(CBS) Dear benevolent Commissioner,
I received your letter yesterday in my email inbox—very new age of you. You truly do seem to be embracing this "Forever forward. Forever football" motto that surely some marketing agency was paid the equivalent of a first round signing bonus to come up with.
You thank me on behalf of all 32 NFL teams for my support this year. While that's nice of you, I doubt the Jacksonville Jaguars or Cincinnati Bengals really are extending a laurel and hardy handshake to me, the fan, nor the other thousands of my brethren who did not show up to their games in 2011. I'm sure your job has forced you to visit both of these armpits of America, and you would think that going to an NFL game in Jacksonville or Cincinnati would be about the only respite from the soul-crushing experience of living in Jacksonville and Cincinnati. It's certainly not your fault, Der Kommissar, that the country's economy has hit these towns particularly hard, but perhaps you might want to look into how the crack cocaine of professional sports is not selling in these cities the way actual crack cocaine is.
As for the "tense, drama-filled Super Bowl" you salute, um, not so much. 95% of that game was terrible, and 83% of that was just Madonna's skin, and even the commercials weren't up to snuff enough to save it. Oh, a go-ahead score in the final minutes! A chance for arguably the game's best quarterback to try to retake the lead at the end! That crap doesn't matter when the rest of the time both teams played at a level akin to the Pro Bowl that you recently have considered abolishing.
(Oh, and by the way, I appreciate that you're a fan of my stuff. I can tell you read my anti all-star games piece from last week and took it to heart. Good for you. The Pro Bowl and its cousins are awful. Set a precedent and lose it.)
What the hell does "Our responsibility in leading the league is to protect and enhance the bond between our game and the passionate fans who sustain it" mean? To me, that's commissionerspeak for "We will continue to find a way to gouge you sheep for money." That's the only bond, isn't it? I'm paying you in some way at all times, no? Whether it be my cable bill, a ticket purchased, or the Bears Big & Tall Flannel Pant (named after the sound made while someone puts it on with a system of pulleys and dwarves) I use to protect the oak tree in my yard from Asian beetle infestation.
Maybe that was harsh of me. Maybe what you are really getting at is player safety. And not just in the way you've devolved the fun of the game by segregating quarterbacks and receivers from the rest of the players in terms of where they can be touched without a permission slip from a parent or a small doll on a witness stand. I'm mean, who cares about a left guard, right? Left guards don't do commercials.
But now that those left guards' brains are eating themselves for the sake of selling me a Mystic Memory III Thong with my favorite team's logo on it, it's time to pretend the league cares about the manner in which its gladiators create car accidents on the field for our entertainment, right? (Note: when searching for that piece of merchandise, I thought I'd be fair and include something from the Packers. Well, NFL.com has no "Intimate Apparel" for Packers gear, and we are all thankful for that, though I didn't venture into the women's plus-size section to see if that's where the Packers nighttime wrasslin' muumuu is for purchase.)
So your people have created some branch website "to explore how the game has improved over the past century." How large men running full speed into each other has progressed since indoor plumbing became the norm: Thin pieces of cow ass on dockworkers' heads prior to the annexation of two states in the union to just one case of paralysis in the last five years and several cases of mental illness that our completely nonbiased doctors say could have been caused by repeated blows to the head while cooking stir fry at home + largely venereal disease-free cheerleaders = PROGRESS.
You mentioned: "We know we have to earn your trust every day and prove we are worthy of your amazing support." No, you don't have to earn my trust. You never have tried to before, and the league makes billions, so why start now? And you're not worthy of support anymore than Las Vegas or a pharmaceutical company is. You're the pimp of pimps, and somehow I love you for it, no matter how much I complain.
I do appreciate the correspondence, mien Roger, but c'mon, we both know how it is. Instead of waxing fecal on me, I'll prewrite your 2013 postseason letter that sums up the next season much better:
Most games were enjoyable. You watched awesomely gruesome injuries on YouTube over and over. You lost some money in fantasy games and ones that I'm not allowed to talk about. Some guys got arrested, and I put a horse head in their beds. We all got fat and drunk and forgot about our miserable weekday lives for a few hours every week. This season was cray, dawg. Cray. Let's do it again in the fall.
Cray, indeed. That'll work. Trust me, I won a contest. You can PayPal me the $50,000 for that letter, too, please.
Forever forward. Forever football,
An intelligent fan
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America's youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim's inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don't follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago's Beverly To read more of Tim's blogs click here.
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