Pat McAfee

There’s a reason the NFL has been dubbed the “No Fun League” and apparently they flexed their authoritarian muscle again by telling Pat McAfee to cease use of their logos.

According to McAfee, the league told him that he’s not permitted to use any NFL logos on show graphics. The former NFL punter responded by beginning his Monday episode of The Pat McAfee Show with an epic rant against the league’s decision.

“The Professional American Football League will finish its eighth week of its riveting prime-time schedule as the Cincinnati football club travels to Cleveland to take on Cleveland’s football club,” McAfee said. “And a lot of people might be asking, ‘Pat, on this particular Halloween, why are you talking the way that you’re talking about the league that you’ve talked about for the last three years?’ Well, the reason I’m doing so is because even though we currently have a rights deal with the NFL that costs millions and millions of dollars, we’ve been informed this morning that we are no longer allowed to use any of their logos on any of our graphics.”

Attempting to abide by the NFL’s imposed rules, The Pat McAfee Show scrubbed league graphics and logos and used its own cartoon drawings to promote “Monday Evening Football.” The pending feud comes after McAfee’s show has established itself as one of the more entertaining platforms in sports media and serves as a great source of free promotion for the NFL. Over the summer, McAfee sought to boost the show’s football credibility by spending more than $4 million on a partnership with NFL Films to receive NFL footage.

And if the NFL wants to start holding McAfee accountable for using their logos, then the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame nominee warned that he can alter his show to spend more time holding the league accountable for the ugly sides of football.

“It’s been great doing business with you. I’m happy we have covered your league in the way that we have for the last few years,” McAfee continued. “I’m appreciative of the league and everything it’s done. I don’t think we’ve really touched on many subjects we could’ve dabbled into and I think we’ll do that this offseason, for sure. Things I know a lot about, that my friends know a lot about, like insurance and CTE and concussions and everything like that. I think we can find some people to chat about, to learn more about what the NFL should be held accountable for and what they shouldn’t be held accountable for because I thought the entire deal with the NFL – the Professional American Football League – I’m so sorry, that I wanted to get involved with was making the game celebrated.”

Less free promotion of the NFL and more conversations about the dangers of football probably aren’t something the league wants. But it’s also not something McAfee wants. Considering McAfee’s desire to give Aaron Rodgers a free pass from accountability, the former punter wouldn’t enjoy trading the show’s hijinks for serious conversations, and his loyal following of listeners wouldn’t want to make that trade either.

Two years ago, McAfee similarly put ESPN on blast for prohibiting their talent from going on his show. Two years later, McAfee is featured on ESPN’s College GameDay and hosts his own Saturday night college football alternate cast on the network.

Despite McAfee’s large following, it’s not possible for him to really do any significant damage to the NFL’s brand by covering negative aspects of the league. But this is still a fight that the NFL gains nothing by picking. The NFL establishes itself as an authoritarian in exchange for getting mocked and losing a positive source of promotion.

“I wanted to celebrate everything that was the Professional American Football League,” McAfee concluded. “We did so in a fashion I guess we’re not supposed to even though we paid millions and millions of dollars to the league, played in the league, was a nominee to the Hall of Fame of the league, but can’t have any logos on the graphics, because obviously, some lawyer in that building is a f*cking dipsh*t.”

[The Pat McAfee Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com