It is really easy to pick on the NFL for any number of reasons: bad officiating, weird rules, instant replay, bad teams, bad owners, bad players, weather, ticket prices, the fans, it’s called “football” but they use a hand-egg hybrid. But the easiest thing to pick on the NFL every year is their seemingly endless ability to pick irrelevant entertainment for the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
I previously mentioned my great annoyance with RHCP playing halftime completely unplugged which is 100% “sellout” territory and honestly a bad move, then there was that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake fiasco, Katy Perry, Madonna, and …Coldplay? These don’t sound like the right choices for the “toughest sport in the world,” but the NFL knows what they’re doing making strange choices.
The NFL is bro territory where bros talk about being bros and bro around a football with bros while pounding broskies. Bro. However, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is statistically the most watched event in the US in any given year. Roughly one third of the US will see the Halftime Show and of that, maybe a tenth are genuinely interested in the game itself. So, the NFL caters to the other 90% consistently.
Maroon 5 is the last thing I’d want to hear if I was coming out of the tunnel to battle on the gridiron, it wouldn’t be on my to hear list at kickoff, it wouldn’t be on the menu for the touchdown dance special. However, for the 90% of people that don’t care about the outcome of the Super Bowl, it’s a goldmine. The average cost of an advertising spot for the Super Bowl is a meager $5,000,000. You think you want to cut into viewers with that sort of ad-rev? Didn’t think so.
I couldn’t care less who plays at Halftime, it’s always a strategic bullshit money grab, and the only people who do care about the Halftime performer, don’t actually care about the game itself.
C’est la vie.
Prior to the Super Bowl there’s a giant media storm: Players are interviewed from both teams, other teams that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, former players, analysts, and of course the NFL Commissioner himself, Roger Goodell. During one such press conference, Roger Goodell was asked if he heard about Vince McMahon wanting to bring back the XFL in 2020. I found it hard to believe when Roger Goodell said, “I haven’t had time to look into it,” being so caught up with Super Bowl week and the upcoming changing of the Catch Rule that’s plagued the NFL for the past couple seasons.
Now do I believe Roger Goodell really didn’t have time to look into the XFL statement? God no. Roger Goodell is currently dealing with a massive crisis: NFL Players are protesting an unfair social and political climate, the NFL is being manhandled by a team from New England no one outside of New England likes, and there’s this thing called the “Catch Rule” that is essentially turning games upside down, because really, what is a catch? All of these issues are leading to the biggest problem: Fans aren’t tuning into games anymore, the NFL ratings are crashing, and they’re going to be losing a lot of money unless they pull something off fast.
In comes the Super Bowl with this narrative: David v Goliath. The classic stand of the big expected winner and the poor lonely team limping in. Given, if the Philadelphia Eagles had Carson Wentz, this would be David v David, but more of an experienced veteran Patriots v the new upcoming Eagles. Instead, we have The Patriots coming in strong, and the Eagles with their backup quarterback Nick Foles. David. V. Goliath.
This is great for the NFL if the Eagles win, the Patriots will have lost and one of the problems plaguing the NFL will temporarily be on hold, but we still have to deal with fans not tuning in, and that “Catch Rule.” Well, the fans tuning in we have, who doesn’t watch the Super Bowl? (I swear to god if you mention that that you watched the Puppy Bowl to me, I will literally never speak to you again. That is more mind numbing than the NFL concussion problem).
Problem: Fourth Issue NFL needs to deal with: Concussions. Different time for that.
Lastly, we have the “Catch Rule” and when is a better time to fix the narrative of a problem situation? Wrestlemania. Wait sorry, the Super Bowl! If everyone is going to watch, why not get rid of that stupid “Catch Rule” now, instead of waiting until next season? That’s so instead of waiting for Monday Night
Football Raw to come on and explain the changes, it’ll already be enforced sooner rather than later. The NFL XFL chose the right time to change the narrative to what they needed to do, instead of enforcing the rules that have applied all season.
It was perfect, twice in
the Super Bowl Wrestlemania the Eagles had “catches,” according to the NFL’s XFL’s prior rulings based on how the “Catch Rule” should be enforced, that were not really catches. But, let’s change the rule now, fuck it! Let’s show everyone now, while everyone is watching: When you tune into the NFL XFL next time, it will be a goddamn catch, are you fans happy now?
Of course in New England we’re not happy about the on the fly Rule change, but everywhere else in the country: yes we are! This is exciting and I can’t wait for the new season! Granted, these rules most likely would have applied to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and the Patriots have won some games based on the dumb “Catch Rule,” (I see you Pittsburgh), but the NFL HAD TO DO THIS, THEY NEEDED to show fans NOW how the NFL was going to change NEXT year. A complete 100% XFL move.
The rule change was not the reason we lost, by the way. The Patriots lost the same way we won last year: strip sack. After that play it was all over, and everyone knew it. We tried a Hail Mary, but Doug Flutie wasn’t on the field for this one, so it was all over for Goliath, David made the shot between the eyes. Game Over Man, Game Over.
Now I’m happy to see the NFL pull an entertainment stunt like this, they’ve been doing it for a couple years now, hello DEFLATEGATE, but this was the biggest move on the largest stage to say “Fuck the rules, fuck what happened this year, let’s play fucking football.” The NFL was a guest referee away from infringing on the XFL. If you didn’t see Roger Goodell pull a Vince McMahon right in front of your face and steal a page out of the XFL manual, RIGHT AFTER Vince announced the return of the XFL, then you need to wake up Sheeple.
Oh, and for concussions, they forgot to flag the Eagles on the helmet to helmet hit on Cooks. Nice one, NFL.