NFL players need to stop with the crybaby act

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, one of the most disliked men in NFL locker rooms these days, visited Bourbonnais on Wednesday to review the new practice regulations put into effect with last year’s collective bargaining agreement. He also was on hand to discuss the state of the league, the status of the contract negotiations with the officials, and the direction in which the league is headed.

As is the case anywhere Goodell goes, his presence created a lot of emotion from certain players. Bears cornerback D.J. Moore expressed his displeasure to Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times.

“Things are bad,” Moore said. “It’s like dictators, you know. You know, in America, we really don’t believe in them.”

Come on, D.J. … dictators? Really? Goodell is hardly ordering the rape and murder of his players, keeping them locked up, abusing them, persecuting them, denying them basic freedoms granted by the constitution. You know what he’s doing? He’s trying to protect player safety, clean up the off-field conduct and behavior of his players that embarrasses the league, improve the production of the business he’s in charge of, and increase revenues.

Do you know what that’s called in America, D.J.? A boss. An executive. An owner or CEO.

And Goodell and the other 32 bosses in the league are the employers. You and your crybaby peers throughout the league are the employees. If you don’t like the way your bosses are running things, go out and get a 9-to-5 job.

NFL players are still steaming over the harsh punishments that Goodell handed down to Saints players, coaches, and executives for their role in the bounty scandal over the past few years. There’s a certain phrase that’s become popular for people who commit violations of rules and laws and are punished harshly for it:

“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

Instead of acting like martyrs for their cause, why don’t they take a step back, look at the big picture, and realize that paying for injuries is not part of the NFL game; it’s actually closer to an assault.

Furthermore, there are players who think the rule changes that have been enforced under Goodell’s watch have been bad for the game. Defensive players in particular are unhappy about the changes that have limited the surface area on a quarterback’s body they’re allowed to hit, or the changes that drastically alter the timing of the hits they can deliver to ball carriers and receivers to avoid a defenseless player penalty.

Other players fear changes to scheduling and reject the NFL’s desire to grow and expand the game and make it more profitable. One such player, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, was asked what he thought about the NFL expanding to an 18-game regular season schedule.

Tillman’s reponse: “Bull [expletive], no, hell no. Hell no. [Expletive] no, [Expletive] no.”

I guess Peanut’s afraid he’s going to “crack” in an 18-game schedule. (crickets chirping … bad joke)

But all kidding aside, if the NFL reduces its preseason schedule by two games and tacks on those two extra games to the regular season, teams aren’t playing anything extra. Sure, the starters often rest for much of the preseason, but this isn’t a country club and it’s not recreational flag football. It’s a professional, contact sport which is paying its players premium salaries. If they can’t handle it, they shouldn’t do it. I assure you that there are hundreds, and possibly thousands, of players who work out at the gym for the equivalent of a full-time job just for a chance to make an NFL roster.

In other words: you can be replaced.

NFL players all seem to have this aura of entitlement surrounding them. They think because they can throw a football, catch a football, run fast, or hit hard, that the league owes them whatever they want.

Playing in the National Football League is a privilege. It’s not a God-given right that any of them were born with.

I hate to compare normal, blue-collar or white-collar jobs to that of professional athletes, but I’ll do it anyway because the basic principles of employment are the same.

And those principles are: if you apply for a job, you do so with the understanding that you will be an employee of the company that hires you and you will show up and do what is asked of you, work toward improving the profitability of the business, stay out of trouble, follow the procedures set forth by the company and obey the rules and regulations. In return, you will be compensated with a wage that is agreed upon when accepting the position. If you disagree with something, you can make your feelings known to management, but you must understand that it is not the company’s responsibility to adapt to your request; it’s your job to adapt to the company’s rules.

If NFL players like to use the “B” word (just count how many times the word “business” is thrown around by players during contract negotiations and how they have to “feed their families”) then I think it’s safe to say that the NFL is a business. And as such, I don’t think it’s asking too much of the players to shut their mouths and do what the league asks them to do.

And if they don’t like it, get a different job.

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