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A post-Thanos letter from Roger Goodell to the NFL

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Next half of humanity up!

Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Banner Society Illustration.

A letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to NFL leaders and power brokers detailing the league’s response in the wake of the disappearance of half of Earth’s population as depicted in the documentary Avengers: Infinity War.

To: Chief Executives
Club Presidents
General Managers
Head Coaches

From: Commissioner Goodell

Re: League Protocols Post-Snap

As you know, the world suffered a tremendous loss due to the brutal actions of the supervillain Thanos, a moment colloquially known as “the Snap.” Our job now is simple: to remind the public that, though Captain America’s shield may have failed them, ours never will.

The NFL will operate as planned this season, with a handful of minor adjustments. As always, I remain confident that our league will emerge from these troubling times strong, financially sound, and as a moral beacon for all mankind.

Media Directive: From a branding perspective, it’s unfortunate that the public has settled on a name for this catastrophe so closely tied to the sport of football. We are therefore mandating that all credentialed NFL media refrain from using the term “snap” in any of their coverage and replace it with “hike.” This includes new nomenclature for depth charts, which will now refer to “long hikers.”

Rosters/Draft Picks: While the disappearance of half the Earth’s population was deeply tragic on a personal level, it was also confusing from a personnel management perspective. After careful legal review, we have issued the following determinations pertaining to Snapped players:

  • Rookies and free agents signed before the Snap: Count against the salary cap for this league year but can be cut at any time.
  • Rookies drafted but unsigned at the time of the Snap: Team may commit the rookie minimum to an escrow account if they wish to retain future rights to a drafted but unsigned player, or the player will be released and become draft-eligible the following year.
  • Players on year two or beyond of a multiyear contract at the time of the Snap: Can be cut at any time without salary cap implications beyond this league year.

Additionally, we have lowered the salary cap by 50% and instructed each franchise to hold the other 50% in escrow pending discussions with the NFLPA. We do not feel bound to honor revenue sharing commitments negotiated at a time when the players had far greater depth than they do at present.

In reaching these determinations, we relied on two important principles. First, it’s in the best interest of football to move forward as efficiently as possible. Second, “sudden corporeal dissolution” fits within the standard of career-ending injury as defined by the current CBA.

Season ticket holders: The league recommends holding all non-Snapped ticket holders to their existing financial obligations (payments on a Personal Seat License plan, mandatory deposits towards season tickets, and so forth). While some ticket holders will be dealing with loss of income, it is our belief many will be in an improved financial situation, thanks to unexpected benefits like the absence of a business competitor, the disappearance of a creditor, or tuition no longer owed towards the education of a Snapped child.

Snapped season ticket holders forfeit their claim to their tickets and PSLs, which will be made available for sale to the general public.

Honor The Snapped Month: During November, we will be running several promotions for Honor The Snapped Month.

  • On kickoffs to start each half, the kicking team will field six players and the receiving team will field five players.
  • One seat will be reserved at every game to honor a Snapped Police Officer, Firefighter, EMT, or First Responder (the Pepsi Seat of Remembrance). Broadcast partners have been instructed to use the following slogan after referring to the Seat of Remembrance: “Pepsi - because your friends are gone, but your thirst isn’t.”
  • Special “Honor The Snapped” edition jerseys will be worn for Sunday night games in November and available for sale on NFL.com. Seven percent of the proceeds will go toward Snap-related charities. A sample mockup jersey is below:

Fines/Suspensions: Non-Snapped players who conduct Thanos-adjacent celebrations, including, but not limited to, snapping fingers or Infinity Gauntlet pantomimes, may be suspended and/or fined at the league’s discretion.

Snapped players will still be subject to fines for unexcused absences from team activities. Fines will not be levied against any player whose family has presented a notarized declaration of death to the league office.

Denver Broncos Update: Despite the disappearance of the entirety of the front office, ownership, coaching staff, and roster of the Denver Broncos, we have decided to avoid any changes to division alignments or schedules this season. Games against the Broncos will be awarded as a 1-0 win for the non-Snapped team, and all Broncos apparel will be sold at a 50% markdown during Week 1.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any concerns, and thank you for your leadership in guiding your communities back to normalcy.