by Mike Livingston; Host, The Clubhouse Radio Show

As the NFL playoffs set to begin we look back at what has been an interesting year both on and off the field for America’s favorite sport. Mired in the off-field controversy of the New Orleans Saints so-called “Bounty-Gate” scandal and its’ subsequent fall-out, the league as a whole has undergone an entire makeover in terms of public perception. This, both by the way in which newer Commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen to handle disciplinary cases in the last two years, the New Orleans case in particular being seen as the pinnacle of judicial power exercised as year-long suspensions have been levied, but with the magnitude and regularity of other fines and suspensions to players for infractions previously handled either much more leniently or cited at all.
Although there seems to be an overt ulterior motive on the part of the league to create an entertainment behemoth while at the same time the presence or appearance of a safe environment in an otherwise violent atmosphere, could there severity of the change in the past several years being going overboard? It seems clear that with the continuing individual lawsuits lodged by former players claiming long-term damage and the always-looming threat of a class-action suit by a group of players with similar claims, the effort to “clean up the game” has to be made paramount, at least the impression that it is a priority for the sake of the foreseen future of the part of the league’s risk management personnel.
On the field, the season has proven to be one the best in many years. Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Colin Kappernick, Nick Foles, Steven Ridley, Kirk Cousins all started and performed well as rookies making 2012 perhaps the best rookie quarterback class of all-time. For the first time ever we have TWO legitimate candidates for both the MVP AND Comeback Player of the Year awards in Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. Both have been great stories and both have been great for their teams and cities.
Parody continues to exist in the league where any team can beat any team on any given Sunday which continues to play out week in and week out. That said, look at the turnaround of some of the teams this year. Washington and Indianapolis top the list with Indy winning only 2 games last year and poised to win their division and close with 9 or 10 wins this season, scaring anyone they may face in the playoffs. Washington should slip in and with what Robert Griffin III has done in D.C., the franchise and their fan base can only call it “amazing”.
The playoffs start now and to keep in touch with everything in the world of pro football, the big news in local sports talk radio continues to be “The Clubhouse with Mike Livingston” radio show on KNEWS 94.3 FM, Saturdays mornings from 6 – 8 a.m. Tune in and get your fix each week! Join me as we talk sports here in the valley and across the globe! The Clubhouse, Saturday mornings from on KNEWS 94.3 FM……
Mike Livingston is the Host of The Clubhouse Radio Show on KNEWS 94.3 FM on Saturday Mornings from 6:00-8:00 a.m.; Additionally, Mike is the Director of Management for Personalized Property Management Company, in Cathedral City.

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