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Can Jerry Jones save the NFL?

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As you may have read, the NFL is in the early stages of a new civil war. Two of the NFL’s most unpopular figures are facing off: Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell. What started out over something seemingly trivial(though it’s not), looks to escalate into something that could divide the league yet unite football fans. Roger Goodell has been hated by fans for years for many unarticulated reasons, however ever since the Ray Rice video, the NFL has undergone years, of bad distractions starting with domestic violence, blowing up over deflategate, and peaking with anthem protesting. All of this in in the litany of issues, Jones can use to usurp Roger Goodell from his Commissioner title with the NFL.

Free Zeke

Star running back Ezekiel Elliott finds himself as the centerpiece of this battle. His legal battle to overturn his suspension was the preseason for a larger showdown. Reports have surfaced suggesting Jones was assured by Goodell that Elliott would serve no time. This assurance prompted Jones to vote in favor of the process of a committee going forward with renewing Goodell’s contract. However, Goodell reneged his promise to Jones and suspended Elliott anyway. this comes after police filed no charges, and text messages have surfaced that Tiffany Thompson was merely trying to blackmail, Elliott. Goodell punished Elliott for battering Tiffany Thompson even though the lone NFL investigator who interviewed Thompson did not find sufficient evidence to support Thompson’s accusations. So Goodell suspended Elliott for nothing. What else is Jerry Jones to take that as other than a smackdown to show that he’s in charge and a petty slap against the Dallas Cowboys’ ability to compete?

Jones Not Alone

The fans are behind Jones because they dislike Goodell, but no one cares about the fans, sadly. Jerry Jones may look to find an ally in the NFLPA, the union for players. Following the Ezekiel Elliott case they lost, they issued this statement

On behalf of all players, the Union appealed the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott to its logical conclusion and we are withdrawing our lawsuit. 

Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL’s disciplinary process as a sham and a lie. They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in “experts” and imposed a process with the stated goal of “getting it right,” yet the management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system.

In truth, the NFLPA has no one to blame but themselves. They were a part of the process which gave Roger Goodell carte blanche with league discipline and it has been a disaster ever since. They helped create the monster during their last collective bargaining negotiations. However, in recognizing this failing, they may be eager to join Jerry Jones in his fight. This would be a credible ally that would make Jones seem less like a loose cannon.

History of Goodell’s success

One of the main selling point under Roger Goodell has been the increasing pie for NFL owners. Jerry Jones, specifically, has been a benefactor of Goodell’s leadership for many years.

CBS Sports: Cowboys dominate Forbes’ 2017 list of most valuable NFL franchises, Bills rank last

According to Forbes, the five most valuable franchises in the world are the Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the Patriots ($3.7 billion), the New York Yankees ($3.7 billion) along with soccer clubs Manchester United ($3.69 billion) and FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion).

 The fact that two NFL teams are at the top of the worldwide list shouldn’t come as much of a shock because the value of an NFL franchise has basically been skyrocketing since 2013. Four years ago, there was only one team worth over $2 billion — the Cowboys.

This year, 27 of the league’s 32 teams are worth over $2 billion, and three of the teams that aren’t — the Browns, Bengals, and Buccaneers — will likely hit that number in the near future.

One team that didn’t see a huge jump was the Chargers. Although the Rams got a huge boost when they moved to L.A. in 2016 — they jumped from the 28th most valuable team to the sixth most valuable — the Chargers only saw a slight increase. Since moving from San Diego, the team’s value has gone from $2.08 billion to $2.275 billion.

Ratings may tank Goodell

The NFL boycott is real and is deeply reflected in the ratings decrease. NFL owners can’t be blind to the hurt they are getting by the ratings drop, attendance decline, dip in merchandise sales, and tainted relationship with major sponsors. However, as colleague Scott Byrd would suggest, this is just the beginning. These are Goodell’s biggest threats to his continued tenure and unfortunately, they are all financially tied. A while back, I previously wrote about how the NFL could hemorrhage the bleeding.

How the NFL can stop and possibly reverse the bleeding
  1. Force Players to Stand For the National Anthem

    Seriously, this shouldn’t even be debatable at this point. Get the politics out of football. The players have angered so many fans that the rating drops are accelerating. Players disrespecting the anthem is a direct cause of fans turning them off. You can’t expect to increase ratings when players alienate fans. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, the NFL has a fiduciary duty to implement and enforce a policy to keep the politics out of football. If they want a ratings bounce, they better listen to those who boycott. Football is supposed to be American. It should be a reminder of why we love our country. When that reminder is replaced by players protesting the anthem, the brand is tarnished. The NFL has a brand issue they need to fix.

  2. End Regional Broadcasting

    In 2017, there is no reason that a Broncos fan in Miami can’t watch their team except with DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket. I grew up with that, and it’s a great service. However, people are cord-cutting. Cable is increasingly losing its firm grip on entertainment with streaming services. NFL should offer streaming on their website that has no regional broadcast restrictions. It doesn’t even have to be free. This is a way for the NFL to modernize. They are already expanding their own streaming capabilities, but the only live games you can watch on NFL.com are out of market preseason games. How useless is that? Allow people who follow a team to pay for a package to watch that team every Sunday. It’s not that hard.

  3. Written Rules for Player Discipline

    How long should a player be suspended for in domestic violence cases? The amount of time is less important than the equal standard it should be from Josh Brown to Ray Rice. The NFL needs consistency. Otherwise, these scandals are a distraction from the football.

  4. Due Process for Player Discipline

    The NFL should defer to the legal system and not their own investigating. They are obviously terrible at it. In the case of Ezekiel Elliott, they suspended him when the police dropped the case. Furthermore, in the process, the NFL ignored evidence that exonerated Elliott. This was an unnecessary legal battle and distraction that the NFL really doesn’t need. It’s been proven that Elliott’s accuser was lying, but the NFL insists on a four-game suspension. Skip the NFL investigating process, and just defer to the legal system. If police drop charges, no suspension. If acquitted, no suspension. If they plead no contest, suspension. Players need to be proven innocent. And obviously, suspend when found guilty.

  5. Stay At Home

    This one is aimed at the San Diego Chargers. Abandoning the San Diego Market to pursue the Los Angeles dream would have been a good idea, if the Rams hadn’t already done it first. Now they gave their original fanbase a free pass to either lose interest or cheer for a different team. Stupid move. It’s great when the NFL gives back to the community, but abandoning your market shows how little you truly cared. Perhaps the Raiders should stay in Oakland. In pursuit of LA, the NFL lost the St. Louis market. San Diego and St. Louis are sizable markets. They can support multiple sports teams. If anything, the Jaguars should relocate, but they are investing in England for a possible relocation across the pond in the long-term future. When franchises relocate, it can devastate a community and turn people away from the sport. It’s very possible that these relocations have contributed to ratings declines. And so this should cease. As a side note, the Las Vegas move is not a terrible idea considering the city’s space and growth. But I don’t think the Raiders should be the ones to move. To clarify, It’s the stupid relocations that must stop.

Saving Football

Much of my five ways to stop the bleeding have only been validated with time, like the Chargers’ move to LA resulting in only a small increase in valuation. The internet also poses a threat that Roger Goodell seems behind on. Time is of the essence. If the NFL doesn’t change its ways, it could lose relevance in more households perhaps losing a generation of fans if this continues for however long Goodell’s contract is extended for. Rating declines only serve to make the NFL, and by extension football, less relevant.

Luckily Jerry Jones is opposing Goodell for more reasons than just Ezekiel Elliott, although that’s huge. Also, Jerry Jones has a history of suing and winning against the NFL. He is the best chance of saving the NFL. The NFL needs to act on its fiduciary duty to end these PR nightmares. And part of acting on that duty entails the removal of Roger Goodell. Jerry Jones is championing the fight. And while he isn’t quite the hero we wanted, he is the hero we need and deserve to save the NFL from itself. Who knows what the endgame is? But it’s hard to imagine, Jerry Jones succeeding makes the NFL’s situation worse. Usurping Goodell is the first piece in saving the NFL, but far from the last.

 

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Entertainment and Sports

The AAF is the NFL’s newest worry

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Two months ago, the NFL’s long-term demise may have been spelled by the revival of the XFL. The XFL was initially a football league in 2001, but now Vince McMahon wants to revive it. While announcements about the XFL have been dormant since January, a new player is emerging and faster. The Alliance of American Football or the AAF has been formed and will play a 2019 season the week after the Superbowl.

The AAF, in contrast, Vince McMahon and the XFL have given more concise answers to the many questions asked. Make no mistake, the AAF is a substantially more potent threat than the XFL. The AAF not only is going to begin a year earlier but also has TV contracts ready with CBS. The AAF will also stream games and incorporate fantasy football.

The biggest reason the AAF is a threat is management. The AAF is founded by Charlie Ebersol, who has worked for the NFL and sports media. He even made a documentary as to why the 2001 XFL failed. The AAF also has a number of credible football players serving as executives and advisers. Among them are Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen, and Justin Tuck. The AAF also has the legendary team builder and executive Bill Polian. A B-List idea with A-Team management is a recipe for success in business. This is why the AAF has garnered the backing of venture capitalist firms such Founders Fund featuring the country’s top VC, Peter Thiel ad Cherning Group.

The AAF during its announcement stated that it would fill a void where the NFL ends in February. In this void, many sports fans stop watching sports and stop participating in fantasy sports. The AAF also wants to reach the large pool of college football players who don’t wind up in the NFL. Other sports have multiple professional leagues in the NFL.

The AAF will have 8 teams, 10 games, and a two-week playoff. In eliminating injuries and maintaining excitement, the AAF is eliminating the kickoff, and will instead start the 25-yard line. For teams seeking an onside kick, will have 4th and 10 on their 35. The extra point is eliminated; teams have to go for 2. Teams will have two replays a game. To speed the game, the play clock will be 30 seconds, matching the increasing pace of the game. The AAF will also change the way players are compensated with win bonuses, stat bonuses, and fan engagement bonuses. On top of these bonuses, the league will also provide scholarships for their future off the field.

For fans, the tickets and concessions will be cheap. This is in sharp contrast to the NFL where tickets prices are rising even for mediocre teams. TV timeouts will also be done away with. Commercials will only take place during natural breaks. In April the cities will be announced. Note: they’ve already been decided, but they want us talking about it later, something that isn’t happening with the XFL.

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Takeaway

Unlike the XFL, the Alliance of American Football announced its existence with far more questions answered. While the Alliance didn’t touch on the National Anthem or criminal records, they also answered far more questions about their gameplay than Vince McMahon’s vague announcement. While the NFL has a complement in the Alliance of American Football, this alliance may in years to come be a fierce competitor. In the meantime, rather than being disruptive, Charlie Ebersol and his staff are focusing on being useful. This strategy is far more conducive to long-term success.

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Entertainment and Sports

Billy Graham and the emergence of Christian media.

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From the start, Billy Graham was a media magnet and he knew how to use the power of media. Even most liberals and progressives (although there were exceptions like William Edelen and the Gaylor family/FFRF) could not shoot down this man who wore his faith on the sleeve and actually respected Graham.

Did you know that without Billy Graham, Christian media as we know it today might not have taken off and flourished? In his time and prime there was a Federal Council of Churches that consisted of mostly mainline churches and basically fought to keep “evangelical voices” off the air on both radio and even TV when it was brand new (follow the attendance and the money). When Graham became president of Northwestern Bible College in 1948, he through the college applied for one of the construction permits that the Federal Communications Commission approved of in the 1940’s. Northwest Bible College got the green light from the FCC and a year later KTIS AM signed on in the Twin Cities. Today Northwestern Media owns 18 radio stations (9 FM, 9 AM) and in honor of what Graham did continues to be the media outreach of what is now called the University of Northwestern. You can read more about Graham and Northwestern Media here.

Soon after Northwestern Media and Graham’s inroads into mainstream media, others quickly followed. Most notably Percy Crawford who began his TV program “Youth on the March” on the fleeting ABC Network who also carried Graham’s “Hour of Decision” on their radio network. In 1958 Crawford started his namesake radio company to buy up radio stations and carry full-time Christian formatted programming. Percy Crawford would pass away in October 1960, but his son Don and later grandson Don Jr. would carry on his legacy to this day. While Moody Bible Institute was in radio since 1925, their respected radio network did not talk off until 1958. The same year that the Crawford Broadcasting Company started.

Another important Christian broadcaster Dick Bott grew up in a Christian home and while no stranger to Christian evangelism choose a different path. After marrying his wife, Bott got involved in her father’s radio station selling ads that would air on the respected station. He would later buy and operate a secular station in Salinas/Monterey, California which Bott would eventually sell off. Bott was compelled to build a radio station on consistent Christian programming but with integrity and accountability. Bott bought a country music station in the Kansas City metropolitan area and quickly changed the format and call letters. The station that was KANS-AM became KCCV 760 AM “Kansas City’s Christian Voice” in 1962. It and its FM simulcast sister with the same call letters are still the flagship stations of the now “Bott Radio Network” which consists of now 118 stations that it owns. In 1966 Warren Bolthouse stated Family Life Broadcasting (aka Family Life Radio or FLR) which today owns 43 stations and is now based on Tucson, Arizona.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Lester Sumrall made his inroads into Christian media stating with WHME-FM in South Bend, Indiana and later into TV with the acquisition of WHMB-TV in Indianapolis and later the sign on of WHME-TV in South Bend. These three stations laid the groundwork for LeSea Broadcasting. Paul and Jan Crouch started their own TV programming with would become known as the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) in 1973. The Bible Broadcasting Network signed on in 1971 with a single station in Norfolk, Virginia growing to 49 full power stations.

An FM rock station in Orange County, California KYMS 106.3 which could not compete with the more powerful rock signals of KMET (now KTWV) and KLOS in the greater Los Angeles area found its niche with the emerging Jesus people in 1975. In addition to Christian teaching and talk programs, KYMS also played the fleeting “Jesus Music” that was popular with that respected audience and while KYMS was not the very first Contemporary Christian Music station (that honor went to a station in Lincoln, Nebraska), it was the first one that was successful. KYMS’s run as a Contemporary Christian station would last for 20 years. WHME-FM would jump on this music and eventually spinning it off on a station of its own in the 1990’s. Northwestern Media’s FM stations and FLR would also adopt a CCM format in due time.

Radio broadcaster Bob Anthony also caught on to this emerging genre and would be one of the founders of Educational Media Foundation which signed on a single FM station in Santa Rosa, California in 1982 playing Contemporary Christian music. Today EMF owns and operates over 245 radio stations with its Christian music services K-Love and Air1. Another radio company devoted to Christian programming also was started up around this time. This for-profit company was founded by Stuart Epperson and Edward G. Atsinger III and they still head up this company we know today as Salem Media Group. In the late 1980’s Bob and Felice Augsburg started up what would become know as WayMedia and it’s Way-Fm brand which originally targeted Christian youth with Christian Music that appealed to that respected audience.

The list is almost endless with so many other Christian broadcasters over the years and many not as big as the ones I listed. For better and for worse the Christian media we take for granted, even in the new media likely would not have happened had it not been for Billy Graham.

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Entertainment and Sports

History repeats itself: Once again the National media praises a Socialist Dictatorship.

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Being like-minded is the only reasonable explanation for this behaviour.

The occasion was the Olympic games with the national media falling all over itself to heap praise upon the a leadership of a socialist regime. But instead of a murderous socialist regime in North Korea, it was a murderous socialist regime in Germany just before WWII:

“Foreigners who know Germany only from what they have seen during this pleasant fortnight can carry home only one impression: it is that this is a nation happy and prosperous beyond belief, that Hitler is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, political leaders in the world today, and the Germans themselves are a much-maligned, hospitable, holy, peaceful people who deserve the best the world can give them.” New York Times, editorial August 16, 1936

Presumably this was before the nonsensical ‘Godwin’s law’ made the mentioning of Socialist monsters of the past verboten. Curiously enough, this is primarily used by Leftists in trying to suppress discussions of their blood soaked history. ‘Never forget’ is extremely difficult when one can ‘Never Mention’ the murderous past and present of the collectivist ideology.

Back then the New York Times had a bit more balance in it’s coverage with these headlines:

100,000 Hail Hitler; U.S. Athletes Avoid Nazi Salute To Him;

U.S. Welcome Is Mixed, Whistling Interpreted as ‘Bronx Cheer’ Is Heard as Team Gives Its Own Salute.

So why are we witness to a somewhat similar display from the national media reporting on the representatives from another Socialist nation, one that hails from North Korea instead of Germany?

Could it be they are merely ignorant that they are helping that authoritarian regime and do not understand it’s true nature? A government that starves, tortures imprisons and publicly executes it’s own people?
Was it as some have suggested in these cases, cheering for the rebel or the underdog?
Perhaps it is their way somehow going after the Trump administration?

Or could it just be that they are of the same ideological mindset?

We can dispense with giving them the benefit of the doubt. These are people of allegedly high intelligence, as is most of the Socialist-Left – Just ask them. With few exceptions – namely Buzzfeed of all places – it is hard to believe they do not understand the role they are playing with the woman who heads the ‘Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Nor can they be excused of not knowing the horrors taking place in what is essentially an open air concentration camp. Again, these are people who fashion themselves as the intellectual elite of the nation, the crème de la crème of the Left, standing up for the downtrodden everywhere, except North Korea.

It’s also hard to believe that the National media is really cheering for the underdog, given that description hardly extends a Germany under the iron fist of the Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei or the Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. It should also be clear that the national media has a history of this kind of advocacy that existed long before Trump ascended the public stage.

So, the obvious conclusions is that they are of the same collectivist mindset. No doubt if pressed, they would offer the same excuses for the starvation, oppression and mass murder used for other collectivist nations as ‘not really socialism.’ Or that the Socialism they advocate (were they truly honest about who they are) would be ‘done correctly’ in their case.

No, these were merely people cheering for their ideological brethren, and we’ll just leave it at that.

 

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