"I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell , and I'm not going to take this anymore!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get MAD!"
Beale kept shouting and his ratings soared. And though Beale wasn't talking about the National Football League, I am. And so I am opening my virtual window and shouting: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" We of FanNation have got to say "enough."
We have read enough about Titans' CB Pacman Jones and his multiple arrests and his suitcase stuffed with $81,000 that he rained all over a Vegas strip club. And we've had enough of Pacman happening to be in places where guns are fired and people are shot. And we don't really need to know how much Pacman is fined for spitting in the face of an opponent. We need to know that Pacman is taking a seat for a while, a long while, and that if he comes back to the game, he's on one strike and he's out.
Those activities are for one player for just a few months. There is so much more to be as mad a hell about.
We have had enough of Joey Porter. Joey gave his new team, the Dolphins, a cause to pause last weekend when he was arrested for b*tch-slapping Bengals lineman Levi Jones outside the Palms Hotel Casino in Vegas. Jones, remarkably, has not been one of the multitudes of Bengal players who have run afoul of the law in the last year, nine of them I believe. Apparently Porter and Jones got into some dice table trash talking, took it outside and tried to settle it like 6 year olds.
Several weeks ago, the League and the NFL Players Association seemed to make it clear that they are going to agree upon and then issue a new conduct policy for the players. And so we wait...and we're mad as hell.
Each day brings some new bad news. Jerramy Stevens, free agent tight end formerly with the Seahawks, was pulled over for driving erratically and charged with driving while intoxicated. He reportedly told the arresting officer that he had four or five margaritas. Nothing gets you more ready to drive your Beemer than that. ("Cheese ossifer, it was only four or five maruh-hitas. Thash all.") And when Stevens was searched, the officer found "a green leafy substance." This was after he almost fell down just walking from the car.
The Bears Tank Johnson may be safely out of trouble for a while but that's because he's in jail. While in the slammer, it's hoped that he will not be thinking about re-assembling his mini-arsenal of weapons police found in his suburban Chicago residence during last season. And while in the slammer he will not be cruising the kinds of bars he was in the night after that bust when his friend and roommate was shot and killed. But what happens when he gets out this summer?
Johnson's arrest doesn't seem to have gotten a message to NFL players about weapons either. And we're not talking about legal firearms, no matter how we really feel about that issue. This week, Gerald Sensabaugh, strong safety with the Jaguars, was pulled over for speeding (86 in a 55 zone) and when asked if he had any weapons in the car, he said yes, and it's not registered. Guess he and Stevens were hoping to get some points for honesty.
And, although we could unhappily and unfortunately make this list go on much longer, we'll only talk about one last run-in that an NFL player has had with the law. The Seahawks brand new defensive end Patrick Kerney was apparently asleep at his home in Atlanta last Sunday morning when a rape of a woman who was his houseguest allegedly occurred. Now Kerney has not been named as a suspect so perhaps he doesn't belong in this rant but here he is. Why? Because NFL players have to find a better way; they have to be able to steer clear of criminal activities of their own doing or those of others. The NFL and its teams and the Players Association have to do a much better job of giving the players coping methods that will keep them out of their cars when they've had five margaritas; that will convince them that they don't need to carry unlicensed firearms; that in any case (registered or not) football players and guns and alcohol (or green leafy substances) don't mix. The tragic death of Broncos CB Darrent Williams in a drive-by shooting in Denver following a New Year's Eve party should have been more than enough to teach that lesson but it doesn't seem like it was.
In his Super Bowl news conference NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that changes in behavior had to come. He and PA Exec Director Gene Upshaw have apparently made headway in their discussions of some new rules on player conduct but we haven't heard anything yet. And it's time. It's beyond time.
We think that the only way the NFL will get out of this mess and really affect some change in behavior will be for the players themselves -- not just the executives of the players association or the executives at the League headquarters or even the team owners -- to get up out of their seats and open their windows and shout...