The NFL In The News

The NFL has mastered the art of headline grabbing.  Once the Draft has happened and the “grades” for every team have been assigned and analyzed, there is little if any “NFL news” to be had until minicamps in June.

“Not so fast, my friend!”  [Hat Tip:  Lee Corso.]

The NFL schedule for the 2024 regular season has probably been known to the NFL execs for weeks now, but the league uses the release of that schedule as a headline grabber in mid-May.  Not only do they release the schedule with fanfare; they do it in dribs and drabs to get the league in the news and in the headlines on multiple days.

  1. All the way back in February, we learned that the league would play its first game in South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil) on the Friday of opening weekend.
  2. Days after that, we found out the Eagles would play in that game – – but the opponent was “TBD” at the time.
  3. Later, the league announced that the Packers would be the Eagles’ opponent in that game.
  4. Last week, there was some “mystery”/”confusion” about when the full schedule would be released – – as if there were still some loose ends still in need of closure.
  5. That “mystery” was unwound when insiders learned that the schedule will be released this week.
  6. Within the last week, news “leaked” that the Super Bowl Champions (Chiefs) would open their season at home against the Ravens in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game.
  7. Yesterday, we learned that in the opening weekend, the Cowboys would go to Cleveland to play the Browns and that game would be Tom Brady’s first game on FOX as a color analyst for an NFL game.

There are seven headline manipulations by the NFL derived from something that is rather mundane – – the release of next season’s schedule – – and still the full schedule has not been “revealed” – – and will not be until later this week when it will grab headlines once again.  Indeed, the league has mastered the art or headline grabbing…

Next up …  The NFL has also been quietly paring down the NFL Network.  The daily opening show, Good Morning Football has been “on hiatus” for a couple of months now – – ostensibly to accommodate a change in the venue of the studio from which the show will originate.  The schedule for its return has been this week to coincide with the release of the 2024 schedule and there has been no announcement that those plans have changed.  Upon its return, the show will also be syndicated to run on FOX-owned local channels so the program will be getting expanded exposure once it comes back.

All is not so good news for NFLN, however.  Its later daily program, Total Access, has been scrapped and its final show will be this Friday.  Michael Irvin was one of the analysts who appeared on Total Access and other NFLN programming, but he has been let go by the network recently.  About a month ago, the network dropped a whole bunch of on-air folks along with production and promotion people.  The network is clearly in a state of flux; if the intent of all the personnel changes and schedule shuffling is to cut back on the network costs, I wonder if the exclusive NFLN coverage of all 65 Exhibition Games will continue.  Yes, those games provide lots of filler for airtime in August; but the cost of creating that content is significant.  There is more to come here …

Moving on …  The Detroit Lions had been a sorry-assed franchise for about 3 decades but have returned to relevance under Dan Campbell since he took over the team in 2021.  Last year, the Lions made it to the NFC Championship Game and only lost to the Niners by a field goal.  In winning two playoff games to make it to that NFC Championship Game, the Lions earned their first playoff victories since 1991.  That success obviously energized the Lions’ fanbase and the results carried over to this off-season.

  • The Lions have sold out their inventory of season tickets as of last week.
  • The team set aside some seats to be sold as “single game” tickets which will be offered for sale once the full NFL schedule is released later this week.
  • The Lions raised ticket prices by an average of 30% for this season – – and still the season ticket inventory sold out or was renewed in only a couple of months.

It has been a long time since there was anything near this level of enthusiasm around the league relative to the Lions.  In fact, during the interim between the Lions playoff win in 1991 and last season, the team had worked its way through twelve head coaches.  Dan Campbell is clearly not on any sort of “hot seat” in Detroit and the team just signed QB, Jared Goff to a 4-year contract potentially worth up to $212M with $100M guaranteed at signing.  Indeed, things are looking up in Detroit…

Finally, since I mentioned headline grabbing above, let me close with one of my favorite all-time headlines; it was so outrageous that I actually thought about clicking to see what the story was about:

“Transgender woman loses bid to sue ex for throwing out her surgically removed testicles.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “The NFL In The News”

  1. May is the time of year when flowers bloom and NFL fans wonder how a kickoff works.

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