Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Has anyone else noticed that something seems a little off with professional football, lately? Sure, the NFL is still showing up to work on time, and credit is due, it now even shows up on three days a week instead of just two. Technically, it is still doing its job just fine, and it is definitely not disrupting anyone else’s job either. Hell, it even cracked a smile a few times last week, but… there is just something missing.
This league used to be so passionate about its job. Now it seems to be punching the clock and waiting until the end of the year to really put in the real effort. There is some noticeable sloppiness too: more penalties, a drop in primetime ratings and two ties in one year. That is just not the league everyone has learned to count on for so many years. That’s not the real NFL. Without prying too much, is it time to ask the league some tough questions about its performance?
High expectations can be dangerous; overreactions, even more so. Change is unavoidable, so no one should be too shocked that the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals are both 1-3. It could be an unlucky streak, or it could be a changing of the guard. It is simply too early to say. Of course, some things never seem to change. To the frustration of many, the New England Patriots keep winning against all odds because Bill Belichick is a true football savant who consistently switches up his strategy to outwit the opposition. These narratives are not going anywhere, as fans will definitely still be debating the fates of these preseason favorites deep into December and January.
In the meantime, it’s better to focus on the developing subplots. These are not the stories that receive the most attention early on because everyone is too busy losing their minds over their fantasy season not working out as planned. These are the fun developments that show a player making the leap from good to great or the weird trends that threaten to turn the league upside down before they inevitably become just another footnote.
America is the best place, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. I say that not because I’m American (although I am, and damn proud) but because in America, not only do more people watch the Super Bowl than vote for their president* (*not a real statistic, but I’m 100,000% positive it’s true), but also will create a massive scandal that allows them to talk about “deflated balls” in the media for two weeks straight.
Forget 50 Shades of Grey. Forget… other popular and mainstream erotic novels (?). A Gronking to Remember is here — well, was here — and it will make you forget every other book you’ve ever read in your life. This modern masterpiece was penned by acclaimed (read: several of her Kindle novels have five stars on Amazon) author Lacey Noonan, the wordsmith behind other great works such as Hot Boxed: How I Found Love on Amazon and I Don’t Care If My Best Friend’s Mom is a Sasquatch, She’s Hot and I’m Taking a Shower With Her. However, her most recent work, centered around Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, was apparently way too steamy for Amazon, as the book (which cost a whopping $3 on e-reader) seems to have been pulled from the website. Luckily for all of you, I managed to sneak in a download before that happened.
In A Gronking…, Noonan introduces us to Connecticut housewife Leigh, who catches one glimpse of the patented Gronk spike (or the “football throw down thing,” as she so eloquently puts it) on a football Sunday and falls in love at first sight, much to the chagrin of her beleagured Jets-fan husband, with whom her marriage is already on the rocks.
Anyway, once she sees the Gronk spike, it’s all over.