There are 32 teams in the NFL and 53 players on each active roster. That’s 1,696 men. Throw in another 300 or so for each team’s practice squad and P.U.P. list and we’re talking about 2,000 people. Now imagine if that was a town. Dysfunction Junction. Population 2000.
But this is no rural community with an economy on life support, or some fading rust belt township. This is a town full of millionaires. Of mansions and Maseratis. Where the average income is higher than the Hamptons, but the crime rate per capita is worse than Camden, NJ. Think about all the arrests over the past two years. Not just the high profile cases that made the national news, but the other less publicized domestic violence cases, the assaults, the possession charges, the numerous DUIs. There was even an underwear theft in November. And when you include former citizens of this figurative small town, the statistics become even more alarming. Ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez is about to begin trial for murder with more potential charges pending, and Ex-Saint Darren Sharper is an alleged serial rapist.
Most towns with such minuscule populations have little more than a holding tank in a police substation to house the town drunkard overnight. Think Mayberry. NFLville would need a jail as big as Rikers Island to hold all the defendants. But then again, hardly any of them would ever go to jail because their high-priced attorneys would ensure that they got off with a few months’ probation and community service.
Do I sound bitter? I’m not. I live for the Fall. The Miami Dolphins are right behind Momma on my list of loyalties. And the NFL is not all bad. For every ugly story there are ten that will warm your heart and give you faith in humanity. But I live in a prison dorm and the same can be said for the dudes in the neighboring bunks. I just think it’s amazing that such a small, affluent community could be so rife with crime and self-sabotage.
Makes you wonder if there’s something in the Gatorade.