If you watched an NFL game during Week 13, you no doubt heard the announcers referring to the “My Cause My Cleats” week, as players were allowed to wear cleats advocating the cause of their choosing. The Tennessee Titans were on a bye, so their players did not get to wear any such cleats.
Despite that, the NFL will not let Tennessee’s players wear any “My Cause My Cleats” spikes in Week 14.
“Despite missing the “My Cause My Cleats” weekend, the Titans have not been granted permission to wear their individualized shoes beyond warm-ups Sunday, when they return to action against Denver at Nissan Stadium, several said,” Paul Kuharsky of ESPN reported. “At least two Titans, cornerback Jason McCourty and tight end Delanie Walker, will wear their special cleats anyway.”
This is not a good look for the NFL.
First of all, there’s really no practical need for the league to be so strict on cleats. Logically speaking, having different players wear different colored shoes is just not that big of a deal.
But for the sake of argument, let’s concede that the NFL is right. Being tight disciplinarians on the matter of shoes is important. We’re nothing if we’re not reasonable.
The league was willing to let that slide for a week. The NFL not only let it slide, but made a big deal on every broadcast that it was letting it slide. Unfortunately, two teams, the Titans and Cleveland Browns, didn’t get to play in Week 13. So, their players didn’t get that chance.
Why not extend their “My Cause My Cleats” week to Week 14, at least for those two teams? Better yet, why not schedule the “My Cause My Cleats” week league wide to a week like Week 14, when every team is in action? Was there something special about Week 13 that it had to be the “My Cause My Cleats” week, regardless of byes?
The NFL developed into the titanic industry it is today under the guidance of Pete Rozelle. Before becoming the league’s commissioner, Rozelle made his bones as a brilliant public relations specialist. He continued down that road as the commissioner.
It should be unfathomable that only two commissioners after Rozelle, the NFL is basically one consistent PR blunder. Unfortunately, it’s quite fathomable because it’s what’s happening before our eyes on a daily basis.
We’re at a point that even when we concede a stupid argument like the NFL should be strict about cleats, it still finds a way to look bad.