Sportress of Blogitude

NFLPA to launch app to help prevent league’s players from driving drunk


According to a report in The New York Times, the NFLPA has partnered with technology firm Uber to create a smartphone app that assists users who are looking for a taxi or car service.

The service is available in over half of NFL cities and it will complement what already is offered to players by the NFLPA: A phone number which allows them to hail a ride.

But with GPS that allows the service to pinpoint the location of the player without needing him to know his exact address, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith feels the app may be more attractive to players.

“This generation is more tied to having a mobile device,” said DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the players association, who has used Uber for more than a year. “If we can move to a world where we are using the phenomenon to increase the safety of our players, then the partnership with Uber is a no-brainer.”

While the partnership with the NFL is new, Uber previously has partnered with other pro sports and athletes, including the San Francisco Giants and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Said Travis Kalanick, an Uber co-founder and the chief executive: “We’re working to educate city governments that this reduces drunk driving and gets people out of their cars.”

“Sometimes, pro players’ lives are unscheduled, and that’s where Uber can be helpful.”

Indeed. And while it is unclear how many players actually will utilize the device, we can all thank Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for breaking it all down in for us simpletons by summarizing the Times’ article so succinctly and simplistically that even someone who has just drank a case of beer could understand his mind-blowing analysis.

I can see him now, turning his chair around, to show NFL players that he’s hip, and then engaging in a good old fashioned rap session with them by dropping this knowledge on them like he is a D.A.R.E. counselor and they’re middle schoolers:

There’s still no guarantee players will use it, for a variety of reasons.  Most importantly, the impairment to brain function resulting from alcohol consumption tends to result in all sorts of bad decisions being made.

That’s why the better approach, for players and non-players, will be to drink more than one or two alcoholic beverages only under circumstances where firm plans for getting home already have been made — or when the player already is home, with no plans to leave.

So, wait. Alcohol impairs brain function? Could’ve fooled me.

Wait … what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Mike Florio says, “Think when you drink. Drunk driving is bad, mmmkay?”

Further, follow Florio’s sage advice, players. Listen up: Have a sober driver and only drink one, maybe two alcoholic beverages, but only if you have firm plans to get home safely. Or when a player already is at home. Then, a player can bump up that alcohol consumption to maybe three, possibly four drinks. But that’s it.

All kidding aside, drunk driving is a nationwide epidemic, has ruined countless lives and remainsa significant public health and safety issue, but the way in which Florio goes about breaking it down is so hackneyed it borders on the absurd. What a doofus.