Spouting Off

Jared Allen looked around at everything that’s going on with the team, including the imminent suspension of two of his D-line mates for taking peepee pills, and decided now would be a great time to spout off about all the fines being imposed by the league for various verbal offenses.  “The First Amendment is out the window,” ranted Allen.  “I say something wrong I could get another fine. I might get fined for that.”

Uh…then don’t say anything.  Oh, I’m sorry – you’ve got loads of wisdom to impart.  Like?

I tell you what, I think it’s kind of getting out of hand. There comes a point to where we have to be able to play this game. I know it’s for our safety and that’s [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s] job. I don’t want to be in that position to make those calls either. But football is a violent game. Things are going to happen. Tempers are going to flare. People are going to disagree with the ref’s call. They’re going to say something. At some point where do you cross the line in taking away our God-given right to express our feelings and our emotions? The last time I checked we live in America and we have freedom of speech. But not in the NFL.

So Jared’s an absolutist when it comes to freedom of speech.  He thinks people should be able to say whatever they want, whenever they want.  He thinks they should be able to berate officials, hurl invectives with impunity and basically verbally bludgeon people if they so desire.  Yeah?  So the First Amendment is about protecting my right to walk up to people and call them all sorts of horrible names?  Cause that’s the sort of thing we’re actually talking about.  Apparently Jared doesn’t believe in the idea of reasonable limits.  Unfortunately, the NFL does.  So they’ll keep fining people for opening their fat yaps.  Eventually, some of these idiots will take a big enough hit in the pocket book that they’ll decide their “freedom of speech” isn’t really worth it.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for protecting free speech.  I blog don’t I?  But I’m also all for putting limits on said speech in certain situations.  For example:  I don’t think people should be able to walk into a daycare and start dropping F-bombs right and left.  I don’t think people should be able to saunter into a church and start screaming hateful Satanic death metal lyrics at the top of their lungs.  Civilized people know these lines are there and don’t cross them – they don’t need the law to step in and straighten them out.  It’s only the cretinous troglodyte sociopaths who need those sorts of curbs.

The sad fact is that the world’s full of assholes.  The NFL has more than its share of them.  The league doesn’t want said assholes touching refs, and it doesn’t want them verbally abusing refs.  That’s unreasonable?

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  • AustinVike

    It’s not entirely unreasonable to expect players to mind their own behavior on and off the field.  Especially when you are in a team sport – you just have to mind yourselves and your teammates.

    A little ironic, this rant coming from Jared Allen.  Yeah, I know, he’s taken care of his own personal issues (and I admire the guy for his conduct, usually) – and I also agree that the NFL shouldn’t be a “police state” and all that business.

    But isn’t the reasoning behind all the fines and suspensions due to players mouthing off at refs simply a deterrent, so other players don’t do the same?

    …but, I guess, at the same time you have refs like Ed Hochuli, so I don’t know.

  • Dave

    First, I have have to say this is one of my two favorite Viking blogs and I read it everyday. I like your thoughts and writing. However I have to say I really disagree with you on this one.  
    Certainly when a person like a pro athlete says things they get more audience than when the average Joe speaks.  But this is no reason to chastise him for his comments.  

    Secondly, Almost everyone including you was hyped about Allen coming to town.  We all knew the pros and cons about this guy, and it was, who cares.  Rah! rah! rah! all the way to the Superbowl.  But that isn’t happening and he’s not getting his numbers, so….   

    If he was on pace for a record year we would be eating up his rants, and asking for more.

  • danzinski

    I just know that I wouldn’t want to be a referee and have some big huge guy full of testosterone screaming in my face.  It’s their workplace and they should expect a reasonable protection from their employer.  You’d expect the same at your workplace.