Nike and the NFL ‘Just blew it….’

| September 11, 2018

From the pen of Poetrooper, another fine essay:

I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan for a half-century, even when my career took me long distances from Texas.  All that long time, I’ve stuck with them through good and bad, through the glory years of multiple Super Bowl victories and the long, disappointing drought since.  Living in New Orleans and the Redneck Riviera of the Florida Panhandle for many years, I also became, and still am, a fan of the New Orleans Saints.

Like most NFL fans, my support for both teams has been mostly through television-viewing, with an occasional live game attendance.   Nevertheless, for more than five decades, I have been that dedicated viewer so counted on by the NFL and its advertisers, sitting there for hours on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, whenever, if either the Cowboys or Saints were playing, soaking up their commercials and even, on occasion, buying their advertised products.

Being now an old man in frail health, I have been reluctant to join the boycott of the NFL over the flag protests because watching football is one of the few pleasures remaining to me.  Not being a baseball or basketball fan, I live for football season, both collegiate and professional.  The problem is that as a Vietnam combat veteran, I can no longer watch NFL games without a sense of guilt.  I am not totally unsympathetic to the complaint of blacks that the justice system is not racially blind.  Having lived in the Deep South for more than a decade, I have witnessed firsthand a dual system of justice that favors those with the means to pay their way out with fines, while those without those means go to jail.  That said, I do not agree in the least with a sports entertainment venue such as the NFL being exploited by wealthy players as a legitimate setting for social protest.

So my unresolved feelings of guilt were there throughout the season-opening games this week, and they blossomed into a sense of indignation when both the NFL and Nike chose to rub my nose in the issue by running commercials featuring Saint Colin Kaepernick, with his hirsute halo, the instigator of all this heightened racial and social dissension, piously telling me, a veteran of ground combat before he was even born, about moral courage.

I simply could not believe that the NFL was so clueless.  Here they had been fairly successful in quelling the demonstrations by black players, of tamping down the outrage of patriotic NFL viewers, and now they chose to give a big middle finger to those millions of fans and slap them and me across the face with that scorning glove of social justice, as if challenging us to a mortal duel.  Airing that provocative commercial during these games was stunning in both its arrogance and its total tone-deafness.  Clearly NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is both contemptuous and ignorant of his fan base, a fact underscored by the substantial decline in television viewers for the NFL opening games this year.

You can take it to the bank, Roger: your viewing numbers are going to decline even more rapidly if you insist on airing that insulting, confrontational commercial during games.  You may think you can project a super-fro’ed, haloed Kaepernick into our homes to lecture us on courage, Roger, but you forget that we hold those tens of millions of all too readily clickable TV controls upon which your advertising revenues depend.  As for being sympathetic to your multi-millionaire athlete who claims to have sacrificed all for the cause of social justice, there are millions of Americans who reserve their compassion and respect for those who have truly sacrificed all.  As Daniel John Sobieski recently and poignantly summed up that attitude in an essay at American Thinker: “[t]hose who would take a knee to protest the American flag likely have never been handed a folded one.”

I would wager that that includes you, Commissioner, and the tone-deaf execs at Nike who “Just blew it.”

Category: Darwin Awards, Dumbass Bullshit

Comments (49)

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  1. Combat Historian says:

    Fuck the NFL!!!

  2. AW1Ed says:


  3. 2banana says:

    Wonder how sales of Nikes at Dicks are doing?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Dicks isn’t doing well, so….

      After all, Nike was a goddess of sorts and Dicks is supposed to be a “guy” or something. Let them fail together. 🙂

    • Mason says:

      Speaking of Dick’s, I passed a truck on the highway earlier that had “Dick’s Valley Service” on the door.

      Not quite as good as a tow company here with bright pink trucks by the name of “Camel Towing”. Tag line is “There’s no tow like a Camel Tow.”

  4. OWB says:

    Got nothing to add here. But I promise to continue not buying Nike products and not watching NFL games.

    Yeah, you seriously have to question a business model which includes running off your customers. Then doubling down to make sure you run off more customers. Seems rather stupid. Nike and the NFL don’t seem to care. Oh, well.

  5. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    They’ve been losing viewers for years which is why they’ve been exploring promoting the product in other markets like Europe.

    Kids aren’t playing football in the same numbers as they used to, kids aren’t playing sports in the same numbers they used. Soccer and Football both have seen a pretty serious decline in youth participation I believe for different reasons, but still they have dipped.

    Doing anything to alienate any of their fan base is a very unwise marketing move simply because the value of their product will continue to decline with every exiting fan.

    I’ve no skin in the game because I don’t much care about pro sports at all, or even college for that matter because college is nothing more than a glorified farm system for the pros and that leads to its own forms of corruption and exploitation of the participants.

    This latest move will work for Nike, online sales are already up 31% from what I’ve read. It won’t work as well for the NFL largely because they can’t afford to lose viewers by the millions.

    The problem for the NFL is they are struggling with this because for the first time they’ve done something that actually pisses the fans off. Slowly killing players with repetitive head injuries didn’t piss fans off. Hiring shitbags and felons didn’t piss fans off, banning players wearing memorials to firefighters or fallen police officers didn’t piss fans off so they didn’t realize they could actually piss off their fans who’ve largely ignored every previous issue. So I can understand the NFL’s confusion this time around that kneeling is what actually cost them viewers, will it cost them viewers long term or not? Who knows, but they will continue to see a decline because people find other ways to spend four hours on a weekend entertaining themselves especially in our technology rich, multiple choice rich current entertainment environment. What that means long term remains to be sorted out, but it should prove interesting as it does play out.

    • Sparks says:

      Very well said VOV. Even if I could find Nike shoes that fit, I would not buy them now. I own nothing with a Nike logo and never will. Revenues being up 31% tells me more about the buying market than the new spokesman.

      • UpNorth says:

        Almost there, Sparks. I’ve got a pair of Nike golf shoes that I have to deliver to a charity. Not sure that homeless guys wear golf shoes, anyway. If they don’t want them, there’s many dumpsters around.

    • OWB says:

      A lot of this could also be cumulative, VOV. Fans may actually have underappreciated each of the events you listed but not quite enough to walk. This could well just be the final straw in an ever enlarging pile.

      • Poetrooper says:

        One of the most common complaints I’ve seen voiced on various websites is how the NFL over weighted airtime with commercials. I read an article from an industry insider who said this was another wrong call by Roger Goodell to squeeze out more advertising revenue. He was advised fans would only tolerate so many minutes of commercials per game but he was confident the NFL’s monopoly status would keep their television audience from going elsewhere.

        It hasn’t.

  6. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I received the below email from a New Mexico shipmate. The painting of what the email is about is missing but you can get the picture so I will hit the paste button.

    The painting says it all (but there’s text below the painting to explain it).

    Subject: Ken McNaughton painting

    Image may contain: one or more people
    Ken McNaughton
    July 5 at 4:55 PM

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more powerful than this piece.
    It was written by Ted Nugent – yes, THAT Ted Nugent

    Take a little trip to Valley Forge in J anuary. Hold a musket ball in your
    fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two.
    There won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so
    just wait your turn. Take your cleats and socks off to get a real
    Then, take a knee on the beach in Normandy where man after American man
    stormed the beach, even as the one in front of him was shot to pieces, the
    very sea stained with American blood. The only blockers most had were the
    dead bodies in front of them, riddled with bullets from enemy fire.
    Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. From Khe Sanh to
    Saigon, anywhere will do. Americans died in all those jungles. There was no
    playbook that told them what was next, but they knew what flag they
    represented. When they came home, they were protested as well, and spit on
    for reasons only cowards know.
    Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110 degree
    heat. Wear your Kevlar helmet and battle dress. Your number won’t be
    printed on it unless your number is up! You’ll need to stay hydrated but
    there won’t be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. You’re on your
    There are a lot of places to take a knee where Americans have given their
    lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought
    as a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who
    bled for the very freedoms you have. That’s what the red stripes mean. It
    represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending your
    While you’re on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on a
    manicured lawn striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch of
    ground taken, but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and sweltering
    forests and bitter cold mountains, every inch marked by an American life
    lost serving that flag you protest.
    No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans, just American men and
    women, delivering the real fight against those who chose to harm us,
    blazing a path so you would have the right to “take a knee.” You haven’t
    any inkling of what it took to get you where you are, but your “protest” is
    duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation of real heroes, it
    serves the purpose of pointing to your ingratitude for those who chose to
    defend you under that banner that will still wave long after your jersey is
    If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on
    Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank Him for
    preserving this country for as long as He has We’ll beg forgiveness for our
    ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him for
    understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice for all,
    because He is the one who provides those things. But there will be no
    protest. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His
    continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the
    brave. It goes like this, GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  7. Joe Williams says:

    Here is a throught to ponder for a minute or two. When did c.k. start taking a knee ? Was it not about the time S.F. was serious about cutting him from the team? C.k. they won’t dare cut me from the team. Because it will look racist. If they do I can always throw the race card. Joe

    • Sparks says:

      So true. If he learned nothing else, he learned salesmanship and used it to his best advantage. Him not being a black man who lived in any way without the privilege and protection he protests for, his deeds rang hollow from the outset.

    • MSG Eric says:

      It was also around the same time he met his extreme activist muslim girlfriend. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence and I’m being Islamaphobic….

  8. The overabundance of BULLSHIT commercials, more commercials than game time, drove me away from the NFL 4 years ago, and the thug jock culture plus the Klapdic thing was the icing on the cake, never will I watch the NFL again


  9. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    Another email from an LPH 3 plank owner/shipmate and retired NYPD Lieut.

    Subject: : Nike…this pretty well sums it up

    Dear Nike,

    I want to have a conversation about this hat. It’s over 13 years old. I don’t remember when I bought it exactly, I don’t remember where I bought it. But what I do remember is why I wore it.

    On August 10, 2005, I was a newlywed with two young sons. My husband Tim and I had toasted our one month anniversary the night before, and I was enjoying a rare evening to myself, catching up on reading and relishing the quiet. Until there was a knock on my door. I had no way of knowing that the small act of turning a knob was about to shatter my life into a million pieces. I sat numb and in sheer disbelief as I was told that my husband, while in a foot pursuit and subsequent struggle with a suspect that ended up in the road, had been struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. He took his last breath lying in the middle of the street. What I lost in that moment is indescribable. I had to watch his mother be dealt the most agonizing blow a parent can face, and I couldn’t comfort her because I was in my own hell. I had to find a way to gut my own children in the gentlest way possible, and tell them that this man they had come to love, who they looked up to, who cared for them as his own, would never walk through our door again.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a police funeral, but watching grown men who’ve seen the absolute worst things a civilian can imagine, break down and sob over the casket of their brother is an image that never leaves you. The bagpipes haunt my dreams to this day, but it was the faces of my children, the innocence that abandoned them at such a tender age that brought me to my knees.

    I had no choice but to move on. We trudged zombie-like through our days for weeks and weeks on end. I never left the house except to drive the boys to school, or buy food we barely touched. I realized that I had to do something. I had to move my body or I was going to crawl out of my own skin. So I put on the only cap I had and I went for a run. It was short, it hurt and it was ugly. But I felt, just for those few moments on that road, like a normal person. So I kept doing it. I put that hat on and I ran every day. Sometimes I had to stop and sit down because I was sobbing so hard. Sometimes I was so angry I ran until I thought I my heart would stop, sometimes I would just scream over and over again, but it still felt better than doing nothing.

    That black cap became a symbol to me, it is sweat stained and it’s shape is gone, the buckle in the back barely closes; but that hat represents my family’s rise from the ashes. It stands for the strength and the sacrifice we made loving a man who had a job that we all knew could end his life, every time he walked out that door. And it did. And I accept that.

    I still wear this hat, I wore it on my run this morning.
    And then I heard about your new ad campaign.

    Colin Kapernick has the absolute right to protest anything he damn well pleases. I don’t dispute that for one second. My father, my husband and many, many friends have all served this country and were willing to fight for his right to kneel.
    But that right goes both ways. I also have a right to express my disgust at your decision to portray him as some kind of hero. What, exactly has Colin Kapernick sacrificed? His multi million dollar paycheck…? Nope, you already gave him one of those. His reputation? No, he’s been fawned over by celebrities and media alike. Funny, Tim Tebow was never called courageous when he knelt.
    This man, whose contempt for law enforcement fits him like a…sock, has promoted an agenda that has been proven false time and time again, in study after study. But facts don’t seem to matter anymore. This man has thrown his support behind divisive anti-police groups, and donated money directly to a fugitive from justice who escaped prison after killing a police officer. I question the judgement of anyone who would put someone this controversial and divisive at the head of an advertising campaign, but it isn’t my company to run.

    I don’t know if I’ll have he heart to ever get rid of this cap, but I will tell you this, I’ll never purchase another Nike product as long as I live. You got this one wrong Nike, terribly, terribly wrong.

    Sherry Graham-Potter, surviving spouse of Deputy Tim Graham

    Sent from my iPad

    • HMC Ret says:

      What a powerful condemnation of Nike and their spokesperson. Perhaps the best article I have read on the subject

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    If you’re down for the snuggle, you’ll buy Nikes now, even if you never did before. It’s sort of like lesbians and Birkenstocks. It’s a message thing. Financially, Nike’s move may be a winner. The stock is back up and sales are doing great. As for the NFL, I was losing interest well before the knee crap. The game has changed too much. Most of the guys I used to love to watch couldn’t make it in today’s game. They lacked both the speed and the arrest records of today’s NFL players.

  11. Comm Center Rat says:

    I stopped watching the NFL in 2015 once I learned the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million from 2011-2014 to pause before the start of games and salute the city’s “hometown heroes” during special veteran tributes.

    Taxpayer money went to 14 billionaire team owners who hire thugs, rapists, and domestic batterers to entertain. These billionaires want paid for this public service rather than recognizing our troops out of a sense of patriotism.

    I cut the cable cord so I won’t have to see that Botox tightened grill of Jerry Jones jaw jackin’ about how much he luvs America in his slow, southern drawl.

  12. MustangCryppie says:

    I won’t be happy until these fuckers play in empty stadiums.

  13. CDR_D says:

    I quit watching NFL when the little peckerhead started his antics.

    NFL is dead so far as I am concerned.

  14. 5th/77thFA says:

    Excellent post, again, Poetrooper. Do believe you spoke for most of us TAHellcats. I had basically given up on NFL during their big strike a few decades ago now. Still like a good college game on occasion, if its not eat up with felon wannabes. GO ARMY!! BEAT NAVY!! Like others here, I don’t have cable or a baby dish, so broadcast is all. It has gotten to the point where most of the college games are no longer broadcast on “free TV” either. Don’t own a Nike product, hadn’t bought any since the great migrations to the Asia sweat shops. As for the poor widdle snowflake hurt feelings pisspants wanna be football non players. Bite me! STFO ESAD. Like oblowme, wonder if his white half caused his black half to get all phuqued up?

    • Dinotanker says:


      Damnation I cannot believe Im actually agreeing with an Artilleryman! WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?

      On a serious note:


      Thanks for the concise (AKA Dead nutz on) article. All of this hullabaloo and knee taking is infuriating.

      Even though it would be a lot less controversial, it would be great if the NFL would showcase those players that have decided to put their money, their name, and their time to good use and show how THOSE players are doing their best to make a difference through community involvement… you know really working towards resolving an issue.


  15. Cthulhu says:

    While NFL viewers and fans are a diverse lot the largest single viewing demographic is the black community.

    The NFL is also desperate to attract younger viewers. Viewers that tend to be much more sympathetic to the player protests and Kaepernick.

    So the the NFL is in a very tough spot and they managed to choose the worst possible reaction alienating pretty much every single one of their demographics.

    So the NFL is definitely going to have a few tough years with respect to viewership and revenue. In fact football may be in decline as a sport entirely.

    As for Nike it is a global brand. It’s advertising campaign is focused on a global market and highlights exceptional athletes and achievements from around the world.

    The average age of those hostile to Kaerpernick and the NFL protests are older than the typical Nike consumer. They are also limited to the American market. So I am not sure Nike has lost much and it has a launched a campaign that is being well received globally.

    Nike will be fine.

    • Poetrooper says:

      Well…maybe. One has to wonder how many Nike products purchased by that younger cohort are paid for by the older folks who have the option of saying, “Take it back and buy another brand or pay for it yourself.”

      How many pairs of those outrageously expensive Nike shoes are purchased by grandparents and parents as birthday or Christmas presents?

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        “While NFL viewers and fans are a diverse lot the largest single viewing demographic is the black community.” I’m not sure what that means. If you are saying that more blacks watch the NFL games than whites, that’s false. If you are saying a higher percentage of blacks than whites watch the NFL, you’re probably correct. Of course, the bottom line for the NFL is the money. They don’t much give a damn when poor people turn the channel. It’s the money they want and lots of it. To get it, they need whitey.

        • Poetrooper says:

          Good point, Cav. Almost two thirds of Americans watch the NFL according to this link. With white Americans, which includes Hispanics, accounting for more than 70% of the 330 million population and blacks about 13%, it’s not difficult to see that Cthulhu’s contention is very misleading. Whites are by far the largest segment of NFL viewers.

        • Cthulhu says:

          You are correct the breakdown I was looking at showed percentage of each demographic that watch the NFL and blacks had the highest percentage of viewers.

          In me rush to check the data I mistook the percentage of each demographic as the percentage of total viewers.

          Still, the NFL screwed up no matter what the demographics are. They managed to essentially anger every one time the demographic groups.

      • Poetrooper says:

        I forgot about Nike’s extensive line of golf wear, including $200 shoes–golf is a pursuit of the older crowd, with the average age of the 25 million Americans who play golf being 54.

  16. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    So here we have a multinational corporation that peddles overpriced athletic shoes and gear made via child labor in sweatshops pretending to be some benevolent entity that it is now using a washed up has-been third string Quarterback that threw juvenile hissy fits for publicity to sell their shit to whiny-assed libtards and millenials. Fuck Kaepernick and fuck Nike, the University of Alabama and a few other Colleges have already said to Hell with Nike gear and uniforms and I hope many more schools do the same!

  17. Peter_Olinto says:

    What’s amusing is that the only person/enitity that has benefited from this ridiculousness of protesting the anthem is Kaepernick. Think about it, the nfl has alienated its largest viewer base, causing a drop in ratings; the “community” he represents is still no better or worse off; and now LEOs jobs have become even more dangerous due to his antics.

    Kaepernick has no cause, never had a cause, and remains to be seen as one of the most selfish players in the history of the NFL. Additionally, has anyone else noticed that he has done no public speaking on his “issue”? One would figure that if someone had a legitimate cause fighting some sort of injustice, that they would appear on as many news outlets and conduct as many interviews as possible. The problem is that Kaepernick doesn’t have a cause, and is completely clueless. If he were to be on a panel, or spend a few hours being interview, his ridiculous charade would be exposed for all of the world to see.

    He is only about “me”, and has no substance whatsoever.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Overall, I agree with what you wrote. Krapernick is just following the route marked by Jesse and Al. He’s shaking down companies and, for some segment of the population, is now deemed to be a spokesman for correcting social injustice. It’s a lucrative gig. Pays very handsomely. Oh. I nearly forgot to add that he is also a victim. It’s all a sham, a flimsy, scrutiny-defying scam.

  18. Roger in Republic says:

    Po, I share your age, infirmity, and love of football. I awaited this years season with more than mild anticipation. Alas, the bogus SJW’s struck again. A few, really not that many at all still think they are right and we are all wrong. Not only have they continued their misguided assault on our flag and the very ethos of this nation, but the cowardly networks and the feckless league won’t even show us the miscreants so that we can call them out in the public square. After all, public shaming is all we have left. The league does not care if we boycott the stadiums, we can only hurt them when TV viewership goes so low that the Networks can’t recoup the huge fees they pay out for the broadcast rights. I have not watched a single NFL game all the way through. And I probably won’t.
    Nike can just screw themselves. Urban youths can not buy enough Air Jordan’s to support that whole company. We need to call out Nike wearers and intimidate them into other choices. Just like they do against us and our MAGA appeal.

  19. SaraSnipe says:

    I quit giving a shit about football while I was in fifth grade. The gear to play in a league cost too much, and playing at school was nothing but a popularity contest. I was really good at sacking the quarterback who happened to be the popular kid that did not like getting sacked. He and his little suckass buddies went crying to Mr Pierce about me. Mr Pierce (the sixth grade teacher) asked me what my problem was. I told him those guys are pussies playing a bullshit game (not using those words exactly). He told me I was un-American for not liking football. I pretty much indicated that I did not give a fuck what he thought. Mr Pierce has forever been a cocksucker to me. Fuck him, fuck his friends if he has any and fuck football and pieces of shit like Colon Kaperstick. Fuck Nike, and their shitty products that I never buy. I guess that is about it regarding that.
    Oh yeah, ol Colon probably does not give two shits about injustice, he most likely is just a lazy little bitch that felt he did not have to stand for the anthem, and came up with his protest bullshit after being called out for being a wanker.

  20. JTB says:

    More Blacks have died for their Nike gear than have been shot by the police….

  21. Green Thumb says:

    Assclown Kaepernick could not outrun the blitz.

    So he took a knee. And claimed racial injustice as he was brought up in luxury.

    Then tried to emulate Jim Kelly (Williams from Enter the Dragon) with the afro (almost sounds like him too in the scene with him and Roper (John Saxon) on the boat in the harbor).

    And got paid.

    Class act for a not-so-tough-guy.

  22. MSG Eric says:

    You could apply the same point of view to football and NFL players.

  23. HMC Ret says:

    He sacrificed nothing. He had nothing to sacrifice. Nike would have you believe he had a promising NFL career and that career ended when he did the ‘right’ thing. Bullshit. The only ‘tight end’ he could hit was in the Gaydar Bar (delivery in the rear). Nike bailed him out and filled his pockets with bucks or he would be still circling the drain. Anyone know if he’s on the speaking circuit? He and that whore, the ‘Reverend’ Al, would make a good team. They could compliment each other with their bullshit rhetoric about how The Man kept them down and how hundreds of people of color were assassinated every month in each major city. Those race cards being whipped out would be at the speed of light in a blur. So now he’s getting paid b/c he’s a racist pig, who was/Is a failure at football. It’s a great gig if you can get it.

  24. Doc (FMF) says:

    Maybe Nike will start making hemp shirts with Che on them and Birkenstock knock offs. That should appeal to their base.

  25. Matthew W says:

    Week 1

    Zero NFL watched by me.

  26. JimmyB says:

    I get the feeling that a few of ya’ll here are at least past 55, I am 59, and my doctor told me to wear Asics tennis shoes. The ones that say doctor approved or something like that. I’m on my second pair and they really help my back and knees. I wish I could wear them in the office, but I don’t feel the need to get a doc’s note just yet. So screw Nike, there are better shoes at better prices.

  27. Figaro says:

    It’s interesting that Serena Williams was wearing a
    Nike Logo top in pictures taken during that tennis scandal. Cause or effect?