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Super Bowl XLIX: NFL flourishes amid mayhem and chaos

Super Bowl XLIX: NFL flourishes amid mayhem and chaos
super-bowl-xlix-nfl-flourishes-amid-mayhem-and-chaos


As National Football League commissioner Roger http://www.officialauthenticseahawksstore.com/brandon+mebane+super+bowl+jersey.html Goodell stepped to the podium for his annual pre-Super Bowl address, he could have done worse than invoke the Queen's speech of 1992 in which HRH Elizabeth II referred to the events of the previous 12 months as an 'annus horribilis'. For this has been the worst year on this, or indeed any other, commissioner's watch. As the league closes in on an annual revenue of £16bn ($25bn), expansion plans into Europe and specifically London, continue apace. And as Goodell tops up his bank balance with a yearly income in the region of £26m ($40m), the professional game of American Football is more popular and yet, some would argue, more contemptible than ever. Fifty NFL players were arrested in 2014 for a wide degree of offences - from Tennessee's Shonn Greene, who parked in a disabled parking bay, to Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who was arrested over child abuse. There were five cases of domestic violence, including that of Baltimore's Ray Rice, who was filmed by hotel security punching his then fiancee - now wife - in a lift. Goodell himself became personally embroiled in the Rice case in an argument over what the NFL did or did not know. There was also a far-reaching report chaired by the former director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, which highlighted the fundamental mismanagement of the situation by league officials. And the bad news kept on coming for Christine Michael Authentic Jersey the embattled commissioner. Just 30 days into 2015, there have been four fresh player arrests, including two for domestic violence and one for rape. Elsewhere, it is a sorry tale: Talented but troubled Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon failed a league-mandated alcohol test on 2 January and could be suspended for the 2015 season after sitting out much of 2014 for repeated drug offences. The murder trial of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez began in Massachusetts on Thursday - Hernandez has also been charged with the murder of two other men who reportedly spilled a drink on him in a nightclub in 2012. And the trial of Carolina Panthers star defensive end Greg Hardy for assault and threatening to kill his girlfriend begins on 9 February. Yet despite all this mayhem and chaos the NFL, as a product, is flourishing. The moral outrage surrounding the cases of Rice and Peterson calmed down fairly quickly and audiences flocked yet again to stadiums around the country. More than 17m attended the 256 regular season games, the highest figure since 2008, while television audiences hit record highs. The annual Harris Report, which tracks the popularity of American sports, says the NFL is still number one by a huge margin - double the popularity of Major League Baseball and College Football. A report released this week by the sports market research group Repucom also makes some interesting claims, notably that: Russia leads the way in terms of the proportion of the population who follow the NFL. In China, the increase in fan support for the game since 2013 is up from 1.7% of the population to 7.9%. In the United Kingdom, the increase since 2012 is http://www.patriotsnflofficialonline.com/Tavon-Wilson-Jersey more than 4% of the population. Most of the television networks that broadcast the NFL had audiences tuning in in greater numbers than in 2013, while the figures for both Thursday and Monday Night Football were up significantly. More than 47m people watched the NFL's annual College Draft, yet not one pass was thrown or one tackle made. There were also 9.6m tweets about the event across its three days.

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