you're an offensive lineman, maybe you try to get a little hold in there in the beginning and if they let it go, you keep doing it. And so long as the officials keep it even, whatever. But when that becomes an acceptable strategy for head hits, the league has truly lost its fucking way.

I think the league loves it. They feel untouchable. No press is bad press, and they probably know that if a guy gets turned into a vegetable on the field ratings will go up not down. Sickening.
 

BaseballJones

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Having watched that again, I cannot believe some of those didn't get called. Some of those hits were....outrageous. There have to be fines and maybe even suspensions coming for at least one of them, right?
 

tims4wins

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Having watched that again, I cannot believe some of those didn't get called. Some of those hits were....outrageous. There have to be fines and maybe even suspensions coming for at least one of them, right?
If fines / suspensions come, they should also be levied against the officials
 

heavyde050

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Has the league issued a statement as to why only one of the potentially concussive hits drew a flag?
Because Denver can do no wrong?

In all seriousness I am not sure what the NFL could say. It was just another example from the league of being consistent in being inconsistent from game to game. Also it just goes to show again that the NFL's actions don't always match up with what they say.
 
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tims4wins

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Quoting from the protocol, here are what the NFL considers "observable" concussion symptoms that could require a sideline test:

  • Any loss of consciousness

  • Slow to get up following a hit to the head ("hit to the head" may include secondary

    contact with the playing surface)


  • Motor coordination/balance problems (stumbles, trips/falls, slow/labored movement)

  • Blank or vacant look

  • Disorientation (e.g., unsure of where he is on the field or location of bench)

  • Clutching of head after contact

  • Visible facial injury in combination with any of the above
#INTEGRITY
 
Apr 7, 2006
2,616
There was another play where he got slapped across the side/front of his helmet. Those are, obviously, less dangerous but slaps more minor than that one get flagged ALL THE TIME in the NFL. I was surprised not to see a flag on that one, too.
 

Norm Siebern

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Yup. I guess that CTE settlement taught the NFL nothing. If these types of helmet to helmet hits go uncalled and players don't get ejected. The NFL won't exist in 15-20 years.

I mean really. Why can't they copy the NCAA where every targeting call is an ejection that is then reviewed (and can be over turned). That's the only way you will stop these Brutal hits.
Tell that to Tori Hunter Jr. But you may have to wait until his brain stops rattling however.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The most mystifying thing about those uncalled hits is that they were on a league MVP and not-so-arguably the face of the NFL. I know it isn't a "stars league" as much as other sports but its still curious how the league lets one of its biggest names get blown up in full view of a nationwide audience.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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The most mystifying thing about those uncalled hits is that they were on a league MVP and not-so-arguably the face of the NFL. I know it isn't a "stars league" as much as other sports but its still curious how the league lets one of its biggest names get blown up in full view of a nationwide audience.
If it did what it did to Tom Brady, this shouldn't really be surprising.
 

CaptainLaddie

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This is where Brady constantly harping on the refs pays off. After one hit, he would have gone screaming at the refs about that kinda shit and would have made it clear they're targeting his head.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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I've heard a lot of talk today about how the officials should have dragged Cam off the field a couple of times and make sure he wasn't concussed, which they have people specifically assigned to do. However, I think this might be a case of "be careful what you wish for." What if that's exactly what Denver wanted, and was trying to do? Hit Cam in the head, take a 15 yard penalty, if it's even called, and watch Cam head to the sideline to go through the protocol, while you deal with a backup.

This is where I think the league is backing itself into a corner. Let's say there is 2:00 left in a game, and Brady and the Pats have the ball and are about to go on a last minute drive to win. First play of the series, someone buries their head into Brady's on his own 20 yard line. The refs decide that he has to go and be viewed by the trainers on the sideline, all but eliminating him from the end of the game. Don't even think for a second that NFL coaches and players won't take that shot and the 15 yard penalty to get a guy like Brady or Rodgers or Wilson or Newton out of a game when their teams need them the most.

This is why anything short of the targetting rules instituted by the NCAA will not work at the NFL level. A 15 yard penalty is simply not enough of a deterrent to these guys, when the flipside is you have the chance of not even injuring your opponent and still get them out of the game for a not insignificant amount of time.
 

Stitch01

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They have to make it so there is an official timeout while the player gets examined although I agree with you that guys need to be tossed and possibly auto suspended.

The answer can't be let concussed guys keep playing. Not if we are going to be watching football in twenty years
 

Deathofthebambino

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They have to make it so there is an official timeout while the player gets examined although I agree with you that guys need to be tossed and possibly auto suspended.

The answer can't be let concussed guys keep playing. Not if we are going to be watching football in twenty years
Unfortunately, they'll never do the official timeout for a bunch of reasons. First, obviously, is the length of time it takes to go through the testing. These games are already pushing the limit on length. But more importantly, logistically, it would be a mess. In most cases, guys get concussed on plays that aren't penalties. Only the quarterback and the receivers are protected from shots to the head (except for some exceptions like blind side blocks on returns, etc.). So, are they only going to use the official timeout for quarterbacks? Only on penalties? Or anyone that gets concussed? What if the concussion isn't the result of a dirty play, and it's an offensive lineman who got hit by his own guy or something?

I think the penalty is the only real deterrent, and that penalty has to be something on par with the college rules, which is an automatic ejection (and if it happens in the 2nd half, you are gone for the 1st half of the next game, which eliminates guys who figure it's no big deal to get tossed at the very end of a game, which would open up headshots on game winning drives). I think the NCAA rule of making it an automatic review is one of the better decisions made at either level on this issue. Even if the penalty isn't called on the field, it can now be called on replay, or eliminate on replay, etc. Saw tons of cases of the officials overturning their own calls last year and "getting it right." And I honestly believe we saw far, far fewer shots to the head on defenseless receivers and QB's in college last year than we had previously. The NFL needs to adopt this approach, because the current one is so full of potential for abuse and IMO, does nothing to slow down the number of hits to the head, as we saw last night.
 

mauf

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I may actually have meant it when I said I was done with the NFL after TB12 and BB are done. I see every concussive hit as a suicide in the wings. Just not fun.
I'm with you. Between this and the league turning into an off the field soap opera and power struggle, my interest level is at an all-time low. I'm going to a Weird Al concert Sunday night.

It will definitely pick back up to an extent when Brady comes back, but that Butler INT really sealed the hardcore emotional investment I had. I really wanted to see that one more and to have it happen when it did the way it did was, in many ways, just such a relief and pure joy. Given the state of the league now and all the long-term impact, though, I am weaning myself off.
At the rate the watchability of the league is declining, I may not even make it to Brady and Belichick's retirement. I'll watch highlights of their games and the playoffs or something. There are just too many things that make watching a frustrating, exasperating experience. If it's not the league office, it's the refs, or the dirty hits, or the CTE, or the dumbing-down of announcing, or the commercials density, or the way they dominate all sports coverage from two weeks before training camp to after the SB winner's parade.

Watching great feats of athleticism to make a play, watching plays build into a drive, and the tactical back-and-forth between sides, are all great fun. But it's so damned hard to actually get that fun out of it - the cognitive dissonance feels like work.

For God's sake, STFU. If you don't like the NFL, don't watch. If you're a fair weather fan who only cares when the Pats are good, that's fine, but spare me the sanctimonious bullshit. I like all of you guys, but this shit is insufferable.

You don't see me trolling the soccer thread talking about flopping and corruption when people who enjoy the sport are talking about an actual game.
 

awallstein

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Nov 17, 2014
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For God's sake, STFU. If you don't like the NFL, don't watch. If you're a fair weather fan who only cares when the Pats are good, that's fine, but spare me the sanctimonious bullshit. I like all of you guys, but this shit is insufferable.

You don't see me trolling the soccer thread talking about flopping and corruption when people who enjoy the sport are talking about an actual game.
I disagree. Disgusted ambivalence is a useful (and perhaps necessary) pit-stop along the journey from enjoyment/addiction to rejection. And discussions like these serve as a kind of wheel alignment.
 

luckiestman

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For God's sake, STFU. If you don't like the NFL, don't watch. If you're a fair weather fan who only cares when the Pats are good, that's fine, but spare me the sanctimonious bullshit. I like all of you guys, but this shit is insufferable.

You don't see me trolling the soccer thread talking about flopping and corruption when people who enjoy the sport are talking about an actual game.

What you don't like the bravado of saying "I'll make a stand once it is costless"? They're my favorite posts on the subforum.
 

mauf

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What you don't like the bravado of saying "I'll make a stand once it is costless"? They're my favorite posts on the subforum.
This legitimately made me laugh out loud. Thank you.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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For God's sake, STFU. If you don't like the NFL, don't watch. If you're a fair weather fan who only cares when the Pats are good, that's fine, but spare me the sanctimonious bullshit. I like all of you guys, but this shit is insufferable.

You don't see me trolling the soccer thread talking about flopping and corruption when people who enjoy the sport are talking about an actual game.
Holy shit.

Are you okay?
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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I think it just comes down to: a lot of people are dissatisfied with the product. One they used to love. And they're expressing themselves. Plus, there's a lot of bad football being played around the league that I won't miss. We're spoiled by the level of execution we see week-in and week-out.
 
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pappymojo

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It's bullshit to call someone a fair weather fan just because they are questioning how much they will watch the league. The NFL has some serious issues that they need to address.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If it did what it did to Tom Brady, this shouldn't really be surprising.
That was different. Brady is beloved in New England and amongst Patriot fans. I live in the other end of the country and even here, where Brady grew up, my unscientific poll of NFL fans suggests that while he garners grudging respect, many non-Patriot NFL fans root against him.

More to the point, the NFL had long moved past making Brady the face of the league when #DFG became a story. Cam Newton, on the other hand (who may well be disliked by many outside of his fanbase market), is clearly one of the stars of the NFL. And the league let him get switched off for a few seconds in the opening game of the league's season, in full view of millions.
 

Bergs

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Jul 22, 2005
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It's bullshit to call someone a fair weather fan just because they are questioning how much they will watch the league. The NFL has some serious issues that they need to address.
Thanks. Also, blow me, Maufman. Figuratively, of course.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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There was a few hits to the head that went uncalled. That sucks. But I was very close to starting a thread about how great the ref's were last night, especially relative to what we're used to. They let guys play, they picked up flags and acknowledged mistakes, they reversed replay calls...I was actually impressed with what I saw last night.

If you thought last night's game was a poor showing by the refs, you're watching the wrong sport. Do we want blows to the head eliminated? Yes. But can we get a little perspective? Maybe some of you folks are better off sticking with a less violent sport.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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There was a few hits to the head that went uncalled. That sucks. But I was very close to starting a thread about how great the ref's were last night, especially relative to what we're used to. They let guys play, they picked up flags and acknowledged mistakes, they reversed replay calls...I was actually impressed with what I saw last night.

If you thought last night's game was a poor showing by the refs, you're watching the wrong sport. Do we want blows to the head eliminated? Yes. But can we get a little perspective? Maybe some of you folks are better off sticking with a less violent sport.
Perhaps some of us should. Or perhaps the NFL can adopt the ejection rule that colleges employ and that Death referenced upthread. The simple fact is that we know more now than we did years ago about the trauma these guys are inflicting on one another for our enjoyment. Is it really lacking perspective to want the league to do whatever it takes to minimize the risks of a star player, such as Cam Newton, or any other players from having issues that affect them, their families or others later on in life?

The vast majority of folks posting in this thread and in this forum love football. Some of us grew up in an era a long time ago when football players were indestructible, tough, crazy guys who were still giants after they walked away from the game. Big hits and guys getting tuned up were celebrated on film and in the sports pages. Now we know that many of these guys were debilitated and had their lives in shambles or worse, just a few short years after retiring.

On that high-low hit last night, 27 year old Cam Newton, last year's MVP looked like he got switched off for a second. In the first game of the season. Maybe some of us are watching the wrong sport, however it could be you that is watching the wrong one as well.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Replay is a wonderful device. I sure as shit didnt see the helmet to helmet live. Do we really think the ref's just ignored the damn call? They called the Broncos for unnecessary roughness - a miscall as it was a blow to the head - earlier in the game. The game moves kinda fast. You people are holding the ref's to an unrealistic standard.

If the refs see it, cool, punish the player. But if not, let the league doll out the fines when they can use the same replay device that everyone apparently takes for granted. Jesus, it's been 1 day.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Mauf you are one of the best posters here but you're off base on this one. Couching it as "I'll be done with football when BB and TB are gone" is ridiculous. But the larger point that some folks who love the sport are having trouble stomaching the way the NFL has chosen to run the league is different than someone who doesn't otherwise watch soccer trolling the soccer threads.

I love football, I'm posting this sitting here watching my son in his first flag football game of the year. I'm not going to give up the NFL because I can't, but I understand the sentiment. Tom Brady is sitting out a quarter of the season because Roger Gooddell is a small man who doubled down rather than admit mistake, and waged a relentless PR campaign against a guy who has never done anything to shame the league in his 15 year career in order to prove some larger point about his power to punish players. The league seemingly has no interest in player safety beyond public relations. Guys literally give up the ability to lead normal lives after football so I can enjoy my Sundays in the fall. I think with a few real changes the sport could be made safe-ish (it'll never be safe) but the clowns running this league don't care.

The reality is football is healthy and they don't need the fans who are turned off by the stuff going on in the sport. But they should be careful. They let the reigning MVP get jacked in the head repeatedly during the most high profile regular season game and it's being discussed nationally. The worm may turn someday. But instead of focusing on that RG and his buddies are trying to figure out how to expand the schedule to 18 games.
 

Ed Hillel

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For God's sake, STFU. If you don't like the NFL, don't watch. If you're a fair weather fan who only cares when the Pats are good, that's fine, but spare me the sanctimonious bullshit. I like all of you guys, but this shit is insufferable.

You don't see me trolling the soccer thread talking about flopping and corruption when people who enjoy the sport are talking about an actual game.
Calling people "fair weather fans" because they have issues with how the NFL has been run and handled the past decade, and in particular the past few years, is absolutely ridiculous. I have watched the Patriots from about 1989-90 on, win or lose, religiously. In fact, I'm not even going to bother defending further myself against that suggestion because it's asinine.

I mean you realize Cam Newton was hit in the head multiple times during the game, right? Bergs didn't come in here and say "I hate the NFL, fuck all of you fans!" out of the blue to "troll" people here. The other comments came after the game, when the issue of headshots was the main topic of conversation. And headshots are a really fucking serious issue that we are far more cognizant of now than we were 3-5-10 years ago. We better understand the longer-term impact and take in the game differently than we did in the past, and I mean I thought we could have all agreed that's a good thing. Your coming in and shitting all over Berg's post and suggesting people who take umbrage with the league not doing all it can to address it--and in fact throwing their arms up and blaming the sideline doctors--is bullshit. Suggesting he and others are "sanctimonuous" and "fair weather fans" because they're not/no longer fired up over watching people get jacked up in the head the way they are because we have more education on the long-term impact is bullshit. And the NFL has many issues beyond just the concussion one...

The NFL product is addictive and a lot (most?) of us here are or have been addicts. Cold turkey just isn't an option. Personally, even though I kept up pretty closely with the Pats last year, I noticed my interest level for the league in general was beginning to wane. I didn't watch nearly as many non-Pats games as in the past and barely watched any of the off the field stuff on the other networks. Heading into this season, I have noticed that, even though I am still interested in the Pats succeeding, I am far less invested than I've been in a really long time and about a month ago I cancelled my ESPN and NFLN subscriptions. And to again address your "fair weather" comment, I think the Pats are going to be a really good team (depending on all these injuries). I did order Sunday Ticket for $99 as I am out of market and cannot cold turkey and like Bergs I am particularly invested in Brady and Belichick.

Now why am I less invested overall? I'm pretty sure part of it is a self-defense mechanism that has hit me with other sports like UFC, boxing, and even WWE. I love football itself, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to watch as we are becoming more educated on its impact on the human body. Obviously we've always watched the injuries, but the knowing the longer term impact makes it a real bummer at times, especially head contact like with Newton. The other issue is the giant off the field soap opera the NFL has become under Goodell. I've gotten myself caught up in that plenty, but honestly it's just exhausting. I am also legitimately upset about what I feel was a grave injustice to one of my 2-3 favorite athletes ever in part because it's another example of the league putting the soap opera over its product and in part because I think it's just plain wrong. You may disagree, which is fine, but that's my view and interpretation of what happened.

I could go on but I think I've probably said enough. There is plenty wrong with the league--both on the field and behind the scenes--to legitimately want to not watch. There are also certainly legitimate reasons to watch. Things have also changed over the years and we have evolved as a society, so it's perfectly reasonable for one to change his/her views and actions on the subject without being a sanctimonious, fair-weather fan. It's also not an easy process for many to go through, so provided people aren't just wantonly posting "fuck the NFL" 12 times a day in the middle of threads, I think it's safe to classify the posts as outside the realm of "trolling." Especially when it's actually germane to things happening on the field at the time, like Cam Newton getting smashed in the head repeatedly and the NFL subsequently throwing its arms up and blaming the doctors as if there's just nothing more they can do.

Mauf you are one of the best posters here but you're off base on this one. Couching it as "I'll be done with football when BB and TB are gone" is ridiculous.
I honestly don't even agree with this. A lot of people are emotionally invested in BB and TB and I think it's reasonable to be conflicted about having a loyalty to them and all they feel the two have provided them as fans. Particularly when part of the reason many are turned off is that they feel TB has been completely railroaded and the best way they can stick it to the league is to support them. The obvious and simple response is to say that makes someone a fair weather fan, because they are both so fucking good, but I think it's fair to look at it outside that lens as well. These guys are legitimate sports heroes and will be forever. Boston fans tend to get attached to those people.
 
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Ralphwiggum

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I'm as attached to BB and TB as anyone and I note in my post that the completely unjust railroading of Tom Brady during DFG absolutely contributes to my feelings about the league. That's different from saying "I'm done with this league as soon as my favorite team isn't good anymore". I think the former is a real feeling that a lot of Patriot fans feel. The latter leads to the criticism that luckiestman levied above.

I find my interest in the league waning the same way you do. As a Pats fan, though, I think it's tough to take this whole line of discussion seriously if you are only willing to stand on your convictions once the Pats aren't good anymore.
 

mauf

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I went through my own period of waning interest in the NFL after the death of Mike Webster. I'm sure a lot of people are having similar experiences now that brain injuries are more widely publicized, and at least a little bit better understood. Not all of them will be drawn back, as I was, by a child with an intense interest in the sport. But it's not like I jumped up on my soapbox and said "I'm done with this league, but not until Bill Cowher and Jerome Bettis are done, because I've got too much invested in those guys" -- that would have been asinine. That's the sentiment here to which I was responding.

And yes, Patriots' fans as a group won't shake the rep of being fair-weather fans until they fervently support a bad team in the post-TB12 era. That doesn't mean there aren't some diehard Pats fans, just as there are diehard Celtics fans, but I suspect the bulk of the fan base is still fair-weather. I absolutely see the comments about tuning out once BB and TB12 are gone in that vein; those folks, in the main, were going to tune out anyway, and I'm annoyed by their effort to recast their fair-weather fandom (which is a perfectly fine thing -- I'm a fair-weather fan of some sports) as some kind of moral stand. If it were actually moral stand, they wouldn't be watching the games, let alone following the sport closely enough to want to participate in this thread.
 
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mauf

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By the way, what's the rule for protecting QBs when they leave the pocket? I thought they were the same as any other runner, but that doesn't square with the flag late in the game where Cam was hit in the head (same play as the intentional grounding). I'm guessing he is transformed from an (unprotected) runner back into a (protected) QB once he throws the ball, but I'm hoping someone who actually understands the rule can explain.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Well the Pats have sold out every game since Bob Kraft bought the team, which was I believe 6 years before BB showed up and 7 years before Brady threw a pass. So the idea that Pats fans are fair weather (or have more fair weather fans than any other team) is I think complete bunk. But that's a separate discussion.
 

mauf

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Well the Pats have sold out every game since Bob Kraft bought the team, which was I believe 6 years before BB showed up and 7 years before Brady threw a pass. So the idea that Pats fans are fair weather (or have more fair weather fans than any other team) is I think complete bunk. But that's a separate discussion.
When was the last time the Pats missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons? If memory serves, Parcells's first season was the last time that happened, and I'm guessing that's either the longest or second-longest such streak in the NFL. (It has been a long time since Pittsburgh was bad too.) That streak roughly corresponds with the beginning of the attendance streak you describe. So your point tends to reinforce my point rather than contradicting it.

Edit: On further reflection, I think they missed in 1999 and 2000 (Carroll's last season, and BB's first).
 

Ralphwiggum

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Pete Carroll's last year and BBs first.

The Pats were a nomadic, 32 year old franchise playing in a dump of a stadium and under constant threat to relocate when Kraft bought the team. Now they have an entire generation of fans who view them completely differently then when I was growing up and I had more friends who were Dolphins and Cowboys fans because the Pats were a joke. But that was 35 years ago.

I mean, the Steelers have had few losing seasons and have generally been a stable, competetive franchise since Chuck Noll arrived. But Steeler fans just love their team and Pats fans only love them when they are good?
 

NortheasternPJ

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Anyone under 30 that's a Pats fan is a bandwagon fan by some of these definitions. I'm 34 and do remember them not being on TV, driving to New Hampshire to watch blacked out games and the pre-Bledsoe QB disaster but the Patriots have been basically an up and coming or good to great team since I was 10 which is amazing.

I do miss going to training camp at Bryant College. As a kid that was fantastic unlike the 20k they get now per practice.