Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/21/12

"So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you.

And so will I...now if you're going to play in the gorge unsupervised while I sit here on my rock, Simba, at least brush your fur."

Mufasa died with that attitude. Roger Goodell better hope he's not connected to the great Circle of Life.

Our beloved James Earl Jones of the National Football League has had a lot to balance from the top of the food chain recently.

There's the wavering suspensions and propagated meetings with players from the Elephant Graveyard that is New Orleans.

Then we have these out-of-town zebras poisoning the water hole, with unconvincing calls and disrupted on-field conduct to show for it.

Top that off with the constant crisis of concussions, and the safety and integrity of this league is getting wildly out of wing.

Why is it, then, that a considerable amount of time and effort is being served towards uniform infractions?

You would think that by attempting to fine Alex Smith for wearing a San Francisco Giants cap the other day, either fans would falsely confuse him with Tim Lincecum (the horror) or that he had placed a bounty on his own head.

More importantly, with the well-being of our antelope and antagonizing rams in jeopardy, why are these zebras still drinking from the watering hole?! No wonder the NHL lockout is garnering zero attention.

Goodell warned his 34...ahem, 32 teams about the possible repercussions if such behavior we witnessed last week continues in the future, from coaches disputing penalties to Josh Morgan's retaliation and Cortland Finnegan getting away with it again. We're left waiting, however, for his cream-filled caveat to the replacement referees.

The original stripes weren't perfect. No matter what, there will always be human error, and we have yet to suffer a concrete last-second "Ed Hochuli" decision determining a result of a contest this season.

Of course, 2012 appears long overdue for one, and the loyal supporters of Goodell's brand are surely working on their roar.

First quarters are taking too long. Pass interferences are being abused. Flow is choppy and some good calls are being ignored for bad ones. Correct calls are made but then retracted due to the peer pressure of the home crowds predictable booing. Articulation is despicable. This is just a handful of morning reports.

Again, the new stripes didn't send Brian Orakpo to injured reserve, and the Arizona Cardinals aren't wrongly 2-0. Confidence has simply failed to be instilled when it comes to doing their job and handling an NFL game, and THAT'S when athletes feel at risk and couch potatoes become irate.

Focus, fortitude, and facility - that's all we ask for, from the bottom to the top of the food chain. Commissioner Goodell's healthy strides towards off-field discipline and protection on kick returns are being shadowed by contradictions, irresolution, and questionable prioritization.

There's more to being a king than getting your way all the time. Put down the Europe brochure and have a talk with both sets of referees if it means the physical, mental, and emotional ease of those affected by it.

What's more, the Italian Trojan has to factor in a potential brawl pushing Billy Cundiff out of field goal range when he makes his picks. I'm surrounded by idiots.

Last week: 11-5

Overall: 20-12

Yesterday (TNF): Giants over Panthers - Neither Cam Newton nor the reserve refs were big enough to slow down Eli Manning and the road-loving reserve G-Men, so add another win to my record.

Game of the Week (1-1): Eagles over Cardinals - These hornbills are a collective 4-0 with a combined +8 point differential, but...give me Michael Vick over Kevin Kolb in the concluding moments...no, not Zazu!

Survivor Pick (2-0): 49ers over Vikings - If San Francisco loses, I'll eat both mine and Smith's hats.

Upset Special (2-0): Dolphins over Jets - I envisioned Mark Sanchez going 1-3 before being benched for Timon Tebow, and I have my own integrity to uphold.

Others: Bears over Rams

JW: But, Jay Cutler, don't we eat the antelope?

JC: Yes, J'Marcus Webb.

Bengals over Redskins - As fired up as Nike's RG3 is, defensive injuries are piling up before facing the fiery Andy Dalton.

Saints over Chiefs - The Superdome is scheduled for an explosion of points, and we may never see Matt Cassel again...

Bills over Browns - Rookies Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden improved their play, but Mario Williams has a cereal named after him, so expect Cleveland's milk to be Spillered.

Buccaneers over Cowboys - Kneel-downs should not be banned, Jerry Jones, and these peaking Bucs are youthful enough to wipe your...glasses.

Lions over Titans - Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson - be prepared for Ndamukong Suh and Detroit's defense in their rendition of the Cell Block Tango.

Colts over Jaguars - Jacksonville has been caught sleeping in the jungle so far - can you feel the Luck tonight?

Falcons over Chargers - In another undefeated climax and San Diego's first true test of the season, Dirty Ol' Atlanta will have them hippity hopping all the way to the birdie boiler.

Texans over Broncos - Pencil in a sack of Peyton Manning and a year-long ban to be revoked later for J.J. Watt.

Steelers over Raiders - Oakland laughs in the face of danger and penalties, but Pittsburgh will have them pinned again in the fourth quarter.

SNF: Ravens over Patriots - Between tough Week 2 losses for each franchise and Bill "Monkey's Uncle" Belichick's mishandling of Wes Welker, talk about your fixer-upper, but Baltimore has had this matchup premeditated and circled since January.

MNF: Packers over Seahawks - The mane event of Clay Matthews looks to keep up the pressure against Russell Wilson and the scandalous Pete Carroll.

In case no one has noticed by now, I saw The Lion King on Broadway this past week. That's where Roger Goodell found these zebras, but Hakuna Matata, right?



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