I've often said that sports is for fun. No more. It's a recreational, mindless and spirited value of entertainment. But as I'm quickly learning, the acts of the Cincinnati Bengals is creating a heartfelt sensitivity training seminar on what's ethically right in society.
Yes, I make light of this for one simple reason -- I don't view the Cincinnati Bengals, or any other professional sports team, as a beacon for life's moral and ethical causes. Maybe I should. Maybe I should view Marvin Lewis as the city leader of righteousness and the players as his subordinates of moral clarity. Again, the Cincinnati Bengals are an NFL football team that I fanatically cheer for. When Chris Henry scores a touchdown, I'm going to cheer like a madman. When Johnathan Joseph turns deflections into interceptions, I'm going to high-five the nearest rowdy fan. When my life is saturated with trials and tribulations, looking for guidance, I'm going to those that can help me -- not Eric Steinbach or Deltha O'Neal.
Maybe I'm wrong.
Then Gregory Moore comes along -- contributor for Black Ahlete.net -- and writes a letter addressed to Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis, Gene Upshaw and NFL Commissioner Gene Upshaw.
Moore, a Jason Whitlock type that saturates the race card creating a sense of negative opinion rather than constructive progressivism, says, "I have a favorite subject for this site and pretty much everyone knows it by now. It’s the race card."
Moore continues in reflection of the Pistons-Pacers brawl late in 2004. "The minute that fan decided to throw a drink into Artest’s face, all bets were off and he was going to get his ass kicked."
So, in other words -- when Moore supports vigilantism and a rush to use the race card -- is a letter sent by him asking for punishment against those that do wrong, a credible act on his part? I say no.
Back to the raging social engineering of football teams leading righteousness post.
"From my point of view, it seems that the league and the teams would rather let the public court of opinion take form and form opinions rather than swiftly removing the problems, as they exist."
It doesn't work that way, Gregory.
This is a free market system -- driven on supply and demand. The fans demand a winner first. That's an absolute must. Otherwise, what's the point of being a fan? If you don't like the product, you don't buy into what they're selling. That has been, and always will be, your choice. I don't like the arrests as much as the next guy, but as Gregory questions, "what is the difference between the real world and the NFL?" Other than favoritism, nothing. Both are driven on supply and demand, with the principles of free market fulfilling your promised services to your clients. In Mike Brown's case, it's putting a winner out on the field to raise the rates of season ticket holders.
Don't like it? Sorry, it's just the way things work. How you go about it, or who you employ to fulfill those services are absolutely secondary.
So in a way, public opinion has nothing to do with it in the scheme of things. There's no voting process. Yes, fans are clients, but they're not stockholders who share any form of ownership or sit on any board. Take the Detroit Lions for example. The hatred for Lions GM, Matt Millan, reminds me of the hatred for Mike Brown during Cincinnati's Age of Helplessism. There's been walkouts, orange-outs and web sites developed that show Lions' fans distaste with operational policy.
If you desire change, don't buy into the product. If every fan stopped going to Bengals games in protest of character issues, then yea, something would in fact change. But it's more likely that Tank Johnson will get a peace prize before Bengals fans stop going to games in protest.
I think Moore is right about one thing. The league, in general, isn't reacting to issues perceived as favoritism to athletes. But as long as the NFL provides services that fans buy into making it the #1 professional sport in America, little will change.
Maybe I'm wrong.