Although the NFL is run by grown men, there are times when it seems just like a day in a hectic middle school. So let me be the first to welcome you to Roger Goodell Middle School. Here’s your class schedule:
Period 1: Physics (Deflategate)
You probably have had a class that has had one particular kid that was way smarter than he acted and was always making trouble. And since that kid was in fact very smart, the teacher could never bust him for his actions. This year, that kid was Tom Brady and that teacher was Roger Goodell.
In January, the Patriots were accused (and essentially caught) taking air out of footballs and the league burst into chaos. This sparked a yearlong saga with head coach Bill Belichick suddenly acting like he had a PhD in physics, and star quarterback Tom Brady acting like he didn’t know what a football was. But Brady was smarter than he appeared and was able — through a series of court cases — to avoid punishment.
With all this crime and lack of punishment, first period appears to be a chaotic class with nobody in control.
Period 2: Elective: Theater (Acting)
Break out the Oscars. Injuries and exaggerating minor contact to draw penalties are only two of the ways NFL players use theatrics to impact the game. With such acting talent, the NFL Middle School production of Wicked: The Story of Roger Goodell is sure to be a smash!
Period 3: Math (Crazy Salaries)
This season, backup quarterback Ryan Nassib played exactly one game and compiled a whopping six snaps. But Nassib is currently being paid $453,600 A YEAR. Ndamukong Suh is a star lineman for the Dolphins. Last year he was a bona fide star and the Dolphins paid him a mind-boggling $114,375,000 over six years, with more than $59 million GUARANTEED to sign him in free agency. This year, Suh has turned in exactly six sacks, leaving Dolphins fans wondering, “We spent that much money on Ndamukong WHO?” With these kinds of numbers, you better be sure to pack your calculator for third period.
Period 7: Study Hall (Crazy NFL Rulebook)
Study hall is often used as an extra learning period where students can attempt to figure out a particularly hard or complex subject. Well, if there really was an NFL school, the referees would need to take a good, long look at the NFL rulebook. In recent years, catches that would generally have been ruled completions have been obliterated by a complex set of rules that govern a reception. An example: The Giants essentially lost a key game against the Patriots because of a critical overturned call. While it appeared to many that receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had made a game-winning catch, the officials saw it differently. The call was changed and the Giants lost a pivotal game in the playoff race. NFL officials really need to start using their study hall to master the confusing text that is the NFL rulebook.
Period 8: Gym (Concussions)
In gym, there is always a risk of getting hurt. It’s rare that one escapes a year in gym without an injury. However, over the last few years the NFL is becoming more and more involved with one of the worst injuries a player can obtain: a concussion. Recently, the NFL has become more immersed in accusations that they are not protecting their players enough. Will the school nurse be able to keep the students’ heads in one piece?
Congrats! You survived your first day at The RG Middle School! Whether you can survive the rest of the year remains to be seen...
Photos: YouTube (classroom), Elise Amendol/AP (Brady), Adam Hunger (reporters), Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images (referee)