The Three Stooges NFL Edition

By Ron Johnson

People of my generation remember an old black and white show called The Three Stooges. We remember the comedic stylings and antics of Larry, Curly, Moe, Joe and Shemp. We remember laughing at the displays of these gentlemen. Those were indeed good times.

Now why does this have to do with the NFL? The NFL happens to have three stooges of their own. And while their antics, commentary and behavior are laughable at best, it is not in any form a comedic one. Tom Brady (arguably the GOAT), Aaron Rodgers (the NFL’s Cinderella Man) and Jim Irsay (owner of the Indianapolis Colts) have taken on the roles of the more well-known trio of the stooges. 

But the problem is all three of them have not delivered a punchline worth their weight in gold.

Tom Brady 

Three Stooges

About a week ago, NFL legend and Patriots Great Tom Brady expressed an opinion of the state of the NFL since his retirement. He expressed that there is a level of mediocrity in today’s NFL versus when he was playing. Let’s bear this one thought in mind when it comes to Brady’s comments: He hasn’t even been out of the NFL a full season yet, and after Aaron Rodgers’ injury in week one, there was speculation that he may get the call to come back and play for the Jets in Rodgers’ absence. 

He did spend most of the interview kissing the backsides of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Rodgers, Rams QB Matthew Stafford and a few others, but made clear that only a select few have the ability to check plays at the line of scrimmage. He went on to lay the blame of constant pressures of getting things right in the league for the lack of quarterbacks in it today who are able to check out of plays at the line.

He thinks it’s affecting young quarterbacks, and instead of seeing quarterbacks doing what he did at the line of scrimmage, he believes there are too many quarterbacks and teams being more reactive and trying to fix problems after the snap. 

In Brady’s words, “The more you can be decisive as a quarterback, the better outcomes you’re going to have, the better your process is going to be.” I’m pretty sure that Jalen Hurts, Brock Purdy, Trevor Lawrence and even Jared Goff are taking what Brady has said with a grain of salt. Not many people have muttered Brady’s name this season, and the ones that are seem to be desperate Jets fans wanting to either have Rodgers back or Brady under center due in large part to the inconsistent play of Zack Wilson and low performance of Tim Boyle. 

As far as his take on the pro game reflecting what the college game is, we’ve seen better college games over the last few weeks than NFL games. And as an alumnus of the University of Michigan, I would think that he would be spending more time celebrating the Wolverines victory versus calling the game without him mediocre.

Sometimes you want to play checkers because it makes sense for the situation. If you’re stuck playing chess all the time, eventually, players will catch on to all of it. And in Tom Brady’s case, all he has to do is look at the list of quarterbacks who got the best of him in his career, including the ones who checkmated him in the playoffs.

Alex Smith was quick to shut down Brady’s comment about mediocrity by saying what no one else will say: Tom Brady played in the biggest cupcake division. And he’s right. During Brady’s tenure in New England, there really wasn’t much competition in the AFC East until Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa burst onto the scene.

But by the time they got there, Brady was already jumping to the NFC South. And in that division, there was no Drew Brees to compete against. The division was and is to this day one of the most wide open and easiest divisions to win because (and no disrespect to any of the teams) there is no real legit competition in it.

Aaron Rodgers 

Three Stooges

Aaron Rodgers is slowly becoming like that grandpa that comes over for supper and starts every conversation with, “Back in my day…” But the issue with Rodgers is that he went down like a senior citizen in his debut, and then has the audacity to keep popping up when it is not necessary. While echoing and agreeing with Brady, Rodgers took a chance to take a shot at the recent rule changes in the NFL. According to Rodgers, “If I’m looking at this from a real big picture, there’s a softening of society that has definitely caused things like this.”

Call me crazy, but wasn’t Rodgers spending his final years in Green Bay blaming everyone but himself for the collapse of the Packers? And how many plays was he a part of in the opening night for the Jets again? 

If anyone should call themselves soft at this point, it is Aaron Rodgers.

We all saw the hit that took him down. Mahomes has had that hit, as has Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, Dak Prescott and a few others. I don’t remember seeing them drop to the ground after four plays. And to be honest, that looked more like a Don King flop than anything else. And if Rodgers is saying the NFL needs to go back to those old days of football, he wouldn’t last a drive.

There is a reason why most of the NFL’s smashmouth defenses are no longer that…and he and Brady are perfect reasons for it. Had these players played like that when these two started, there wouldn’t be a Legendary Tale of The Seventh Rounder from Michigan or Discount Double Check for that matter. 

These two have made one thing clear, and it is not the state of the league. They don’t care about player safety or the rules implemented to save them. They are only speaking out because the league is moving on without having to spend every waking moment talking about them. Neither can be happy for the ones doing good (like the Lions and the Broncos) or try to get their former teams (Patriots, Bucs, Packers) on the right track. No one has really talked about them in the way they would appreciate, and it is driving them up a wild in more ways than one. 

Instead of being happy about the success and happiness some franchises are having right now, they’d rather insult the very league that made them stars. How very Lebron-esque of them.

Jim Irsay 

Back in March 2014, Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay was arrested for DUI (or in Midwest terms, OWI). Six months later, he pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of OWI aka operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Now that he has kind of gotten that in his rearview mirror, he clearly is still salty about it to this day. 

On the latest episode of Real Sports, Irsay said that he was prejudiced against because he’s a rich, white billionaire, and that if he was just the average guy down the block, they wouldn’t have pulled him in. So according to Irsay, he just pled guilty to get it over with. The problem is not with what he said.

The problem is this Carny Jagoff thinks that he is entitled because he is rich, white billionaire.

Now Irsay has been in my good graces only because of the shots he takes at Mel Kiper, Jr. But when I read this piece and listened to this interview, it started to make me wonder just why Jim chooses to open his mouth sometimes. What makes it worse is the fact that he says he failed his field sobriety test due to just coming off hip surgery. Well, while that may sound like a good excuse to you Jim, it’s 100% BS. 

Jim has been a certified boozehound long before the arrest in 2014. It is rather sad that it did take the arrest for him to clean up and get right. But after listening to the interview and reading it, I’m starting to wonder what Jim has replaced his booze with to make him believe that he can continue blaming this on law enforcement, take zero accountability and even almost a decade later think that it is because he was a rich, white billionaire. 

Maybe Jim, Tom and Aaron should embrace their new monikers and start a podcast. And just to help them out, I took the liberty of throwing their heads on something. The same photo that you see at the top of this article will be shown at the bottom of it…with a few added changes.

Three Stooges

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