The NFL is the best reality TV show ever

NFL Reality TV

The list of scandals, investigations, crimes and cover-ups rivals Cops, Judge Judy and the Kardashians. America’s favorite game has managed to enter every realm of our lives, and we love it. The sport that only has 4-5 months of game play is aired on radio talk shows and ESPN channels 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, and yet we still can’t get enough. Why is that? Are we infatuated with the sport itself? The players? The men behind the players?

Truth is, we love it all. NFL players are modern gladiators, but unlike the ancient Romans, we can sit in the Coliseum from our work desks, or at the dinner table, or even on our own porcelain throne. We can bicker to our loyal social followings about the punishments cast down by Commissioner Commodus, and lust over the rising stardom of the next Maximus. The depth at which we can dissect these characters is unlimited because of our far-reaching media probes, and conversely, because these gladiators/players/actors/brands can choose to expose themselves to the nth degree. Nobody is to blame but us, and them. It’s everybody really.

All that being said, below is just a snippet of high profile stories organically emanating from our beloved reality series, the NFL.

 

Murder and Armed Assault

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez currently faces two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, and single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm in relation to a July 2012 shooting.

Domestic Violence

Ray Rice is the pinnacle case here, but sadly there are hundreds more. What’s interesting and requires more analysis though is the fact that arrest rates in the NFL are actually lower than the national average for similarly aged men. Perhaps this is a result of statistical methodologies or the power of the celebrity.

Sexual Assault

Big Ben Roethlisberger has been charged twice (although never found guilty), but it’s happening all over the league.

Child Abuse

The most significant case was against Adrian Peterson, who is now posing as an advocate for the cause. But the ‘this is how I grew up’ excuse is slowly fading.

Animal Abuse

We know about Michael Vick, who evidently has turned his life around after a stint in jail. But there are more names to add to this list. Ex-Raven Terrence Cody and ex-Texan Dwight Jones have also committed acts of animal cruelty.

Bounties and Intent to Injure

The Saints are most known for this scandal, but the Eagles have been guilty too. The Commissioner laid down the law on the Saints organization, so we can only imagine teams have stopped doing this, or are much better at keeping it on the DL.

Homophobia

Michael Sam is the name that may eventually be forgotten, as he failed to make the cut on a number of professional teams, but as airwaves inundated their listeners with this issue it raised the question: why is this an issue?

Adultery

It’s sadly part of the professional athlete culture, and so it only makes sense that we gobble up these headlines.

Steroids

It’s been happening for decades, and there is no shortage of infractions or guilty pleas. In an era when injury recovery time is shortening and players popcorn muscles are popping, it can only raise suspicions.

Marijuana

It may not be performance enhancing, but it’s on the list of banned substances. From Ricky Williams to Le’Veon Bell, superstars from all eras have been penalized for use despite the NFL’s hazy logic surrounding the substance.

Inappropriate Texts

It’s not just our country’s elected leaders who send inappropriate and illegal pictures via text. Imagine how bad the younger generation will be when they’re old enough to play in the NFL. Snapchat better up their privacy agreement.

Cheating (*in football)

The Patriots have been charged with multiple cheating infractions over the years, with the recent Deflategate spurring a suspension and other penalties for the Patriots organization. It was only a few years prior they were charged with videotaping opposing team signals in Spygate. Note, the Broncos had their own issues with a Spygate scenario.

Adderol

Five Seahawks players received suspensions after violating the ban on using Adderall. Richard Sherman was included, but avoided the suspension due to a technicality. Joe Haden of the Browns has also tested positive for Adderall.

 

So move over Jersey Shore, move over American Idol, move over Survivor. The longest lasting and most successful reality show is and always will be the NFL.

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