published Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Greeson: NFL issues center on how long to sit

OK, here we are, after a weekend in which Michael Sam's sack made some guy on Twitter famous because he declared bankruptcy for pledging to buy the world a drink if Sam sacked Johnny Manziel and did the money finger salute.

(Side bar: This will lead to a run of off-the-wall promises on social media that never will be fulfilled until the fad becomes tired -- which is officially now, so let's skip that middle step and not promise the world drinks on Twitter.)

Here are a couple of other NFL items that we can't explain:

First, the concussion issue continues to be a mired and murky quagmire in which the NFL can't seem to find footing.

Wes Welker was concussed -- as always, we find this to be a great verb -- over the weekend, and it reportedly is his third brain injury in the last year. That's less than good -- for the Broncos or the Welkers or anyone who may or may not have a brain. Hi, Buddy, hope that works for you.

Now that the black shroud of league indifference has been at least somewhat lifted publicly -- you can debate whether the league wants to end concussions or end its legal responsibility for those with concussions, and we'd lean toward the latter -- the ball is in Welker's court.

And if Welker decides to play and gets another concussion and, in a worst case scenario, is in need of serious and long-term care before he's 50, is the NFL responsible for that now that we all are aware of the dangers of concussions?

If Welker decides to play, then that becomes his personal decision, right, and the league, while committed to honoring its long-term care for all players, would be somewhat absolved in the grand and wide-scaping sense?

And if that's the case, Roger "Rope-a-Dope" Goodell's shadow-boxing campaign against concussions has worked magic for the league's long-term bottom line.

Debate that as you will, but it's hardly the only question that hangs before the NFL powers that be.

Matt Prater, the Denver kicker who has had issues with drugs and alcohol, recently violated the league's substance abuse policy by having a few beers at home.

OK, we get that. Bad, yes, but bad is a relative scale that is the prism of perspective for people everywhere.

Prater is in the program and needs to honor the program, of course. So he now faces a four-game suspension for having beers in his den. Yes, it's negotiated into the bargaining agreement, and that's fine.

So let's get violence against women in the CBA, too, because hiding behind a workplace piece of paper about a star football player whose name sounds like Tay Tice is flawed, hollow and wrong.

And yes, the video of Ray Rice dragging his then-future wife out of an elevator by her hair makes a world of difference because we for far too long have ignored this problem, but let's decide to stop the indifference now.

To recap: A few beers for an addict equal four games. A few swings for a woman beater equal two games.

And to go even a step further -- and blend the problems of violence off and on the field in a murky enigma -- Brandon Merriweather, the Washington Redskins safety, has been suspended two games for a helmet-to-helmet hit on another NFL football player.

Yes, Merriweather got the same punishment for hitting a padded, world-class athlete as Rice did for hitting his fiancee. Go figure, right?

Somehow the suspended math of the NFL's discipline leads to suspended belief when comparing the penalties and the punishments.

The NFL, it's fantastic. Hey, maybe we should tinker with how long the extra point should be.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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