The National Football League is supposed to be about football. That’s all Americans want it to be. Football is about escape from the mundane. It’s a time to kick back, enjoy friends, overeat, and generally over indulge because we know that come Monday, the drudgery of work, media assault on our intellect, and political shenanigans begin again. The only reprieve is Monday Night Football.
One of the first things that ticked me off that the National Football League was getting political was when I read the following in USA Today:
“President Obama . . . picked Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney to serve as ambassador to Ireland, rewarding a loyal supporter who campaigned on his behalf in a key battleground state. . . . Rooney, 76, is a longtime Republican who endorsed Obama during Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary. He also campaigned on Obama’s behalf in the western part of the state that is home to the Steelers.”
This was a huge disappointment to me for two reasons: First, I’m a Steelers fan, and second, I was hoping against hope that politics would stay out of professional football.
Here’s the latest suspicious political move.
Since 2002, the National Football League has opened the regular season with a primetime game on a Thursday night. But this season, the planned date — September 6 — falls on the same night that President Obama is scheduled to make his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention as his party’s presidential nominee.
So for the first time in more than 60 years, the league will play a Wednesday night game, September 5, to kick off the new season. According to the league, it has not played a game on a Wednesday since September 22, 1948, when the Rams faced the Lions.
A similar thing was done in 2008 when the NFL bumped its game up 90 minutes to accommodate John McCain’s speech at the Republican National Convention. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.