Bye-Bye, Birdie: The NFL Levies Bud Adams Heavy

K. D. James@KDamanJCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

Remember when, as kids in an archaic time period, our mothers would scold us for sticking our tongues out at funny-looking strangers, and say something like, "[Insert your full , full name here], you come over here, mister/missy! What you did was impolite! Apologize to him/her right this very minute, or I'll send you to your room this evening—without any supper!"


We'd bicker and bawl, trudge begrudgingly some odd distance to the insulted gentleman or lady, and then have to tell him or her how we're sorry for the impoliteness.


"Do you remember that?," as Chris Farley famously used to say in the "Chris Farley Show" skits on Saturday Night Live .


Decades have passed since those of authority have corrected public impudence.


Well, have they?


Not on Sunday afternoon in Nashville, TN, yessiree Bob!


During the end of a pro football game between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills, the 86-year-old Titans owner Bud Adams flipped the birdie twice—yes, raised his middle fingers quite proudly, America!—to Bills players, coaching staff, and fans from his sky box for about five seconds.


He started out with an apparent "Hook 'em Horns" sign, giving a supposed shout out to his Titans quarterback Vince Young, who played college ball at the University of Texas, Austin.


The signs with his fingers slowly changed while he had a devilish grin on his face, alternating each digitus infamus —first, his right one...then left one...then both!—to people probably not on the same side as his franchise.


The staunch, quick-acting National Football League execs received photos of said action, and within hours came out like a 1950s school marm or June Cleaver, rightly fining Adams $250,000 for his obscene hand gestures, described as "conduct detrimental to the league."


I'm not condoning what Adams did, nor am I saying that the "No-Fun League" shouldn't have carried out the fine.


What made it odd, though, was that the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in Nashville at the time. Goodell left Adams's sky box to join some fans in the end zone after the third quarter. So, of course, once Goodell and his colleagues were notified of the owner's improper behavior, they were going to empty the rich man's pockets just a bit.


An even more bizarre fact is that Adams and fellow senior-citizen owner, Buffalo's Ralph Wilson, 91, are friends. So why did Adams insult his old friend's team like that?


I can just guess that it was one of three things: a. Adams' old-fashioned way of Tweeting; b. an episode of an elderly fellow forgetting his sense of surroundings; or c. (the most "logical") his special, weird way of expressing joy for a franchise that finished 13-3 last year, started 0-6 this season, and capped a two-game winning streak with a resounding 41-17 beatdown over Buffalo.


Go figure. People in today's society get away with a lot more in-public impudence than they used to in our day, boys and girls. But Sunday into Monday, the NFL whipped out its apron and rolling pin, forced soap down the Bartlesville, OK, oilman's mouth and said to him, "Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr., you will go to your room—with no supper!"


And $250,000, too!