Steve Almond's Top Ten Reasons to Say Screw the NFL

Jadeveon Clowney goes for a sack against Justin Worley in a 2010 high school game
Jadeveon Clowney goes for a sack against Justin Worley in a 2010 high school game
Courtesy lanmccor on Wikimedia commons

Steve Almond wants NFL players who smoke weed to be able to get high in peace.

The author of Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto told us, "The NFL should shut their fucking mouths about players who wanna smoke pot. They'd rather have them all shot up on Toradol, drinking booze, and going home to beat their wives."

Almond, a lifetime football fan, now hates the league, and he thinks that you should, too. He's so sick of the corruption, greed, and violence in the sport that before his big reading at Books & Books, he's got ten reasons to say fuck the NFL.

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10. Football Causes Brain Damage

"According to the NFL itself, the sport that profits 10 billion dollars a year causes or will cause brain damage in a third of all players. That's probably not so good. Under the list of 'cruel and pretty fucked up,' that goes under Pretty Fucked Up. And these are not my statistics. This is what the NFL admitted on federal court documents related to lawsuits."

9. The Oakland Raiders

That's my favorite team. They're so bad this needs no explanation. They are the laughing stock of the league. But they do sell a lot of hats.

8. The NFL Hates Women

"The NFL's cynical and transparent efforts to woo female fans by putting pink cleats on the players contrast the actual gender roles that the NFL presents every week in full color on your TV, which are that men are inherently of worth to the world by being fearless, aggressive, and violent, and women are sexual hood ornaments."

7. They Don't Pay Any Taxes

"The NFL is a tax exempt organization. Tax exempt. They managed to get tax protection in the 1960s. It's really fucked up. They're designated as a business league, but unless you have 7 billion dollars you can't join them and become a team owner so they got in under a technicality that was not designed for huge fucking corporations."

6. They Sell Kids False Dreams

"The NFL sells kids from economically vulnerable neighborhoods in this country a false dream, that we all consent to, which is that their path to economic salvation, to riches, and glory, and power resides not in the content of their character, not in the development of their minds, and certainly not in the development of their moral systems; that the way to escape the hood is by entertaining us, by playing a beautiful and savage game, by performing for us like animals. And I say that's a false dream because only one in 500 high school seniors who play football is gonna make the pros. They will last barely four seasons, and they will be in financial trouble within a decade after they retire. And those are the winners.

"The other 499 kids who've been told 'maybe if you play football you won't wind up in prison or a dead end job,' they shouldn't need football to have a chance to make it in America. They need good schools, support for working families (especially single parents), and they need good paying wages and jobs in their communities. They need the possibility of some higher education without having to fucking win scholarships. And by the way, the ones who are recruited by major programs, those programs don't give a shit about their education, and the fans don't give a shit either. They are there to get eligible to play and bang some heads on Saturday. It's the athletic entertainment industry that for some fucked up reason is attached to the educational system in this country."

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