Football is America’s pastime. That’s the reality of things and anyone who says that it’s baseball is mistaken. Look at the ratings and the number of viewers for each game, the attendance and the merchandise sales, and you will easily see that baseball is no longer the main game in the United States.
With that growth the NFL has seen plenty of bad come with it. That’s what happens when the money generated keeps growing by the year. The more money that comes in, the more things companies try to hide. The NFL may be one of the worst offenders of this practice. It may be because each week they are live in our living rooms across the country and the press coverage is non-stop during the season. That makes it hard not to see what’s going on.
No company wants to see its revenue go down after a successful year. So they take whatever measures they have to so that they can make sure it remains the same or increases. The NFL is a genius at that, but the world is catching on.
The money intake has gotten so large for them that the greed has matched it step for step. There is no way the league wants to lose the more than ten billion dollars they have coming in right now. So they take measures that they hope the world doesn’t notice, to keep that money coming in. Unfortunately for them, we are indeed starting to take notice.
15. The “portion” of charity sales for breast cancer research is extremely small
Anytime you watch an NFL game during the month of October you see plenty of pink on the field. They make a huge deal in saying that they are celebrating breast cancer awareness month. Everywhere you look you see pink. They sell everything that is pink and used during games. They say that a portion of all these sales are given to breast cancer research. They aren’t lying, but it isn’t as high as they want you to believe it is. What they actually give is ten percent.
14. The “portion” of charity sales for regular cancer research is even smaller
Breast cancer isn’t the only type of cancer that the NFL says they donate to. Again, they do donate, just not what they make you think they do. Anything else they sell under the premise of donating a portion of the proceeds to charity goes like this: they “donate 90% of all merchandise royalties to the American Cancer Society.” That sounds good doesn’t it?
Look at it closely though. It doesn’t say 90% of the profits or sales, it says 90% of the royalties. That number is extremely small in comparison to the price of whatever it is you are purchasing.
13. But look further, the number is actually even smaller
The NFL has its merchandise revenue broken down so many different ways that it takes a pretty smart person to be able to do the math and come up with the actual true numbers. You can’t fault them for that really, it’s a business and businesses are meant to have profits or they won’t succeed. The NFL just lies or at the very least, they severely mislead people, into thinking how much money they donate to charities.
There are many critics out there who have done the math and they say that the 10% donated that is reported by most media outlets, is severely inflated. The true number when all is said and done is actually only 3%.
12. They lied about how dangerous the sport is
Do you know who the most hated man in the world is according to the NFL? The answer is Doctor Bennet Omalu, the man who started digging into the brain injuries suffered by NFL players back in 2002. Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Mike Webster died at the age of 50 and he had a lot of issues before his death. Dr. Omalu started investigating and it took a very long time for people to acknowledge his findings.
When he first started shedding light on things he was a much hated man. As far as the NFL is concerned he still is. They denied everything for many years until just recently. They knew he was right but denied everything he said for a very long time. The movie Concussion, starring Will Smith, is a great movie on the subject in case you need to know more.
11. They control what you watch on ESPN
In 2013 ESPN got together with Dr. Omalu to make a documentary that was called “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” which was made to show the world how the NFL knew about this problem and just ignored every single report released. They seemed to have a way to justify everything that was reported on the subject.
When the NFL found out what ESPN was doing, they obviously got very angry and threatened to pull their games away from the network. That would have meant millions, if not billions of dollars lost by ESPN. Obviously they very quickly backed out of the project.
10. They also had Playmakers removed from ESPN
Back in 2003 one of the greatest sports television shows hit the airwaves compliments of ESPN. Playmakers was a weekly show about the ins and outs of an NFL football team. It was a behind the scenes look at the day to day operations of an NFL team.
The team was named the Cougars and they had a very similar look to the Carolina Panthers. The show showed every aspect of an NFL team and not only what happens on the field, but what happens off of it as well. It was a great show, well produced, well written and it had some great actors in it.
The NFL quickly got really pissed off at ESPN for airing it and again, threatened to pull their games away from the network. The network dropped the show after only one season and that left a lot of unanswered questions as far as the show went. Still, it’s one of the best sports shows there has ever been. It’s a shame, and very surprising that another network didn’t pick it up. The show had fantastic ratings.
9. They only want you to know about the marquee players
The NFL wants you to know who Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are. They have all been in the league for a very long time and all of them have been very successful. Manning retired before last season and Brady and Brees aren’t far away from it themselves. What the NFL doesn’t tell you is that those cases are few and far between. Most players don’t play the game for twenty years. In fact, the average NFL career, all players taken into consideration, is a mere 3.5 years.
8. They don’t care about non-marquee players
What the NFL doesn’t want you to know about is that when those 78% of players were in trouble after retirement, the league turned a blind eye to them for many, many years. These are the players who you probably don’t know about. They are the guys who got hurt after a year or so and then just faded away, if they had any glory to begin with. As far as the NFL was concerned it was out of sight, out of mind.
The horror stories are countless and the stories of those addicted to prescription drugs, addictions that started during their time in the NFL, are even more so. It wasn’t until a lawsuit brought against them recently, that the league even started to pretend to care about these players.
7. They don’t want to spend money on these former players
To a certain extent the NFL has a point when they say they shouldn’t be responsible for players once they retire. Not many businesses offer some kind of pension after serving only three years or so. So to a certain extent they do have a legitimate claim.
When you realize though, that the league pulls in well over 10 BILLION dollars each year, it’s fairly obvious that they have the financial backing to help these players. Now that they are forced to pay more attention to these former players they are doing so, but they still aren’t doing as much as they could. The sad fact is that they probably never will unless they are forced to in some way.
6. They don’t care about the fans
Several times during this piece we have implied this, if you haven’t figured it out yet for yourself, but we haven’t come right out and said it. So now is a good time to do exactly that: The NFL doesn’t care about the fans. All they care about is the money those fans can bring to a stadium and give to them.
It’s understandable that ticket prices have to be higher than other sports. The player salaries are outrageous and the teams only have ten games to generate revenue on the season (Counting preseason and not counting possible playoff games). So it could be tough just to cover payroll if nothing else. Still, the ticket prices are way too high. A family of four will pay close to $500 to attend one NFL game. And you wonder why attendance is down?
5. They don’t care about the fans II
If you are a sports fan and your team makes it to the World Series, NBA Finals or the Stanley Cup Finals, you are a happy camper. You can go to a game and hopefully cheer them on to a championship. You’re going to pay more money for a ticket than you would during the regular season but that’s to be expected because it’s the championship. Fans can live with that and accept it.
In the NFL however the Super Bowl is played at a neutral site. Fans of a team can’t go to the stadium and cheer their team on because in most cases the game is in another part of the country. That and the fact that there are no tickets for the game made available to the general public. The only way to get tickets is to pay thousands of dollars online to people who may or may not have real tickets. When you take into consideration airfare, hotels and food, no normal fan can go. The NFL is aware of this and they don’t care.
4. Players are not punished equally
It was never a secret that the NFL never punished all players equally. However, when the Ray Rice incident happened it set off an all-time high of domestic violence incidents that came into the headlines. Even then though, the league didn’t have a set of rules it followed as far as discipline went. They took each case on an individual basis.
They don’t want you to know this, but they still do that. They are just more careful in how they go about things. There isn’t enough room here to list all of the players who have committed crimes or at the very least, acts of vicious domestic violence, and the punishments, or lack thereof, that were handed out. A quick Google search though will give you hundreds of results. Basically, the more well-known they are, the lighter the sentence the league hands out.
3. Players are not punished at all (if the NFL can get away with it)
If you are a marquee player who puts asses in the seats you can pretty much get away with anything you want in the NFL. When Ray Rice knocked out his girlfriend (now wife) in a hotel elevator, and then dragged her lifeless body out of it, he was initially given a suspension of two games. It wasn’t until the video of the incident was released that he was eventually banished from the league (although unofficially).
Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape not once, but twice. The first time he settled out of court with the victim. That tells you that he did something wrong. The league didn’t seem to care though. The second time it happened the charges were dropped after what police called an “investigation.” Many in the press called that word into question. He was suspended by the league for 4 games for violating the NFL conduct policy. If the press hadn’t been all over it he would never have received any type of suspension. Marquee players get different treatment when it comes to being punished.
2. Player punishments part III
As recently as last year this problem with player punishment has persisted. Even though the league says they are making serious moves to change that. Look up Greg Hardy for a perfect example. It won’t take you long to find out what he did.
The basics are that he beat the hell out of his girlfriend. He was arrested and sentenced and then suspended by the NFL for ten games. Then the girlfriend vanished and didn’t appear to testify against him. The charges were all dropped and the NFL dropped the suspension as well.
Soon after, photos were released of what he had done to her as well as what she told police had happened. As he continued to take the field every week for the Cowboys, public outcry was out of control toward Dallas owner Jerry Jones and the NFL for allowing Hardy to still play. It got so bad that after the season he wasn’t re-signed by the team and still isn’t a part of another team. It was the public that accomplished that though, not the Cowboys or the NFL. Make no mistake about that.
Blackouts are the NFL’s way of forcing you to go to an NFL game if you want to see your team play. For many years if a game wasn’t a complete sellout, it couldn’t be shown on local television. They would say that the game is blacked out in the local market. Basically the league said that if local fans don’t want to come to the games, they can’t watch it on television either. However, anyone from any other part of the country could watch it.
This rule was recently rescinded a couple of years ago but don’t think that means it isn’t still enforced. Officially, the FCC said this practice can’t be done anymore in a public forum. Unofficially, the league can put whatever language they want into any contract with any television network that is privately negotiated. So it still happens, they just don’t use the work “blackout” anymore.
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