The NFL is a business and is all about the money. Former Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is a person and still respects a fan base. This is what makes Wagner great and makes the NFL something some people might find as cold and calculated.
We live in a capitalistic system so a business, such as the NFL, has a right to want to earn a profit, I imagine. But the NFL is different than say Walmart in that the league is making money directly from the fans and off the backs of its players. Walmart makes money off of selling goods that aren’t living (we hope). I am not saying I am a fan of Walmart, but at the same time, the NFL should have a broader perspective of not wanting to appease one set of consumers over another because a fan base is how the league and players and coaches have any money at all.
The oddness here is that Bobby Wagner would still be with the Seahawks (I hope) if he wasn’t due to make $20 million this season when Seattle releasing him would save the team $16 million. A team is a business in itself and has to make tough financial decisions. The point is that while it would be great to have Wagner still in a Seattle jersey, he was too expensive to keep.
Seahawks fans love the game more than the NFL loves 12s
As an aside, the way the Seahawks handled the release of Wagner was awful. Wagner didn’t find out directly from John Schneider or Pete Carroll that he had been released. That is a terrible way to treat an employee who in retail would have been Employee of the Month about 500 times in 10 years. And the reason Schneider and Carroll give for not explaining the situation proactively to Wagner – that he was his own agent and blah blah blah – is nonsense. Seattle needed to do better.
And yet still, Wagner doesn’t blame the fans for him currently being a Los Angeles Ram, and a really good one at that. He does blame the team. But Wagner’s appreciation for 12s still exists. Wagner wants to play extremely well in Lumen Field in Week 18 against the Seahawks to show the team what he is missing but 12s will likely have no issues cheering Wagner when he runs onto the field for the first time.
The difference between Wagner and Russell Wilson is that Wilson wanted out and the Seahawks let him go. Wagner never wanted to leave. Plus, let’s be real. Wagner is better at his position than Wilson ever could be at quarterback. OK, shade thrown.
But the NFL prefers Aaron Rodgers over the Seahawks fan base. What other reason is there to schedule two games that could decide who goes to the NFC playoffs this year but at separate times? The only way the Sunday Night Football game really works for the league is if Seattle loses earlier in the day to the Rams. Surely the NFL has to be hoping for a Seahawks loss so that the winner of the Packers versus Lions game on SNF decides the playoff entry.
The English Premier League would never do anything like this. In fact, the EPL plays all the games at the same time in the final week of the season. This is what the NFL should do, but it doesn’t and one reason the way the NFL views TV money over competitive balance will never allow it to be a global interest. Fans care about the games and not the money and the NFL cares only about the money.
If Seattle beats the Rams, only one fan base – Packers fans – have anything to really care about in 2023. Sure, Lions fans would love it if Detroit defeats Green Bay, but Detroit’s season is done if the Seahawks win. Therefore, if Seattle wins the Detroit team has a lot less to play for and the competitive advantage on Sunday Night Football tilts a whole lot more Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
It works this way. If Seattle loses to the Rams, the winner of the Packers and Lions game goes to the postseason. If Seattle beats Los Angeles, only if Green Bay wins they will go to the postseason. Detroit is eliminated with a Seattle victory.
The NFL is taking a risk that Seattle loses because if Seattle wins, the NFL has really dissed two fans bases due to their scheduling: Seahawks fans and Lions fans. But best not to disappoint those Aaron Rodgers fans, right, NFL? What is this? The NBA?
But what 12s truly care about that the NFL doesn’t is Seahawks football, of course. 12s also probably care about seeing Wagner and cheering him as a former great. Wagner likely appreciates that the 12s will cheer. But the NFL office only cheers when it counts the dollar bills it rakes in. Beter to like the human being than the business, I guess, for Seahawks fans and human beings overall.