This is getting ridiculous.
I was enjoying my ever-active social life Friday night by watching an outtakes show on NFL Network of the 2007 Jacksonville Jaguars training camp. It was fun to see a youngish Byron Leftwich, unaware he was about to be released, joking with teammates and kickers talking about the hot women they came across at various events.
New Jags head coach, Jack Del Rio, was speaking to a defensive player about needing to keep his hip open in case of a bootleg from the quarterback.
"In that case," Del Rio said, calmly. "You need to rip here, and go kill the guy."
Literally, as this phrase was uttered, a news report on the ticker at the bottom of the screen rolled past, updating the events of the modern day: "Bills DE Mario Williams clarifies "kill him" comments."
Apparently, Williams made a stir by alleging Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine used the phrases "kill 'em or hurt 'em" when discussing the philosophy of the Bills defense.
Williams has since "clarified" his remarks in such a way where the reader is led to believe, despite Williams' direct quote, Pettine never actually used the words "kill" or "hurt." Apparently, Williams replaced the actual words used with kill and hurt in his own mind.
"The phrase 'kill them' has never been said by Coach Pet or any of my coaches/teammates," Williams wrote. "I said it as figure of speech from 'my perspective' not literally or any actual intention. Coach Pet has led us in an aggressive D since Day One. We've operated in a 'beat them' mode this offseason w/a goal of mentally hurting the offense (future opponents) by being physical and disruptive at the line of scrimmage & through any pass protection. Pressure, TFL, turnovers and sacks."
Uh huh. Magically, the word "kill" became "beat," Williams just heard him incorrectly. That makes perfect sense, despite the fact those words share nothing in common in sound, spelling or meaning.
So despite the fact NFL Network is still perfectly fine with profiting on the same culture that was acceptable before they got sued, we are force-fed overreactions to common nomenclature, complete with threats of "fallout," according to ESPN's John Clayton.
There's no issue with running programming containing this language from the past, just like the lack of concern given to running the credit cards of NFL fans purchasing pictures of former Steelers OLB James Harrison knocking Mohammad Massaquoi senseless days after Harrison was fined $75,000 for it.
To be honest, the NFL's half-assed concern about player safety was much better than its half-assed over-concern. This is a mockery of the real intentions behind the safety initiative, and those intentions are suspect, at best, anyway.
Is it too much to ask to simply accept defensive coaches and players are not literally telling their players to end the lives of their opponents? Or should we continue swallowing this garbage en masse as if it's a legitimate issue?