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NFL’s Discipline Issue

Discipline in the NFL has become such an issue in today’s game. Those in the NFL, and others with common sense still intact inside their cerebral cortex (their “Jiminy Cricket”), should not have such a hard time with the concept of staying out of trouble. Yet here we are with players being suspended for an entire season because they have a hard time staying straight. Let’s see how far down the rabbit hole we can go to find a way to fix the issue. This could get interesting quick depending on what your opinion is on the matter.

Over the recent years, it seems that the NFL is having a hard time figuring out what is right and wrong, on and off the field of play. From domestic disputes and banned substances off the field to what is or is not a catch on it. With so many problems arising from so many different areas, what can the NFL do to stop the hemorrhaging and turn this ship around to head into a whole new world of problem-less football?

Now, this isn’t going to get into the on the field issues, that’s a conversation for another day. Today we need to start down the path of the off the field issues and how we can keep players ON the field and not suspended every week for whatever they get themselves into. Understandably, expecting grown men to behave themselves on a daily basis is hard to do. Especially when a large handful of them just can’t wait to be kings of their own respective worlds. The problem with that is that their world is located in the real one. The real world has rules, and when rules are broken, punishment is brought to them. So how do we deal with the punishment?

Currently, Rodger Goodell handles all disciplinary rulings when it comes to NFL issues. Unfortunately for him, NFL players seem to want to test the limits of the rules and see what they can get away with throughout the season. NFL players are held to a different behavioral standard. They want adventure in the great wide somewhere all the time and to not have so many eyes on them. However, they can’t have it that way. As an NFL player, you aren’t just a regular person, you are someone people look up to and depend on for a little escape a few hours a week. Is it fair for them to be looked upon as such “role models”? No. Is it what they need to deal with for a few years out of their life while they are paid an obscenely large amount of money to do what they love to do? Yes. Abiding by a handful of common sensical behaviors should not so out of the question for grown men. They can even get away with some of the smaller things because of their “star power”. Getting a free legal pass doesn’t help the commissioner out at all. It simply enables them to feel impervious to the rules that us common folk follow everyday. So where can Goodell go from here to help himself help the league to be more consistent when it comes to discipline?

A few things come to mind. One of which, is the NFL or NFL franchises can hire people to be chaperones to players with a knack for getting into trouble. They could be paid to be the chauffeur (*cough* babysit) for the player and be the real life conscious that the misguided player is currently lacking. Better yet, have the player pay for it out of his pay as a form of punishment. Ensuring the individual is not too friendly with the player, keeping him out of troublesome situations that players like to find themselves in. This may not be the cute and fluffy way to go, but it makes sense. The route that is more reasonable, is to take the reigns away from Goodell when it comes to disciplinary actions. He is pulled in so many different directions, creating an ohana (family) type of environment where everyone can come together to have fun and not be left behind. Whatever course of action the NFL takes in 2016 needs to happen sooner rather than later. Players are getting into more trouble at an alarming rate and it does not look like they are slowing down any time soon. Someone, or something, needs to bring these guys back from the dark side.

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