Listen: Football, NFL And Ricky Williams discussed on SportsCenter AllNight
"Example of it to where I sat there, and I said, all right? I understand we've got a show to do one of the things we're going to talk about and that show is probably Thursday night football. But man it is the titans in Jacksonville. And I am dog tired. There is no way I'm gonna end up staying up for this whole game. There's no way I need to take in all of this because hell was a game. That didn't look all that close. Even in the beginning the way Jacksonville has managed to play lately. The Cody Kessler led Jacksonville Jaguars managing to put up another staggering seven point margin after the six point output last week against the colts. But then. Lo and behold, I find myself deep into the third quarter going into the fourth quarter in bed. Unable to finally push myself over the line to sleep because football. I Michael junior here on ESPN radio and the ESPN app and. It's amazing. That with that in mind. What we've? Kind of found ourselves in. Now this football position where we've also got people trying to say all right if our appetite for football is that great. More is probably better. Right. So we find ourselves now in a situation where we have got yet another group trying to capitalize on our love of football with another professional football league. The freedom. Football league has been created by former NFL players, including Ricky Williams. Simeon rice with the intention of being of of quote, reimagining rethinking reinventing and reforming the game. It was announced Thursday, Ricky Williams appeared on outside the lines. The other day and said there were fifty former players among the proximate one hundred stakeholders other early founders include former NFL players like Byron Chamberlain, Jeff Garcia and Dexter Jackson. Here was Ricky Williams. Former NFL running back former college star at Texas on the goal of freedom football league. And we're trying to develop young men. You can't take away their voice Knicks and expect them to develop. I know in my playing days when I grew up watching football, I really wanted to be by Jim Brown. Not because of what he did on the field. But because he could take that platform in and have a voice. And so I got to the NFL expecting that to be the case. And anytime a big social issue came up. We were told be quiet. It's a distraction. And so again, really changing the conversation first and last Michael junior here on ESPN radio and the ESPN app. They said, quote, the NFL started a long time ago, and since then a lot of things have changed, and we want to create a league that's ready for that change and invite some more of it, and that is all well intentioned all of these side leagues. Whether it's this. Whether it's the alliance American alliance of football or the newly resurgent XFL all of these things are trying to capture a niche audience in one way or another outside of football using football as the backdrop, but saying, hey, here's that part of football you like or don't like here's the part of football in the XFL's case. That involves the people think football's been too politicized. So we'll try and take that out of it and give you football. That's a little more dress down for everyone involved. This me clearly says the opposite of you wanna talk and way in about something. It sounds like they're going to give you the ability to do that. And on down the list problem is with all these side leagues. The more and more that populate the scene the more and more cluttered and similar looks in my mind, the guy look at these three leagues now in those distinguishing factors to me kind of blend together at some point the differences are so subtle and at the end of the day. What drives these leagues is the quality of the product. It is our ability as we've seen with college in the NFL our ability to bet and play fantasy sports certainly helps consumption. But ultimately we've seen years like last year with the NFL product and a bunch of injured quarterbacks and teams that were performing very well you saw the ratings fluctuate a bit this year in a season where we've got MVP caliber quarterbacks young quarterbacks coming out and a lot of offense. That's dictated by both that and the rules. You've seen the NFL ratings do really well this year. And so it's all on the back of the product. And the problem is when you've already got a product that was going to struggle, and as someone who was a part of one of these attempted supplementary leagues in the FX F L the way I was in two thousand and fourteen you understand that as good and ideas, I think this is to try and help players find an alternate avenue. And they said with this league the statement and Bishen is to quote attract football players at their highest level of athletic ability, including those defecting from the NFL graduating college or high school or playing in international or alternative professional football leagues. They're trying to cash in on that market. They're trying to give you another avenue to do this. The league's going to be financed through a combination of private funding. And public offerings in two thousand nineteen meeting fans would be quote, true owners and legally committed business partners partners. Four players. The NFL said it would ensure they receive quote, permanent and reliable holistic health and wellness support on and off the field. In addition. It said it would encourage athletes who dress societal changes in quote hot button issues. This is where it becomes interesting. Because that's the other part of all this is it's how you take care of the little things on the players side that all sounds good this freedom to say and do what you want, but what comes under permanent, reliable holistic health and wellness support because you've got courage, and I know everyone sorta chuckles that because it is Ricky Williams telling us that. So it sounds like you're going to know where to go to get your weed. It is one of those situations that becomes really interesting because as enticing as that might even sound like oh man a league. That's not gonna punish me for smoking weed in the way that the NFL has at a base level. What does that really offer you because these ancillary leagues the one thing the NFL does. And maybe not as well as some of the guys would want based on the nature of the product and the violent nature."