With four Major League Baseball divisional round playoff games schedule for Friday, setting up to give baseball center stage in the sports world. Instead, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell threw together two NFL games designed to bury baseball in the TV ratings.
“We got a call around 10 a.m. this morning that we had a 1 p.m. game against the Jaguars and that they were on a plane to St. Louis,” said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “Roger made it clear this game wasn’t optionable.”
In addition to Jaguars-Rams at 1 p.m ET, Goodell forced the Bills and Titans to play at 6 p.m., allowing the NFL to have two games overlapping all four of MLB’s playoff contests. National sports networks immediately shifted their coverage to previewing the two games between lower-level NFL teams, leaving baseball just a few minutes at the end of broadcasts. The buzz on social media was all about the unscheduled NFL games, too, making the league’s strategy a clear success even before TV ratings are released.
“Oh, I honestly had no idea there were MLB games today,” Goodell said announcing the games this morning on the NFL Network with a big smile. “And now no one else in America will have any idea that MLB games are on today either.”
Goodell also announced plans to push up start of the NFL preseason game to coincide with the MLB All-Star Game and to hold the league’s annual draft on baseball’s Opening Day.
“Baseball is America’s game, America’s pastime,” he said. “We’re just trying to find our niche in the market, nothing more,” the commissioner added, giving double middle fingers to the camera.
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