You might think Buccaneers corner Aqib Talib being arrested was just about Talib being someone with bad decision-making skills, but according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, it's about so much more, dear reader.
The lockout means that players who may require ongoing attention from their teams in order to keep them out of trouble won’t have that support. Which means that those players could be more likely to get into trouble.
He's so right. If the NFL doesn't come back, the important guidance and support that Aqib Talib has received by the bucketful since he was a troubled but talented undergrad at Kansas University will disappear, and then he and other NFL players who rely on the NFL's guidance and support will instantly morph into criminal moronbeasts each as violent and troubled as Talib.
Just imagine what the world would have been like already without the NFL's amazing guidance program. Without it, Perrish Cox would have allegedly committed a serious act of sexual assault instead of the measly charge he did get. Thank you, NFL, for ensuring that Perrish Cox did not rape a federal building. Imagine what Raheem Brock would have drunkenly steered in the depths of the night if not for the NFL's astonishing guidance! No hijacked shipping freighter piled into a bridge by a hammered Raheem Brock? You're welcome, Seattle. Did you see Chris Cook backing a howitzer out of the back of his truck to settle a dispute? Only a handgun, you say? Nods smugly, pats self on back.
It's not even like the league goes out of the way to overestimate its own value in the stability of NFL players' lives. The sick bit is that they don't even have to; the press corps covering the NFL, either blinded by proximity to the league or overly eager to curry favor, does the job for them of constructing a vision of benevolent and entirely necessary paternalism for the league.
This point, illustrated even further here:
At the risk of crossing into the melodramatic, this lockout needs to end before a player with real needs for counseling and/or oversight and/or a direct line of communication to his head coach gets into real trouble, or even worse gets killed.
The idea that NFL coaches have anything like meaningful personal relationships with players in what is by all accounts an exceedingly clinical and professional environment should be laughable enough, but this is Boys' Town juvenile psychology applied to a discussion of adults splitting a pie worth billions of dollars. This is business, not some kind of passion play between the priests of management overseeing the talented but wayward orphans of the NFLPA. To write about it any other way is to write a fantasy, one that some writers seem happy to write for the league pro bono.