Another NFL season is in the books. A record 111.3 million viewers tuned in to a dramatic Super Bowl XLVI as the Giants defeated the Patriots 21-17.
The NFL continues its dominance in the United States as the most popular of the four major sports and there’s no sign of it slowing down.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the fans of the game and thanked them for their continued support of the league. Below, I’ll break down Goodell’s letter by paragraph and read between the lines to give you the message he truly meant to send.
To NFL Fans:
Now that another remarkable NFL season has concluded, let me express my gratitude on behalf of all 32 NFL teams for your incredible support. Record numbers of you watched at home, made your way to the stadium, and connected with the NFL in numerous other ways during the 2011 season. Your love of football is what makes the NFL special.
You idiots forgot all about the NFL lockout didn’t you? What a bunch of suckers. We put the fans through misery all offseason and they came running back when our game returned.
We are proud of the quality of the game today. From the individuals and team skills on display in every game to the record-breaking achievements of future Hall of Famers, the 2011 season was extraordinary on many levels.
Our soft rules have made offensive game play more exciting than it has ever been before. Research shows that NFL fans don’t want to see good defensive play. We’ve done our best to create rules that help create more scoring than ever before and you guys loved it.
It finished up with some of the most exciting playoff games of recent years leading to a tense, drama-filled Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots that was the most-watched show in the history of television. What a tribute to our players, coaches, and fans!
And even though our Pro Bowl ratings dropped 8.1 percent, 12.5 million addicts lined up to watch that pitiful excuse of a game too.
As good as it’s been, I believe the NFL’s best days are ahead. Our responsibility in leading the league is to protect and enhance the bond between our game and the passionate fans who sustain it. We know we have to earn your trust every day and prove we are worthy of your amazing support.
We’re looking at taking more regular season games away from season ticket holders and putting them overseas to finally break into the international market. Football hasn’t caught on in London and we are determined to take this American game global to tap into the economies in countries around the World.
Our commitment to improve everything we do is ongoing. We are not done yet. From the game on the field to the fan experience at home — and everything in between — there are ways we can do even better. We owe it to you, the fans, to believe in better and strive for more. Our game has always evolved and that will continue. I encourage you to visit our new web site – NFL.com/evolution – to explore how the game has improved over the past century. There are more good changes to come.
The NFL has also cracked down on unlicensed manufactures of our products. If you want to support your city’s franchise, you’re going to have to fork over top dollar to show your pride.
Our mission is captured very simply in these four words:
Forever forward. Forever football. Thank you once again for your passion and commitment to the game we all love.
As Randy Moss once famously said, “straight cash homie.”