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NFL Thoughts Week 14: Chicago Bears and Beyond

Week 14 of NFL football is nearly in the books, and another tragedy is dominating the headlines. I saw a tweet on Saturday that asked where the outcry was to not play after a player lost his life this week? Have we already become desensitized a mere 7 days after the Kansas City incident?

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Another week goes by in the NFL, and another life is tragically lost. Last week it was a murder/suicide that shocked the sports world, and this week an act as equally as ignorant, drunk driving. There are few thing as idiotic as getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, and I wish the punishment for that crime in this country was much stiffer. It's an inexcusable act, and one that is done far to often. If you drink and drive you should lose your license forever and spend time behind bars.

This moronic football player already had a drunk driving arrest on his record. Here's what Josh Brent was charged with the first time he was caught, from CBS News;

In June 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to DUI and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped one count of aggravated DUI/no valid driver's license. Brent successfully completed his probation in July 2011, court records show.

Sixty days, a couple grand, and probation. If this were an Open Thread I'd tell you exactly how I felt about this.

It seems like the general narrative this weekend was about how this is another black eye to the NFL, but this isn't an isolated problem within the NFL or the sports world. Driving under the influence is much bigger issue than that. From the USA Today;

And yet the NFL is better behaved compared to the general population. Out of about 2,000 NFL players per season, including team practice squads, 14 DUI arrests make for a rate of 0.7%.

By contrast, males ages 20-24 and 25-29 each have a DUI rate of double that, at 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively, according to FBI statistics for last year.

The problem with this crime, is that many people who are caught receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist. We still have a society that feels if no one is hurt, then what's the big deal. I only had a few beers, so what's the big deal. I've driven like this before, so what's the big deal.

"We've all done it (driven intoxicated)," San Diego Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes said Sunday.

"I've been in those circumstances where I drove where I was under the influence," Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said.

The NFL has programs in place for their players to receive rides, and I'm sure they can all afford to call a taxi or a limo service if need be. It seems real simple to me, if you drive to a location that serves alcohol, then you don't drink alcohol.

Until the punishment matches the severity of the crime I'm afraid nothing will change.

I'll get off my soapbox now and move on to some other NFL Thoughts...

1) If the 1st place Baltimore Ravens can fire their offensive coordinator and they have the 18th ranked O in the NFL... #accountability

2) After rumors circulated that San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner would be fired after the season, he took his team into Pittsburgh and won 34-24. Norv had his ready to play some football.

3) The Atlanta Falcons are a soft 11 win team. I don't think anyone outside of Atlanta is giving them a chance come playoff time.

4) I know it's a long shot, but why can't Andrew Luck win AFC MVP? Luck has six fourth quarter comebacks on his rookie resume. Sure he has moments of being an inexperienced player every week, but he's as calm and collected as a seasoned pro when the game is on the line. How fitting the the new Captain Comeback in Indy was mentored by the old Captain Comeback while at Stanford.

5) In this year of the rookie QB, Philadelphia's Nick Foles (3rd round) is putting his stamp on the class.

6) I'm not sure if New York Giants RB David Wilson is real good or he just lucked into playing against a bad New Orleans Saints team.

7) With 3 games to go San Francisco's Aldon Smith already has 19.5 sacks. If he sets the sack record should the NFL 'asterisk' it because he played the Bears o-line earlier this year?

8) If the new ownership group in Cleveland decides to fire head coach Pat Shurmur, I don't think he'll be unemployed for long. He has a young Browns team 5-3 in their last eight games, after an 0-5 start.

9) The Bears are free falling through the second half of the 2012 season, but the Arizona Cardinals just lost their 9th straight (58-0 to Seattle) after a 4-0 start. It must be rough to be a Cardinals fan these days.

10) I liked it better when Jay Cutler led the league in "Almost Interceptions". This year he may lead the league in "Almost TD Passes".