NFL prematurely announces Super Bowl teams
If NFL fans weren’t already convinced the league’s referees tend to favor the New England Patriots, they will be now.
The NFL fed into popular perceptions of preferential treatment and one-sided officiating by announcing the Super Bowl matchup two days before the conference championship games are played.
In a Facebook post Friday afternoon that has since been deleted, the NFL advertised the chance to win tickets to watch the Patriots play the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl LII.
Interesting photo from an NFL Facebook Ad for a chance to win Super Bowl Tix
I guess the League isn’t even giving the #Eagles a chance! pic.twitter.com/Kk0uVulpzp
— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) January 19, 2018
The post said fans “could score 2 club-level seats to watch the PATRIOTS vs. the VIKINGS battle it out for the coveted Super Bowl title!”
Many people, especially Jaguars and Eagles fans, saw the blunder as much more than harmless, with allegations ranging from disrespect to conspiracy.
That's what they want to see!!! Refs better not call this game unfairly or I'll be thinking about this ad!
— Leonard Carey (@Len845) January 19, 2018
The eagles shouldn’t be disrespected. They made it this far. If the eagles get cheated out of this game then the nfl should reevaluate the integrity of their organization. *drops mic*
— meghanelizabeth (@megschmidtxo) January 19, 2018
NJ Advance Media asked several Eagles players about the ad Friday and got a range of fantastic answers.
“Ask me about that at 10:00 on Sunday. Show me that on Sunday,” defensive end Vinny Curry said.
“We know we’re the underdogs. That’s not a surprise. We’ve all kind of embraced that role. This doesn’t even surprise me,” said offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski.
Right guard Brandon Brooks was the most unphased, saying, “Honestly, some teams would use that as bulletin board material. Me personally, I don’t use it. It doesn’t bother me. We have yet to play the game, so I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”
An NFL spokesman responded to the controversy, calling it a “regrettable mistake.”
“The ads were mocked up using all the combinations, but weren’t supposed to go until Monday when the matchup is known. Obviously, someone jumped the gun,” the spokesman said via email.
Come Sunday night, this controversy will either be completely forgotten about, or seared into the minds of two very disgruntled sets of fans.
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