This is pretty basic. I like football because it makes me happy.
The football world was an ugly planet Wednesday. It did not make me happy in the least. I felt sad, disoriented and, at times, angry.
Aaron Rodgers’ positive COVID test is disturbing, since he may have misrepresented his vaccination status, and the Packers may have deviated from NFL protocols for the convenience of their MVP. I’ve said many times that Rodgers is the most talented NFL quarterback I have seen. I have enormous respect for him as a player. But I do think his actions and words in this episode have reflected a lack of responsibility and leadership. If I were a Packers fan I’d be pissed.
Tawdry. That’s how I would describe what’s going on in Cleveland. OBJ effectively is not a member of the Browns right now. He’s in timeout. His dad (OBS, I guess?) posted a scathing video on social media blasting Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield for not throwing to his son often enough. Is this the NFL or Pop Warner football? Does this mean we can’t all get snowcones after the game, whether we win or lose? No Dave and Buster’s? Tawdry. You got a better word? If I were a Browns fan, I’d be pissed.
A UCLA defensive lineman got caught on video threatening a group of students in an elevator on Halloween night. On the recording, he’s heard threatening to hurt any USC male or female student on the UCLA campus. He also refuses to let the students exit the elevator. But it’s cool. The young (freshman) D-lineman was at practice yesterday. Hey, we gotta get ready for Colorado, right? If I were a UCLA fan or alum, I’d be pissed. And embarrassed.
Oh, before I forget, Chip Kelly is Dead Man Walking at UCLA. Oh, not because he has lost control of his team, which he clearly has. But because the Bruins are 5-4 on the season and have lost two straight. And because Kelly’s record at UCLA is 15-25. Seems “genius” doesn’t mean what it used to.
UCLA’s defensive coordinator, Jerry Azzinaro, has not spoken to the media one time since he’s been on the job. I get it. If my defenses had ranked 102nd, 113th, 69th and 75th in four years, I wouldn’t even talk to my dog.
But all of the above is transient and ultimately trivial. What happened in Las Vegas is tragic and eternal. Now former Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III was driving his Corvette 156 mph at 3:40 a.m. Tuesday just seconds before he slammed into another vehicle, killing a 23-year-old woman and her dog in a fireball. Ruggs’ blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit. Tina Tintor is dead. She’s not coming back. Ruggs’ girlfriend (with whom he has a three-year-old daughter) suffered a severe arm injury in the crash. Ruggs, who was the Raiders’ first round draft choice in 2020, is going to go to prison, likely for a very long time. Ruggs’ now former teammates are crushed, because they genuinely love him as a person. A young woman and her dog are dead. Families have been destroyed. A bright future has gone dark.
Football didn’t make me happy Wednesday. It left me sad, disoriented, and, at times, angry.