Denver Broncos: Critics are wrong to say Defense is Dirty
Football is best when it’s physical. Sports are a release for our tribal instincts, as watching your guy in orange obliterate the bad guy in silver and black (or red, or powder blue, or black and yellow) satisfies that primal urge within all of us to punch those not from our tribe in the face. Although, as Deadspin’s homepage demonstrates every Sunday, the NFL’s alcohol partners do help some fans live in both dimensions each week.
The NFL is a glorious and screwed up world governed by billionaires whose primary goal is to ensure they remain billionaires. These teams are ours but we do not own them; what we deem to be within the confines of respectability stops at Roger Goodell’s doggie door to the owner’s meetings.
The No Fly Zone is not dirty. It’s deep, prideful, and absurdly talented. Straddling the line between physical and dirty is a central trait of every. single. all. time. great. defense. Every one. This is the the game.
We’ve done a lot to clean up its darker elements, but some still remain, and they are exacerbated by the NFL’s inability to efficiently govern itself. Its “safety” initiative is largely a PR stunt, as no league seriously concerned with player safety would be pursuing a longer regular season with more Thursday Night Football atrocities.
Some hits like Darian Stewart’s on Cam Newton are empirically awful, and should be and are being legislated out of the game. The rest of the comparable hits that don’t dominate the various takefarms of the world because the NFL does not deem them to be similarly shameful?
Until we express similar outrage at those, the game will remain dangerous for the players and challenging to our sense of morality.