For those who weren’t sure about the former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden should be considered the dummy of the week, Live Saturday Night made his case that he should receive that honor. In the show’s October 16 cold open, the show spread Gruden and the entire NFL for eight minutes.
SNL mocked the NFL’s misogyny, lack of diversity, and general incompetence from the opening of the sketch when Cecily Strong took the podium as head of the NFL PR, entitled “Prefers to remain anonymous,” and offered to change jobs with someone at the press conference.
A total of 10 SNL actors took the podium to point out almost everything that was wrong with the NFL, but the sketch star was Alex Moffat as Mark Davis. Personally, I think Moffat should have been with Davis’ all white ensemble as a costume, and I do not remember that he always had a wide eerie smile glued to his face – but that smile made the sketch along with the wig. SNL got Davis’ wig perfect, and took every piece of low-hanging fruit at his disposal while making fun of it. Moffat’s first line as he takes the podium: “Mark Davis here, or as my players call me, the ruined circumcision.” He delivered the line “wrong circumcision” while pointing his head.
At its best, SNL takes people and institutions to high places in society and shows its viewers how ridiculous it is that it is what makes billions of dollars and decisions that affect the well-being of real living red-blooded people. Clearly, LeVar Burton, who is named Raider’s coach, is a hyperbole, but it helps hammer to the point that the NFL has no idea how to “protect the shield” or more specifically, how to protect its own reputation.
These emails were released due to an investigation by a franchise that had a racial slur for a nickname for 82 years, with more exposes written about the team’s abominable treatment of women. It is a tent team in a larger market.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was brought in to clean up the NFL’s image in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue’s retirement, but the clean-up job needed is not a wiping out by punishing some players. It’s a piece of advice that needs to be removed, and some of the rotten one is his bosses.
Until it can be figured out, the NFL will continue to have great success financially but be wide open to Washington Post, that New York Times, Live Saturday Night, and others to target any goodwill the league has left.