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Can Music Save the Struggling NFL?

The music industry has more money than it knows what to do with. Artists at all levels are loaded with cash. The NFL needs that money.

Like most low-profile organizations, the National Football League struggles daily to have enough money. Between weak players who spinelessly got concussions and sued the NFL and evil city governments that refuse to fund every last dollar of teams’ necessary new stadiums, the NFL is being squeezed on every side, and not just in a football, love-of-the-game way. It's a league in dire need of financial assistance. It’s destitute.

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And you know who has a ton of money? Bands. And the music industry in general, which is experiencing record success. Recently, the NFL was unfairly criticized for asking potential performers at its halftime show to pay for the exposure and massive record sales the opportunity will surely give them. The NFL also reached a settlement with M.I.A., the shameful rapper who let a middle finger fly at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, ruining many children’s innocence. Peyton Manning, once a reliable quarterback with a promising career, recently had to turn to music to make ends meet. When people malign the pure-hearted NFL’s efforts to just get a little bit of money to keep the mom-and-pop operation running, we have a serious problem.

But we also have a solution. The music industry has more money than it knows what to do with. Artists at all levels are loaded with cash. The NFL needs that money. They just have to make it happen.

Can music save the NFL? Here are some potential ways:

Make An NFL Spotify
Spotify is a #disruptive and generous service that ensures money rightfully goes to the company that collects all the music in one place, not greedy artists who want to sell their music individually like socialists. All the NFL needs to do is find some programmer who can build an exact replica of Spotify in, like, an hour or however long, call it Footballify, slap the NFL logo somewhere, and put that puppy in the app store. People love football, and they’ll be so happy to find out they can listen to NFL-approved tunes, like “In The End” and “Girlfriend In A Coma,” and pay the NFL at the same time. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger could curate a playlist!

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Throw A Festival
The NFL already has a bunch of stadiums that are only used eight games a year, so each team might as well throw EDM festivals the other 44 weekends. If people aren't willing to pay to see their favorite wide receivers drop the ball, maybe they would rather pay to see Skrillex drop the bass. Teams struggling with game attendance can even double-book festivals during games. It makes sense, since people at festivals and people at football games are statistically the two most completely fucked-up-out-their-goddamn-skulls demographics. It’ll be so inspiring to watch Marshawn Lynch try to plow through the 49ers’ front seven and 32,000 molly-addled bros in sailor hats to reach the EndZone Stage.

Buy Macklemore
I don’t think I have to explain why this would work.

Go DIY
Take a page out of the punk playbook and save on marketing costs by having players make hand-drawn posters to promote their games. Here’s one example, made by Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields and taped to coffee house windows in the Miami area:

Plus, imagine if every member of the Bengals secondary started their own zine about the garage rock scene in the city of that week's opponent. It would be like the Sports Illustrated curse but multiplied, a.k.a. a way cheaper form of game prep than hiring coaches to watch tape.

Sell CDs With Players’ Names On Them
People love names. Especially names of players who do big fast run-run stuff zooming around on the tackle station. People will pay money for those names. Lots of it. And as much as people love paying for names, they hate paying for music even more. This is a cosmic capital imbalance that can be easily corrected to help the poor NFL, which has a lot of names, but not enough stuff to put them on. It can also be a good use of unsold CDs. Just put football players’ names on CD cases and watch them sell, sell, sell! That old Black Sabbath record will do a lot better once it says “Johnny Manziel.” They don’t even need to be autographs. Just get an unpaid intern to print 100,000 index cards that say “Johnny Manziel” and tape them to old DMX CDs. It won’t matter. Fans will buy them. And, just maybe, the NFL will survive.

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Set Up A Bunch Of Concerts For Breast Cancer Awareness Month And Just Keep All The Money
People are impressed when the NFL turns its attention to #women, especially #sickwomen. Have a bunch of #reallife #women, like Madonna, Ariana Grande, and Vanessa Carlton, play concerts in honor of the NFL’s courageous fight to bravely book concerts featuring strong artists who boldly play songs that fearlessly combat breast cancer. Get fat stacks of donations, and keep them. It’s that simple.

Get A Bunch Of Sponsorships To Make Each Game A Music Video
Partner with Beats By Dre to use Beats Pills instead of footballs. Replace the field goal uprights with Bose speakers. Get rid of assistant coaches and put Rick Ross on the sideline drinking Belaire rosé. Let Beyonce play all-time QB. Have Lil Wayne drive a sweet car onto the field whenever. And don’t let the goddamn beat drop until like halfway through the third quarter to keep people amped.

Ask Dave Grohl Very Politely To Borrow Twenty Bucks
Dave Grohl is known as one of the nicest guys in rock, so he probably wouldn’t mind if the NFL very politely asked to borrow twenty bucks every once in a while.

Create-An-Artist
This is easy. Make up a fake artist (the name “Yung Baseball” is good, it won’t arouse suspicion that he has ties to the NFL). Then launch him to superstardom. First, get a guy who can rap sorta. Create a bunch of puppet influential music blogs that can tout the up-and-coming, game-shifting force that is Yung Baseball. You can call them NFLfork, NFLsey, and NFLeogum. Then establish a mixtape distribution site, called FootballPiff, and flood it with Yung Baseball’s mixtapes. Next, make an obsessive lyrics site called NFLGenius that highlights the incredible lyrical flow of Yung Baseball’s raps. Drop more mixtapes on FootballPiff. Put him in a rap supergroup composed of new made-up rappers like Lil Hockey and Nicki Gymnastics, as well as someone established, like Ja Rule, who is probably nearby. Have Yung Baseball guest on songs by Drake and White Samantha (an Iggy Azalea clone who becomes popular in 2015 with her song of the summer, “Jesus Chrusht”) and then stage a fight between him and Chris Brown where Yung Baseball wins. Get him a sweet Vine channel, a heavily Instagrammed fling with Rihanna, and a questionable genre-bending duet with Arcade Fire or something. This should all take about three to five years. Finally, with his profile at an all-time high, have him die in a really sad way, where he’s saving a child from heroin and ends up taking all the heroin himself—that way, both the people who get excited about drug-related possible suicides AND the people who love saving children will idolize him. Sell a posthumous album full of unreleased outtakes every year forever. They’ll clean up.

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Devin Schiff is holding out hope that the NFL can make it through this tough time #prayerhands. He's on Twitter - @devinschiff.

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