Necessary Roughness



Necessary Roughness with Gwar's Dave Brockie

It’s time for another NFL season which means that once again I am gonna take a stab at writing a sports column. I’m no sports writer, just a fan, a fan who has become increasingly disenchanted with his favorite sport. It all started when Dan Snyder, one of the biggest douchebags in history, bought the Washington Redskins, my favorite team. I watched the ‘Skins make the transformation from contenders to consistently mediocre, and then stay there for years. It’s amazing to me that it took so long for the team to realize they were not going anywhere without a marquee quarterback. I have had to suffer through so many awful seasons behind throw-away QB’s, and listen to so many stories about how big of a scumbag Snyder is that I actually started to lose interest in my team and the league that it plays in.

It’s not just the Skins that have turned me down on football; it’s players from all around the league that make me sick… woman-beaters, animal-abusers, and general egomaniacs have reminded me over and over again, in the ugliest of manners, that during my high school years the “jocks” were my mortal enemies, enemies that at times caused me considerable pain and distress. This whole “bounty” scandal didn’t help either, and neither did Junior Seau’s suicide. There has been such a procession of negative stories that sometimes I think the modern-day NFL bears little resemblance to the one I fell in love with as a child. So I took a long hard look at my feelings for the NFL and the people in it as I tried to decide whether or not I wanted to write this column again.

Well, obviously I decided that I wanted to do it… but why the hell would I want to write a column on a subject that I’m not passionate about anymore? I’ll tell you why — RGIII ! There’s a new gunslinger in D.C., and there’s every indication that he’s the kind of quarterback that can lead the ‘Skins out of the dark ages and back into the playoffs where they belong. Now, if they would only get rid of that horrible team name. But that’s another subject entirely!

My lack of interest in the pre-season and GWAR’s crazy schedule means that I’m not too aware of what the hell is going on in the league, so don’t expect too much from this first column. But there are still compelling stories around the league that I am trying to get up to speed with.

The most disturbing is the fact that the season is going to start with replacement referees. I hadn’t even heard about this until recently — it’s not something the NFL has really wanted to publicize, with good reason. It takes a lot to become an NFL official. There are a ton of rules and a lot of fans who get really irate at bad calls. Another disturbing trend is the new rules that are coming into play to help stem concussions regarding the limiting of contact. It just seems kind of silly to try and police what is essentially a gladiatorial sport. I am not saying players should be able to spear and clothesline to their vicious hearts delight, but when I start hearing talk about taking away kickoffs I get really nervous. It’s a violent game, it always was, and if you keep taking pieces of the game away in the hopes of preserving it, you risk having the exact opposite thing happen.

So I find myself at a crossroads at the threshold of the 2012 season. Can the Skins and their fancy new QB erase 20 years of misery? Can the new officials call a competent season? Will the rule changes fundamentally alter the game in a negative or positive way? Will the players of honor and substance in the league rise above the knuckleheads? Most importantly, can I provide fair and comprehensive coverage of all the deserving teams for an entire season?

I suppose only time will tell… but one thing I know for sure is that it’s football season again, and I will be watching. See ya after the first weekend is over!

– Dave Brockie

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