How the NFL lost my trust

As we head into another NFL Season I wanted to share some photos. The young man on the right of this photo bought these tickets to take his Dad to the 2012 playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. It was Tim Tebow's last game as a Bronco.

Zach used his pay from being a LCpl ($1,918.86/month) in the USMC to treat me to the game. He left the Marines in 2014 as a Sergeant.

Football was something Zach and I shared. We both loved it. I saw every game he played and we thrilled to talking about the games over the phone while he was in the Marines. I used to send him the stats and articles about the previous week's games while he was deployed to the Middle East.

The National Anthem/Flag Controversy has cost the NFL me as a fan. I will do everything in my power to dissuade friends, family, anyone from supporting the NFL in any way. I'm sure many of them are nice young men. Many with families who share the same sensibilities that I and my son share.

The NFL players are paid enormous sums of money to do what they do -- because it is entertainment and American's have bought into football as our game. That is no longer the case.

It is the players’ choice to kneel, sit, spit, or exercise their right to object to the flag and National Anthem. Their opinion is their right. My opinion is my right. Decisions have consequences.

I will not support the NFL because they don't get . Roger Goodell is a fool. The fact that the NFL owners gave him a raise proves their elitist arrogance and that they are as worthy of my derision as their players. Their arrogance, self-importance, and contempt for their brand and for their customers is exemplified by their disrespect for the US Flag and the National Anthem. It is no longer a unifying or even fun event to sit in the stands and support "my team".

I will not be lectured about my politics by Bob Costas, or any other announcer on ESPN or any other network. The players, owners and announcers need to know that my contempt for them exceeds whatever they may hold for me as Joe Nobody former football fan.

It's not just the anthem controversy but that is the genesis of my disgust. I no longer trust the game. Let me explain. Following the Anthem protest in last season's Oakland vs. Washington game in September, 2017 it is alleged that the offensive line of the Raiders, upset at their quarterback's failure to support their protest, allowed him to be sacked and ultimately injured.

Now, it's not just the players’ political opinions that separate us, it is their potential lack of integrity that I question as well. Did this player drop the pass because of some other event? Did that player miss the tackle because he wants to send a message? What about that tide turning fumble? I no longer have to worry about it. But, you as a fan, player, coach, owner, sports-writer or announcer do.

In 1919 the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the World Series. They succeeded and eight players were identified as the conspirators. Major League Baseball had to figure out how to save their brand and the game. The owners brought in Kenesaw Mountain Landis as commissioner, and whatever his faults, he restored the American public's trust in baseball.

Major League Baseball has no Anthem controversy. In fact, this year's MLB All Star Game went out of its way to recognize 29 Congressional Medal of Honor Awardees and all other veterans. They honored these men. The stadium announcer introduced each of these men as the true heroes they are. Tears were shed. Players and all in the stands seemed awed and humbled. I know that I was.

I was thrilled to see those true heroes recognized. Roger Goodell and the NFL Owners should take note of baseball's greatness as the NFL grovels for a decreasing share of a diminishing market.

(These other two photos are of me, 2nd Lt TS Ziegler, in Beirut, Lebanon, October, 1983. LCpl Zach Ziegler leaving San Diego with VMFA 323 in 2013.)

Tim Ziegler is the Co-author with Scott Swett of To Set the Record Straight - - How Swift Boat Veterans, POW’s and the New Media Defeated John Kerry. He is a former Marine Captain, Chef and Spice-Expert who now lives in Broomfield, Colorado with his family.

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