1. The NFL football season usually ends for me when the Steelers are done playing. Whether it's the last game of the regular season or the first game of the playoffs, when the Steelers are out, so am I. I'll still watch a game if it happens to be on, and, depending on the game, I'll find the action compelling. But, at that point, it's not much different than Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Except for this year.
I try not to assign labels like "good" and "evil" to professional sports franchises. Because ultimately the only difference between Pittsburgh and Baltimore and Cleveland and Cincinnati is location and laundry. But the New England Patriots are evil incarnate. And I'm not talking douchebag four-year-old at the supermarket evil. No, these motherfuckers are Darth. I don't just want Seattle to beat them. I want scorched earth. I want Richard Sherman to rain dance on Tom Brady's chin. I want Pete Carroll to spit in Bill Belichick's eye. I want Kam Chancellor to steal Robert Kraft's girlfriend, date her like two times, stop returning her calls and and only contact her with "Come thru" texts at 2:37am, make her always stop at the 24-hour Wendy's across town on the way over just to get him a vanilla frosty, have sex with her and don't offer any of the frosty, and then not contact her for like eight months, and then just send a random "Hey" message to her on Gchat just when her and Kraft reconciled and she'd begun to forget about him.
2. And yes, anyone who's played any sport with a ball that require air — football, basketball, soccer, etc — will tell you that the ball's air level makes a huuuuuuuuuuuge difference with how it feels, how it handles, and how it bounces. For instance, in basketball, teams that like to run prefer balls with more air. Because balls with more air bounce farther and harder off the rim than balls with less air. And when that happens, you have more long rebounds. And more long rebounds usually equates to more fast breaks. And, although I (obviously) don't have the same breadth of knowledge about football, I've played enough to know that the level of air in the ball makes a huge difference with passing, catching, and holding on to it. It's undeniable. And, if the Patriots — a team that already has enough talent to win straight up — are guilty of doing this, it's unpardonable.
3. I like Marshawn Lynch. I like him as a football player. I like him as a personality. I like his nickname. I like Skittles. And, I like the fact that he's being such an ass about the interview process. But me being entertained by what he's doing — and this is entertaining as hell — doesn't make it right. His job is not just to play football. His job is to do whatever is required of him when he signs his multi-million dollar contract. And this includes performing a task I'm sure many other players also hate to do, but do anyway because they signed up for that shit too. And this isn't about some obligation to the media. Fuck the media. I just think we get so caught up with the idea of being a rebel, an iconoclast, and so enamored with people who buck the system and "play by their own rules" that any eff you to the system, regardless of how petty (and this is pretty petty) gets celebrated. Marshawn Lynch is awesome. And this shit is cool. But this shit is wack, too.
But, perhaps, this is just a short con to get everyone with the long con: Skittles commercials. And if this is true, more power to you Marshawn.
4. Honestly. Did any of the league's on and off the field issues — the Rice case, Adrian Peterson, Goodell's incompetence, the still unresolved concussion issues, learning that the big pink show for breast cancer every year was a fraud, etc — have any effect on your viewership this year? Don't worry. You don't have to say your answer aloud. I'll say mine, though.