The National Football League’s actual product, a game, will be on display in Canton, Ohio with Chicago and Baltimore on the field using many players who more than likely will end up in the Alliance of American Football in 2019. The opening of the pre-season schedule should be a celebration of the NFL but it is not. Terrell Owens’ shadow hangs over the August 4th Hall of Fame introduction ceremony which concludes the NFL returning to the field. Owens is skipping the event. Owens will give his acceptance speech at the University of Chattanooga when he played during college. Owens felt he should have been elected into the Canton shrine in 2016. But the show will go on without Owens. That should be a major concern but given the highly politicized state of the NFL is, Owens is a mere sideshow.
The NFL is in the middle of a battle with the President of the United States over the league’s National Anthem policy because of players kneeling during the song in protest. Then there was a problem when Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill expressed his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The two went to school together. There will also be the television ratings issue. Will the ratings continue to slump? Television ratings are down just for about every sport in the US, some of the eyeballs have move to streaming video. The concussion issue is not going away. The NFL owners may continue to deny there is a link between blows to the head and brain damage but there seems to be more and more proof that players are suffering brain damage from the repeated hits to the head. Even the Hall of Fame weekend has some problems, funding to renovate the facility and build a stadium village has become a stadium village is a problem. Football has significant difficulties.