Posted tagged ‘NFL’

When Money Meets Conviction – A Football Business Story

January 8, 2016

A very strange off-season indeed, yet very telling off-season in terms of the vindictiveness and control hungry owners of the 32 NFL teams.  The recent treatment (or lack) of Peyton Manning in the shadow of allegations of a connection to HGH has for me, illuminated to the core, the answer to the riddle which is Patriots’ 2015 off-season.

It has been well known that the NFL views their business associates as “Partners”.  These Partnership designations are attached to media, equipment manufacturers and sponsors.  We also know that Tom Brady, the NFL commodity with matinee idol looks, a glamourous spouse, exemplary behavior on and off the field, the prototypical family man, and the most successful athlete in the history of the NFL would and should be the “apple of every sponsor’s eye”. However we also know that Tom Brady is a “different cat”.  He’s a Metrosexual – GQ guy’s guy’. Tom’s not the stereotypical football man-cave dwelling, guy’s guy. No, he’s the Kale and Spirulina chomping weird dude. He’s not the partner’s pizza/corn chip/ beer guzzling guy the league has built an empire around. He is a guy with a model of living that works for him — a guy with incredible integrity and who is very strong in his convictions. He isn’t selling you salsa  – ever.

So what would happen if Tom refused to appease NFL sponsors/partners and continually spurn their requests for his endorsement of products that Tom would staunchly disdain? Tom would cause strife between complaining “NFL Partners” and the league. He would also be perceived to be an interrupter of the cash flow from these partners to the greedy owners. His rejection of things that partners try to push on Americans would also paint Tom in the eyes of the league ownership as the ultimate “anti-partner” the rabid lone wolf who is biting the hand that fed him – the one who must be controlled as should his independence be emulated by other players, the owners would stand to lose much more. Media Partners, who all covert the league generated revenue played henchmen to the owners’ effort to put this guy in his place.  This was NEVER about jealousy of winning or performance. This is why Bob Kraft initially went along with the league in accepting the bogus punishment. All of the owners, including Kraft make money from their top talents’ engagement with partners. Yet his employee, the most ideal of the league’s commodities refuses to play ball.  It’s about the money. It was always about money.

Conversely, Peyton Manning — NFL royalty – from his bloodlines to his behavior, has always appeared more than willing to play the NFL game. In the most unprincipled way, Peyton will pimp himself for the leagues’ partners and leverage his personal brand to endeavors that line his and the owners pockets with cash. Thus, in light of the considerable evidence presented by an independent, non-beholden to the league media source, Peyton has been protected. Media partners work with the league to not only suppress these allegations, but go above and beyond to praise and laud Manning as the pillar of good who is above suspicion simply because “he said he didn’t do it”.

New England, America and anyone else who cares, as fans our glasses were fogged by fandom and we forgot that the NFL is a business. All of the owners are business partners and execution of the business model trumps competition, fairness and right.  Tom knows this which explains why he broke out of character and showed passion for the first time about something other than football.  That passion was a glimpse into his private life and his conviction about his diet and the dangers of all processed food.  This is why he acquiesced and unveiled his personnel chef.  I contend that this unprecedented window into the world of Tom Brady was intended not just for the fans, but for the owners who despise him for his unyielding commitment to his beliefs.  Brady is gambling that he will be able to continue to be his own man and that his legacy with trump the present discord.  I for one, once bamboozled now get it and stand with TB12.

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