It’s no longer a coincidence that a Denver Broncos’ defensive player was lying on the ground writhing in pain every time the New York Jets tried to establish offensive momentum.
Denver demoralized the surging Jets when they left the Meadowlands with a 34-17 victory—but its now clear that they arrived with no morals to begin with.
Rather than play the game the way it should be played, Dre’ Bly confessed that he took a dive in order to stop the clock. Every time Brett Favre tried to start a no-huddle offense, one of the Broncos remained on the ground.
It appeared coincidental at first glance. In fact, it was merely speculation until Dre’ Bly told the Rocky Mountain News, “Brett [Favre] was pulling a vet move. I gave him back one so we could recoup and get the guys lined up.”
A vet move? No, Dre’—that’s called a bitch move.
Instead of using official timeouts to stop the clock and re-organize their personnel, the Broncos’ players chose to stay down and hinder the Jets’ offensive momentum.
Favre and company would be working on stringing together one of the long offensive drives the Jets have become known for in recent weeks, only to be stopped by a player feigning injury.
The game would stop, trainers would rush to the field, and the injured player would gingerly hobble off the field, only to return a few plays later at top-speed.
While Bly is the only one to have admitted it, the frequency of the injuries does bring the entire team’s practices into question.
That’s not the way professional football should be played.
It’s a waste of time—a waste of the officials’ time, the trainers’ time, and the fans’ time.
NFL fans pay good money to attend live games. They travel in the worst of weather conditions and subject themselves to potential illness. It’s not done to watch professional athletes take dives because they’re afraid they can’t keep up.
Injuries on the playing field aren’t meant to be jokes. Every offseason the NFL’s suits get together to find ways to protect their athletes. Players are legitimately injured every season.
New rules and policies are made, and fans complain the game is being turned into a glorified contest of flag football.
An injury is not to be used as a substitute for timeouts. Obviously, professional athletes don’t live in the same world as the fans. But when the regular man goes to work, there is behavior that’s expected and demanded of him.
Most companies place a premium on stopping employees from stealing time. When an employee shows up for work, they’re expected to perform at the highest level possible while they’re on the clock.
Faking injuries in place of taking a timeout is stealing company time. It’s stealing money from the fans’ pockets. And it’s stealing away from the NFL’s reputation as a game for real men.
On a day where the Broncos’ offense clicked all over the field, Bly and friends robbed NFL fans of a true competitive contest! Perhaps it’s because the Broncos had gone down to the wire in too many games this season?
Regardless, the Jets and their efficient offense wasn’t only stifled by strong defensive play, but by cheap tactics that have no place in the NFL. There’s no telling if the fake injuries could have changed the outcome. The Jets did enough to beat themselves on Sunday, anyway.
But admitting to remaining on the ground intentionally is an insult to football fans that cheer faithfully every Sunday.
More importantly, it’s a slap in the face to the real men whose bodies will never be the same after leaving everything on the playing field.