NFL in Disarray, But Pats Stand Strong
by Jeremy Gross on Friday, September 19th, 2014
The New England Patriots started the season off poorly, losing the season opener in an uncharacteristic fashion: 20-33 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 7th. While losing the first game of the season does not bode well for the team from a fan’s perspective, the last time the Patriots lost the first game of the season was in 2003 to Drew Bledsoe and the Buffalo Bills. But have no fear Patriots’ fans; after a loss to start the 2003 season, the Patriots went on to win their second Super Bowl in 3 years.
Many would argue that one reason for the Patriots’ success under Coach Bill Belichick is the players’ ability to stay out of trouble – a recent issue with players across the NFL. The Patriots have a good history keeping players out of trouble, especially those who previously got into trouble on other teams, including wide receiver Randy Moss, who set NFL records with the Pats, and running back Corey Dillon, who won a Super Bowl with the team. Despite a double murder indictment involving former tight end Aaron Hernandez, the Pats have a pretty clean record in recent years. As of late, the NFL has been struggling with behavioral issues from its players, including the highly publicized domestic violence incidents involving the Baltimore Ravens’ running back, Ray Rice, punching his wife in an elevator, and a separate incident involving Minnesota Vikings’ running back, Adrian Peterson, who brutally beat his 4-year-old son. The NFL also recently suspended Denver Broncos’ wide receiver, Wes Welker, for allegedly doing the drug MDMA, otherwise known as “Molly” or “Ecstacy” at the Kentucky Derby. Welker’s suspension has since ended due to the change in the NFL’s drug policy. As a result of the recent drama, the media has been pushing for the dismissal of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who apparently received a video of Ray Rice abusing his wife months ago and didn’t act upon it. The league is receiving criticism on all sorts of issues with its players at the moment and seems to be in disarray.
The NFL appears to be using this situation as an opportunity to revise and enforce some of its league rules, so that incidents like these don’t re-occur. However, will this be a permanent solution? Only if they are properly enforced by a good commissioner will fans take the league seriously.
Although the league is a disaster right now, the coaching staff of the New England Patriots has the team on stable ground after beating the Minnesota Vikings 30-7 this past weekend. In Belichick we trust!
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