Things just keep getting worse for the NFL. Instead of an off-season talking about draft picks and quarterback controversies (we have a hot one brewing in New York), ESPN is parading brain experts in front of the camera. Last week, we learned that Hall of Fame receiver Art Monk joined the growing group of former NFL players who are suing the league for allegedly failing to protect them against the impact of concussions during their playing careers. According to NFLConcussionLitigation.com, approximately 2,023 plaintiffs are named in 73 complaints against the NFL.
But now star wide-receiver Chad Ochocinco has weighed in on the controversy in an attempt to help the hapless commissioner. His advice? Be honest about what is going on here:
One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine. Y’all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes. But let’s be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don’t say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon.
The NFL narrative–one that has helped it replace baseball as America’s pastime–is unraveling. I was listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN radio the other day, and he was seriously asking guests if we’d recognize the NFL in 20 years. I’m not sure that we will, and I think that might be a good thing.