January 23, 2009

Are You Ready For To Get Pissed At Some Football?

Marc Comtois

The NFL is generally considered to be the smartest and savviest of the major sports leagues. But they are screwing up, big time, here (h/t):

The Super Bowl won’t let the military color guard stay and watch the big game? Yes you read that right. Was I skeptical? At first, but after I contacted the Tampa Bay host Committee through their official website and spoke to Katie Wagner, I was assured that yes in fact her email inbox is full of emails from upset Marine Mom’s all asking for an explanation. To Ms. Wagner’s credit, who by the way was extremely gracious during my questions the Host Committee has no control over game day decisions; that authority rests solely with the NFL.

What has become a common yet gracious act of allowing a military color guard to stay and watch the game from the side lines, in honor of their service to our country, this time has them being treated as if they are the unwelcome guests, common servants to be whisked away as soon as their task is completed.

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I'm going to tune in to watch the color guard, then turn off the TV.

Posted by: George at January 23, 2009 12:27 PM

Maybe the color guard should just forgo the entire spectacle.

Posted by: bobc at January 23, 2009 12:32 PM

Just another example of how the NFL exploits patriotism in tawdry fashion.
But then again, this is the same league that dropped $20K fines for Ben Watson's shoutout to his pregnant wife and Wes Welker's snow angel after touchdowns.
Make a big enough stink, and Goodell will back off, I'm certain.

Posted by: rhody at January 23, 2009 12:45 PM

I have to admit that I am sitting here, mouth agape, scratching my head and other things, at a loss to explain away the reason why a class act like the NFL would drop the military guard from the sidelines.

I cannot help but wonder if this is a kind of silent tribute to Neo II (aka Obama) considering the recent announcement to close GITMO? It's almost like there should be no preferential treatment to the military and they are merely servants to the States.

I wouldn't put the NFL as number one but certainly a very close second to the very gentlemanly PGA.

Posted by: Roland at January 23, 2009 4:09 PM

Roland, tell me you're not suggesting the NFL is run by a liberal cabal. You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find any liberals among the top ranks of professional sports executives and ownership.
And the PGA is probably THE most conservative sports organization in the world (well, there's that guy who runs Formula 1 racing who has that fun hobby dressing up as a former German head of state, but I digress). The U.S. Ryder Cup actually planned to boycott a prematch White House visit in the '90s because of its animosity to Bill Clinton before team captain Tom Watson, no lib himself, talked them out of it.

Posted by: rhody at January 23, 2009 9:38 PM

rhody, in all fairness, I believe my post was rather tongue-in-cheek. An obvious, far reaching explanation for their omission of the Color Guard from the sidelines.

I'm still scratching my head over why they would do this.

Certainly not because of the free admission ticket loss?

Posted by: Roland at January 24, 2009 7:36 PM

I'm not sure it's a financial issue, really. The NFL, IIRC, keeps 10 percent of the Super Bowl tickets and distributes them as it sees fit (sponsors, VIPS, etc. - those never go on public sale). Each team gets 1 percent, and the participating teams and host team get double-digit shares.
At least that's the way it broke down when Rams ownership got caught scalping tickets for Super Bowl XIV (for which they controlled 30,000-40,000 tickets as a participating team AND the host team).

Posted by: rhody at January 25, 2009 3:28 PM
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