Kelly DuBois, a lifelong fan of mixed martial arts and the UFC, found herself flummoxed watching a recent football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions as players repeatedly passed up opportunities to look in the camera and beg their teams to pay them money so they can afford rent. Each of the scores in the game was met with individual and team celebrations, but not a single acknowledgement of the severe financial strain playing in the NFL puts on the players, or the need for a touchdown of the night bonus because they had already spent their game check on paying their coaches.
”This is 101-level stuff, I thought,” said DuBois. “There’s going to be another game with new players and more scores next week, so you need to strike when the iron is hot. And then my friend Alicia told me these aren’t even the stars, that this is a preseason game with a bunch of fringe players in there. What are they doing!?!?”
Although DuBois enjoyed the game in general, she found it stressful to see players repeatedly fail to capitalize on their ability to bank some extra cash in case the next game got cancelled the day before it was to set to be played. She was also worried the players’ families might be upset with them for failing to secure the bonus money they need to buy the kids’ school clothes for the upcoming year, noting that the NFL Players Association really had a lot to learn from MMA fighters.