The Part is Greater

Last month, the NFL chose to reignite the National Anthem controversy that dominated headlines last season. The owners decided on a policy: Players on the field must stand and "show respect" to the flag, but they also had the option to remain in the locker room, as they did prior to 2009. It's an example of a compromise that leaves no one happy: Proponents of the Anthem protests see the move as silencing, while those who feel the flag (and by erroneous extension, our military) is being disrespected - including the president - find it abhorrent that remaining in the locker room is even a choice. Amidst it all, I could see myself returning to my 2017 season state, and not messing with the NFL anymore.

But then there's the Philadelphia Eagles. Lauded last year as the wokest team in the league, the World Champions doubled down by all but refusing the obligatory White House invite. To hear the White House tell it, they were disinvited, but it seems fewer than a dozen would have been in attendance anyway. The spin was that the team disagreed with "their president" and his stance on the Anthem protests, but regardless of how the president tried to couch it, not a single Eagle took a knee all season. In the days that followed, quite a few Eagles were outspoken - or in the case of Malcolm Jenkins, quite the opposite - on the cause for the protests and the change that those who partook sought to effect. In doing such, the Eagles garnered widespread support, even from backers of rival teams.

So where does that leave me? Frankly, I'm ready to throw the whole league out. But the thing is, their one redeeming quality - the Philadelphia Eagles - is the reason I tune in in the first place. Is there a way to be an Eagles fan without supporting the NFL? If not and Super Bowl LII is the last game I ever watch, there are far worse ways to go out.