The Way I See It
In this The Way I See It, accusations of NFL collusion, the emergence of Steroid Boy, and all the things for which I’m grateful.
With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s time to pause, reflect on life, and be grateful for all our blessings. So following the sacred code of sports writers, I’ll waste some time enumerating the things I appreciate in my life:
- The NFL – I’m grateful for the existence of the NFL, especially as the World Cup kicks off. No, I’m not confusing two different types of football. I’m just grateful for the fact that our football is still a real sport, while the other football (soccer) is nothing more than a communist plot to subvert the youth of this country. From the looks of it, those dirty European sophisticates have already succeeded in brainwashing the young men in this country into running around in circles aimlessly for hours and considering that a thrilling display of athletic prowess.
- Declaring Pronouns – I’m grateful for people who need to tell me their pronouns and then demand that I participate in their desperate need for attention. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. And please don’t ask me for my pronouns. If you can’t figure out my pronouns, I don’t want to talk to you anyway. My stance on pronouns, combined with the determination of idiots to compel me to use their pronouns, means I speak with fewer people daily. Which is all I ever want, so we’re good.
- Fat-Shaming – I’m grateful for skinny women who complain about being fat-shamed, fat women who complain about being fat-shamed, and just-the-right-size women who complain about being fat-shamed. Because I had just started to figure out how women think, and that’s an unnatural state for a man.
When Deshaun Watson signed his $230 million, fully guaranteed contract with the Browns, everyone in the know shook their heads. They weren’t shaking their heads at the Browns’ lunacy; that’s par for the course. No, they shook their heads at the coming apocalypse. It was an apocalypse where every marquee player decided they deserved a fully guaranteed contract, too.
I said at the time that the NFL owners, whether collectively or individually, would not repeat the Browns’ mistake. Individually, it’s the right (and duty) of each owner to learn from Cleveland’s error and avoid the same pitfall. Collectively, owners deciding never to hand out another fully guaranteed contract is frowned upon, as well as being illegal. Well, it looks like we’re in for a legal battle.
The NFLPA has filed a grievance, claiming the NFL and its teams have colluded against its players’ pursuit of fully guaranteed deals, sources confirmed to ESPN. A third-party arbitrator will hear the grievance, which the union filed “in recent weeks,” a source told ESPN. Predictably, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson demanded a deal superior to Watson’s– more money and fully guaranteed.
I believe in free markets. Not government-regulated nonsense. Should owners have the right to refuse to follow convention and not hand out fully guaranteed contracts? Of course, they should. Should an owner have the right to hire any player he wants under whatever terms he sees fit? Absolutely he should. In a genuinely free market, anti-collusion laws would not be needed. Quick and agile companies would break from collusion agreements to grab market share.
Unlike the Browns, the Ravens have one of the better front offices in the NFL. Therefore, that means Lamar Jackson will not get a fully guaranteed contract in excess of $230 million.
No, Steroid Boy is not the title of a new Marvel movie. Nor is it a new Jackass character. Steroid Boy is the nickname given to WR DeAndre Hopkins by 49ers DB Charvarius Ward. Ward had a lot to say following the 49ers victory over the Cardinals on MNF:
“[Hopkins] was getting locked up, doing some dirty things. He tried to clip me, grabbed me by the throat. He grabbed my facemask on one play, so I don’t respect his game. That’s steroid boy.”
Hopkins missed the first six games of the 2022 regular season due to a suspension under the PED policy. It makes sense that Ward refers to Hopkins as “Steroid Boy”. What doesn’t make sense is antagonizing a superstar player from a divisional rival. Hopkins may not be at his prime, but he’s still a top WR in the NFL; perhaps it’d be more prudent for Ward to just shut up and play the game. After all, he’s not Deion Sanders.
Now if Coach Prime wants to bad-mouth a player, I’m all ears. As a matter of fact, put Coach Prime on the Manning Cast!
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