Outspoken linebacker Bart Scott took a shot Thursday at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, suggesting the league’s top executive was out of line for recently suggesting that the Pro Bowl might have to be canceled because of the poor quality in the NFL’s annual all-star game.
The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Wednesday that the Pro Bowl would be continued in 2013, although there were no assurances about future games being played.
“It’s not up to [Goodell] to cancel the Pro Bowl,” Scott said yesterday after the Jets’ OTA session. “It’s part of the fabric of football. It’s a day of celebration for everybody to get their families out. They’ve earned the right to be an all star. What’s he talking about? Let him get out there and put on a jersey or something.”
Scott said all star games in all sports are not played at full speed and with the kind of intensity of a regular season matchup.
“Have you ever seen an all star game that was competitive?” said Scott, who played in one Pro Bowl, following the 2006 season. “It’s not really about the game. It’s about the festivities. It’s about fans getting the opportunity to be next to the players, to be there during the week to see the events that they do, to go to the children’s hospital to speak. The game is the cherry on top.
“Who wants to get hurt the last game of the season and spend their whole vacation [rehabbing]. The rules aren’t set up for you to play fast,” he said. “No blitzing, a four-man rush. What do you expect? You can’t make somebody go out there and blow their knee out. I’m not going to blow a receiver up coming across the middle when it’s the off-season. Why? It’s an exhibition game. No jobs are on the line. You’re having fun. You don’t want to hurt anybody.”
Scott also defended recent comments in which he said he doesn’t want his son to play football because the sport is too dangerous. He said he has received some criticism about his opinion.
“People are idiots,” he said. “They have no idea. You don’t want your kid to play baseball nowadays, you’re stupid. You’re giving away a quarter billion dollars. Why can’t I want my kid to be President or a CEO or own a football team? You should want the best for your kids.”
Scott also made a reference to a slogan used by Pres. Barack Obama’s campaign team that featured the phrase, “We can’t wait.” It’s similar to the phrase Scott used in the 2010 playoffs – “Can’t wait” – which he used to describe his feelings about playing the AFC Championship Game after a win over the Patriots. Scott said he had purchased a trademark on the phrase.
“Barack Obama stealing my ‘can’t wait slogan’ on his website,” Scott said during an unsolicited remark. Asked further about it, he said, “I ain’t going there. You trying to get me audited?”
Asked if the campaign had asked permission to use the slogan, Scott replied, “I’m not answering any of those questions. I’m not having the men in black show up at my place.”
He was referring to Secret Service agents.