NFLLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 10:06PM EDT
Maroon 5 as Super Bowl halftime performer feels like a slap in the fact of hip-hop
Source: The Daily Beast
Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta was a chance for the NFL to showcase some of the "rich hip-hop history and hit-making that have become synonymous with the ATL for the past 25 years," says Stereo Williams. "The NFL still seems a bit skittish about presenting rappers on its biggest stage," he adds. "A peripheral factor in the fallout from 2004’s Janet Jackson 'Nipplegate' scandal was that some were offended by the performances of Nelly, Kid Rock and Diddy at that show. Crotch-grabs, strippers-as-cheerleaders, some kind of Kid Rock American flag poncho—it all fell into the mix that was the pearl-clutching of network censors and pontificating politicians. Jackson felt the brunt of that backlash, but it also lingered over the Super Bowl for years. That’s why we mostly got a parade of granddad-rock halftime shows (The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney) for almost a decade. Some of these artists were just as brazen and 'dangerous' in their younger days; but by the early 2000s, the classic rock guys had become the 'safe' alternative to these wild and crazy rappers." While things began to loosen up a bit in the 2010s when Madonna was joined by Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., it feels like the NFL has an aversion to rappers as headliners on its biggest stage. "The Maroon 5 choice feels like a 'safe' one—much like Justin Timberlake did this year," says Williams. "These artists have big hits, like Maroon 5’s Cardi B-assisted 'Girls Like You,' but it doesn’t feel as though they’re the defining pop stars of the moment. They also don’t have a “legends in the game” reputation. They just seem like white guys with big hits and just enough blandness to not terrify the more conservative corners of NFL viewership."
- In defense of a Maroon 5 halftime show: "Is Maroon 5 the best or most popular band? Of course not," says Michael Baumann. "Does Maroon 5’s music appeal to a boring, down-the-middle, white bourgeois taste? It does indeed. And you know what? That’s fine. It’s the Super Bowl halftime show, not the f*cking papacy. The Super Bowl halftime show hasn’t been emblematic of what’s cool or representative of broader American music in at least 15 years. Justin Timberlake, a far zeitgeist-ier artist than Maroon 5 has ever been, played the halftime show last year, and he sucked."
- "You could have gone with Usher, Outkast, Ludacris or Migos," says Dan Wolken. "You could have mixed in a little John Mayer, who launched his career in Atlanta, or brought back grunge rock with Collective Soul. Elton John and Justin Bieber live at least part-time in Atlanta. You could have even given a nod to country with Zac Brown Band or Jason Aldean. The point is, from CeeLo Green to Killer Mike to Future to TI, Lil Yachty, the bench here is pretty deep and diverse."
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 2:34PM EDT
Reports: Maroon 5 will perform at Super Bowl halftime in Atlanta
Source: Us Weekly
The multiple-sourced reports, first from Us Weekly and later Variety, that NBCThe Voice star Adam Levine and his Los Angeles-based band will perform at Super Bowl LIII in the music-rich city of Atlanta were met with ridicule on Twitter. "(H)aving the super bowl in atlanta and getting maroon 5 to perform at halftime is like going to pappadeaux and asking the waiter to bring you some long john silver’s," tweeted The Ringer writer Shea Serrano. "Atlanta, home of Outkast, T.I., Future, Ludacris, Usher, etc., gets Maroon 5 to play the damn Super Bowl," tweeted Jake Reuse. The NFL declined to confirm Maroon 5 is performing, while the band couldn't be reached for comment. “It’s a Super Bowl tradition to speculate about the performers for the Pepsi Halftime Show. We are continuing to work with Pepsi on our plans but do not have any announcements to make on what will be another epic show," the NFL said in a statement. Earlier this year, two-time Super Bowl halftime performer Bruno Mars urged the NFL to tap a hip-hop artist. "@NFL you have the opportunity to celebrate incredible Hip Hop Artist from Atlanta Next year," he tweeted. "This isn't a band known for spectacle, like Madonna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, or even Bruno Mars," added Matt Miller. "This is a band that's somehow less interesting than Coldplay...I get why Maroon 5 is a logical choice. They're safe during a time when the NFL doesn't want to take risks, when a political statement would be disastrous, when they couldn't afford the subtle messages of a Beyoncé show. Maroon 5 has somehow kept itself relevant by buying some of the biggest features in music, from SZA, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, and even the untouchable Kendrick Lamar. The only saving grace of a Maroon 5 halftime show is the possibility of any of these artists showing up to perform. That will not prevent the inevitable outcome, which is that everyone will forget Maroon 5 performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show as Maroon 5 performs the Super Bowl Halftime Show."
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 10:47PM EDT
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards looked like the worst Emmys ever
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards 10 years ago featured the debacle of five reality TV hosts co-hosting, but this year's ceremony was much worse. "It was," says Tim Goodman, "the worst Emmys telecast I've ever seen. That's not hyperbole. (Maybe there was a telecast as bad when I was a teenager and wasn't paying attention?) It was lifeless, it was dull, it was poorly produced, terribly written and it had hosts who should not have been hosting (they aren't well-known enough and, last night, were not funny enough and not engaging enough). The pairing of presenters was ill-conceived. The material given them was pathetic. Nearly every 'bit' in the show imploded upon itself. The staging looked like it came from 1978. People looked like they didn't want to be there. The fact that the television industry, on a night when it is supposed to celebrate its own achievements, can't actually make a TV event that is interesting is really pathetic." Goodman blamed the Television Academy. "It needs more oversight," he says. "It can't just let Lorne Michaels and NBC take over the Emmys and bore the life out of the country.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino appears to be the first person to win the writing and directing Emmy in the same year
- ESPN boasts that Monday Night Football beat the Emmys -- even though MNF had its worst Week 2 ratings ever
- #OscarsSoWhite creator pushes for Emmys diversity: "How many non-Black people of color do you remember during @TheEmmys last night?"
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Barry stars won because Emmy voters love shows about show business
- Hannah Gadsby's brief appearance was a welcome detour from the pre-chewed and inoffensive banter of SNL
- Black-ish's Jenifer Lewis wore Nike on the red carpet to show her support for Colin Kaepernick
- Pre-taped categories robbed viewers of hearing celebrities mispronounce nominee names
- Angela Bassett responded to The New York Times mistaking her with Omarosa with an Olivia Pope GIF
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, ESPN, NBC, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Monday Night Football, Saturday Night Live, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Angela Bassett, Hannah Gadsby, Jenifer Lewis, Award Shows, NFL, Ratings
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
The NFL's TV ratings have become a weekly referendum on everything
Source: The Washington Post
When the NFL season opener on NBC debuted down from last year, it drew a tweeted reaction from President Trump. When CBS' first Sunday of the season was up 30% from a year ago, Bloomberg described the numbers as a "ray of hope" for the league. As Ben Strauss points out, "the NFL’s weekly ratings can feel like a referendum on the future of TV, on America’s most popular sport and on Trump, a man with a certain fondness for ratings."
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
Why are NBC's Sunday Night Football themes always so awful?
"Sunday Night Football has been on for over a decade," says Drew Magary. "And despite its standing as the League’s foremost primetime showcase, and even though NBC has a small army of production geniuses on hand to make sure the broadcast runs seamlessly (and it often does), it’s amusing that they have cycled through so many different versions of an intro song and ALL of them have sucked a**. They started with Pink covering Joan Jett. Pink is the Spencer’s Gifts of pop music and I hate her songs with a righteous fury. Then they moved onto Faith Hill covering the same song. Then they recruited Carrie Underwood ... OOOOHHHHHHH SUNDAAAAYYY NIIIIGHT. Every iteration of the song has been worse than the last, and the whole segment seems specifically designed to be a softcore video for Kid Rock Cruise passengers who haven’t discovered internet porn yet. I fast forward or mute the opening number every week because it literally makes me uncomfortable to watch."
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 2:00PM EDT
NBC's Sunday Night Football fans aren't happy with Carrie Underwood's new theme song
Source: Sporting News
Underwood's new theme is missing her famous "oooohhhhhhhhh Sunday night."
Posted Saturday 9/08/18 at 12:54AM EDT
NBC's new Sunday Night Football "Green Zone" is the ultimate conclusion of graphics creep
Source: The Ringer
NBC's new graphic, which puts a green zone between the line of scrimmage and the first down line on third downs, made its formal debut on Thursday night to the distaste of many viewers. "Viewed positively, the Green Zone alerts fans to the fact that it’s third down," says Rodger Sherman. "Viewed negatively, the Green Zone does absolutely nothing besides tell the audience it’s too stupid to identify the first-down marker with just one on-screen graphic."
Posted Friday 9/07/18 at 12:18PM EDT
NFL season kickoff drops from last year after rain delay
About 19 million tuned in for last night's Eagles-Falcons game, which was delayed by 45 minutes due to weather. About 20.8 million watched last year's kickoff.
Posted Thursday 9/06/18 at 10:03PM EDT
Is Peyton Manning responsible for the NFL's ratings decline?
Source: Yahoo! Sports
Everything from kneeling players to Donald Trump have been blamed for the NFL's drop in viewership. But one thing the last two NFL seasons have lacked is Peyton Manning, who retired after winning the Super Bowl in February 2016. "Traditionally the NFL hasn’t relied on a single star to drive ratings," says Dan Wetzel. "As such, when one retires, as Manning did following the 2015 season when he led Denver to the Super Bowl, the numbers don’t take a hit the way they can for the NBA, PGA or other sports when a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods isn’t around. Manning might be an exception. The uber-popular personality drew in casual viewers in ways that no one else in the league could, or can."
Posted Thursday 9/06/18 at 2:04PM EDT
NBC will show the National Anthem during tonight's NFL season kickoff
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the network, along with others, such as ESPN, will not show the anthem for every game, but there will be exceptions." The anthem will air tonight as NFL player protests during the National Anthem are still a hot-button issue with Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad to air during the game.
Posted Thursday 9/06/18 at 1:41AM EDT
Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad will air during sporting events this weekend, in addition to the NFL's season opener on Thursday
Source: The New York Times
A 90-second version of the ad will be shown during NBC's NFL season kickoff on Thursday night, NBC confirmed. The Kaepernick ad will also be shown during the U.S. Open, Major League Baseball games and college football games over the next week. Before the ad was released, President Trump went after Nike Wednesday morning for its "Just Do It" ad campaign with Kaepernick. "Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," Trump tweeted. "I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?”
Posted Wednesday 9/05/18 at 3:54PM EDT
Nike to air Colin Kaepernick's "Just Do It" ad during the NFL's season opener Thursday on NBC
Kaepernick, who is suing the NFL for collusion to keep him out of the league, is being featured as part of Nike's 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" campaign. The NFL, a longtime partner of Nike's, responded on Tuesday to Kaepernick becoming the face of Nike's campaign, saying: "The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action." While Kaepernick appearing in a commercial during an NFL game may seem awkward, ESPN's Darren Rovell points out that it's actually to the league's advantage. "Of course the NFL is going to let Nike air the Kaepernick ad on the game tomorrow on NBC," Rovell tweeted. "While the business partner relationship is awkward, Nike has taken so much pressure off the league."
Posted Thursday 8/30/18 at 10:02PM EDT
Fox announces Sunday late-night show NFL GameDay Prime
NFL Network will produce the weekly show that wraps up Sunday's NFL games at 11:30 p.m. It will be offered as an option to Fox affiliates.
Posted Thursday 8/30/18 at 1:33AM EDT
Will Al Michaels be able to make explicit references to gambling on Sunday Night Football?
Source: The Washington Post
The rise of legalized gambling presents a new dilemma for sports broadcasters like Michaels, who usually speaks about gambling obliquely with a wink and a nod: Will sports gambling become part of the on-air discussion? "Network producers and executives say it’s too early to expect the broadcasts to feel or sound significantly different, even if the interest and availability of sports gambling will be higher this season," reports Rick Maese. "For starters, there’s language in the contracts between broadcast partners and the league that bars overt discussions of sports gambling." Michaels says of gambling talk: "I’ve had a lot of fun with this through the years, coming in a backdoor, a side door, whatever — different ways to use the English language — people know what I’m talking about. But in the past when I would do this, it was almost as if the fans would think, ‘He’s not supposed to do it, but that’s kind of cool.’ Now it’s going to be out there.”
Posted Wednesday 8/29/18 at 10:45AM EDT
Feds indict a Black-ish writer and an HBO Hard Knocks NFL star on insider trading charges
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Black-ish writer Damilare Sonoiki, a Harvard grad who used to work for Goldman Sachs, has been charged with helping NFL player Mychal Kendricks in a $1.2 million insider trading scheme. Kendricks, a linebacker on the Cleveland Browns who was part of last season's Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl championship team, was featured on last night's episode of HBO's Hard Knocks. In 2014, Sonoiki allegedly sent Kendricks, who was playing for the Eagles, inside information via text messages using the code word "cheesesteaks." Kendricks issued a statement apologizing for his actions. "Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it. I invested money with a former friend of mine who I thought I could trust and who I greatly admired," Kendricks said in a statement, referring to Sonoiki. "His background as a Harvard graduate and an employee of Goldman Sachs gave me a false sense of confidence."