Brandon Marshall Fine Continuing NFL’s Disgraceful Treatment of Mental Illness

| December 1st, 2016

The following piece originally ran on DBB on May 19, 2014. Two years later the NFL is finally allowing players to showcase their personal causes on the field. It’s probably the best thing ever published in this space, non-game related.


Josh Marks liked to cook. He was good enough at cooking and handsome enough to land a spot on the television program MasterChef. He finished second. At twenty-six years old and with a seemingly limitless future before him, Marks took his own life Friday. In a CNN article Marks’ family recount the young man’s struggles with mental health issues, with the family lawyer going so far as to say “It is overwhelming to think that with proper, intensive treatment, Joshua may still be with us.”

He was found dead by his mother in an alleyway on Chicago’s south side.

The reason an overwhelming majority of individuals in this country do not seek treatment for a mental disorder is simple: they don’t understand they suffer from one. The common conversation allows depression – as a term – to be wrongly attached to extraneous social circumstances.

I’m depressed because my dog died.

I’m depressed because they’re thinking of changing the Redskins’ name. 

This incorrect label is applied because the brain is far more difficult to understand than any other organ in the body. We know what causes heart and liver damage. We know what a human being should do to preserve kidney function. The brain is far too complicated to be understood by those without an MD. So we apply normal human rationale to our brain function. I feel this way because of this thing that happened. Here is what the American Psychiatric Association says on this very issue:

How Depression and Sadness Are Different

The death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such stressful situations. Those experiencing trying times often might describe themselves as being “depressed.” But sadness and depression are not the same. While feelings of sadness will lessen with time, the disorder of depression can continue for months, even years. Patients who have experienced depression note marked differences between normal sadness and the disabling weight of clinical depression.

Abnormalities in two chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine, might contribute to symptoms of depression, including anxiety, irritability and fatigue. Other brain networks undoubtedly are involved as well; scientists are actively seeking new knowledge in this area.

Brandon Marshall does not suffer from depression. What he suffers from is a far more serious disorder called borderline personality disorder or BPD. The APA defines it as such:

Borderline personality disorder is the most common personality disorder in clinical settings, and it is present in cultures around the world. However, this disorder is often incorrectly diagnosed or underdiagnosed in clinical practice. Borderline personality disorder causes marked distress and impairment in social, occupational, and role functioning, and it is associated with high rates of self-destructive behavior (e.g., suicide attempts) and completed suicide.

The essential feature of borderline personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, affects, and self-image, as well as marked impulsivity.

(That is only a sound bite. CLICK HERE to learn just how extensive and impacting this disease can be.) The Chicago Reader’s Steve Bogira, in his piece on the Brandon Marshall fine, pointed to an illuminating article in the New York Times. It is the story of a Dr. Marsha Linehan – a leading expert in the field of mental illness who discovered after years of treating others that she herself was struggling with the disease:

 …Dr. Linehan’s case shows there is no recipe. She was driven by a mission to rescue people who are chronically suicidal, often as a result of borderline personality disorder, an enigmatic condition characterized in part by self-destructive urges.

“I honestly didn’t realize at the time that I was dealing with myself,” she said. “But I suppose it’s true that I developed a therapy that provides the things I needed for so many years and never got.”

This is a doctor. This is a woman who spent her life dealing with the illness in others. And here she was, unaware the disease was deeply rooted in her own brain. Why would we be surprised when the teenage boy or girl in Albuquerque, New Mexico is unable to self-diagnose the issue? From that same article:

“There’s a tremendous need to implode the myths of mental illness, to put a face on it, to show people that a diagnosis does not have to lead to a painful and oblique life,” said Elyn R. Saks, a professor at the University of Southern California School of Law who chronicles her own struggles with schizophrenia in “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.” “We who struggle with these disorders can lead full, happy, productive lives, if we have the right resources.”

To put a face on it. Isn’t that what Brandon Marshall has tried so hard to do since his brilliant introductory press conference in Chicago? Isn’t showing “a diagnosis does not have to lead to a painful and oblique life” exactly what Marshall achieves with every catch, every touchdown, every post-game sit down with the NFL Network crew that has the anchors in awe of not only the player but the man? (Kurt Warner Tweeted: “Thanks for the hospitality CHICAGO! Great atmosphere & performance tonight! Really impressed w/ Brandon Marshall, more off field than on!”)

Roger Goodell does not think so and this headline from NESN sums it up brilliantly:

Report: Brandon Marshall to Be Fined $5,250 for Wearing Green Shoes in Support of Mental Health Awareness

What is a fine in the NFL? Why are they imposed on players? I’ll let the NFL define their own policy:

The Commissioner may impose fines and other appropriate discipline, up to and including suspension or banishment from the League, for certain misconduct on the playing field, as well as for conduct detrimental to the integrity of or public confidence in the NFL or the game of professional football. Discipline involving unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct on the playing field with respect to opposing players will be determined initially by a person appointed by the Commissioner.

This not a semantic argument. The NFL is stating very clearly by assessing Brandon Marshall a $5,250 penalty that he has conducted himself poorly on the playing field or committed an act detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. By wearing a pair of green cleats to raise awareness for a collection of illnesses that NEED awareness, that are DESPERATE for awareness, Marshall has done wrong. That is the statement being made by Roger Goodell.


Two things.

First, shame on the NFL. Just because the league managed to swindle thousands of players by settling their concussion litigation does not mean the concussion/brain trauma debate has been gently swept under the rug. Mike Webster, Dave Duerson, Junior Seau…etc. are all dead today because of brain defects caused by their brains slamming up against their skulls, hit after hit, throughout their NFL careers.

What if the word concussion did not exist? What if the NFL was forced to label the injuries sustained in football games as what they are: traumatic brain injuries. Would there be traumatic brain injury-related symptoms? Would they put traumatic brain injury in parentheses like hip or ankle?

Limited: Matthew Stafford (Traumatic Brain Injury)

By not fining Marshall the NFL would be embracing Brandon Marshall’s commitment to mental health awareness and making a signature exception to a silly rule. Roger Goodell should release a statement embracing the brain issues being faced by both current and former players and pointing to Marshall as an ambassador. Goodell thinks he represents the NFL. If he did, the sport would crumble under the weight of its own bullshit. Marshall is the shield. Marshall is the NFL. And in the history of the sport’s “dealing” with mental illness he is the league’s greatest asset and most impressive contribution.

I will tell you this. With the singular gesture of wearing those cleats, Marshall started more conversations about mental health than all the pink towels in all those games started about breast cancer.

Second, let’s take a closer look at the NFL’s breast cancer awareness campaign.

The Pink campaign is nothing more than a continuation of the league’s concerted effort to increase viewership among women. (To read about those efforts from a merchandising perspective, CLICK THIS ESPN W ARTICLE.) Breast cancer is a terrible disease and one hopes every day to see it and all cancers eradicated. But why is it given priority in a sports league over, say, prostate cancer – an illness plaguing males across the country? As with everything NFL-related these days, follow the money.

Sticking idiotic pink flags in the pockets of officials is a symbolic gesture towards a problem that requires tangible action. Or as my friend Chael brilliantly IM’d me, “Write a check, help solve it, be known that way.  Being a pink league is like dressing up your illiterate 5 year old.  Sure, she looks pretty, but she could probably use a fucking book instead.”

Not only is this something of a hollow gesture by the league but its a misguided use of funds. Their Pink campaign is aligned with the American Cancer Society, one of the more notorious and uselessly bureaucratic organizations in the wellness world of charitable organizations. From an article in the Harvard Crimson:

At one time, the American Cancer Society spent only 26 percent of its national multibillion-dollar budget on actual medical research, allotting the other three-fourths to “operating expenses.” In 2005, the Phoenix New Times reported that the Arizona branch of the organization spent a gasp-inducing 95 percent on overhead costs, leaving cancer victims “only the crumbs.” At the Arizona branch, the nonprofit spends 22 times as much on paying employees, maintaining the offices, and keeping the coffee machine running than on the cancer victims they are supposedly aiming to save.

For those who’d argue the NFL does not want to simply cut a check to researchers and scientists, I would argue they look to history. NFL does just that when they are trying to save their own hide. From USA Today:

In May 2009, Ann McKee made a presentation before the MTBI committee at NFL headquarters in New York. A professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University and co-director of BU’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopath, McKee told Frontline the committee was not receptive.

“They were convinced it was wrong, and I felt that they were in a very serious state of denial,” she said.

Denial had nothing to do with it. Roger Goodell sat in front of Congress on October 28th 2009 and looked every bit as guilty as the tobacco boys had years earlier. Six months later the NFL cuts a check to the same Boston University researchers they’d publicly admonished.

Chris Nowinski described the gift in the Frontline documentary based on League of Denial:

The NFL’s gift of a million dollars is an interesting story, because we never asked for money from the NFL. We had asked them to help us acquire brains for the brain bank and get guys to participate in research. But we knew money would always be an issue because it could be seen as being bought off or some sort of conflict.

So it was especially interesting the way we found out about it, because the timing was such that it was — we found out on a Sunday morning, and on Monday morning, a press release had been finalized the previous Friday announcing a partnership with the NFL Players Association. The NFL Players Association was going to be helping — supporting our research, helping us get brains from players for study, etc.

And then Sunday morning I got a call from the Associated Press at 10 in the morning saying, “How do you feel about the NFL giving you a million dollars?” The answer was: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. This doesn’t sound right at all.”

So I called around to the other co-directors, Dr. McKee, Dr. Cantu, Dr. Stern. No one had had a conversation directly with the NFL about this. So we issued a statement saying, “We’ll consider the gift, and it’s very nice of them to offer,” and eventually decided that working with the medical school, that they thought if it was given as a gift, an unrestricted gift, it was appropriate.

You see? They gave a million bucks! Of course they’re concerned with concussions! It had nothing to do with Congressional hearing or pending litigation. Kindness. It was all kindness and compassion.

If breast or any other cancer is going to be eradicated in this country it is because scientists are properly funded to do the work required to beat the disease. The NFL would do better to spend $100 million, build a lab and hire the best doctors in the field. Instead they insist on paying the overhead costs for the American Cancer Society with pink towels around the waists of the Houston Texans.


Earl Bennett wore orange cleats for luck or something. Jim McMahon wore Adidas across his headband for money and Rozelle on that same headband the following week to stick it to the NFL commissioner.

ConcussionBrandon Marshall wore green cleats to raise mental health awareness. If his actions forced one kid to Google “borderline personality disorder” shouldn’t be celebrated? If his cleat color of green – chosen because the color is meant to symbolize hope – helps one Josh Marks to understand he is not “crazy”, that he can find assistance, that his cause is not lost, shouldn’t we be heaping praise onto him instead of five grand fines?

A BuzzFeed article by Kristin Chirico summed it up with a subtitle: Brandon Marshall is the best thing to ever happen to Borderline Personality Disorder.

At a time when the NFL is coming under intense media criticism for covering up brain damage to their players, couldn’t an argument be made that Brandon Marshall is the best thing to happen to the NFL in 2013? Leave it to the league to treat a prize like a pariah.

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  • Shady

    Not bad jeff, well done.

  • Still a Doug Plank Fan

    Helluva piece, Jeff. That’s the kind of research/writing that is sorely lacking in the sports world. Damned well done.

  • MB30SD

    Good stuff Jeff.

    Here are a couple interesting TED talks, one with Dr Saks,
    and another interesting one I came across a while back.



    The bottom line is that the NFL is just another big business
    that cares more about money and perpetuating existing power structures than
    doing the right thing for people. Rodger Goodell and his NFL are plainly and
    simply disgusting to their core. What he’s created behind the curtain makes me

    • MB30SD

      Linked content, but almost more fascinating. Her experience having a stroke was amazing to me. Amazing and terrifying. I’d much rather have a heart attack than a stroke.


      • MB30SD

        yeah, mind blown right? Right?

        (yes, pun intended)

      • Willie

        Agree, completely.

        Heart attacks couldn’t touch my grandpa… it was the stroke that got him.

        It fucked me up for a long time.

        Fuck strokes. Fuck The Strokes. Fuck Diff’rent Strokes.

        • MB30SD

          sorry maings. Funny post though.

          Did you watch the vid… it will literally blow your mind. that and she’s an amazing orator.

          • Willie

            Watching it now.

            Are we sure she just didn’t come into contact with some spiked sugar cubes?

            Good to see her recovery has gone so well… Nice Bill Hicks-esque conclusion at the end.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          Strokes are no joke. I once saw a documentary on this guy who suffered one, and it only affected the part of the brain that helps make decisions. The dude could still do any task, like taxes and stuff, but he just couldn’t determine which choices were best. That part of the brain also somehow was connected to memory. He could still remember his wedding and the birth of his children, but he no longer had any feelings connected to those events. Imagine going through your photo album and remembering all the details, but not feelings arise. Spooky shit.

          The psychologist actually recommended that the wife hold a funeral for her husband, even though he was still alive! WTF? Yikes.

          I may have to make a pack with some of you guys when I get older. If I suffer a stroke and no longer receive any joy from a Bear victory, take me out!

      • DaMurph

        MB, its all about severity. I suffered a massive heart attack at age 41 and believe me its no picnic. I know people that had strokes that weren’t debilitating, others massive ones that were. Speaking from experience, there’s some strokes I would have taken over what I had and continue to deal with almost 20 years later. My friend, if massive is in the description, you’d prefer neither!

        • MB30SD

          Agree murph, I was really thinking about anything vs a stroke that makes half your body useless and have to learn to speak, walk, etc… all over again, if at all.

      • SC Dave

        I love TED talks

  • Paul Stuart

    Great article. couldn’t agree more!

  • Waffle

    Great piece Jeff. Just don’t show this to Brandon or else he will be even more pissed that he’s being written off by the NFL honchos.

  • SC Dave

    Perhaps your finest article in all the years I’ve been on this blog. Kudos, Jeff.

    And if by some crazy chance you’re reading Brandon, you make me prouder to be a Bears fan.

  • 505Bears

    Wow…damn interesting points made and good article. Is this the only place the article is running? I am sure there are tons of people who would want to read this article outside of our Bearsblog community.

  • Sactowns#1

    Hey I can comment. And I’m glad i can because it was a great post Jeff. The crazy commitment to ONE cause (breast cancer) by the NFL is so patently transparent. They figured they could double their revenues if they get women to watch football, or at least wear a jersey. So they have a whole month of breast cancer awareness, sell a bunch of pink jerseys and everyone is happy. The fine on B is a disgrace but no more disgraceful than many of the things the NFL has done.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    Some PFF game notes…

    “07.00 – Giants at Bears Game Notes

    – The three highest graded players were Brandon Marshall (+4.3), Corey Wootton (+4.2) and Justin Pugh (+3.9)

    – The three lowest graded players were Julius Peppers (-3.9), Shea McClellin (-3.1) and both Shaun Rogers and Antrel Rolle (-2.8)

    – A change in Jay Cutler. He was pressured on 38.5% of plays
    and didn’t take a single sack. For the season he’s allowed just 9.8% of
    the pressure he has faced turn into sacks. That is way down on the 19.9%
    from last year.

    – Where did it go wrong for Eli Manning? He was only blitzed
    on seven occasions but he took a sack and threw two picks. He’s now
    thrown a pick on 7.5% of the plays he has been blitzed on… compared with
    throwing a pick on non-blitzed plays on just 5%.

    – A victory for father time? Peppers rushed the passer on 22 occasions but generated just one hurry. Justin Tuck rushed the passer 25 times for just three hurries.”


    • DYLbear23

      Quite surprised about Peppers tbh. If I remember correctly, he was being held on a lot of pass plays, although I haven’t rewatched the game yet.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    On the clinical depression, etc, point, this is the way I see it.

    Sadness tends to have a cause. Most emotions tend to have a cause. You get slapped in the face, it’s NATURAL to get angry. You win a pot, it’s natural to get happy. Your dog dies, it’s natural to get sad.

    However, if you’re sad for long periods of time WITHOUT a cause, that’s depression. Sometimes, we all wake up ‘on the wrong side of the bed’, but if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed for months or even years, it might be time to get help. The ’cause’ could be brain chemistry (It might also be subconscious, but that’s what experts have to analyze).

    It’s also important to recognize that there are DEGREES. A psychologist prof. once told me there’s a huge difference between despair, sadness, and melancholy. Despair is feeling utterly hopeless, like the future will be horrible and miserable. This is the most dangerous because this state is when ppl take irrational action like murder/suicide. Sadness/grief tends to have causes, but if it endures, it can transform into clinical depression, which is not totally debilitating, but can really negatively affect a person’s life.

    Melancholy is somewhat ephemeral. It tends not to have causes and seems more like a disposition. Many famous ppl actually have been somewhat melancholy (Lincoln, Kierkegaard, etc). It’s been my experience that the more ‘intellectual’ are somewhat melancholy, but ironically also have a sharp wit and sense of humor. Rodney Dangerfield once said, “I’m depressed, not depressing,” which sort of sums it up (though I believe he might have been more borderline melancholy).

    Anyhow, just my two pesos.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    On a side note, I think ALL crazy ppl should have to wear neon green shoes! (just kidding – sort of?)

    • MB30SD

      then most of my exs would be wearing green choos maing.

      bang! bang!

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        They should be lawfully forced to wear bras that are branded “Cray!” one one boob, and “Cray!” on the other, though by that far in process, how many men would be strong enough to abort the mission?

      • AlbertInTucson

        Just woke up and…hey! Why do I have these neon green shoes on?

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD
    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      The Cubs should sacrifice him and a goat to appease the gods. Cubs, “C’mon on down. We got no animosity (sharpens sacrificial dagger).”

      • Shady

        Yeah, I read that as “The Cubs should sacrifice him to a goat.”

        MB – I always felt bad for Bartman, there were bigger reasons why the Cubs lost that series than that foul ball. Imangine how he felt listening to the WGN broadcast describe what happened while feeling the glare from an entrie stadium of angry fans bearing down on him. Want to get away?

        • MB30SD

          no, I meant he looks like you. HAHAHAHAHAHA…

          Just kidding.

          Oh, and Nov 15th… it’s back OOOOWWN!

    • DaMurph

      Shady is Bartman? WOW1

  • Trac

    Before I post, let me clarify that I strongly agree with Jeff’s position in principle. I agree with a lot of his comments, particularly the Susan Coleman race for the cure farce.

    The question I have is, did Brandon Marshall approach the league at any time to petition them for his cause? Why did he feel the need to crash the “pink party” ? Why couldn’t he have waited for another time when the NFL wasn’t promoting cancer awareness?

    • DYLbear23

      The league still would have said no. Maybe if he sprayed a Nike logo on them he would be allowed.

    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      Not sure if Marshall petitioned the NFL to wear his shoes, but I would think he tried. Marshall is a pretty active active (redundant?).

      I understand the NFL’s stand to a certain extent. It’s really no different than a private school’s stance on uniforms. The whole slippery slope argument, “Well, if we let Marshall wear neon-green shoes for mental illness, then what happens if Cutler wants to wear neon-yellow for the diabutus? Or JarMacus Webb for mental retardation?” Then the NFL will be in the unenviable position of having to decide which uniform “causes” are acceptable, and which aren’t.

      Now, I have little doubt that the NFL didn’t randomly pick breast cancer awareness out of a hat. It was a shrewd move on their part, but then again, aren’t they a BUSINESS? Aren’t they paid to get richer? It’s naive to believe the NFL differs from any other multibillion dollar organization. Call me skeptical, but there’s a reason charities are tax deductible, just like there’s a reason off-shore banks exist.

      • MB30SD
        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          haha love House! the DR, not the music that is.


          Also, thanks for getting us all banned from posting GIFs, jerk.

          P.S. If we had to go out, going out on majestic boobs is the way to go.

          • MB30SD

            I know man… so sorry… so ashamed… actually, not at all ashamed.

            Besides, it’s fucking jokey’s fault, not mine.

          • Trac


          • Jokey

            I need dablog at work or I’d be one depressed (ok just sad) mofo.

          • Cormonster

            Call me a dickhole, but I’m glad no gifs or memes are allowed on the site. I quit other blogs for that reason.

          • MB30SD


    • the NFL is going pink all month, yeah? well, october also happens to be mental health awareness month. so it was either the last game or the game against the skins for marshall to wear green. either way, he would’ve gone up against the pink.

  • DYLbear23

    Jeff, you’ve really outdone yourself this time. Excellent article.

    I hate almost every professional sporting body. Fuck Goodell and the NFL, fuck Septic Bladder and all his cronies at FIFA, fuck all of ’em.

    • Big Mike

      Plus 1000. Jeff this was an excellent piece of journalism. Just excellent.

  • DYLbear23

    Oh and if the NFL put the same amount of effort into calling/refereeing games correctly as they do to enforce wardrobe malfunctions, imagine how much better things would be.

    IIRC, at the Saints game the broadcast showed an NFL official taking notes down on the sidelines pregame amongst the players, telling them if they were dressed acceptably or not (the guy was highlighted when talking to Jennings). What the hell is that? That’s acceptable but when the refs piss all over us against Seattle we get a letter in the mail a week later saying ‘WHOOPS SORRY GUYS’? Bullshit.

    Not really sure where I am going with this, but I just wanted to rant. The politics of sports really gets me going.

  • MB30SD
    • Sactowns#1

      Here here. I would liek to see us rest a few guys in this one and let em go into the bye. I think we can beat the Washington Racists with a few backups on the field… the Fudge, not so much.

      • DaBearsBlog

        I think the Bears need all hands on deck Sunday. Washington will run for 250 if we stay in current form and Peanut might be the best tackler on the team.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          I agree. If the Gmen ran us over, Alf will go off on us. The only reason Alf didn’t explode for more against the Cowboys was because they fell behind, but we have a habit of letting bad teams stick around, which will mean a heavy dose of Alf.

        • Shady

          It’s the gnome code. We’re all infected.

      • DaBearsBlog

        I think the Bears need all hands on deck Sunday. Washington will run for 250 if we stay in current form and Peanut might be the best tackler on the team.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Other than THAT, Blogfather has NO opinion on the NFL and the Mental Health Issue.

  • AlbertInTucson

    And now, word from our sponsor…

    Can’t help but wonder why Roger Goodell,

    His league AWASH in wealth,

    is willing to allow the N F L,

    to look FOOLISH on Mental Health.


  • CanadaBear

    Great post Jeff. I have no issue with the NFL using marketing disguised as philanthropy. That’s been going on forever. Whenever I would bitch about Lance hiding behind the cancer shield people would either get really pissed or write me off as a loon.

  • MB30SD

    nice Jeff

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    My pleasure. RT @LouieCorrea: @dabearsblog I’m the CEO of #TheBrandonMarshallFoundation. Your piece was fantastic. Thanks for writing it.

  • Scharfinator

    You’ve echoed what I’ve been saying about BMarsh since he came out about his diagnosis. He’s an impressive guy.

  • MB30SD

    Few thoughts about this game so far:

    1. In this new league of passing and super-QBs, there’s only ONE thing that can neutralize them… constant pressure. The one fucking thing that we have zero of… Shit man.

    2. I can’t stand listening to chucky. He’s really football knowledgeable, but equally, if not more, annoying.

    3. Rivers is a whiny little bitch. Just STFU and play you big baby

  • NewBearInTown

    Here’s what I would do if I was Goodell.
    1) I would fine Brandon Marshall $5000. I would explain, along the lines of what Butch posted, that if we let every player wear whatever he wants then the concept of “uniform” suffers and the impact of changing the uniform suffers as well. That hurts financial and philanthropic ventures equally.
    2) I would then state that the NFL is extremely supportive of everything Marshall is doing and announce that the proceeds of the fine would be donated to an organization dedicated to fighting for the cause of mental health. That organization: The Brandon Marshall Foundation.
    3) I would then state that it was my (Roger Goodell’s) fault for not speaking to Brandon about this sooner in light of all of the publicity the NFL is generating concerning mental health. I would state that “we as a league are taking steps to increase mental health awareness among our players, but that I personally missed this opportunity.” For that reason I (Goodell) would personally be matching the amount of the fine and commit to meeting with Marshall in the near future so that the league could do something for mental health awareness on a large scale in the future.
    4) I would then start looking for players on other teams to partner with as well so that the league’s eventual effort would be on a larger scale than Marshall’s foundation could create on its own. The goal would be to do something with the green theme in a game late this season or next season.

    • Shady

      Would this be a one time exception for Marshall? If another player wanted to bring attention to his charity by wearing a special shoe would you (as Goodell) say no to them? If you would allow other players to promote charities, how would the league manage the relationships? Who would really come out on top in this initiative?

      And where would the promoting stop? Will it eventually become commercialized? Will we see the Mars Cheese Castle Packers play the Boeing Bears at some point?

      As others have mentioned, the NFL is a business and it’s primary goal is to MAKE THE OWNERS MONEY. Anything short of boosting the bottom line is likely to get a Commisioner fired.

      • MB30SD
      • NewBearInTown

        There’d be no exception. Marshall would get fined. That’s the beauty of this approach.
        I wouldn’t say Goodell should be especially contrite. But this is a way to turn the message very positive and really try to make people think the league cares about mental health.
        And that will save the league a lot more than $5000 if it stops a few concussion suits.

      • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

        Mars makes a Cheese Castle?

  • MB30SD

    tucker better be taking fucking notes tonight about how to get pressure without your main guys in there.

  • Bearsssss

    Fuck Goodell. And the NFL. For many reasons.

    That said, BMarshall has a gajillion dollars, and this fine was an extremely cheap way to get a lot of press and coverage on this issue. Brilliant move, and way worth the fine. GO BEARS.

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    hubba hubba

  • Wow, this is why I read this blog. Great stuff Jeff, two great articles in one read. I do hate all the pink things around the league, it feels very very commercialized and you hit it right on the head. It’s not about breast cancer awareness as much as it’s about trying to get the NFL brand out in front of more people.

    Unfortunately the only way to really stand up against this stuff is with our wallets, and I’m not going to stop paying to watch my Sunday Ticket, so they kind of have me by the balls…whatever color that is. Blue?

  • El Stripo

    Fantastic article with a well thought out, concise and eloquently written point of view, Jeff.

    I know it isn’t part of your main narrative, but I must comment on it; I personally take a lot of offense with the “NFL pink campaign” bullshit. As a female sportsfan breast cancer “survivor” (I cringe at the term survivor in *my* case…there wasn’t much to “survive”) I am offended by the massive annual pink barf tornado when the feelings of people who are catostrophically effected by a terrible disease are exploited for profit.

    My feelings, in short: We don’t *need* your awareness, we *need* your money.

    My feelings, in long: People are not “unaware” of the disease. It’s obvious that the NFL knows exactly what they are doing with this campaign; they are playing the audience’s basic human psyche like a fiddle. This whole campaign allows the viewer to “participate” while doing the least amount of work possible. As humans, we want to be rewarded for good behavior, and why not make that “good behavior” the easiest thing to do possible? “Man, I’m glad I’m watching this football game that I probably would’ve been watching anyway, but the mere fact that I’m watching is raising awareness. Yay me, I’m a good person.”

    On top of that, this pink awareness barffest is offensive to the point where it’s laughable. Everything in the fucking place is pink. Pink hats, pink socks, pink flags, pink towels, pink helmets, pink butts, pink ball, pink scrimmage line, pink puke. It’s embarrassing when an announcer has trouble announcing a call when he can’t figure out what flag was thrown because they’re all fucking pink. But it doesn’t matter if we look like idiots, guys! We’re RAISING AWARENESS. And you can raise awareness too, for just 34.95; you get a pink Jets hat! Show all your friends that you’re “doing your part”. Especially that missus across the way with her brand new SUV.

    I mean, really…who doesn’t like a good old bandwagon? We’re all on the good side, after all! It’s usually difficult to fight a bandwagon (see also: Hitler’s third reich, that whole Steubenville ‘thing’, 9/11 9/11 9/11 nine eleven 9/11), especially when it involves football in this country. But it’s cringe worthy when the bandwagon becomes a mutated alien of itself, completely missing the point while focusing *so hard* on how to showcase exactly how much the NFL “cares”.

    I digress. Essentially, Mr. NFL, you are correct; breast cancer blows. Hard. Why not pay those smart scientists or those good doctors more than a fraction of a percent of your yearly earnings to find a cure for the disease that effects 1 in every 8 women we know. We’ll all still watch.

    Besides, I don’t know why the NFL has to remind women to get breast exams at all; I can’t turn on a football game without wondering how many players on the field have, at some point in their anointed athlete youth, creepily groped a woman’s breasts. Oh yeah, I think as Ben Roethlisberger drops back to pass, mammograms.

  • FQD1911

    this is probably the best post you’ve made since i’ve read this blog (if not best, top 3). as Perno said, these articles are the reason I read this blog over anything else.
    #BearDown and keep up the good work!

  • DSupreme

    Great article Jeff! It’s pretty disgusting that the NFL is still sweeping the many named issues under the rug and treating them like they could care less.

    • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

      couldn’t care less.

      I you could care less, that means you somewhat cared.

      • johnnywad

        I’ve made a career of this statement. Its my pet peeve.

  • Doc Nitty

    Dude, Jeff. That had to be your crown jewel of blog writing achievement. I mean, seriously dude. Very very impressed. I clicked on one of the articles you mentioned, and noticed this peach of a JC insult:

    ” Maybe the NFL thinks it must penalize Marshall’s green-cleat advocacy
    for fear of where it could lead: Matt Forte might don fiery red shoes to
    heighten awareness of global warming, or Cutler could wear yellow
    cleats to call attention to his favorite fruit, the lemon. ”


  • DaBearsBlog

    Thanks to everybody for kind words on the column. I’ll be posting a few thoughtful responses tomorrow.

  • Pingback: Report: NFL rebuffs Marshall's efforts at raising awareness on mental illness | Zoneblitz.comZoneblitz.com()

  • Irish Sweetness

    I think there should be less money spent on awareness or whatever, and more spent on getting medication to those who can’t afford it. That’s affecting real change.

    I’ve lived with Bipolar since forever. When I was younger I didn’t want the drugs, treatment or even to talk about it. Taking SSRIs (prozac) was more likely going to kill you than save you. Now that I’m older and they have drugs that can actually help – SNRIs like Efexor (which actually re-balance your Serotonin and Norepinephrine) – I can’t afford them, or the specialists that prescribe them (whom you have to visit every month).

    Big organizations want to help? Easy. Make drugs available to those that can’t afford them.

    • I agree that lack of drug affordability is a big thing-and it goes back to big pharma being about making $$ over helping people-but in this case awareness is a big issue too.

      For some reason there is still a large social stigma around mental illnesses that prevents some people from getting help. They think it makes them weak, a bad person, less of a man, etc. Or they are simply ashamed of it and try to hide it because they think it’s something to be ashamed of.

      Marshall’s work-and being so open and forthcoming about what he’s dealing with to the public-goes a long way towards helping erase some of that so people are willing to admit they have a disease and seek help. And that is an awesome thing.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Oh it was absolutely a no-no to talk about mental illness/conditions back when I was teenager. “Pull yourself together”, “Snap out of it.”, “Be a man.”

        Has it changed much though? Certainly in this part of Asia it’s not addressed, whatsoever. In the states they may even be over-compensating. Somebody’s going through a difficult time? Hey, I’ll prescribe you Prozac or Lithium or some form of anti-depressant that you can’t ever come off (or you’ll have real problems, that’s where the suicides happen). Kids playing up? Dope them. Doctors have a huge responsibility in this area, and unfortunately they seem to be nothing more than legalized drug-pushers for the Pharmas.

        Got cancer? Try finding a doctor in the west who’ll push you anywhere other than the route of Chemo/radiation. Question : how can the body fight cancer (which it’s capable of doing, we have cancer cells in our bodies at all times) when its immune system has been blitzed by chemo? Chinese herbal treatments are the way to go IMO, but that’s viewed as witch doctor territory by the western medical practitioners who would rather extend your life so that you can live out your last days in misery and pay them thousands of dollars on drugs that make you feel like shit. We’ve all had family members go through that.

    • Big Mike

      Irish my daughter is bi-polar. The challenges we have faced have given me a new perspective on any number of things. The expenses associated with getting the right treatment and chemicals have been significant. But they pale in comparison to the struggles we had before she was diagnosed. Awareness on my part would have helped tremendously. It would have helped get her meds and treatment right sooner, but it would have also prevented us from leading her downn a life path (sending her away to college) that is a huge trigger for bipolar cycling between mania and depression. The stress of adapting to college life triggered a crippling depression and plan to commit suicide. Had Brandon worn green shoes about 6 years earlier, it is highly likely that my daughters situation would have been much better. Fast forward she’s adjusting to life as an adult. Living independently, supporting her self and working towards an associates degree. She likes to say she is working in her “bachelors old life” degree

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

    FRONTLINE won a Peabody for the documentary on the NFL and concussions in April.

    Good job, Frontline.

    Here’s a tv piece on a 49ers linebacker living under a bridge after suffering from multiple concussions.


    What color shoe is it for concussion awareness by the way?

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah
  • Irish Sweetness

    My favorite Bear signs his extension and gives up a million dollars. Good for you Brandon.

    • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

      What’s going on in your neighborhood? Martial Law?

      Are you teaching those kids over there monetary theory again?

      • MB30SD

        yeah man, that place is the wackiest fucking joint. strange shit.

      • Irish Sweetness

        They don’t get democracy here. I had to find out we were under martial law by watching Korean TV. SMH.

        They were handed democracy on a plate – they never had to fight for it, so it never really sank in. You have to accept the majority vote. Whoever gets into power here, the other side bitch and moan and protest until the country (well, Bangkok anyway) grinds to a halt. The military have to front up and take over, do the elections again … and then it all kicks off after about 6 or 7 years.

        I’m glad the army are in power again – there were ridiculous sights of armed, drunk, masked protestors walking around shopping malls as if they owned the place with grenades hanging off them. BKK was basically closed down in places for about 9 months because of these idiots. It’s like Somalia with skyscrapers.

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

    Now here’s a little 69 to cheer your day


    • MB30SD

      loves me some 69 in the mo’nin

    • MichiganBearFan

      I’m still not quite at ease with this picture. It’s like watching this:

      Yes, you are welcome. You needed this Dan.

      • MB30SD


        • MichiganBearFan

          GWAR has been like that since my high school class of 89. Radio Disney versions of death metal make me giggle.

    • Irish Sweetness
  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah
    • MB30SD

      holy shit. That’s just absurd.

      Dodgy fucking russians

    • SC Dave

      So, is Elena good looking? Maybe I should consider a play…

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

    And I thought I swam with sharks…

    • MB30SD

      Dude, that thing is NOT just curious. He’s lucky he had the industrial strength fucking speargun.

      Massive, its fucking remora was like 3′ long.

  • Shady

    What ever happened to DYL anyway?

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

    McMahon, Van Horne and Dent file a lawsuit today against the NFL. Jeff, maybe this is something you should tackle.


    Van Horne says he played an entire season on a broken leg and was in severe pain throughout it.

    • I like your new handle. Cockrings for everyone! Oh wait, have you been good, Timmy? “Why, yes I have!” Oh, then no cock-ring for you.

    • tobijohn

      I wonder if that was the year he was chasing after one of my sisters. He never did catch her…

    • Trac

      Good post GP. I think for most of us older fans, we realize more and more every day how flawed the NFL was and is. The veil is slowly being pulled away and it’s becoming harder and harder to love the game. Sports is a diversion, a great escape. As the realities of the destructive side effects of the NFL become more and more self evident, the lawyers will do what we as fans have turned a blind eye to and have failed to do.

  • MB30SD

    Oh hell yes!


    GP, you first. I’ll get one once we exit in a couple years (fingers crossed)

    • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah

      I’m George Jetson, bitch!

  • MB30SD
    • I read that more like “khhhaaannn!!!”
      Bucs are going to be interesting. I do like their draft picks, Evans, Sefarin and Sims (aka Forte-light).
      But they’re in a division with the Panthers/Saints. It’ll be tough sledding the first year.
      I predict an all too early 8-8 season over there, in typical Lovie fashion. If they indeed find out that the Stork is a franchise QB and they continue to build like this offseason, then they’ll be more competitive next year.

      • MB30SD

        Here you go, here are lovie’s next 5 years:

        11-5, first round exit (WHOO HOOO!!! Lovie is our savior!!!!)

        Thank god that shitweasle is someone else’ problem now.

        • SC Dave

          I’m thinking
          12-4 loss at home in NFC championship to division rival (Carolina?)
          10-6 first round loss

          and downhill from there.

          • MB30SD

            quite possible dave my maings, but I’d consider that a pretty successful early run for him. If saints and carolina stay strong and atl comes back this year (which they almost have to), old stargazer might have a pretty tough go of it.

            That said I wish him the bes…. BAAAHAHAHAHA… sorry, couldn’t finish. No I don’t. I hope he crashes and burns. He’s a cancer for an org.

            Jeff and i agree on one thing:

            DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
            Being told by Lovie you’re his quarterback is the positional kiss of death.

        • Sactowns#1

          Who knew we would be longing for the days of mediocrity?

          • MB30SD

            fuck that. I’d rather have what we have now maings. We KNOW we’re going to suck.

            The constant roller coaster is what gets me. build up hope with a string of wins just to have a soul crushing 5 TO game and get rolled by 40. Fuck that.

  • gpldan waiting 4 Funukkah
  • Barb UMihai Mar

    I had no doubt Emery would lock Marshall before training camp. Great stuff doing all this without the Peppers post June cap save.

    • SC Dave

      Maybe that was part of the process, although no doubt Marshall’s agent knew better.

    • Irish JR!

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        My best friend lives in Ireland.

  • MB30SD

    Are you fucking kidding me?!?!!


    Rodge, what in THEE fuck are you doing dude?!? San Diego motherfucker… San Dfuckingiego!!!! Or miami.

    • Shady

      I’ve heard the stadium in SD is a complete shithole. Not surprised Minny win out over NO. If you build it, Rodge will come.

      • burntorangenavyblue

        Yeah, I don’t see who in the hell would want to go to Minneapolis in the wee weeks of Feb. I was listening to one of the chicago sports radio today and they mentioned that despite the cold weather of Chicago, there is STUFF to do and enjoy there for the whole week that the SB is in town. They said that although Indy got lucky w/ the weather and ppl were nice there, there wasn’t much to do. What can you do in Minneapolis for a week in early Feb?!? No offense to anyone from or who live in Minnesota, sorry.

        • Irish Sweetness

          We could go ice-fishin’ … yah ….. ice-fishin’.

      • MB30SD

        It’s not great, but not dogshit. But here’s the thing. .. IT’S IN SAN DIEGO.

  • MB30SD

    (Warning: SOCCER post) this is interesting: http://soccer.si.com/2014/05/20/world-cup-usa-usmnt-player-bonuses-money-ussf/

    Sorry, I am going to keep posting interesting soccer stuff since there are a couple fans (dave, Data?, $ a little, etc…) besides me.

    • Shady

      The World Cup would be more exciting for me if it didn’t involve soccer.

      • burntorangenavyblue

        how about Two Girls and a World Cup? ok, I’ll walk myself out…

        • Irish Sweetness


          Hot fudge sundae.

      • Cormonster

        The Stanley Cup is WAY more important.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Best competition on the planet and it’s not even close. The Stanley Cup is fantastic stuff.

    • I wouldn’t call myself a full-fledged soccer fan, but I watch World Cup for sure, and most US qualifying.

      I appreciate high-quality international soccer, I just don’t make an effort to follow the sport a ton.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      You can put me in. I’m without doubt what you would call a soccer expert.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Romania has a special place in the hearts of the Irish.

        Daniel Timoftei is a legendary name in Ireland. As is David O’ Leary – the fullback who put one past him to put us through to the quarter finals of the 1990 World Cup against Italy. Toto Schillaci is also a legendary name in Ireland. He is a jammy cunt and nobody will ever buy him a drink in Ireland if he’s stupid enough to ever go there.

        Heady days.

        Then in 2002 Ireland go to Saipan. Roy Keane calls the training facilities sub-par, calls the coach a wanker …. and gets sent home. The best player we’ve ever had .. .and he doesn’t kick a fucking ball. Nice one Mick. Lost on penos to Spain to get to the quarter finals.

        Mick McCarthy is also a legendary name in Ireland.

        And he’s a wanker.

        As usual, in the absence of the Emerald Isle …. come on Argentina !


        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Fuck Argentina… they didn’t draft Tevez for this World Cup. They opted for pussies like Higuain and Aguero. They will not win this Cup. I’m going to ‘cheer’ for Chile and France, because they have Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba. Also they play 2 brands of soccer I enjoy the most.

      • Irish Sweetness

        If you yankee pigskin-lovers haven’t heard the name Gheorge Hagi, it’s because he’s Romanian, and nobody gives a fuck about Romanians.

        We were lucky to beat a team with him on it. He was amazing. Any angle, any distance. Bang.

        The Great Gheorge Hagi

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          He has good, but had problems running and was not elite because he didn’t have the mentality to be one.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Why the fuck am I looking at a three year old post?

  • Jokey

    Don’t read the blog before coffee – took me 5 minutes to realize these comments were from 2014

    • I miss Barb.

      • MB30SD

        Hahaha… Yes, he has good!

        • MB30SD

          Btw, everything on down is from 2013 as jokey mentioned.

          • CanadaBear

            Bless you!

      • Irish Sweetness

        He gaveth not a fuck.

        Come back Barb.

  • BearDown100393

    A post about an ancient post of a former player with comments from people I don’t know that are 2 years old.

    I need a coffee refill.

    Bears beat 49ers. 7-9. Playoffs.

    • CanadaBear

      When you start recycling posts it means the dog ate your homework!

  • Huge Bears Penis

    I woke up this morning hearing Stephen A Smith yelling from my TV. I understand now how someone can be so pissed off they want to shoot someone. This may be the way ISIS starts radicalizing their followers to hate the U.S.

    • MB30SD

      You should try one of Trump’s address the nation speeches… Or just watch an old The Apprentice episode

      • CanadaBear

        Thanks, but no thanks.

    • willbest

      They aren’t progs. They don’t get triggered by words. It’s the bombing of munitions depots in hospitals that gives them the photo ops they need.

      • Huge Bears Penis

        Nope! You are wrong! It’s Stephen A. Smith. He caused the proliferation of ISIS.

        • beninnorcal

          Best ever, future HOF’er

  • Irish Sweetness

    It was good to touch base with Barb again. I miss Barb.

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