Matt Ufford of SB Nation, posted up a story today outlining that the Department of Defense paid the NFL more than $5 million over four years to buy those moments that honored troops before games. Check it out for yourself. It's a really good read.
However, it turns out that one of the teams paid was the Baltimore Ravens. A team that seemingly goes out of it's way for the military, is being paid to do so? We've seen images of John Harbaugh on his USO tour and the color guard out there waving the flags before games. We've seen moments of silence and 100 yard long flags being waved on the field. Yet, with the news that the Ravens have taken money for those moments, it seems a little disingenuous at best.
The Baltimore Ravens were given 5 contracts in 2011, 2012, and 2013 for a total of $884,500. With the general public assuming that those were heartfelt moments of the team supporting our troops, the Department of Defense calls it a great recruitment tool. Now of course, we don't exactly know what those contracts were for. They were admittedly for moments where soldiers were thanked for their service on the jumbotron and given tickets to the games, but they could also be for other seemingly innocuous moments like that as well. The Ravens aren't the only team that has done this, with the list going deep at 14 teams.
I must say that not only am I saddened by this report but I'm frustrated with the NFL as a whole for taking advantage of everyone around them. Moments where you think the NFL has a heart and cares about it's own long history with service members and the country that helps support the massive enterprise it has become. But nope, the NFL only cares about how many dollar bills it can stuff into it's own pocket.
It's like the world's ugliest stripper in that regard. It'll tell you how hot you are and how you are the cutest guy in the entire place as long as you keep feeding it dollars. The second you stop, is the second that those touching moments are gone.
Then again, I feel stupid for thinking that the NFL could have a heart. This isn't Pretty Woman, it's the NFL. It's the same company that has gone out of it's way to support a charity that is less charitable and more self-serving in the Susan G. Komen Foundation. And funnily enough, the NFL doesn't even really support them, with the massive amounts of pink and merch sold accounting for very little in the final amount given over. The NFL again fleeces common people into thinking that they are anything other than the epitome of a capitalist business culture.... "How much profit can I make for that?"
Now that I've gotten you to imagine Roger Goodell as a stripper, I feel that I've sufficiently pissed you off to help make some noise about this. Write a letter to the commissioner or even Ravens' owner Steve Bisciotti and tell him that this type of story only makes them look bad and to do the right thing.