Ah, football season is finally upon us. And tonight, the Pittsburgh Steelers will open the 2015 season against the defending Super Bowl Champions*, the New England Patriots. If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to read ESPN’s massive feature on the long and storied history of various methods of cheating employed by Bill Belichick. It might take you all day to read, but that’s really a testament to how deep the rabbit hole goes.
So tonight, the NFL’s flagship franchise, the one that Chairman Goodell went to such lengths to cover up their dishonest practices, will start the year off with what you’d be insane not to think will be a sound beating of a franchise on the other end of the spectrum.
While the Patriots have been allowed and perhaps even tacitly encouraged to steal information from other teams by any means necessary, the Steelers have been targets for the league in the past for on-field transgressions, particularly those committed by James Harrison and Ryan Clark. Injurious hits and stealing signals are different matters altogether. I get that. Simple cheating doesn’t affect anyone’s health or livelihood (except maybe Mike Martz; seriously go read that ESPN feature), and it should be handled differently than sending a safety-shaped torpedo into a receiver’s head.
The point here is the integrity of the game of American football. More specifically, that it does not exist, and probably never really has. In the modern era, Goodell’s absolute incompetence as a leader has made it as clear as day. Remember that everything that happens in the NFL is void of honesty, and it exists solely to make more money for 30-odd billionaires. I’m not suggesting we boycott it, because that’s pointless. We all know you won’t, I won’t, nobody will.
What I’m saying is to keep this football season in perspective. And by that, I mean don’t take the action on the field too seriously. The league’s governing body obviously doesn’t, so why should you?