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Effective Immediately: Former Players Must Stop Commenting on Their Former Teams’ Players

Trying to get me to listen to Rodney Harrison talk about the Patriots is like trying to feed a baby. I won't eat that crap and you can't make me!

I have petitioned Congress to pass a law, effective immediately, that would hereby prohibit former NFL players from commenting on their former team’s current players. I’m sure that representatives from New England, Wisconsin, and the Dallas, Texas area will agree as they are the latest to have former players say things that didn’t need to be said.

First Tedy Bruschi unleashes an unprovoked attack on the Patriots’ Ochocinco. Then Brett Favre says he can’t believe it took Aaron Rodgers “so long” to win as many Super Bowls as Favre did (1). Then Deion Sanders said that he is “done” with Romo and off the emotional rollercoaster. Now, all we have to wait for is for Aaron Brooks to pop out of the woodwork and say Drew Brees needs to make better decisions with the ball.

Let me clear something up.

The absolute WORST sports fans to talk to EVER are the ones that only watch their team’s games. Why? Because they have no perspective on the game in totality! That’s why most team message boards are full of comments like this one from Jay, a frustrated Atlanta Falcons fan:

Why would anyone pay to see this crappy team. Blank needs to clean house. Sack the coachs and trade anyone with some market value, incl ryan, turner, white, bosher (no market value). scratch that, get rid of all of them except: abraham, douglas, babinuax, gonzalez and bierman. start over again, and again, and again.

These guys suck! not wasting any more time watching them this year!!!!!!!

Yes, you read right. Not only does he want the team dismantled after week 5, he wants to deal Roddy White, Michael Turner and presumably Ray Edwards. There isn’t crack strong enough to justify that kind of foolishness. And how much time is he really wasting on football when he clearly watches ONE game a week. He should try the 4-5 I catch.

There is NOTHING wrong with only watching a sport to see what your team is doing. There is EVERYTHING wrong with only watching to see what your team is doing and then feeling confident enough to weigh in on how your team stacks up versus everyone else. You WILL sound crazy. People who only follow their teams have no clue where their organization stands in comparison to the rest of the league beyond their record. And their emotions are too tied up in wins and losses to be rational cause once their team loses there’s no other football joy for them. You can always tell this type of fan from a lover of the entire sport.

I’m not saying that these former players aren’t watching the entire NFL, but you know that particular attention is being paid by them to their former teams, and their emotions are certainly tied to the success of the organization. And just like any other fan, it throws their perspective out of wack just enough that the crazy comes out here and there. Ever try listening to Cris Collinworth call a Bengals game and discuss their Wide Receivers? If not, don’t rush and do that. I refuse to listen to Marshall Faulk talk about the Rams, Rodney Harrison discuss the Patriots or former Colts Coach Tony Dungy talk about Indianapolis.

This brings to mind another issue…the pervasiveness of former athletes and coaches in broadcasting. Can I be honest? Most of them aren’t very good! This is in some ways a separate issue…but if the networks hire one more charisma-deficient former player I’m gonna be done with TV for good!

But speaking specifically to the issue of commentary, I get why they’re there. With the NFL being such a complicated sport and the obsession we have with celebrity-and-controversy-over-everything the emergence of a gazillion former athletes as commentators is no surprise. But if they’re going to be kept relevant by the broadcasting world they should be challenged to broaden their ability to contribute commentary that is more accurate and in keeping with the sense God gave a goat.



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