There have been a lot of snark from a lot of Pizza companies about Papa John’s statement concerning the NFL protests hurting their sales.

Pizza Hut has bragged that their sales are up , Digiorno’s frozen pizza has been trolling them and plenty of people on twitter have followed suit, but if you look at all the tweets and the words you’ll not there is one thing that they have NOT done.

They have not taken a position on the NFL Protests

They have not moved to become an official sponsor of the NFL

Now if their premise is correct and that Papa John’s stock/sales slump is just about the pizza and not about their association with the NFL, and if all those who insist that the NFL, with it’s still high rating compared to everyone but their own past ratings, are a great deal than if Papa John’s decides to drop the NFL as this article suggests they might;

Papa John’s is reconsidering its sponsorship of the NFL amid declining ratings, the pizza chain confirmed to CNBC.

Papa John’s executives told The Wall Street Journal that top executives discuss returns on their advertising dollars with the NFL weekly and will see what happens for the rest of the season before making a decision. Additionally, Papa John’s is completely rethinking its advertising strategy as consumers cut the cord and move to digital.

…then naturally these pizza companies should be rushing to jump on board. After all the NFL even with their now lower rating are a valuable property and if association with the NFL has nothing to do with Papa John’s sales drop then these guys should be absolutely delighted to be the official pizza of the NFL. In fact DiGiorno doesn’t even have to wait, they can become the official frozen pizza of the NFL.

But for some inexplicable reason they have not. Maybe this is a clue:

Marketers have put NBCUniversal on notice: Stop covering NFL players’ national-anthem protests, or we’ll pull our ads.
That’s according to Linda Yaccarino, the chairman of advertising sales at NBCUniversal, who spoke during a keynote interview at an event held Friday in New York at the ad agency RGA.

or perhaps this:

While the overall stock market is up since the start of the football season, shares of the league’s broadcasters–CBS, Twenty-First Century Fox, Walt Disney (ESPN) are down. High-profile sponsors like Papa John’s (long synonymous with the NFL due largely to former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning‘s status as a spokesperson and franchisee for the company), Anheuser-Busch InBev (Budweiser is paying $1.4 billion to be the league’s official beer sponsor through 2022)–whose shares were outpacing the market during the three-month period to the kickoff of the NFL season–have been under-performers.

For example Under Armor which put out a statement at the time of the protests saying:

“stands for the flag and by our Athletes for free speech, expression and a unified America.”

saw its stock price go down from $20.02 at the close of trading on July 31st to $11.61 on November 3rd.

So to all those claiming that Papa John’s is making excuses about dropping sales I ask this:

Can anyone explain if the NFL protests are not hurting ratings or advertising why the NFL and their advertisers are not part of the Trump stock boom?

For all their bravado hitting Papa Johns they know that to get involved in the NFL right now and to embrace the protests would hurt them far more than the NFL has hurt Papa John’s. They at least have the excuse of already being there before the protests started, any new advertiser would be jumping in after said protests implying support and no amount of folks on twitter saying otherwise will change it.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to sell or the sponsorship of a national pizza company I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

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For weeks our friends in media, particularly in the sports media have been doing all they can to make sure that the entire world knows that whatever is the cause of the drop in ratings for the NFL and the empty seats it definitely , positively and just plain isn’t mostly connected to the players protesting during the national anthem.

We see story after story saying it’s over saturation, it’s the quality of play, it’s the injuries, it’s everything ANYTHING but the elephant in the room, the protests during the National Anthem that while it plays well with the radical left, and the players who support the radical left and the media that supports the radical left and the sports media that is even more radical than the regular media but is detested by the actual customer base of the NFL.

Well lo and behold Papa John’s Pizza which is a brand completely identified with the NFL has had a meeting and Papa John himself had decided to bluntly tell the world that the NFL emperor doesn’t have any clothes

In a teleconference Wednesday, company founder and CEO John Schnatter criticized how the league has handled the player protests and it’s impact on the company.

“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said (via ESPN). “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL, with scheduled commercial time slots during games. The NFL has promised Papa John’s additional slots for next year, but Schnatter still isn’t happy.

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, adding the issue should have “nipped in the bud” early in last year’s season.

They are being attacked merciless for telling the truth

After Schnatter directed his comments at the league’s leadership, the company quickly began trending on Twitter on Wednesday. Users accused him of blaming the players protesting racial inequality—and missed no opportunity to take jabs at their quality of pizza.

This spin is very funny but the funniest spin came from Pizza Hut

According to Business Insider, Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed told investors that Pizza Hut hasn’t seen the impact from NFL player protests that Papa John’s claimed to be damaging their business. Creed said:

“We’re not seeing any impact from any of that.”

While Papa John’s is recognized as the “official” pizza of the NFL, brands like Pizza Hut and Dominos rely considerably on NFL fans for their game-day sales.

The problem with this argument is an important contrast first Papa Johns:

Papa John’s, the official pizza company of the NFL, has a deal with the league and with 23 teams.

In other words Papa John’s is directly associated with the NFL in many people minds particularly those who buy Pizza. How about Pizza Hut? (emphasis mine)

According to CNBC, Pizza Hut, who has no affiliation with the NFL, saw 1 percent growth this quarter, higher than expected. “We’re not seeing any impact from any of that on our business,” the company said during an earnings conference call, according to CNBC

So let me get this straight, the evidence that the press is presenting that Papa John’s, a company totally associated with the NFL is wrong that the protests in the NFL that they are associated with are hurting them is that a similar company WITH NO AFFILIATION WITH THE NFL IS NOT HAVING THAT PROBLEM?

Am I the only person in the world who sees how absolutely insane that argument is?

By an odd coincidence that likely has nothing to do with what Papa John’s has said and it’s effect on other advertisers who might have noticed the same thing but said nothing the NFL put his ad on youtube today and played it during Thursday night football last night:

I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence that this ad started running right after the Papa John’s business and furthermore I’m sure the fact that at the restaurant I was at when it ran the person next to me said they didn’t believe them is simply anecdotal.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to sell or the sponsorship of a national pizza company I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

If you like the idea of new media on the scene at for these time of things and want to support independent journalism please hit DaTipJar below.




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Good Afternoon.

I’d like to address the controversy about remarks made by me at the owners meeting in New York two weeks ago.

As all of you know the phrase I used has been in common parlance for decades and until I used it there had never been an issue with its usage before, but it’s my understanding that some of my players have taken offense to it as if I was implying that they were the equivalent of prison inmates.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If we didn’t respect our players as both football players and as men they would not be on our roster.

However there are players who are angry and outraged and feel that their humanity and manhood has been insulted.  Well, far be it from me to question someone’s feelings.  If some of our players think their honor has been violated by me I certainly don’t want to put them in a position where they feel uncomfortable at their workplace so, in that spirit I’d like to make this announcement.

Any player who can not in good conscience continue to play for a team owned by me can report to my office in the next 36 hours and I will release them from their contract at once, allowing them to pursue employment with any other team or in any other field that is consistent with their honor and manhood.  This is a risky move for our team, I know we might lose some key men and it will likely take some time to get any replacement sup to par, but I’d rather have a man happy to be here then to put a fellow in a position where he doesn’t want to be.  So if any player choose to depart we shall wish them well and hope for their success in any future endeavors.

However having offered this out for players who are dissatisfied, this organization will expect any player who chooses to remain to dedicate himself to the game and not let themselves be distracted from doing the job they have decided to remain at, and to deal with any issues they have, either with this organization or with society as a whole, off the field.

Thank you

 

The New England Patriots shocked their fanbase today trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the winless San Francisco 49ers for a 2nd round draft pick.

This means that of the three backup quarterbacks the pats had at the start of the year, none are left, two have been traded and the #4 man Julian Edelman is out for the year, meaning New England has two weeks (thanks to the bye) to fill that role.

Now while I suspect that the 2nd round pick for next year might be used to find the replacement for Tom Brady for the 2020 season but for right now we need something different.  Someone is playing shape, who wouldn’t mind being a backup, that you can get inexpensively, someone who has experience starting in the NFL and as we are talking a backup for the Pats, someone with playoff experience would be a real plus and if it was someone with at least a little bit of familiarity with the system that would be awesome.

Finally you need someone without a big ego who would add to,  rather than disrupt the chemistry in the locker room and that you could release at the end of the year if you decided to go long on QB drafts.

That someone?  Why Tim Tebow of course.

I can hear the cries now:  DaTechguy you’re crazy, why on earth would  you sign Tebow except to beard all the  kneelers and their supporters, and I admit that is an appealing thought but there are a bunch of logical reasons why Tebow is the best choice for the job.

Tebow has been a backup before and would love another chance to play in the NFL.  Because of his season playing baseball he is in great physical shape, dare I say playing shape.  He has experience as a start both in the regular season and in the playoffs and has had success in both.  Furthermore he was in the Patriots camp a few years ago and thus has some familiarity with the system so he would be an easier fit as a backup than most people out there and has a reputation for hard work that would be a perfect fit for the Patriots way.

Financially not only would the Pats be able to sign him for peanuts (without trading anything of value) but Tebow is the ultimate team player, a plus in the locker room, a hard worker and with so little ego that the thought of making trouble for Brady or anyone on the team would be the last thing on his mind.  Finally if at the end of the season the Patriots decided to go a different route (which they certainly would) he would,  rather than complain, give a huge thank you to the organization for giving him another chance.

Lastly if God forbid Brady goes down, Tebow has experience in big game both at the college and pro-level.  While not a great mechanical quarterback he is a leader of men, a person cool under pressure and most important of all, he’s lucky and believe me if you lose Tom Brady in to injury during the playoffs the thing you are going to need more than anything else is luck.

For all of these reasons if I’m Bill Belichick Tim Tebow is the guy I sign to backup Tom Brady for the last 8 games of the season and the playoffs in the hopes that I don’t have to use him.

Closing thought, if you’re the owners of the NFL this is the dream signing that would make the conversation shift dramatically and stay shifted.  It would have the potential to actually bring fans back who are upset.  It’s a win win.

I have an online friend named Alison. Alison is smart, witty, and quite attractive. Unfortunately, Alison is also dealing with a pancreas from hell, this manifesting itself in numerous hospitalizations including one at the present time. Prayers for her healing are requested.

Alison recently moved to Las Vegas. No, not because she wants to be a showgirl and no, not because she’s all that stoked for 115° “at least it’s a dry heat” days during summer. I believe it was a combo career/fresh start move. I teased her the real reason she moved to Vegas is because she wanted a nice new shiny hockey team for which to cheer. And oh, what a team it is turning out to be; more on that in a bit.

Hockey is, of course, a sport quite native to Nevada, where every fall as soon as the leaves stop spontaneously combusting from the heat and start turning colors eager players grab their skates, sticks, and pucks as they head out to the nearest casino and wait for the craps tables to freeze over so they can lace ‘em up. At least the National Hockey League believes so, as a couple years back when it came time to select a location for a new team the NHL chose Vegas over those hockey know-nothing rubes in Quebec City. Most Montreal residents would argue Quebec City is the destination location for know-nothing rubes period; however, this is a debate best left for French-preferring Canadians. But I digress.

The Vegas team’s owner is a proud West Point graduate, this manifesting itself in his preferred name for his new team being Black Knights after Army’s West Point sporting teams. Alas, Army said we’d rather you didn’t, hence the Golden Knights came to be.

The Golden Knights are Vegas’ first major league sports team. Thus, despite the admittedly limited experience local sports fans have with hockey save for the select few who in years past attended a minor league or NHL exhibition game there, excitement ran high. Season tickets? Sold out. Good seats still available? Um, not really. Locals snapping up anything and everything bearing the Golden Knights logo? Oh, you betcha. Despite the not baseless assumption that as an expansion team it was a ripe lock certainty the team would be mediocre at best and most likely downright awful, enthusiasm ran high for the season’s beginning …

… right up until a few nights before, when a madman fired on a crowd of Vegas concertgoers, murdering more than fifty and wounding hundreds.

What to do?

Refer back to Alison. She is good friends with a married couple in Vegas. Said couple has taken shifts to be with her around the clock during her current hospital stay. Because that is the kind of people they are.

Now, an expansion team’s home opener is invariably loaded with flash and splash, a massive celebration for one and all. However, it was unimaginable for the Golden Knights to hold such an event. Their situation was not unlike one the Oakland A’s faced in 1989 after winning the World Series, sweeping cross-Bay rivals the San Francisco Giants. Said Series had a lengthy unscheduled break, as shortly before Game Three a massive earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, leveling buildings and freeways, breaking bridges, killing and injuring many. In lieu of the usual championship parade, the A’s opted for a modest public ceremony. Obviously even this would be far too much for Vegas. And so all eyes were on T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights home, to see what if anything could be done to both acknowledge what had happened and facilitate the desperately needed escapism sports provide.

The Golden Knights delivered on both counts.

First, it introduced one at a time some of the first responders – law enforcement, paramedics, doctors, nurses, firefighters – whose heroism and work in the face of nearly incomprehensible horror saved numerous lives; each accompanied onto the ice by a player. The team then played roadrunner to the Arizona Coyotes en route to a 5-2 win.

Although I am a San Francisco Bay Area native, hence a Sharks and long before Los Tiburones swam into San Jose an Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals fan, the Golden Knights hold a place in my heart. My Dad and oldest brother were both career Army. The last time I saw my brother before he passed away a few years ago, one evening we watched an Army football game on television. So, when I watch the Golden Knights (I’ve caught every game thus far this season on either online television or radio) it reminds me of my brother, the one with whom I was the closest and most alike. I miss him terribly. Connecting with the Golden Knights brings a sense of him always being with me. It’ll do until that great and glorious day when by Jesus’ grace we will be together in His presence.

Alison’s friends staying with her day and night; the Golden Knights proving a healing focal point for a reeling community trying to make it through a satanic assault. Such actions are love in action, or love on ice skates if you prefer. These are actions we should all strive to emulate. Perhaps we can’t stay with a sick friend 24/7 or play hockey. That’s okay. We can do what we can, which is usually far more than what we believe we can do. When we do what we can, good things happen. That will do. Very nicely.

Oh, and that obligatorily bad expansion team?

They’re currently 7-1-0. Hottest team and the best record in the NHL.

So much for that obligation.

Yesterday I argued that the there was an actual reason why the San Francisco 49ers might as well sign Colin Kaepernick (2-10 last year as a starter) as they can’t do any worse with him as they have been doing without him (0-6) but there is one other reason why it doesn’t really matter anymore if the instigator (or as I suspect the boyfriend of the REAL instigator) of the NFL protests is signed.

It’s because the damage has already been done.

For the owners and the players who by contract (rightly) get a large share of revenue the decision to first tolerate Kaepernick’s solo protest and then to react to , rather than ignore, the President’s remarks at his famous Alabama appearance for the defeated Luther Strange has burst the dam.

They have managed to turn the most popular sport in the nation into one of  the most divisive brands in the country.

After more than a year of rampant NFL player protests, the National Football League is now seen as one of the most divisive brand names in America, a new report finds.

As reported in the New York Times, a new Morning Consult survey found that the NFL is viewed as “polarizing,” by nearly as many people as view President Donald Trump’s hotels that way. The survey found that the NFL now figures in among the top ten most polarizing brand names. The top ten most divisive list includes Trump hotels, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, the NFL, ABC News, HuffPost, and CBS News.

They have managed to tank the ratings to the point where CBS’ stock is suffering:

Declining NFL television ratings will lower CBS earnings, according to Credit Suisse.

The firm cut its third-quarter EPS estimates by 5 percent, citing CBS’ softer Sunday NFL ratings. The media company reports on Nov. 2.

Which means bad news when renegotiating contracts:

The downgrade comes at a time when the NFL is negotiating two important distribution deals that end after this season: Verizon’s $250 million a year streaming agreement and the $450 million a year Thursday Night Football deal for games shared by CBS and NBC.

 Through five weeks, the league’s ratings are substantially lower this season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News.:

The league’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7% vs. the same period of the 2016 season, and the average game audiences are down 18% compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

How bad is it?  While at a bar I actually saw an ad run for people to get on the Patriots season ticket waiting list which is undoubtedly the result of the decision of 17 pats to kneel that first week after the Trump speech:

They have not kneeled since but apparently the damage is already done. Which is why the networks spent this week pretending the protests weren’t happening and the league which spent a year denying that the anthem protests were hurting their bottom line is desperate for a solution.

But given this story:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners of each team, representatives of the players’ union and players themselves will meet Tuesday to discuss ways to “move from protest to progress.”

Among the topics will be enhancing their platforms for speaking out on social issues, and the league’s policy that suggests but does not mandate players standing for the national anthem.

There is a quiet mandate, though, for those discussions: figuring out how to get the attention back on those social issues, not how they are being publicized.

And getting the attention back on football.

I can tell you it will not help. The very fact that “social issues” are on the agenda gives it away. This is a football league and it’s purpose is to play football. If players want to get involved off the field that’s fine but it’s not the league’s job to push the left’s political agenda.

Most incredible of all, they have done this in defiance of their ticket buying fan base on behalf of a bunch of liberals whose only interest in the game is being seen at the spectacle of a super bowl and an ultra liberal sports media who convinced them they it was the thing to do.

I think short of an abject apology the owner, from players individually and the players union as a whole for disrespecting the flag (an apology that many fans would love to accept) the days of the NFL as it once was is over.

Update: This is a start

The Jacksonville Jaguars have apologized to local military leaders for demonstrating during the national anthem in London last month…”This was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation,” Lamping wrote to Bill Spann, director of Jacksonville’s military affairs and veterans department.

The line that really hit me was this:

“The notion never entered the minds of our players or anyone affiliated with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we can understand how the events in London on September 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted,”

Yes you read that right, the notion never entered the minds of either the players or the management of the Jacksonville Jaguars that disrespecting the US flag while standing for God save the queen on foreign soil might be insulting to America.

That tells you everything you need to know.

Chicago’s South Side last autumn

I’m not a fan of Colin Kaepernick or his protests.  I think he’s a rich dirtbag fraud who has been pushed into this nonsense by his young lady and no concept of actual reality.  I think he’s a proper object for a combination of pity for his ignorance and contempt for his actions.   Furthermore I’ve resented the MSM/ESPN etc trying to pressure teams to sign a 2-10 QB for social justice reasons.

I have however, also said over the course of a season due to the nature of the game (injuries etc) Kaepernick might be a useful choice for a team and that if there is a solid football reason to sign him, my contempt for him is not a valid excuse for a team not to.

Well in my opinion that time has come.  There is a team that needs a change quick and Colin Kaepernick would be the perfect tool (pun intended) to achieve that change.

That team is the San Francisco 49ers.

Consider these five reasons why SF and Kaepernick is an excellent fit:

Colin Kaepernick was 2-10 last season starting for that team, that is pathetic by normal football standards, however the San Francisco 49ers are currently 0-6.  So while Kaepernick’s record is horrible his winning percentage last year is .167 above the current winning percentage of San Francisco.

While there is a new coach in San Francisco this year there is not a new team wholesale, Kaepernick is familiar with the players, and fans and they are familiar with him.  That would cut down considerably on the assimilation time.

San Francisco has lost their last 5 games by 3 points or less.  Even a small improvement at QB would have turned some of those losses into wins.  Despite his record last year Kaepernick was at one time a premier QB in the league and is likely enough of an improvement to turn some of those losses into wins.

San Francisco needs a short term solution  as it searches for its quarterback of the future.  Kaepernick likely doesn’t have more than a couple of years left in him thus bringing him in doesn’t mess with the long term plan much.

Finally you don’t want to pay a lot for a short term solution, Kaepernick would not (or should not anyways) be an expensive signing and is unlikely to hurt the team on their cap space (and BOY would it solve a lot of problems for the league if he refused an offered contract because he thought it was too low).

Those are all the football reasons why Kaepernick to San Francisco would be a good signing for the team.  He’s a no good bastard but San Francisco’s job is to win games and I think Kaepernick is the most logical choice to help them do so in the short term.  Now let me give you one reason why the NFL would absolutely love this to happen.

San Francisco already has the largest contingent of players protesting in the league and shows no sign of stopping they are constantly being booed over it.  Thus the addition of Kaepernick to SF will not change that image or hurt attendance (and given that it’s San Francisco the heart of the land of Harvey Weinstein Democrats it might even put a few fans in the seats) and will take the pressure of SJW’s off of every other team.  Furthermore once he is signed Kaepernick, becomes the face of the protests and the focus of the anger over them instead of the league. Suddenly he, instead of Goodell becomes the villain in the story.  

Now for myself I don’t think that will work in the long term, I think the fans won’t forget and that the players who choose to protest the anthem can kiss any future endorsement deals goodbye but I don’t see a better plan for the NFL to distract angry fans and advertisers.

Anyway that’s my two cents.

One of the principles of the Free Market is the idea that if another person thinks the can something better to go ahead and DO it.

So when I saw this idea from P-Diddy:

My reaction is if you, the left, the players and the media want a league where the primary goal is to allow for free protest as desired GO FOR IT!

Start with a small 8 team league with two divisions, a 10 game schedule and a championship game at the end. I’m sure you can manage to find 500 players either unsigned or wiling to leave the NFL over this kneeling cause.

Since this about a principle that the Players union cares about they might even allow your 60 man rosters to have a minimum salary as low as $200,000 each with a salary cap of 80 million to keep your initial costs down.

There is also no shortage of ex players to fill up front offices either and all of this means plenty of jobs for folks working at games as well. With a little luck including front office and coaches the payroll per team can be kept below $150 mil easy

Furthermore given the liberalism of big cities I’m sure the Mayors of Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Baltimore, NY, Washington and Boston would be delighted to either build you new stadiums to play in or give you old ones by eminent Domain to advance the liberal cause.

So Mr. Comes all you need are 10 liberal billionaires or 30 liberals wiling to go thirds on teams to make this happen.

If you guys are right, they should have no fear that they will lose a fortune on it, because we keep hearing from the sports media that the number of fan who actually are upset about the protests are tiny so there will be plenty of fans ready to fill your stadiums and plenty of advertisers dying to sponsor you product to target them.

And of course ESPN and the networks who have all supported your protests will be happy to not only televise your games but pay you all handsomely for the privilege.

Now it’s my opinion that all of this is pipe dream because there is no way such a league will draw fans, advertisers or TV money and the reality is that the best case scenario for you is this being a non-starter and the worst case scenario is this does start up and the financial backers lose tens of millions as both the TV and stadium audiences fail to turn up.

But the beauty of America is the chance to take a shot. So Mr Comes, you go on ahead. I’m sure you’ll be delighted to show all of us conservatives the P-Diddy League’s success and gloat over it and if you do succeed I’ll be happy to publicly acknowledge it.

Go ahead let’s see you do it.

Update:  There is one thing I should point out that hit me after I slept on it and it’s a significant point.  There is one reason a P-Diddy League might have a shot at success.  There is no reason to believe that such a league would not produce good football.  If you started with an 8 team league as I suggested with about 25% of the rosters consisting of players who are at an NFL level and the rest pretty close to it, with even average coaching you can produce a product of good quality.

Furthermore as a new league a Diddy league could also make a few minor rule tweaks to improve the product such as dumping the constant review of every play, letting fumbles be fumbles, catches be catches and letting the refs actually do their job even if they blow an occasional call reserving such stuff for only the championship game.  If the football product is good enough it might actually build a fan base that might look beyond the constant protests but that’s the rub.  I suspect the very nature of a league built around protesting America would have such a small appeal to American football fans that the quality of the product would not be enough.

As I said a few weeks ago Alejandro Villanueva’s T-shirt has become the new best seller around the NFL and the stories of this kept coming. Here was Kerry Picket’s take

Alejandro Villanueva, the lone football player on the Pittsburgh Steelers who stood during the national anthem Sunday while the rest of his team remained in the locker room, has become more popular than ever as sales of his jersey have skyrocketed.

Sales of the former Army Ranger’s jersey on Fanatics.com shot up to the highest-seller among Pittsburgh Steelers jersey as of just 10 PM Eastern time. (RELATED: Former Army Ranger Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem [VIDEO])

Additionally, Villanueva’s jersey sales rocketed into the top sellers in the entire league as of 7:45 PM EST behind only Marshawn LynchDerek CarrCarson WentzBrown, and Aaron Rodgers247 Sports reported.

A few hours later he was doing even better:

A spokesman for Fanatics, which runs the NFL’s online store, confirmed to ESPN that, over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, has been ordered than that of any other NFL player.

Villanueva beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the top spot. Philadelphia Eaglesquarterback Carson WentzDallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five over the past day.

Now remember when this was written Tom Brady had staged yet another 4th quarter comeback to win, Aaron Rogers took the Packers to 3-0.  Carson Wentz led his team to a victory over Eli Manning’s Giants, Dak Prescott’s team plays tonight but he’s questionable for the game.

Yet Roger Goodell was happy and proud

“The way we reacted today, and this weekend, made me proud,” Goodell told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “I’m proud of our league. … They reflected the frustration, the disappointment, of the players over the divisive rhetoric we heard [from the President].”

and tweeted this amazing claim

Yet for all that unity Villanueva who stood along beats them all, former Patriot Matt Light provides a clue why:

When 17 New England Patriots players knelt during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, it sparked a strong reaction from a player who was part of the franchise’s first three Super Bowl championships.

“As a guy that’s been there and helped set up the Patriot Way so they can walk in there and do what they do, it’s beyond disheartening,” offensive tackle Matt Light told the Boston Herald. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”

Well it’s several weeks later and the day after the VP left a game that he had planned to attend for months to celebrate (as the former governor of Indiana) Peyton Manning what is selling at NFL.com?

How about this:

Salute to service in fact if you go to the NFL store that’s what it’s apparently all about now:

That’s what you see on the front page when you go to the NFL gear page because the NFL is all about service, not about rich guys feeling repressed:

“He knew our team has had the most players protest,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like.

Or confronting fans

“What you gonna do, b—h ass n—-a,” Penn screamed, with nothing between the fans and the offensive tackle but a small metal barricade and a few security guards.

Perhaps the NFL should consider unity with their fans instead of all this other BS.

By John Ruberry

Last week I wrote this in my own blog about a scandal-plagued state university in Kentucky: “Is Louisville a college with an athletic program? Or is it an athletic program that offers some college classes?”

Late last month the shadowy and corrupt realm of NCAA men’s college basketball, whose players are nominally amateurs, was shattered by the revelation of an FBI investigation of payments to recruits that allegedly comes from Adidas. Ten people have been arrested, including four assistant coaches at Power Five college hoops programs. More arrests are expected.

But most of the media focus on the scandal is on the the University of Louisville, where no one so far faces charges. Allegedly an AAU coach, Jonathan Brad Augustine, whose team is sponsored by Adidas, boasted to an undercover FBI agent about the reach of Cardinals coach Rick Pitino–who is identified as “Coach-2” in court records–and how Pitino could get James “Jim” Gatto, the director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, to send $100,000 to the family of a Louisville recruit. That athlete, Brian Bowen, enrolled at Louisville. But now he’s been suspended from the team.

Oh, the first “A” in AAU stands for “amatuer.”

“No one swings a bigger d–k than [Coach-2],” Augustine reportedly said after learning that Gatto had difficulty in allegedly sending the $100K to Bowen’s family. He added that “all [Coach-2] has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody [and say], ‘These are my guys–they’re taking care of us.'”

Those remarks appear to have been lifted from a Sopranos script.

Pitino, and Louisville’s athletic director, Tom Jurich, were suspended by the university the day after the scandal broke. Both of them are expected to be fired but in the meantime they are the highest paid persons in their positions in college sports.

But despite its success on the field–Louisville has a pretty good football team by the way–the athletic department loses money. Apparently Louisville manages its athletic department as poorly as the state of Kentucky runs its public-worker pension programs.

Pitino is the only NCAA men’s basketball coach to win national championships at two universities, Kentucky and Louisville. But four months ago the Cardinals program landed on NCAA probation because of a prostitution scandal involving recruits, some of whom were underage. Uh, where are the Louisville Police? The NCAA suspended Pitino for five games and Louisville will have to vacate some victories–and possibly its 2013 NCAA title. Pitino claims ignorance of the hiring of these “dancers” by the program. He also claimed to be simply a put-upon victim in a extortion attempt by a woman, Karen Sypher, who alleged that Pitino raped her. The Basketball Hall of Fame coach, who is married, admitted to consensual sex with Sypher–she later went to prison. Pitino also admitted to paying for her abortion.

Because Louisville’s men’s hoops program is already on probation, it’s likely that the Cardinals are eligible for the NCAA “death penalty” if they are found to be a two-time offender. The death penalty allows the NCAA to shut down a program for at least a year.

I say cut down the nets and turn off the lights for Louisville basketball, preferably for several years. The possibility of the death penalty has holders of the junk bonds financing the stadium where the Cardinals play understandably a bit nervous.

At the very least Louisville needs a fresh start, but so far it’s off to a dreadful one. Pitino’s interim replacement is one of his former players, David Padgett, who until two years ago was director of basketball operations at Louisville. Was Padgett a glorified clerk? Or a figurehead?

Louisville has other problems and one of them involves Adidas. Of the money from the current marketing contract the shoe giant has with the basketball team, reportedly 98 percent of it goes to Pitino. Shouldn’t the general revenue fund of this taxpayer-supported college get at least a healthy cut?

Jurich, the money-losing suspended athletic director, likely earned more money annually than the budgets of four Louisville academic departments.

This scandal has legs longer than those of the late Manute Bol–and I’m predicting not only will it spread to other colleges and AAU programs but to high school hoops as well, starting with the Chicago Public League. Lack of payments probably explains why the Chicago recruiting apparatus for years shuts out basketball programs such as DePaul and the one at my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Both schools are natural fits for Public League talent and both of them used to recruit very successfully in Chicago.

Do you have a better explanation?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.