Sunday, August 1, 2010

Settle Down!




Everyone is freaking out right now because Ndamukong Suh is holding out. Apparently, the House of Spears is ruled by none other than King Midas and naturally that has caused the riff-raff to get out of hand, bitching and moaning, tearing their hair and beating their breasts because some dude they don't know wants an extra million dollars or two.

Predictably - and sadly - this has already resulted in pissed off yokels screaming shit about how Suh is disrespecting the good hard working people of Michigan, what with the economy in the tank and all. Somehow, it would seem, Suh's attempt to get paid is adversely affecting the ability of blue collar workers in Michigan to find jobs. Who knew? I suppose it's possible that Suh is some sort of magical demon, a black hole of prosperity whose own success and desire for more sucks up all the opportunities and hopes and dreams of the proletariat. Maybe he's been rampaging through the homes of auto workers, pissing on them while they eat dinner, defiling their pets, masturbating into their laundry baskets and rummaging through their refrigerators, eating all their dearly bought food. Good heavens! What a monster. I suppose all that is possible.

Then again, the most likely explanation is that Ndamukong Suh is a dude in his early twenties who is going to spend the next decade of his life (if he's lucky) getting the utter shit kicked out of him, being beaten and broken, his body ripped apart and ravaged so that by the time he's 40 he'll barely be able to walk and won't be able to read any of the street signs thanks to all of the concussions. He'll then spend the next thirty or so years of his life (again, if he's lucky) dealing with the hellacious trauma of his chosen career, with mounting medical bills and aches and pains that most of us can't even fathom. Be honest, if someone told you that you were going to be finished at 35 and then were going to spend the rest of your life taking a half hour getting out of bed in the morning because the pain was just too damn much and trying to remember your kids' names and wondering if you would need a wheelchair before your fiftieth birthday, you'd probably press for as much money as you could too. And that's all assuming you'd even be good enough to play for a decade and not for three or four years. These dudes need to get paid and need to get paid quickly.

NFL players get their asses completely destroyed. I'm not going to turn this into some stupid morality play, gibbering about the evils of football and all that horseshit. These are grown men and they know what they're getting themselves into. But I'm not going to begrudge them their attempts to get paid either. Especially when you consider that the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry and out of the all of the major pro sports leagues in this country, the NFL is the one whose economic realities are slanted the most towards the owners and the league itself. It doesn't make any damn sense. If my kid told me he wanted to play in the NFL, I'd tell him "Fuck that, son," and then would guide him towards a lucrative career as a sports agent. There are some incredibly ugly realities that lie at the heart of the owner/player relationship in the NFL and when you factor in the agents and the managers and all that pomp and circumstance it just gets uglier and uglier until finally, you end up seeing some poor, broken down ex-player, 55 years old, screaming in the street about slavery. It's a terrible, terrible thing and no one wants to deal with it or look at it.

This is all turning into a populist screed and I apologize. The simple point is this: Ndamukong Suh's attempts to get paid are not something that we should spit at or find contemptible. They are the realities of his world, which as wonderful as it seems right now, is fraught with perils and crazy shit that none of us will ever have to deal with. This is his life. For the next ten years. That's it. He has to compress what we have a lifetime to do into a decade. He has to make it all work or find himself a beat up wreck of a man, broke and selling used cars thanks to the favor of some booster who remembered him back when he used to be something great. People will wander in, shake his hand and hear his dazed spiel, look into his glassy, far away eyes and then leave, whispering to each other shit like "Hey, didn't that used to be . . ." and shaking their heads and wondering what the fuck happened. Then he'll go eat a sandwich in the break room, probably vomit on himself and then head to the neurologist he can't afford, who will ask him to recall the details of his day. He won't be able to and then he'll drive home, end up taking the wrong route and be found out of gas, stranded near some corn field by some redneck farmer who will call the cops on the suspicious looking "colored fella" and then he'll get dragged before some asshole sheriff who will lock him up for two days for the crime of being black in America until his friends and loved ones find him and hustle him back home and feed him applesauce while they weep and wonder where their larger than life superhero of a brother/son/husband/father went. If he wants an extra million dollars or two now, then shit, good for him.

I know, I know - HE SHOULD SAVE HIS MONEY THEN BLAH BLAH BLAH. Thank you, smug and self righteous fan. It's not so easy to save all of your money though when half of it goes to the government, another ten percent goes to your agent, another chunk of change goes to your business manager/accountant and then all of your childhood friends and family start hitting you up for money too. Or when you're surrounded by a bunch of other young millionaires who aren't afraid to drop cash all over the damn place. Add into that the fact that a lot of these dudes grew up with nothing and just the simple fact that they now have money is probably overwhelming as hell. So, yeah, you can get all indignant and bitch that they should be investing their money wisely and then piss on them when they don't miraculously turn out to be Warren Buffett, or you can, you know, understand the realities of the situation and have a fucking heart.

Look, I'm not saying that all of these dudes are broke and busted by the time they hit fifty, but too many of them are to simply dismiss it. Should they be more responsible and look to the future. OF COURSE. And, you know, that's pretty much what Ndamukong Suh is trying to do. But all most fans see is a greedy young dude who's trying to take them somehow. It's ridiculous as all hell. The man is doing what he needs to do in order to secure a comfortable and happy future. If you want to shit on him for it because it might mean that he'll miss four days of practice or whatever, then by all means, keep fighting the good fight you champion of the human spirit you.

Of course, you could leave aside the fact that he's a human being. He's a player, a commodity, a useful tool, and that fucking tool isn't coming as cheaply as we want him to. I saw one dude on twitter freak the fuck out and say that the Lions should just let him sit out for the season and then let some other team sign him next year when a rookie salary cap is (presumably) in place. Leaving aside the issue of a rookie cap (Is one needed? Almost certainly. But right now, there isn't one and that's not Suh's fault, you know?) this would be utterly retarded. Yeah, once in a decade kid of player, see you later, don't let the door hit you on your priceless ass on the way out! What kind of idiot bullshit gibberish is that? We need Ndamukong Suh and we need him badly. We should all be hanging out en masse outside of his compound or wherever the fuck he's holed up saying shit like "Mr. Suh, I'll suck yo dick!" Fuck it. We have no dignity. We are Lions fans. Let's not forget this crucial point.

If Ndamukong Suh wants to start each game off by defiling a random fan at the fifty yard line, then I say we should all cheer his valuable ass on. YEAH GO GET 'EM NDAMUKONG SHOW THEM WHY YOU'RE NAMED THE HOUSE OF SPEARS. If he wants to be carried to the field by a horde of midget eunuchs, I say we all start building him the litter. If he wants to be carried off the field after every game by a gang of shameless whores to a safe house where he'll spend two days living like Xerxes then shit, make it happen. I don't give a fuck what Ndamukong Suh makes or what we have to do to get him on the field. Just do it. Shit. This is what happens when you draft a guy in the top five. There's no use bitching about it. It is just the way it is.

I mean, in the end, who cares? As long as he makes it on the field ( And he will. I mean, Jesus, it's only been, what? Two days? ) then we should all be happy. I mean, really, chill the fuck out people. A month from now, we'll all be watching and cheering for Suh and everyone will be chanting his last name just like they do whenever anyone's name rhymes with boo, like Blue or Lou, and everyone will love it and no one will give a shit that he's being paid out of Ford the Junior's trust fund. Fuck. Settle down.

20 comments:

Andrew TSKS said...

Beautiful post, sir. I too hate it when fans get all on their high horse about players trying to get paid. When people complain about athletes getting paid too much, I always just think of how, if that athlete wasn't getting top dollar, that would just be more money flowing right to the owner. And shit, if these people think players have too much money, they should probably not even contemplate how much owners have. Their heads would explode.

Neil said...

Thanks, man. I felt like Lions fans needed to be slapped around a little to calm them down. After all, a firm hand is the only thing a panicky Lions fan understands.

Also, yeah, it's not like the dude is stealing money from the fans. I never understand that attitude. Shouldn't they be happy that a dude they actually like is forcing some old rich asshole white dude to pay up?

Josh said...

To hell with that. I check your website daily and have always thought your insights were credible and fun to read.

Today, you are flat ass wrong. As a Lions fan for life, I thought we were getting a hard working, blue collar guy that would be true to his word. He should have kept his mouth shut, alas he did not and all this backlash is his own damn fault.

Suh is letting the stink of his two dirt bag agents rub off on him and it will never go away. When his rookie contract is up, are you going to believe him when he says "I want to stay here and finish my career as a Lion"? Hell no you aren't and neither is any other informed Lions fan.

So, I say this. Offer him 41 million guaranteed. Not a dime more and tell him he sits if he does not like it. There is no way in hell a DT should make more than your Franchise QB ever.

In reference to the players and their blown riches. I do not have even a little sympathy for them, NONE! Even the special team player will make more in their lifetime than 99% of the worlds population. If they can't budget their money, in the truck loads it arrives, that is their own problem and I say tough shit. When I see them on the corner shaking a cup, I wont have a dime for them.

Neil said...

Again, it's only been a few days, not a few months or even a few weeks. I guess everything, with twitter and all that, has just been magnified and hypersensationalized. A couple of years ago, it probably wouldn't even have registered with a lot of fans that Suh was holding out, and if it did, it would have been thanks to some vague mention in the Freep or Detroit News that mentioned the situation. Fan are too fucking close now with twitter and all that shit, and every other dude on there is throwing out breathless reports that make the whole situation seem like a nuclear standoff. It's kind of ridiculous. Wait a few days before burning the dude in effigy or sending out the posse.

As for all the stuff about not having any sympathy for the players, well, obviously I disagree. I'm happy to see these guys get paid - sometimes. Of course, three months from now I'll probably be screaming and calling half the players on the team overpaid shitheads and writing elaborate scenarios in which they are eaten by a rampaging Monkey Sims, but I am a complicated beast in complicated times.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, Josh. These are strange and terrible times and occasionally we will holler at one another but that doesn't mean that we can't still be friends, and when the season begins we will turn those energies towards the wicked and we shall gnaw on their bones together.

Josh said...

Like I said at the beginning of my post Neil, I respect your writing and your opinion. Today we don't agree. Humans having their own opinions and all that.

And yes, when the season starts. I will be screaming and hollering at the screen hoping and praying the Lions can find a way to win.

GO LIONS!

Raven Mack said...

working in a neurotrauma research facility, I can tell you without a doubt that NFL players deserve every penny they get and then some, especially considering the brain damage the NFL has knowingly allowed them to get for the past ten years. wait till full blown class action litigation starts from former players in the next decade, and what suh is holding out for will seem paltry in comparison.

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