Saturday Night Live piledrives the NFL for the Jon Gruden emails, and also just for being the NFL

Saturday Night Live argued that Jon Gruden, former Las Vegas Raiders head coach, should be the dummy for the week. The show's Oct. 16 cold-open featured eight minutes of Gruden mocking the entire NFL.


SNL ridiculed the NFL's incompetence, misogyny and lack of diversity from the beginning of the sketch. Cecily Strong, the head of NFL PR named Prefers To Remain Anonymous, took the podium at the start of the sketch. She offered to swap jobs with anyone attending the press conference.

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Ten SNL actors were on the podium, pointing out almost every problem with the NFL. However, Alex Moffat, as Mark Davis, was the highlight of the sketch. Moffat should have worn a Davis all-white costume. I don't recall him ever having a creepy smile, but it was that smile that made the sketch. SNL made Davis' wig look perfect and ate every bit of low-hanging fruit. Moffat's first line when he takes to the podium was: Mark Davis here or, as my players call it, the botched circularcision. He pointed to his head while delivering the line.

SNL's best moments are when it takes people and institutions at the top of society and shows how absurd it is that these decisions affect real red-blooded humans. Although LeVar Burton's appointment as Raiders coach is a bit of hyperbole, it highlights the fact that the NFL doesn't know how to protect the shield or its reputation.

These emails were made public after an investigation into a franchise that used a racial term for a nickname for 82 year. There have been several exposes about the team's abhorrent treatment for women. This is a marquee team that operates in a major city.

After Paul Tagliabues retirement in 2006, Commissioner Roger Goodell was appointed to clean up the NFL's image. However, the cleanup task is not one that involves punishing players. He is part of the rot, and some of it is his bosses.

The NFL will continue to be successful financially, but it will be open to the Washington Post, Saturday Night Live and the New York Times to try to seize any goodwill left by the league.

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