NFL Shield

Want a chance to win the Super Bowl this year? Don’t be on the NFL All Lives Matter squad.

The ancestors have had a hand in this NFL season.

Since the middle of the preseason, a rather mundane and conservative lead to the NFL regular season has been anything but.  Colin Kaepernick’s initial protest of the flag led to league wide demonstrations from numerous players on various teams. The Houston Texans Duane Brown raises a fist during the anthem. So do select members of the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins & more.  Being on the wrong side of history, because there definitely is a wrong side to this has not been beneficial to a number of your favorite NFL squads.

All because of how one or two prominent members of their organization feel about protesting injustices in this country in the most peaceful of manners.

Don’t think the All Lives Matter curse is real? Look at Cam Newton. This is beyond typing in Windings every single day; a skill that one would have to master obviously not to see color.  Newton, for all of the good he did uplifting black NFL fans last season has all but reduced it to ash. The Panthers hired a GOP supporter with clear anti-Black Lives Matters pom poms in his closet to coach Cam on discussing race. Then Newton in subsequent interviews gave the most milquetoast of answers in an attempt to be as invisible and vanilla as one can be in discussing race. Less than a full year ago, Cam Newton was leading the Panthers to an almost undefeated regular season and telling the world that he’s a Black quarterback nobody has ever seen before. What’s happened in the year since?

The Panthers are 1-5, dead last in the NFL South. Every good bit of fortune they had from their mediocrity last season (offensive line, wide receivers playing out of their mind) has caught up with them. And all because Cam decided to shake the ancestors and not recognize that it’s a target on his back regardless of what he does.

cam newton saints panthers press conference

But that’s one team you say. Surely it can’t be a league wide curse. Right? Wrong.

“When the lights go on we are entertainment. We are being paid to put on a show.” – Jim Irsay

It continued with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a proverbial patron saint for the city. You know the story of Brees being cast aside in San Diego, failing a physical in Miami and ending up in New Orleans along with Sean Payton. You know that they ended up winning a Super Bowl in 2009 and in effect became head coach and quarterback for life in the Big Easy. Brees represented a rebirth for New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. And on the 11th anniversary of the storm that effectively changed the lives of a generation, if not two generations of New Orleanians, Brees became obtuse to the nature of why Kaepernick was protesting and instead saw it from the perspective of a privileged, Wrangler wearing piece of Americana. The Saints ended up struggling mightily out of the gate with their league worse defense unable to stop anybody. As a matter of fact, they still can’t but Brees has backed off his sentiment of the protest and now they’re on a winning streak.

Our latest victim to fall to the All Lives Matter curse? None other than the Indianapolis Colts. Yes, the Colts – the big brother of the AFC South that somehow can’t get out of its own way. They should have the best quarterback in the division yet he’s turnover prone and particular to holding onto the ball way too late. Andrew Luck for all intents and purposes should be setting the other three teams in the AFC South on fire every chance he gets. Instead, the Colts are 1-2 in the division and 2-4 overall. The latest example of the ancestors saying “nah” like Rosa Parks roaming the field as a Civil Rights Movement linebacker? Sunday night in Houston.

The Colts, a team that normally closes games when they have a two TD lead decided to squander it to the damn Texans. You’d think they were the Chargers the way they blew a lead that big with two minutes to go. Indy lost to Houston 26-23 in OT after Texans fans left the stadium, Brock Oseweiler realized he was getting paid $18 mil a year and Bill O’Brien realized he still had Lamar Miller on the squad.

It comes out Wednesday morning that Jim Irsay, Colts owner and probable plug for psychedelics and all types of other illegal things is all in for the members of his football team to be “entertainment”.

“I think it’s the wrong venue,” Irsay told USA Today. “It hasn’t been a positive thing. What we all have to be aware of as players, owners, PR people, equipment managers, is when the lights go on we are entertainment. We are being paid to put on a show. There are other places to express yourself.”

That positive he’s referring to? Ratings across the league falling. The Texans/Colts matchup brought in the worst Sunday Night Football ratings in five years.

Actually, there are plenty of contributing factors to why ratings are down. The primetime games so far this season? Unattractive at best. Thursday night hasn’t yielded a single, “yeah, I’m intrigued by this” game all year besides the opener.  People are finding themselves keeping up with the game via mobile apps, Twitter and more. The avalanche of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for celebrations. The NFL acting as fun police for expressive tributes paid on cleats. Remember, the NFL OK’d Antonio Brown paying tribute to Pittsburgh legend Arnold Palmer but not Muhammad Ali, but I digress.

Texans owner Bob McNair in the same USA Today article cited a far more entertaining and unpredictable spectacle hampering the league – the 2016 Presidential election. Two of the debates took place in the midst of primetime NFL games. The first ran opposite a Saints/Falcons Monday Night Football game and raked in 84 million viewers, most all-time for a debate. The second, which went up against a Packers/Giants Sunday Night Football tilt drew 69 million viewers.

“Obviously, the debates have had a big impact,” McNair said. “People come to the game because they want to get away from what’s happening in their everyday lives. When you bring those types of things into the scene, yeah, it will turn some people off. But the main thing we try to do is to say, ‘We recognize your concern. Let’s do something about it.’ “

That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief from Texans fans thinking their own owner had tipped the boat to join the All Lives Matter band.

To put it even more simple – since the Colts are now part of the Team All Lives Matter brigade, it officially brings the record of those squads to a rather interesting 5-13. As a matter of fact, we had an All Lives Matter implosion Sunday with the Panthers & Saints with Cam Newton’s “1 & a half inch layer of skin” Panthers losing on a game-winning field goal to the “Don’t disrespect the flag by sitting down peacefully” Saints, led by Brees.

The outlier to this may be the Dolphins and the 49ers. The Dolphins as a franchise have essentially been the Los Angeles Rams of the East Coast – how can we figure a way to 7-9 or 8-8? Somehow they managed to beat up on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday behind 204 yards from Jay Ajayi (yeah, that Jay Ajayi) and no Ben Roethlisberger on the other side and land at 2-4.

The Niners, our original patient zero in regards to the “All Lives Matter” curse? Well, thanks to a dilapidated roster where all of the squad’s good players have either retired or been injured, the organization is a mess. Just now did they decide to start Colin Kaepernick over Blaine Gabbert. The end result? A 45-16 beatdown at the hands of the Bills who have reverted to running a college style run offense led by LeSean McCoy.  But Kaepernick starting at least shows a little bit of change. If only the Niners could schedule that late Monday night game every week of the season.

Face it, the NFL is officially Mister and the protesting players and individuals who see that their platform is the largest they have to speak out on injustices are Celie. Until you do right by me, ratings are going to slip. Teams and fan bases are going to suffer and the curse won’t be lifted.