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The Teflon League

The NFL Has Played Great Defense All Year

Roger Goodell at a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, in Phoenix. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

The Ray Rice case.

The Adrian Peterson case.

The Concussion case.

The Jim McMahon case.

The Deflated Football case.

The Most Valuable Players in the National Football League these days don’t wear cleats. They wear wingtips or heels.

They don’t carry Nike equipment bags. They carry briefcases.

Their careers average more than 3.5 years. And what they make per hour would make the players on NFL fields wince.

The lawyers representing the NFL are working very long and lucrative hours. And they are good. With all the league’s problems related to domestic violence, child abuse, concussions, suicides of former players, performance enhancing and recreational drug use, arrests and deflated footballs, the league has never been as strong.

The TV ratings are steady, women haven’t abandoned the games in any significant numbers, fantasy players continue to grow, gamblers bet more and more, NFL merchandise continues to sell, advertisers continue to pay the hefty price of a Super Bowl minute, cheerleaders continue to wave their pompoms, and the league’s public relations operatives continue to ward off the critics like medieval warriors shielding themselves from onslaughts of poisoned arrows.

A series of stories follows about how the league survived the issues and embarrassment that led to some of its worst days.

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