Flag on the Play

Rent-a-refs have butchered the NFL's brand

Since the day he started at the National Football League as an office intern, no one has been more zealous about "protecting the shield" than Roger Goodell. The shield is marketing jargon for the NFL logo. On his way up the NFL ranks, Goodell worked relentlessly to make it a symbol of integrity, appointment television and sporting success. That's why, upon being named league commissioner in 2006, he took a hard line against player misconduct. That's also why, with science revealing that the NFL's relative ambivalence toward concussions was at best misguided and at worst negligent--as the more than 2,000 ex-players...

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