Tag: NFL

Katrina Shankland knows more about the NFL’s player salary structure than Scott Walker does

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of the blog post is a New England Patriots fan who lives in Illinois, and Wisconsin State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) is, like the vast majority of Wisconsinites, a Green Bay Packers fan. Anyways, the Chicago Bears are a bunch of losers.


At a recent private, invite-only “listening session”, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, while claiming that the NFL’s free agency system should be a model for paying public school teachers, demonstrated that he has no knowledge of how the NFL’s player salary structure works. Here’s what Walker said:

If the Green Bay Packers pay people to perform and if they perform well on their team, (the Packers) pay them to do that…They don’t pay them for how many years they’ve been on the football team. They pay them whether or not they help (the Packers) win football games.

Wisconsin State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), the Assistant Minority Leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly, issued this brilliant response to Walker’s absurd claims about the NFL player salary structure and absurd comparison between NFL player salaries and Wisconsin public school teacher salaries. I encourage everyone who is reading this blog post to read Shankland’s statement in full, but I’ll summarize three points that Shankland made in her statement:

  • NFL teams often have a total player payroll that is well under the league’s salary cap, whereas public school districts in Wisconsin are barely able to make payroll thanks to Walker’s funding cuts to public K-12 schools in Wisconsin
  • NFL players have a strong labor union representing them, whereas Walker and his Republican allies severely weakened Wisconsin public school teachers’ unions by restricting collective bargaining rights.
  • For the third point, I’ll directly quote Shankland: “…the NFL does pay their athletes regardless of whether or not they win games. Ask the Chicago Bears about this.”

For those of you who are wondering, the Chicago Bears compiled a record of 6 wins and 10 losses, and failed to make the playoffs, in the 2015 NFL season. Oh, and NFL players do not lose a penny of their base salary if their team loses a game.

The salary and unionization structure of NFL players and that of public school teachers in Wisconsin are not identical by any rational person’s imagination. I applaud Katrina Shankland for having a far better knowledge of the NFL player salary structure than Scott Walker does.

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Failed USFL team owner Donald Trump complains about recent emphasis on player safety in the NFL

Donald Trump, who, decades prior to running for the Republican presidential nomination, was the owner of the New Jersey Generals of the failed United States Football League (USFL), complained at a recent campaign rally that the National Football League (NFL) has become “too soft” because of the increased emphasis on player safety in recent years:

As Donald Trump watched Saturday night’s Steelers-Bengals game, with hard hits that caused concussions and drew penalty flags, he thought he saw a metaphor for the direction that our country is heading in.

“Football has become soft like our country has become soft,” Trump said at a campaign rally today, to cheers from the audience.

Trump said he’s frustrated to see the way the NFL has changed the rules to take many hits to the head out of the game, at the expense of what Trump views as the old-school style of play that made the game great decades ago.

Make no mistake about it, football is a big part of American culture, with the Super Bowl traditionally being the most-watched television program of the year and the NBC Sunday Night Football jingle being effectively America’s second national anthem. In fact, I’m a big fan of football myself, with football being my third-favorite sport behind curling (a winter sport that is almost never on American television) and stock car racing.

Back to the main point of the blog post…player safety is something that should be a major focus of football at all levels of the sport. Head injuries are very serious, and repetitive head injuries have caused many former football players to suffer long-term medical problems. Many deceased former football players, including Frank Gifford and Junior Seau (last name pronounced say-OW), were diagnosed post-mortem with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that causes, among other things, memory loss and suicidal mentality. I believe that any non-incidental contact above the shoulders should be banned in football at all levels.

Let’s not forget that Trump was largely responsible for the USFL, a professional football league that operated for three seasons in the 1980’s, folding:

Soon after Trump bought the Generals after the USFL’s inaugural season, which was played in the spring of 1983, he started pushing his fellow owners to move the league’s games to the fall and go head-to-head with the NFL. “If God wanted football in the spring,” Trump once said, “he wouldn’t have created baseball.” After the league’s third season, the owners agreed to move to a fall schedule in 1986.

“I think it was a big mistake,” said Dr. Ted Diethrich, one of the league’s original owners. “When that decision was made, the course for this was charted, and it was going to be a wreck.”

Several teams were having financial difficulties at the time, and the league lacked the fall TV contracts that supported the NFL. The USFL instead tried to take on the NFL in the courts by filing an antitrust lawsuit. The hope was that the USFL would either merge with the established league or win a sizable settlement. The merger never happened, and despite winning the lawsuit, the USFL was ultimately awarded only $3 for its troubles. The league soon folded, and Trump’s push for the fall schedule and a lawsuit against the NFL is generally cited as the main reason.

Remember, Donald Trump has derailed professional football once before, so he’s not credible when it comes to talking about the current state of professional football in America.

Lambeau Field: The NFL stadium that is literally in its own time zone

In just a few hours, the Green Bay Packers will host the Minnesota Vikings in the final regular-season game of the 2015 NFL season. The winner of the game will win the NFC North division title and host a playoff game in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs next week. The loser of the game will take a wild card spot in the playoffs and play a road game in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The Green Bay Packers play their home games at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. One interesting thing about Lambeau Field is that it’s literally in its own time zone.

While the Packers website lists game start times in Central Time, which every part of Wisconsin that has a permanent population officially observes, Lambeau Field itself, which has no permanent population but seats 81,435 people during Packers games, is actually on Lombardi Time, set 15 minutes ahead of Central Time. This is because an outdoor clock on the north outer wall of the stadium is deliberately set 15 minutes fast, compared to Central Time. As a result, Lambeau Field is in what I like to call the Lombardi Time Zone, which has an offset of UTC-5:45 during standard time and UTC-4:45 during daylight savings time (the Universal Time Code offsets for Central Time are UTC-6 for standard time and UTC-5 for daylight savings time). No other part of the world is located in this time zone. The Lombardi Time Zone is an unofficial time zone, in that, to my knowledge, neither international law, the U.S. federal government, nor the State of Wisconsin officially recognize Lombardi Time as an official time zone.

Lombardi Time gets its name from Vince Lombardi, the legendary Packers head coach who led the Packers to wins in the iconic “Ice Bowl” game on New Year’s Eve in 1967 and the first two Super Bowls ever held. When Lombardi coached the Packers from 1959-1967, he was known for expecting Packers players and staff to be 15 minutes early to practices and team meetings.

The actual blown call in the Packers Hail Mary victory over the Lions

There’s been a considerable amount of talk of a blown call on the last play before time ran out in the 4th quarter of last night’s NFL Thursday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions (won by the Packers by a score of 27-23). That play involved a questionable facemask penalty against Lions defensive end Devin Taylor (#98):

However, since Taylor did move the face mask of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (#12) to one side, although only by his thumb, that was a correct call by the officials. Even though time ran out in regulation, since the penalty was committed by the defensive team (the Lions), the Packers were given one untimed down.

The actual blown call was on the untimed play, which was the Hail Mary pass itself. At a little past 40 seconds into the video below, you will see Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (#17), who was not the player who caught the winning pass, commit an offensive pass interference penalty against Lions linebacker Josh Byrnes (#57) by grabbing the shoulderpad of Byrnes as Byrnes was attempting to intercept a forward pass by Aaron Rodgers:

Had offensive pass interference been called against Adams, that would have ended the game, the Packers touchdown from Aaron Rodgers to tight end Richard Rodgers (#82) would have not counted, and the Lions would have won. Instead, the officials missed the offensive pass interference and allowed the touchdown to stand.

Washington NFL Team thinks that redneck trademarks are more offensive than racist sports team nickname

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post contains a large amount of profanity, offensive language, and sexually-suggestive language. Reader discretion is advised.


The Washington NFL Team, whose real nickname I’m not going to mention due to it being offensive to Native Americans, recently filed an opening brief in an ongoing lawsuit against the federal government for stripping the team of the trademark for their racist team nickname. In the opening brief, the team effectively claimed that, among other things, “Redneck Army” apparel, is more offensive than their racist team nickname:

The notion that all two million currently-registered marks are government speech is astounding. It is equally disturbing. The PTO has registered hundreds if not thousands of marks that the Team believes are racist, or misogynistic, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. By way of example only, the following marks are registered today: TAKE YO PANTIES OFF clothing; DANGEROUS NEGRO shirts; SLUTSSEEKER dating services; DAGO SWAGG clothing; DUMB BLONDE beer; TWATTY GIRL cartoons; BAKED BY A NEGRO bakery goods; BIG TITTYBLEND coffee; RETARDIPEDIA website; MIDGET-MAN condoms and inflatable sex dolls; and JIZZ underwear. These are not isolated instances. The government routinely registers pornographers’ marks: TEENSDOPORN.COM, MILFSDOPORN.COM, THUG PORN, GHETTOBOOTY, and BOUND GANGBANGS are but a few.

[…]

…No one today thinks registration reflects government approval. But if this Court holds that it does, how will the government explain registrations like MARIJUANA FOR SALE, CAPITALISM SUCKS DONKEY BALLS, LICENSED SERIAL KILLER, YIDDISH, DIRTY WHOOORE CLOTHING COMPANY, and MURDER4HIRE? Why are numerous confederate-flag logos and so many lewd sexual depictions on a “government-curated Principal Register”? Does registration of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS unconstitutionally endorse religion? As to the “Principal Register,” the government does not say where it is, what it looks like, or how we can get one. As far as we know, there is no government-issued “list” of registrations; one must conduct cumbersome, multi-step searches of PTO’s internet database.

The Washington NFL Team went even further and cited even more examples of trademarks that they think are more offensive than their racist team nickname that offends Native Americans:

Other startling examples that would reflect government endorsement under the decision below include: SHANK THE B!T@H board game; CRACKAAZZ SKATEBOARDS; ANAL FANTASY COLLECTION, KLITORIS, and OMAZING SEX TOYS sex toys; HOT OCTOPUSS anti-premature ejaculation creams; OL GEEZER wines; EDIBLE CROTCHLESS GUMMY PANTIES lingerie; WTFWORK? online forum; MILF WEED bags; GRINGO STYLE SALSA; MAKE YOUR OWN DILDO; GRINGO BBQ; CONTEMPORARY NEGRO, F’DUP, WHITE TRASH REBEL, I LOVE VAGINA, WHITE GIRL WITH A BOOTY, PARTY WITH SLUTS, CRIPPLED OLD BIKER BASTARDS, DICK BALLS, and REDNECK ARMY apparel; OH! MY NAPPY HAIR shampoos; REFORMED WHORES and WHORES FROM HELL musical bands; LAUGHING MY VAGINA OFF entertainment; NAPPY ROOTS records; BOOTY CALL sex aids; BOYS ARE STUPID, THROW ROCKS AT THEM wallets; and DUMB BLONDE hair products. Word limits prevent us from listing more.

What the Washington NFL Team is effectively trying to argue in federal court is that the majority owner of the team, Dan Snyder, thinks that sexually suggestive trademarks, drug-referencing trademarks, foreign language-referencing trademarks, trademarks for religious organizations, and…you guessed it…redneck trademarks are more offensive than a racist sports team nickname that offends Native Americans. That is so fucking absurd, it’s not funny. I come from a poor family in a redneck part of Illinois, and I am proud to consider myself a redneck. I am deeply offended by the Washington NFL Team’s bullshit argument that trademarks referencing rednecks are more offensive than a racist sports team nickname that offends Native Americans.

Regarding the other trademarks that the Washington NFL Team tried to cite in their defense of their racist team nickname, I’ll say this: if you think that “Take Yo Panties Off”, “Jizz”, “Marijuana for Sale”, “Yiddish”, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”, and/or “Crackaazz Skateboards” are offensive, you either have a small penis, are bigoted, are stupid, or some combination thereof.

The lawsuit is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (4th Cir.), which includes the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Washington NFL Team is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia and plays its home games in Landover, Maryland.

Scott Walker has picture taken with Chicago Bears fans

Wisconsin Governor and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker recently had his picture taken with a pair of fans of…the NFL’s Chicago Bears:

While I’m a New England Patriots fan, this photo-op with Bears fans will probably alienate even more Wisconsinites, as the Green Bay Packers, the only NFL team that is literally owned by its most loyal fans, is practically a religion in Wisconsin, and the Bears are the main rival of the Packers, with the two teams having played against each other more times in NFL history than any other pair of teams.

At this rate, Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears starting quarterback, might be more popular in Wisconsin than Scott Walker a few months from now. Walker has repeatedly proven that he doesn’t give a fuck about his own state, and now he’s playing right into that narrative.

Aaron Schock caught using taxpayer money on airplane trip to NFL game

Disgraced U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has been implicated in one scandal after another in recent months, most notably the Decorgate scandal, in which Schock had his Washington, D.C. office decorated in a lavish, Downton Abbey-inspired style.

Now, Schock has been implicated in yet another scandal. This time, it involves taxpayer money, a private airplane, and a NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings (the Bears defeated the Vikings 21-13 in that game):

Schock chartered an aircraft to take him from Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia, about 30 miles from the Capitol, to Peoria on Friday, Nov. 14. The return trip to Reagan National Airport was set for the next Monday. The side trip to Chicago was tucked in between, on Sunday, according to the pilot who flew the plane.

The newest official House disbursement records show a November payment of $10,802 to pilot Keith Siilats for “commercial transportation.”

Siilats told me in an interview on Sunday, “That whole weekend was paid by the government.” The only invoice Siilats said he submitted was for government payment.

Siilats also told me he attended the Bears game with Schock.

There are no records showing any reimbursement from Schock for the Chicago flights.

That’s right…Aaron Schock is using your taxpayer money to fly to professional football games. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that federal tax dollars, which could be better spent on things like rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, helping the poor, and so on, are being used for a Member of Congress’s trip to a NFL game.

Aaron Schock should resign from Congress immediately…in fact, he should have resigned a long time ago. In the meantime, I’ll start referring to this latest Schock scandal as the “Bearsgate” scandal.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign immediately over Ray Rice incident

The Associated Press is reporting that an unnamed NFL executive had received a copy of the security camera video tape showing former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Ray Rice physically assaulting the woman who was then his fiancé and is now his wife in an elevator all the way back in April, many months before Rice was initially suspended for two games and then indefinitely by the NFL after the video tape was published by TMZ.

This isn’t the first time that Goodell and other NFL executives bungled their response to the Ray Rice incident. Goodell was initially suspended for only two games despite the NFL commissioner’s office having suspended players for longer periods of time in the past for things that, in my opinion, are lesser offenses than domestic violence. There should have been a proper investigation by the commissioner’s office into Ray Rice beating up a woman in an elevator, but there wasn’t one. Furthermore, Goodell has not yet issued a formal apology over his bungling of the NFL’s response of Ray Rice incident.

The way that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL executives have handled this situation is, in my opinion, absolutely disgusting, and there is no excuse for Goodell and other NFL executives to effectively protect a domestic abuser for several months. Commissioner Goodell should resign immediately, and here’s a petition that you can sign in order to tell Goodell that you want him to resign.

FOX News supports domestic violence

The hosts of the FOX News morning program FOX & Friends, think that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice beating the woman who is now his wife unconscious in an elevator is a laughing matter:

The hosts of Fox & Friends on Monday turned video of NFL player Ray Rice punching his then-girlfriend unconscious in an elevator into a joke, saying that in the future she should “take the stairs.”

[…]

“I think the message is take the stairs,” (Brian Kilmeade) added, as co-host Anna Kooiman giggled.

“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” (Steve) Doocy concluded.

There’s a reason why I referred to Rice as a former Baltimore Ravens running back: the Ravens have officially fired Rice from the team due to the fact that he physically assaulted the woman who he is now married to.

I’m not laughing at a professional athlete beating a woman until she was unconscious, and that’s because it’s not funny at all. Domestic violence is a very serious problem in this country, and anyone who thinks that domestic violence is something worth laughing at or making jokes about is effectively defending those who physically abuse wives, fiancés, and girlfriends. Sadly, defending the most disgusting people in society is nothing new for FOX News, which is a far-right propaganda network.