Ratings for the NFL are collapsing this year, partly blamed on viewer upset of pregame protests by Colin Kaepernick and other players against the police and the national anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell aims to change that trend.
In a deal announced today, the NFL will hire Donald Trump to speak at the halftimes for two games leading up to the election, which will be nicknamed, “Trumptimes.” Souvenirs to be sold at the venue include Trump koozies, Trumper stickers and Trumple-head dolls.
The first Trumptime is scheduled for the home game of the San Francisco 49ers. “We’re not endorsing Trump,” Goodell explained. “We’re acknowledging that love or hate him, Trump brings in the ratings.” Additionally, the commissioner noted, the boisterous crowds Trump attracts should fill the seats for the 49ers and make their game sound less like the interior of a library for the deaf.
The NFL considered other plans, such as a traveling “Game of Thrones” tribute. However, that idea was shelved when the mechanical dragon burned the test stadium to the ground. A second idea to hold Burning Man events at halftime was also shelved for the same reason.
What may torpedo the ratings for the first Trumptime game is news that Kaepernick could return to quarterback the 49ers.
Goodell sought to assuage concerns by networks and advertisers by cryptically remarking, “Kaepernick will start… assuming he survives the drive to the game.”