Why the NFL continues to be the National Foolishness League

All he had to do was shove him out of bounds!

WR Equanimeous St. Brown — his father’s name is John — had just caught a 25-yard Aaron Rodgers pass from Green Bay’s 6, at the sideline. The Jets were up, 35-23, 9:25 left in the fourth. With St. Brown, defenseless and right in front of him, all DB Darryl Roberts had to do was give him a little push out of bounds.

Instead, with all the mindless brutality he could generate, Roberts nailed him, and high, as if to try to decapitate him or at least limit his ability to walk and talk.

The catch plus the 15 for the penalty made it a 40-yard gain — Roberts escaped ejection — and soon a Packers’ TD that diminished the Jets’ lead to 35-30 in a game they’d lose in OT.

Yet, afterward Todd Bowles had the audacity to blame the loss on the officials, as opposed to his team’s absence of smarts, the kind that should have been demanded from professionals on Day 1 of practice.

But don’t believe what you see; believe what you’re told.

The Jets did lose a player to ejection. DE Leonard Williams was tossed late in the first half. All he had to do, after the play, was walk away. But he threw a punch at an opponent wearing a helmet.

At the time, the Jets led, 21-7. With an automatic first down and moved closer to the goal line, the Packers soon scored a TD.

And afterward, Bowles had the audacity to blame the loss on the officials.

The Jets lost to their failure of self- and game-awareness. They lost to the now NFL-common failure, in its most elementary form, to behave.

But don’t believe what you saw; believe what you’re told. Seeing and believing have become mutually exclusive.

Sunday, the Giants and Jets again played early games simultaneously — a new-age salute to teams with bad records, per the dictates of TV money.

This Sunday, Cowboys-Giants will be on Fox, Jets-Pats will be on CBS — both at 1 p.m.

Yet, while we can’t watch two games at once, the NFL, in order to protect local TV ad revenue, forces the removal of out-of-market overtime games in order to see and hear the preface to Jets or Giants games that begin at 4:20.

Got that? The importance of watching local teams’ games is paramount! Except when it isn’t.

And this past Sunday, if we chose to freeze and flip between the two telecasts, was, beyond Bowles’ selectively blind claims, another big day for our lying eyes.

At the start of Giants-Colts, CBS analyst Rich Gannon noted the Titans, the week before, beat the Giants by “running the football right down their throats. You know that the Colts will try to do the same, early.”

But the Colts began with three straight passes, seven in their first nine plays from scrimmage. What did Gannon say about that? Nothing.

Early in the second half, Giants up, 17-7, Gannon said the Colts did what they needed to do: force a “three-and-out.” But that three-and-out was a six-and-out; the Giants had made a first down.

On Fox, Ronde Barber continued his dash to the Mike Mayock Long Form Award when, instead of saying Jets’ RB Elijah McGuire “cut” to the outside, he went with seven words: “He stuck his foot in the ground.”

Funny, though, what creates silence. As the Jets’ Andre Roberts was returning a kick for a TD, he slowed at the 10 to raise the ball — look at me! — one-handed above his head.

Why would he needlessly risk a fumble, ridicule and infamy, not to mention six or seven points, with such immodesty? It never came up.

Milwaukee ‘Bucks’ NBA’s 3-point trend

Christmas Day we had a TV option. We could watch any or all of the five nationally televised NBA games or stare at Channel 11’s annual Yule Log. Both appeared to be on a redundant reel.

Only Bucks-Knicks — the Knicks wearing what appeared to be Christmas coal-black uniforms for the occasion — included some identifiably sensible winning basketball.

The Bucks actually often played to score close to the basket. Radical. What was portrayed as a Giannis Antetokounmpo one-man show, wasn’t. Six Bucks had between two and six assists in a 14-point win.

But overall, the made-for-Christmas TV games appeared to appeal to the simple-minded, like a video game stuck in bombs-away 3-point shot mode, an all-day/night case of the NBA tethered to its own unforeseen gimmickry.

But maybe this is how pro basketball should be played. Maybe it has evolved to become a five-game Christmas Parade starring — count ’em — 336 3-point shots.

Suspect behavior mars bowl season

These pre-bowl episodes among full-scholarship student-athletes are cause for increasing wonder. Otherwise, if you don’t take everything at face value, you’re not trying hard enough.

Two LSU players, prior to the Fiesta Bowl, were part of a Saturday shooting in Baton Rogue that killed the alleged robbery suspect. Good thing LSU’s kids were in position to return fire.

The latest police report has RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and LB Jared Small in the process of trying to sell “an electric device” to 18-year-old Kobe Johnson when Johnson tried to rob them at gunpoint. One of the players then fatally shot Johnson.

While no charges against the players have been filed — they called 911 — where would they be, what did they have to be robbed or sold and why would they be there on Christmas break if they had to carry firearms to immediately defend themselves?

At Clemson, three players, including star DT Dexter Lawrence, will not play in the Cotton Bowl. As of Thursday, they’re suspended for a failed drug test, the banned steroid PED ostarine.

At last word, Clemson was trying to figure out how that drug made its way into the players’ systems. Reminds me of the news report: “A large sinkhole formed on a Queens street, today. Police are looking into it.”

Three Alabama players are suspended from the Orange Bowl for “unspecified violations of team rules.” Must be serious. My guess is that Nick Saban caught them in the library.

Three weeks ago, the ’Skins quickly made a waiver claim — the only team to do so — on LB Reuben Foster, after the Niners canned him following his second arrest for domestic violence. Foster, college man — Alabama — had previously pleaded no contest to weapons charges.

Monday, the ’Skins cut DB D.J. Swearinger for insolence — publicly criticizing the coaching staff. They’ll have none of that!

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