True football fans know that Sunday (or Saturday, for college football fans) is their favorite day of the week because it's game day. We all gather around the TV or head to the stadium to see our favorite teams win the game. Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, perhaps the most popular. Millions upon millions of Americans watch football every week. I myself, am a football fan that looks forward to watching my beloved New York Giants every Sunday. But I feel as if the NFL has some flaws that can be adjusted. There are too many avoidable problems the NFL creates. Here's a list of them.
1. The ridiculous contracts
This is a problem that pretty much concerns the big four professional sports leagues. But for NFL players, some of them receive a huge contract worth up to over a $100 million with maybe half of it guaranteed. Sometimes, a player will get upset if they aren't paid well enough. Like a million dollars or even half a million isn't enough. The problem with these huge contracts is that teams would give a rookie or a player with a fluke season these big contracts and then fail when they get playing time. It makes the organization look bad for wasting all the money on a bust. This still happens to this day after numerous accounts. The NFL doesn't seem to learn from their mistakes.
2. The game is rigged
Every year, new rules are introduced to adjust gameplay. Sometimes they're rules that make sense, sometimes they're rules that just don't make sense. A good example is when the Green Bay Packers were playing the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 of the 2014 season. The Packers were losing by six with two minutes left in the game; the ball was at their five yard line. Aaron Rodgers attempts a pass and fumbles it then Eddie Lacy recovers the fumble and gets tackled close to the end zone. Then, the officials called it a safety because of some rule that was never heard of. The rule is that in the last two minutes of the game, only the player that fumbled the ball can recover it, not another player. Since the ball was in the end zone, it was considered a safety. I began to think that this rule was ridiculous and should be taken off the rule book.
The NFL has corruption written all over itself. There have been countless scandals that have occurred in the past few years. Spygate, Deflategate, Tuck Rule, Bountygate, Bullygate, domestic abuse from players, drug problems, CTE denial and the current one now with refusal of standing for the national anthem. Those are some of the most superficial scandals though. Nobody really talks about Roger Goodell or any of the high officials at the NFL headquarters. Just like a lot of executives, Roger Goodell is a little money hungry. He earned $44 million last year while the rest of the employees altogether earned a combined $107 million. Roger Goodell took a huge chunk of the payroll to himself which is undoubtedly selfish. Power sure can be enticing.
4. Domestic violence and drug use
This picture I have here will pretty much sum up the issue. The NFL doesn't take a great deal of consideration over domestic violence. Why? It's not their greatest concern. They're more worried about the drugs. As you can see here, a drug that doesn't affect your ability to play gets you suspended for a whole season while a drug that does is not even half a season. The NFL is narrow-minded of how they handle the issues among their players.
5. The playoff system
The way the playoffs work in the NFL is a bit different. If a team with a 7-9 record happens to win their division then gets to be in the playoffs, then it really seems unfair to those who had a good season but were screwed out of clinching a spot. It happens every year. Teams with a good season can possibly not make the playoffs because they didn't get the wild card and some subpar team from a weak division gets to make the playoffs. That's pretty much like being second or third in a race but you didn't get to make the next round because fifth place is the winner in their division. It doesn't seem quite fair for teams that had a good season.
6. CTE and concussions
This scared a lot of people when it became well-known. CTE, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a brain condition that is caused from severe blows to the head for a long period of time, like concussions. Symptoms include memory loss, impaired judgement, depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide and progressive dementia. A lot of the players that suffered from CTE have committed suicide. It became frightening to many parents that have children playing football and it pretty much frightened football fans altogether. The NFL has been in denial in the past when a medical doctor, Bennet Omalu, discovered this brain disorder. The NFL eventually became aware of CTE when more and more retired NFL players were killing themselves or become severely depressed. The NFL has been doing more to make the game safer by changing the structure of the helmets and adjusting rules. But football will never be a safe sport and they can't fully prevent it.