Dear NFL,

How are you doing? I see y’all have the playoffs coming up soon. Those will be fun times as always. I missed Festivus this year, so I didn’t get the chance to air my grievances per say. I’m sure many people have a lot of individual grievances. What’s a catch? Why do the Browns keep losing? Why does Odell Beckham have to make ridiculous catches against MY team? I’m sure you don’t have answers for most of these, especially the catch part, but I just have one grievance at this time.

Hypocrisy

I’m tired of you constantly being hypocritical in your actions, and this season has proved some things won’t change. You provided another month of Cancer Awareness during your October games, yet you fined Pittsburgh running back Deangelo Williams for wearing eye black to support his mother with breast cancer and Pittsburgh defensive lineman Cameron Heyward for wearing eye black to support his father. Sending mixed messages about charitable causes isn’t very appealing to many people now is it?

While we’re on the topic of family, I’m still not completely sure where you guys stand there. You’ve recently been promoting a “Football Is Family” campaign, but how exactly is that true when one of your teams fines its player $10,000 for his forgoing of the halftime locker room meeting to see his daughter perform the halftime show on the field. How is football family when players are being fined for being good fathers?

I’m not surprised you don’t really care about that little hiccup. You have a lot bigger problems in caring for/about players. Mainly in their safety. You claim to want to get better at concussions treatment and prevention, and are working to spot signs of concussions as they happen. However, I’d like a little more proof of that when instead of being pulled from the game, St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum is visibly shaken up on the field in the after a sack and is allowed to continue playing. Maybe you’d like players to self-report, such as what Ben Roethlisberger did during a game against the Seahawks, but should it even come to that if you require independent neurologists on the field to spot such things?

The point I’m trying to make is that I’m tired of you showing the blitz but then dropping into coverage so frequently on issues that matter to a large portion of the sports-consuming public. I don’t hate the league by any means. I love you guys. You put out the best sports product in the industry right now. I love football. Without it, I don’t know what I’d do between the hours of 1pm and 11:30pm on Sundays and 8:30pm to 11:30pm on Mondays (your Thursday night product is worth me penning another letter later). But if you want to keep me and much of the American public around for the long haul, these things need to be addressed, the sooner the better. Besides, the NCAA is starting to get all of your fancy toys, and they pay their players waaaaaay less.

Sincerely,

A fan

P.S.

I’m glad y’all did something to deal with OBJ, at least for one game. I was getting tired of seeing that man break the laws of physics to catch footballs.

Shawn Valdrighi

Spark Sports Analyst

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