Somedays, you can just smell certain things wafting on the air.
And in the case of the NFL, since there’s nothing else going on at the moment, today is the perfect time for the classic Friday news dump, leading into what for many is a long holiday weekend.
While they’re loath to admit it, sliding bad news into a time when few people are going to notice it in the first place and it doesn’t have time to resonate is a basic strategy for public relations professionals. And the NFL employs many of those, and they are proficient at their jobs.
While Cowboys defensive end David Irving’s suspension hit in the middle of the week, the majority of league suspensions come late in the week. So if we got one or two of those today, you shouldn’t be surprised.
But that’s far from the only thing to look for.
The league has an ongoing investigation into Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott which has yet to reach a conclusion, dating back to allegations of domestic violence nearly a year ago. The team has projected confidence that Elliott will be cleared, but in the absence of resolution (or transparency), no one knows when or if that’s the case. At some point, they’re going to have bring some finality to the story, rather than letting a potentially messy situation linger closer to the time of year they’d prefer people to focus on their actual product.
There’s no guarantee any such news is coming today — specifically, later this afternoon. But it’s certainly a good day to unload things you don’t want noticed, if you happened to have such unloadable items sitting around.