Dear Houston Texans players,

I’d like to publicly thank you for your part in helping me break my addiction to watching and caring about the NFL. I mean this sincerely. I have long wanted to step away from the 7 to 9 hours that I have continually wasted watching football on Sundays. I’ll now be able to invest that time in my family as opposed to locking up on the couch or dropping everything to throw away another $200 at the stadium.

Now that I think of it, breaking this addiction will be a huge financial bonus for us. No longer will we have to budget for an extra $360 for our DirecTV bill in the fall. We can invest that money in other things needed, or possibly even take a weekend trip somewhere.  You guys are the best!

If only some team in some market had gotten their feelings hurt 25 years ago when this all started. Think of the money and time that could have been redirected towards things infinitely more beneficial than watching the NFL. But alas, I was caught up in the entertainment value at the time and then when Fantasy Football came along, oh my, things just got so much worse.

Thanks to you and you’re hurt feelings over a statement made by a business owner, your business owner, the guy who signs your collective paychecks, that has all changed. It’s an absolute breakthrough.

I mean, I totally get what he meant in his statement about inmates and prisons (asylums). It’s a standard business idiom that most people who understand how to manage a business or anything, including a family, would understand and appreciate. You just can’t run things from the bottom up. For a business, or a family, to have some operational balance and continuity, it must be run by those who have been entrusted to make leadership decisions. Who knows, the company may have even hired them for that very purpose. For a team to function as a team, a coach and a team of assistant coaches have to find a way to work together to both construct and execute a strategy to succeed. Without that, it’s just madness. The players are unhappy because there’s no leadership and the coach, along with his staff, are held accountable for not doing their job.

It works the same in any business, a classroom at any level of education, a family, even a club or organization. You can’t let the inmates run the prison (asylum) if you hope to maintain direction as an organization… any organization.

But, you guys got your feelings hurt and I understand that. It’s a tough world out there. Of course, you probably know that as well as anyone because as Steve Young often says, “Football is a meritocracy.” You earn your way onto the field at each and every level along the way. You’ve dealt with those who held you back and somehow you persevered and overcame the slight to get where you are today. You’re the best of the best of the best. We the fans, who have long been addicted to watching your progression from Pop Warner, to High School, to College, and now to the NFL, appreciate your determination and fortitude.

It’s unfortunate that the business idiom has led to this crumbling of your spirit after so many years of gallantry, but sometimes that final straw falls from the strangest of perches.

I wish you good luck in your future and I feel for the people of Houston, those fans who are still addicted to the game you play and are willing to come to the stadium or plunk down their hard earned dollars for gear emblazoned with the team logo. Many of them are busy, faithfully raising up the next generation of addicts, teaching them to set aside both time and money to become devoted fans of their local NFL team. I think they call it community pride, or something like that. It gives people something to huddle around in commonality when times are tough, like that hurricane that blew through a couple months back. #HoustonStrong Baby, Houston Strong!

I understand, your point of view; I understand how you’re ashamed to be associated with a team that has such a vile person as a business owner. Who cares about the community that supports you? You’re not from there and you’ve made some pretty good jack. If you’ve been responsible with your income, you can walk away from it all tomorrow and neither you, nor your family, will ever struggle financially ever again.

On the other hand, if I was the owner of your team, I might feel obligated to write a personal letter to those loyal fans of your community and maybe even the NFL itself.

The letter might look something like this:

Dear players,

I am genuinely concerned for your emotional well-being. I am remorseful to the depths of my soul that, in quoting or misquoting a longstanding business idiom, I have personally, single-handedly destroyed the heart of the team to the point where individual members are now apparently in need of grief counseling.

To the fans and league, I want to apologize openly, that because of my actions, more than 50 grown men have become so embarrassed to be associated with the franchise and the community that supported them through thick and thin, than they convened as teammates and discussed removing the team logo from their helmets.

I’m so deeply repentant  over this, that I’d like to give them some time to heal, to rebound from the emotional stress, and to once again come together as the strong, battle-tested team that we believed them to be. I’d like to cancel next Sunday’s game against the Colts in advance. They need a win and it’s apparent that we need a break. The players will be free to do whatever they’d like to do next week. There is no need for them to show up and earn the paycheck that I would normally sign, because I won’t be signing any. I’ll be filing for grief counseling compensation and hope that it will be sufficient to meet the needs across the board.

All other members of the Houston Texans family will be paid as usual. Vendors will get their regular game check, even though there will be no game. Season ticket owners will be refunded the cost of their ticket for that game. And, those in the front office will still be paid, provided they are willing to show up and do what I’ve hired them to do, which is run the team.

I hope that the players will be able to make a full recovery in time to board a plane for a flight to Los Angeles, which I will once again gladly pay for. I also hope they will be willing to stay in the comfort of the hotel (which I pay for) and eat the food from the training table (which I also pay for). With any luck, they’ll be able to recover in time to work out in the training facility (which I pay for) and watch game film of the Rams in preparation for the game in the offices (that I pay for) using the equipment (that I pay for).

In the future, I will do my best to refrain from making any and all comments regarding how this organization should be run by those who are being paid fairly handsomely to run it. As I have found, pointing out the obvious can lead to unfathomable emotional stress.

#DoneWithTheNonsense  #DoneWithNFL  #DoneWithESPN

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