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Cory's Corner: The NFL is billion dollar blackmail

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Cory's Corner: The NFL is billion dollar blackmail

Just when we thought we’ve seen enough NFL hypocrisy, we get served another tall glass.

For years, the NFL hasn’t allowed hard liquor to take up ad space during one of its games.

Now, of all a sudden, the tide is turning. The obvious reason is because of money. The NFL has been hit hard with head trauma lawsuits and last year’s sagging TV ratings and it needs another avenue to stream in money.

But what strikes me about this is how hard liquor is being packaged. The league wants the spots to have a “prominent social responsibility message.” The NFL also doesn’t want underagers to be a target audience and doesn’t want football as a main theme in any spot.

That’s interesting because the NFL has beer ads all game long. With the amount that Budweiser spends on advertising, I’m surprised the Super Bowl hasn’t been renamed the Bud Bowl yet. Anheuser-Busch InBev has a sponsorship deal with the Shield through 2022 for $1.4 billion.

Or what about condoms? The NFL says that is off limits, but how many times do we have to watch a man and a woman holding hands in a bathtub during a game? Cialis, Viagra and Levitra have a found a home on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays while fighting the perils of erectile dysfunction.

The last one just makes me laugh it’s so stupid. The NFL just allowed one of its more recognizable teams in the Raiders to move to Las Vegas in two to three years. However, the NFL won’t allow any ads for hotels that feature gambling and it won’t even allow cheesy tourism ads for the city of Las Vegas.

The league can say that it cares about image all it wants. It can say that it cares about its players, it can say that it cares about the fans and it cares about the NFL communities.

But it’s time to face the facts. The NFL only cares about itself. It only cares about being the No. 1 sport in this land and it only cares about continually printing gobs of money.

The only reason the NFL was forced to make a change is because of its bottom line and conversely, the only way the NFL will pull the plug on hard liquor ads is if another revenue source says goodbye as well.

It’s not business, it’s billion dollar blackmail and it’s what’s hiding behind the curtain in the NFL.


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Alvo's picture

Your article doesn't explain how selling advertising spots is "blackmail."

The TKstinator's picture

I was thinking that too.
Hypocrisy, maybe, but not blackmail.

Additionally, if the NFL already prints its own money, why does it need ads at all?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't see any blackmail here. I don't see any hypocrisy here. The business of most businesses is to make money. You're just figuring that out? I have no trouble with commercials for hard liquor. The NFL decided that it would do no harm to its business to allow such commercials. I know my sister, who never misses a Packer or Badger game, rather enjoys a Tangeray and Tonic, and wouldn't be offended by ads for it.

What we really have here is a case of self-loathing redirected outwards. Football is a violent sport. The sport itself along with its advertisers send decidedly mixed messages to those who watch football, including our youth.

The TKstinator's picture

Yes, once we accept the idea that the NFL is a business (a 9 billion dollar a year industry), all the rest is easier to understand.

Ferrari Driver's picture

I'll drink to that.

The TKstinator's picture

Beer or something harder?

marpag1's picture

Hey, is that a bad ED joke??

cuervo's picture

Well it took awhile, but now Cheeshead TV seems to be joining the anti capitalist movement....congrats.

The NFL is a business, it's purpose is to make money, not provide some conception of "social justice" or any other crap that makes a minority of people feel better.

Maybe the writer can explain how he knows what the bottom line of the NFL financials are that supposedly caused this self described "blackmail". The season can't come here soon enough which will prevent more articles like this one being written.

marpag1's picture

Unfortunately, when the season begins, the goofy "opinion pieces" don't end.

Spud Rapids's picture

"The NFL is a business, it's purpose is to make money, not provide some conception of "social justice" or any other crap that makes a minority of people feel better."

Ask Mylan how that is going for them right now... you can't ignore social justice and have a sustainable business in today's world. I'm not sure what generation you are in but younger generations like millennials make consumer choices that have a certain level of social justice weight.

I'm not sure why you call Cheesehead TV anti-capitalist. He's simply pointing out the hypocrisy in trying to be socially responsible but caving to ad dollars.

Spock's picture

Yeah, I don't get the "blackmail" bit here. On a lighter note, and at the risk of being "political", I have a theory that the reason nothing has been getting done in Washington (regardless of administrations) is that nearly all the congressman and senators are on the EDS pills. Result: we have a bunch of hormonal "teenagers" who are too busy playing the "mine's bigger than yours" game than concentrating on helping the country. Just a theory :) , but it explains a lot! Ha. The ads don't bother me as I typically tape the games and begin watching them about 20 minutes in so I can skip through the inane commercials.

The TKstinator's picture

And why the two bathtubs? Wouldn't it be more conducive to "getting things done" if they just shared one?

marpag1's picture

Two bathtubs can still work if the Viagra is REALLY good.....

The TKstinator's picture

Long distance relationships.

DThomas's picture

As others have mentioned it looks like Cory doesn't know what the word "blackmail" means. [sarcasm] But what a revelation: A huge entertainment business wants to maximize profits! Horrors!! What's next? The U.S. economy is based on capitalism? [/sarcasm]

Ads for hard liquor? Much ado about nothing. By the way, there is a legitimate reason for the NFL to avoid ties with gambling. Although it's a huge reason for viewership, the scandal that would hurt the NFL more than concussions is if fans believe games are fixed.

Donster's picture

Personally, I would like all the erectile dysfunction ads removed from television completely. Same with condom ads. I am not a prude. I just believe that our children and grandchildren are exposed to to much.

That said, the article here I do not agree with blackmail. Hypocrisy, yes. But the league has to make money. We forget the millions of dollars the league gives to countless charities. Without that money, it hurts those charities.

If the NFL gets regulated on whom they can do business with when it comes to advertising, the sport will suffer, and its fans.

Tarynfor12's picture

When will the Pot Dispensaries be getting their advertising time during games?

cuervo's picture

Great point.....heck with all the players that use it for pain management etc, think of the commercial possibilities. You could Letroy Guion or Allison selling the virtues of their favorite local dispensery.

Thebearsstillsuck's picture

Man has this site gone downhill. It can't be pointed out enough how completely incorrect the title is. Like the ads or not, ed is a disability, specifically considered a secondary disability. And you can't discriminate against people with disabilities. The ed commercials are typically set between a couple or a husband and wife, a condom commercial would more than likely be a much different setting. So as sick of them as we all are, they're not the same as condom commercials and they'll never go away.
The nfl isn't a publicly traded company, they can do what they want. Maybe hard liquors image has changed in the public eye, maybe the feel like target marketing to the age appropriate crowd is satisfactory now, maybe they want to make a bunch more money. Who cares. There is a pile of things that bother me more than the advertising in the NFL and absolutely none of them have affected my viewing habits for one second. And as far as gambling goes, the reasons for that are obvious. Yes Vegas allows gambling, Denver allows recreational marijuana and the nfl hasn't changed their opinion on that.

scullyitsme's picture

Says the guy with ED ^^^

LayingTheLawe's picture

You mean Mr. Jennerjohn - that companies try to make money? Ohh clutches my heart and staggers back. The horror!

TXCHEESE's picture

I read a similar headline about this on another website a day or two ago. I didn't read the article, because it's just plain stupid to criticize a business for making money. One must get off his high horse and look up the word "plagiarism", and while he's at it, look up "blackmail".

egbertsouse's picture

I don't see the blackmail thing either but the NFL is chock full of hypocrisy. The league is always going on about how much they care about everything; the players health, the fans, the youth, domestic violence, gay rights,etc. when we all know the only thing they really care about sucking every last dollar out of everything and everyone. There isn't an owner or league official that wouldn't sell his own grandma to a whorehouse for the price of a rotten tomato.

To their credit, however, they are no more hypocritical than banks, hospitals, insurance, drug companies,oil companies, and all the other industries that really care about all us poor schmucks

The TKstinator's picture

As long as I feel cared for, I'm good.

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