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Sunday, August 14, 2022

History shows NFL could deliver substantial news over Fourth of July weekend

The Fourth of July holiday is the biggest weekend of the summer, and as we get ready to kick back around the pool to celebrate, the NFL sometimes likes to sneak some not-so-flattering news past us. 

Of course, Friday news dumps are nothing new and stretch well beyond the sports realm. Basically, it’s a tactic to drop news — predominantly negative news — during a time when it’ll see as few eyeballs as possible, thus diminishing its impact. That’s why Friday afternoons are specifically targeted as folks largely unplug for the weekend. By the time the world gets back to work on Monday, it’s old news. 

The NFL not only is aware of this maneuver, but they are not afraid to deploy it, especially during the Fourth of July holiday. This time of the year is seen as the ultimate time to dump news considering that everyone is traveling and/or outside away from the news for the long weekend. 

To further highlight how often the NFL utilizes this spot on the calendar to drop news, here’s a quick rundown of some of the more notable dumps over the past few years. 

Naturally, this has us thinking about the days to come and what may be in store for us from the NFL. 

While there may be numerous nuggets that the league may try to slip past us, the biggest one that could be looming is a verdict in the Deshaun Watson case. This week, the league’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, has been spearheading a hearing that details the NFL’s year-long investigation into Watson, who was facing up to 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits from massage therapists. Watson had confidentially settled with 20 of the women, but the NFL has pushed for an indefinite suspension that would last at least one full season. 

Considering that this hearing concluded Thursday, per CBS Sports lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this drop just before the weekend (or even during it). However, a decision in this case could still be a ways off. ESPN reports that post-hearing briefs from sides are due the week of July 11, indicating that we may not know the verdict until around that date. 

Another story that could be on the radar to fall into this category surrounds Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. He has refused a subpoena to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is currently investigating the organization and the NFL’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct. While the committee may not dump news, it’ll be curious to see if there is anything the NFL, Snyder or the Commanders organization says/announces during this stretch.

Then, of course, there’s the random nugget that nobody sees coming. The lesson in all this? Keep your head on a swivel for NFL news while you’re cooking on the grill this weekend. 

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