14 NFL teams took tax dollars for patriotic pregame displays

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The Jets are just as patriotic as anybody else, I’m sure.

But it’s easier to wave the red, white and blue when it comes with a healthy dose of green.

According to Christopher Baxter and Jonathan Salant of NJ.com, the New Jersey Army National Guard and the Department of Defense paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, citing federal contracts.

While the heartfelt salutes to military members seems like a win-win (good for the league’s image, high-visibility advertising for the military), the reality that it’s as much of an ad as the ones for beer and trucks does make it a bit distasteful, not to mention expensive.

According to their documents, the Defense Department has paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million over the past four seasons for the patriotic displays.

“Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said. “You get a good feeling in your heart. Then to find out they’re doing it because they’re compensated for it, it leaves you underwhelmed. It seems a little unseemly. . . .

“They realize the public believes they’re doing it as a public service or a sense of patriotism,” Flake said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”

The deals include segments saluting “Hometown Heroes,” and other advertising and marketing.

The Jets weren’t the only team accepting tax dollars in exchange for access to football, as the Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Steelers and Rams have also accepted the money.

Your money, that is.

254 responses to “14 NFL teams took tax dollars for patriotic pregame displays

  1. Yeah let’s chastise the one governmental department that is empowered by the constitution to exist for spending money, while other worthless ones hemorrhage hundreds of billions every year

  2. Billionaires are very patriotic. They manipulate the tax code to stay wealthy. God Bless America!

  3. The only team you should be spending your tax dollars on:

    God’s Team

    Headquartered in San Francisco, California

    These 14 “teams” are all losers

    They have no class

    They win the offseason

    We are all class

    We win Super Bowls

    We have God’s Running Back in Carlos Hyde

    To go along with God’s Quarterback in Colin Kaepernick

    Along with God’s Linebacker in Aldon Smith

    Coached by God’s Head Coach in Jim Tomsula

    All part of God’s Team in the San Francisco 49ers!

    Embrace our dynasty

    Minimum 5 rings in the next 8-10 years

    13-3 at worst and a home SB Championship this year!

    We make boats to ride on the river of tears from the haters!

    I could not ask for a better franchise to root for!

    We are God’s Team!


  4. So what? Universities/colleges do the EXACT same thing yet the media is silent about that. Let’s just report half of the facts and hope that no one realizes that we left out other entities that do the same thing.

    Stop trying to vilify the NFL.

  5. I don’t blame the teams for taking tax dollars. It is the military’s marketing / recruiting budget. If that is what they want to spend their money on, so be it.

  6. As someone who is familiar with how the military spends it’s money, this is a drop in the bucket in terms of wasteful spending. If you think this is bad, wait until you see how much we spend on contractors.

  7. Shameful and unethical on the part of both the teams and the DoD.

    With all respect to our country’s military (and I do mean all respect) appealing to the DoD’s chief recruiting demographic with a message that if you sign yourself over to be a target in their wars then there’ll be a heroes welcome at your local NFL game… that’s advertising you just can’t buy with a bus stop ad.

  8. Apparently filthy rich, isn’t rich enough. Yet RW pols giving our money to the rich have no problem doing it, but will grandstand against a hungry kid getting a free breakfast.

    Only in America.

  9. Why am I not surprised Arthur Blank’s Falcons aren’t taking our tax dollars under this ruse? This on top of the $40,000.00 Private Seat Licenses he’s hitting up long time Falcon season ticket holders’ is it any wonder he and his team would stoop this low? This after getting his wrist slapped by the league for cheating….
    The greed of some of these owners is almost unimaginable!

  10. According to Christopher Baxter and Jonathan Salant of NJ.com, the New Jersey Army National Guard and the Department of Defense paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, citing federal contracts.


    Good time to point out that Woody Johnson is worth $3.5 billion. Also, reason number 1461959161 our defense budget should be cut in half.

  11. This should be more of an outrage than deflategate.. But then again, what do you expect between the greediness of the NFL and the wastefulness of our government?

  12. This is really a ‘kick in the nuts’…who would be thinking that the Armed Forces were paying for these Tributes to the Vets and others….these TEAMS SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!

  13. This is a little unsettling. Especially when considering that the DOD charges nothing to do the flyovers at the games costing tens of thousands of dollars per hour but yet the NFL has to be compensated to display the flag during pregame? Pathetic.

  14. I am not a fan of Sen. Jeff Flake, but on this I agree… taking money from our Military to honor our Men and Women in the military is just plain WRONG!

  15. So you’re criticizing teams for having legitimate business contracts? Heaven forbid in a free market society…

  16. The NFL is a tax free enterprise. The Commissioner made roughly $40 million last year. The government pays our football teams to promote war in foreign countries. And no one is allowed to smoke weed after playing the game.

    Got to love that Freedom.

  17. Well, i guess you have to be Patriotic, huh? Meanwhile, we are busy brainwashing the public that welfare programs are the problem.

  18. 1: Some teams did it for money
    2: Some teams did it just because
    3: Some teams did not do it.

    Who falls into category 2 ?


    Another reason the Jets will always be the red headed step child of New York.

  19. Army ads say that the Army is protecting our freedom. US military action in Iraq was to protect the profits of the oil industry and military-industrial complex, with Americans paying the price in blood and taxes.

  20. So when they display a field size flag, who are you saluting, the flag and the country or just another money grubbing franchise? The NFL is getting stinkier and stinkier.

    – disgusted fan of one of the franchises that does this

  21. Sad pathetic by the army and the NFL, was fireman Ed an attempt to gets jets fans to support the fireman? The GAO needs to gets its head out of its ass an due some audits cause this is crap.

  22. Wow, and I thought the NFL just loved the troops for all the goodness they are doing around the globe. Pillaging country that never caused us any harm. More propaganda, on top of propaganda. This is coming from a service member.

  23. I understand the military has to spend marketing dollars to attract talent, like many enterprises. And they’ve done it significantly in the past (NASCAR.) But if they’re paying teams to honor returning veterans, there is something wrong with that picture.

  24. The issue is not the NFL taking the money to do these things, they are a business and it is what they do. The problem is that the government is paying for these things. $5.4 million could sure feed and cloth a lot of hungry Americans.

  25. That’s right. That Bob Kraft slime ball should be forced to sell for stealing taxpayer money for building his stadium and allowing soldiers on the field during games. Wait, what?

  26. I knew the Packers would be on this list.
    They sold worthless stock to their fans and used the money to install BENCHES in Lambeau lol. Why wouldnt they take tax money to honor troops

  27. $5.4 m divided by 14 teams is $385 k. That means the Jets took less than other teams. Why does it sound like the Jets are the bad guys here.

  28. $5.4 MILLION!!! Are you kidding? This is a joke right? NFL teams make billions and the taxpayers have to give them more money for a halftime tribute?

  29. As a retired USAF veteran, I’m ashamed my Dolphins are among that group.

  30. The NFL greed know no bounds — isn’t this something they should do at no charge? At least that is the impression they give.

  31. Great to hear that when my Eagles do this its all genuine. The organization does an excellent job of saluting the troops and doing special things for them. It’s actually a big part of game day that servicemen are honored for their thankless sacrifice to this great country.

    It sure is disappointing to hear that teams are excepting money for doing this.

  32. I’m ok with this. It’s one of the best uses of my tax dollars that i’ve heard of…making sure those that fought for our country know that we remember them.

  33. None of the listed teams surprise me at all. All low class organizations. Chiefs especially, they have been making a lot of cash grabbing moves lately such as deferring home games in order to host other events for money. Lowest of the low.

  34. When the government comes around offering free money, you take it; no questions asked. When the government comes around and says “we want to celebrate our armed services and we will pay for the whole deal” what do you say? “No?”

  35. Hmmmm…. That’s strange. I don’t see the N.E. Patriots on that list. Does that mean they do it as a sense of Patriotism? You wouldn’t think so called “cheaters” would do this. That they would “take” the money and run.

  36. As a veteran, I say, save the money. I don’t really care. It is really just another example of wasteful spending. Do something else like free tix upgrades for veterans or active duty. That would be a better use of the money. Glad my Jags aren’t on this list

  37. Keep electing politicians who have no experience running anything and businessman will sell them snake oil. Nothing wrong with selling advertising. Just another example of the idiots we elect.

  38. $377,000 to the Jets over 4 years. Over the span of 4 years, I bet all the players for any one of these teams spent more than that at strip clubs.
    Do the math…I’m totally serious.

  39. So over the past four seasons the Jets have gotten $370000 out of 5.4 million and you are singling them out why?

    Let’s just see who wrote this…oh there we go. So pathetic.

  40. Disgusting, yet unsurprising. Bet the nfl gets paid by the government to wear pink for breast cancer awareness month too.

  41. Only the Bills and Packers surprise me. The rest I think we all could have guessed.

  42. The best part about you singling out the Jets and making it seem they they’re the bad guy is that if you read the article they donated $1 million to Building for America’s Bravest, a non-profit that builds smart homes for catastrophically injured service members. So $370000 for some fireworks hardly seems unpatriotic of them to agree on.

  43. If teams are taking that money and donating it to the Wounded Warriors Project or some other worthy cause that helps military personnel I would see nothing wrong with that but if teams are just pocketing the money then shame on them.

  44. “The Jets weren’t the only team accepting tax dollars in exchange for access to football, as the Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Steelers and Rams have also accepted the money.”

    So, in other words, all the classy teams in the league.

  45. This is ridiculous. The NFL is getting a bigger and bigger black-eye. Of course, we all know about Delategate. The NFL will not come out of that looking good, no matter how little or great the punishment on Brady is. But having these franchises giving us the “priviledge” to solute the American flag only after we pay them off, is another thing going over the line.

  46. This seems like such a obvious thing right? If your the marketing dept not only do you not charge for this bit hold event to raise money and donate to veterans services? I am not trying to sound outraged or insane, but this is just common sense.

  47. Because NFL owners don’t have enough money already…
    Major props to my favorite team’s owner, Pat Bowlen, as well as the other 15 teams that didn’t accept the money.

  48. “Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said. “You get a good feeling in your heart. Then to find out they’re doing it because they’re compensated for it, it leaves you underwhelmed. It seems a little unseemly. . . .

    “They realize the public believes they’re doing it as a public service or a sense of patriotism,” Flake said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”

    Most of the politicians in Washington leave a bad taste in the mouths of their constituency.

    How can you tell when a politician is lying? When you see their lips moving.

    Just sayin’….

  49. East coast bias.
    Good to know the pre-game salute in Oakland is coming from the heart and being done for the right reasons.
    No AFC West teams on that list.

  50. The military has assigned marketing budgets and (gasp) paid marketing people! Why begrudge the NFL the opportunity to make that money with a marketing strategy that the military approves of? The money is going to get spent somewhere. If my business had the opportunity to get the money, we’d take it.

  51. That absolutely sucks NFL, I can’t believe how two-faced the NFL is concerning this money grab. We(the NFL) love and support our veterans, (as long as there is cash for us.) Shame on all you NFL owners and since I live in Atlanta now Shame on you Arthur Blank, I can’t believe that you ripped off Americans and our veterans this way. You folks need to return this money with interest to Veterans organizations that really do love and care for our Vets. If you don’t you’ll never see another dime of mine.

  52. The money to the Vikings was actually to get them NOT to do any kind of patriotic display. Our military doesn’t need that kind of bad publicity.

  53. This is getting absolutely ridiculous. I am a NFL season ticket holder and these teams should be ashamed of themselves, but they are all too concerned with the PSI in a football. What a disgrace! Certainly not a surprise that all three of the AFC East teams that are more concerned with what the Patriots do and when Bill Belichick has to go to the bathroom. Look in a mirror and see why you all are a bunch of losers! If I was a fan of those teams, I would be ashamed to wear their merchandise. Disgusting!

  54. As a major, major fiscal conservative and hater of all non-essential government spending, I don’t see why this is a problem. Corruption? Disgusting?

    Come on. These campaigns are very expensive. They also often involved recruiting and morale of military members, pre-game passes for them and their families, etc. The Pentagon dropping the equivalent of 1/8th the purchase price of one F-22 Raptor over 3 years for this seems to be a good investment of our money, actually.

  55. Every commentator that didn’t have a problem with this is a fan of the crap franchise that did it. The rest of us realize the truth: your team is disgraceful

  56. So let me get this straight. You people have a problem with other people accepting money from the government ?

    But you have no problem giving the government a third of your paycheck. lol ok

    At least someone is getting paid, better than no one.

  57. Perspective people. The IRS was spending more on this for training trips during the worst years of the recession. $3500/night rooms for dozens of people. Sending 25 IRS staffers across the country to ‘check’ and see if a hotel was sufficient for a large meeting, etc. 1 guy with yelp could have done it on his lunch hour.

    It is preposterous that NFL owners have to get paid to support a system of global oppression that enabled them to be successful in the first place.

  58. I am positively shocked that Stephen Ross would be a party to this! (We’ll maybe not so much) And here I thought that YOUR Miami Dolphins minority owners JLO & Fergie were providing the pre game entertainment.

  59. Wait you forgot to mention the Pats did it! Of course 5 million of that went to the evil Patriots, they must be involved. Brady probably cashed the check himself!

  60. If the Patriots took money there would be a 500 page investigation and a congressional inquiry…EX JET Employee Goodell must go!!!!FREE TOM BRADY!

  61. The NFL should suspend itself for this.

    Or, better yet, force those teams that took money for patriotic displays to play a game for free – free tickets, free concessions, free parking, and zero TV concessions.

    They defrauded fans by giving the appearance of being good will ambassadors. I can’t think of much that is more distasteful than that.

  62. Those dirty rats! I mean, we all know the owners are greed-driven monsters, but this revelation takes it to another level. I’m not even a patriotic person and I still find it repugnant in every way.

    They do really try to make it seem as if they’re they’re *spending* money honoring the country when all they’re honoring is a contract which nets them more of the people’s money!? (Because tens of billions in total annual revenue isn’t enough, apparently).

    Sickening. Even more disgusting that these animals are in control of the game we love.

  63. As a Pats fan I can not stress enough how quickly I went to the list of teams praying they weren’t on it. I don’t think I can take anymore Patriots hating and if they had popped up on the list the amount of “well of course the Patriots did” would have broken the internet. Meanwhile having to pay to be honored is sad and pathetic.

  64. A lot of the posters here need to understand something here. It is not about how much the teams charged, but rather the fact they DID.

  65. Why is everyone getting mad at NFL teams for doing this? It wouldn’t be happening if we didn’t have a government willing to spend money and anything and everything it can possibly get its hands into.

    A government that has accrued an $18,000,000,000,000 debt has no business giving money away to any NFL team, or any one of thousands of other entities, foreign and domestic, that take money from our government.

  66. As a Browns fan, I’m slightly irked that the Browns got only $22,500 of the gravy while the Ravens got a whopping $884,500. The Steelers got just a little more than the Browns.

    These displays always seemed a little forced to me. Now that I know they were paid for ads, I don’t feel so bad feeling that these displays weren’t entirely sincere.

  67. Question-

    Did other teams say we don’t want your money, we want to do other entertainment at halftime/pregame instead?

    Or did they say, sure we’ll do it, but you don;t have to pay us?


  68. If ISIS offered more money the DoD, we would be having martyrs’ days at every stadium. The NFL knows no ethical or moral bounds because rating keep increasing with the prices.

  69. This should be more of an outrage than deflategate.. But then again, what do you expect between the greediness of the NFL and the wastefulness of our government?


    Why? One is a blatant rule violation, one is distasteful greed. The greed, while distasteful, is not against the rules.

  70. Here I thought the NFL and its teams were honoring our service members.
    But all along they were honoring the all mighty dollar.

  71. You know whatever funny last year the President requested a smaller DoD budget every one thought it was armageddon “He doesnt care about the troops, America, etc.” Then you find out how money is being proportioned and now we might understand why he wanted such a thing.

  72. What happened Zygi Wilf, were all the ATMs out of cash?

    This has nothing to do with Brady and the Patriots, even though I have a negative opinion about them as far as this DeflateGate is concerned. Nice to see that they were not on the list.

    To me however, this “you can see the flag only if you pay us” thing is a big deal.

    You stink Zygi.

    – Viking fan

  73. #Compensategate. The integrity of the pre-game has been compromised. Before we can remove the asterisk from the Raven’s last Super Bowl victory, we’re gonna need Joe Flacco to turn over his cell phone. You know, ’cause of integrity of the pre-game and stuff.

  74. Instead of soldiers in uniform, they should show us the reality: the thousands of homeless veterans who gave so much for us and got so little in return. Where’s their moment in front of the cameras?

  75. Yet the army won’t keep the food hall open for long enough for my cousin, who has deployed twice, to eat after training.

    So he’s going broke from paying for personal expenses, food and his uniform.

    Way to go.

  76. Shows that the juggernaut franchise The New England Patriots show they support the troops and take no money that’s how real Patriots do it.

  77. blizzard01 says:
    May 11, 2015 9:52 AM

    Did other teams say we don’t want your money, we want to do other entertainment at halftime/pregame instead?

    Or did they say, sure we’ll do it, but you don;t have to pay us?



    Not 100% sure but I’m a patriots fan so i know they regularly do salute the troops.

    They either didn’t accept money or weren’t offered any.

  78. Who do you think pays for FLYOVERS?

    And, where do you think the military gets its money?

    C’mon people, this is basic stuff here(x + y = z to be exact).

    Cut out the phony outrage.

  79. Folks don’t get it. It is marketing. Papa Johns advertises fresh ingredients. You perceive them better and you buy their pizza. The DoD advertises to enhance its public perception and recruit. I have no problem with my tax dollars spent like this.

  80. Only ONE NFC South team on that list, and it isn’t the least bit surprising it’s Artie Blank’s Falcons.
    They cheat they hold up their fans with outrageous PSL fees, then they’re found doing this. Like I said not surprising in the least that a greed ridden S.O.B. like Blank is involved with this.

  81. Just a dumb thought here, but how much does the ARMY and DOD spend on sponsership with Nascar and other advertisement. I bet it’s way more than the NFL. Not saying what the NFL doe’s is right.

  82. And after all the celebrations the VA hospitals are still underfunded. Vets are still struggling to get get benefits promised to them but there is plenty of money to make a flag formation on a football field on Sunday morning.

  83. What’s next, making the cheerleaders have sexx with the owners in order to get on the cheer-leading squad, then having them pay the owners for the tryout?

  84. Robert Kraft pays for the things he wants. He isn’t part of the welfare billionaire class, which dominate the professional sports landscape.

    The Jets are pathetic but that aside, Woody Johnson is a monster.

  85. Fines, suspensions and draft picks! Goodell has to act now! They cheat on the field and cheat with our tax doll….

    Oh wait, Patriots aren’t on the list?

    What’s everyone getting upset about? This is nothing. Move on people!

  86. The military advertises and has an advertising budget. It’s good PR and good for recruiting. Was this news to anyone? All the branches run commercials, sponsor motorsports, place ads all over the place. I do not understand the outrage or disappointment one bit.

  87. Pro sports, especially the NFL, has been used as a tool of military propaganda since the 80’s to make sure they have a good supply of young male volunteers ready for war once they turn 18. It worked on me!

    I don’t blame the teams for getting paid. That’s just capitalism at it’s best. Having a volunteer force means people must be coerced in some way to join or else very few would. So why blame the owners for being “unpatriotic” when they are doing the same thing the military is doing, but just using more direct methods? Otherwise, we could go back to drafting people and there would be no need to convince people to join

  88. All 14 teams need to be suspended for this. Docked 1st round picks as well. It’s for the integrity of the game… or something. Seriously though, Goodell needs to step down or be impeached.

  89. If the military did not market itself, like Coke, Pepsi, and McDonalds, no one would sign up.

    You have to be blind or a little crazy or razzle-dazzles by it all to put your life on the line to be part of endless war.

  90. How long before Patriots fans start demanding the Jets’ 2016 first round pick for this?

  91. LOL, this gives East Coast Bias another meaning. They pay for that bias, notice how no teams west of Missouri are on this list.

  92. The US Navy was not involved.

    The Falcons, Dolphins, Packers and Steelers only signed contracts in the offseason.

    The Packers and Steelers regularly host prime time games because they garner very high television ratings.
    Payments to them for prime time displays reaches far more people than free pens, bumper stickers, or billboards. Very effective use of a recruiting budget.

  93. As a Packer fan I am very disappointed. Once again the NFL is so blinded by money, they don’t think about the PR hit they will take. Now they will be “shocked” by the response. Goddell will go into hiding, then come out and make a speech, donate some money, wring his hands and then suspend someone.

  94. Marketing like in NASCAR is one thing, but getting paid for a veterans and active duty salute? WRONG Shame on the Colts and every team on this list.

  95. This isn’t necessarily wrong or immoral, but it doesn’t pass the smell test. It makes it seem as if these teams wouldn’t honor military veterans unless they are paid to do so. Obviously they would, as evidenced by the 18 teams that didn’t get paid, and every team has had ceremonies honoring vets as far as I know. Like the Senator, I’m not outraged, but it doesn’t feel right.

  96. All to create a culture and mind-set that wars are a noble thing. Would be interesting to see more obvious paid-for ‘commercials’ pre-game, etc., instead of the armed forces.

    Then, everybody would recognize the ‘commercial’, and what was being sold.

  97. Glad the Saints aren’t one of the teams…. Sean Payton would be the only coach OUT FOR THE YEAR!

  98. First of it’s Capitalism, the very thing our military is fighting for. Second off, teams don’t want to do it for free then okay, let them be the only ones without a patriotic display then. If people feel like they’re not going to support those teams as a result of a lack of patriotic display then the teams lose money as a result and the free market spoke for itself.

  99. If the Pats had been on that list, it would have been Page One news with no other team mentioned.

  100. disappointed to find my Packers on this list, those moments always seemed special, but now seem more like a sponsored commercial. nfl and their teams are a business, but it would be refreshing to see, and maybe some have, that this money be matched by the teams and donated to Veterans support groups. As a vet myself, it would be an interesting follow up story, that would show those franchises that do give monetary support. I would like to believe the Packers are one of those, hopefully many, teams

  101. I don’t know why (wait, yes I do) I thought the Bengals would be on this list. Very surprised they aren’t. Crazy that the military has to pay teams to “salute” them. Ridiculous. There would be no NFL if it weren’t for the men and women overseas defending our nation.

  102. If someone offered me money for doing something that I was going to do anyway, I would not refuse the money.

  103. It isn’t that the military bought commercial time. Of course they can do that, as can anyone else trying to sell us something.

    It’s that they never told us we were being sold in a situation where the reasonable assumption was we were not being sold. That’s not only wrong, it’s a breach of ethics in the advertising industry.

    Didn’t anyone involved in this ever hear of the word “disclaimer?” Don’t they know that disclaimers such as, “sponsored by the US Army” are mandatory? (Mandatory for precisely this reason.)

    The advertiser and the NFL franchises left it up to us to draw our own conclusions. They counted on us believing what we wanted to believe as opposed to what was true.

    So yeah, I feel a little bit taken, which makes this whole thing feel a little bit sleazy. Not because there’s advertising involved, but because it never even occurred to me that it might be an ad. And no one told me otherise, even though they were clearly obligated to tell me.

    Even today … go Pack go. But somehow I’m not quite as enthusiastic about that cheer as I usually am. Score another victory for cynicism.

  104. Proud to see 49ers are not on the list!!

    Not shaming any other fan base at all… but this is yet ANOTHER BAD look for the NFL!! Just smh…

  105. I am not taking up for any team in this matter. But it would seem to me that perhaps the rules should be changed. Note that teams like the Ravens have honor guards of veterans (Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf) who are at the games each home Sunday for the anthem. Plus many vets are invited to attend training camp without other fans and meet with the players and staff. If it is true that teams take advantage of such situations then change the rules.

  106. Right now Belicheat and Kraft are mad as hell that they didn’t think of doing this and the Jets did.

  107. Take away a draft pick and suspend the owners 10 games…..it’s only the right way to handle this. They completely ruined the integrity of my country.

  108. And then there’s Philly. Has military color guards, a flag the size of the whole field, and honors a “Hometown Hero” every game. Plus more. Without needing to get paid for it. Good on you, Lurie.

  109. Billionaires being paid with tax dollars to wave the flag, makes me sick to my stomach! How I wish this wasn’t real. But it is.

  110. Advertisers routinely pay a half mil for a 30 second commercial during the SuperBowl! I’d say shelling out about a million a year over the past four years for year-round promotion of our armed forces is a damn good deal. Worried about tax-payers’ money? Oh, please. More tax-payers money is wasted on grants like studying the mating habits of frogs.

  111. Since all teams did not receive funds, I wonder if this is not an NFL thing but an organization thing. If so, I commend the teams that have not accepted bribes, I mean kick-backs, I mean …

  112. Wow, the next thing you know you’ll be telling us they’re making money off of cancer.

  113. So let me get this right. People are going wild about a minimal amount of psi in a ball and want Tom Brady hung out to dry. But we have NFL teams taking public money(our money) to pump the military up a bit. What a disgrace these teams and the NFL are. FREE TOM BRADY!!!!

  114. Carl Gray says:
    May 11, 2015 8:18 AM
    The only team you should be spending your tax dollars on:

    God’s Team

    Headquartered in San Francisco, California

    There are no NFL teams in San Francisco, California. So I guess you’re talking about the UFL’s California Redwoods (which went under)?

  115. If you think this is outrageous, just look at what the National Guard spent. Before their budget was cut, they were spending ~$32 million a year on Dale Earnhart Jr.

  116. Let me get this straight. A Republican Senator complain about NFL teams taking tax dollars to advertise for the armed services.
    At least the American tax payers are getting something for their tax dollars when NFL teams are tasked with spending the money!
    Maybe Senator Flake should be a bit more worried with what the Senate is producing, or not producing, for the billions of tax dollars spent on their services…!

  117. People please, shut up. All this false patriotism is comical. Remember after 9/11 how everyone had flags flying from their homes and cars? That didn’t last long. Support your country by VOTING! That’s the only way to elect competent people.
    I wonder how many of the outrage on this forum bother to vote?
    I’m guessing not many. Educate yourselves on the issues and candidates and VOTE!
    Sadly that won’t happen.

  118. First off, I’m a long time (60+ yrs) Browns fan, and I’m so ashamed of seeing them on the list.

    Secondly, I’m a retired, disabled vet with 30+ yrs of service, and with action in Vietnam, Panama, and Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

    While I’m appalled at this money grab by the NFL (tax free status), this is but a drop in the bucket compared to what I’ve witnessed through other government contracts. (How does the government simply “lose” billions of dollars overseas every year? How does the military “lose” rockets and missiles every year?)

    A note of credit to NY area sports teams. During the heyday of Vietnam, both the Jets & Mets gave out free tickets to military members (through the USO) to any number of events, not just sporting events. That was a true honor, and at a time when we didn’t get much honor for being in uniform….much more than the phony, gaudy displays of today. Thank you, NY!

  119. ctiggs says:
    May 11, 2015 8:15 AM

    The 49ers, do not need to take your hard earned money. #NobodyhasitbetterthanUS
    Except for coaching controversies, off-the-field player problems, an overpaid, overrated QB, and no SB victories in the last 20 years, and violent fans, you’re probably right.

  120. The world ain’t a fairy tale…

    It’s ’bout making that money, if you’re against it – then may I suggest sticking to fairy tales and living with your parents.

  121. Mmmm! I don’t know, you tell me what makes more sense…

    Being outraged at 14 teams taking a total of 5.4 million for patriotic displays, allotted by the DoD


    $49 million in conference spending by the IRS from 2010 to 2012 for lavish parties, directly from taxpayers without taxpayers consent.

    What’s that!? Who pays your salary?!

  122. I’ve seen the branches of our military advertize in other places as well. It must be the “slow time’ of the year for the media……

  123. Anyone outraged at how the Military spends money to recruit people as the ultimate goal don’t understand a thing.

    The Jets and all the other teams do lots of military things on their own dime.

  124. Do you people research anything on this site? Having been a recruiter, I can tell you now, those teams (areas), are some of the highest recruiting areas in the US. It’s not by accident the government chooses to throw money at the teams there. Not so much about greedy teams as it is about a target rich environment. I think before you run a story like this, why don’t you find out about how many teams turned down the money. I’m betting you won’t find one.

  125. Remember people, killing is wrong unless you do it for the military.. lmao!

  126. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. And you clowns concern
    yourselves with how much footballs are deflated.

    I notice that team didn’t appear on this list. But
    I find it ironic and humorous the Colts and Ravens are on this list. Of course the Jets (God
    love em) and Shula’s “classy” Dolphins. Hahahaha.

    Hatred jealousy and envy.

    Jamokes. Every one of you.

  127. While the heartfelt salutes to military members seems like a win-win (good for the league’s image, high-visibility advertising for the military)

    It’s not a win-win. It’s only a win for the military/gov because they are screwing the people out of their hard-earned money, just so they can “advertise” (read: brainwash) people into joining the BS war they’re fighting and put our country even deeper in dept.

    Also…military personnel are not heroes. They’re soldiers. To call them heroes minimizes what the true war heroes did in previous wars.

  128. dsh97 says:
    May 11, 2015 12:49 PM
    $49 million in conference spending by the IRS from 2010 to 2012 for lavish parties, directly from taxpayers without taxpayers consent.

    What expenses do the taxpayers get consent on? None. Your Congress decides ends therapy of your Congress person isn’t relevant.They all bit the big one.

  129. The military spent $667Mil for advertising in 2012….of which, about $1.3Mil went to the NFL. That’s 00.2%.
    Meanwhile, the National Guard alone spends $30Mil/year to sponser Dale Earnhardt Jr’s NASCAR racing team.
    This is so not a big deal.

  130. The NFL..Never Freak’n Lower…to take payment to honor our Heroes is disgraceful…that money could be used for veteran services!!!!!

  131. So now this network wants to control who the teams can sell advertizing to. This is a free market and the military can spend their advertizing budget at they see fit.

  132. Look, I love NFL football, but it’s well past time the league starts paying federal taxes and its billion dollar teams stop taking welfare to build stadiums.

  133. I would rather see veterans and active service get better education and medical coverage than a contrived flyover that actually means nothing. Marketing for our Dept. of Defense…that’s not what I call it.

  134. This is despicable for all of these teams. Other than the Vikings. Wasteful government spending is really the only reason they are still around, so you can’t blame them.

  135. Slash the defense budget and then you won’t have as many of these wasteful bits of spending.

    Maybe I might even get to watch a game without being constantly inundated with nationalist propaganda.

    Win Win.

  136. My initial reaction was “this is outrageous” .. but after really thinking about it .. The government forces us to pay taxes. We don’t have a choice.. pay taxes or go to jail. … So I don’t really have a problem with some people making the government give back.

  137. baltimoresnativeson says: May 11, 2015 12:40 PM

    I don’t understand why the military would pay for this. Exactly how do they benefit?

    I’m being serious. Someone please answer.
    That question has been answered in some of the 200+ comments already here. You’re a Ravens fan and so am I so I’ll answer you.

    The military needs a regular influx of new people to replace the heroes leaving. Its a big machine, a lot of people move through it. To get new people they have have to constantly work on their image. They want military service to be seen as proud, honorable, and rewarding so new kids sign up. If they didn’t, the only images of the military would be movies and news. The news is always bad and movies in the last couple decades have shown war as it is – violent and hard on soldiers and families.

    We as a country need a military and they need recruits. Recruits need to be fired up not scared or they won’t enlist … or they’ll all run to the Air Force.

  138. How about the U.S. Congress draft a bill, ban funding for NFL teams from the Department of Defense? Where the tea party? Oh, that’s right no way to be found. Advertising money should go to our veterans, not to wealthy NFL owner’s pockets. This is terrible.

  139. I don’t necessarily have an issue with it. The DoD is going to spend this money in marketing anyway… using it at an NFL game makes sense if you think of their target audience.

    I’m wondering why the other teams aren’t doing it? Either they can’t, or didn’t know they could… not because they’re “more” patriotic that those 14.

  140. I think most people understand that the DOD has an advertising budget, and that’s not the issue.

    The issue for those of you defending this is that it is advertising disguised as a patriotic salute to the armed forces or veterans or whatever. Those in the stands and on TV just assume the team is doing this on their own.

    Getting paid for it just turns it into a cynical cash grab.

  141. Over the years, the Redskins have honored our military as much as any team, in my opinion. For the owner to not accept taxpayer money for that may surprise some. Nothing, on the other hand, surprises me when it comes to Jerrah Jones.

  142. ctchiefsfan25 says:
    May 11, 2015 12:07 PM

    How about everyone on STATE insurance should be DRUG tested monthly??? Your gonna make a stink about tax dollars. Start with that!!
    Drug test the poor but not the billionaire owners sucking more tax money than they possibly need. We know one owner in Indy who’d fail miserably though, don’t we?

  143. I am not disgusted or appalled by this at all as we have a voluntary military and just like any business marketing is essential to any entity. The only thing that I would call into question is allowing the public to believe this is being done by the team and should announce that this tribute was brought to you by said payer. The NFL and all the teams and many players spend millions each year to support many great organizations such as United Way, Red Cross, Wounded Warriors and the USO to name a few. What disgusts me is the low amount the Military does spend each year!!! I say increase the budget in fact triple it!!! It is appalling to me that the United States budget for entitlements is over 50% while the budget for the Military is around 3%. It is absolutely disgusting to me that the average welfare recipient gets over $40,000.00 yr in benefits!!! I say cut the welfare program in half let them eat rice and beans not steak and potato’s. Take the savings from that and apply it to our veterans!!!! I bet half of you so appalled by teams taking money are the same ones using your EBT cards to get your wings and dorito’s for the games!!! You may call the owners greedy and hate on them and maybe they are greedy but atleast they do not sit on their fat butts at home and do nothing!! Some may even take taxpayer money but atleast they produce for society!! The only ones with the true greed are the ones to lazy to go to work and depend on the backs of others to take care of them that to me is greed!!!! To be fair for those of you who cannot work due to phsycal or mental reasons I do not have a problem with you receiving benefits in fact you should be getting atleast what the average American makes!! I refer my comments to the ones that can work but do not work.

  144. That is pretty shameful. Next they will be charging charities for the advertisement they get during awareness months. I’m not as bothered by the government spending it as I am that NFL teams would accept it.

  145. If i remember right the national anthem is played first for free. exposure is there. vets should get a game free a year and i should get to vote on this type ofspending

  146. Don’t understand the outrage. Supporting our country and our troops is the least we can do and if the service’s pay then that is OK with me. I am more concerned with the cost of vacation around the world trips by Michelle Obama and her daughters.

  147. I’ve always had a bad taste in my mouth about how the NFL wraps itself in the flag and military, paid or not. To me, it’s always seemed like a big, intentional distraction from the fact that it pays hundreds of military-eligible men huge sums of money to stay far away from military service at a time when it’s sorely needed.

    I am anti-war and not in favor of pervasive military recruiting, but anyone who wasn’t already cynical about the “rah rah” NFL-military connection just isn’t thinking hard enough.

  148. Nice to know that one team at Metlife honors the troops with out needing to be paid

    Any team that takes money to show support of the brave men and women of the US armed forces should be ashamed

    The Jets have empty seats every game and they take money for some service person to use them ashamed ashamed

  149. Per Todd Archer, ESPN:

    The $62,500 received by Cowboys from Dept. of Defense in 2013 was funding for the team’s National Guard Coach of the Week program.

  150. This is disgraceful. And it isn’t the only pickpocketing of the taxpayers that the NFL is guilty of either. How about a list of the teams and the amounts of taxpayer money they have taken to build stadiums while holding a gun to the head of fans by threatening to leave if they don’t get their way?

  151. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm………………..Let’s see what’s worse. Deflating footballs or falsely honoring our war veterans by giving the impression you care?

    Most definitely deflating the footballs. (sarcasm)

    Let’s see if all the trolls get worked up about this as the do for the Patriots.

  152. I wonder how many of those complaining about these “selfish” teams receiving unneeded government “handouts” are those wielding an “Independence” card in the grocery store to purchase their Doritos and Coke as their $50K SUV sits double parked out front?

    It’s easy to turn down “free” money when it’s being offered to somebody else.

  153. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise as we honor America with the singing of the Tostitos National Anthem, presented by Capital One and Budweiser!

  154. I guess people just need to feel outraged at something, the American Salem Witchhunt mentality. The same reason we declared war on Spain because our own ship(The Maine) malfunctioned and exploded. Any excuse Americans can have to be outraged by something and subsequently make themselves feel relevant as a human being, they will take full advantage of.


    You people think jet fuel is free??? AHHHHHHH I could seriously pull my hair out if it wasn’t so thick and full.

  155. Before everyone gets all holier than thou about their respective teams, I served in the military for 24 years, and just know that the military looks at this as recruitment dollars. They do the same thing with all of those Hollywood movies we enjoy. The military provides support to those movies, because they believe it will help encourage citizens to join the military. Do I believe the NFL should foot the bill? Yes I do, however also understand the military is not having its arm Twisted to pay up.

  156. Think about the mathematics on this…many of the 14 teams listed have stadiums funded by taxpayers. Now taxpayers are paying for ads in the stadiums. Overwhelming majority of taxpayers have never set foot in one of those play pens!
    Full disclosure, I attend on average 3 games/year in different cities; 4 last year in Dallas. Not once did I view those as ads. But then again, infomercials were initially passed off as regular programming.

  157. Being that the Patriots did NOT accept monies to pay homage to our troops and instead did it their own behest, Roger Goodell has suspended Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for 6 games each for “lack of cooperation”.

  158. The $5.4 million does not really seem like that much to me over 4 seasons. I’d like to see the figures on what the military spends per day before I am going to get worried about $1.35 million/year advertising budget to the NFL. Any business that would turn down advertising dollars from the military/government would not be operating in the best interest of the business. Of course, it is not a good look when the details become public.

    The NFL will hopefully just eat the cost to promote our veterans going forward, as that now seems the better business decision.

  159. shame on these 14 teams for doing this. Fake honorary Bulls—.

    I applaud high standard organizations like New England for bypassing the money. Ohhhh but they deflated balllls!! Jerks!

  160. Are you guys for real? Do you think a magazine puts up old glory within its pages for free, Do you think NASCAR puts on patriotism on display each race for free, do you think TV stations show patriotism for free lol get real. The DOD offered it they said sure why not. They would probably do it for free if asked but if you are offered it then you take it especially when it is used for advertising, promoting and recruting for there product which is exactly what they are, didn’t you know that war is a big business! They did nothing wrong period so chill out.

  161. Most of the teams the military chose are in the middle of the country. You know, where real men live.

  162. The Packers accepting this money must have been approved by their gadzillion, “Oh so proud”, stockholders. Right?

  163. ctiggs says:
    May 11, 2015 8:15 AM

    The 49ers, do not need to take your hard earned money. #NobodyhasitbetterthanUS


    Actually everyone that doesn’t have Kaepernick has it better than you. And that’s well, everyone.

  164. Falcons took over 1 mil
    Ravens. 650K
    Colts 605K
    Packers 600K
    The rest of the teams less than 100K

    Except that’s not true at all.
    49ers 125k (not even listed in this article)
    Chiefs 250k
    Saints 573k
    Vikings 605k
    Colts 620k
    Bengals 139k
    Ravens 885k
    Bills 679k

    So you got the Packers and the Falcons right and left out a bunch of other teams. Let me guess… a Vikings fan?

  165. The NFL should pay income taxes, they should not be tax exempt. The NFL is a greedy entity (just like other American Corporations), let them pay their fair share of taxes!

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