Thursday, January 29, 2015

Positive spin (or in this case -- positive spiral)

Hi, this is the NFL. We’re the professional sports league that brings you the Super Bowl!

The Patriots won the AFC Championship supposedly with under-inflated footballs. (As a result they beat Indianapolis 45-7 instead of 45-14.)

Football has become America’s favorite sport thanks to us and our leadership.

The Cowboys eliminated Detroit from the playoffs essentially thanks to one of the worst calls in history. And then it was discovered that the head of officiating had been on the Cowboys’ party bus.

We here at the NFL take great pride in presenting a product we can all be proud of.

An NFL player clocked his wife in an elevator, all captured by video, and the incident completely mishandled by the commissioner. The player ultimately was given a two game suspension.

Our players are role models for society.

Another player, (from the Carolina Panthers) was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and received no punishment from his team or the league.

We sponsor charities because, well… we care about our communities.

An NFL quarterback served time for torturing animals but then returned to the league and was welcomed with open arms.

We at the NFL reward leadership.

A pro-bowler and former MVP of a Super Bowl was involved in stabbing two men. 

The mission of Player Engagement is to optimize and revolutionize the personal and professional growth of football players through continuous guidance and support before, during and beyond their NFL experience.

In 2007 17 Minnesota Vikings were accused of throwing a sex party on a boat and doing things with dildos that usually require consent. 

Our goal is to serve and assist as a resource for parents, coaches and athletes in using football as a catalyst to build and develop life skills for success.

There have been 715 arrests of NFL players since 2000 – 85 for domestic violence.

NFL Life provides current NFL players with personal and professional development resources, while supporting and educating players’ families to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by their NFL experience.

The 2006 Cincinnati Bengals were in double-digits in player arrests. But in fairness, they haven’t had more than four a year since.

Above all else, we at the NFL promote good sportsmanship.

In 2012 the New Orleans Saints had a “bounty” system, cash bonuses for injuring opposing players.

So we hope you’ll enjoy this Sunday’s Super Bowl. On behalf of the altruistic owners, model citizen players, and hard working PR staff, we at the NFL will continue to dedicate ourselves to providing you with a product worthy of your allegiance and trust.   (Hey, what are the chances we can get Janet Jackson to do the halftime show again?)


MikeK.Pa. said...

Omitted was the New England Patriots video taping other teams's signals which likely was a factor in their Super Bowl wins over the Panthers and Eagles - both by a TD or less. Funny they haven't won a Super Bowl since they were caught camera in hand.

I used to think Bud Selig was the worst head of a major sports league (not including FIFA, just US sports), but Roger Goodell has had the worst year since Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa et. al were hauled before Congress.

Stoney said...

Getting in touch with your inner Will MacAvoy are we?

Mike Botula said...

You really have a knack for putting things in perspective, Ken. And, to think, I passed up on an opportunity to buy into this year's Superbowl pool.

Anonymous said...

HEY!!! Careful, you might get them to lose their tax free status with the IRS. No reason why a billion dollar industry should be taxed.

DrBOP said...

Ken, check out the cover of the current issue of Mad Magazine.....

....and specific NFL satire inside is a poster for a film titled "GoodellFellas"....sadly hilarious.

(And the Rockwell-inspired Militarization of the Police poster is freakin' priceless!)

Oat Willie said...

Support the NFL. The drug-testing industry needs your unquestioning faith that congress can legitimately prosecute people for having dirty piss.

Peter Zucker said...

Hey, if Katy Perry will step up and take Janet Jackson's place and perform the same act, I'm all for it.

Football nerd said...

The under-inflated balls were when the Patriots were on offense, not defense...would have changed the score to 38-7, not 45-14

Mike said...

700 arrests in 14 years, is about 50 a year, or 1.5 arrests per team of over 50 players. Less than the national arrest rate for that age group.

Mike Barer said...

After all of that, Marshawn Lynch find 100,000 for doing what Michael Jackson did at a Super Bowl half time show.

Hamid said...

People who abuse animals should be locked up for life. Animal abuse absolutely fucking sickens me.

On a lighter note, don't lots of people tune in to Super Bowl just to watch the spots for the summer blockbusters?

By the way, Ken, as you often publicise writing contests for those who are interested, I came across one I thought would be of interest to others here in case you want to do a post on it too with your opinions.

Bill Jones said...

I'm no NFL apologist, but the litigator in me feels compelled to point out several inaccuracies/misstatements in your post:

(1) In the Ray Rice incident, an independent investigation revealed that the NFL had not, in fact, received the second (far more terrible) video when it first imposed the two-game suspension. After it did, it suspended Rice indefinitely. That suspension was overturned by an arbitrator after an appeal by Rice. So, not really the NFL's fault. Also, no NFL team has re-signed Rice.

(2) The Carolina Panthers player, Greg Hardy, was deactivated by his team for the entire 2014 season. Also, under the law of the State where he was tried (North Carolina), he's not convicted of anything until all appeals are exhausted.

(3) Michael Vick was welcomed back with "open arms"? You must have read different media coverage than I did. He was roundly booed and protested. Not to mention, since his return, he's been a pretty model citizen, which is sort of the whole point of serving your time in prison.

(4) Ray Lewis was "involved" in the stabbing of two men to the extent that he was there when it happened. He actually agreed to testify against the two main suspects, who ended up being acquitted. Oh, and he was fined a quarter-million bucks by the NFL.

(5) As commenter Mike points out, 715 arrests in 15 years is not statistically significant for that age or demographic group. Yes, that one Bengals team was a train wreck (largely due to a few problem players), and everyone involved was either fired or not re-signed.

(6) Yes, the Saints supposedly had a "bounty" system (although the details were always rather vague). And the NFL suspended the Saints coach and defensive coordinator, plus several players, out for up to a year. It actually completely ruined one of the Saints' seasons, if not halted all the momentum they had made as a franchise in the preceding years. Seems pretty harsh to me.

It's always easy to cherry-pick several incidents and try to weave a broad narrative out of them. Unfortunately, the facts often get in the way of a good story.

Mike Barer said...

On a positive note, the NFL salary cap, allows more competition. That is opposed to baseball where there is little revenue sharing and little chance for small market teams to be competitive.

willieb said...

Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's take big guys, make them bigger and more aggressive with drugs, reward that aggressiveness with applause and money, then act really surprised when they beat and kill people!

Frank said...

I like how the NFL is constantly suspending players for marijuana violations when the team doctors are pumping up the rest of team with dangerous pharmaceuticals and banned steroids.

Bruce said...

Totally agree - For how much the NFL cares about spin, they sure have been terrible at it this year. I thought this was a (similar) funny take on it, too:

ScottyB said...

Nothing whatsoever to do with the NFL, but still, everything to do with this really-bitchin' Ken serves up every day for us:

All TV Shows Are The Same:

Anonymous said...

People are upset about the marijuana suspensions, but I think there is something strange when California decides to decriminalize marijuana in practice, but then cracks down on e-cigarettes.

Breadbaker said...

@Bill Jones, that's an interesting spin on the Ray Rice situation. There was no "independent investigation"; there was an investigation paid for and supervised by the NFL.

The only "independent" person to weigh in on it was the arbitrator, who found that it didn't matter if the NFL had seen the tape. They had all the information on the tape from Ray Rice's own truthful and against his own interest statements directly to the commissioner. The only difference was the visual impact. So the extra discipline was overturned.

Anonymous said...

Come on! The NFL is doing a great job defending the integrety of the game. They just fined Lynch for wearing an unortherized hat.

Cap'n Bob said...

If the woman Ray Rice cold-cocked subsequently married him, I'm not going to worry about the incident.

Corrupt officials? See the Seahawks-Stealers Superbowl. There's no way this game was fairly called.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah, let's look at baseball, basketball, blue collar workers white collar workers, religious leaders. They all have skeletons in there closets some are more public than others. Why not bring race into the matter in other words we do not live in a perfect world! Heck I bet there are bad people who are reporters or post blogs. He who cast stones!

Dave denton said...

Dave Denton

Bill Jones said...

@Breadbaker: "There was no 'independent investigation'; there was an investigation paid for and supervised by the NFL."

The investigation was under taken by the former director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, and a team of lawyers at one of the nation's most prestigious law firms (WilmerHale). If you are seriously implying that such individuals would risk their personal and professional reputations by ignoring or mischaracterizing evidence because it was problematic to their client, please get in line with the moon hoax proponents, anti-vaccine activists, and other conspiracy theorists. There's a reason why every major media outlet also described the investigation as "independent" (but maybe they're in on it too!).

Diane D. said...

ScottyB, I don't know what that was, but it was hilarious. That's why I love this blog.