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If, as recommended, you spent your Thanksgiving enjoying football along with excessive amounts of food, you were treated to a curious sponsorship: Crown Royal.
While it isn’t curious that the Canadian whiskey is working with the NFL, a league not known for its aversion to marketing or booze, to have Thanksgiving games sponsored by a Canadian company is a visible sign of decline. For starters, it was Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday. For seconds, it’s Canadian whiskey. For thirds, I’m pretty sure this is still America, decline notwithstanding.
But that’s where we are as a country, reduced to letting hosers help bring us an annual tradition. And while we should probably blame President Biden for this, even if this one thing isn’t his fault, we should definitely blame NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for selling us out, once again.
Football on Thanksgiving brought to us by Canadian whiskey, as if there aren’t many, many, many bourbons that could have done the same job, except better.
I’m not trying to disparage Crown Royal. It’s a fine whiskey. There was a time before the bourbon craze when a friend busting out the velvet bag would be treated with reverence. I still wouldn’t look down upon it, even though there are many, many, many bourbons that could do the same job, except better.
The time for reverence, though, has long since passed. It’s Crown. It’s easily accessible, not too expensive, and not too demanding of the drinker. It’s a great bottle for elevating your “and Coke” or passing around the room for celebratory shots after the game. It’s also suitable for remorse shots when the game doesn’t go so well.
But the thing is, in case I haven’t mentioned it, it’s Canadian. And not to talk trash about Canada, but, well, it is Canada. As much as people love to elevate its stature, no one ever actually moves there, threats aside. It’s a place people love in theory. Even ex-pat Canadians extolling its virtues stop short of moving back and they presumably have family there. It’s like the Unitarian Church of countries.
On Thanksgiving, though, there was Crown Royal, sponsoring our game, rubbing decline in our faces. As Americans, we should be accustomed to Goodell and the NFL rubbing our faces in various things. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it.
Roger Goodell was unlikely involved in the decision to accept Crown Royal as an official sponsor. That move probably came from the NFL’s chief marketing officer or some other marketing lackey who saw the dollar signs — American, of course — and said “Yes.” Goodell, though, created the environment in which that could happen, most likely because he hates America.
If you doubt that undeniable truth, remember how Goodell treated America’s son Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Patriots! Roger Goodell hates America and now he’s stopped hiding it, going so far as letting Canada sponsor our pastimes, even if he didn’t personally approve the deal and instead just trusted someone to ink it for him. Fish do rot from the head down.
America has never been big on banishing people, but we live in a brave new world and maybe it’s time to rethink that. When it comes to Roger Goodell, it’s definitely time to rethink it. It is now undeniable that the commissioner should at least be banished to Canada, if not some remote outpost with semi-reliable electricity. No longer can we let this megalomaniacal ginger make a mockery of our holidays, our people, and our sports.
As it is always darkest before the dawn, so is our current moment. This is no time for excessive despair, or to give up. We must, though, fight, and that’s why it’s time to send Goodell packing to colder climes. Politically, Canada obviously suits him better than his current country, so it’s not that harsh of a punishment. And when it comes to whiskey, he might at least start learning how to drink.