Dear Commissioner Goodell,
It’s me again. My last letter must have been lost in the mail, as I have yet to receive a response. I forgive you. However, I would be remiss not to have an open discussion with you regarding the latest development in the NFL. I actually think I can be of some help on this one. Naturally, I’m speaking of the possibility of penalizing players 15 yards for using the offensive and despicable “n-word”. This isn’t language I would use myself, but for the argument’s sake, I’m a lady.
I have some suggestions that may help. I’m sure we can agree that the offensiveness of this word is largely based on connotation and who utters it. An African American saying it to another African American would be a lot different than a Caucasian player using the term. Where do we draw the line? You need to be able to insult people during a tough guy game like football, right? I can’t imagine getting through a week of FANTASY football without insulting someone. To be fair, I’m usually saying something awful about my opponent’s mother, but that’s neither here nor there.
Have you ever played “Mother May I”? I have the feeling you have, since the NFL’s rule structure is becoming terribly similar. Maybe you can change it to “Commissioner May I”! How awesome would that be? Every time there’s a play, they have to ask YOU for permission! “Commissioner may I advance 20 yards?” Bear with me because this is where it gets fun! “No you may not, but you can spin three times like a music box ballerina!” I have a feeling the fans would get a real kick out of it! No?
As far as the players go, I’ve come up with a few acceptable on-field insults. 1) Doody Head: That one will hurt some feelings. How can you possibly have your head in the game after that one? 2) Jerk Face: That’s pretty damn hurtful. If you want someone to fumble, that’s the way to go. 3) Snack Wafer: This one is clearly meant for Peyton Manning. I’m assuming we’re going to avoid ALL racist comments, but I’m pretty sure he knows he’s a cracker so I found a nicer way to say it. You’re welcome, NFL! Last but not least, the guys are going to need a replacement for the N-word when it’s said between two African American players in a non-racist manner. I suggest “kind sir”. Perhaps they could curtsy after saying it.
Listen, racism is reprehensible and I think most of civilized society will agree with you there. I just take exception to anyone thinking they can fix that issue by policing speech on the football field. There are a LOT of things you shouldn’t say to people. It’s not possible to regulate in this manner. Speech becomes almost automatic after a period of time. I’m sure there are black players that use it so frequently that it would be pretty difficult to chamber that reaction. Do we penalize them? The reality of it is that these are grown ass men playing a violently aggressive sport. They put their physical safety on the line every week and all of a sudden we’re concerned with hurting feelings? This isn’t a tea party, it’s football. If you insist on going this route, I have a few other ideas you may want to consider…
1- After every tackle, the players must hug for three seconds. We don’t want anyone to take said tackling personally.
2- All touchdown celebrations must now be a square dance move. Do-si-do in the endzone, my friends!
3- Half-time will now be time for everyone to talk about their feelings while in a circle holding hands. You are required to say something nice to the player on your left and pass it on until the circle of happy thoughts is complete.
4- No more beer at NFL stadiums. The fans should be made to suffer through all games, especially us Browns fans. We should be required to see every painful play of the season with a clear head.
Hopefully, I’ve been a huge help here. If you need any more assistance, I’d be happy to sit on the committee. Go Browns!
Your friend, Jen