Monday , September 24 2018
Home / Culture and Society / NFL Looks Like The ‘Titanic’ – Women and Children First Rule Needs To Be In Place
Commissioner Goodell should establish his priority for women and children’s safety by making it the number one rule for every player, coach, owner, and employee of the NFL – if you hurt a woman or a child you are banned from the NFL for life.

NFL Looks Like The ‘Titanic’ – Women and Children First Rule Needs To Be In Place

Let me start by saying that I have been a football fan all my life, specifically a NY Jets fan. I have braved the coldest days I’ve ever known, sometimes sitting on an ice-encrusted seat, to watch Gang Green play back in the days of old Shea Stadium. I wistfully remember the Joe Namath era, he the one New York sports star glittering brighter than Broadway itself. Sadly, Broadway Joe is a memory now and seems to have come from a time of innocence, but maybe it is because I was so young and didn’t know anything but wanting my team to win.

nfl 3Flash forward to our current era, and the National Football League has become something that has morphed into a miasma of drugs, murder, and mayhem. I think it’s time to face the facts – the NFL is like the Titanic, Commissioner Roger Goodell its incredulous Captain Smith, and it is sinking fast now. Ship NFL has hit an iceberg that is more pernicious than the one the great ocean liner struck in 1912 – it consists of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Aaron Hernandez, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. That should tell you how devastating this situation is for the good captain, who still believes he can bring the ship into port.

I hate to break the news to Goodell, but the ship is sinking super-fast now and unfortunately, just as on the Titanic, he doesn’t have enough lifeboats for all on board. So now we must invoke the age-old rule of the sea – women and children first. If Goodell doesn’t uphold that tradition, if he doesn’t seek to protect women and children from his crew consisting of many miscreants, then he is not just inept but he is as guilty as they are.

nfl 2 The great sportswriter Mike Lupica writes about how Goodell wants to protect the shield, meaning the iconic NFL logo and the entire lumbering mess that it represents. We do not have players who have just gone wild; they are involved in distinctly dangerous and criminal activities, so much so that it seems the league has sought to obfuscate (no matter how much Goodell denies it) or downplay incidents. How else can we explain the original two-game suspension Ray Rice received for cold-cocking his petite then fiancée Janay Palmer (now his wife)?

We can go on and on about NFL players and their sometimes criminal and other times basically loathsome behavior. We can list the names of guys who are gifted athletes and stars of the game but are in jail, have served time, or should have been incarcerated. How many more of them are out there that we do not know about because team management or the league itself found ways to get them out of trouble? We don’t know the answers but we can only imagine that the tip of the iceberg, the stuff we do see, is abhorrent enough to shake our allegiance to team and sport; however, we all know that the tip of the iceberg didn’t sink the Titanic; it was the concealed bulk below the water that did it in.

So what is Goodell supposed to do now? He is faced with the sinking ship, not enough lifeboats, and the reality that something must be done. By first and foremost declaring women and children first, Goodell could go out (if he is indeed fired or resigns) as standing for decency and the rule of law. Goodell should establish his priority for women and children’s safety by making it the number one rule for every player, coach, owner, and employee of the NFL – if you hurt a woman or a child you are banned from the NFL for life. This rule must be established and irrevocable. Whether players behaving criminally like it or not, with this rule they will never step on a field to play the game again.

The obvious dilemma for Goodell is that he sees the writing on the wall. He knows that potentially he will lose many players over the years because of such a rule, that the most lucrative professional sport in the world will perhaps sink not just from the iceberg hit but from the inherently poor quality of its construction. We fans have to face the fact too – NFL games are brutal, violent, and the stuff of simulated war zones. It is hard to ask people to play such a game and not expect them to be damaged, to be altered in the way they view the world.

We can also talk about the danger to players in such an environment. The issue of concussions has devastated former players (including causing some to commit suicide), and it took Captain Goodell a long time to deal with that mess too (as Captain Smith of the Titanic apparently ignored iceberg warnings). The league eventually admitted that the game is dangerous to play and tried to take steps to prevent concussions. This still does not stop the barbaric nature of the sport; it is the stuff that Roman emperors once dreamt of in the games at the Coliseum. As long as the roaring crowd approves of the brutality, everything is okay, right?

I think the veneer is lifting now. How many women need to be battered? How many children need to be? How many guns have to go off in nightclubs? How many people have to die before the NFL comes to its senses?

nfl 1Some people may feel like it’s too late, and maybe it is. Maybe the NFL does sink like Titanic, and everyone turns to soccer, starts appropriately calling it football, and we allow that wreck to drop to the bottom of the sea. If that happens Goodell can look in the mirror and know whom to blame, but there are plenty of other accessories to the sinking of the sport.

For now we need to hear Goodell invoke “women and children first” immediately. This will put those who violate the rule out of football forever. It may not save the sinking ship, but at least the right people will get into the lifeboats. How Goodell will be remembered as the captain? As the man who saved women and children or allowed them to sink along with the ship? It’s his call but the clock is ticking and the ship keeps sinking. We can only hope that he will do the right thing before another woman gets hit or a child gets hurt. It’s your call, Captain Goodell.

Photo credits: getty images, nfl.com, Wikipedia.org

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B007SPPANM]

 

 

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

Check Also

Conquering Your Adversities: From the Mafia-Controlled Streets to the NFL to Ultimately Becoming a Successful Doctor by Dr. Kenneth Polke

Book review: ‘Conquering Your Adversities’ by Dr. Kenneth Polke

New book, 'Conquering Your Adversities' by Dr. Kenneth Polke, tells tale of Cleveland boy who overcame obstacles to play in NFL

One comment

  1. Football is a pointless, dangerous, and silly sport that should be ended on it’s own merits (or demerits). It diverts fans attention from worthier pursuits, such as Cures For Cancer, End American Poverty, Alleviate The Suffering Of The Sick, Cure Polio or Cholera or Yellow Fever or Malaria or Leprosy or ….

    What, you say? We’ve already cured most of those diseases? But my understanding from reading the unvarnished truth at the grocery store checkout counter is that the mighty and undeniable power of Jenny McCarthys magnificent breasts is eliminating vaccination and bringing contagion and death back into style! It’s about time! Without the countervailing influence of Jenny’s global mammaries the earths population will continue unabated and we will soon be buried under a human wave of Illegal Immigrants trying to get a piece of OUR pie (or pies, as the case may be).

    Okay, okay, okay. We don’t have sufficient people power to overcome the unquenchable mammary power of Jenny and her allies at all the Hollywood Plastic Studios, we can Still CLAIM JUSTICE! (I withdraw that last; sorry I mentioned it; you can stop laughing now).

    But I’ll vote to keep football (college style) when you bring back a team like the 1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers with coach Bernie Bierman. Take a look at this and tremble, ye mighty of the NFL!

    “After returning to the national spotlight in 1940, expectations for the
    1941 Golden Gophers were high once again. On top of an already difficult
    Big Ten schedule, Minnesota had to go to battle once again with
    national powers Nebraska and Washington. But talk of another title
    flowed freely throughout Memorial Stadium.

    Minnesota opened its Big Ten schedule with the conference doormat,
    Illinois. As expected, the Golden Gophers rolled over the Orange and
    Blue 34-6….”

    Check it out! 34-6! Take that you science geeks! The atomic pile that Enrico Fermi (an italian, probably an illegal immigrant, probably a fag opera geek who never heard of Johnny Cash!) was building under the football stands in Champagne must’ve sucked the strength out of the Illinois players and not the Minnesota players! Who was that ‘Fermi’ guy? Did he report to Lex Luthor?!

    Check it out!

    We report, you decide!