Taking a Beating

18 Apr

As some of you already know, Adrian Peterson was reinstated by the NFL this week. I personally thought it was horseshit that he was suspended so long, when players can drive and kill a motorist can come back the same season.

The hypocrisy in the NFL has been so thick, that even the on the field product is not enough to mask it. Goodell is always screaming about player safety, but he is the main proponent for Thursday night games (and swears the NFL knew nothing about the effects of head trauma on players). The “headhunting” and qb safety rules put into effect are called arbitrarily, and the league has suddenly become a glorifed flag football league.
I’m not into it, and haven’t really been for a while.

Football is a dangerous game. You need to be a little unstable to play–some would argue that it is best if you are. The reason I grew up liking it was that it was a gladiator sport. I loved watching Ronnie Lott and Chuck Cecil take receiver’s heads off when they ventured across the middle. The danger element is what excited me. Now Goodell wants to soften up the game and the player’s images off the field, instead of calling a spade a “spade.”

You can’t have it both ways NFL. I could stomach it if the NFL just came clean and said “the game is really dangerous, but we don’t care about the players, and that is why we want Thursday night games. Play at your own risk.” I could respect that. But this lying doesn’t sit well with me. Don’t dressup a pig, put lipstick on it and call it Holly Rowe. That is insulting.

But it is this kind of hypocrisy that pushed Goodell to suspend Adrian Peterson for being an overly vigilant discliplinarian with his child. He didn’t knock his son out in an elevator. He didn’t tie his kid up in the basement and feed him dogfood. He was just overzealous with the belt.

Am I excusing this? Hell no. I can’t imagine being a 4 year old, about to get my nuts whipped by an angry Adrian Peterson. I wouldn’t want to take an ass beating by him now as an adult, so I cna imagine how terrifying that must have been.

But let’s be real for a minute. He was raised in a different era. I remember there was a time where you could get beat at school by your teacher. In third grade we’d sit in our class and silently laugh at the kid getting wailed on in the hallway, and stifle the laughter as best as we could when the teacher brought the unlucky kid back into the classroom.

Hell my Senior year in high school I defiantly chose to take 5 licks from a paddle from the vice principal, instead of going to after school detention (and that was just for too many tardies). Can you imagine how awkward it was for us when we’d see each other in the hallway later.

Principal: ” Hi Bobby, how’s it going?”

Me: “Fuck you!”

Nothing is the same after you spank someone. It is an intimate thing, and not in a good way.

But it was a different time. That generation got beat as kids and they thought it was best way to discipline our generation. My uncle had a huge paddle in the garage with the words “EQUALIZER” painted on it. The sight of it alone was enough not to get out of line on those visits.

The one and only time my mother ever whupped me was after I got into trouble with the police for breaking someone’s garage windows with my “friends.” My parents had to split the costs with the parents of the other hoodlums and it cost my family 100 bucks (we weren’t flush with cash back in those days). She wore my ass out, and maybe deservedly so.

Nothing compared to the shame and disappointment I felt in myself–even at the ripe young age of 8. I felt horrible. I didn’t even want to break those windows, but I myself get peer pressured into it. Sure I was mad at myself for putting myself in that situation, but I felt even worse when the man who owned the house turned out to be this old blind man.

No ass beating I ever took could possibly match what I felt internally. This would have been a great teaching lesson without the physical beatings. But things were different in the 80’s. Only rich white people went to therapy, and most black kids got beaten when they fucked up. I was a relatively good kid, and was lucky to have pretty laid back parents.

But not everyone was so lucky. Adrian Peterson hit his kid, to teach his kid that hitting was wrong. The NFL punished Adrian Peterson excessively to teach Adrian Peterson that excessive punishment is wrong. There was a teachable moment in this situation and the NFL screwed the pooch.

Peterson deserved suspension, but not for the entire season. He could have done counseling, and community service among other things. Things didn’t have to be this ugly, and Goodell missed a wonderful opportunity to do some things right in the PR department. As it is, there are a lot of bitter feelings between the Vikes and AP, and Goodell only reinforced the idea that he doesn’t deserve his 44 million dollar a year salary.

To be continued…………..


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