Not even a global pandemic can slow down the National Football League.
No NBA. No NHL games. No Masters golf in April. No March Madness. No spring training in the MLB.
That means no competition for the NFL. It has the attention of the entire sports world. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady has announced he will not be coming back to New England.
Carolina has granted quarterback Cam Newton permission to request a trade. There has already been some big trades, including the Vikings sending receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for multiple picks March 16
ESPN and the NFL Network have been non-stop NFL the last 24 hours, despite calls for the league to halt free agency. Hey, the NFL did cancel its annual owners’ meetings.
Nothing ever seems to stick to the NFL. Controversy rolls off it like a bead of water on a duck’s back.
Remember CTE, the brain disease linked to former NFL players? Well, the league seems to have sidestepped that potential landmine. It doesn’t seem to come up in conversation anymore unless there’s a violent hit over the middle on a receiver or a defensive lineman roughs the passer.
The NFL has worked through domestic abuse scandals, survived Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests, Deflate Gate, SpyGate and referee blunders in conference championship games.
This is why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $40 million per year.
The NFL Draft is set for April 23-25 in Nevada. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended no gatherings of 50 people for the next eight weeks across the country.
How has the NFL responded? It did cancel all the public events surrounding the draft. But the draft itself, well that’s happening.
“The clubs’ selection of players will proceed as scheduled April 23-25,” the league said in a statement March 16. “The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available. The selection process will be televised.”
Imagine how big the ratings will be for the NFL draft with no other major sports happening at that time.
In fact, 11 of the top 16 rated television shows in 2019 were NFL games.
So as the country has been urged to stay home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing, the NFL will be the league benefiting the most in the sports world.
And nobody should be surprised.