Hidden Layers to Bullygate: Mental Health in the NFL

Folks, Bullygate is worst than I expected. It’s not about bullying, being black, and the hazing culture anymore. The alarming issue that I took away is the teams’ and the league’s ability to handle mental health maladies among players.

Feel free to read the full Wells report and make your own judgments afterwards. From what I read, however, I don’t think teammates were prepared to handle Jonathan Martin’s mental health issues, especially since some of the players constantly taunt J-Mart. The front office and coaching staff seemed to turn the other way as well. Even an assistant coach joined in on taunting the assistant trainer, and who knows, he might have picked on J-Mart behind his back too.

Today, when we have have issues, we are recommended to go seek professional help. We talk to somebody about our problems. We do yoga or exercises or meditation sessions to clear our minds. We pray to high powers.

At least that’s what the workplace is teaching us to do for the most part. We may live in the 21st century, but the way NFL players deal with mental health issues is as archaic as how we used to travel 150 years ago. I never played a down in the NFL and college, but I played organized sports before. In some locker rooms, crying to people about your problems is a “bitch ass move.” It’s socially unacceptable to break down and cry. Either you toughen up and keep your problems to yourself or quit. To the Miami Dolphins, Martin is a punk because he chose to leave instead of confronting the situation head-on. Also, if you’re picked on, the unwritten locker room rule is: defend yourself, or else, quit.

I don’t know if that’s an healthy environment for players who prefer seeking help and alternative means of handling mental issues. No wonder why some players are beginning to dislike the NFL. You can feel alone, even in a team setting, if you’re different from the “typical, social” player and don’t respond as well to certain situations as other players.

I would love to dig in the matter further, because it’s intertwined with other societal topics, such as racism and classism. But even as write this brief blog, I think the report itself convinced me to speak out.

And this have even more scary possibilities. If NFL teams are inadequate in dealing with mental health issues, then how they will handle players with developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down’s Syndrome? I would like like to write about Bullygate’s potential impact on autistic people seeking to play college or professional sports.

Let’s hope the Wells report will open professional sports teams’ eyes to mental health topics more seriously.

Green Dreads

It’s been more than the week since the historic butt-kicking that the Seahawks gave to the Broncos. They just came in and ran roughshod over the poor Denver squad.

As a result, I lost a bet against the friend that I made a month ago during the NFC Championship Game. Since the Seahawks won both the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, I must dye my hair green.

I’m a man of my word, even if I hate losing. So there:

As much I disliked the bet initially, I turned out to be an inspirational moment. Why? Because I finally have ideas for cosplaying at either MomoCon or Anime Weekend Atlanta. With the temporary hair color spray, I can dye my hair to the color I want and rinse it out a day later.  I can finally either cosplay as corporate Trunks or human form of Knuckles.

For more adventures of the green hair, check out my random video:

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Welcoming our 2013 #AuburnTigers #Football Team home (1-7-2014)

Via Flickr:
Proud Auburn fans, despite the freezing temperatures, thanking the team for a remarkable seasons. The sky is the limit next year! #WDE

Photos can also be found on Timotheus “Pharaoh” Gordon FB like page: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.588682301187177.1073741…

Why the Bears Should Draft Te’o (by Timotheus Gordon; 4/5/2013)

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago Bears fans, let the Manti Te’o watch begin!

According to CBSSports.com, the former Heisman candidate from Notre Dame is the second best inside linebacker prospect in this year’s NFL draft. Since the first round will be all about linemen, we may see him get drafted as high as 19th overall. The Giants might try to draft an offensive lineman first to improve their run blocking, which gives the Bears (with the 20th overall pick) a better shot at drafting Te’o. LSU inside linebacker Kevin Minter may be the most explosive and athletic ILB in this year’s draft, but Te’o is the best fit for the Bears’ defensive scheme.

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