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Whitlock: ‘It’s a d**n shame’ the NFL suspended Patriots-Packers game ‘for fans like me and fans like you’

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When I heard the NFL suspended the Patriots-Packers preseason game due to Isaiah Bolden’s injury, I immediately thought of Oliver Anthony, the backyard country singer.

It’s a damn shame what football has gotten to
For fans like me and fans like you
Wish I could just wake up in Cowboy blue
But I can’t, this nightmare’s true

Livin’ in a new world, with an old soul
These cowards bowing to feminists
Lord knows they wear pantyhose
Wanna control what you think, wanna vax and mask you
And they don’t think we know that they drink Bud Light, too
‘Cause these football players don’t hit and they play with limp wrists
‘Cause of these cowards bowing to feminists

Football died Saturday night in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when Bolden collided with a teammate, lay motionless on the ground, and was carted off the field. With a little more than 10 minutes to play, the NFL canceled the rest of the game. Fans filed out of the stadium with little complaint. Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised the NFL for acting quickly.

“I appreciated the way the league handled it. I think it was the right thing to do,” he told reporters.

Patriots players praised Belichick.

Bolden, a cornerback for the Patriots, was released from the hospital Sunday morning. He appears to be fine. But the Patriots were so shaken by his injuries that they canceled a pair of joint practices scheduled against the Tennessee Titans.

Something bad almost happened to one of their teammates. The players need time to mentally recover.

Forty-five years ago, almost to the day, Raiders safety Jack Tatum paralyzed Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley with a hit. It happened in the second quarter of a preseason game. Stingley was carted off the field and taken to the hospital. The Raiders and Patriots finished the game. That night, Raiders coach John Madden was the only person to visit Stingley in the hospital. Madden made a series of phone calls to stop the Patriots from flying back to Boston.

I’m not defending the callousness of the 1978 Patriots. I’m arguing that we’ve grossly overcorrected. Football can’t survive this correction. The enemies of football and masculinity have won. They killed football. They won the long war of convincing men that the key to happiness is choosing safety over freedom, safety over everything.

Writing for the Athletic, the sportswriting arm of the New York Times, Steve Buckley argued that all future NFL games should be stopped whenever a player is motionless on the field. He concluded his postgame column with: “But when this happens again – and it will – the NFL should continue to stop the games and tell everyone to go home. In the 21st century, it should be unfathomable that the players, after witnessing an injury of this magnitude, be asked to simply put their helmets on and return to the huddle. It should be unfathomable that we would want to watch.”

I’ve been sellin’ my stuff, hustlin’ eBay
Playstation, car parts for little or no pay
So I can sit out here and watch the Titans play
Stumble home and listen to my wife nag away

We used to go to football games hoping to see a player get the snot knocked out of him. We didn’t want the player permanently injured. We wanted him knocked unconscious, removed from the game, and able to return with the help of smelling salts.

That was football. It was a high-risk game. There were easy-to-identify consequences for participation. Those consequences added to the drama. They symbolized one of the many differences between men and women.

That’s what separates football from other combat sports. Women box and compete in mixed martial arts. They don’t play football, not without lingerie. Feminists aspire to create an androgynous world. Football can’t be America’s pastime in that world.

Soccer is the solution. Megan Rapinoe is Joe Montana.

The social media matrix has trained modern male athletes and sports journalists to think like a woman. In all things, pursue safety. That is not man’s natural inclination. The pursuit of safety is not what made America the envy of the world.

Men used to take great satisfaction in taking risks. The heavyweight boxing champion was the most revered and feared man in our society. In the 1970s, young boys admired stuntman Evel Knievel, who launched his career with a failed attempt to jump the Caesars Palace fountains with his motorcycle.

But it’s not just sports. In the 1920s, roughnecks risked their lives and health building skyscrapers. Injuries and death were commonplace. No one shut down construction because someone got hurt. Men didn’t stop traveling west because their wagons broke down on unpaved roads.

It’s amazing how much we’ve normalized fear. It’s a byproduct of abandoning religious faith. Fear of death increases when you don’t believe in God, when you think this life matters more than God’s kingdom. Fear turns men into cowards.

America is overrun with cowards, men who choose safety and riches over honor, integrity, and righteousness. The football players are no different from the high-priced executives who enforce diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives over merit or the sports administrators who allow biological men to compete against women.

The modern male athlete is inferior to his predecessor. Money weakens men. In 1978, the average NFL salary was $62,600. Today the average NFL salary for a long snapper is $1 million. Over the last 15 years, the NFL has instituted rules that basically illegalize hitting a long snapper.

We’re paying football players more to take far fewer risks. The enemies of football and the modern players see that as progress. It’s really a damn shame.

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