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The popular phrase “Cutting off the Nose to Spite the Face,” has several origins. The earliest is from the 8th century when Saint Ebba, the Mother Superior of a Scottish monastery, saw Vikings approaching and urged her nuns to disfigure themselves, so they might be unappealing to the raiders. She demonstrated by cutting off her nose and upper lip, then other nuns did the same. The Vikings were so disgusted they burned the entire building to the ground with the nuns inside.
In the Middle Ages, the expression took on the meaning to act out of resentment or pride (i.e., pique) in a way that injures oneself more than anyone else. The term appears around 1200 as a Latin proverb. It was noted in the mid seventeenth century by Gedéon Tallemant des Réaux in recounting the history of France when he wrote: “Henry IV understood very well that to destroy Paris would be, as they say, to cut off his nose to spite his face.”
The idiom now stands for unwise, self-destructive actions motivated purely by anger or desire for revenge. An example would be a woman angry at her husband for flirting who might eviscerate him on social media causing him to lose his job; however, now they’re broke and about to lose their home and since he’s unemployable, she has to go to work. Another example would be the owner of an advertising agency firing Bob because he’s jealous of Bob’s success; he only later finds out Bob accounted for 80% of his revenue.
Now for some current, well deserved, examples. Consider the news departments at media conglomerates who have been running rampant for months with hyper-sensationalized coverage of the COIVD crisis, prodding governments at every turn to end fan-filled sports, including baseball, basketball, and football. Then there are the advertising and accounting departments of those same media conglomerates who have to ensure the overall enterprise remains profitable. Without giving away too much of where this is trending, lets imagine sports broadcasts are the nose on a much larger and more diverse media conglomerate.
You may not realize that news departments in networks, such as FOX, ABC, and NBC, are not profitable; networks rely on sports and entertainment venues to support their news areas. In fact, 75 out of the top 100 revenue generating events on TV last year were NFL games. I don’t just mean 75 out of 100 sporting events, I mean 75 out of 100 of everything the networks through at us last year, including sitcoms, movies, debates, news, etc.
You may also not realize that the NFL is probably the largest welfare queen in the country, with only Amazon potentially being larger. Neither the NFL or Amazon pay anything in taxes even though last year the NFL earned $16 billion. If the NFL plays games this year without fans, they’re projected to lose $5.5 billion in revenue that would have come from ticket sales, concessions, sponsors, parking, and team stores. This accounts for 34% of their projected earnings.
Aside: if there are 16 games per week and 16 weeks in a seasons, then 256 regular season games are played per season. Add to that 15 playoff games for a total of 271 games. That means each game earns $20.3 million in on-site revenue. Since each team hosts 8 home games, the owners average $162M per season from fan attendance. The average player salary in the NFL is $860k and each teams has a 55 player roster, which means on average each NFL team has an annual $47M player salary mortgage. In other words, the profit an average NFL team owner makes from fans attending games after paying player salaries is $115M. And that’s before the $8B the teams received last year for TV royalties.
With fans not allowed to attend games this season, it means the NFL has to rely 100% on TV revenue, which is based on advertising dollars, which depends on viewership. Imagine advertising dollars and viewership are also parts of the face of media conglomerates. If advertisers don’t by ads and views won’t watch games, both the NFL and the networks lose billions in revenue.
Anyone paying even tacit attention to the NFL and their recent antics understands that they have turned their organization into a circus. For example, they’ve announced that prior to the start of each game they’re going to play the Black National Anthem. I don’t have a problem with playing a visiting country’s anthem, in fact, I rather enjoy listening to Oh Canada when Montreal ventures south to the Windy City and Blackhawk fans respectfully join both the American and Canadian anthems being beautifully performed.
My confusion with the NFL announcement, is that they’ve yet to tell us anything about this new country, like what their flag is, and how many times this season they’ll host the American side for a game? I’m not opposed to the NFL trying to take their brand global like soccer, baseball, and hockey have done, I just want to know a little bit more about the nationality of the visiting teams. From what I’ve been able to glean from media sources, the players from this visiting nation expect Americans to stand for their national anthem but have announced their intention to kneel as a form of insult when the American anthem is played. I find this disgusting, insulting, and reprehensible and call on the State Department to revoke the foreign player’s work visas.
I have decide to not watch NFL games this season; the news media has exhausted me with there distorted coverage of the crisis and their insistence sports be cancelled. In addition, the NFL has insulted my intelligence, my patriotism, and my firm belief we are but one nation. I will not purchase the NFL package as I have in years past and I will not follow my beloved Bears as they once again campaign for a mediocre season. The net result is an indiscernibly small dip in both revenue and viewership. However, I suspect others are also feeling exhausted and insulted, which means an even larger downturn in viewership. From there advertising revenue will tumble which will cause network executives and shareholders to seriously question the wisdom of allowing their news departments to bite off the nose to spite the face.
I further predict that patriotic NFL team owners, like Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, will eventually take a stand against Roger Goodell who has single-handedly cut off the NFL’s nose to spit it’s face. And in the ultimate irony, what happens when NFL players from this mythical country earn less money because the league took in less revenue? Will they decide to repatriate? After all, money talks and BS walks.
As a final example that was just hanging there with the other fruit, liberal state and federal politicians expect taxpayers to rebuild the cities they allowed to be destroyed, to prop up the economies they needlessly and purposely decimated in an overtly obvious attempt to keep Trump from being re-elected. They highjacked and distorted a manageable crisis with fake COVID deaths, and mathematically impossible COVID infection rates. Liberals are desperate to have COVID be a real crisis, the only problem is the virus is not cooperating. The left would rather destroy the country than have the President successfully navigate us back to normal, clearly another biting instance of Cutting off the Nose to Spite the Face.