I have heard people call this week’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, “The Blame Game.” I’ve never heard a more perfect name for what this week’s happenings in the NFL say about our society.
The New Orleans Saints and many of their fans are blaming everyone else but themselves for their 0-3 start this season. The truth is, they were the ones who took the field and played each of the games. Perhaps the loss of their head coach with his suspension for his involvement (or lack of involvement) in the bounty scandal contributed to the loss, but several of the players who were suspended don’t even play for the Saints this year. Drew Brees is a multiple time Pro Bowl quarterback who has won the Superbowl – there are tons of veteran players on the team who have been in the league long enough that this issue should not have affected them to the degree that it appears to have. Own your play on the field, dedicate the time to practice and mental toughness and get it done – don’t use a ready made excuse for why you can’t win a game against teams you have no business losing to.
The Green Bay Packers were robbed of a victory at the hands of sub-standard referees who made a bad call. Cry me a river. I guess the referees were responsible for the Seahawks sacking Aaron Rodgers 8 times during the game. And it was the referee’s fault that Aaron Rodgers couldn’t get the ball in the end zone while his rookie counterpart got in the end zone twice. Was the call at the end of the game the wrong call, probably, but that is not the reason the Packers lost the game. Their inability to perform offensively against the Seahawks defense was the reason they lost the game. I will credit Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy for how they handled themselves publicly after the game, rather than pulling a Belichek or Kyle Shanahan and going after the referees instead of getting after their teams for their role in their team’s losses. But the narrative this week has been all about how the referees cost the Packers a win that may come back to cost them a playoff spot later in the year. Again, blaming everyone else but themselves.
And so this match-up between the Packers and Seahawks can be aptly called “The Blame Game.”
But my question is, now that the “real” referees are back, who are you gonna blame this week, when your team loses?
Remember the old adage, “When you point your finger at someone else, there are four more pointing back at you.”
It is very sad to me that this whole experience with the replacement referees in the NFL has shown a big spot light on the growing blemish on our society of our propensity to play the blame game in all aspects of our life. We have allowed ourselves to become victims in life, always looking to blame someone else for our lot in life. People don’t take responsibility for themselves anymore.
You can see it all over the political arena during this election season. Both candidates spend more time pointing fingers at the other and blaming them for what is wrong with our country instead of owning the problems and coming up with real solutions. President Obama has been made a cartoon of himself continuing to talk about the mess that he inherited from the former President Bush (W). That four year blame game has expired.
What example do we give our children when we cannot own up to our own situations and seek to blame others for what is going on in our lives. The truth of the matter is that sometimes people have bad things happen to them. A call may not go their way, but it is up to them to decide whether to remain the victim and accept the outcome, or to step beyond it and rise above it. But more times than not, we are responsible for our own outcomes and we must own our choices, and accept the consequences.
That is the lesson we should pass on to our children and that is the example we should be to others who are watching us – and yes the NFL is just a game, but the way that game has taken over our public consciousness has given it more importance than it probably deserves, and so I must take my own advice and not blame the NFL for their bad example, but instead use their example of what not to do.