AP — NFL viewers sat in stunned disbelief last night as they watched players pointing at each other and exchanging words during the Patriots – Texans game featured on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
“It saddens me — and really, ALL of us,” said NBC announcer Al Michaels, “to see two teams of men, who are trying their best to dismember each other, using rude gestures and hurtful words.” Added fellow commentator Cris Collinsworth, “If I could switch over to ‘Masterpiece Classic’ right now, Al, I would.”
Patriots QB Tom Brady was unapologetic. “Yes, I did point at them,” he admitted. “And I don’t regret it at all. The Texans weren’t being very nice. One of them even used the D-word” — referring either to the Deflategate scandal or Brady’s less-well-known dandruff issues.
Texans star J.J. Watt, who was involved in an altercation with Patriots receiver Danny Amendola that actually led to shoves, refused to reveal what Amendola said to him during the dust-up. “Let’s just say that it hurt me more than when I slammed my broken hand into LeGarrette Blount’s kidney,” Watt related.
The NFL acknowledged that this was not the first time that players had said unkind things to each other during a game this season. “We are aware of the problem and are doing everything we can to address it,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Rest assured, our primary focus is always to protect the feelings of our players. There’s no reason you can’t dislocate someone’s shoulder and remain respectful about it.”
NBC announced that, in the future, it would make every effort to show only the physical violence of the games, plus some hot cheerleaders.