In an interview with ESPN’s show Mike & Mike, Mark Wahlberg revealed that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to stop players from appearing on the HBO show Ballers, of which Wahlberg is an executive producer. Ballers follows a retired former football star played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and has featured many current NFL stars, such as DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, and Steven Jackson, among others.
While lots of players have been interested in appearing on the show in its second season (which debuts this coming Sunday), Wahlberg said that at first it was difficult to get them involved. He said the only people calling were “guys like Roger Goodell, saying, ‘you can’t do this,’ and various owners in the league.”
Wahlberg insisted it would be good for the league, and now, it appears as though the naysayers have changed their tunes.
The players should be able to go on the show if they choose. Roger Goodell has been a stain on the NFL since he was appointed Commissioner so he needs to let this go and enjoy his Tom Brady suspension. Hell, maybe Wahlberg should ask Tom Brady to make a cameo just to piss Goodell off. Don’t forget, “Ballers” Season 2 starts tomorrow!
The dirtiest NFL players of 2014 are some of the meanest and most hated men to ever play professional football. You probably won’t see these current and former National Football League players earning any sportsmanship awards anytime soon but there’s a good chance their names will be in the news for bone-crushing hits, injuries and losing their tempers on the football field.
Football is a game of physicality, and I dare say, violence. As much as we love it, it is something of a gladiator’s arena, with injury and often life-changing ailments as residual after effects. Given that it is a game which filters for the toughest, hardest-hitting players, there is something of an inevitability to the game attracting players with a penchant for violence and physical abuse.
Everyone wants to wag a finger at these players; but truthfully our telling them to keep it clean is something of a hypocritical art. Can we say there is a ‘right’ amount of violence? After all, we love players that win us games–and if a defensive back launches helmet to helmet on the opposing team’s best receiver and takes him out of the game with a concussion, that could win a team the game. There’s a reason those players are on rosters across the league.
Now, to be clear, I am not condoning any such intentional violence. I’m merely playing devil’s advocate; these players have to survive the trials and tribulations of intense competition to get these roster spots, and some of them know the only reason they did was because of their tone-setting, violent play. However there are a number of players on this list who engage in extracurricular violence after the whistle blows. There’s no place for that in the NFL either, it’s simply unprofessional and rage-driven. But again, this game is often fueled by hatred of your enemies. The line we ask these players to walk is certainly thin.
1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Terrell Suggs
3. Michael Griffin
4. Steve Smith
5. Dashon Goldson
6. Vontaze Burfict
7. Cortland Finnegan
8. Brandon Meriweather
9. James Harrison
10. Bernard Pollard
Conspiracy theorists had their smoking gun in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Cowboys-Detroit Lions playoff game on Sunday.
You very rarely see an officiating crew pick up a flag as late as the Cowboys-Lions crew did on the most controversial play of wild-card weekend. On third down, Matthew Stafford threw to Brandon Pettigrew, who was covered by Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens never turned around, face-guarding Pettigrew, and that combined with some contact drew a flag for pass interference.
But the Lions went from thinking they had a crucial first down to facing a fourth and 1. That’s because the officials reversed the call, saying Hitchens made a clean play. There was no pass interference. The Lions unsuccessfully tried to draw the Cowboys offsides on fourth an 1, took a delay of game penalty, shanked a punt, and the Cowboys marched down for a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams with 2:32 remaining. The non-call changed the entire game. The Cowboys (who, conspiracy theorists will note, are an enormous draw for the NFL) held on to win 24-20. Most NFL fans hate the Cowboys, and did they ever hate that the pass interference wasn’t called.
Mike Pereira, the well-respected former vice president of officiating in the NFL, was in the booth for Fox’s broadcast and said he thought it was pass interference and wrong of the officials to reverse the call. That seemed to be the consensus opinion of most fans watching as well. No matter what the call should have been, it went against the Lions and will be a topic of conversation for a long time.
Football, NFL, Fandomonium, Fantasy Football…did I mention FOOTBALL?