As the city of Philadelphia celebrate their championship (and upcoming quarterback controversy)  and Patriots fans question the benching of Malcolm Butler and continue to whine about the Garoppolo trade in the wake of Superbowl 52 there is one aspect of the game that nobody is talking about, at least not yet.

While the Patriots have been identified with the President in the past it’s worth noting that after his speech in Alabama Tom Brady distanced himself from President Trump and 17 members of the New England Patriots took a knee to the boos of the fans in Foxborough.

contrariwise not only did no member of the Philadelphia Eagles take a knee that week Philly was one of only seven team that didn’t have a single player protest during the National Anthem all season.

If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl but you can’t stand the NFL take-a-knee protests, you may want to root for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not a single Eagles player sat or knelt during the national anthem, one of just seven teams with perfect non-kneeling records, in a season that saw 684 such incidents, according to a study released Thursday by Sports Pundit.

The other Super Bowl LII team, the New England Patriots, landed in the middle of the pack with 17 incidents of anthem sitting or kneeling, wedged between the Buffalo Bills with 16 and the Cleveland Browns with 20.

So while many in the Nevertrump® world are no doubt are celebrating they have not considered that the Eagles have put the President in the catbird seat.  Instead of inviting a team where a large number of players protested his remarks from a region that gave him but a single electoral vote and wondering who might show up, President Trump after releasing a pre-game statement about standing for the anthem, now gets to invite a team from a swing state that he won, where not a single member of the team took a knee the entire season..

And don’t think for one second that the president will fail to note that bit of Karma on twitter sooner rather than later and use it to his advantage.   Moreover he might just be snarky enough to congratulate all the leftists out there for choosing to celebrate a team that refused to disrespect the flag.

It will be a lot of fun to see if he is able to bait his foes on the left to attack the champions of Philadelphia as insufficiently woke and alienate the blue collar voters now celebrating in the streets.

Well that’s one way to get people to talk about a game whose result everyone not living in Philly believes in a foregone conclusion.

“Freedom of speech works both ways,” he said. “We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought — and in many cases died — for.

“But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.”

The NFL had this to say

In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the Super Bowl game program “is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

Which is ironic as at the same time they were refusing the AMVETS on NFL.com you can find this anouncement:

As part of its ongoing work to support its players, the NFL today announced a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, Let’s Listen Together, launches today and includes a multi-layered roll-out including digital content and brand spots highlighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The platform will also include social media support, as well as individual letters from players and owners sharing their stories and personal reasons for making social justice a priority.

The program is called “let’s listen together” whose purpose is to advance so called “social justice” which is apparently to be defined by the Kaepernick wing of the NFL, because “social justice” and “listening” and the NFL’s so called commitment to “free speech” doesn’t include listening to American Vets justice for American vets or free speech for groups like the AM vets.

BTW here is the ad that they considered so divisive that they didn’t want it in a program.

Oddly enough the NBA and the NHL didn’t think the ad was all that controversial

AMVETS officials said the same #PleaseStand ad was accepted by the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball for inclusion in their all-star games’ programs. The organization sees the advertisement as an extension of their role as a “nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families.”

The NFL is a private corporation and has the right to accept or reject any advertisement on TV or elsewhere. But the rejection of the AMVET ad highlights the paralyzing fear felt by the NFL over the anthem protests that has dramatically affected its popularity.

and here are is the AMVETS answer

Glenn Reynolds nails it:

Pete Rozelle is pretty much doing non-stop 360s in his grave at this point.

Two closing thoughts:

Thought 1:  Except for the year the Superbowl was held in the cold, it is generally a place to be for celebs to show how important they are.  I wonder how many of those woke celebs will make it a point to sit or kneel for the national anthem?  After all it’s very important to look “woke”, particularly on national TV

Thought 2:  As it is a given that this President will take advantage of this faux pas to bring back this issue how will red state Democrats answer this question without alienating either their base or the general election voters.

I can’t wait till election day.

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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.

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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

 

One more point concerning the NFL protests.

The NFL players might be OK with a less profitable league and a contract that might be smaller right now when they are making six and seven figures but they are forgetting something.

The avg NFL players career is 3.3 years, for a pro-bowl caliber player that shoots up to 11.7. This is the time of maximum earnings for these players, not only from playing but from endorsements and appearances.

Now a very smart player might put money aside for when the big checks stop coming but if they do not they will find that the taxes and the mortgages on those million dollar properties don’t stop when the NFL checks do. So they need to be marketable if they want to keep up that lifestyle.

How marketable do you think NFL players are now that the league is identified with protesting against the flag and police? If you have a national brand or even a local one do you want to take a chance on identifying your brand with this type of thing?

And while the most visible protesters will certainly be affected even the avg player who didn’t take a knee is going to suddenly discover that the tag “ex-NFL player” will no longer open financial doors like it used to.

NFL players, thanks to your protests you have sacked the financial future of every guy in the league not named Brady or of that caliber and you’ve done it for decades to come. And when you find yourself in financial trouble you will have the unpleasant realization that you as a group did this to yourselves and to every college player that follows you.

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.

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.


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