This is the same entity that for years couldn’t define the act of catching a football. From Bountygate to its short-lived intolerance for domestic abuse, the league somehow manages to make every crisis worse. It’s a hallmark of the league under Roger Goodell’s leadership.
This is a very winning, strong issue for me, Trump told Jerry Jones last year. Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.
Trump took aim at the league, and the owners capitulated with their new anthem policy, billed as a way to get the focus back on football. Surprise, it didn’t work.
Trump still has an easy culture war issue to hammer on Fox & Friends when he needs to distract the country from things like his former campaign manager being accused of jury tampering, unpopular tariffs that will hit his base voters in the pocketbook, breaking up families because they’re immigrants, etc.
Now, players are left to defend themselves while the league runs scared.
That crushed Green Bay’s eight-year playoff streak, allowing the Patriots to rally their way past the Steelers and Jaguars and into the AFC’s slot in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady won his third career MVP in a season where the rest of his competition fell off dramatically, but even his 505-yard showing in the title game could prevent, uh, Nick Foles from fulfilling his Super Bowl MVP destiny.
And that’s it. Six seasons where the Patriots and Packers appeared primed for a collision in the biggest game of the year, but instead flamed out and deprived the world of a Brady-Rodgers duel.
Fortunately there’s still time to correct this mistake. Brady and the Pats are early favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February despite the quarterback’s advanced age. The Packers, with a revamped defense and overhauled offense, have the sixth-best odds. Once again, it’s no stretch to make a Green Bay-New England preseason prediction when it comes to the Super Bowl.