July 25, 2017

Football Beats Politics

The President of the United States is commonly referred to as “the most powerful man in the world.”

He’s got nothing on the NFL.

ProFootballTalk.com reported last night that President Obama re-scheduled a speech to congress from Sept 7 (so as not to conflict with a debate of Republican presidential candidates) to Sept 8, which puts him up against the opening of the NFL season when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints.


No political speech is going to garner the interest of an NFL game. Ever. EV – ER! It’s a loser to a Raiders-Panthers game in mid-season, let alone to the season opener featuring two of the better teams in the game.

There is no way NBC preempts this game for a speech. They cannot lose that type of advertising revenue. (NBC could probably add 50% to their rates for commercials, because every other major network carrying Obama’s speech will drive even more viewers to NBC to watch something else.)

And no matter how much the White House might not want to look silly be moving the speech a second time, there is no way Obama suffers the embarrassment of being destroyed in ratings by football.

Football 31. Politics 0.


UPDATE: PFT now reports that this crisis is being avoided through timing: Obama’s speech will happen at 7:30 PM, one hour before kickoff.

This is a good move because it avoids a fumble by moving the speech again. But I can’t help but snicker at seeing the NFL sack the President, forcing a punt. Presidents expect prime-time coverage, but I credit Obama for knowing that he is not as prime-time as football.

Now, the only question remaining is, given Obama’s love for the sound of his own voice, how much pre-game will he leave us?