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NFL continues to step on political landmines, alienating fans

The NFL can’t help but to continue to fumble the ball when it comes to politics, the game and its fans as they ban a Super Bowl program ad by a veterans group.

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It’s no secret that the NFL has been having one of its worst years since it sat atop the perch of the American sports landscape.

But, the league can’t seem to stay away from alienating fans or picking political sides. The latest example of that comes from its rejection of an ad in the Super Bowl LII program from the group AMVets.

Here’s the ad in question:

Here’s the NFL’s reasoning behind rejecting said ad:

Taken in a vacuum, the NFL’s position makes sense and it certainly would be a slippery slope in letting political advertising in to the Super Bowl program. But, here’s the problem — the NFL isn’t exactly a politically neutral entity these days and pretending like it’s some neutral ground now is a bit too little too late.

You can’t say on one hand that political expression on the field by players is perfectly fine and you’re going to do nothing about it and then on the other hand reject advertising partners from expressing their points of view and still claim to be some neutral ground.

What is most troubling is that this should’ve been a really easy situation to avoid. Few would’ve even noticed the ad in the program, I mean seriously, how much of a blowback would you have gotten over this if you’re the NFL? A simple cost-benefit analysis would’ve told you the answer, but not offending one set of political sensitivities over another was where the league came down.

The time for the NFL to clamp down on political expressions past a long, long time ago. If it truly wanted to stay neutral, this would’ve been an easy place to start. It could point to allowing players to politically express themselves on the field, but also allowing for the other side of the debate to have a platform as well.

Instead, the NFL decided that this was the political expression hill it was willing to die on. Not the one where players alienated a large swath of fans and led to a year-long discussion that kept its name in a negative light forever, but one full-page ad in a Super Bowl program folks.

But, it shouldn’t be surprising coming from an organization that has a long history of bad activism on its hands.

First off, the NFL’s decision to support one of the worst cancer charities in the history of charities — the Susan G. Komen Foundation (which has since restructured after massive backlash) — began that slope by forcing players to wear pink to bring attention to the cause. The NFL then infamously began wrapping itself in the flag back in 2009, only to later have egg on its face with reports surfacing that it was requiring the military to pay to have themselves on the field for “Hometown Hero” moments and in national anthem displays on the field.

That’s how we’re in this mess today in the first place. Growing up as a kid, the national anthem was for those in attendance and came before the teams came on to the field for the game. But, the NFL decided to take taxpayer money and wrap itself in the flag as a good PR move (and a chance to sell merch, don’t forget that).

Thus, it had to have players on the field for the national anthem and apparently there was no going back, despite the obvious and easy solution that had been there before them prior to 2009.

Back to the day at hand though, this whole situation could’ve been a great moment for the NFL to finally stop the tidal wave of bad publicity and negative feelings from its fans.

Instead of banning this ad in the program and creating more negative publicity in the process, why not say nothing and let the ad in to the program? It’s a borderline political statement at best and even if it is one, it’s one that a majority of the fans happen to agree with.

Alas, the NFL just can’t get out of its own way and continues to alienate fans when it doesn’t need to.

But hey, Roger Goodell is worth every penny of that $50 million a year contract he just signed, right?

As for the ad itself, well the AMVets are getting more publicity for free thanks to the NFL’s decision than they ever would’ve paying the $30,000 that a full-page program ad would’ve cost them. That alone is priceless karma fo the NFL and hopefully good news for an organization that does so much for our nation’s veterans.

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Veteran of the Digital Sports Media world, with work featured on Fox Sports, ESPNU and other outlets. Previously employed at Bleacher Report, The Comeback and FanSided. Consumer of sports media and member of it since 2011, you can find me still beating the drum of independence and truth in sports coverage.

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Nick Bosa in trouble with sports writers for having the wrong opinions

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The Social Justice Sports Warrior has struck again. This time, the offender is potential top NFL draft pick Nick Bosa.

His crime? He had three old “takes” surface from his Twitter account after he went through and deleted them.

Those three takes? Apparently he didn’t care for Black Panther, believed Beyoncé’s music was “trash” and that Colin Kaepernick was a “clown.”

But even worse, he had the audacity to support Donald Trump and more conservative-leaning commentators as well.

Immediately the SJSW’s sprung to action, because those opinions are wrong and they can’t stand. In fact, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman took action long before Bosa deleted the tweets.

How dare Nick Bosa have an opinion and express it via Twitter!

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in the SJSW’s here? Most literally make a living off of stating opinions on Twitter and in front of whatever camera they can get in front of.

Should they be shamed and publicly flogged for anything that steps out of the SJSW orthodoxy? Well, look at what happens to Jason Whitlock on a regular basis.

This self-important group of writers and talking heads won’t stand for someone else speaking their opinion? How strange and hypocritical of them.

There’s a difference between debating the merits of what someone said and the public shaming of someone for daring to have a different opinion than yours.

It’s gotten so bad that in anticipation of the wokest city in the NFL, San Francisco, having its team draft him, Bosa found it necessary to even consider having to delete his former Tweets. He admitted to it in an ESPN interview recently.

It may be a smart move in terms of crafting an image, but this is the internet age and it isn’t going way — especially if you are one to step out of the orthodoxy.

Bosa’s opinions were so wrong to the SJSW crowd that deleting them is a crime too.

So, the lesson here is to not step out of the bounds of thought that the SJSW’s deem okay or they will pounce. You must think, act and talk like them or they will get you no matter what you do.

An apology…not good enough.

Deleting the “offending” tweets? You’re just hiding that you’re a racist.

Literally, there is no path to redemption if you step out of the thought spectrum of today’s sports writers and opinion makers.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. EVERYTHING you say on social media can and will be used against you if you don’t agree with the mob.

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Why the sudden obsession with Julian Edelman as an NFL Hall of Famer?

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Just stop it…stop it right now.

Stop the talk of Julian Edelman as an NFL Hall of Fame player.

After last night’s Super Bowl LIII performance the glowing reviews came in and Nate Burleson told the world that Edelman just cemented his Hall of Fame career.

Edelman racked up 10 receptions for 141 yards en route to helping his team win the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in the history of the game. Tom Brady completed just 11 passes to players not name Edelman in the win too.

His performance got the attention of ESPN’s Adam Schefter too.

But, the Super Bowl MVP isn’t a Hall of Fame player, he just isn’t. Ranking 148th in receptions and in the 250’s in receiving yards is not Hall of Fame worthy.

Sure, his 115 receptions for 1,412 yards, plus five touchdowns in 18 career playoff games are amazing numbers to put up. But, are they a sign of his overall greatness or just the fact that he’s been around long enough to accumulate postseason stats few players would be able to?

The Washington Post points out that even the great Michael Irvin couldn’t put up those kind of postseason results on the stat sheet. Irvin put up 87 catches for 1,315 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 playoff games during the Cowboy’s run in the 1990’s.

Yes, the New England Patriots spread the ball around and yes there’s something to be said of longevity.

But, the Hall of Fame isn’t an award for being on the right team for the longest period of time. It’s supposed to be about individual greatness throughout a career.

If we are going to award people a bust in Canton based on a few snippets in time, then there are about 100 other players who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

In fact, look at some of the names who have recently been elected to the Hall of Fame from the last decade or so and I’d have serious questions about just how special making the Hall of Fame is anymore.

Kurt Warner comes immediately to mind in this discussion. He’s in and he is one of the statistically worst quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame. But, he did have some great years with the Rams and Cardinals and two Super Bowl wins seems to be the

But, I haven’t even gotten to the biggest strike against Edelman yet — his four-game suspension for taking performance enhancing drugs. Given the age we are in, getting popped for PED’s is a big no-no and should disqualify one from Hall of Fame consideration as it is.

Beyond that, let’s just consider how the NFL’s Hall of Fame has treated some of the best players of all-time in the past.

Let’s just remember, it took Jerry Kramer, arguably the greatest guard in the NFL during the 1960’s and a member of a team that won 5 NFL championships in 7 seasons, until 2018 to make it in to the Hall of Fame.

Leroy Butler, one of the most revolutionary safeties, has not sniffed the Hall of Fame. Same for names like Shannon Sharpe or Steve Tasker as wide receivers.

In fact, Tasker is perhaps the best mirror for Edelman’s career. He was the spark plug and key component to the Buffalo Bill’s AFC dynasty in the 1990’s thanks to his special teams acumen. He played a very different role than a star receiver would and his contributions in post-season play were key in getting the Bills to four straight Super Bowls.

He’s not in, neither are names like Alex Karras or Tony Boselli just to name a few.

Yet, we’re supposed to believe Edelman is in over these historic contributors to the game?

It should be difficult to get in and the regular season numbers should matter too.

Edelman has carved out a niche as a clutch player in big games, but that’s not a reason alone to put him in the Hall of Fame…at least by the standards the hall has given us to date.

Now, if you want to argue the Hall of Fame needs to change its thinking, that’s a different discussion for a different day.

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The Undefeated uses questionable polling to advance Kaepernick narrative

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What is Super Bowl LIII’s prevailing narrative? No, not Tom Brady’s ageless wonder. No, not Jared Goff’s sunshine good looks. No, not the fact that the Patriots once again made it to the Super Bowl. No, not the Rams refreshing offense and new-age take on NFL football.

If we’re take The Undefeated at its word, the biggest story surrounding the Super Bowl is Colin Kaepernick…of course.

On the eve of the Super Bowl, ESPN’s bastion of woke sports takes has this as it’s main article on the site: “Kaepernick rarely speaks but still dominates every NFL conversation.”

Because of course…everything in the woke world of SJSW has to be about the king of protest and wokeness in sports today.

But, is Kaepernick really the dominant discussion in the NFL these days?

Literally, the only one’s talking about Colin Kaepernick when it comes to this Super Bowl are the folks at The Undefeated and their SJSW ilk.

The Undefeated has decided to prove their article true with a poll. That poll states 77 percent of blacks (their word, not mine) believe Kaepernick is being penalized by the NFL for his political stances. It also says 59 percent of whites (their word, not mine again) believe the same thing.

Those numbers are certainly interesting and they certainly bolster a public that has bought in to the narrative of the league blackballing him. It’s something we’d love to see come out in the lawsuit, one way or the other.

But, it is also important to understand the poll and how serious we should take it.

The rub? Naturally, the poll was done by the scientific geniuses at SurveyMonkey. To make matters a bit fuzzier, The Undefeated won’t publish a link to the poll’s findings nor how the poll was set up.

Add in the fact that we don’t have the actual question that was asked in the poll in the article and something doesn’t smell right.

If ever there’s a sign of something fishy it’s commissioning a poll and never bothering to release anything beneath the surface findings. It’s almost as if they don’t want us prodding in to their methodology or their conclusions from the poll.

However, that would just be a distraction from the narrative they want us all to believe in.

Proof of that came in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s pre-Super Bowl press conference earlier today. The SJSW’s gathered in Atlanta just had to make it about Kaepernick, despite very little actual news happening in his ongoing lawsuit against the league.

Goodell, who is part of the named parties in the lawsuit, attempted to walk a careful line in what he would say about the matter.

“I’ve said it many times privately, publicly that our clubs are the ones that make decisions on players that they want to have on their roster,” the commissioner said Wednesday.

“They want to win, and they make those decisions individually in the best interest of their club.”

Naturally, the wokeness on Twitter came immediately and unflinchingly after Goodell’s words on the matter.

But, that’s what happens when it’s all about click-bait journalism. Instead of being able to simply present the facts and let us make a decision, they’ve hidden data that is important to make an informed decision about the matter before us.

How are we supposed to trust the numbers of a poll that they won’t even bother to even give us a sample size for, let alone the full polling data set?

We simply don’t have an answer to the question this article is supposed to be asking because The Undefeated wasn’t even honest enough to publish it’s poll.

Publishing an article that creates more questions than answers can be a good tactic…if you are creating questions about the subject of your article and not your own methodology.

But, this continues to prove why woke sports reporting can’t be trusted these days. It’s clearly narrative over journalistic integrity and transparency for the SJSW’s at The Undefeated.

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