Latest NFL Happenings
Even in these final few weeks before training camp kicks off, the NFL continues to be in the sporting news – both in positive and negative aspects. Fortunately, the Browns have kept themselves out of the national spotlight – and that is a good thing. Meanwhile, the NFL made a decision that could affect all thirty-two franchises over the next decade.
4th of July Disasters
It was not a tremendous weekend for veterans C.J. Wilson and Jason Pierre-Paul. The former was severely injured from a fireworks accident and ended up losing two fingers as a result. A cornerback primarily uses his hands (and fingers) regardless of whether he is on the field with the defense or on special teams. Entering the league as a late-round draft pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneer was fighting an uphill battle just to stay in the league. What went down last week all but ended his professional career. It is a sad story, which should be a teaching tool for the youth (thankfully Wilson’s life was not threatened).
Pierre-Paul is in such a unique situation. The defensive lineman agreed to a long-term contract a few months ago with the New York Giants prior to his firework accident. After this occurred, his employer decided on utilizing the franchise tag instead – costing the veteran millions of guaranteed dollars (assuming he signs the tender). Being a talented athlete, I believe he can still have a productive career. However, he went the “Ronnie Lott” route – choosing amputation of a finger over possible missed time. Pierre-Paul will have to figure out how this ailment will affect him on the field and will have to adjust immediately. The league simply has too many great players who are looking to replace the longtime veteran.
Heading Abroad for Many Regular Season Games
For many years now, the NFL has played a game or two overseas in England. Last week, Tottenham (about an hour north of London) has finalized a new stadium that will be completed by 2018. Once that occurs, the venue will host at least two NFL games a year for a span of ten years. Many believe this is bad for the game, but I have come to embrace it. Face it, as long as Goodell is in charge – expansion will always be on the front burner. I’m ok with it and am looking forward to seeing how Browns’ fans travel abroad (and am eager to be a part of the crowd in Tottenham).
Conclusion: A fair amount of topics continue to trickle out during this “down time” before teams begin their camps. A major point that can be taken from this is to refrain from making foolish mistakes with fireworks (or to not set them off altogether). Additionally, the NFL is investing more in England – which is a wise move and I want to see the orange and brown venture out there in the near future. Ohio, California, England, I do not care where the Browns play their games – as long they come out on top when the final gun sounds.