NFL Counseling: If it ain’t one thing, it’s another!
First, we realize the positive values in a sport. Second, we assess the condition of senior athletes after their careers are ended. The good news is that the guys had a chance to play professional football or some other professional sport.
The sad news is that when the game is over, for some of them, there are lives filled with personal challenges, addictions and depression. The intense excitement of a great game is gone, and the dull lull of everyday life sets in.
If it ain’t one thing, it’s another! For example, there has been a recent movement to provide more support and counseling to current professional football players and others.
On February 2, 2007, an article mentions a desire to change the focus, or better, to broaden the focus to include “cracking down on player misconduct.” Ideas were discussed regarding “an attempt to strengthen the personal conduct penalty and begin holding teams accountable for players’ missteps.”
Well, don’t forget these are strong, grown men. On-the-field behavior can be monitored and, maybe, controlled. Off-the-field behavior—well...not so easy.
Consider this scenario: Thousands of people swarm to the stadium for a big pro football game. Some of them have their flasks filled with liquor. In fact, there are flasks shaped like a cellphone. (Sniff your phone now and make sure no vodka is in it).
The pro players know the audience is “high” in some cases. Nevertheless, they play their game, sober and clean, but after the defeat or victory, celebrations begin. There are parties everywhere: on the parking lot of the stadium, in the club nearby, in the hotel, motel, and van—Ooops.
Regulating off-field behavior is a big challenge. For example, your favorite wide receiver made a touchdown. A fan (a little tipsy and red-eyed) sees him in the club and the first thing offered to him is “a drink.” He accepts one, two, three….Let’s stop at three!
Where should the line be drawn? Who is to blame if things get out of hand. All this B/R scribe has to say, “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”
It’s clear that whatever counseling that is going to take place should have started in the cradle, or even in the womb. The life of a professional football player is complex.
One thing is clear: If we regulate off-field behavior, then it’s only fair to have tighter regulations on the fans who may be (to some extent) involved in a type of “complicity.” This B/R scribe concludes: If it ain’t one thing, it’s another!